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About Gangtok[Go Back]

One of the most popular places and a hill resort in north-east India is Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Gangtok is famous for the striking views of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world and its picturesque and attractive beauty. The main source of income in Gangtok is tourism since it serves as a gateway to Sikkim, and in spring and summer tourism is in peak in Gangtok.

As far as history of Gangtok is concerned there is very little about it. From the earliest records it was confirmed that there was the construction of the hermetic Gangtok monastery in 1716. Gangtok was continued as a small rural community, it was only after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840, which made it a pilgrimage center. In the mid 19th century it became the capital of Sikkim only after an English invasion, in response to a captive crisis. At the end of 19th century after the defeat of the Tibetans by the British, Gangtok became a major stopover in the trade between Tibet and British India. During the rule of British most of the roads and telegraph in the area were built.

A treaty was signed between the Chogyal and the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then Sikkim became a suzerain of India, with the condition that it would keep hold of its independence. Because of this pact the Indians were given the control of external affairs on behalf of the Sikkimese. Through the Nathula and Jelepla passes, branches of the ancient Silk Road near Gangtok, trade between India and Tibet continued to prosper. After the Sino-Indian War in 1962, these border passes were sealed which deprived Gangtok of its trading business. In 2006, Nathu La was finally opened for limited trade fueling hopes of economic boom.

Sikkim became India’s twenty-second state, with Gangtok as its capital after a referendum in 1975, after years of political uncertainty and struggle, including riots, the dominion was abrogated.

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