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VISIT SIKKIM

Sikkim 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 required.
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


Sikkim 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 from Gangtok)
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 India.
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.
Taxis
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 1,000.
* 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 Office.
* Local taxis as well as Mainline Taxis have designated stops. Stopping the vehicle anywhere else is prohibited
* Taxis are prohibited from taking anyone else in a Reserve Vehicle apart from the person who has reserved it.
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.
Entertainment
* 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.

 

PLACES OF TOURIST INTERESTS

EAST SIKKIM:

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 bloom.

Do-Drul Chorten ( Stupa) :
The 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 Padmasambhava).

Handloom and Handicrafts centre :
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 Tibetology:
The 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 spot.

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 Garden :
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 Orchids.

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.

Nathula :
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 just nearby.

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.

WEST SIKKIM:

Pemayangtse Monastery:
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 country-side.

Rabdentse Ruins:
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.

Sanga-Choling Monastery:
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:
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.

Yuksam:
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.

Tashiding Monastery:
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.

Varsey:
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.

NORTH SIKKIM:

Phodong Monastery:
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.

Phensang Monastery:
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 (Tibetan Calendar).

Singhik:
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:
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.

Lachung:
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:
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 healing power.

Lachen:
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:
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.

SOUTH SIKKIM:

Namchi :
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.

Ravangla:
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:
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.

Borong:
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.
 

CULTURE & FESTIVALS


Monastic Dances :
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 today.
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.

Thangkas :
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.



FESTIVALS OF SIKKIM

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

Dassai (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 brothers.

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 to watch.

Chaite Dassain/ Ram Nawami: This religious festival is usually observed in the month March. The day signifies the birth of Lord Rama.

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.

Namsoong: Namsoong 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 death ancestors.

Chhengoo: During the puja Poibos invoke Sunwar deities and the spirits of the dead camping temporarily in a monastery after death.

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 place.

Barahimzong (Mangar) 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 New Year

 

 


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