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Yumthang Valley is world famous for its rich variety of flowers and rare fauna and is known as the Valley of Flowers, considered as a mecca for nature lovers and botanists from all over the world. The Yumthang valley provides a great array of Flora –fauna and is an only one of its kind place where tree line vanishes. It is grazing pasture and bounded by the Himalayan Mountains in the north Sikkim. Yumthang Valley is situated at 148 kms from Gangtok and at the height of 1180 feet from sea level.
The whole Yumthang valley becomes colorful and air becomes scented with the aroma of flowers as the valley gets filled with endless flowerbeds furnishing pleasing view of grassy plains covered in colorful flowers and a river flowing from the green slopes in the spring season. There is an old temple of Lord Shiva a few kilometres away from the valley, from where one can have a breathtaking view of the entire Yumthang valley. Also there is a vegetation free mountain known as Yumesamdong at a height of about 16,000 feet and it’s the last point from where one can see the Chinese border. You can also see a variety of animals like Yaks, Shingba Rhododendron, primulas, poppies, iris etc., here and also there is a village called Lachung which is one of the oldest villages of Sikkim and retains an era old charisma and culture of the state. A visit to this valley is an unmatched experience, which can only be felt only by visiting this place and spending some time here, it cannot be explained in words.
The ethereally beautiful Tsomgo (Changu) which means “source of water” in Bhutia language (Local language of Sikkim) lake is located 38 kms away from the capital Gangtok on the Gangtok-Nathula highway which forms a part of the old trade route from India to China. This tranquil lake is situated at the height of 12,000 ft and is about 1 km Long, oval in shape, 15 meters deep. The lake gets filled with pure and clean water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake. Of fabled beauty, the lake looks different in every season, in winter the peaceful lake remains frozen with the area and mountains around it all covered in snow while in late spring the abundance of flowers in bloom covers the whole area in wonderful colors and aroma around the lake.
This area is restricted and hence an inner line permit is mandatory to visit this place. You need to submit a photo copy of any the ID proofs (Voter ID, Passport, Driving License or any other id card issued by the Government of India / State Government) along with passport size recent colour photographs. Note that PAN card or Aadhaar card are not accepted in Sikkim.
Tsomgo Lake (Changu) is conceived sacred by the inhabitants for myths and beliefs associated with the lake in Sikkimese culture. One of the oldest myths connected with the lake is that in old times the Buddhist monks used to study the color of the water of this lake to forecast the future. The Tsomgo lake (Changu) also keeps an important place in the lives and culture of the Jhakris [faith healers] of Sikkim who assemble here every year on the day of Guru Purnima, which concurs with the festival of Raksha Bandhan, from all over the country to offer their special prayers which are believed to give them more closeness to the God.
This lake is also a habitat for the red pandas and numerous rare species of birds which fly here in the beginning of the spring season and remain until the fall. You can enjoy colorfully decorated Yak and Mule rides here and take a tour around the lake and nearby places where you can really enjoy the delicious snacks, food and beverages. For the tourist a visit to the Tsomgo lake is a really refreshing and rejuvenating outing. Best time to visit this place is March to May and October to December.
Nathu La (Devanagari ???? ??; Tibetan: ?????????, IAST: N?th? L?, Chinese: ?????; pinyin: N?idu?l? Sh?nk?u) is a mountain pass in the Himalayas. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass, at 4,310 m (14,140 ft) above mean sea level, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan. On the Indian side, the pass is 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Only citizens of India can visit the pass, and then only after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.
Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India; the others are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) at the trisection point of Uttarakhand–India, Nepal and China. Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements. The opening of the pass shortens the travel distance to important Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the region and was expected to bolster the economy of the region by playing a key role in the growing Sino-Indian trade. However, trade is limited to specific types of goods and to specific days of the week.
Gurudongmar Lake at a height of 17100 ft., is among the top 15 highest lakes in the world and is the second highest lake in Sikkim as well as in India, the first being Cholamu lake at a height of 18000 ft, also located in Sikkim. Being the second highest lake in India, the splendid and scenic beauty of the place is breath-taking.
The Gurudongmar Lake is located in Lachen, a small beautiful town in North Sikkim situatedŌ_at a height of 10000 ft.and a night stay at this town is recommended before visiting the Gurudongmar Lake. The nearest village from Gurdongmar LakeŌ_is Thangu, at about 14000 ft. which is another popular tourist attraction. Named after Guru Dongmar, the lake has a lot of religious significance and the beautiful view of Mount Siniolchu and Khanchendzonga from that point is a sight to behold. Encircled by snow-capped mountains and crystal clear icy water, it is considered as a very holy lake. The lake is one of the sources of River Teesta, which flows through Sikkim, West Bengal and Bangladesh to merge with the Bay of Bengal. There lies a 'Sarva Dharma Sthal' near the lake and it is a very popular place of worship for all religions.
Gangtok, with magnificent views of Kanchenjunga, uniqueness and vibrancy in colors of culture and tradition, infused into the stunning sceneries and just the right dash of subtle city life is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the area.
The name meaning hill-top, Gangtok can be safely said to be one of the most beautiful hill stations in the country. With everything in just the right amount from a blend of cultural identities to urbanisation, Gangtok is a breathing and dynamic bit of paradise of the northeast. It has an amazing view of mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world. Also like everything around it, Gangtok is abundant in natural beauty and has various natural attractions such as the Tsomgo Lake, Ban Jhakri falls, Tashi viewpoint and more. Other places to visit include the Enchey Monastery, Ganesh Tok, Do Drul Chorten Rumtek Monastery, etc. Also, river Teesta is one of the best spots for white water rafting in North East India.
Trade linkages between British India and Tibet through the passes of Sikkim dates back to the late 18th Century. The adventurous Younghosband Mission launched from Sikkim with a military escort during 1903-04 accomplished it’s task in reaching Lhasa through the famous Old Silk Route thereby leading to 1904 Convention that firmed up Anglo-Tibet trade. The ancient Silk Route, that used to connect Lhasa in Tibet and Kalimpong via Jelep-la ( “la” stands for mountain pass) and onwards to the rest of the world was in uses even a few decades ago till the China invaded Tibet.
Zuluk is an abode of peace. Situated at an altitude of around 10,000 ft above the sea level and perched on the rugged terrain of the lower Himalayas in East Sikkim, Zuluk is a hamlet close to Indo-China border. Zuluk is located on the famous Old-Silk-Route. Zuluk is a relatively new offbeat destination of Sikkim and has a primitive charm.
Zuluk was commonly used by traders travelling to Tibet through Jelep-la as an overnight base. There are around 700 people residing in Zuluk. These people are mainly immigrants from Nepal.
Zuluk is the name of the valley with a small hilly village and famous for the zig-zag roads which is a definitely an eye catching landscape. Zuluk offers excellent view of sunrise on Himalayas. There is a place called Ganek, which is situated at the height of 10600 ft which is famous for its exquisite view of sunrise at dawn.The rising of the sun is a phenomenon which is beyond description. During the sunset the ladscape view become more breathtaking. The snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas along with the guardian of the Sikkim, Mt. Kanchandzongha make an excellent showcase in the entire north.
Winter is severe in Zuluk with heavy to very heavy snowfall and freezing temperature while summer is wet and foggy. During the summer, Zuluk and its surrounding hills are covered with thousands of blooming rhododendron. Zuluk during these months, is a riot of colors due to the variety of rhododendron that can be seen here.
In the travel circuit this territory has been opened to the tourists very recently. Even now most of the route is restricted area due to its international boundary with ( Tibet) China and the route is controlled by the Indian Army named as – “ Cloud Warriors”.
Surrounded by virgin wild forests, Zuluk is full of nature’s boon. Zuluk has large diversity of the Himalayan fauna. It’s quite common to get a view of variety of birds such as Monal Peasant, Blood Peasant, Snow Peasant, Khaleez Peasant and others. Viewing Red Panda is a rare luck in Zuluk. Himalayan Weasel are also can be seen in capering mood.
In Zuluk, there is no conventional Hotel or Resort. Some home-stays are there which run by local people with attached bath and basic necessities. But those home stay cottages are clean and hygienic. Room Heater or fire Places which are called “ Bukhari” in local language arrange by home-stay owners to make bedroom warm and comfortable.
The Buddha Park of Ravangla, also known as Tathagata Tsal, is situated near Rabong (Ravangla) in South Sikkim district, Sikkim, India. It was constructed between 2006 and 2013 and features a 130-foot high statue of the Buddha as its centerpiece. The site was chosen within the larger religious complex of the Rabong Gompa (Monastery), itself a centuries-old place of pilgrimage. Also nearby is Ralang Monastery, a key monastery in Tibetan Buddhism.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama entering Buddha Park
Tathagata Tsal in Ravangla, South Sikkim - India.
The statue was consecrated on 25 March 2013 by the 14th Dalai Lama, and became a stop on the 'Himalayan Buddhist Circuit'. The statue of the Buddha marks the occasion of the 2550th birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha. This statue was built and installed in the place through the joint efforts of the Sikkim government and its people. The Buddhist circuit of this park was built here under a State government project, for boosting pilgrimage and tourism in the region. The Cho Djo lake is located within the complex, surrounded by forest