Directorat of Handicrafts:(Is closed for visitors on Sunday, all Government holidays, second Saturday’s and the odd unforeseen holidays).
Directorat of Handicraft is Situated in Gangtok, the Capital of Sikkim. It is also known as the Government institute of Cottage industries (GICI). Started during the time of Chogyals of Sikkim, as a venture to preserve, protect and propagate the authentic Sikkimese arts, handicraft and skills of local and village artisans, it has become one of the major attractions for people visiting Sikkim where beautiful souvenirs like capital, hand carved tables (Choktses), traditional handicrafts furniture, handlooms carpets and others products are produce and exhibited for sale.
The White Hall : has historical value and is situated on the Ridge park, Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. It is a two storied structure and has typical British architecture and has built in 1932. It is so called not because it is painted white but because it was built in the memory of the first British political officer of Sikkim, Sir John Claude White. There is an Officers Club and badminton court in the white hall.
Permanent Flower Show : Sikkim is famous for the Orchids, In Gangtok, the Capital of Sikkim, the Orchid flower festival held in the month of February. Closed by the White memorial hall and just below the Palace. Recent year this show has become quite popular and famous as there are flower exhibitions throughout the year in accordance with the seasons and the flower in bloom.
Sikkim Resarch Institute Of Tibetology : (Closed on Sundays). This Internationally acclaimed centre of Tibetan Studies & Research houses a vast collection of rare Buddhist books, manuscripts and over 200 Buddhist icons. Situated in Gangtok , the capital of Sikkim, about a kilometer downhill from the main market of Gangtok, the building accommodating the institute is an example to Tibetan architecture. It is the world renowned and is one of the few of its kind. It has one of the world’s largest collections of books and rare manuscripts on the subject of Mahayana Buddhism plus many religious works of art and incredibly finely executed silk embroidered thangkas.
Do-Durl Chorten (Stupa) : This stupa encircled by 108 prayer wheels was built by the late Trulsi Rimpoche in 1945-46. This is one of the most important and biggest stupas found in Sikkim. Inside this Stupa there are complete mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya), a set of Kan-gyur relics (Holy Books), complete ‘Zung’ (mantras) and other religious objects. Around this Chorten, which is one of the most important Stupas in Sikkim, are 10 Mani-Lhakor (prayer wheels) these prayer wheels are turned by the devotee Buddhist while chanting ‘Hail to the jewel in the Lotus to invoke the Buddhisattava.’
Rumtek Monastery : Dharma Chakra Centre, or Rumtek Monastery, is one of the most important seats of the Kagyu lineage outside Tibet. In the early 1960’s, His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa founded this seat near the 300 year old Kagyu monastery built in the sixteenth century by the Fourth King of Sikkim under the guidance of the ninth Karmapa. The new Rumtek monastery was built about two kilometers away from this old monastery. Rumtek became the International Kagyu Headquarters during the life of His Holiness, from where lineage activities manifested throughout the world. It also became the residence of a new generation of Kagyu masters, who are being trained in a tradition of study and meditation practice which began 800 years ago. The monastic college buildings is in the backside.Dharma Chakra Center includes a beautifully structured main shrine temple and monastery with monks’ quarters, where the Karmapa resides and where the most of the important relics are enshrined; a three-year retreat center; a Shedra, or monastic college, where the relics of the Sixteenth Karmapa are enshrined; a nunnery; stupas; a protector’s shrine; institutions for the lay community; and other establishments. Click here for a panoramic view of Rumtek (large image: 85k).
LOCATION AND OTHER FACTS : Dharma Chakra Center a.k.a Rumtek Monastery, is located in eastern Sikkim, 24 kilometers away from Gangtok, the capital of the Sikkim, India. Rumtek is situated at an altitude of about 5800 ft (1,547 metres); the temperature in Summer is between a maximum of 20.7 and minimum of 13.1 (deg.C°.); in Winter, maximum 14.9 / minimum 7.7. The best season to visit, in terms of weather, is March to late May, or from October to mid-December. The following languages are spoken in the area: Sikkimese, Pahari (the local Nepalese dialect), Hindi, Tibetan and English.
Enchey Monastery: is Located on the hilltop above the Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. This monastery rebuilt in 1910 belong to the Nyingmapa Order and has once the hermitage site of Lama Drupthob Karpo renowned for his power of flying. An important seat of the Nyingmapa order, the Enchey Monastery meaning the solitary temple, was originally built with the solace that no other construction would be allowed near it is built on the site blessed by lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his flying power. This 200 year old monastery has its premises images of God, Goddesses and other religious objects. Every year around January ‘Chaam’ or religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare for two days.
Hanuman Tok : Altitude-7200 ft Situated above 5 km uphill from Gangtok market, the capital of Sikkim on a bifurcation road of the Gangtok-Nathula Highway, is a temple devoted to Hanuman, a god worshipped by Hindu. On Selected points of Gangtok and the adjoining rolling hills can be seen. From the temple itself, the snowy parks of Kangchendzonga present a panoramic view. One also get a birds eye view of the Gangtok town.
Tashi View Point : It is situated 4 km from the Gagntok, the capital of Sikkim from where people can see the whole mountain range ( Kanchendzonga range).This site offers a breathtaking panorama of the majestic Mt. Kanchendzoanga and surrounding hills. Built by the late King of Sikkim Sir Tashi Namgyal. On the opposite hill, the very old monasteries of Sikkim Phodong and Labrang Monasteries can be seen.
Ganesh Tok : Altitude-6500 ft. It is very small temple dedicated to Lord Gnesh, previously Temple is so small in size the can hardly accommodate one person and one has crowl to get inside it but recently in the year of 2007 it was renovated and rebuilt in big temple. Situated 3 km from the Gangtok the capital of Sikkim.
Sa-Ngor-Chotshong Centre: Located on a beautiful hill top it is a monastic institution established in 1961 by his Eminence Ludibg Khen Rimpoche, Head of Ngopa, sub-sect of the Sakya Order, with the blessing of H.H Sakya Trinzin and H.H. the Dalai Lama. This is only monastery of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism in Sikkim.
Tsomgo/ Changu Lake : Distance is 32 km (from Gangtok), Altitude – 3750mt The TSOM (head) GO (Lake), the holy lake, situated at an altitude of 3750 mt (12,600 ft), on a highway to Tibet Border (Nathula). Nathula is just only 18 Km from here. From the Gangtok the capital of Sikkim its just only 32km but it takes 2 ½ hrs to reach there. The road is very stiff and it’s a Military based area. One has to make special permit to go there from the Sikkim Tourism Office and Sikkim Police Check Post. Drive to Tsomgo Lake is breathtaking, within 2 hrs one can feel the difference of the altitude from 5800 ft to 12600 ft. The Tsomgo lake in Sikkim derives its water from the melting snow on the mountains around, The river Lungtze Chu originates from the Tsomgo lake Sikkim and meets the Rangpo-chu further down its course. During the olden times, lamas used to study the colour of the water of the lake and forecast about the future. If the waters of the Tsomgo lake had a dark tinge, it foreshadowed a year of trouble and unrest in the state. Tsomgo lake in Sikkim has a few rainbow trout and if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse at them.
Nathula Pass : Distance 54 km (from Gangtok), Altitude-14,790 ft (4.392 mt) ( Note: the day for tourist visit are restricted and needs to be applied at least 24hrs in advance and limited days of operation.) 18 km further away from Tsomgo lake. In the early times it was the main silk route trade of Sikkim and Tibet. But due to war between China and India it was closed for many years but recently Government of Sikkim had opened the rout again for the Business purposes. It’s a nearest way to reach Lhasa too. From Gangtok its only 11 hrs drive to reach Lhasa.