FLOWER EXHIBITION CENTRE – RIDGE PARK
Why Should I Go
Ridge Park is floral heaven. The latter is a flat stretch of road exactly above Gangtok Town and if you’re into floriculture, an hour or two will pass by in the blink of an eye. Sikkim’s weather conditions are conducive to orchid cultivation and you will lose count of the number of varieties you spot at Ridge Park. A gazebo for travellers to rest while walking this stretch is a great addition for those simply wanting 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 colours. Flowers pop up in every nook and corner.
How Do I Get There
If you’re exploring the main market in Gangtok, the FEC is a brisk 20 minute walk away. If you’d like to save the strolling for when you get there, a local taxi from your hotel shouldn’t take you more than 12 to 15 minutes to get to Ridge Park and the FEC.
When Should I Land Up
Since these two attractions are all about the flowers, spring is the perfect season to visit. Not only are the orchids in bloom, a plethora of flower varieties vie for your attention in the park and the exhibition centre.
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 ₹10-20 entry fee and the gates open at 9 a.m. and visitors have to leave by 5.15 p.m.
The Finer Details
The Ridge has the remnants 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, that translates to ‘blossomed crowned hilltop.
The ornamental plants at the Ridge shine 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 neat labelling. This helps you get to know the floral inhabitants of this greenhouse. A miniature footbridge across a tiny pool adds to 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.
The Ridge Park is a place for travellers and locals to relax, make sure you maintain the decorum of this peaceful, natural environment.
Plucking flowers or leaves is strictly prohibited.
No smoking and public drinking is allowed in the park or at the flower centre. Make sure you don’t litter the place.
If you’ve travelled around Sikkim, you will have experienced breath-taking floral landscapes. Ridge Park and FEC is the Sikkimese government’s attempt to preserve the state’s floriculture. If you have an hour or two to kill in Gangtok, make sure you land up here. Whether alone or with friends and family, you’re bound to have a good time.