Jorethang - A Tete a Tete with the City :
Location : Northeastern India, Western Sikkim
Best Time to Visit : Throughout the year, preferable months May, September and December.
Places to See : Trekking, River Rafting, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary Hot springs
Souvenirs : Paintings on canvas, to bags of cloth, handmade paper products, religious Buddhist items, to wall hangings, the Tashi Tagey.
Jorethang - The Tale of the City :
The tale of Jorethang goes back to the 6th century when it was part of the State of Sikkim. Home to the Holy Saint Rinpoche, Jorethang lying in Western Sikkim lies on the banks of the River Rangit. It has a history of being a very organised place with the best kind of market and bazaar facilities. The tea plantations here date back to ages ago when they were planted.
Jorethang - Down the Ages :
Jorethang, is at a height of 300m over the level of sea, has a climate which is very pleasant. The Darjeeling hills form a perfect background across the River Rangeet. Lying on the road to Pelling, and today is a well connected city with other Sikkim cities. This is the best attraction for adventurous activities like trekking, river rafting, sightseeing trips etc. With the best kind of hotels and the friendliest kind of atmosphere, Jorethang is the ideal place to shop for things that otherwise the tourist wouldn’t have been able to do. Jorethang today has a mix of Nepali ethnic origin and Bhutias from the Kham district, Marwaris, Bengalis and Biharis and Lepchas.
Jorethang - A Rendezvous :
Jorethang, the connector between Darjeeling and West Sikkim is a major town in the district of South Sikkim. A rendezvous with this city shows how Hinduism and Buddhism is prevalent here and how Christianity also has a minor population. Most of the Lepchas are Christians who were converted by British missionaries in the 19th century. A minor Muslim population also has its mosques and thus Jorethan is a mix of cultures and religion. The locals speak Nepali here besides many other local languages like the Gurung, Lepcha, Magar, Tibetan etc. With a population very low, Jorethang has the distinction of being very well literate.
Jorethang - Travel Kitty :
Any holiday requires us to take a lot of souvenirs back home to help us relive the lovely stay we enjoy. At Jorethang a tourist could just pick up whatever is available in the market. It could be anything from paintings on canvas, to bags of cloth, handmade paper products, religious Buddhist items, to wall hangings, the Tashi Tagey which is the eight lucky signs, to the Tibetan woolen carpets, Jorethang would have most of the Sikkim specials. Added to this the Thankas which are so popular in Sikkim with their religious depictions of deities, and the small tables decorated with a style which is traditional and have the facility of being folded up fill the travel kitty. Jorethang sometimes also has shops which could give jewellery made out of silver, gold , stones, etc. Besides one could carry cardamom and alpine cheese of the best variety from here. If one is lucky one could also get jams, and good liqueur here. Thus the travel kitty in any city in Sikkim is a traveler’s delight.
Jorethang - Joie de Vivre in the City :
With the dubious distinction of belonging to the least populous Indian State, Jorethang has a lot of facility for adventure and attractive tourist activities. Sikkim is the land of serenity and peace and Jorethang just continues this attribute. The joie de vivre in this city is to just feel the freshness. One who comes here could see the following :
Jorethang, the pristine beauty has the perfect set up for good trekking activities. People meet here and go to the remote Sikkim villages for a trek and enjoy the experience as it gives them the chance to get the best view of the majestic Himalayan peaks. The beauty of the trek is that one gets to see how modernity has not changed the simplicity of the lifestyle here.
River Rafting :
Also known as White Water Adventure, one who comes to Jorethang can also reach the lower plains of West Bengal in the border and experience river rafting in the rivers rising here. This is a major tourist attraction
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary :
This lies in South Sikkim and one can go here from Jorethang. The wildlife here is unique and intriguing. A wild life lover would certainly want to visit this place.
Akar Suspension Bridge :
Jorethang has the distinction of having a Suspension Bridge at its western tip. This is a tourist attraction as tourists come to see the beauty of its construction. One can see the niches of the Temple at Sisne carved with Shiva designs.
Hot Springs :
Jorethang Hot Springs :
These lie a little away from the area in the northern part of Jorethang. Tourists like to come here and enjoy playing with the water from the spring.
Other Cities :
Lying in the State of West Bengal, this tourist spot is famous internationally. With its lovely tea plantations and a unique railway system, today this city is a World Heritage Site. It lies around 30 km from the city of Jorethang. Situated at a height of more than 2050 m, it hosts the third highest peak in the world - the Mt. Kanchenjunga. One can have a good view of the Mt. Everest also on clear days. With its lovely oak and sal trees, the alpine forests of Darjeeling are a tourist’s delight and a nature lover’s pride. With the rarest of species of plants found at the Botanical Gardens here, Darjeeling also takes the tourist around a zoological park which has the best endangered species. A wild life lover would go berserk seeing the teals, ducks, gulls and plovers that pass through this area. Thus with the best of scenic beauty to offer and the ideal tourist spot for fun and enjoyment, Darjeeling is thus one of the favorite hill stations in Eastern India. Offering the best kind of woolen materials and lovely handicrafts Darjeeling is certainly a tourist’s paradise.
A rendezvous with Gangtok, the lofty hill reveals that the land was flattened to construct a monastery there. With the breeze grazing your face and the mist covering the city, and with the Lamas giving their prayers the vibrancy in the city comes due to the lovely people around dressed in beautiful silk, laden with silver jewellery. The pagodas with their lovely painted roofs and the hill of Lukshyma and the citadels around give the city its authentically mystical look. The ambience here is intriguing, and the monasteries add to the enchantment. The lamas sound their trumpets from the far away valleys and render this place a magical experience. When a person visits Gangtok, he looks out for the ideal travel kitty. Gangtok, the city of lamas, is a place with a lot of entertainment and pleasure. The carved furniture, the bags which are woven, and the artifacts made of bamboo, are a perfect treat for the tourist. Besides this the decorative pieces in Gangtok is a traveler’s ecstasy. The intricately designed articles and the lovely decorations, around provide the perfect travel kitty. The handicraft articles, masks, and the tables of Choktse and the hangings of thanka.
Jorethang - Entertainment Factor :
Jorethang, a business Sikkim hub, is also a region of tradition and culture. Home to a lot of activities, Jorethang offers the best kind of entertainment factor also. This annual three day festival falls in January and is an attractive activity and people from the southern and western district of Sikkim participate in this festival. The festival is celebrated after harvest and also signifies replanting crops in winter. The enjoyment and celebration here is ceaseless and the dividing factor between the states of Sikkim and Bengal merges as the cultures of both the States combine to make the annual festival a grand and vibrant one. The mela or fair first started in the year 1955, in the form of an agricultural fair. There are innumerable stalls here selling various products and exhibiting the local cultural tradition.
Thus Jorethang, with its harmonious existence, is a hub of activity, adventure and traditional beliefs.
As a person leaves this place, he thinks, “If one wants to get rejuvenated, then he should visit Jorethang.”