Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim with a population of approximately 50,000 has emerged into the mainstream of the Tourism Industry, with more and more tourist visiting this little Himalayan state every year. Gangtok has developed into a cosmopolitan flavour where old-world charm and hospitality exist along with the Internet Age.
With different cultures and religion existing in perfect harmony, Gangtok has shown that "Unity in Diversity" exists in Sikkim. Sikkimese have strong bonding with their age-old traditions and customs. However, a quick survey of Gangtok shows that the bubble of modernization has burst with a bang in the town. The capital is definitely not behind the rest of the world in terms of urbanization - Broad roads, flyovers, posh markets, state-of-art hospital, educational institutes, fast food outlets, discothèques, and all other modern amenities that the heart can desire for. One imposing manmade landmark of the town is the 200 ft-high TV tower which overlooks the town and is situated near the Enchey Monastry below Ganesh Tok. A stroll along the Mahatma Gandhi Marg is shopper's delight- Hotels, restaurants, curios, footwear and almost everything is available. Be here to experience the magic.History
Like the rest of Sikkim, not much is known about the early history of Gangtok. The earliest records date from the construction of the hermitic Gangtok monastery in 1716. Gangtok remained a small hamlet until the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840 made it a pilgrimage center. After the defeat of the Tibetans by the British, Gangtok became a major stopover in the trade between Tibet and British India at the end of the 19th century. Most of the roads and the telegraph in the area were built during this time.
In 1894, Thutob Namgyal, the Sikkimese monarch under British rule, shifted the capital from Tumlong to Gangtok, increasing its importance. A new grand palace along with other state buildings was built in the new capital. Following India's independence in 1947, Sikkim became a nation-state with Gangtok as its capital. Sikkim became a suzerain of India, with the condition that it would retain its independence, by the treaty signed between the Chogyal and the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Trade between India and Tibet continued to flourish through the Nathula and Jelepla passes, offshoots of the ancient Silk Road near Gangtok. These border passes were sealed after the Sino-Indian War in 1962, which deprived Gangtok of its trading business. In 1975, the monarchy was abrogated and Sikkim became India's twenty-second state, with Gangtok as its capital. Gangtok has witnessed annual landslides, resulting in damage to life and properties. The largest disaster occurred in June 1997, when 38 were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed.Transport
Taxis are the most widely available public transport within Gangtok. Most of the residents stay within a few kilometres of the town centre and many have their own vehicles such as two-wheelers and cars.The share of personal vehicles and taxis combined is 98% of Gangtok's total vehicles, a high percentage when compared to other Indian cities. City buses comprise less than one percent of vehicles. Those travelling longer distances generally make use of share-jeeps, a kind of public taxis. Four wheel drives are used to easily navigate the steep slopes of the roads. The 1 km (0.6 mi) long cable car with three stops connects lower Gangtok suburbs with Sikkim Legislative assembly in central Gangtok and the upper suburbs.
Gangtok is connected to the rest of India by an all-weather metalled highway, National Highway 31A, which links Gangtok to Siliguri, located 114 km (71 mi) away in the neighbouring state of West Bengal. The highway also provides a link to the neighbouring hill station towns of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, which are the nearest urban areas. Regular jeep, van, and bus services link these towns to Gangtok. Gangtok is a linear city that has developed along the arterial roads, especially National Highway 31A. Most of the road length in Gangtok, is of two lane undivided carriageway with footpath on one side of the road and drain on the other. The steep gradient of the different road stretches coupled with a spiral road configuration constrain the smooth flow of vehicular as well as pedestrian traffic. The nearest railhead connected to the rest of India is the station of New Jalpaiguri, a suburb of Siliguri, situated 124 km (77 mi) away from Gangtok. The closest airport is Bagdogra Airport, 16 km (10 mi) from Siliguri. Although Gangtok does not have an airport, it is linked to Bagdogra airport via a daily helicopter service.
Abbey Falls (also Abbi Falls) (Kannada) is in Kodagu, in the Western Ghats in Karnataka, India. It is located 10 km from the town of Madikeri and 270 km from Bangalore.
In the mountains of the Western Ghats, several streams combine, swelling with the monsoon rains and plunging down the mountain slope at enormous speed, hitting the huge boulders hard and forcing through the crevices and ravines. A misty cloud hangs over the falls. From here the water flows into the Kaveri River.
The waterfall is located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates with trees entwined with pepper vines. The falls appear suddenly, the water cascading over rocks into calm pools.
During the monsoon season the water flow is very high. During the dry seasons the flow is considerably diminished.Transport
From Madikeri the falls are accessible by a narrow road to the coffee estate. A path through coffee and cardamom plantations leads to the waterfalls. The roar of the falls can be heard from the road. The best time to visit is early winter when the monsoons have brought plenty of water.
Athirappilly Falls is situated in Athirappilly panchayath in Thrissur district of Kerala, on the southwest coast of India.
Located on the west-flowing Chalakudy River near the Vazhachal Forest Division and the Sholayur ranges, this 24-metre (80 ft) waterfall and the nearby Vazhachal Falls are popular tourist destinations.
The Chalakudy River,145 kilometres (90 mi) long, originates in the Anamudi mountains (Western Ghats) and flows through the Vazhachal Forest toward the Arabian Sea. Forest wildlife includes the Asiatic elephant, tiger, leopard, bison, sambar, and lion-tailed macaque. Plantations in the area contain teak, bamboo, and eucalyptus. The river initially runs smoothly but becomes more turbulent as it nears Athirappilly. At Athirappilly Falls, the water surges around big rocks and cascades down in three separate plumes. Below the falls, the river remains turbulent for about 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) until it reaches Kannamkuzhi. Then it calms and flows smoothly until reaching the dam at Imburmuzhi.
The railway station nearest Athirappilly Falls is 30 kilometres (19 mi) to the west in Chalakudy, and the nearest airport is Kochi International Airport, about 55 kilometres (34 mi) southwest of the waterfall and 58 kilometres (36 mi) south of Thrissur.
Athirappilly is easily reachable from Chalakudy by taxi or by bus from the Chalakudy private bus terminal. Athirappilly is situated on the highways connecting Tamil Nadu and Kerala, amidst thick forest, so night riding is not advised.
The journey from Chalakudy to the Athirappilly Falls passes through a landscape of winding roads, small villages and lush green trees. Visitors can reach the top of the waterfall via a paved path that leads through thick bamboo clusters. A steep narrow path also leads to the bottom of the falls.
The falls attract visitors from across India, especially during the monsoon months (June-September). About 7 million tourists visit the falls and the Vazhachal picnic spot each year.