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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Ridge Park


Ridge Park is floral heaven. The latter is a flat stretch of the road exactly above Gangtok Town and if you’re into floriculture, an hour or two will fly by in the blink of an eye. Sikkim’s weather conditions are favorable to orchid cultivation and you will lose count of the number of varieties you spot at Ridge Park. A gazebo for travelers to rest while walking this stretch is a great addition for those simply requiring to get a feel of Gangtok.
The Annual Orchid Show takes place below the Ridge Park at the Flower Exhibition Centre (FEC). While the greenhouse might look modest in size, once you step in you are lost among a variety of colors. Flowers pop up in every nook and corner.

What to see

The Ridge has the portions of British architecture with White Hall, built-in memory of the first Political Officer of Sikkim, Claude White, way back in 1932. This is a colonial-style two-storied, beautifully dilapidated building.
On one end of the Ridge is the Palace Gate with is aesthetically designed pagoda rooftop. On the other is the Chief Minister’s residence called Mintokgang, which translates to “blossomed crowned hilltop”.
The ornamental plants at the Ridge glitter bright in the springtime, and on a clear day this is the perfect location for an early evening walk.
As you enter the Flower Exhibition Centre, the first thing you notice is the correct labeling. This helps you get to know the floral inhabitants of this greenhouse. A small footbridge across a tiny pool adds the beauty of this place.
Gladiola, cineraria, powderpuff lily, fuchsia, chrysanthemum, celosia, the list goes on and on. You’ll be surprised at how many flowers and shrubs can be examined at the Flower Exhibition Centre.

When to reach

Since these two attractions are all about the flowers, spring is the perfect season to visit. Not only are the orchids in bloom, but a plethora of flower varieties also compete for your attention in the park and the exhibition center.
The Ridge Park is open all through the week from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Entry is free.
The Flower Exhibition Centre has a nominal Rs. 10-20 entry fee and the gates open at 9 a.m. and visitors have to leave by 5.15 p.m.

How to reach

If you’re exploring the main market in Gangtok, the Flower Exhibition Centre is a quick 20-minute walk. If you’d like to save the strolling for when you get there, a local cab from your hotel shouldn’t take you more than 12 to 15 minutes to get to Ridge Park and the Flower Exhibition Centre.

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