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LocationSikkim
Altitude1650 m

Description

Nestled in the high peaks of the Himalayas and enjoying year- round temperate climate is the city of Gangtok situated at an elevation of 1650m. It is flanked on the east and west by two rivers, namely the Rorochu and Rani Khola respectively. These two rivers divide and meet at Ranipul and flow south as the main Rani Khul river before joining the Teesta at Singtem. The city commands a spectacular view of the Kangenchunga range from many points. The precise meaning of the name Gangtok is unclear, though the most popular meaning is "hill top". Today Gangtok is a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning, with the presence of several monasteries, religious educational institutions, and centres for Tibetology.

 

The city is home to many monasteries and religious institutions that attract Buddhist pilgrims for all over India. The most famous is the Enchey monastery located on a hill top. Built during the reign of  Thutob Namgyal, it is 200 years old and contains many images of Gods and Goddesses and ancient religious texts.  The   Enchey monastery is the seat of the ancient Nyingma order. Other important religious places include the Do- Drul- Choten stupa and the Rumtek monastery. Do- Drul- Choten was constructed in 1945 by Trulsik Rinpoche, head of the  Nymgma order.  It contains many relics, holy books and mantras. Surrounding it are 108 Mani Lakhor or prayer wheels.  There is also religious school attached to the monastery.

 

The main religious festivals of Gangtok are Dashain, Tihar, Christmas, Holi etc.; however, there are also local festivals. The Lepchas and Bhutias celebrate the New Year during the month of January, while the Tibetans celebrate the New Year which they call Losar with the “devil dance” in January and February. Maghe Sankranth, Ram Navami are some of the important Nepali festivals. Chotrul Duchen, BuddhaJjayanti, birthday of the Dalai Lama, Loosong, Bhumchu, Saga Dana, Lhabab, Duechen and Drupka Teshi are some of the other important festivals celebrated in the city. 

 

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