Sunday, October 26, 2008

Visit Gangtok with me!!


Sikkim has always been a peaceful abode and a traveler’s paradise. To understand the beauty of Sikkim one need to discover this heaven, its passion and perfect picture. It could be no better choice then to start the journey from Gangtok, the capital of the Sikkim.

Gangtok is one of the much sought after holiday destination in India today and over the last five years the visiting tourist from India and abroad are ever increasing. Tracing back the origin of the Gangtok city the book “ The Gazetteer of Sikhim” published in 1894 writes of a place called Gantok from where a common man Phungshog Namgyal was summoned to Yoksam in West Sikkim by the three Tibetan Lamas and proclaimed as the Chogyal (King) of Sikkim. The year is given as 1641.

The existence of the hamlet of Gangtok remains unknown till 1894 when in the reign of Chogyal Sir Thutob Namgyal shifted the capital of the Namgyal Dynasty from Tumlong to the present Gangtok. A century later the 300 years old Namgyal Dynasty comes to an end and is erased from the world map. Sikkim joined the Indian Union in 1975. Small time Gangtok has grown to be a big city but the town remains at its best attracting visitors to tell the tale of a wonderful and peaceful Sikkim.

The entire city of Gangtok can be visited in a day but the tiresome task is enthralling and exciting. For the readers of this blog our journey starts from the temple of Lord Hanuman at Hanuman Tok where one can see the beauty of Himalayan range and the morning sunrise. Staying for some 30 minute then some then some 3 Km down the road we enter the Bye Pass road to visit Ganesh Tok, that has a small lord Ganesha temple in it on the road side. This place gives a panoramic view of the Gangtok city. Near to it is a cafeteria that serves hot tea and light meal. Stay here for 20 minutes. It you are fond of wildlife there is no other place then Bulbuley that is located exactly opposite to Ganesh Tok. 3 km long wildlife Park has different Himalayan animal species in a semi natural habitat. It will take around one hour to visit the entire 205 hectares of the Park. The other end of the Park will lead to Smiriti Van where one can plant a sapling. Tashi View Point is another 2 Km that gives picturesque view of mighty Mount Kanachenjunga and Mt Siniolchu. Enjoy the cool breeze here and one can have their lunch in one of the many resting shed. After half an hour it is the time to pack up a move towards Government Institute of Cottage Industries at Zero Point. On the way one can see Vajra Cinema Hall, Sikkim’s largest capacity cinema hall.

Take some 15 minutes looking at the artistic material made in the Industry itself. Then leave for White Hall, one of old architecture marvel of the state. Flower Show adjacent to white Hall it will give you the flavour of the floral beauty of the region. You can take around 20 minute enjoying the beauty of the floras. Then take some rest in the Ridge Park infront of the Nehru Point. Take rest for some half an hour and then move toward Gangtok’s oldest monastery of Enchey, little away from Tashi Namgyal Academy. This 200 old Enchey monastery through the thick forest will make you experience being in another world. Here you can spend some one hour and again back to the Ridge Park.

Crossing the Nehru Point enjoy the smooth walk along the Ridge road where once there used to be the main market of the city. On the way you will find the Royal Gate to the Place but it is restricted to the passerby. A little ahead will came a Secretariat complex where all the developmental process of the state is discussed and put to work. Through the narrow passage of the Secretariat complex to the Government Press office leads to Hurhurray Dara. You find a nice view if the adjoining green lush valley. Spend around 15 minutes out here. In a walking distance you can ride on a recently opened Ropeway till Deorali. Reaching Deorali you can visit Do-Drul Chorten and the most popular Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology that holds huge collection of Buddhist scriptures. Take a noon walk and feel the serene beauty of the park dedicated to late Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal. Here you can have your tea and snacks. We end our journey at this park and depart to the hotel. The city journey was tiresome but equally entertaining, it would be more interesting if you could personally visit this place and feel the beauty.