is a small and beautiful state of Himalayan regions
of India. Located at an altitude of 5500 ft is a
tourist paradise for hits natural beauty, culture
and handcrafts. There are many famous Buddhist
monasteries located inside Sikkim. State of Sikkim
is located at latitude of 27-28 North and Longitude
of 88-89 degree east. The temperature varies from 21
to 13 degree Celsius in summer and 13 degree to 5
degree Celsius in winter. Light woolen cloths in
summer and heavy woolen cloths in winter are
There are different road links available to enter
Sikkim but most important of them is from NJP (New
Jalpaiguri in West Bengal State) on National Highway
Number 31A ( NH 31A ). This road enters Sikkim at
Rangpo check post. Rangpo check post is located at a
distance of 77 KM from Siliguri, Kalimpong is 40 KM
and Darjeeling is 77 KM. From Darjeeling the road
joins the road from NJP by the side of river Teesta.
Distance from Gangtok
Gangtok to Darjeeling: 105 Kms
Gangtok to Siliguri: 110 Kms
Gangtok to Kalimpong: 80 Kms
Gangtok to Lachung : 105 Kms
Gangtok to Pemayabgtse : 117 Kms
HOW TO REACH
lies on the North Eastern corner of India and is
juxtaposed between Bhutan and Nepal with West Bengal
on its South.
Capital of Sikkim is Gangtok, which connects
Siliguri through National Highway 31A. Siliguri, a
major town on the northern fringe of West Bengal
being the main gateway of Sikkim.
Nearest Airport: Bagdogra. (Near Siliguri, 117 kms
This is connected with regular flights from Kolkata
(Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport).
Daily flights are available to Kolkata from New
Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and all other major cities of
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaigur,i near
Siliguri Town, 117 kms from Gangtok.
Overnight trains are available from Kolkata which
reaches New Jalpaiguri Station in the morning.
1. Taxis are available from New Jalpaiguri Station:
charges are INR 100 per person.
2. From Siliguri Buses and Taxis are available at
the following points:
Buses - SNT(Sikkim National Transport) Bus Terminus,
Near Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus.
Taxis - Taxi Stand Opposite SNT Bus Terminus.
Charges are INR 100 per person OR INR 1000 (This may
incease during peak tourist season) if you want to
reserve the vehicle.
RULES AND PERMITS
Sikkim is a sensitive
border state. Security concerns make it imperative
to put in place special protection.
Inner Line Permit:
This applies to any foreigner visiting Sikkim.
* It can be collected from Sikkim House in Calcutta
or New Delhi.
* It can also be collected from the entry point into
Sikkim, at Rangpo.
* Some of the destinations within Sikkim come under
Restricted or Protected Categories. These areas can
be accessed either with special permission from
Sikkim Police, or in the case of certain
destinations, the Ministry of Defence, New Delhi has
to issue special written permits.
* Check out the status of your planned destination
before starting out.
Taxi operators have to abide by these rules:
* Fares are fixed and over-charging is prohibited.
* Fares from New Jalpaiguri to Mainline Taxi Stand
on a sharing basis is Rs 100 per person. For
Reserving full vehicle, charges are not to exceed Rs
* Not more than 10 passengers per jeep / Sumo /
Commander are allowed.
* Not more than four passengers are allowed on
Maruti Van Local Taxis
* Taxi operators are bound to issue tickets for
bringing in passengers from New Jalpaiguri railway
station or Bagdogra airport to Gangtok.
* Local Taxis have rate charts for each place in
Gangtok stuck on to the rear window. Overcharging is
prohibited. Complaints can be made with the Sadar
Police station on Tibet Road, just above Tourism
* Local taxis as well as Mainline Taxis have
designated stops. Stopping the vehicle anywhere else
* Taxis are prohibited from taking anyone else in a
Reserve Vehicle apart from the person who has
For local sight-seeing
* Taxis and agents not affiliated to TAAS are not
allowed to take tourists to Nathula.
* Maruti Vans are not allowed to negotiate the road
to Nathula. Only jeeps, Sumos, Maruti Gypsies and
Commander vehicles are allowed.
* Vehicles not registered in Sikkim are not allowed
to take tourists on local sight seeing or distance
travel across the state.
Please check out the SK-04 registration plates
before hiring a vehicle for sight seeing.
* Any taxi registered anywhere, however, can bring
in and take out visitors to the state.
* None of these rules are applicable to visitors
traveling in their own private vehicles. However,
moving to North District of vehicles registered out
of India needs special permission. The Tourism
Department should be contacted.
* Gambling is prohibited in the state so far.
* Pool bars are not allowed to charge anything like
bet money, excepting for their legitimate charges.
* Bars are open till 23.00 hours only. There is no
bar in drinking in private or in hotel rooms, unless
specified by a particular hotel.
* Drinking in restaurants not designated and
licensed as bars is prohibited.
OF TOURIST INTERESTS
Enchey Monastery :
An important seat of the Nyingma
order, the Enchey Monastery meaning the Solitary
temple, was originally built with the solace that no
other construction would be allowed near it is
built on the
site blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master
known for his flying powers. This 200-year-old
Monastery has in its premises images of god,
goddesses and other religious objects. Every year
around January 'Chaam' or religious masked dance is
performed with great fanfare for two days. it is
situated adjoining the Sinolchu Tourist Lodge, 3 kms
from Gangtok Town.
Permanent Flower Show :
White Hall, Close by the White
Memorial Hall and just below the Palace Ridge park
is the more recent Flower Show Hall. In recent years
this show has become quite popular and famous as
there are flower exhibitions throughout the year in
accordance with the seasons and the flowers in
Do-Drul Chorten ( Stupa) :
Do-Drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the Venerable
Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of
Tibetan Buddhism in 1945. Inside this stupa, there
are complete mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra
Kilaya), a set of Kan-gyur relics ( Holy Books),
complete 'Zung'( mantras) and other religious
objects. Around this Chorten, which is one of the
most important stupas in Sikkim, are 10 Mani-Lhakor(
prayer wheels). These prayer wheels are turned by
the devout Buddhist while chanting "Hail to the
jewel in the Lotus", to invoke the Buddhisattva. The
Chorten is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang, where
there are two huge statues of Guru Rimpoche (Guru
Handloom and Handicrafts
It is now known as the Directorate of
Handicrafts and Handlooms as well as
the Government Institute of Cottage Industries.
Started during the time of the Chogyals of Sikkim,
as a venture to protect and propagate the craft and
skills of local and village artisans, it has become
on t of the major attractions for people visiting
Sikkim where traditional handcrafts, furniture,
handlooms carpets and other products can be viewed
and also purchased . A word of caution to the
innocent guest. It is better to check whether there
is a government holiday or not as the G.I.C.I. is
closed on Sundays, all government declared holidays,
second Saturdays and the odd unforeseen holidays.
Namgyal Institute of
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, after the late
Chogyal of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal whose
brainchild it was has since become one of the most
prestigious depository of Tibetan literature, rare
manuscripts, paintings, thangkas, statues and
religious objects and other works of art and
history. Today, it is a renowned worldwide centre
for study of Buddhist philosophy and religion.
Saramsa Garden :
About 14 kms from Gangtok is the
Saramsa Garden, the home of Sikkim's most exotic
orchids and other rare tropical and temperate
plants. Established and maintained by the Department
of Forest, it is an excellent recreation and picnic
Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre
About 45 minutes drive from Gangtok,
24 kms away, is the Rumtek Dharma
Chakra Centre, the seat of the Kagyu order, one of
the 4 major Tibetan Buddhist sects. Since the late
1960s, after the arrival of His Holiness the 16th
Gyalwa Karmapa, the Centre houses some of the
world's most unique religious scriptures and
religious rare objects. Traditional in design, it is
almost a replica of the original Kagyurpa Monastery
in Tsurphu, Tibet.
Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical
Very close by to Rumtek Monastery,
and maintained by the parks and Gardens unit of the
Forest Department of the Government of Sikkim, the
Garden is an enchanting and soothing experience
among the lush green vegetation, rare plants and
trees and certain species of Himalayan flowers and
Water Garden :
Water Garden at Martam Khola is on
the 31-A National Highway some 16 kms. south of
Gangtok. It is an ideal spot for picnic with a small
swimming pool for children.
Tsomgo Lake :
Tsomgo lake is only 40 kms. from
Gangtok town and is situated at an
altitude of 12,210 ft. The drive from Gangtok takes
about 2� hours by bus. The lake is bout 1 km. long
and oval in shape, 50ft. deep and is regarded
extremely Holy. It is also a home of Brahmini ducks
besides stopover for various migratory ducks.
Between May and August, it is
possible to see variety of flowers in bloom,
including the rhododendrons, various species of
primulas, blue and yellow poppies, iris and many
other species of floras. It is also an ideal habitat
of the Red Panda and various species of birds. Open
for both the Foreign and Indian nationals. Foreign
visitors have to be in a group of two or more and
have to apply for the visitors permit through a
registered Travel agency.
56 kms from Gangtok is a 'Nathula'
Pass at an altitude of 14,200 ft. bordering between
India and China in the Tibetan Plateau. It is one of
the highest motorable roads and richly covered by
many varities of alpine flora and fauna. A tranquil
place to visit. Nathula is open only for Indian
nationals on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and
Sundays. The visitors have to get the permit to
visit the place by applying to the Tourism
Department through a registered Travel Agency.
Tashi View Point :
Built by the late King of Sikkim Sir.
Tashi Namgyal, it is situated 4 km from Gangtok town
from where one can have a clear view of opposite
hills, besides Mt. Khangchendzonga. This site offers
a breathtaking panorama of the majestic Mt.
Khangchendzonga and surrounding hills.
Ganesh Tok :
It is a very small temple of Ganesh,
a God worshipped by Hindus. It is on a hillock on
Gangtok-Nathula Road. A Sikkim Government nursery is
Sa-Ngor-Chotshog Centre :
It is a Tibetan refugee monastic
institution established in 1961 by his Eminence
Luding Khen Rimpoche, Head of Ngorpa, sub-sect of
the Sakya Order, with the blessing of H.H. Sakya
Trizin and H.H. the Dalai Lama. This is the only
monastery of the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism in
Sikkim. It is located on a beautiful hill-top just 5
kms away from Gangtok Sikkim.
Pemayangtse Monastery is one of the
oldest monasteries in the State. Originally
established by Lhatsun Chempo, one of the revered
Lamas to have performed the consecration ceremony of
the first Chogyal ( Religious Monarch) of Sikkim.
This ancient monastery belongs to the Nyingma
Buddhism and has been considered as one of the
premier monasteries in the State, having been
entrusted with the task to perform all religious
functions of the erstwhile monarch. The Monastery,
located on a hill top at an altitude of 6840 ft.
commands a magnificent panoramic view of the
Himalayan ranges and the surrounding hills and
This was the second capital of the
erstwhile Kingdom of Sikkim after Yuksom and till
the year 1814 AD, the Kings of Sikkim had ruled the
State from this place. Today, the ruins lie hidden
from the main road at a walking distance from the
Pemayangtse Monastery. The scenic view from the top
of the ruins scanning across the deep valley to the
mystic heights of Khangchendzonga ranges is
something to be cherished and etched in memory.
This monastery is situated on a ridge
above Pelling and the famous Pemayangtse Monastery.
Built in 1697 AD, it is considered to be the oldest
monasteries in Sikkim. In order to reach this
Monastery one has to be prepared to spend at least
40 minutes walking up the steep hilly slope which
leads through rich forest covers.
Khecheopalri Lake is considered to be
one of the sacred lakes of Sikkim both by the
Buddhist and the Hindus. The lake remains hidden in
the rich forest cover. It is believed that birds do
not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake
surface. There is a motorable road from Pemayangtse
right up to the lake area. For those interested in
spending a night or two in the peaceful environment
a trekker's hut has been provided by the Tourism
Department. The hut is presently managed by a local
person and provides comfortable stay providing a
taste of local Sikkimese -Nepalese cuisines. There
is also a pilgrim's hut, managed by Tourism
Department, which is meant to provide accommodation
to the people who come on pilgrimage tours.
This was the first capital of Sikkim,
where according to the historical records, the first
Chogyal of the Kingdom of Sikkim was consecrated in
the 1641 AD by three learned lamas. The evidence of
the consecration ceremony is still intact in
Norbugang Chorten in the form of stone seats and a
foot print of the Head Lama on the stone. Since the
history of Sikkim began from this place, these areas
are now considered sacred by the people of Sikkim.
Yuksam is served by all weather road from
Pemayangtse, which is at a distance of 32 kms from
Yuksam. The trek to Dzongri and to the base camp of
the famous Mt. Khangchendzonga begins here.
This monastery is constructed on top
of a heart shaped hill with the back drop of the
sacred Mt. Khang-chen-Dzonga. According to Buddhist
scriptures, Guru Padma Sambhava (Guru Rimpoche)
blessed the sacred land of Sikkim in the 8th century
AD from the spot. The monastery, however, was built
in the 18th Century AD by Ngadak Sempa Chempo, one
of the three lamas who had performed the
consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal.
Tashiding is also famous for the most holy chorten
known as 'Thong-Wa-rang-Dol' which literally means 'Saviours
by mere sight'. It is believed that the mere act of
beholding it is supposed to wash away all he sins of
the devotee. Another important feature in tashiding
is the sacred water festival popularly knwon as 'Bhumchu'.
It is a religious tradition unique to Tashiding
Monastery only. Every year, on 14th and 15th day of
the first Lunar Month, the Bhumchu Ceremony is
celebrated with devotees coming from far and near to
get the blessing of the holy water.
It lies at an elevation of 10,000 ft.
and has a motorable road access upto Hilley. An easy
4 kms trek from there takes one up to the Varsey
Rhododendron Sanctuary. One can also trek from
Soreng or Dentam in West Sikkim. The place provides
a magnificent view of the mountains. Visitors can
halt at 'Guras Kunj' trekkers' hut.
One of the six major monasteries in
Sikkim, Phodong monastery is located in the North
approximately 38 kms from Gangtok, 4 kms beyond
Phodong is the recently renovated Labrang Monastery
unique in it architectural design.
This monastery is situated on the
gentle slope stretching from Kabi to Phodong with
perhaps one of the best landscapes in the region.
The Phensang Monastery, under the Nyingmapa Buddhist
Order, was built in 1721 during the time of Jigme
Pawo. It was gutted by fire in 1947 and rebuilt in
1948 through the efforts of the lamas. The annual
festival of Chaam is performed on the 29th and 29th
days of the tenth month of the Lunar calendar
The place offers one of the most
spectacular and closest views of Mt. Khangchendzonga
and its ranges. A well located Tourist Lodge
provides accommodation for visitors. The area also
has a number of interesting short nature trails for
1 to 3 days along the higher ridges of the higher
ridges of the surrounding hills. One can also savour
the most graceful peak in the world, Mt. Siniolchu.
Chungthang, on the confluence of
Lachen and Lachung Chu and the starting point of
River Teesta, has emerged as a major sub-division
settlement in North Sikkim. It is the nodal junction
for the two passes, Lachen and Lachung. The valley
is believed to have been blessed by Guru Rimpoche
and one can visit the Holy Guru Lhedo to see the
foot and palm prints left behind by the Patron
Saint. The place is rich in bio diversity with a
large variety of orchids, plants and wildlife, is 95
kms from Gangtok, 23 kms from Lachung, 29 kms from
Lachen and is predominantly a Lepcha region.
A Bhutia village with a unique local
self-governing body called the Zumsa which
substitutes the Panchayat. Lachung has emerged as a
tourist destination with the soaring popularity of
Yumthang Valley which is just 25 kms from Lachung.
The village, spreads out on either side of Lachung
Chu, has managed to retain its unique culture and
tradition. The Lachung Monastery on the slope
opposite to the highway is a focal point of all
religious function of the local inhabitants. To get
a glimpse of the religious functions performed on
auspicious occasion a visit to the Monastery should
form part of the tour itinerary.
Yumthang, at an elevation of 11,800
ft and 140 kms from gangtok is a paradise for nature
lovers with a fascinating blend of flora and fauna
and breathtaking scenic grandeur. The valley is also
the home of Singbha Rhododendron Sanctuary with 24
species of Rhododendrons. Yumthang 'Tsa-Chu' or the
hot spring of the left bank of Lachung Chu is
immensely popular for its curative properties and
Lachen is situated at an altitude of
2750 mtrs. and about 6 hrs. drive from Gangtok. The
Lachen Monastery Located on top of the village
commands a panoramic view of the surrounding hills
and country side. Resorts, hotels and lodges are
available for accommodation.
Guru-dongmar lake is considered as
one of the sacred lakes of this State both by the
Buddhist and the Hindus. The lake remains milky in
color throughout and it is believed the Guru
Padmasambhava had touched the lake whilst he visited
Tibet from this area.
Namchi, meaning 'Sky High', nestled
among the hills at an elevation of 5,500 ft commands
panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains and vast
stretches of valley. Atop Samdruptse hilltop near
Namchi, recently erected is the worlds tallest
statue of Guru Padmasambhava, the patron saint of
both Hindus and the Buddhist.
Temi Tea Garden:
The one and only tea garden existing
in the State produces one of the top quality teas in
the international market. The tea garden is spread
out on a gently hill slope originating from the
Tendong Hill and provides a magnificent view for the
surrounding villages. The visit to the factory could
be an eye opener for those wanting to know more
about tea processing methods.
At the base of Menam Hill is Ravangla,
a small township and transit to various tourist
destinations in South and West Sikkim. It is also an
upcoming tourist spot, and transit point for
trekkers to Menam hill and Borong. There are
accommodation facilities and numerous short nature
trails. A trek down to the sacred cave 'Sher Chok
Bephu', one of the four holiest caves in Sikkim,
would be a memorable experience.
Menam Hill towers above Tendong Hill
on the other side over looking the ravangla Bazar
settlement. Situated at an altitude of 10,300 ft the
scenic view from this height is, perhaps, unmatched
in this part of the world. Mt. Khangchendzonga and
its surrounding ranges looms above the dwarf the
richly forested and rugged hill. On a clear sunny
day, it is possible to see the plains of Bengal
spanning across Kalimpong and darjeeling Hills in
the South, right across the Indo-China border
towards the North. A short distance away is the
legendary Bhaley Bhunga, a kind of rocky spur which
juts out from the ridge top and remains suspended in
the air above Yangang village.
Facing the snow-capped mountains is
Borong, motorable from Ravangla or a trek via Menam.
A picturesque village, its beautiful landscape and
magnificent view is also host to the hot spring,
Borong TsaChu'. The trek trail, originating from
Namchi or Damthang to Tendong - Ravangla - Menam -
Borong (5-6 days) is one of the most interesting
trails scaling all the hill tops along the route.
The trek can continue to Tashiding or terminate at
Borong and drive back to Ravangla.
Sikkim�s famous mask dances
are simply spectacular. Chaams are performed on
ceremonial and festive occasions. Though these
dances differ from one another in style and theme,
but they all deal with the triumph of good over
evil. Their origin lies in a dancing cult for
exorcising malignant demons and human enemies. The
Chaams performed during the new year ceremony expel
evil from the land, while closing the old year and
ushering in benevolence and good luck for the new.
The dancers wear fearful dragon, animal and bird
masks, dress in richly brocaded costumes and tread
the measure to the sound of cymbals and trumpets.
The commencement of Chaam is announced from within
the gompa by the steady drone of the kangling, an
instrument like a trumpet. These notes are
reciprocated by the deep muted thunder of the radong,
long copper horns, blown from outside the gompa.
Cymbals clash, and ceremonial drums and gongs sound
in rhythmic unison and mark the start of the dance.
Richly attired dancers file into the monastery
courtyard and as they swirl in rich colour, incense
bearers circulate among the audience, purifying the
atmosphere. All this heralds the actual drama, whose
principal figure is Mahakala, and it is his presence
that invokes other protective deities. Elaborate
costumes and masks are the hallmarks of the Dance of
the Masquerades---Sha-Yak and Nam-Ding---where the
dancers assume animal faces. Here, the masks of the
stag, the yak, the tiger, the lion, the mythical
winged garuda, walk in slow and measured steps, to
the clash of cymbals and the sound of the trumpets,
the dancers act out the destruction of apostasy
symbolized by an effigy which is chopped to pieces
and scattered. The scattered remains are not merely
the annihilation of the diabolical forces, but they
also constitute an offering, signifying the tantric
union of wisdom, preaching and action and
consecrated to the five Dhyani Buddhas.
The legend surrounding the origins of chaam is
fascinating. In the 9th century, a devout and pious
king in Tibet, Ral-Pa-Che, devoted much of his time
to Buddhism. He had many important scriptures and
commentaries translated into Tibetan. He also
endowed the monasteries with the grant of lands. But
there was also a malignant influence in the person
of his brother, Lang Darma, who offered a reverse
prayer to harm the faith. The treacherous prince
instigated violence against the King and was
instrumental in the murder of Ral-Pa-Chen, after
which he ascended the throne. Once crowned, Lang
Darma began his vicious efforts to uproot Buddhism.
He desecrated monasteries, burned sacred scripts and
books and persecuted the lamas.
This apostate king was assassinated in the third
year of his reign by Lama Pal Dorjee. The Lama
disguised himself as an itinerant Devil Dancer,
within his ample sleeves he concealed a bow and
arrow. His dancing got him the attention of the
king, who summoned him to his presence. As the
disguised lama drew near the king, he whipped out
his bow and arrow and aimed the fatal shot. In the
resultant chaos, the lama escaped on a black pony,
with the king�s guard in hot pursuit. But he eluded
capture by plunging into the Kyi-chu river. When he
emerged on the other bank, the pony was snow-white
and this miraculous transformation fooled the
pursuers and the lama escaped unharmed. Within this
story are the elements of the masked dance
itself�the rooting out of apostasy, or evil; and the
victory of good�all played out in a fierce and
splendid drama whose echoes vibrate in the chaams of
The monastic dance costumes form an integral and
fascinating part of the chaam. Rich brocade and
satin with gold embroidery go into the making of the
gown and cape. The latter bears the dorje, the
thunderbolt sceptre which is a mystical symbol of
Tibetan Buddhism. Down the back hangs the Gyab-dar,
a cloth which falls from head gear to ankle and is
tucked in at the waist. The robe is said to resemble
that worn by Lama Pal Dorje when he killed the evil
king, and thus has a symbolic meaning, that of the
victory Good over Evil.
A Thangka is an elaborately
hand painted religious scroll in brilliant colours
drawn on fabric. It is not a mere decorative piece
but a powerful aid to tantric meditation, a visual
depiction to steady the mind and aid its focus. The
themes of the thangkas relate to the Buddha and his
life, as well as the lives of the Bodhisattvas, the
Taras, the great saints and Buddhist masters. They
also depict mystical concepts like the Wheel of
Life, The Mandalas and the Tashi Taggye, the eight
auspicious signs of Vajrayana which includes the
lotus, the conch shell and the Dharmachakra. The
colours used have great symbolic power. The two
primary colours, red and yellow, suggest the
difference between fire and life, material and
immaterial, emotional and intellectual; orange,
which unites red and yellow, symbolizes knowledge of
the highest spirituality. The complimentary colour
of blue with its passivity is of very positive
nature and is associated with depth, purity and
infinity. Green represents the vegetable aspects.
The violet combines the most active red with the
most passive blue. Thangkas are carried out in
elaborate processions during festivals like the Saga
Dawa and Lossar.
Sakewa: (Rai) Sakewa is
one of the important festivals of Kirat Rai
Community, which is celebrated annually in the month
Baisak. The nine day long ceremony starts from the
full moon day of Baisak, in which mother earth is
worshipped. The Sakewa Puja is usually performed by
the Nakchhong (priest) with the help of mongpas in a
open place as community puja.
Mha Puja (Newar) The
worship of inner self, Mha Puja, is an important
festival of New people. Mha puja is performed for
purification, strengthening and understanding of
oneself. It also exposes relationship between human
and the nature and its cosmos
(Nepali) The fortnight long festival usually
falls in the month of October, in which Goddess
Durga is worshipped.
Tihar : Just after
fortnight of celebration of Dassai, Tihar is
celebrated. The day marks the return of Hindu God
Ram to his capital after vanquishing Ravana in a
bloody battle at Lanka. The day is also observed as
Laxmi Puja, the festival of lights. Bhaitika is a
unique feature of Tihar festival in which sisters
prays for the betterment and long life of their
Maghey Sakkranti: Like
in other parts of the country, Maghey Sankranti is
also observed in the month of January. It is
celebrated on the first day of the month of Magh
(January) continues for three days: It is one of the
holy festivals of Hindus. Huge fairs are organised
along the river banks and confluence of the rivers,
Jorethang, Saramsa, Rorathang and Triveni are the
important places where such fairs are held every
year. The rituals are solemnised from dawn at the
banks of the rivers, which is indeed a rare spectle
Chaite Dassain/ Ram Nawami:
This religious festival is usually observed in the
month March. The day signifies the birth of Lord
Sonam Losoong: Sonam
Losoong is a New Year celebration of Sikkimese
Bhutia, falls on the 1`8th day of 10th month of
Tibetan Lunar Calendar, when the harvesting season
is over. On the occasion pujas are performed for
peace and prosperity for the new year. The festival
continues for 15 days.. Kagyed dance (Monastic
dance) preceds the Lossong festival. Nyempo Guzom,
which also falls during Lossong, is considered most
inauspicious occasion. And no good works or venture
are made during the period.
Festival is celebrated by the Lepchas of Sikkim
which also coincides with the Sonam Lossong festival
of Bhutias. According to Dungkit Karchu (Lepcha
Calendar), Namsoong festival begins from 1st day of
the "Kurneet Lovo", corresponding to the month of
December/January every year. The festival continues
for seven days.
Tendong Lho Rum Faat (
Worship of Mt. Tendong) is one of the oldest
festivals of the Lepchas. According to Donkit Karch
(Lepcha Calendar, this festival falls on "Purveem
Lovo", the seventh month of the calendar,
corresponding to August 8, every year.
Sunwar (Mukhia alias
Koinch) Sagoon : This is a minor puja ceremony done
twice a year by Natso with Syamboo, incense, Bospati
to propitiate the Sunwar gods and spirits of the
Chhengoo: During the
puja Poibos invoke Sunwar deities and the spirits of
the dead camping temporarily in a monastery after
Kash: An expensive
worship which lasts for three days.
Geel: This is a
greatest and most puja ceremony of f Sunwars which
requires sacrificing 360 birds and animals.
Chandee: This ceremony
is performed in the month of Vaisak full day with
pomp and grandeur.
Tamu Lochar (Gurung)
Tamu Lochar is one of the traditional festivals of
the Gurung Community. It marks the beginning of the
Gurung New Year which falls on the 15th day of Pusa,
according Vikram Sambat and 30th December in English
Calendar. The festival is celebrated with the family
and community as a whole.
Sonam Lochar (Tamang)
Sonam Lochar is an important festival of Tamang
community. The festival falls in the month January
and February (Magha Sukla Pakcha) Spring saeason.
Like other communities, the Tamangs also celebrate
their festival with great joy and religious fervor
which lasts for five to fifteen days from place to
Barahimizong is observed on the fifth day of Mangar
Purnima. In Mangar language Barahi means God, Minaat
or Mi means worship or prayer and 'Zong' means fort.
The Barahimizong has been named affter the day of
Mangar worship their forefathers or Kul DevtaasL
Losar (Tibetan New
Year) According to the Tibetan lunar calendar the
first day of the first month of Tibetan Calendar
corresponding with English Calendar the month of
February-March. They offer prayers and welcome The