If you ask anybody, who had visited Darjeeling, about the great places in this hill town, then ‘The Mall’ area will surely come in the list. The Mall, also known as Chowrasta is the heart of Darjeeling town. It is located on top of Nehru Road, which is a nice flat land at which tourists and locals come to take a seat on any of the benches along the periphery, to lounge in the sun and also to watch the wonderful views of the mountain peaks and valleys all around.

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The Mall is like a town center of Darjeeling, where some old and heritage stores are lined up on one side, and on the other hand there is open view of many pine trees all around. If anybody is interested in feeling the real vibe of Darjeeling, then they must watch the people come to this place and their activities. Another thing that you must not miss in Darjeeling, is the number of young local lads along with their ponies which offer horse rides for children.

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Why this place is known as Chowrasta Mall?

Answer to this question is that, “the word ‘Chow’ means four and ‘rasta’ means roads, and so the Mall is where four roads meet”. That’s why this place is known as ‘Chowrasta’ Mall. All these four roads are very important and busy too, they are:

  • The Nehru Road that comes up from below, where all the famous shops are lined up.
  • The Dr. Zakir Hussain Road, which runs in parallel to the Nehru Road through a local market area near ‘The Mall’.
  • The famous Mall road on the opposite side that originates from one side goes around the Observatory Hill and comes back into the Mall from other side, that’s why this road is counted twice.

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Some of the beautiful attractions to see at this place are:

Nehru Road Entrance & Fountain

Hawa Ghar

Poet’s Statue and Senior Citizens’ Bench

Pigeons at the Mall

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Due to all such tourist attractions at one place, this area becomes more important from the tourist point of view, and hence there is great demand for ‘Darjeeling Hotels near mall’.

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The food and cuisine of Sikkim, is very famous among the diverse ethnic Himalayan cuisines. There are plenty of food options for the traveller to explore. Some of these options are ‘Nepali and Tibetan cuisine’ for ethnic groups like Lepcha and Bhutia, ‘ubiquitous North Indian cuisine’ that is found in worldwide restaurants. Each and every tourist destinations and shopping areas of Gangtok are packed with various restaurants and pubs. Tibetan street food is also available easily.

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Thukpa also known as Gya-thuk is a delicious noodle soup, used in all meal containing meat like pork, mutton, chicken, beef, also in vegetables and herbs. The below given information about Sikkim Restaurants tells you in detail about the local dining scene in Sikkim. Many great delights are also available at ‘Gangtok Hotels’. While browsing for food in sikkim, please check out which hotels are provided to you in selected ‘Sikkim Holiday Packages’.

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Rice is a staple cereal food and cuisine eaten all over the Sikkim. Along with this wheat, finger, buckwheat, millet and barley can also be found in their local diets. Meat is an important part of their traditional diet, whereas other common items are potato, soybean and some vegetables.

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Tibetan momos, i.e steamed wheat flour stuffed with meat or any vegetables are very popular as snacks or starters. It is eaten with sweet and spicy sauces or even dunked as a soup. Pakku, a Nepali mutton curry served with rice in Sikkim. kodo ki roti, which is a pancake made from finger millet and phapar ki roti, which is made from buckwheat are included in local breads. Different varieties of food in Sikkim are:

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Fermented Foods

It is an important part of Nepali cuisine, which is prepared from various vegetables and then preserved to be available for long time. Kinema is a fermented and inexpensive soybean curry, eaten with rice. It’s a protein source. Gundruk is also a fermented food, prepared from the leaves of cauliflower, radish, mustard and sag. Both the dishes are eaten as appetizers.

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Dairy foods

Chhurpi, a traditional cottage cheese cooked with herbs and spices, and served as an accompaniment to rice, is one of the dairy products in Sikkim. Depending upon the availability, buttermilk and dahi are also regular meal accompaniments.

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Alcohol

Variety of fermented alcoholic drinks has ritual and social significance in the several ethnic groups of Sikkim. Their daily meal is incomplete without alcoholic beverages.

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Sikkim is the home for Rhododendrons and Sikkim Government is hosting three weeks long Rhododendron festival from 25th April to 14th May 2010, which increases the demand for best ‘Sikkim Holiday Packages’. The main venue will be at Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary in Yumthang Valley in north Sikkim spread over 43 square km of rhododendron forests.

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Yumthang River flows through Singba sanctuary and watching rhododendron bloom along with flowing waters of Yumthang River is a visual treat for tourists. It is 6 to 7 hours jeep ride from Gangtok to reach this sanchuary. Lachung 24 km from Singba, is the nearest place to live for tourists. Singba sanctuary was established some 20 years back and it is the repository of around 26 large leaved species of which R. hodgsonii, R. falconeri, R. thomsonii, R. campylocarpum, R. campanulatum, R. decipiens, R. cinnabarinum, R. wightii, R. niveum, R. sikkimense and many others are present. The rhododendron festival, first of its kind in the Indian Himalayas, will showcase the importance of his spectacular genus in plant kingdom both from tourism and conservation standpoint.

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Sikkim has more than 40 species of Rhododendron out of 55 species found in India. Short botanical tour in the interior with base at Lachung and Lachen could also be organized with prior arrangement. It’s a unique opportunity to see rhododendron flowers at their best and mingle with the fun loving people of Lachung and experience their way of life, their music, songs and dance, cuisines in the accompaniment of rhododendrons all around.

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Entire Singba rhododendron sanctuary fills with colorful rhododendron flowers during March to May and at this time tourists flock to Singba sanctuary to see this beautiful shrub in its all its glory. Sanctuary’s alpine meadows, hot springs and lush greenery of hills are major tourist attractions.

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Singba sanctuary is home to many wild animals Goral, blood pheasant, serow and linsang or tiger-civet, which are also found in this sanctuary. Singba sanctuary is surrounded by Yumthang valley in south and by high mountains from all sides. Singba is bountiful when it comes to rhododendron almost all sanctuary is filled with rhododendron trees and shrubs.

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The place Kashmir is famous for the lakes and mountains, which are set like a jeweled crown on the map. If you are selecting any of the best ‘Kashmir Holiday Packages’, then you must be aware about the changing seasons of Kashmir. It is many-faceted diamond by changing its character with the four seasons viz spring, summer, autumn and winter. The weather of Kashmir is quite erratic. Let’s talk about each of them in detail, to explore the weather and climate of Kashmir in India:

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Spring 
The spring season in Kashmir starts in March and ends up at the start of May. The minimum temperature during this season is 3.5° C whereas maximum temperature is 24.6° C. This season is characterized by brief showers, blossoming flowers and light winds. Kashmir becomes alive when nature bedecks the valley with blossom after blossom in spring, like almond, apple, cherry, peach, pansies, pears, narcissi, daises and so on.

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Summer 
Summer Starts from May, and extends up to the end of August. In summer, the climatic conditions of Kashmir are not quite hot. Rather, you may even require to put-on light woolens in summer at Srinagar. The average temperature during this season in the daytime is in the range of 25° C to 35° C. During summer the melting snow of the mountains in Kashmir, fill the brooks and rivers with gushing water. The summer in Kashmir is characterized by the floating gardens on the Dal lake, trekking in Himalayas, trout fishing, golf, water sports and bird watching. It is the most sought after hill station in India especially during summers.

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Autumn 
The time for the autumn season comes with the onset of September. During autumn, the whole region gets covered with the hues of gold first, then russet and red at last. The average temperature during autumn is ranging from 23° C to 10° C. Autumn season is highlighted by the saffron fields of Pampore, for which the Kashmir is most famous.

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Winter 
Winter season in Kashmir is stretching from December to early March. During winter, Kashmir is completely covered with snow, due to which it looks like a picture straight out of a fairytale. The average temperature during this season is ranging from 5° C to 8.8° C.

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Mankhim is a beautiful hilltop near Aritar in Sikkim. It offers an eye pleasing view of Kanchenjungha and Lampokhri Lake. Whenever you choose Sikkim to spend your holidays, then Mankhim must be included in your ‘Sikkim Holiday Packages’. Whenever you are going to Mankhim, following information will definitely help you to enjoy the trip.

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Nearby attractions of Mankhim:

Nearby Mankhim, you can also visit Reshikhola, Pedong and Sillery Gaon. With Kanchenjungha in the background, here you can also see the famous Ramitey View point with 14 turns of River Teesta. Some other attractions nearby Mankhim are Kupup Lake, Zuluk in east Sikkim and world’s highest golf course.

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Things to do at Mankhim:

Across the hill covering, there is a long jungle path where you may view various sightseeing points from Makhim to Lampokhri. Along this path you can also take a nature walk to Lampokhri Lake. The popular picnic spots like Love Dara are located near Mankhim. It is also an ideal place for the bird watchers. Along with bird watching, you can also enjoy boating at Lampokhari Lake. Trekking and rock climbing is also available in the nearby hilltops with nature walking.

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How to reach at Mankhim:

There are different ways to reach to Mankhim like, you can hire vehicles from Siliguri or from Gangtok, you can also went there with your own vehicles or by government buses. The route from Siliguri is Teesta Bazar – Kalimpong – Algarah – Pedong – Reshikhola – Rhenock – Aritar – Mankhim. If you are coming from any other destinations in Sikkim, then you have to come from the root Rangpo – Rorathang – Reshikhola – Rhenock – Aritar – Mankhim.

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Best time to visit Mankhim:

To enjoy the trip to Mankhim, winters are the best time, as we can experience the beautiful view of sunrise over Kanchenjungha in winter only. Summers are also well suited for beating the heat of the plains.

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Lodging and dining facilities in Mankhim:

There are various options for homestays in Mankhim, which offers lodging and dining facilities. Some of them also offer all the basic facilities along with overlooking the rift, Lampokhri Lake and the entire Kanchenjungha range. The glasshouse-type cottages with an incredible view of Kanchenjungha from bed itself, just on the edge of the ridge, are also available.

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In such a way, you can enjoy a whole trip with lot of memories during your stay at Mankhim.

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Aritar region in East Sikkim of India, under Rongli sub division is known for its landscaped and natural beauty, which helps in increasing the demand for best ‘Sikkim Holiday Packages’. It is located on the edge of the Himalayas, and is at a distance of about 4 hour’s drive from Gangtok. Isolated from the rest of state, on eastern border of Sikkim and by Mt. Kanchendzonga, the region is characterized by lush forest, mountains and rivers.

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Aritar Lake is a nearby attraction, like that of traditional villages and monasteries such as Lingsay. British built bungalows of 1895 are located just half km away from lake where visitors can stay also. Aritar Lake near Rhenock is the best place for those who are interested in spending few nights in the peaceful environment.

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Trekker’s huts, few lodges and a private resort are also available for visitors. Other attractions are boating, visiting and exploring the lifestyle of villagers, and also visit to the Lingsay monastery and a Mankhim. A short trek in and around Aritar is a thrilling experience.

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Places of Interest in Aritar –

Aritar Gumpa :  It is one of the holiest and oldest place in monastery of Kagyuapa order in Sikkim. Its tranquil air with splendor of monastic arts reflected in its traditional architecture, carved and painted murals and treasure of manuscripts and icons are eye pleasant to the visitors.

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Lampokhari : It is one of the oldest natural lake in Sikkim and is recently artificially constructed to facilitate boating for the tourists. It is the only lake with boating facility in Sikkim.

 

Parbateyswar Shivalaya Mandir : The most admire shrine with picturesque splendour is considered a very holy pilgrimage site.

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Mankhim : it is a temple of Rai of Nepali origin located at height of 6500 ft. at Maity village.

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Dak Bunglow :  it is an old British built bunglow built by Sir James Claude White in the year 1895 also known as Ari Bangla.

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Nirmal Dham : It is located about 5 km from Rhenock Bazar, is an abode of Nirmal Guruji called as ‘Kopchey Baba”, known for his miraculious healing power.

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Kali Khola falls : It is also called as Lonely fall and is 100 meter in height near to Rorathang Rongli road.

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Changey water fall : It is 50 meter in height located near to Lampokhari.

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Ever green nursery and Ram Gauri Sangrhalaya : It is located at Rhenock Bazar, the nursery and the museum is privately owned and has drift wood collections, botanical and other varieties of flowers.

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Love Dara : It is a low hill picnic spot in Ariter.

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All these beautiful features of Aritar make it one of the best tourist places in Sikkim.

Bharatpur national park, as many people prefer to call it the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary lies between two of India’s most historic cities, namely Agra and Jaipur. It hosts over 300 species of birds. Bharatpur National Park is popularly known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, which is situated in eastern Rajasthan, and is about 190 km away from Delhi. This Bharatpur National Park contributes largely to the ‘Tiger Safari In India’.

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This park covers 29 square km area. The park derives its name from ancient temple dedicated to Keoladeo located at center of the park. Ghana means dense and refers to the thick forest, which covered the area. 11 square km of the park is marsh land and rest comprises of scrubland and grassland which attracts to many birds. These birds migrating from far away countries spend their winters here before returning to their homes. Many species of cranes, geese, eagles, wheatears, wagtails, pelicans, warblers, shanks, larks, pipits, flycatchers, buntings etc. and other migrating birds are found here.

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The capital attraction of most of the tourists is Siberian crane or great white crane. It migrates every year during winter covering a distance of almost half the globe.  The journey to this sanctuary is 6400 km from their breeding grounds in Siberia. The stay lasts from December to March. These birds are on the verge of extinction and number only a few hundreds now. The birds from the western parts of the globe migrate to Keoladeo coming from the river basin region, in the Aral Mountains in Siberia via Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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The other stop for them is Feredunkenar in Iran. The Siberian crane is different from Indian cranes in its eating habits. Siberian cranes are entirely vegetarian. They feed on aquatic, roots and tubers in loose flocks of five or six. The park also boasts of an impressive list of fauna which includes black buck, sambhar, spotted deer, nilgai and pythons, chital, leopard. This fascinating place with woodlands and green tall grasses with marshes and scrublands is endowed with a unique plethora of flora and fauna.

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October and February is the best time to visit this park when wintering wildfowl assemble in thousands on the lakes.

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