A former Kingdom and a fascinating Himalayan Jewel, Sikkim is situated in Eastern Himalayas spreading below Mount Kanchenjunga (8,534m), the third highest mountain in the world. Lying between 27 to 28 degree North latitude and 88 to 89 degree East longitude, it is barely 7,096 sq. km in size yet has an elevation ranging from 224 m to 8,540 m above sea level in a distance of 110 km from North to South and 64 km from East to West. The state’s about 64 km width is squeezed between the mountainous kingdoms of Bhutan and Nepal to the east and west respectively. The high plateau of Tibet lies 40 km to the north India’s and state of Bengal to its south. The various ethnic group has their own nomenclature for this enchanting land – the Nepalese call it Sukhim or new home, while Tibetans refer to it as Denzong or the valley of rice and to the Lepchas, the original inhabitants of Sikkim, it is Nye-al-Ale or heaven. Shrouded in heavy mist, the guardian deity Kanchenjunga protects the inhabitants of Sikkim. Omni present and mystical, Kanchenjunga finally yields to nature’s power and sheds its monsoon veil in autumn. Sikkimese celebrate this re-awakening with great pomp and ceremony during the Pang Lhabsol festival. Locals belief that great god created, from beneath the slope of this sacred mountain, the original man and woman from whom all Sikkimese descended.

Sikkim is conveniently divided into four regions – east, west, north and south. The most populated area is the eastern part which includes the capital town of Gangtok, followed by southern and western districts and finally the sparsely populated northern area with its inhospitable climate and steep ridges.

SIKKIM- Places of Tourist Interest - Gangtok -
Excursions around Gangtok

TSOMGO LAKE (alt. 3,780m, 38 km from Gangtok) : At 12,800 ft, this famous tourist spot is usually a rather peaceful place. The Tsomgo Lake in Sikkim is a holy lake worshipped by the sikkimese. Tsomgo (Changu) lake, which is hardly 20 km away from the famous Nathula Pass and about 400 km from Lhasa. Its cool, a placid water harmony with the picturesque beauty around, which is increased by its reflection in the lake. A small temple of Lord Shiva is built on the lakeside. Primula flowers and other alpine plantation grow around the Tsomgo lake Sikkim, which has an average depth of 50 ft, provides a pristine beauty to this place. A footpath along the Tsomgo Lake takes one to a resting shed - a walk of about half a kilometer. During the winter months the Tsomgo Lake becomes frozen.

The literal meaning of Tsomgo is the source of the lake in Bhutia language (TSO means lake and MGO means head). This 1 km long lake is about 15 m deep and in shape of oval. It is considered extremely sacred by the local people.

It is a home of Brahminy ducks besides being a stopover for various migratory birds. En route to Tsomgo, numerous waterfalls, fast rushing mountain streams and the rhododendron rich Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary make this excursion all the more thrilling.

Sikkimese folk-lore tells the story of how Tsomgo initially at Laten, several km away from the present Tsomgo (lake) came to take present position : An old woman, one night dreamt that the lake at Laten was to shift to Tsomgo and she and her two other herder friends were warned, to leave the place as soon as possible. The old lady hastened to inform her friends but they paid no heed. In turn, she hurriedly milked her dri (female yak) and poured the milk on the ground, as an auspicious sign and left the place for Lhachungkar near Thegu. Just before leaving, she happened to see an old lady with srikinly white hair and of fair complexion who was carding yarn, entered Tsomgo where immediately the earth turned into water and formed this Tsomgo (lake). The two yak herders are believed to be sub-merged in the lake along with their herd of yaks.

The Tsomgo Lake in Sikkim derives its water from the melting snow on the mountains around, the river Lungtze Chu originates from the Tsomgo lake Sikkim and meets the Rangpo-chu further down its course. During the olden times, lamas used to study the color of the water of the lake and forecast about the future. If the waters of the Tsomgo lake had a dark tinge, it foreshadowed a year of trouble and unrest in the state. Tsomgo Lake in Sikkim has a few rainbow trout and if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse at them. Tsomgo lake Sikkim falls in the restricted area and hence an Inner Line Permit, which can be obtained from the Police through the Tourism Department or travel agent is required by visitors to visit this place. Foreign nationals are also permitted to visit this lake. Explore surrounding of beautiful lake by ride on Yak, experience yak safari for few hours. After Lunch drive back to Gangtok.

Yak Safari at Tsomgo Lake
Yak Safari is an unforgettable and unique experience organized in different areas of Sikkim . Popular trails are Dzongri area and Tsomgo Lake. You will get to ride the yak in Tsomgo Lake and in various trekking points like Dzongri in West Sikkim onwards

About Yak: Yaks are bovine mammal. It is ox like in build, with short, thick legs, humped shoulders, large up curved horns, and a thick coat that hangs down to the ankles. Wild yaks were formerly found from Kashmir to West China , but were so extensively hunted for meat and hides that they now survive only in isolated highlands at elevations above 14,000 ft (4,300 m). They live in herds numbering from 10 to 100 animals, mostly females and young led by a few old bulls; males are mostly solitary.

Yaks have been domesticated for centuries, and the domestic form has been introduced into other parts of central Asia. The wild yak may attain a shoulder height of 65 in. (165 cm) and have horns 3 ft (90 cm) long; its coat is dark brown. The domesticated yak is smaller, with short horns; its coat, which may be long enough to reach the ground, may be black, brown, reddish, piebald, or albino. Yaks can live on vegetation so sparse that it cannot support other domesticated animals. The domestic yak is a source of milk, butter, meat, hair (for cloth), and leather and is also much used as a beast of burden.

FAMBONG LA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY : This sanctuary is located at a distance of 25 km from Gangtok and has an area of 51.76 sq km. The main vegetation here is Oak, Katus, Kimbu, Champa with thick bamboo forests and ferns. The sanctuary is also home to large number of wild orchids, rhododendron etc. This area, being close to Gangtok is developed as a short trekking trial.

NATHULA : 56 km from Gangtok is the Nathula pass at an alt. of 14,200 feet, bordering between India and China in the Tibetan plateau. It is one of the highest motorable roads and richly covered by various species of Alpine Flora and Fauna.

SIKKIM- Places of Tourist Interest - Gangtok -
What to see in Gangtok

Rumtek Monastery : The 24 km drive from the capital to Rumtek Monastery is, in itself, worth the effort. Changing vistas of mountains unfold at every bend and there are delightful vignettes of the hamlets and fields of the people of rural Sikkim. The original monastery was built by one of the rulers of Sikkim. When, however, His Holiness the late 16th Gyalwa Karampa left Tibet he built a new monastery, the Dharma Chakra Centre, reputedly replicating his former one. Thus, though the monastery is new, it enshrines all that is best in traditional Tibet monastic architecture. When seen in the clear light of Sikkim, this magnificent building with its red pillars, brilliantly painted fretwork and superbly glowing murals glitters like a jewel set in the green hills.

Government Institute of Cottage Industries : It produces crafts in authentic Sikkimese designs from the whole state. Hand woven Tibetan carpets sprout dragon in natural dyes, Sikkimese-style tables called Choktse are expertly carved and richly coloured in red and gold. Hand-made rice paper is also produced here. Talented children are taught the art of knitting, weaving, leather work, basket making, mask making and painting of religious and secular themes.

ENCHEY MONASTERY : This monastery is situated in Gangtok on a hill top. It was built during the reign of Thutob Namgyal. This 200 year old monastery has in its premises images of Gods, Goddesses and other religious objects. Every year around January "Chaam" or religious masked dance is performed.Lama Drupthob Karpa is supposed to have built a small hermitage at the spot he reached after he flew from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim. Later during the reign of Sikyong Tulku (1909-1910), the present monastery was built in the shape of a Chinese Pagoda. Following the Nyingma order, it has around 90 monks. The annual Puja is celebrated with dances on the 18th & 19th days of the twelfth month of the lunar calendar.

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Museum: Since its establishment in 1958, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology has sponsored and promoted research on the religion, history, language, art and culture of the people of the Tibetan cultural area which includes Sikkim. The NIT's library holds one of the largest collections of Tibetan works in the world outside Tibet and a museum of Tibetan iconography and religious art. It has published the Bulletin of Tibetology since 1964 and numerous books over the years. The museum, located on the ground floor of the institute, contains a rare collection of statues, ritual objects, traditional art objects, thangkas (painted, woven and embroidered scrolls) and ancient manuscripts in Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese and Lepcha. The exhibition is dominated by a majestic silver image of Manjushri - the Bodisattva of knowledge - that was brought from Tibet. Among the manuscripts are: the Prajna Paramita and Astasahastra written in Tibetan golden script; an 11th century palm leaf manuscript of the Saratama Prajnaparamita by Ratnakara Shanti; and a 12th century Chinese manuscript of the Prajana Paramita Sutra that was brought from South Korea. A casket containing the relics of two great Asokan missionaries, Madhyama and Kasyapagotra is one of the precious assets of the museum. Five sandalwood images representing Padmasambhava, the three founding lamas of Sikkim and the first King Phuntsok Namgyal constitute an example of Sikkimese art. New objects of traditional

Do-drul Chorten: Built in 1945 by Trulshi Rimpoche, Do-drul Chorten is one of the most important attractions in Gangtok. The beautiful milky white stupa has a revered golden Shikhara containing 108 prayer wheels which makes a highly religious place. Do-drul chorten contains the complete mandala set of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya), a set of Kan-gyur relics (Holy books), and many other holy objects including complete Zung (mantras). Two huge statues of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padamsambhava) adorn the side of Do-drul Chorten that further add to the beauty of the stupa.

Tashi View Point : About 8 km from Gangtok, this view point offers fascinating view of the majestic Mount. Kanchenjunga and Mount. Siniolchu.

Lal Bazaar: On Sunday, Gangtok’s Lal Bazaar is a melody of colour. Various ethnic groups from different villages gather to haggle, bargain, barter, gossip or just sell their wares.

Deer Park : A small Deer Park near the Secretariat building enshrines an icon of the Buddha and provides an excellent view of the green hills and valleys.

Orchid Sanctuary : Just below the Institute of Tibetology, it is a very specialized garden. According to Government Department, there are over 200 species of temperate and intermediate type orchids. Such orchids are best seen during the blooming season of April-May, July-August and October-November.

Tsuklakhang (The Palace Monastery) : Located in the grounds of the palace of the former rulers, the Chogyals of Sikkim. Built in traditionally Sikkimese style, it is capital’s most accessible monastery and has interesting murals and images of the Buddhist pantheon.

Orchidarium: In spite of its name, this is essentially a botanical garden in a green and landscaped fold in the hills. Paths wind down past streams, tree ferns and flower beds. At the bottom are enormous conservatories where masses of orchid plants thrive in their preferred environment.

Ban Jhakri Falls
About 10 - 12 KM from M.G Marg of Gangtok, Ban Jhakri Falls is a new sightseeing destination for tourist, fully operated by solar energy. Park features waterfalls, dragon statue, Lepcha statue, Jhakri statue etc.

Darjeeling town (population 83,000 and elevation 2,134 m) is located on a spur with houses hugging the hillside. The place to visit are Chowrasta, a wide promenade atop a ridge lined with shops and restaurants; Mall Road, starting and finishing at Chowrasta, for a leisurely stroll amidst peaceful surroundings and splendid views; Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park which has the Siberian tiger, Himalayan black bear, red panda, snow leopard and many other animal and bird species, and the nearby snow leopard breeding center and the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, a training center for mountaineers which also houses the Everest museum; Natural History Museum, with its fine display of Himalayan wildlife; Observatory Hill which has Hindu and Buddhist shrines; Dhirdham, a pagoda style Hindu temple; Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center, a major center for the production of Tibetan carpets, woodwork and leather goods; the Buddhist monasteries of Bhutia Busty, Thupten Sangag Choling (Dali) and Yiga - Choling (Ghoom); Batasia Loop, a marvelous feat of railway engineering; Tiger Hill for its renowned sunrise view over Kanchenjunga and the eastern Himalayas; Japanese Peace Pagoda, established by the Japanese order, Nipponzan Myohoji; and Lloyd's Botanical Garden which has a varied collection of Himalayan flora.

History of Darjeeling:
The origin of the name “Darjeeling” is most likely from the Tibetan words ‘Dorje’ which means ‘thunderbolt’ and ‘Ling’ which means place or land. Quite literally, it is the ‘Land of the Thunderbolt’. Originally, this was the name given to a Buddhist monastery atop the Observatory Hill which over time became the name of the whole surrounding area.

Early History of Darjeeling
Historically, Darjeeling was part of Sikkim and the Kingdom of Sikkim extended as far as eastern Nepal. However, the late 1700s saw a barrage of attacks from Nepal resulting in Darjeeling becoming a part of Nepal. This changed in 1814 when the British East India Company declared war with Nepal due to border disputes. The victorious British forced the Nepalese to cede 4,000 square miles (10,000 km²) of territory through a treaty signed at Segouli at the end of 1816. The Rajah (King) of Sikkim was reinstated making Sikkim (including Darjeeling) a buffer state between Nepal and Bhutan.

Ten years after the treaty, fresh dispute broke out and the Governor General William Bentick sent two officers - Captain Lloyd and Mr. J.W. Grant, Commercial Resident of Malda to restore normalcy. The two officers found Darjeeling to be a suitable to establish a “sanitarium” (a type of health resort) and the strategic location of Darjeeling as a gateway to Nepal and Bhutan was an added bonus.

Lease of Darjeeling from Sikkim
Mr. J.W. Grant along with the Deputy Surveyor General, Captain Herbert were sent to survey the area. The British East India Company approved the project and General Lloyd was given the responsibility to negotiate a lease of the area from the Chogyal of Sikkim. The lease was granted on 1 February, 1835.

The deed that was executed on 1 February, 1835 read:
The Governor-General having expressed his desire for the possession of the hill of Darjeeling on account of its cool climate… I, the said, Sikkimputtee Rajah, out of friendship for the said Governor-General, hereby present Darjeeling to the East India Company, that is, all the land south of the great Ranjeet river, east of the Balsum, Kahail and little Ranjeet rivers and west of the Rungpo and Mahanadi rivers.
In 1841 the government granted the Rajah an allowance of Rs. 3,000 as compensation and raised the grant to Rs. 6,000 in 1846.

Darjeeling before the Annexation by British Indian Empire
In 1835, Dr. Arthur Campbell was put in-charge to establish the sanitarium and develop the area. Darjeeling started out around the Observatory Hill area with a population of about 100. Dr Campbell became the first Superintendent of the sanitarium in 1839 and was responsible for the civil administration of the town plus managing political relations with Sikkim. Construction of the road linking Darjeeling with the plains also started in 1839.

In 1841, the cultivation of tea was introduced by Dr Campbell near his residence at Beechwood, Darjeeling. The experiment was a success leading to the establishment of several commercial tea estates. By 1849, Darjeeling was prospering and the population of Darjeeling had reached 10,000.

Annexation of Darjeeling into the British Indian Empire
The progress and prosperity of Darjeeling including the diaspora of migrant workers from Sikkim to Darjeeling incurred the wrath and jealousy of the Rajah of Sikkim. The relations worsened in 1849 when Sikkim imprisoned Dr. Campbell and the famous explorer Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker during a tour of Sikkim prompting the British East India Company to send in their troops. However, the imprisoned officers of the British East India Company were freed without any bloodshed.

In February 1850, the annual grant of Rs. 6000 to the Maharaja of Sikkim was withdrawn resulting in the annexation of Darjeeling and a great portion of Sikkim to British India. Sikkim retaliated with a series of attacks on the British territories culminating in the capture of Tumlong (the capital of Sikkim at that time) in 1861. A new treaty was signed which forced the ruler of Sikkim to open up trade and remove all restrictions on merchants and travelers.

Further victories for the British saw the annexation of Dooars and Kalimpong in 1864 and Kurseong in 1891.

Brief History of the Tea Industry in Darjeeling
What began as an experiment in 1841, the cultivation of tea became a full-fledged industry. By 1865, there were already 40 tea gardens covering 10,000 acres. This boom brought in immigrants, mainly from Nepal, to work in construction and tea gardens. Today there are around 86 tea gardens or estates fueling a multi-million dollar industry.

Development of Darjeeling under the British Empire
After the Darjeeling Municipality was set up in 1850, the tea industry boomed and there was an influx of immigrants. This also brought in the Scottish missionaries who undertook the construction of schools and welfare centers like Loreto Convent in 1847, St. Paul’s School in 1864, Planters’ Club in 1868, Lloyd’s Botanical Garden in 1878, St. Joseph’s School in 1888, Railway Station in 1891, Town Hall (present Municipality Building) in 1921.

Another major development was the inauguration of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in 1881 facilitating the link between Darjeeling and the plains.

History of Darjeeling as a Tourist Destination
The British visited Darjeeling every summer prompting well-to-do Indian residents of Kolkata (then Calcutta), affluent Maharajas of princely states, land-owning zamindars and barristers of Calcutta High Court to follow suit. The town continued to grow as a tourist destination and is now known all over the world as the “Queen of the Hills.”

History of Darjeeling post Independence of India
The independence of India in 1947 saw Darjeeling being merged with the state of West Bengal. A separate district of Darjeeling was established consisting of the hilly towns of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and some parts of the plains including Siliguri.

The demographic changed substantially when the People’s Republic of China annexed Tibet in 1950 and thousands of Tibetan refugees settled across Darjeeling district.

The population rose dramatically especially from the 1970s peaking to about 45% growth in the 1990s far above the national, state, and district average of India. The colonial town of Darjeeling was not designed to accommodate such an exponential growth in population. This coupled with the rise in the number of tourists has effected the ecological balance negatively.

The 1980s saw a bloody agitation demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland by the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF). Peace was restored with the establishment of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council or DGHC (changed to Darjeeling Gorkha Autonomous Hill Council or DGAHC). The year 2008 brought in fresh demand for Gorkhaland under Gorkha Janmukti Morcha headed by Bimal Gurung.

Jawhar Parbat (formerly Birds Hill) : It was planted by a former British Governor and it is behind the Raj Bhawan (Governor's residence), northwest of the town square. From here you will get a magnificent view of Mount Kanchenjunga and Singla Valleys.

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park : Located adjacent to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. It is a high altitude wild life park and a new home for the Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Deer, Deer Panda, Llama and birds. It is open from 8 am to 4 pm.

Lloyds Botanical Garden : Its a colourful garden situated just below the Market motor stand. It contains a representative collection of Himalayan plants, flowers, orchids etc. The hot houses are well worth a visit. Timings : 6am to 5 pm. No entrance fee.

Ghoom Buddhist Monastery : A typical Tibetan Monastery, situated about 8 k.m. from the town just below Hill Cart Road and the railway station near Ghoom. This is probably the most famous monastery in Darjeeling. It enshrines of the Maitryee Buddha (the coming Buddha) - 15 feet tall. Foreign tourists are allowed to enter.

Observatory Hill : It is situated above the Windamere hotel. There's a Kali Shrine and apart from the magnificent view it commands, great religious importance is attached to the Observatory hill by both Hindus and Buddhists, who worship here by the hundreds.

Dhirdam Temple : Situated just below the railway station, it is built on the style of the famous "Assumption" temple of Kathmandu (Nepal).

Aloobari Monastery : Nearer Darjeeling, on Tenzing Norgay Rd, this monastery welcomes visitors and the monks often sell Tibetan and Sikkimese handicrafts and religious objects (usually hand bells). If the monastery is closed ask at the cottage next door and they'll let you in.

Bhutia Busty Monastery :
Not far from Chowrasta is this colourful monastery, with Kanchenjunga providing a spectacular backdrop. Originally a branch of the Nygmapa sect's Phodang Monastery in Sikkim, it was transferred to Darjeeling in 1879. The shrine here originally stood on Observatory Hill. There's an old library of Buddhist texts upstairs.

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute : It is situated on Jawahar Parbat about 2 Km from Chowrasta. Established in 1954, this unique institution trains mountaineers. It has a museum containing an interesting collection of mountaineering equipment, specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna and a relief model of the Himalayas. The Everest Museum traces the history of attempts on the great peak.

Natural History Museum : Established in 1903, a comprehensive collection of Himalayan and Bengali fauna is packed into this interesting museum. Amongst the 4300 specimens is the estuarine crocodile, the animal responsible for the greatest loss of human life in Asia. It is walking distance from the chowrasta.

Step-aside : About 3 minutes walk from the Chowrasta will bring you to this place where the famous Indian patriot Deshbandhu Chittranjan Das had passed away in 1925.

Ava Art Gallery : It is about 2 km from the town on the way to Ghoom. It houses fine art and embroidered work of Mrs. Ava Devi.

Tiger Hill: Situated at an altitude of 2590 mt. (8,482 ft.) and 11 km from the town, the Tiger Hill has earned international fame for the fabulous view of the Sunrise over "Kanchenjunga" and the great Eastern Himalayan peaks that can be seen from here. On a clear day even Mt. Everest is visible. The golden glow of the rising Sun changes the co lour of the snow capped peaks to crimson, pink and shining gold as one watches from the observation desk.

Spectacular views of Mt. Kanchenjunga seen from tiger Hill:

Batasia Loop: It is about 5 km from Darjeeling and 3 km from Ghoom. This railway loop is a marvelous feet of engineering. It is delightful to see the trains as it winds it away round the loop. It is a pleasant and delightful descent from Ghoom - highest railway station in the world.

The Ropeway: The Darjeeling - Rangeet Valley Passenger Rope way is situated at North Point which is 3 km from the town . This is the first passenger Ropeway to be constructed in India. It is 5 km long and connects Darjeeling and Singla Bazaar. A beautiful Picnic and Fishing spot.

Happy Valley Tea Garden : Here the tea from the gardens is processed. One can spent a few hours here.

Senchal Lake : A scenic place near the tiger hills. This place has popularly come up as a picnic spot among the tourists. The lake supplies drinking water to the town of Darjeeling.

Kanchenjunga View : From Darjeeling one can have the best, uninterrupted view of the worlds third highest peak. Bhanu Bhakta Sarani provides one of the enthralling views of these snow capped peaks. The Chowrasta also gives you a good sight to the Kanchenjunga peak.

Snow Leopard Breeding Programme : Nowadays the zoologists and the environmental scientists are trying to protect the endangered species by breeding them in captivity. Following this trend is Kiran Moktan who has devoted his life in breeding program of snow leopards. The snow leopards are not known to have bred in captivity but in this center thanks to the efforts of Kiran Moktan these animals have given birth in captivity. Snow leopards are animals who have to be kept in large enclosures. Visitors are allowed in the center but they have to watch the animals in utter silence

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute & Museums : The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is on the West Jawahar road. The institute runs courses for training mountaineers as well as has the very good collection of mountaineering equipments which have been used in various mountaineering expeditions and other wise. Specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna are also kept here. The record of attempts made to conquer Mt. Everest has been kept in the Mt. Everest Museum. The institute also screens short films on mountaineering. You can also view the Himalayan peaks through the Zeiss Telescope given to the Nepalese Maharaja by Hitler. Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was the Director of this institute for many years and he was cremated near the institute after his death in 1986. Near the institute is Srabri which gives a very good view of the Single valley and the Kanchenjunga range. One can sit at Srabri and feel the cool breeze from the valley.

Tibetan Refugees Self Help Centre, Darjeeling
The Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre was started on October 1, 1959. At that time, following the dramatic escape of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, thousands of Tibetans leaving hearth and home, fled into the neighbouring countries to live as free human beings. "It is no exggeration, in fact, to say that without self-help there can be no rehabilitation, be it economic, social, psychological, cultural or spiritual. Therefore, a ten member committee was formed in Darjeeling to organize a rehabilitation centre to be known as "Tibetan Refugees Self-Help Center".

It was here in Darjeeling that the Thirteenth Dalai Lama spent his exile in India between 1910 to 1912 following a Chinese invasion at that time. When the Centre first started over 34 years ago, there were just four workers. Today the centre is the home of more than 750 refugees. In 1961, the Centre was fully registered as a Charitable organisation under the Indian Law. It has also received exemption for Income Tax on all gifts and donations made to it.

The production of handicrafts continue to be the Centre's main acivity. During the financial year covering the period from April 1982 to March 1983, sales reached a total of Rs. 1,100,000 more than half of which represented foreign exchange earnings from export sales. Today the centre has been exporting to more than 36 countries all over the world. Besides traditional items such as Tibetan carpets, wood, metal and leather works, the Centre have also experimented in finding new production lines incorporating traditional Tibetan motifs which would find a ready market both here and abroad.

During the years of the Centre's existence, the Centre has been able to train over 1600 persons in various crafts. Out of this between 900 to 1200 persons have left the Centre to set up their own enterprises. All of them are now fully self-supporting and several of them are doing very well.

From its beginning, the Centre has undertaken the task of helping orphans, the aged, the infirm and the needy among the refugees. Out of the total population, the Centre houses, feeds and cares for 50 old, infirm and needy persons as well as 42 orphans, all of whom have no means of their own. Great stress is also laid in adult education.

In June 1960, the Centre started a small Nursery School. Within a short time the school grew up into full-fledged Primary School. The Primary School follows the syllabus of the Tibetan Schools Society and caters upto class II. The present staff consists of 14 teachers and house parents.

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