Places to Explore in and Around Gangtok

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The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok, lays over a forested hill that overlooks Mt. Khangchendzonga which is considered as the guardian deity of the land by the Sikkimese Buddhists. It served as the royal and administrative headquarters to the former kingdom1894 to 1975. The area around Gangtok's hill has many significant sites. The Enchey Monastery is situated above the Ridge of the palace grounds and the main bazaar is located around a hundred meters below it. It is a half km long straight and flat street. Next to it is the Lall Bazaar, an open-air grocery market, which is now converted into a concreted enclosure housing the original market and several more shops. Further below is the Deorali, a busy street with shops on both sides.
The Dodrul Chorten, located on the top of a hill is a very sacred icon to the Buddhists. It was built in 1945 by Trulsi Rimpoche. Enchey Monastery is a 200-year old monastery and an important seat of the Nyingmapa Order. The site of the monastery is blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a Tantric Master. The annual charm is performed here with great enthusiasm every year around January. Rumtek Monastery (the Dharma Chakra Center) is situated on a hill opposite Gangtok at a distance of 24 kilometers and is a replica of the original Karmapa monastery in Tsurpu, Tibet. The Pal Zurmang Kagyud Monastery is in Lingdum, 20 kilometers from Gangtok. This monastery is the seat of the 12th Gharwang Rimpoche and is a worth visit for its exquisite architecture. Ganesh talk is at a road distance of 7 kms above Gangtok. A spectacular birds-eye-view of the town below, a spectacular panorama of the Khangchendzonga range on the horizon and a small temple are the highlights of this hill. Higher up, and 11 kilometres from the town is the Hanuman Tok. This is another great view point.Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary is 25 kilometers away from the town. This is a tranquil area which can be visited for bird watching. Himalayan Zoological Park or Bulbuley has been a recently established zoo. Situated 8 kilometers above Gangtok, it provides natural habitat for Sikkim's native fauna species. The Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bears, Spotted Deer and Barking Deer are the highlights of the zoo. Cottage Industry Institute of Gangtok was established with the aim of keeping alive the traditional arts and crafts of Sikkim. It is known for exquisite hand woven carpets, blankets, shawls and hand carved furniture. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Is an internationally acclaimed study center for Buddhist religion and philosophy.
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