The north-eastern state of Sikkim is surrounded by the Himalayan mountain range. Going by the land area it covers, Sikkim is second smallest in size among all Indian states. But it is very important in terms of its geographical location. The state of Sikkim borders Tibet on the north, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and West Bengal in the south. The tourism potential in Sikkim is immense. The state offers fascinating views of the mountains, several high altitude lakes and hot springs, rivers flowing through hilly terrains, lush green valleys and meadows, and high altitude mountain passes.
Settled in between the Himalayan mountains, Sikkim is known for its mountainous landscape. The altitude across Sikkim varies widely with an elevation ranging from 280 meters (920 feet) to 8,586 meters (28,169 feet). Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world, lies at the border of Sikkim and Nepal. There are numerous snow-fed streams in these mountain valleys that eventually merge with Teesta river and Rangeet river. There are many high altitude lakes in the state including the Tsongmo, Gurudongmar and Khecheopalri lakes.
Sikkim is a great state for tourism. The mesmerizing natural beauty of the state and the allure of seeing the Kanchenjunga mountain peak are big attractions that draws tourists to visit this state all around year. There are many popular tourist destinations in Sikkim.
Gangtok is the capital city for the state of Sikkim. Located in the eastern Himalayan range, the town is set at an elevation of 1,650 meters (5,410 feet). It is one of the most popular hill stations in India. Nestled in between mountains and clouds, Gangtok offers some breathtaking panoramic views. On a clear sunny day, Mount Kanchenjunga is visible in the distant skyline. All this natural beauty becomes even more enthralling to see when viewed from the top in a cable car ride.
The city of Gangotk is one of the few hill stations in India that have an aerial ropeway running across different parts of the town. The 935 meters long ropeway in Gangtok was built in 2003 by Damodar Ropeways & Infra Limited , one of the oldest ropeway construction companies in India. The ropeway is a major tourist attraction and passes through various points of the city. The Gangtok ropeway by DRIL begins at Deorali Bazar and stops at Namnang and Tashiling. Tourists can enjoy a complete panoramic view of the full Gangtok city while taking a ride in this ropeway. If the skies are clear, tourists can also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the snowcapped peak of the Kanchenjunga.
Gangtok is abundant in natural beauty and has various natural attractions such as the Tsomgo Lake, Nathu La Pass, Ban Jhakri falls, Tashi viewpoint and many more amazing sights to see. The Rumtek Monastery and the Enchey Monastery are also popular among tourists. The River Teesta flowing nearby this town is one of the best spots for white water rafting in North East India. So there is something for everyone at this beautiful Himalayan state.
Nathu La Pass: Situated on the Indo-Tibetan border at a height of approximately 4,310 meters above sea level, Nathu La Pass is one of the highest motor able mountain passes in the world. There are a number of waterfalls along the way from Gangtok to Nathula, and also offers picturesque views of snow-clad mountains.
Tsomgo Lake: Located at a dizzying height of 3,780 meters above sea level, the Tsomgo Lake is a glacial lake that derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains around it. It is one of the few high altitude lakes in India. Enveloped by snow-covered mountain slopes, the scenic beauty is overwhelming.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology: The city of Gangtok is rich in culture where people of different ethnicities co-exist peacefully. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a great example of this where centuries old Tibetan Buddhist history and culture is preserved. The Museum houses a huge collection of masks, Buddhist scriptures, statues, and tapestries. It is a popular tourist attraction. This is also the starting point for the Gangtok ropeway ride built by DRIL.
Namchi is located at an altitude of 1,675 meters (5500 feet) above sea level. It is often known as the Culture Capital of the state. Namchi is most known for the world’s largest statue of Padmasambhava, the patron saint of Sikkim. The replicas of the four pilgrims (char dham) of India and the several monasteries nearby make Namchi popular among the tourists.
DRIL, the pioneers in ropeway building in India, built a cable car ride in Namchi from the Children’s Park to the Rock Garden. This ropeway was built on a difficult terrain with the dual aim of providing eco-friendly and energy efficient system of transportation and for the development of tourism. By taking a ride on this DRIL ropeway, tourists can view enjoy the aerial view of surrounding greenery, the Kanchenjunga mountains and the Padmasambhava statue.
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