Rachna Books is an award winning, independent bookshop in Gangtok, Sikkim.
Founded in 1979, we are best known for our collection of books that is most frequently described as “carefully curated”. But a bookstore up in the mountains is not all that we are.
Over the years, we have emerged as a vibrant cultural landmark in the Himalaya. We curate, organise & host events through various collaborations with the aim of discovering new ideas, stories and worlds. We use our space to encourage the exchange of knowledge and sharing cultures of our times. Through talks, performances, readings, workshops and screenings we try to bring the world at large to the Himalayas and in turn we share our slice of life with the rest of the world.
Any small, fiercely independent bookshop with a certain worldview like ours would perhaps dream of becoming a publisher someday. We nurtured this dream for a long time. Celebrating our 40 years of being on the frontline of the publishing industry, we made a foray into publishing in 2019 under Rachna Books and Publications banner.
Rachna Books also houses the popular Café Fiction and top-rated Bookman’s Bed and Breakfast in the same premises. Collectively, we have evolved as a third space and a destination in itself for our regular patrons as well as for many a discerning travellers coming to Sikkim looking for an enriching literary escape.
Rachna Books made a foray into publishing formally under our own banner in 2019 as a part of celebrations commemorating our 40 years in the book-trade. Several books under the imprint “Karuna Devi Smarak Dharmarth Guthi” have been published earlier.
The View from the Palace – A Political History of Sikkim
by Alex McKay
How to Collect a Folk Tale
Poems by Tashi Chophel
Opening the Hidden Land – State Formation and the Construction of Sikkimese History
by Saul Mullard
Early on, Raman’s 2pm tea break gained popularity and anyone who happened to be at the present would have to take charge of the bookshop while Raman, known popularly as ‘Bookman’, went up to his kitchen to prepare tea for all. Consequently, Café Fiction® was born out of this routine in 2012. Our café has since become a melting pot for exchange of ideas. We frequently listed among the top book cafés across the subcontinent in the print media, travel websites and blogs.
Bookman’s Bed and Breakfast
To meet pressure of keeping the bookshop afloat, Raman formally opened a part of his home as a bed and breakfast, one floor above the bookshop and named it Bookman’s Bed and Breakfast. Operational since 2014, this top-rated three room property has become a much sought after stay option for writers, artists, musicians, scholars and the discerning travellers looking for quiet and comfortable stay and a rich, literary escape among books.
The bookshop has a thousand books,
All colors, hues, and tinges,
And every cover is a door
That turns on magic hinges.
Nancy Byrd Turner