Sikkim's greatest incitement
is mountains. Dominating them all and presided
over the terrain
with immense dignity is Khangchendzonga,
8585m. The unspoilt natural splendor and
tranquility of the countryside has made
certain regions ideal for trekking.
To the adventure lovers trekking in Sikkim
is an experience of many dimensions. For
sheer exhilaration nothing can match the
view of the mountains, which seem to reach
the heaven. As you wander up lush green
trails you begin to amaze and wonder at
the unspoilt natural splendor and dramatic
terrain. You may chance upon the shy Musk
Deer or wave out to the exotic Red Panda
perched among the treetops. Revel in the
excitement of being part of a unique culture,
a rich tapestry woven with legends, myths,
rituals and festivals.
Trekking tour with Adarsh Tours & Travels
takes you to Gangtok-a bustling town with
the blend of tradition and modernity &
further to famous Rumtek & Phodong monastery
and finally to the wind swept top of Gochala-La.
Sikkim is interlaced with jungle-clad ridges
and deep ravines created by the raising
torrent of the mountain river's speed and
emerald valleys alternating with terraced
hillsides & dense forest.
rivulets, lakes the abundance of Orchids
& Rhododendrons all embellish the land
but the glory of Sikkim is the snow capped
mountains which girdle it in a protective
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of the altitude that varies right from sea
level to summits that touch the skies, the
flora and fauna naturally covers a wide
spectrum. Nowhere in the world in such a
small area can one find flora and fauna
of all varieties - Tropical to the Alpines.
Sikkim's botanical and zoological richness
is awe- inspiring, boasting of more than
4000 species of plants and 30% of all the
birds found in the Indian sub-continent.
No wonder Sikkim has been a dream of naturalists.
Dr. J. Hooker during the middle of the last
century surveyed in the detail the botanical
wealth in Sikkim and his findings were embodied
in the publication 'Himalayan Journal' that
is still considered as an authoritative
document. Dr. Salim Ali an ornithologist
has given a detailed account on birds in
his book 'The birds of Sikkim'. Besides
these there are many books available on
the flora & fauna of sikkim.
The lowlands in the south, 800'to 5000', experience
a tropical climate; lush vegetation such as
figs, laurel, Sal trees and bamboos have been
cleared in some areas for farming. The temperate
forest of oak, chestnut, maple, birch, alder,
magnolia and silver fir dominates between
5000; and 13000. Above 13000, is the alpine
zone where juniper, cypresses and rhododendrons
grow. The perpetual snowline lies at 16000'.
Luxuriant forests cover 36% of the land, more
than 4000 species of plant have been recorded
in Sikkim. Over 600 species of orchids grow
in Sikkim, Epiphytal and terrestrial types,
in the tropical and temperate zones. 35 species
of rhododendrons grow in temperate and alpine
regions, their flowering from May to August
Amongst the mammals of Sikkim are the rare
Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Red panda,
Musk Deer and Blue Sheep.
who have lived in Sikkim long enough will
testify that life here is, in a sense, an
ongoing festival. In one way or the other
there are festivals and festivities throughout
the year. This is a reflection of the rich
cultural heritage of Sikkim. A cultural
heritage which combines the flamboyant aspects
of Vajrayana Buddhism and the equally splendid
features of Hinduism with the original animist
traditions of the Lepchas.
Sikkim, like in the rest of India, is rooted
firmly in religion. Everything a person
does is related to his faith and his daily
life is governed by the patterns and customs
of his religion. Even nature finds itself
incorporated in this belief. The majestic
Mt. Khangchendzonga- earth's third highest
mountain -serene, proud and burnished in
the splendour of its mythology, plays a
dominant role in the Sikkimese life. This
mountain, for the Sikkimese, is not just
an example of the awe-inspiring grandeur
of nature. Rather it represents the birth
place of the Lepchas and is the presiding
deity of Sikkim responsible for the peace
and prosperity of the land and the people.
monasteries like Pemayangtse, Tashiding,
(in West Sikkim), Tsuklakhang (the palace
monastery in Gangtok), Phodong and Lachung
(in North), Enchey (near Gangtok) and Rumtek
(23kms from Gangtok) are the venue for the
important Buddhist festivals in Sikkim.
The lama dances complete with the fierce
masks, the gorgeous brocade costumes, the
exotic music and chants, may seem to the
casual visitor a little bizarre. But to
the participants and to the faithful these
dances have their own symbolisms and meaning.
Most of these dances recreate legends and
myths connected with the birth of Buddhism
and also represents the eternal battle between
the good and the evil and the eventual triumph
of the virtuous.
the festivals and festivities of Sikkim
more than just dry religious rituals is
the communal participation. It is not an
uncommon sight to see the Hindu population
or those from other parts of India, in the
monasteries watching and enjoying the lama
dances or the other Buddhist ceremonies;
just as it is fairly common to see the Lepchas
and Bhutias celebrating Dasain and Dipavali
(festival of lights) with their Hindu friends.
For those visiting Sikkim the festivals
of this place offer a unique opportunity
to participate and sample the rich traditions
of an ancient culture ; as well as the warmth
and hospitality of a friendly people