The district of West Sikkim is very much favourite destination to the trekkers because of its high elevation. The ancient state capitals, Yuksom and Rabdentse, fall under this district today. Covering an area of about 1166 sq km, West Sikkim district has a great number of attractions for all type of tours. A wide variety of flora and fauna is observed in the temperate climate here. With the capital town Gyalshing or Gayzing, there are some tourist places in West Sikkim that are worth a visit.
The Archeological Survey of India announced the Rabdentse Ruins as a nationally significant location. Till 1814, the King of the Sikkim used to rule the entire state from here. The ruins and the chorten carries great historical and architectural value, while the surrounding area offer magnificent view of Kanchenjunga.
One of the oldest and prime monasteries of Sikkim is Pemayangtse Monastery. It was originally established for ta-sang or pure monks and it belongs to the Nyingma order. The wooden structure inside is known as Sang-tok-palri or Maha Guru’s heavenly place.
Situated just opposite to the Pemayangtse Monastery, Sanga-Choling is the second oldest monastery in Sikkim. It is located among the thick pine forest, and consists of clay statues, wall painting of 17th century etc, which speaks about the history of Tibetan Buddhism.
Pelling is emerging as a favourite to the tourists, especially for the honeymooners. This small town is surrounded by two guardian deities of the Himalayas, Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt Siniolchu. You can get a clear mesmerizing view of mountain peaks like Koktang, Kabru, Pandim etc from the higher lands here.
Elevated at around 5900 ft altitude, Yuksom is getting highlighted as one of the most popular West Sikkim tourist spots because of its tranquil scenic beauty. Some historical record states that Yuksom was the first Chogyal of the Kingdom of Sikkim.
Covering 104 sq km area between Singalila National Park and Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve in the south and north respectively, Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is famous for its bio-diversity. The valley becomes colourful with full-bloomed rhododendrons in April and May.
Rathong and Rangit rivers flow through the valley nearby the Tashiding village, where the monastery is situated. Tashiding Monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa order. People celebrate Bumchu Festival every year during 14th and 15th day of the first month of Tibetan calendar.
Both the Buddhist and Hindu people consider this lake as a sacred one. It is located about 1.5 km away from the Khecheopalri Gompa, amidst the dense forest. The birds in this location pick up all the leaves which fall from the tree nearby the lake and thus the water remains clear all the time.
A 100 years old market and a wall opposite to the market are two things which attract lots of travellers and religious people to Gyalshing or Geyzing. The word ‘gyalshing’ means ‘king’s garden’ and the town is headquarter of West Sikkim district. The wall is called Mendang or Holy Wall and considered to be the holiest and longest.
The small town of Legship is mainly famous for the Rangit River Dam and Hydel Project. There is also a temple called as Kirateshwar Mahadev Mandir, which carries a part in an episode of the Mahabharata. A lake is made beside the dam offers chance for boating, angling and river rafting.
The beauty of this village is yet to be explored and still it is one of the least crowded tourist locations in Sikkim. Locating at an elevation of 1600 m, the village receives temperature from -5°C to 28°C. Tourists love this place because of its pristine natural ambience and various flora and fauna.
Located in the town of Yuksom, this monastery is sometimes called as Yuksom Monastery. Belonging to the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism, it was established by the Chogyar Namgyal in 1701. Dubdi Monastery is involved in the central history of Sikkim, with pained interior, images of saints, symbols and collection of manuscripts.
A national park and biosphere reserve, spread in Sikkim, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a prime attraction for travellers to visit Sikkim, especially to the adventurers. The 850 sq km area has a vegetation of temperate broadleaf and mixed forest with alpine grass, shrub, herbs and medicinal plants. The fauna includes animals like snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, musk deer, Tibetan wild ass, red panda etc and bird like green pigeon, blood pheasant, osprey, satyr tragopan etc.
Goecha La is a high altitude mountain pass at an elevation of 4940 m above the sea level. The southeast face of Mt Kanchenjunga is clearly seen from this pass. Mountaineers, heading to scale Kanchenjunga, find this place adequate as a base-camp. Trekking upto Goecha La through fine eco-system is an experience to cherish for lifetime.
Biksthang is a popular farmhouse in Pelling and also known as Chuchen and Mangalbaray. Being situated at a great height, the picturesque scenic view of the Himalayas from here is a beautiful experience. If you are about to make a leisure holiday trip, this place is an ideal option for you to enjoy the sublime nature.
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