Gangtok is the capital of the Indian state of Sikkim and is situated on the lower slopes of the Himalayan range (Altitude: 1600 meters). Gangtok tourism is based on the natural scenic beauty of the Himalayas and its rich history. Sitting on the lap of the majestic Himalaya, one can find a harmonious blend of diverse culture and religion in Gangtok . The people of Gangtok have a strong bonding with their age-old traditions and customs. Gangtok is the favoured destination for any traveler searching for peace and tranquility.
The best part about travelling in Sikkim is that even while one is travelling one is actually passing through beautiful places. Each place could be the destination for a lovely ethereal holiday.
Beautiful Images of Gangtok
Traveling Around Gangtok
- Khecheopalri Lake: This Lake located at East Sikkim is considered to be one of the most sacred lakes in the city both for Hindus and Buddhists. This lake lies in the rich forest cover and is believed that the birds in the region never allow a single leaf to keep afloat on the water of the lake.
- Menam Hill: This hill situated at an altitude of about 10300 ft gives a wonderful view of the scenic beauty of the Kanchenjunga Hills and its surrounding ranges. On a sunny day, one can even see the plains of Bengal spanning across Kalimpong and Darjeeling Hills in the South.
- Ganesh Tok: This temple of Hindu god Ganesha is situated near the Sikkim Government nursery in East Sikkim and is situated on a small hillock on the Gangtok-Nathula Road.
- Labrang Monastery
Built about 100 years ago is the Labrang Monastery, just 1 km further from Phodong. This monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the same as that of Pemayangtse monastery in West Sikkim. Its name translates simply as the dwelling place of the Lamas (Buddhist monks).
- Pemayangste Monastery
About 6 km from Gyalsing town is the Pemayangtse Monastery. This monastery was originally built as a small temple in the last of 17th century by Latsun Chempo. But, later the temple structure was rebuilt into a monastery. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the state which was established by Lhatsun Chempo, the Lama who is said to have performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal of Sikkim. This Monastery is located at the hill top and gives a wonderful view of the Himalayan ranges and the surrounding hills of the region
- Rumtek Monastery
A 24-km drive from Gangtok, through the beautiful, bewitching countryside leads one to Rumtek. Rumtek, is the seat of the Karmapa Lama who heads the Kagyupa Sect of Buddhism.
- Tasuklakhang – The Royal Chapel
The Royal Chapel, Tsuklakhang, is within the palace grounds. Popularly called Tsulakhang Royal. It is the main place of worship and gathering and the repository of a vast collection of Buddhist scriptures.
- Deer Park
This park is also called the Rustomji Park named after one of the Dewans of the Chogyal of Sikkim. The park has a big open enclosure, sheltering animals like the red panda and the Himalayan Bear. A big statue of Lord Buddha commemorating his preachings of the noble truths in the Deer Park at Sarnath beautifies the park premises. The park commands a spectacular view of the hills, surrounding Gangtok.
- Phurchachu Reshi Hot Springs
About 25 km from Gyalsing, near Reshi, after crossing Rangeet River by a pedestrian bridge is the Phurchachu springs with medicinal properties. These springs are considered holy, as one of the four holy caves is located here. This holy cave is called the “Kadosangphu” or ‘Cave of the occult fairies’ and is located on the south of the four cardinal points.
- Himalayan Zoological Park: This Park exhibits a wide species of Himalayan fauna like the black beer, barking deer, snow leopard, civet cat, red pandas and the spotted deer.
- Nathula: It is a mountain pass situated about 56 km from Gangtok at an altitude of about 14,200 ft and is covered with rich varieties of alpine flora and fauna. It is a calm place to visit and is open only for Indian Nationals.
Excursions from Gangtok
This lake is situated 35 km from Gangtok at an altitude of 12,000 ft on the Gangtok – Nathu-la highway. Its cool, placid water is in the perfect harmony with the scenic beauty around. A small temple of Lord Shiva is constructed on the lakeside. Primulae flowers and other alpine vegetation grow wild around the lake. Cameras are not allowed to carry on this route. A little distance from the lake is a beautiful natural three storeyed cave, the Tseten Tashi cave is a worth to visit.
Menmecho Lake lies 20-km ahead of Changu Lake, cradled between the mountains below Jelapla Pass, is the source of River Ranpochu, which meets Teesta at Rangpo. It is rich in trout. A Dak Bungalow and a tourist lodge are available for overnight stay.
Chungthang is a small habitation in a cup like valley, surrounded on all sides by towering hills. The heavy, cold air remains slumbering in the valley till late morning. It is only when the sun is high up in the horizon and its warm rays pierce deep into the valley that the lazy, cold wind and mist slowly depart. The importance of this place is that it is at the confluence of two valleys and two main rivers of north Sikkim: the Lachung Cho and the Lachen Cho (Teesta).
The Sikkimese believe that guru Padmasabhava had rested in this place and left three footprints for his devotees on a solid piece of rock. The guru also scattered some rice on an adjacent land, where till today, notwithstanding the height and the cold, paddy is grown efforts to replicate this phenomenon in adjacent fields have reportedly failed.
About 17-km away from Gangtok is Kabi Longtsok where the Tibetan chieftain, Khey-Bumsar signed a blood brotherhood with the Lepcha shaman Te-Kung-Tek, the spot is marked by a stone amidst the shadows of a dense wooded area. The statue of unity erected near the Thakurbari temple in Gangtok is in memory of this event.
This monastery is located about a kilometre above the North Sikkim Highway about 40-km away from Gangtok. Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal built the monastery sometime in the first quarter of the 18th century.
Tashi View Point(8Km.)
Situated along the North Sikkim highway it is 8-km from Gangtok. From this point one can get a breathtaking view of Mount Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu, one of the most graceful peaks in the world.
The Ipecac Garden(14Km.)
This 6 acres garden is about 14-km downhill from Gangtok and 2-km from Ranipul. It is named after the plant Ipecac that is grown here. Besides this plant, it also contains a wide variety of other flora including numerous types of orchids and medicinal plants. It is a very good picnic spot with a swimming pool nearby.
Yumthang is a valley at 12,000 ft. Its location is awesome. Snow clad mountains all around looking down on this high valley full of colour. The valley floor is covered with wild, yellow flowers and violet Primulas, while the hill sides are vivid and glowing with multi colored Rhododendrons.
Yumthang Hot Spring (135Km.)
At an altitude of 12,000 ft, 135-km from Gangtok in north Sikkim, a few hundred metres off the road, after crossing river Lachung over a pedestrian bridge lies these Sulphur springs. There is a hut with two pools for bathing.
How To Reach – Gangtok
The closest airport is at Bagdogra, which is 124-km from Gangtok (about 4 hours drive) and connected by air with all-important Indian Metros.
The nearest railhead is at New Jalpaiguri, which is 125-km (about 4 hours drive) from Gangtok. NJP is well connected with all major cities of India.
Gangtok is connected with Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Siliguri by the national highway 31 A. the Sikkim nationalised transport plies regular bus services between Gangtok and Siliguri and within Sikkim. Private buses, jeeps and taxis are also available from Siliguri and Bagdogra.
Best time for Gangtok : March to late May, October to Mid-December makes for the best time to visit Gangtok Sikkim.
Weather Conditions :
Summer : Max- 21°C, Min – 13°C;
Winter : Max -13°C, Min – 0.48°C; Rainfall : 325 cm per annum.
Location : Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim is 148 km from New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, its neighbouring state.