Do’s and Don’ts At Sikkim

Don’t get too close to waterfalls!!

You can find numerous waterfalls while visiting hills. At such places, people get tempted to get themselves photographed at the bottom of the waterfalls. But this may be very dangerous as the floor is very slippery, you might fall down and get injured besides getting photographed. This happened mostly in any of the waterfalls at Sikkim.

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Give a full concentration at the roads of North Sikkim:

The roads in north Sikkim are very curvy, and in a bad shape. It requires a regular and immediate concentration. Along with heavy rainfall, all landslides prone are major causes of bad roads in high altitude. Light snowfall makes these roads very slippery. Due to such a condition of roads we must be careful at the time of travelling, but don’t need to get worried, because much of the drivers are expert in driving on such roads. Travellers must avoid travelling to north Sikkim during monsoon season, because monsoon sets early in the hills.

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Dangerous Roads:

Constant melting of ice affect badly on the roads, due to this, the present condition of roads is very bad. Even at the start of journey you can face road blocks due to huge chunk of rock fell on the road.

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One needs to take special permissions:

Sikkim has various beautiful spots for travellers, which lies at the foot of Himalayas. This little state Sikkim is very close to Tibet, and China, due to which one has to strictly get a special permission for the visit to Sikkim, and also for trekking in ice. At max one can get a permit of 15 days, but at special conditions one can get few more permitted days for stay. Though we get permission for travelling in this state, some of the beautiful areas in Sikkim like number of monasteries, and the nature at its best to be seen there are prohibited.

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Landslides:

Landslides are one of the common things in hilly areas, especially those places where snow melts and water seep into the areas. This feature of Sikkim attracts numerous travelers. These entire things will be provide you in “Sikkim Holiday Packages”.

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Place of interest in East Sikkim

East Sikkim occupies the south east corner of Sikkim State. The capital of east Sikkim is Gangtok, which is also the state capital. It is the hub of all administrative activity in the state. Following are the well-known tourist spots in east Sikkim which must be included in your best selected ‘Sikkim Holiday Packages’.

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Flower Festival

Flower exhibitions are organized around the year at the Flower Show Venue near the White Memorial Hall Complex, Gangtok during the spring.

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Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre

About 45 minutes’ drive from Gangtok, 24 km away, is the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, the seat of the Kagyu order, one of the 4 major Tibetan Buddhist sects. The center has a collection of some of the most unique religious art objects.

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Enchey Monastery

It is an important seat of the Nyingmapa order. This 200 year old Enchey Monastery is built on the site blessed by Lama Drupto Karpo, who was a tantric master known for his power of flying. Every year at January, a religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare for two days.

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Directorate of Handicraft and Handloom

Instituted with the aim of promoting and keeping alive the state’s traditional arts and crafts, the directorate of handicrafts and handloom is a storehouse of hand woven carpets with traditional motifs, blankets, shawls in Lepcha weaves and exquisitely carved ‘Choktse’ or table and many other gift items.

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Dodrul Chorten

The Dodrul Chorten or stupa was builtby the Venerable Trullshi Rinpoche, head of the Nyimapa order of Tibetan Buddhism, in 1945. Inside the Stupa, there is a complete mandala set of Dorji Phurba, a set of Kangur relics, complete Zung and other religious objects. Around the chorten, which is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim are 108 Mani Lhakor.

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Tashi View Point

Situated along the north Sikkim highway it is only 8 km from Gangtok. From this point you get a breathtaking view of Mount Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu, one of the most graceful peaks in the world.

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Ganesh Tok

Situated on a ridge and is only 7 km from Gangtok. From this spot one gets birds view of sprawling Gangtok town down below while across the hills Mt. Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu loom over the horizon.

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Hanuman Tok

It is 11 km from Gangtok town, above Ganesh Tok with a Hindu temple where the devotees come and offer prayers.

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Tsomgo Lake

It literally means the source of the Lake in the Bhutia language just about 40 km away from Gangtok. This serene lake is situated at an altitude of 3,780 meters. The lake is about 1 km long, oval in shape, 15 meters deep and is considered sacred by the local people. This placid lake remains frozen during the winter month’s upto mid-May

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Pahalgam – The Valley Of Shepherds At Kashmir

“The valley of shepherds” is a town in Anantnag district, located in India’s northernmost state Jammu and Kashmir. This world famous hill station is just 45 km away from the District Head Quarter at Anantnag and is located at the banks of river Lidder at an altitude of 7200 ft. from sea level. It is a favorite place for shooting of Bollywood films and is still a health resort. It is a Kashmir’s premier resort, coll even during the height of summer when the maximum temperature does not exceed 250C.

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The most beautiful of these is the huge, undulating meadow of Baisaran, surrounded by thickly wooded forests of pine. Hajan, on the way to Chandanwari, is an idyllic picnic spot. Pahalgam has within it no fewer than eight tiny villages, one of which is mamal. There is a Shiv temple, considered to be Kashmir’s oldest existing temple, dating to the 5th century.

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Pahalgam is also associated with the annual Amarnath Yatra. Chandanwari, 16 km from Pahalgam, is the starting point of the Yatra that takes place every year in the month of July to August. About 11 km from Chandanwari is the mountain lake of Sheshnag, after which, 13 km away is the last stop, Panchtarni.  The Amarnath cave is 6 km away from there. During the month of Sawan(July to August), an ice stalagmite forms a natural Shivling in the Amaranath cave.

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Things To Do

Horse Riding : Race Horse can be hired directly or through the tourist office. Tariff boards are displayed at all important locations. Pahalgam is the base of a major trek that passes along Aru and Kolohi Glacier.

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Golf : Pahalgam has 18 hole golf course, which is can be used by tourists. Golf sets can be hired on the spot.

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Fishing :  The Lidder River has excellent fishing beats for brown trout. The fishing season stretches from April to September. Permits are issued, for a maximum of three days at a time, on a first come first served basis and are charged on a per day per rod basis. Fishing equipment can be hired in Srinagar.

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Trekking : The boundary of Pahalgam offers exciting trekking opportunities. Among them the best known are : Pahalgam – Chandanwari – Sheshnag – Panchtarni – Amarnath Cave Temple – Sonamarg. Equipment is available on hire from Tourism Department.

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Due to such a beautiful features of Pahalgam, it must be included in your ‘Kashmir Holiday Packages’, whenever you are going to visit this state.

Tiger Safari In India At Kanha National Park

India’s many national parks are home to over half of the world’s tiger. Kanha National Park is one of home for Indian tigers. Kanha has more balanced fauna and flora along with the tiger population at hand. Kanha National Park is a reserve in Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh, India. In 1930s Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar, of 250 and 300 square km.

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Kanha Park was created on 1st June 1955, and today it stretches over an area of 940 square km in the two districts. Together with a surrounding buffer zone of 1,067 square km and the neighboring 110 square km Phen Sanctuary, it forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve. Kanha Tiger Reserve Madhya Pradesh forest department is retrieved in 14th April 2010. This makes it the largest National Park in Central India.

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Kanha Wildlife Attraction

The main wildlife attractions in the park are tiger, bison, gaur, sambhar, chital, barasingha, barking deer, black deer, black buck, chousingha, nilgai, mouse deer, sloth bear, jackal fox, porcupine, hyena, jungle cat, python, pea fowl, hare, monkey, mongoose, tiger and leopard.

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The birds species in the park includes storks, teals, pintails, pond herons, egrets, peacock, pea fowl, jungle fowl, spur fowl, partridges, quails, ring doves, spottedparakeets, green pigeons, rock pigeons, cuckoos, papihas, rollers, bee-eater, hoopoes, drongos, warblers, kingfishera, woodpeckers, finches, orioles, owls and fly catchers.

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Kanha Tiger Reserve abounds in meadows or maidans which are basically open grasslands that have sprung up in fields of abandoned villeges, evacuated to make way for the animals. One of the animal species that represent Kanha is Barasingha. Dense forested zone with good crown cover has abundant species of climbers, shrubs and herbs flourishing in the understory.

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The open meadows during the cold winter months are usually teeming with barasinghas and there is plenty of tiger activity around the fringes. A female with two small cubs would circle around at least two or three times during the day and the swamp deer would go berserk, their husky alarm calls ringing through the jungle. There is a museum at Kanha depicting attributes and activities of the park and tribal culture. It is closed every Wednesday. Such a beautiful national park largely helps in enjoying ‘Tiger Safari In India’.

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The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel “Jungle Book”.

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Travel Guide Of Sikkim

In our last visit to East Himalaya, we have visited two memorable cities, namely Darjiling and Gangtok. Let’s talk about this journey in detail. That was the third part of my journey in East Himalaya, where I set out for Gangtok. On our whole journey by road, there was heavy raining, and thick forests of sal and bamboo also there on the both sides of road. These forests have covered the hill slopes with the trunks of trees. On the way we reached at Darjiling, known as one of the heaven on earth which is surrounded by high hills, and are shrouded in clouds.  At Darjiling one could see the raging Teesta battle. The climate of that place was getting warmer. After sometime we crossed the Teesta via a bridge built by BRO.

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This bridge maintains all the roads in these parts. At that moment we were barely 800 m above sea level. We enter into the Sikkim through the town of Rangpo. Finally after an hour or after climbing steadily we were in Gangtok.

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Gangtok is very pretty and relatively a small city in Sikkim. It is 1800 m above sea level, has a quaint charm. The view of city from our resort was enchanting. Outside vehicles are not allowed to ply in Gangtok, so we have to hire a local taxi. The Gangtok bazaar is a paradise for shopaholics, where you can easily find all ancient and modern items. In this journey I experienced that the Sikkimese version is even tastier than that of Darjiling one! Even the climate is also much more congenial to sight-seeing than the oppressive Darjiling cold.

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Sikkim has made tremendous developments under the oath of Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling. This development has made Sikkim a power-surplus state along with a high literacy rate. Social-welfare programs too have been successes here and the probabilities of beggars who are a common sight in other Indian cities are virtually non-existent in Sikkim.

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All these features of Gangtok and Darjiling will definitely make your visit extremely memorable with the help of best options of ‘Sikkim Holiday Packages’.

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History of Sikkim

Founding of the monarchy

As per history, Sikkim is a record of the passage of the Buddhist saint Guru Rinpoche through the land in 8th century AD. Guru is reported to have blessed the land, introducing Buddhism, and boded the era of monarchy that would arrive in Sikkim centuries later. As per Dr. Sailen Debnath Tibetan Emperor Srongtsen Gampo had occupied Sikkim and Bhutan before Rinpoche’s arrival, and a Tibetan military establishment was constructed at Gangdoz which name is Gangtok now. In 14th century, as per Khye Bumsa, a prince from the Minyak House in Kham in eastern Tibet received a divine revelation instructing him to travel south to seek his fortunes. In 1962, Khye Bumsa, Phuntsog Namgyal becomes founder of Sikkim’s monarchy, when he was blessed as first Chogyal, or priest king of Sikkim by three admire lamas at Yuksom.

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Phuntsog Namgyal was achieved by his son Tensung Namgyal in 1670, which moved the capital from Yuksom to Rabdentse. Sikkim was attack by Bhutanese in 1700 with the help of half-sister of Chogyal, who had been denied the throne but they were driven away by Tibetans, who restored the throne to the Chogyal ten years later. Kingdom faced many raids by Nepalese in west and Bhutanese in east between 1717 and 1733, culminating with destruction of capital Rabdentse by Nepalese. In 1791, China sent military to support Sikkim and defend Tibet against Gorkha Kingdom. After its subsequent defeat, Chinese Qing Dynasty controls over Sikkim.

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Sikkim in British Raj

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In the beginning of British rule in neighbouring India, Sikkim bound with British against their common enemy, Nepal. Nepalese attacked on Sikkim, beat most of the region including Terai. This caused the British East India Company to attack Nepal, resulting in Gurkha War of 1814. Agreement signed between Sikkim and Nepal resulted in the return of military by the Nepalese in 1817. After that ties between Sikkim and the British weakened when the latter began taxation of Morang region.  Two British physicians, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker and Dr. Archibald Campbell in 1849 finalize in charge of relations between British and Sikkimese government,  attempted into the mountains of Sikkim unannounced and unauthorized. The doctors were arrested by Sikkimese government, leading to punishing British expedition against the kingdom, after which Darjeeling district and Morang were joined to British India in 1853. The attack led to the Chogyal of Sikkim becoming a titular ruler under British governor. In 1890, Sikkim became British antecedents, and was gradually granted more domination over next three decades.

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After Indian Independence

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India became independent in 1947 and popular vote rejected Sikkim’s joining the Indian Union, and Jawaharlal Nehru who was Prime Minister that time agreed to a special protectorate status for Sikkim. Sikkim came under the suzerainty of India, which controlled its external affairs, defense, diplomacy and communications, but Sikkim else ways retained administrative autonomy. Sikkim National Congress demanded fresh elections and greater representation for Nepalis in Sikkim. Palden Thondup Namgyal, the Chogyal at that time are extremely unpopular with the people, and in 1973, riots in front of Chogyal’s palace led to a formal request for protection from India.

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In 1975, the Prime Minister of Sikkim appealed to India Parliament for Sikkim to become a state of India. In April, the Indian army disarmed the Chogyal’s palace guard in Gangtok. After that, election was held in which 97.5 % of voters supported abolishing the monarchy and approving union with India. On 16 May 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of Indian Union. Such a brief history of India is experienced any of the best ‘Sikkim Packages’.

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Tiger Reserves of India

India holds more than half of the world’s tiger population. As per latest tiger census report released, the current estimated population of Tigers is 1,706. The results of this census include figures from 17 Indian states with a tiger population. In 2008 tiger population was 1,411. Tiger census 2008 report had classified tiger forests in India into 6 landscape complexes which include:

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1)      Shivalik- Gangetic Plains

In this landscape, it was reported that the tiger occupies 5080 square km of forested habitats with tiger population size of 297 in six separate populations.

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2)      Central Indian Landscape complex

In this landscape, tiger occupies 47122 square km of forested habitats with tiger population of 451 distributed in 17 populations.

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3)      Eastern Ghats

In this landscape, tiger occupies 7,772 square km of forested habitats with tiger population was 53.

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4)      Western Ghats

In this landscape, tiger occupies 21,435 square km of forested habitats which is 21% of the forested area with tiger population was 366.

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5)      North – Eastern Hills and Bhramaputra Plains

In this landscape, tiger occupies 4230 square km of forested habitats.

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6)      Sunderbans

In this landscape, tiger occupies 1330 square km of forested habitats with tiger population was 40.

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All these landscapes are covered in best ‘Tiger Safari In India’. The strategy for tiger conservation in India revolves around the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. In the mid of 1970’s and 1980’s, 66 national parks and 421 wildlife sanctuaries were set aside. They were increased later to 102 national parks, 515 wildlife sanctuaries and 44 conservation reserves and 4 community reserves. This resulted in increase in tiger population.

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Now days tiger occurs in 17 states in India, with 7 states reported having populations in excess of 100 tigers. Indian’s national animal is tiger which is a symbol that is an intrinsic part of our culture. One of the earliest portrayals of the tiger in India is found in the Harappan seals from the Indus valley culture, dating back to 2500 BC which depict an intricate association between people and tigers. Human welfare and economic development in India depends on the same clean water, clean air, natural flood controls and other forest resources that tiger need. India is one of the thirteen tiger range countries and has the largest number of source sites with wild tigers. Indian government has always made tiger protection a priority and Project Tiger.