Gangtok, the capital of the Indian state of Sikkim situated at an elevation of 5,500 feet above sea level.With a spectacular view of the Khangchendzonga, the town provides the perfect base for travel through the state. One an important transit point for traders traveling between Tibet and India. MG Marg, the main street of Gangtok town is a great place to chill out. The country's first litter and spit free zone, no vehicular traffic is allowed into the marg. You can sit at the Titanic Park or at the various benches stretched across the mall. The Mall is lined with shops on both sides of the road, so shopping becomes an added pleasure. This is also the venue for the annual Gangtok Food and Culture festival held in December each year when Sikkims multi-cultural cuisine, along with music and dance performances are showcased. This event attracts a large number of locals and tourists each year.
How to Reach Gangtok
By Air - The nearest airport for Sikkim is Bagdogra in North Bengal, take a road journey to connect Sikkim & Darjeeling.
By Train - The nearest railway station is NJP (New Jalpiguri railway station), take a road journey to connect Sikkim & Darjeeling.
Bagdogra - Gangtok - Bagdogra - Can take a helicopter service also (5-seater helicopter) which operates on daily basis and takes approx 35-40 min to reach Gangtok (one way)
Main Citizen of Sikkim - Bhutia, Lepcha & Nepali.
Sate animal: - Red Panda
Sate Bird: Blood Pheasent
Sate Flower: - Dendrobium Nobile (Orchid)
State tree: - Rhododendron
Must try: - Gathuk/Momo/Thukpa or Local cuisine which is easily available in local restaurant
Sightseeing Points In Gangtok
- Tsomgo Lake: -It's about approx -40 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft, the ethereally beautiful Tsomgo lake is a must on every visitor's 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. The lake is associated with many myths and legends and is revered by the Sikkimese as sacred. It is believed that in olden times, Buddhist monks would study the colour of the water of the lake to forecast the future. The lake is also of special significance for the Jhakris [faith healers] of Sikkim who congregate here annually on Guru Purnima, which coincides with the festival of Raksha Bandhan, from all over the state to offer prayers. For the tourist a visit to the lake offers a wonderful outing. Rides on colourfully decorated yaks and mules are offered at the lake site, which also has a variety of eating stalls serving snacks and beverages. Snow boots and gumboots can be hired here.
- Baba mandir: -The temple lies on the road between the Nathula and the Jelepla Pass and is visited by hundreds of people each day. The temple is believed to have wish-fulfilling powers and many devotees leave behind bottles of water at the temple which they pick up on their way back as holy water. On Sundays a 'langar' is run at the temple which provides free meals to the visitors. The legend of Baba goes back 35 years when Sepoy Harbhajan Singh of the 23rd Punjab Regiment went missing while leading a pack of mules from his battalion stationed at Tukla to Deng Dhukla, both remote areas located in East Sikkim. A manhunt was launched and it took the army three days to find his body. It is believed that he himself led the soldiers to the site. Soon after, soldiers in the regiment started reporting that Baba had been appearing in their dreams and directing that a shrine be built in his memory. A Samadhi was raised in his memory and believers say that even today Baba visits every night, puts on his uniform and does his rounds. He is worshipped as a saint who grants boons and guards the lives of soldiers posted along the border. Each year in September Baba takes his annual holiday and travels back to Kapurthala, his hometown. People gather in large numbers and line the route that Baba will take to offer flowers and prayers. A berth on a train is reserved in his name and two orderlies accompany him on the journey. The legend of this Sepoy-Saint grows stronger with each passing day.
- Enchey Monastery: - The monastery was first built in the 1840s by the eighth Chogyal and as a result, Gangtok then a small hamlet became a pilgrimage place. However, the monastery as seen now was aesthetically built in 1909, one of the two in Gangtok, like a Chinese Pagoda,during the rule of Sikyong Tulku( 1909-1910). This monastery meaning the Solitary temple ,was originally built the solace that no other construction would be allowed near it is built on the site blessed by Lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his flying powers.This 200 years old Monastery has in its premises images of god,goddesses and other religious objects. Every year around “CHAAM” or religious masked dance is performed with great fanfare for two days.
- Palace Ridge Park & Flower Show Hall: The flower exhibition complex is situated just below the Ridge Park and adjacent to the White Memorial Hall that draws numerous visitors during the annual flower exhibition. Located not very far from the main town, one can easily walk to the flower exhibition center or take a cab. Here you can find many varieties of Orchids and other flowers most of the year, but best time to visit this place is around April-May (spring season), when the management gathers and showcases fresh varieties of orchids and other flowers from around the state. The climate of Sikkim is exceedingly conducive to cultivate orchids and other variety of flowers. The Government of Sikkim invites participants from the neighboring states also to participate in the annual flower show contest.
- Tashi view point:- Built by the Late King of Sikkim Sir. Tashi Namgyal, it is situated approx 8KM from the Gangtok town from where one can have a clear view of opposite hills, besides Mt. Kanchenjunga . This site offers a breathtaking panorama of the majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt Siniolchu, one of the most graceful peaks in the World & the surrounding hills.
- Ganesh Tok:-It is a very small temple of Ganesh, a God worshipped by Hindus. One can have a beautiful view of Gangtok town, rolling hills and the snow capped mountain including Mt. Kanchenjunga from this
- Hanuman Tok:- Hanuman Tok is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The temple is surrounded by lush green parks and beautiful mountains. From the temple one gets unobstructed views of Kanchenjunga. One can relax on the benches in the parks and soak themselves in the magnificent and religious culture of Sikkim. Later in 1950 the idol of Lord Hanuman was established here. Since then the temple is locally known as the Hanuma Tok. In 1968, the temple was handed over to the Indian Army. Currently, the temple is maintained by the Units of 17 Mountain Division of the Army.
- Namgyal Institute of Tibetology:- The most prestigious of its kind in India - this Buddhist Institute is a treasure trove of vast collection of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, statues and rare Thankas and has over 200 Buddhist icons. Today, it is the renowned worldwide center for study of Buddhist philosophy and religion. Visiting hours: from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (opened throughout the week and govt. holidays - Sunday )
- Cable car: - It's one of the greatest attraction in Gangtok and should not be missed. One can have a great ride to view the Whole Gangtok, the valley and the peaks from far above which is life time experience for a tourist
- Do Dul Chorten:- The Do-Drul Chorten or Stupa was built by the venerable Truslshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism, in 1945. Inside this Stupa, there are complete Mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba around this Chorten, which is one of the most important Stupas in Sikkim, are 108 Mani-lhakor(prayer wheels). These prayer wheels are turned by the devout Buddhist while chanting “hail to the jewel in the lotus”, to invoke Buddhisattva.
- Handloom and Handicrafts:- Instituted with the aim of promoting and keeping alive the state's traditional arts and crafts, the directorate of handicrafts & handloom is a storehouse of hand-woven carpets with traditional motifs, blankets, shawls in Lepcha weaves and exquisitely-carved ‘Choktse’ or table and many other gift items.Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 9.30 a.m. - 12.30 and 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. (Sales Emporium remains open throughout the year) .
- Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre:- About 1hr drive from Gangtok, 24-25 kms. Away, is the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center, the seat of the Kagyu order, one of the 4 major Tibetan Buddhist sects. Since the late 1960,after the arrival of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the centre has a collection of some of the most World's unique religious scriptures and religious rare objects
- Shanti View Point: - A view point through which one can have a beautiful view of Gangtok Township at the opposite mountain.
- Ranka Monastery or Lingdum Monastery: - It is located approx 25km away from Gangtok & it's one of the most wonderful monasteries in East Sikkim. The monastery follows the Zurmang Kagyud lineage of Buddhism and under the direction of the 12th successor of the lineage Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche. It's surrounded by forested mountains in all sides
- Ban Jhakri Falls :- Its new sightseeing destination for tourist .The main attraction of the park is the waterfalls which cascades from a rocky height of almost 40 feet and plunges down with intense force. Around the waterfalls gardens have been beautifully landscaped and the place is further adorned with several statues of Ban Jhakri, Lyam Lymay, Mangpas and Lepcha ancestors. Other recreational activities and refreshment stalls are also placed at the entrance of the park Ban literally means forest or jungle, and Jhakri means traditional healer. A Ban Jhakri is a mythical man, who exists only in folktales within the Nepali Community in Sikkim. Local people believe that Ban Jhakri dwells in the forest and live in rock caves worshiping sprits. The ethnic communities of Sikkim still believe in such mysteries as it is part of their tradition and culture. All along the park you will witness ethnic sculptures and figurines depicting jhakri culture. The figurines in the park illustrates rituals, some healing ceremonies and others the induction process in the life of a shaman. Other recreational activities and refreshment stalls are also placed at the entrance of the park.
- Khanchendzonga Tourist Center:-The Khangchendzonga Tourist Complex, popularly known as KTC Ranka, is a one-stop solution for myriad needs of both tourists and travellers. KTC Ranka is also home to an amusement park that has become the fancy of both locals and cross-border tourists. With a simulator, a laser show-cum-musical fountain, a water chute and many such heady rides, the park is the cynosure of all eyes. Timings: 0930 hours to 1900 hours.
- Cave Café :- This unique café, truly KTC Ranka's crowning glory, has been designed and created inside an artificial cave that is often mistaken by visitors as a natural stone formation. The theme restaurant in the café is a virtual jungle safari, with near-real flora and fauna surrounding you as you tuck into some of India's finest cuisines - prepared by select chefs and served with a smile. Beneath the café is the Mushroom Bar, which is once again an extension of the jungle theme. For the thirsty guest, this bar is just the right place to unwind. A gourmand's delight, the Cave Café will undoubtedly leave you comfortably numb with an unforgettable experience in fine-dining.
- Bakthang Water Falls: - Excellent wide water streams fall on a canopy of trees. The fall is located close to Tashi View point by the roadside and also offers great views all around.
- Himalayan Zoological Park: - Himalayan Zoological Park is certainly a place for wildlife lovers in Sikkim. The Park has been established, to preserve the wildlife, without disturbing the creatures and keeping them in their natural habitat. Located in Bulbuley, Himalayan Zoological Park is at a distance of 3 km from Gangtok. At an altitude of 1,780 mtrs, the Zoological Park also tenders a splendid view of Mt. Khangchendzonga. This Park sprawls in an area of 205 hectares in the mountainous terrain. The Park houses a variety of fauna species found in the Himalayas. Some of them are Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Himalayan Red Panda, Snow Leopard Cat, Goral, Himalayan Palm Civet, Himalayan Black Bear and Crimson-Horned Pheasant.
- Gonjang Monastery: - Gonjang Monastery near Tashi View Point was established in the year 1981. The founder is H.E. Tingkye Gonjang Rimpoche. He was recognised as an incarnation of Yolmo Terton Ngakchang Shakya Zangpo, a 15th century Nyingmapa Terton. The monastery follows Jangter tradition of Nyingmapa school of Tibeten Buddhism.
- Kanchenjunga Shopping Complex: - Local Market of Gangtok, one can take a stroll around and do shopping at your own which is just below MG Marg. One stop for all goods.