East Sikkim

East Sikkim

About the place

East Sikkim is one of the four administrative districts of the Indian state of Sikkim. Geographically, East Sikkim occupies the south-east corner of the 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.The civilian region is administered by a district collector, appointed by the Union Government and the military area by a Major General. As of 2011 it is the most populous of the four districts of Sikkim. East Sikkim was part of the kingdom of Sikkim for most of its history. In the 19th century, the district was under the rule of the Bhutanese. After the Anglo Bhutan War, the territory was virtually under the command of the British forces. After India's independence in 1947, the area was part of the kingdom of Sikkim under the protection of India. During the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Nathula Pass witnessed a few skirmishes between India and China. In 1975, the Sikkim formally became part of the Indian Union as India's 22nd state.The district was under the occupation of the Nepalese for 30 years in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


COMMUNICATION / CONNECTIVITY

Airport

The nearest airport is Bagdogra in North Bengal, 124 km from Gangtok, or nearly five hours drive. Bagdogra has regular flights from Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. Heli service is also available from Bagdogra to Gangtok. The two closest railway stations are Siliguri (114 km) and New Jalpaiguri (125 km).

Rail Way

The closest railheads are Siliguri (114 km) and New Jalpaiguri (148 km), from Gangtok. They are connected to Kolkata, New Delhi, Guwahati and other major Indian cities. From the railway station a taxi to Gangtok costs around Rs1500/-. A jeep on sharing basis cost you Rs120/- per person.

Road

Gangtok is at a distance of 114 km from Siliguri and will take 4 hours from Siliguri to reach Gangtok. Gangtok is connected by road with Darjeeling (4 hrs), Kalimpomg and all other cities in Bengal.Travel time from Bagdogra airport to Gangtok is nearly 5 hours by road.A taxi from airport to Siliguri is about Rs150.


PLACES OF INTERESTS

Gangtok is the capital of the mountainous northern Indian state of Sikkim. Established as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the 1840s, the city became capital of an independent monarchy after British rule ended, but joined India in 1975. Today, it remains a Tibetan Buddhist center and a base for hikers organizing permits and transport for treks through Sikkim’s Himalayan mountain ranges.The town's population of 100,000 belongs to different ethnicities such as Nepalis, Lepchas and Bhutia. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya and enjoying a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim's tourism industry.

Tsomgo Lake, also known as Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake, is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim, some 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the capital Gangtok. Located at an elevation of 3,753 m (12,313 ft), the lake remains frozen during the winter season. The lake surface reflects different colours with change of seasons and is held in great reverence by the local Sikkimese people. Buddhist monks prognosticated after studying the changing colours of the lake. In Bhutia language the name Tsomgo is made of two words 'Tso' meaning "lake" and 'Mgo' meaning "head" which gives the literal meaning as "source of the lake".

Nathu La 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 above mean sea level, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. 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.[3] 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.

Colorful Buddhist monastery dating to the 17th century, in a tranquil locale with scenic views. Rumtek Monastery, also called the Dharmachakra Centre, is a gompa located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok. It is a focal point for the sectarian tensions within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that characterize the Karmapa controversy. Originally built under the direction of Changchub Dorje, 12th Karmapa Lama in the mid-1700s, Rumtek served as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage in Sikkim for some time. But when Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, 16th Karmapa, arrived in Sikkim in 1959 after fleeing Tibet, the monastery was in ruins. Despite being offered other sites, the Karmapa decided to rebuild Rumtek. To him, the site possessed many auspicious qualities and was surrounded by the most favorable attributes.