Gangtok

Gangtok (/ˈɡæŋtɒk/ ) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It also is the headquarters of the East Sikkim district. Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The town's population of 100,000 are from different ethnicities such as Nepalis, Lepchas and Bhutia. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya and enjoying a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim's tourism industry.

Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. In 1894, the ruling Sikkimese Chogyal, Thutob Namgyal, transferred the capital to Gangtok. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and cities such as Kolkata (then Calcutta) in British India. After India won its independence from Britain in 1947, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy, with Gangtok as its capital. In 1975, after the integration with the union of India, Gangtok was made India's 22nd state capital.

The precise meaning of the name "Gangtok" is unclear, though the most popular meaning is "hill cut".[3] Today, Gangtok is an emerging as urbanized city with literacy rate of 94% of total population.

Gangtok
A view of Gangtok from nearby Ganesh Tok point
A view of Gangtok from nearby Ganesh Tok point
Gangtok is located in Sikkim
Gangtok
Gangtok
Location of Gangtok in Sikkim
Gangtok is located in India
Gangtok
Gangtok
Gangtok (India)
Coordinates: 27°20′N 88°37′E / 27.33°N 88.62°ECoordinates: 27°20′N 88°37′E / 27.33°N 88.62°E
Country India
StateSikkim
DistrictEast Sikkim
Government
 • TypeMunicipal Corporation
 • MayorShakti Singh Choudhary[1] (SDF)
Area
 • Total19.2 km2 (7.4 sq mi)
Elevation1,650 m (5,410 ft)
Population
(2011)
 • Total100,286
 • Density5,223/km2 (13,530/sq mi)
Languages
 • OfficialNepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Limbu, Newari, Rai, Gurung, Mangar, Sherpa, Tamang, Sunwar, Tibetans and Hindi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
737101
Telephone code03592
Vehicle registrationSK-01
Websitehttp://gmcsikkim.in

History

Like the rest of Sikkim, not much is known about the early history of Gangtok.[4] The earliest records date from the construction of the hermitic Gangtok monastery in 1716.[5] Gangtok remained a small hamlet until the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840 made it a pilgrimage center. It became the capital of what was left of Sikkim after an English conquest in the mid-19th century in response to a hostage crisis. After the defeat of the Tibetans by the British, Gangtok became a major stopover in the trade between Tibet and British India at the end of the 19th century.[6] Most of the roads and the telegraph in the area were built during this time.

In 1894, Thutob Namgyal, the Sikkimese monarch under British rule, shifted the capital from Tumlong to Gangtok, increasing the city's importance. A new grand palace along with other state buildings was built in the new capital. Following India's independence in 1947, Sikkim became a nation-state with Gangtok as its capital. Sikkim came under the suzerainty of India, with the condition that it would retain its independence, by the treaty signed between the Chogyal and the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.[7] This pact gave the Indians control of external affairs on behalf of Sikkimese. Trade between India and Tibet continued to flourish through the Nathula and Jelepla passes, offshoots of the ancient Silk Road near Gangtok. These border passes were sealed after the Sino-Indian War in 1962, which deprived Gangtok of its trading business.[8] The Nathula pass was finally opened for limited trade in 2006, fuelling hopes of economic boom.[9][10]

In 1975, after years of political uncertainty and struggle, including riots, the monarchy was abrogated and Sikkim became India's twenty-second state, with Gangtok as its capital after a referendum. Gangtok has witnessed annual landslides, resulting in loss of life and damage to property. The largest disaster occurred in June 1997, when 38 were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed.[11]

Geography

Kangchenjunga, visible from Gangtok, the third highest mountain in the world, near the Zemu Glacier.

Kangch-Goechala
Kangchenjunga East Face from Zemu Glacier

Gangtok is located at 27°19′57″N 88°36′50″E / 27.3325°N 88.6140°E (coordinates of Gangtok head post office).[2] It is situated in the lower Himalayas at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft).[12] The town lies on one side of a hill, with "The Ridge",[6][13] a promenade housing the Raj Bhawan, the governor's residence, at one end and the palace, situated at an altitude of about 1,800 m (5,900 ft), at the other. The city is flanked on east and west by two streams, namely Roro Chu and Ranikhola, respectively.[11] These two rivers divide the natural drainage into two parts, the eastern and western parts. Both the streams meet the Ranipul and flow south as the main Ranikhola before it joins the Teesta at Singtam.[11] Most of the roads are steep, with the buildings built on compacted ground alongside them.[14]

Ban Jhakri Falls - Gangtok
Banjhakri Falls - Gangtok

Most of Sikkim, including Gangtok, is underlain by Precambrian rocks which contains foliated phyllites and schists; slopes are therefore prone to frequent landslides.[15] Surface runoff of water by natural streams (jhora) and man-made drains has contributed to the risk of landslides.[11] According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the town falls under seismic zone-IV (on a scale of I to V, in order of increasing seismic activity), near the convergent boundary of the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates and is subject to frequent earthquakes. The hills are nestled within higher peaks and the snow-clad Himalayan ranges tower over the town from the distance. Mount Kanchenjunga (8,598 m or 28,208 ft)—the world's third-highest peak—is visible to the west of the city. The existence of steep slopes, vulnerability to landslides, large forest cover and inadequate access to most areas have been a major impediment to the natural and balanced growth of the city.[11]

There are densely forested regions around Gangtok, consisting of temperate, deciduous forests of poplar, birch, oak, and elm, as well as evergreen, coniferous trees of the wet alpine zone.[15] Orchids are common, and rare varieties of orchids are featured in flower shows in the city. Bamboos are also abundant. In the lower reaches of the town, the vegetation gradually changes from alpine to temperate deciduous and subtropical.[15] Flowers such as sunflower, marigold, poinsettia, and others bloom, especially in November and December.

Climate

Climate data for Gangtok
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.9
(67.8)
22.0
(71.6)
27.6
(81.7)
27.3
(81.1)
28.5
(83.3)
28.4
(83.1)
28.4
(83.1)
29.9
(85.8)
28.5
(83.3)
27.2
(81.0)
25.5
(77.9)
24.0
(75.2)
29.9
(85.8)
Average high °C (°F) 12.3
(54.1)
13.7
(56.7)
18.3
(64.9)
20.9
(69.6)
21.6
(70.9)
22.2
(72.0)
22.0
(71.6)
22.4
(72.3)
21.6
(70.9)
20.7
(69.3)
17.6
(63.7)
14.1
(57.4)
19.0
(66.2)
Average low °C (°F) 4.0
(39.2)
5.2
(41.4)
8.7
(47.7)
11.3
(52.3)
13.4
(56.1)
15.9
(60.6)
16.5
(61.7)
16.4
(61.5)
15.3
(59.5)
12.1
(53.8)
8.5
(47.3)
5.4
(41.7)
11.1
(52.0)
Record low °C (°F) −2.2
(28.0)
−1.1
(30.0)
1.4
(34.5)
2.9
(37.2)
6.6
(43.9)
10.0
(50.0)
11.3
(52.3)
10.8
(51.4)
7.7
(45.9)
4.3
(39.7)
2.4
(36.3)
−1.7
(28.9)
−2.2
(28.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 30.9
(1.22)
79.1
(3.11)
116.0
(4.57)
289.2
(11.39)
552.6
(21.76)
603.1
(23.74)
649.6
(25.57)
574.0
(22.60)
487.7
(19.20)
181.1
(7.13)
40.0
(1.57)
22.7
(0.89)
3,626
(142.75)
Source #1: Meteorological Center, Gangtok[16]
Source #2: India Meteorological Department (records)[17]
River Tista
River Teesta is the lifeline of Gangtok
Gangtok from Tibet Road
Gangtok from Tibet Road

Gangtok features a monsoon-influenced subtropical highland climate (Köppen: Cwb). Because of its elevation and sheltered environment, Gangtok enjoys a mild, temperate climate all year round. Like most Himalayan towns, Gangtok has five seasons: summer, monsoons, autumn, winter and spring. Temperatures range from an average maximum of 22 °C (72 °F) in summer to an average minimum of 4 °C (39 °F) in winter.[16] Summers (lasting from late April to June) are mild, with maximum temperatures rarely crossing 25 °C (77 °F). The monsoon season from June to September is characterised by intense torrential rains often causing landslides that block Gangtok's land access to the rest of the country. Rainfall starts to rise from pre-monsoon in May, and peaks during the monsoon, with July recording the highest monthly average of 649.6 mm (25.6 in).[16] In winter temperature averages between 4 °C (39 °F) and 7 °C (45 °F).[16] Snowfall is rare, and in recent times Gangtok has received snow only in 1990, 2004, 2005 and January 2011.[15] Temperatures below freezing are also rare.[15] During this season the weather can be unstable, and change abruptly from bright sunshine and clear skies to heavy rain within a couple of hours. During spring and autumn the weather is generally sunny and mild. Owing to its elevation, Gangtok is often enveloped in fog during the monsoon and winter months.

Economy

Gangtok is the main base for Sikkim tourism.[18] Summer and spring seasons are the most popular tourist seasons. Many of Gangtok's residents are employed directly and indirectly in the tourism industry, with many residents owning and working in hotels and restaurants.[19]

MG Marg
MG Marg (Road) is one of the main shopping and cultural activity streets in Gangtok

Ecotourism has emerged as an important economic activity in the region which includes trekking, mountaineering, river rafting and other nature oriented activities.[18] An estimated 351,000 tourists visited Sikkim in 2007, generating revenue of about Rs 50 crores (Rs 500 millions).[19]

The Nathula Pass, located about 50 km (31 mi) from Gangtok, used to be the primary route of the wool, fur and spice trade with Tibet and spurred economic growth for Gangtok till the mid-20th century. In 1962, after the border was closed during the Sino-Indian War, Gangtok fell into recession.[8] The pass was reopened in 2006 and trade through the pass is expected to boost the economy of Gangtok.[18] The Sikkim government is keen to open a Lhasa–Gangtok bus service via Nathula pass.[20] Sikkim's mountainous terrain results in the lack of train or air links, limiting the area's potential for rapid industrial development.[18] The government is the largest employer in the city,[11] both directly and as contractors.

Gangtok's economy does not have a large manufacturing base, but has a thriving Cottage industry in watch-making, country-made alcohol and handicrafts.[18] Among the handicrafts are the handmade paper industry made from various vegetable fibres or cotton rags. The main market in Gangtok provides many of the state's rural residents a place to offer their produce during the harvest seasons. The majority of the private business community is made up of Marwaris and Biharis. As part of Sikkim, Gangtok enjoys the status of being an income-tax free region as per the state's 1948 Income tax law.[21] As Sikkim is a frontier state, the Indian army maintains a large presence in the vicinity of Gangtok. This leads to a population of semi-permanent residents who bring money into the local economy.[22] The Sikkim government started India's first online lottery Playwin to boost government income, but this was later closed by a ruling from the Sikkim High Court.[23]

Agriculture is a large employer in Sikkim and in 2003 the Sikkim state government declared the goal of converting the whole sector to organic production.[24] The goal of 100% organic was achieved in 2016.[24] This achievement offers new export opportunities to grow the agriculture sector, to achieve premium prices and new opportunities for agritourism.[24]

Civic administration

Whitehall
The "White Hall" complex on "The Ridge" houses the residences of the Chief Minister and Governor of Sikkim.
Sikkim Assembly Gangtok
Sikkim Legislative Assembly in Gangtok. Fog is common in Gangtok.

Gangtok is administered by the Gangtok Municipal Corporation along with the various departments of the Government of Sikkim, particularly the Urban Development and Housing Department (UDHD) and the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED).[11][25] These departments provide municipal functions such as garbage disposal, water supply, tax collection, license allotments, and civic infrastructure. An administrator appointed by the state government heads the UDHD.[26]

As the headquarters of East Sikkim district, Gangtok houses the offices of the district collector, an administrator appointed by the Union Government of India. Gangtok is also the seat of the Sikkim High Court, which is India's smallest High Court in terms of area and population of jurisdiction.[27] Gangtok does not have its own police commissionerate like other major cities in India. Instead, it comes under the jurisdiction of the state police, which is headed by a Director General of Police, although an Inspector General of Police oversees the town.[28] Sikkim is known for its very low crime rate.[29] Rongyek jail in Gangtok is Sikkim's only central jail.[30]

Gangtok is within the Sikkim Lok Sabha constituency that elects a member to the Lok Sabha (Lower House) of the Indian Parliament. The city elects one member in the Sikkim state legislative assembly, the Vidhan Sabha. The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) won both the parliamentary election in 2009 and the state assembly seat in the 2009 state assembly polls.[31][32]

Utility services

A Overhead view of Gangtok from the ropeway facility
An Overhead view of Gangtok from the ropeway facility
Dro-dul Chorten - Gangtok, Sikkim
Dro-dul Chorten - Gangtok, Sikkim

Electricity is supplied by the power department of the Government of Sikkim. Gangtok has a nearly uninterrupted electricity supply due to Sikkim's numerous hydroelectric power stations. The rural roads around Gangtok are maintained by the Border Roads Organisation, a division of the Indian army. Several roads in Gangtok are reported to be in a poor condition,[11] whereas building construction activities continue almost unrestrained in this city lacking proper land infrastructure.[11] Most households are supplied by the central water system maintained and operated by the PHED.[11] The main source of PHED water supply is the Rateychu River, located about 16 km (9.9 mi) from the city, at an altitude of 2,621 m (8,599 ft). Its water treatment plant is located at Selep. The river Rateychu is snow-fed and has perennial streams. Since there is no habitation in the catchment area except for a small army settlement, there is little environmental degradation and the water is of very good quality.[11] 40 seasonal local springs are used by the Rural Management and Development Department of Sikkim Government to supply water to outlying rural areas.

Around 40% of the population has access to sewers.[11] However, only the toilet waste is connected to the sewer while sullage is discharged into the drains.[11] Without a proper sanitation system, the practice of disposing sewage through septic tanks and directly discharging into Jhoras and open drains is prevalent.[11] The entire city drains into the two rivers, Ranikhola and Roro Chu, through numerous small streams and Jhoras. Ranikhola and Roro Chu rivers confluence with Teesta River, the major source of drinking water to the population downstream. The densely populated urban area of Gangtok does not have a combined drainage system to drain out the storm water and waste water from the buildings.[11] The estimated solid waste generated in Gangtok city is approximately 45 tonnes.[11] Only around 40% of this is collected by UDHD, while the remainder is indiscriminately thrown into Jhora, streets and valleys.[11] The collected waste is disposed in a dump located about 20 km (12 mi) from the city. There is no waste collection from inaccessible areas where vehicles cannot reach, nor does any system of collection of waste exist in the adjoining rural areas. The city is under a statewide ban on the use of polythene bags.[11]

Transport

Gangtok ropeway
Gangtok cable car

Road

RoadfromSiliguritiGangtok
The Teesta River runs along the National Highway 31A connecting Gangtok to Siliguri
Gangtok NH 31A by the night.
National Highway 31A by the night.

Taxis are the most widely available public transport within Gangtok.[15] Most of the residents stay within a few kilometres of the town centre[33] and many have their own vehicles such as two-wheelers and cars.[34] The share of personal vehicles and taxis combined is 98% of Gangtok's total vehicles, a high percentage when compared to other Indian cities.[15] City buses comprise less than one percent of vehicles.[15] Those travelling longer distances generally make use of share-jeeps, a kind of public taxis. Four wheel drives are used to easily navigate the steep slopes of the roads. The 1 km (0.6 mi) long cable car with three stops connects lower Gangtok suburbs with Sikkim Legislative assembly in central Gangtok and the upper suburbs.[35]

Gangtok is connected to the rest of India by an all-weather metalled highway, National Highway 10,[36] earlier known as National Highway 31A, which links Gangtok to Siliguri, located 114 km (71 mi) away in the neighbouring state of West Bengal. The highway also provides a link to the neighbouring hill station towns of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, which are the nearest urban areas. Regular jeep, van, and bus services link these towns to Gangtok. Gangtok is a linear city that has developed along the arterial roads, especially National Highway 31A.[11] Most of the road length in Gangtok is of two lane undivided carriageway with footpath on one side of the road and drain on the other. The steep gradient of the different road stretches coupled with a spiral road configuration constrain the smooth flow of vehicular as well as pedestrian traffic.[11]

Rail

The nearest railhead connected to the rest of India is the station of New Jalpaiguri(NJP) in Siliguri, situated 124 km (77 mi) via NH10 away from Gangtok. Work has commenced for a broad gauge railway link from Sevoke in West Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim[37] that is planned for extension to Gangtok.[38]

Air

Pakyong Airport(PYG), a Greenfield project near Gangtok, was commissioned in 2018. It is the first and only airport in Sikkim.[39]

Demographics

Gangtok population 
CensusPop.
19512,744
19616,848149.6%
197113,30894.3%
198136,747176.1%
199125,024-31.9%
200129,35417.3%
201198,658236.1%
Population 1951–2011.[18]
Negative growth attributed to
reduction of notified town limits.


According to the Provisional Population Totals 2011 census of India, the population of Gangtok Municipal Corporation has been estimated to be 98,658. Males constituted 53% of the population and females 47%. The Gangtok subdivision of the East Sikkim district had a population of 281,293, Gangtok has an average literacy rate of 82.17%, higher than the national average of 74%: male literacy is 85.33%, and female literacy is 78.68.[40] About 8% of Gangtok's population live in the nine notified slums and squatter settlements, all on Government land. More people live in areas that depict slum-like characteristics but have not been notified as slums yet because they have developed on private land.[41] Of the total urban population of Sikkim, Gangtok Municipal Corporation has a share of 55.5%. Including Gangtok, East District has a share of 88% of the total urban population. The quality of life, the pace of development and availability of basic infrastructure and employment prospects has been the major cause for rapid migration to the city. With this migration, the urban services are under pressure, intensified by the lack of availability of suitable land for infrastructure development.[11]

Ethnic Nepalis, who settled in the region during British rule,[42] comprise the majority of Gangtok's residents. Lepchas, native to the land, and Bhutias also constitute a sizeable portion of the populace.[42] Additionally, a large number of Tibetans have immigrated to the town. Immigrant resident communities not native to the region include the Marwaris,[11] who own most of the shops; the Biharis, who are employed in mostly blue collar jobs and the Bengalis.

Hinduism and Buddhism are the most significant religions in Gangtok.[18] Gangtok also has a sizeable Christian population and a small Muslim minority.[18] The North East Presbyterian Church, Roman Catholic Church and Anjuman Mosque in Gangtok are places of worship for the religious minorities.[43] The town has not been communist, having never witnessed any sort of inter-religious strife in its history.[44] Nepali is the most widely spoken language in Sikkim as well as Gangtok.[45] English and Hindi being the official language of Sikkim and India respectively, are also widely spoken and understood in most of Sikkim, particularly in Gangtok.[46][47] Other languages spoken in Gangtok include Bhutia (Sikkimese), Tibetan and Lepcha.

Culture

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Front Panorama
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Museum displays rare Lepcha tapestries, masks and Buddhist statues.
View of Gangtok City from Crown Prince Tenzing Kunzang Namgyal Walkway
View of downtown Gangtok city from Crown Prince Tenzing Kunzang Namgyal Walkway.

Apart from the major religious festivals of Dashain, Tihar, Christmas, Holi etc., the diverse ethnic populace of the town celebrates several local festivals. The Lepchas and Bhutias celebrate new year in January, while Tibetans celebrate the new year (Losar) with "Devil Dance" in January–February. The Maghe sankranti, Ram Navami are some of the important Nepalese festivals. Chotrul Duchen, Buddha Jayanti, the birthday of the Dalai Lama, Loosong, Bhumchu, Saga Dawa, Lhabab Duechen and Drupka Teshi are some other festivals, some distinct to local culture and others shared with the rest of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.[18][48]

Vikramjit-Kakati-Rumtek
Rumtek Monastery, located on the outskirts of Gangtokone, is one of Buddhism's holiest monasteries.

A popular food in Gangtok is the momo,[49] a steamed dumpling containing pork, beef and vegetables cooked in a doughy wrapping and served with watery soup. Wai-Wai is a packaged snack consisting of noodles which are eaten either dry or in soup form. A form of noodle called thukpa,[49] served in soup form is also popular in Gangtok. Other noodle-based foods such as the chowmein, thenthuk, fakthu, gyathuk and wonton are available. Other traditional Sikkimese cuisine include shah-phaley (Sikkimese patties with spiced minced meat in a crisp samosa-like case) and Gack-ko soup.[50] Restaurants offer a wide variety of traditional Indian, continental and Chinese cuisines to cater to the tourists. Churpee, a kind of hard cheese made from cow's or yak's milk is sometimes chewed. Chhang is a local frothy millet beer traditionally served in bamboo tankards and drunk through bamboo or cane straws.[50]

Football (soccer), cricket and archery are the most popular sports in Gangtok.[18] The Paljor Stadium, which hosts football matches, is the sole sporting ground in the city. Thangka—a notable handicraft—is an elaborately hand painted religious scroll in brilliant colours drawn on fabric hung in a monastery or a family altar and occasionally carried by monks in ceremonial processions.[48] Chhaams are vividly costumed monastic dances performed on ceremonial and festive occasions, especially in the monasteries during the Tibetan new year.[48]

City institutions

Bundesarchiv Bild 135-S-02-22-05, Tibetexpedition, Gangtok, Tempel des Maharajas
Temple of the Maharajas, Gangtok. 1938
Himalayanblackbear
The Himalayan black bear is seen here in the Himalayan Zoological Park.
Do-drul Chorten Stupa, Gangtok, Sikkim
The Do-drul Chorten, built in 1945, is a famous Buddhist stupa within Gangtok city limits.

A centre of Buddhist learning and culture, Gangtok's most notable Buddhist institutions are the Enchey monastery,[3] the Do-drul Chorten stupa complex and the Rumtek Monastery. The Enchey monastery is the city's oldest monastery and is the seat of the Nyingma order.[43] The two-hundred-year-old baroque monastery houses images of gods, goddesses, and other religious artifacts.[43] In the month of January, the Chaam, or masked dance, is performed with great fanfare. The Dro-dul Chorten is a stupa which was constructed in 1945 by Trulshik Rimpoché, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism.[43] Inside this stupa are complete set of relics, holy books, and mantras. Surrounding the edifice are 108 Mani Lhakor, or prayer wheels.[43] The complex also houses a religious school.

The Rumtek Monastery on the outskirts of the town is one of Buddhism's most sacred monasteries. The monastery is the seat of the Kagyu order,[51] one of the major Tibetan sects, and houses some of the world's most sacred and rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures and religious objects in its reliquary. Constructed in the 1960s, the building is modeled after a similar monastery in Lhasa, Tibet. Rumtek was the focus of international media attention in 2000 after the seventeenth Karmapa, one of the four holiest lamas, fled Lhasa and sought refuge in the monastery.[52][53]

The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, better known as the Tibetology Museum, houses a huge collection of masks, Buddhist scriptures, statues, and tapestries.[54] It has over two hundred Buddhist icons, and is a centre of study of Buddhist philosophy. The Thakurbari Temple, located in the heart of the city, established in 1935 on a prime piece of land donated by the then Maharaja of Sikkim, is one of the oldest and best-known Hindu temples in the city.[55][56] The Ganesh Tok and the Hanuman Tok, dedicated to the Hindu gods Ganpati and Hanuman and housing important Hindu deities, are located in the upper reaches of the city.[57][58] The Himalayan Zoological Park exhibits the fauna of the Himalayas in their natural habitats. The zoo features the Himalayan black bear, red pandas, the barking deer, the snow leopard, the leopard cat, Tibetan wolf, masked palm civet and the spotted deer, amongst the others.[59] Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Gardens, near Rumtek, houses many species of orchid and as many as fifty different species of tree, including many oaks.[60]

Education

Gangtok's schools are either run by the state government or by private and religious organizations. Schools mainly use English and Nepali as their medium of instruction. The schools are either affiliated with the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education, Central Board of Secondary Education or the National Institute of Open Schooling. Notable schools include the Tashi Namgyal Academy,[61] Paljor Namgyal Girls School, Holy Cross School, Taktse International School and Kendriya Vidyalaya.[62]

Colleges conferring graduate degrees include Sikkim Government College, Sikkim Government Law College and Damber Singh College.[11] Sikkim University established in 2007 is functioning in Gangtok; the university has been allotted land in neighbouring Yang Yang town for establishment of its own campus. The university offers a diverse range of courses and has a number of institutes affiliated to it. 8 km (5.0 mi) from here is the headquarters of the Sikkim Manipal University, which houses Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences and Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology.[11] The Indira Gandhi National Open University also has a regional center in the city. There are other institutions offering diplomas in Buddhist literature, catering and other non-mainstream fields.[11] District Institute of Education and Training and State Institute of Education conduct teacher training programs.[63][64]

Media

Gangtok City Night View
Gangtok at night.

More than 50 newspapers are published in Sikkim.[65] Multiple local Nepali and English newspapers are published,[66] whereas regional and national Hindi and English newspapers, printed elsewhere in India, are also circulated. The English newspapers include The Statesman and The Telegraph, which are printed in Siliguri; The Hindu and The Times of India, which are printed in Kolkata. Sikkim Herald, the newsweekly of the Government of Sikkim is published in thirteen languages of the state.[65]

Gangtok has two cinema halls featuring Nepali, Hindi and English-language films.[43] The town also has a public library.[43]

The main service providers are Sikkim Cable, Nayuma,[67] Dish TV and Doordarshan. All India Radio has a local station in Gangtok, which transmits various programs of mass interest. Along that, other three fm stations Nine fm, Radio Misty and Red fm are the four radio stations in the city. BSNL, Vodafone, Jio and Airtel have the four largest cellular networks in the town with 4G services available within the city limits. There is a Doordarshan TV station in Gangtok.[68]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Gangtokmunicipalcorporation.org". Gangtokmunicipalcorporation.org. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Gangtok, India page". Global Gazetteer Version 2.1. Falling Rain Genomics, Inc. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b Bannerjee, Parag (14 October 2007). "Next weekend you can be at ... Gangtok". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  4. ^ Shangderpa, Pema Leyda (6 October 2003). "Kids to learn hill state history". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
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External links

  • Gangtok travel guide from Wikivoyage
2014 I-League 2nd Division

The 2014 I-League 2nd Division is the seventh season of the I-League 2nd Division under its current title. The season began on February 7, 2014. It contained 11 clubs in two groups and twelfth club United Sikkim F.C. directly entered into final round. Royal Wahingdoh F.C. won the tournament and will be promoted to 2014–15 I-League.

2015–16 I-League 2nd Division

The 2015–16 I-League 2nd Division was the ninth edition of the I-League 2nd division, the second-highest division in India.

Danny Denzongpa

Danny Denzongpa (born Tshering Phintso Denzongpa; 25 February 1948) is an Indian film actor, singer and film director of Sikkimese-Bhutia descent. He has mainly worked in Bollywood films, though he has also appeared in several Nepali, Tamil, Bengali and Telugu films. He has acted in about 190 Hindi films since 1971. In 2003, Denzongpa was awarded the Padma Shree, India's fourth-highest civilian honour. His film career spans more than 4 decades.

He has also starred in some international films, the most famous being Seven Years in Tibet where he appeared alongside Brad Pitt. His best known villainous roles are in Dhund, 36 Ghante, Bandish (1980), Jeeo Aur Jeene Do, Dharm Aur Qanoon and Agneepath and in Fakira, Chor Machaye Shor, Devata, Kalicharan, Bulundi and Adhikar. His directorial venture Phir Wahi Raat was considered among the top five best horror suspense films of Hindi Cinema.

Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö

Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (c. 1893 – 1959) was a Tibetan lama, a master of many lineages, and a teacher of many of the major figures in 20th-century Tibetan Buddhism. Though he died in 1959 in Sikkim, and is not so well known in the West; he was a major proponent of the Rimé movement within Tibetan Buddhism, and had a profound influence on many of the Tibetan lamas teaching today.

East Sikkim district

East Sikkim is one of the four administrative districts of the Indian state of Sikkim. Geographically, East Sikkim occupies the south-east corner of the state. The capital of East Sikkim is Gangtok, which is also the state capital. It is the hub of all administrative activity in the state.

The civilian region is administered by a district collector, appointed by the Union Government and the military area by a Major General. As of 2011 it is the most populous of the four districts of Sikkim.

Enchey Monastery

The Enchey Monastery was established in 1909 above Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim in the Northeastern Indian state. It belongs to the Nyingma order of Vajrayana Buddhism. The monastery built around the then small hamlet of Gangtok became a religious centre. The location was blessed by Lama Drupthob Karpo, a renowned exponent of tantric (adept) art in Buddhism with flying powers; initially a small Gompa was established by him after he flew from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim to this site. The literal meaning of Enchey Monastery is the "Solitary Monastery". Its sacredness is attributed to the belief that Khangchendzonga and Yabdean – the protecting deities – reside in this monastery. As, according to a legend, Guru Padmasambhava had subdued the spirits of the Khangchendzonga, Yabdean and Mahākāla here. In view of this legend, the religious significance of Enchey Monastery is deeply ingrained in every household in Gangtok. It is also believed that these powerful deities always fulfil the wishes of the devotees.

Gangtok Himalayan S.C.

Gangtok Himalayan SC are a professional Indian football team based in Gangtok, Sikkim, India, that will compete in the I-League 2nd Division. It is the second-highest football level in India after the Indian Super League and the I-League.

Gangtokey Gondogol

Gangtokey Gondogol (Trouble in Gangtok) is a short novel by Satyajit Ray featuring the private detective Feluda. This story was first published in the Desh magazine in 1970 and then published in book form in 1971 by Ananda Publishers.

Geetanjali Thapa

Geetanjali Thapa is an Indian film actress. She won the National Film Award for Best Actress (2013) for her performance in Liar's Dice.

Government of Sikkim

The Government of Sikkim also known as the State Government of Sikkim, or locally as State Government, is the supreme governing authority of the Indian state of Sikkim and its 4 districts. It consists of an executive, led by the Governor of Sikkim, a judiciary and a legislative.

Like other states in India, the head of state of Sikkim is the Governor, appointed by the President of India on the advice of the Central government. His or her post is largely ceremonial. The Chief Minister is the head of government and is vested with the bulk of the executive powers. Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, and houses the Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) and the secretariat. The Sikkim High Court is located in Gangtok, which has jurisdiction over the state.

The present Legislative Assembly of Sikkim is unicameral, consisting of 32 Member of the Legislative Assembly (M.L.A). Its term is 5 years, unless sooner dissolved.

Nathu La

Nathu La (Devanagari नाथू ला; Tibetan: རྣ་ཐོས་ལ་, IAST: Nāthū Lā, Chinese: 乃堆拉山口; pinyin: Nǎiduīlā Shānkǒu) is a mountain pass in the Himalayas in East Sikkim district. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass, at 4,310 m (14,140 ft) above mean sea level, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan. On the Indian side, the pass is 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Only citizens of India can visit the pass, and then only after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.

Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India; the others are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) at the trisection point of Uttarakhand–India, Nepal and China. Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements. The opening of the pass shortens the travel distance to important Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the region and was expected to bolster the economy of the region by playing a key role in the growing Sino-Indian trade. However, trade is limited to specific types of goods and to specific days of the week.

It is also one of the five officially agreed Border Personnel Meeting points between the Indian Army and the People's Liberation Army of China for regular consultations and interactions between the two armies to improve relations.

Pakyong Airport

Pakyong Airport is a greenfield airport near Gangtok, the state capital of Sikkim, India. The airport, spread over 400 ha (990 acres), is located at Pakyong town about 35km (22 mi) south of Gangtok. At 4500 ft, Pakyong Airport is one of the five highest airports in India. It is also the first greenfield airport to be constructed in the Northeastern Region of India, the 100th operational airport in India, and the only airport in the state of Sikkim.The airport was inaugurated by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24th September 2018 and the first commercial flight operations from the airport began on 4 October 2018 between Pakyong and Kolkata.

Raj Bhavan, Gangtok

Raj Bhavan (translation: Government House) is the official residence of the Governor of Sikkim. It is located in the capital city of Gangtok, Sikkim. The present governor of Sikkim is Gangaprasad.

Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek Monastery (Tibetan: རུམ་ཐེག་དགོན་པ་, Wylie: rum theg dgon pa), also called the Dharmachakra Centre, is a gompa located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok. It is a focal point for the sectarian tensions within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that characterize the Karmapa controversy.

Sikkim

Sikkim () is a state in northeastern India. It borders Tibet in the north and northeast, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and West Bengal in the south. Sikkim is also located close to India's Siliguri Corridor near Bangladesh. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states. A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Kangchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. Sikkim's capital and largest city is Gangtok. Almost 35% of the state is covered by the Khangchendzonga National Park.The Kingdom of Sikkim was founded by the Namgyal dynasty in the 17th century. It was ruled by a Buddhist priest-king known as the Chogyal. It became a princely state of British India in 1890. After 1947, Sikkim continued its protectorate status with the Republic of India. It enjoyed the highest literacy rate and per capita income among Himalayan states. In 1973, anti-royalist riots took place in front of the Chogyal's palace. In 1975, the monarchy was deposed by the people. A referendum in 1975 led to Sikkim joining India as its 22nd state.Modern Sikkim is a multiethnic and multilingual Indian state. Sikkim has 11 official languages: Nepali, Sikkimese, Lepcha, Tamang, Limbu, Newari, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Sunwar and English. English is taught in schools and used in government documents. The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Sikkim's economy is largely dependent on agriculture and tourism, and as of 2014 the state had the third-smallest GDP among Indian states, although it is also among the fastest-growing.Sikkim accounts for the largest share of cardamom production in India, and is the world's second largest producer of the spice after Guatemala. Sikkim achieved its ambition to convert its agriculture to fully organic over the interval 2003 to 2016, the first state in India to achieve this distinction. It is also among India's most environmentally conscious states, having banned plastic water bottles and styrofoam products.

Sikkim High Court

The Sikkim High Court is the High Court of the Indian state of Sikkim. The history of the court can be traced back to 1955, when the High Court of Judicature (Jurisdiction and Powers) Proclamation, 1955 was issued to establish a High Court in Sikkim. Upon merger, Sikkim became the 22nd State of India. Under Clause (i) of Article 371F, the High Court functioning immediately prior to the date of merger became the High Court for the State of Sikkim under the Constitution like any other High Court in the country. It was established in the year of 1975 .

The seat of the court is at Gangtok, the administrative capital of the state. The court has a sanctioned judge strength of 3.

Sikkim Legislative Assembly

The Sikkim Legislative Assembly is the unicameral state legislature of Sikkim state in north-eastern India. The seat of the Legislative Assembly is at Gangtok, the capital of the state.

Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee

The Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC) is the unit of the Indian National Congress for the state of Sikkim, India.

Its head office is situated in Gangtok.

The present President of Sikkim Pradesh Congress is Bharat Basnett.

Sikkim University

Sikkim University is a central university established under an Act of Parliament of India. It is in Gangtok. The campus is expected to be built at Yangang in South Sikkim district, about 56 kilometres (35 mi) from Gangtok. Its first chancellor was M. S. Swaminathan; Mahendra P. Lama was the first vice chancellor.

In 2008 the university started from four departments — Social System and Anthropology; Peace and Conflict Studies and Management; International Relations/Politics; and Microbiology. The university offers traditional courses in humanities, physical and life sciences and forestry along with non-traditional courses that are unique and related to the state including subjects like ethnic history, mountain studies, border studies, and hill music and culture.All the colleges in the state of Sikkim are affiliated to this university.

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