Overview of the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim
Photo by: appaji, Creative Commons

Sikkim is located in the north-eastern part of India. Sikkim is considered as India’s smallest state and also the less populated state. Sikkim is located close to the Himalayas. Sikkim is famous for the tea plantations, and it has a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Places to visit in Sikkim:

Tsongmo Lake
The Tsongmo Lake is located 40 km away from Gangtok (the capital city of East Sikkim). The Tsongmo Lake is considered the largest lake and a holy lake by the people of East Sikkim. There is a huge natural cave at the lake known as Tseten Tashi Cave which is a great place to visit. The Tsongmo Lake is an oval shape covering an area of 1 km. The Brahminy ducks and a number of drifting birds is a special attraction. The Tsongmo Lake is a restricted place, and entry is allowed to Indians only, foreigners are allowed with special permission.

Rumtek Monastery
The Rumtek Monastery is located 24 km away from Gangtok, and it is the center school of the Sikkim Tibetan Buddhism, built in 1740 by 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje.

Achievements of Sikkim
• Sikkim was awarded four times by the government as the best state in India for tourism for the years 2000-2003.

• Sikkim state stood in the third spot as the greatest performing in Panchayatiraj, village local administration.

• In terms in education during the years 2004-2005 Sikkim was awarded the best performing state.

• Awarded Skoch Challenger award in the field of Information Technology.

• Sikkim was the third state in India to issue Human Development Report.

There are more than 4,000 varieties of flowering plant life, about 550 orchids, about 300 ferns, and about 9 conifers.

There are about 144 mammals, 650 butterflies and 550 birds that inhabit the area.

Eating and Drinking
The food at Sikkim is purely in Tibetan style, noodles and Thupkasa (a local dish) is the best here. Alcohol in Sikkim is relatively cheap, which is served in a cup made of bamboo with a wooden straw. “Chhang” a locally made beer, and is the highlight here and relatively cheap.

Traveling to Sikkim

Sikkim doesn’t have railway stations and airports, but it can be reached from Bagdogra (a nearby airport located in North Bengal) 124 km from Sikkim. New Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati operate the flight services to Bagdogra. There is also a helicopter service in between Siliguri to Gangtok. Sikkim can also be reached from West Bengal through bus. Siliguri and Darjeeling operate daily bus services to Sikkim.

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