Sikkim Tourism | Gangtok Tourism

Gangtok is the capital city of mountainous northern Indian state of Sikkim.

Gangtok Local Sightseeing

Information About Gangtok Sikkim

Gangtok Local Sightseeing

Place :

Gangtok, Sikkim

Altitude(avg):

1,650 m

Rainfall(avg):

691 mm annually

Temperature :

  • Summer: 20 °C
  • Winter: 8 °C

Significance :

Gangtok, Capital city of Sikkim

Best Season :

March-Early June,Mid Sept-December

Language :

Gorkha, Hindi, Bengali and English

Currency :

Indian Rupee()

Clothing :

  • Summer: Light Woolens
  • Winter : Heavy Woolens

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About Gangtok Tour Package

Gangtok is a municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It also is the headquarters of the East Sikkim district. Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft).

The town's population of 100,000 belongs to different ethnicities such as Nepali, Lepchas and Bhutia. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya and enjoying a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the center of Sikkim's tourism industry.Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. In 1894, the ruling Sikkimese Chogyal, Thutob Namgyal, transferred the capital to Gangtok. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and cities such as Kolkata then Calcutta) in British India. After India won its independence from Britain in 1947, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy, with Gangtok as its capital. In 1975, after the integration with the union of India, Gangtok was made India's 22nd state capital. The precise meaning of the name "Gangtok" is unclear, though the most popular meaning is "hill top". Today, Gangtok is a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning, with the presence of several monasteries, religious educational institutions, and centres for Tibetology.

Gangtok: Climate & Hospitality

Gangtok features a monsoon-influenced subtropical highland climate. Because of its elevation and sheltered environment, Gangtok enjoys a mild, temperate climate all year round. Like most Himalayan towns, Gangtok has five seasons: summer, monsoons, autumn, winter and spring.Gangtok Temperatures range from an average maximum of 22°C (72°F) in summer to an average minimum of 4°C (39°F) in winter. Summers (lasting from late April to June) are mild, with maximum temperatures rarely crossing 25°C (77°F). The monsoon season from June to September is characterised by intense torrential rains often causing landslides that block Gangtok's land access to the rest of the country. Rainfall starts to rise from pre-monsoon in May, and peaks during the monsoon, with July recording the highest monthly average of 649.6 mm (25.6 in). In winter temperature averages between 4°C (39°F) and 7°C (45°F). Snowfall is rare, and in recent times Gangtok has received snow only in 1990, 2004, 2005 and January 2011.Temperatures below freezing are also rare. During this season the weather can be unstable, and change abruptly from bright sunshine and clear skies to heavy rain within a couple of hours. During spring and autumn the weather is generally sunny and mild. Owing to its elevation, Gangtok is often enveloped in fog during the monsoon and winter months.

Best Places To Eat In Gangtok while in Sikkim

There are a large number of restaurants which offer a wide variety of cuisines, ranging from Indian to Continental. Tea is the most popular beverage in the town, procured from the famed Darjeeling tea gardens. All good trips start with a healthy food. Keeping this simple funda in life, Gangtok city offers you lot of tasty food and cuisine to choose from. If you are coming to Sikkim, one thing you should stop worrying is healthy food. Gangtok offers you with such a large number of tasty food restaurants that you will be delighted. Your tummy will keep asking for if you had a unique Gangtok cuisine. The food here in Sikkim is a mixture of Chinese, Bhutanese, Nepalese and Indian cooking. So you will have some great food in Gangtok both in veg and non-veg dishes.

HOW TO REACH GANGTOK,Sikkim

Reaching Gangtok By road

Once you arrive in New Jalpaiguri, you can either hire a taxi from the station itself or take an auto-rickshaw to the Siliguri bus stand. From there, you have the option of traveling to Gangtok by state bus or taxi's outside, roughly a 4 hour journey.

Reaching Gangtok By Train

The nearest train station to Gangtok is New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri all trains originating from Guwahati to rest of the country passes through New Jalpaiguri and hence has direct connections to other major cities in India. It is a 10-12 hour journey from Kolkata.

Reaching Gangtok By Air

The nearest airport is at Bagdogra (IXB)situated about 40 mins drive to Siliguri. Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati is a much better connected airport but it's 550KM from Gangtok. Prepaid Taxi's can be hire for Airport for both Siliguri and Gangtok Drop.

Culture of Gangtok, Sikkim

The Nepali community comprises of the majority diaspora in Gangtok.Buddhism and Hinduism have significant religions following in Gangtok region. With the presence of several monasteries and religious institutions, Gangtok has been a major centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning in Sikkim.The culture of Gangtok reflects the different ethnic groups of people who make their home in this city. Music is a much-loved form of entertainment in the city. Western music, Hindi rock songs and Nepali rock music are all very popular in Gangtok. Brightly costumed monastic dances, called ‘chhaams’, are performed during festive occasions. Football, cricket and archery are the favoured sports of the people of Gangtok. Sikkimese cuisine is served in most of the restaurants, offering visitors a host of unique flavours. Momos (steamed dumplings), thukpa (noodles in soup), chowmein (noodles) and shah paley (Sikkimese patti wrapped in dough) are a few of the mouth-watering specialties of Gangtok.

Language of Gangtok

Nepali is the most widely spoken language in Sikkim as well as Gangtok. English and Hindi being the official language of Sikkim and India respectively, are also widely spoken and understood in most of Sikkim, particularly in Gangtok. Other languages spoken in Gangtok include Bhutia (Sikkimese), Tibetan and Lepcha

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Gangtok Tourism | Places Visit While in Gangtok, Sikkim

Sikkim Himalayan Zoological Park, Gangtok Sikkim

Sikkim Himalayan Zoological Park

1st Major Tourist spot

About Sikkim Himalayan Zoological Park

In a bid to save one of nature’s rarest and most beautiful animals, the Red Panda, the Sikkim Himalayan Zoological Park (SHZP) in Gangtok has embarked on a breeding and conservation programs. Red Pandas are much smaller than the giant panda. The state animal of Sikkim, the Red Pandas are found in six protected areas of the State. But they are facing extinction due to habitat loss caused by construction activity and over grazing.

To preserve and restore the habitat of the shy and reclusive animal, the Sikkim Himalayan Zoological Park (SHZP) has been working on various conservation programs since 1997. Red Pandas being the State animal of Sikkim, and also an endangered species of global importance, high precaution is being taken for their conservation in the Himalayan Zoological Park. And the Forest Department of the Government of Sikkim is trying to save these pandas in the wild as well as in the captive condition.

Mahatama Gandhi Marg, Gangtok Sikkim

Mahatama Gandhi Marg

2nd Major Tourist spot

About Mahatama Gandhi Marg

Marg is a word belonging to Hindi dialect, meaning Road. MG Marg means MG Road and Indians would always treat and give it importance as when elaborated, one comes across Mahatma Gandhi Road. Gangtok is no exception hence, name of this road which is considered the town center of Gangtok.The road and the area around it has transformed over the years. It is now more like a long stretch of open mall or boulevard square where locals and tourists take leisure stroll or just sit and relax on one of the many benches laid along the middle and both sides of the road to soak in the ambiance.

The road is full of glittering shops of all sorts, restaurants and bars lined on both sides. Many tourists take a table in a restaurant and watch the activities on the street below. It truly depicts a carnival like atmosphere out here. The annual Gangtok Food and Culture Festival is held here at M G Marg in December.

Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, Gangtok Sikkim

Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre

Popular Tourist spot

About Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre

Originally built by the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje in 16th century, Rumtek served as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage in Sikkim for some time. But when the 16th Karmapa arrived in Sikkim in 1959, after fleeing Tibet, the monastery was in ruins. Despite being offered other sites, the Karmapa decided to rebuild Rumtek. To him, the site possessed many auspicious qualities and was surrounded by the most favorable attributes. For example, flowing streams, mountains behind, a snow range in front, and a river below. With the generosity and help of the Sikkim royal family and the Indian government, it has been built by the 16th Karmapa as his main seat in exile. After four years, construction of the monastery was completed.

The sacred items and relics brought out from Tsurphu Monastery, the Karmapa's seat in Tibet, were installed. On Tibetan New Year's day (Losar) in 1966 the 16th Karmapa officially inaugurated the new seat called, "The Dharmachakra Centre, a place of erudition and spiritual accomplishment, the seat of the glorious Karmapa." The monastery is currently the largest in Sikkim. It is home to the community of monks and where they perform the rituals and practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage. A Golden Stupa contains the relics of the 16th Karmapa. Opposite that building is a college, Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies.

Ganesh Tok, Gangtok Sikkim

Ganesh Tok

Popular Tourist spot

About Ganesh Tok

A small Ganesh temple just next to the television tower on the hill is popularly known as Ganesh Tok. It is just 7 km from the heart of the Gangtok city at an altitude of 6,500mt. The temple can only accommodate one persona at a time but is well known through out the state. It is also the best place to get a view of Raj Bhawan, Kanchunjunga and the surrounding valley. Close to it is Smriti Van, where one can plant saplings for their loved ones.

Adorned with colorful prayer patakas(flags) hoisted and tied across the roads, the path to Ganesh tok almost resembles a rainbow.There is a circular balcony around the temple and a viewing lounge to soak in the panoramic view of vast green expanses, the Raj Bhawan complex, and the entire town of Gangtok in all its grandeur.Even though temple is so small in size that it can hardly accommodate one person, the temple remains a major crowd puller for all tourists visiting Gangtok.Often visited by tourists while visiting Hanuman Tok about 4 kilometers from the temple, Ganesh tok is a must visit for anyone planning a visit to Gangtok.

Before you start for the temple above, you can acquire the traditional dress of the land from the shops for rent. They also help you to get dressed up in their attire. Many tourists enjoy wearing the conventional dress with which they proceed to the temple and the viewpoint. The shops here also sell many gift items.Close to the Ganesh Tok is the observatory tower, which has a small space at the center to be seated. The view of snow-clad Kanchenjunga from here is spectacular. It would be best to plan your visit in the morning as weather could play spoilsport towards evening.

Ban Jhakri Water Fall, Gangtok Sikkim

Ban Jhakri Water Fall

Popular Tourist spot

About Ban Jhakri Water Fall

Located en route to Ranka and 4 kms away from Gangtok, the Ban Jhakri Falls, lies amidst a lush green valley spread over two acres, surrounded by trees and a gushing mountain river. The Park has a shamanistic theme. Hence, while the location of the Park penetrating the forest spreads seeks to enhance the essence of the occult and the unknown, the place itself is littered with ethnic sculptures and figurines of the Jhakri culture.

The park includes a waterfall and has well laid out trails to wander along with gazebos placed at convenient spots to soothe weary legs while the eyes can continue to marvel over the gushing streams and falls. Sikkimese styled foot bridges add more color to the myriad hued park adorned with exotic flowers of wide variety. A dragon-adorning splash pool beckons longingly at children who can splash about, while the exhibition center also doubles as a cafeteria. Designated fishing spots along the stream further offer visitors a chance to dwell over life matters while waiting for a bite of the local trout.

Gangtok Ropeway, Gangtok Sikkim

Gangtok Ropeway

Gangtok Ropeway

About Gangtok Ropeway

If you are at Gangtok you must visit rope-ways or cable car located at Deorali market. This rope way of about 1 km long has three entry points or stops. The lowest point is at Deorali market and the highest point is at Tashiling (below the state secretariat). There is a mid point stop at Nam-Nang. One can enter from any point and return to same point after touching other two points. Cable car journey provides spectacular view of Gangtok market, valley and assembly hall of state of Sikkim on its 15 to 20 minutes journey.

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok Sikkim

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

Popular Tourist spot

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

A visit to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a great way to get acquainted with Tibetan culture. Regarded as the highest seat of learning amongst the Mahayana scholars, this Institute was built in 1958 and is a famous global center for the study of Buddhist philosophy and religion today. It houses the world's largest collected works and rare manuscripts on the theme of Mahayana Buddhism. Apart from this collection, the museum has more than 200 Buddhist icons, antique paintings, thangkas, statues, shrines, tapestries, masks and other religious works of Tibetan Art.

The Institute also has in its keep around 30,000 volumes; most of them in the form of xylographs. Xylographs are document prints on wooden slabs with matter imprinted on them. It also has translations of the original teachings of the Lord Buddha and discourses by eminent Buddhist scholars from all parts of the world. Visitors can also buy Buddhist religious books and Tibetan crafts from the Institute.

Tashi Viewpoint, Gangtok Sikkim

Tashi Viewpoint

Popular Tourist spot

About Tashi Viewpoint

Constructed by the erstwhile King of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal, panoramic Tashi Viewpoint is set in the midst of beautiful scenic views, and is the perfect place to look at the abundant natural panoramic bounty of Sikkim. On clear days, Kanchunjunga is clearly visible and visitors can also see the Labrang Monastery and Phodong Monastery on the opposite hill. A small shed and cafe serves the visitors and over a period of time, has become a popular picnic spot.

Enchey Monastery, Gangtok Sikkim

Enchey Monastery

Popular Tourist spot

Enchey Monastery

Enchey monastery is another place you must visit in Gangtok. The Enchey monastery literally means the solitary temple. At the time it was constructed, it was the only building in the entire area. This place especially attracts attention during the religious dances or "Chaam" performed in January. The relatively small monastery was built 200 years ago and the present building was constructed in the year 1909. The site where the monastery is built is supposed to be blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his flying powers. You can also get wonderful view of Kanchenjunga from here.

Orchid Sanctuary,Gangtok Sikkim

Orchid Sanctuary

Popular Tourist spot

About Orchid Sanctuary

The Orchid Sanctuary makes a must visit in Gangtok. The sanctuary is famous for its rare and extensive collection of orchids. The sanctuary’s collection also varies depending on the seasons. However, the wide spread orchid sanctuary has almost 454 species of orchid found in Sikkim. An interesting place to visit especially for nature lovers.

Do Drul Chorten, Gangtok Sikkim

Do Drul Chorten

Popular Tourist spot

About Do Drul Chorten

Do Drul Chorten is one of the many important attractions of Gangtok. It is regarded as the most important stupa of Sikkim. Built in 1945 by Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism, this stupa also has sacred gold-topped shikhara with 108 prayer wheels. This highly revered Chorten is also characterised by complete mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya), a set of Kan-gyur relics ( Holy Books), complete Zung( mantras) and other religious objects. The Chorten also has two huge statues of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) around it.

Khangchendzonga Tourist Villa, Gangtok Sikkim

Khangchendzonga Tourist Villa

Popular Tourist spot

About Khangchendzonga Tourist Villa

Khangchendzonga Tourist Villa-cum-Socio-Cultural and Amusement Park, which has been created in a manner that will not only make tourists comfortable, but also give them the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the local culture and lifestyle. The President of India, inaugurating the project congratulated the Government of Sikkim for the vision and foresight to have conceptualized and created this world class tourism infrastructure, in a time-bound manner.

Lingdum Monastery, Gangtok Sikkim

Lingdum Monastery

Popular Tourist spot

About Lingdum Monastery

Located an hour's scenic drive from Gangtok, Lingdum Monastery is a destination for Buddhist pilgrims and devotees of fine art alike.The sprawling complex, set amid serene forested hills, is a specimen of sacred architecture. Its exquisite murals, statues and adornments, besides the impressive scale of the edifice, bring a look of wonderment to every visitor's face. Completed 10 years ago, Lingdum Monastery is a Buddhist centre in the tradition of the Zurmang Kagyud lineage. It is under the spiritual direction of Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche, who is the 12th unbroken successor of the lineage. Up on a hill behind the monastery is a retreat centre where monks retire to meditate. As you pull into the parking lot, a long wall fixed with prayer wheels leads you to the front gate. Stepping inside the monastery grounds, you throw your head back to admire the main building. Embellished with the symbols of Tibetan Buddhist architecture and topped with carved parasols and finials, it rises in receding terraces and pagoda roofs over a vast courtyard.Lingdum Monastery contains a number of chapels.

Nehru Botanical Garden, Gangtok Sikkim

Nehru Botanical Garden

Popular Tourist spot

About Nehru Botanical Garden

Just ahead of the Rumtek Monastery is the Nehru Botanical Garden which has a mix of tropical and temperate plants and trees as well as a big greenhouse of exotic orchids. It’s a good place to stop for a while. For children there is a small playground with swings and a see-saw and a winding footpath is ideal for a stroll.

Tsomgo (Changu) Lake, Gangtok Sikkim

Tsomgo (Changu) Lake

Popular Tourist spot

About Tsomgo (Changu) Lake

38 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft, the ethereally beautiful Tsomgo lake is a must on every visitors itinerary. A winding road through rugged mountain terrain and sharp cliffs takes you to Tsomgo, which means source of the water in Bhutia language. The lake derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake. Of legendary beauty, the lake looks different at different seasons. In winter the placid lake remains frozen with the area around it covered in snow while in late spring the profusion of flowers in bloom adds a riot of colours around the lake.

Baba Mandir, Gangtok Sikkims

Baba Mandir

Popular Tourist spot

About Baba Mandir

Baba Mandir is a distinguished sightseeing place of Sikkim. This “mandir” or shrine is dedicated to “Baba” Harbhajan Singh, who was a soldier of the Indian Army. He died near the Nathula Pass in eastern Sikkim, India. Two shrines have been built to show reverence to Baba Harbhajan Singh. The old one has been built at the site of the bunker, where Baba Harbhajan was posted during his tenure in the Indian Army. The new one has been built at close proximity from Changu Lake.

Nathula Pass, Gangtok Sikkim

Nathula

Popular Tourist spot

About Nathula

Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas in East end of Sikkim. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass, located at elevated alitude 4,310 m (14,140 ft) above mean sea level,forms a part of ancient Silk Road used in older times for trading with China. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan.On the Indian side, the pass is located at a distance 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Only citizens of India can visit the pass,and then only after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.Obtaining a Permit is difficult as it is based on lottery system.For Permit document should be summited prior to the date of travel.Even of so much people are quite fond of visiting Nathula pass.The area is under strict control of Prestigious IndiaN Army so visit is highly disciplined .

Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India; the others are situated in Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) at the trisection point of Uttarakhand–India, Nepal and China.The border is Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements. The opening of the pass shortens the travel distance to important Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the region and was expected to bolster the economy of the region by playing a key role in the growing Sino-Indian trade. However, trade is limited to specific types of goods and to specific days of the week.

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