Sikkim is an Indian state located near the Himalayas. With a population of only 6, 13,000 inhabitants (census 2012), is the least populated state in India and the 2nd smallest state after Goa. Due to its unique location near the Himalayas, Sikkim is geographical diverse and the climate ranges between sub-tropical and high-alpine. The state boasts of its various cultural and natural resources and also has the only open land border between India and China. Sikkim is rich in cultural heritage and houses a mess of various flora and fauna. The state is split into 4 districts namely East Sikkim, West Sikkim, North Sikkim and South Sikkim. Due to its location near the Chinese border the place is usually controlled by the Indian army and lots of areas require special permits if one wants to go to them.
Located around 140 kilometres west from Gangtok, Sikkim, the monastery was founded in 1705 by Lama Lhatsun Chempo, and is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. Pemayangtse Monastery was built for “pure monks” (ta-tshang) meaning “monks of pure Tibetan lineage”, celibate and without any physical abnormality. This practice is still retained. Only the monks of Pemayangtse Monastery are entitled to the title “ta-tshang”.
Covering a neighborhood of around 849.5 km2 and located at an elevation of 1,829 meters to eight, 550 metres, Kanchendzonga Park is additionally a Biosphere reserve and one among the few high altitude national parks in India. The park is roofed with vegetation that has temperate broadleaf and mixed forests consisting of oaks, fir, birch, maple, willow etc. The vegetation of the park also includes alpine grasses and shrubs at higher altitudes along with many medicinal plants and herbs.
Nathu La Pass is situated at an elevation of 4,310 meters above sea level, and is an offshoot of the old silk route. The flow of tourists is regulated by the government of India as the soil here is shallow and prone to landslides, nevertheless, this is a must visit site as the location is a Hiker’s haven, as it offers picturesque views of the valley. The old silk route connects the Tibetan capital of Lhasa to the plains of Bengal to the south.
Tsango Lake or Changu Lake, is found on the north of the Nathu La Pass, and may be a glacial lake in Sikkim. The lake is situated at a mean elevation of 3780 meters above water level. It falls within the restricted area and hence an inner line permit is required by Indians to go to this place. Foreign nationals aren’t permitted to go to this lake without special permission. The lake is about 1 km. Long, oval in shape, 15 meters deep and is taken into account sacred by the local people.
Although the Zoological Park doesn’t actually dwell the Territory of Sikkim, and is really located in Darjeeling, is however only at a brief distance of roughly 50 kilometres from Sikkim and may be a must visit spot if you would like to gander at the varied fauna that this zoo houses. Also referred to as the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park or the Darjeeling zoo, the park was opened in 1958, and covers a neighborhood of 67.56 acre and is found at an altitude of approximately 7,000 meters above sea level, making it the largest ‘High-altitude zoo’ in India.