Explore 4 Ancient Monasteries with Sikkim Tour Packages

Bounded by Tibet in the northeast, Bhutan in the southeast, greater Himalayas in the north and Nepal in the west, Sikkim is a landlocked state of India. With its dramatic contours of rugged mountain ranges, dense forests, deep valleys, raging rivers and beautiful lakes and waterfalls, this state is an ideal destination for a pleasant getaway. Dotted all across by fluttering prayer flags, stupas and caves, the undimmed influence of Buddhism can be felt in almost every corner of the state. With nearly 200 monasteries, this state is an important centre for learning Buddhism. Travellers with their Sikkim tour packages can visit some of the most popular monasteries of the place.

Pemayangtse

Perched on a hilltop, it is the premier monastery of the state with all the Nyingma monasteries subordinate to it. Built in 16th century, this structure houses exquisite religious artworks, including statues and thangkas. The annual religious masked dance or locally called as Chaam, is held in every 12th month of the Tibetan calendar or correspondingly the month of February.

Tashiding

Tashiding Monastery

Tashiding Monastery

Built in 1716, this monastery is the holiest of all in the state as it was built at the place consecrated by Guru Rinpoche. Located between the rivers Rangeet and Ratong, this place is famous for its chorten – Thongwa Rangdol, which is believed to cleanse all sins of a lifetime. During their visit to this monastery on their Sikkim tour, travellers can also join the grand occasion of Bumchu Festival, which is organised here.

Rumtek

Rebuilt by the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa after being damaged in an earthquake, this monastery is the largest in Sikkim. This monastery is an important seat of the Kargyupa sect of Buddhism, and hence is recognised as a world renowned centre for Kagyu teachings. To witness one of the best Tibetan architectures, this place is worth visiting with Sikkim tourism packages.

Tolung

If travellers wish for something adventurous during their tour to this state, then Tolung Monastery offers this chance to them as this building can be reached only after trekking through dense forests and steep ranges. Located in Dzongu area of North Sikkim, this structure possesses a rich collection of valuable scriptures and precious objects, which are taken out for a public display. A horde of devotees pay their visit to this monastery during their Sikkim tour.

Apart from being noted for these 4 ancient sites, this state is also known to have some of the finest treks in the Himalayan Ranges. With Sikkim tour packages, travellers can also enjoy some of the best trekking experiences. Travellers who wish enjoy the ethereal beauties of the nature – great mountain views, pristine forests, descending glaciers and floral spectacles, at a single destination, can avail Sikkim tourism packages.

Taking a Kaziranga Tour to Understand 5 Aspects of the National Park

Over the years, the one-horned rhinos have been hunted mercilessly for their valuable keratin horns. These have been used for ages in traditional Chinese medicine, and they are also utilised to make decorative handles for knives and daggers. Most of these animals are now found in the Indian state of Assam, where they are now protected by the government. Tourists can see and learn about them by going on a Kaziranga tour. The national park is located in the districts of Nagaon and Golaghat in the north-central part of the state. Below are overviews of 5 important aspects of the national park that will come in handy while exploring it.

History, Terrain and Climate

It was founded originally as a reserve forest by the British in 1908, and in 1916, it was given the status of a wildlife sanctuary. The Indian Government made it a national park in 1974, and in 2006, it became a tiger reserve. When travellers explore the protected territory during Kaziranga tours, they will see dense forests, interspersed with grasslands and marshes. The topography of the area is not rugged, and the elevation here ranges from about 130 feet to approximately 260 feet. Kaziranga National Park is spread across the northern and southern banks of the Brahmaputra River.

The climate in the region is classified as Humid Subtropical, making the summers warm and humid. A high amount of rainfall is experienced here during the monsoon season, making it among the wettest regions on earth. The ideal time to embark on a Kaziranga tour is in the cool and dry winter season, between November and April.

Vegetation and Wildlife  

Savannah grasslands, moist deciduous forests and evergreen forests are found in this roughly 868 sq km protected territory. The savannah vegetation in the region comprises a variety of grasses, bamboos and reeds. Cotton, gooseberry and slow match tree are some deciduous species found here. Pithraj, magnolia, elephant apple, fig, cinnamon, grape-myrtle, temple plant and tropical chestnuts are few of the evergreen plants of the tiger reserve. During their Kaziranga tours, wildlife enthusiasts will be able to see several large animals other than rhinos as well.

The largest animals here are buffaloes and elephants, followed by leopards and tigers. Several species of deer, including the endemic eastern swamp deer, may also be seen here. Some other animals of the park are boars, mongooses, hares, badgers, langurs, macaques, gibbons, gaur, squirrels and dolphins. Birdwatchers also like coming here as the territory provides home to over 470 species of migratory and resident winged creatures. Many kinds of boa constrictors, venomous snakes, tortoises and turtles also live in the region.

On a Kaziranga tour, visitors will be accompanied by guides, who will teach them in detail about these 5 aspects of the national park.

Seeing 5 Charming Water Bodies during a Shillong Tour

Shillong is the capital town of Meghalaya, and the headquarters of the East Khasi Hills district. It is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Northeast India, and is regarded as the Scotland of the East. This charming destination in the hills is recognised for its immaculate natural beauty, which is attributed to the undulating terrains, fresh air and shimmering water bodies. There are several sources of water in the town that are known for their cleanliness, picture-perfect setting and beauty. During a Shillong tour, people can visit these water bodies, which are set amidst scenic surroundings and form a glorious aspect of the landscape.

Elephant Falls

Situated in the outskirts of the town, Elephant Falls is named so after a rock resembling the animal. Although the rock was destroyed in a natural calamity, the name stayed and this spot became a popular picnic spot for the locals. This cascade falls in three steps through fern-covered rocks, and forms a freshwater pool at its base. What adds to its charm is the lush green vegetation surrounding it and the scenic trail bring people here. This is a place that people should definitely visit with their Shillong tour package.

Wards Lake

Wards Lake is an artificial water body that is tucked inside a verdant garden, in the heart of the hill station. Built in the 19th century, this lake is named after Sir William Ward – the erstwhile Chief Commissioner of Assam. Lush greenery and a narrow footpath surround it, providing opportunity for a picturesque trail through the garden. The reflection of towering pine trees and the Shillong Peak in the backdrop further add to the charm of the lake. Tourists can have a gala time enjoying boating on the calm waters of Wards Lake.

Sweet Falls

Tucked close to the Happy Valley in the outer bounds of the town, Sweet Falls is a thin cascade falling from hundreds of feet. It appears like a stream of water falling from a thin pipe set in the mountains. The area surrounding this shimmering streak of water is dotted with pine trees and several native plants, which form a lush green landscape. Locals and tourists visit the site in large numbers as it makes for a perfect picnic and sightseeing spot. Shillong tour packages can be utilised to explore this waterfall and its surroundings.

Umiam Lake

Umiam Lake was created by damming its eponymous river in the 1960s. In present times, it is one of the chief attractions in the town and is widely known for its scenic beauty. Dense forestation surrounding the lake adds manifold to its scenic charm. Watching various vistas and hues of the sun from the shore of this lake is something that draws locals and tourists alike. Apart from sightseeing, this water body is a major hotspot for activities like kayaking, boating, water cycling and scooting, which can be tried during a Shillong tour.

Spread Eagle Falls

Spread Eagle Falls lies within the town cantonment, and is quite popular for day trips. The reason behind such a name of the waterfall is its resemblance to an eagle with its wings spread. Shillong tour packages take people to this beautiful water body, which falls with a roar and forms a lake at its base.

The aforementioned 5 lakes and waterfalls are admired not only by the locals but also tourists who visit Shillong from other parts of the world. By coming on a Shillong tour, tourists can explore these beautiful water bodies.