Gangtok, the capital of
Sikkim since the mid-19th century, sprawls down the west side
of a long ridge flanking the Ranipul river. The scenery from
this hill town is spectacular and there are excellent views
of the entire Kanchenjunga Range from many points within the
city. North of Gangtok is the Enchey Gompa and the telecommunication
tower. The palace of the former Chogyal, or ruler of Sikkim,
and the impressive Royal Chapel are lower down along the ridge.
Then there is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, an Orchid
Sanctuary and a large chorten (Tibetan stupa) with an adjoining
Gangtok is a very popular
hill station resort with many fine hotels filled with visitors
from all over the country.