Gangtok, the heartland of the mystical Sikkim is one of the favourite destinations in the north-eastern India. Once you are here, you will feel that you are in a different place altogether. Neat and clean, the city is as peaceful as you want it to be and as beautiful as your heart wants to see.
So once you are at Gangtok, there are loads of things that will simply make you fall in love with this hilly capital of Sikkim. We have collated the best of them for your next trip to Gangtok.
How to reach Gangtok:
Like Darjeeling, you can reach Gangtok from Siliguri or NJP. Bagdogra is the nearest airport and NJP is the nearest railhead. You can take a hired car from NJP or Siliguri. Numerous shared jeeps are also available for Gangtok. Buses are also available from Siliguri Bus stand, but jeeps are more comfortable.
Best Time to Visit:
The Best time is the summers when the weather will be cool. Winters are quite cold here. It is best to avoid monsoons in Sikkim.
Some wonderful things to do at Gangtok
1. Take a stroll along the M G Marg
The M G Marg is the heart of Gangtok and is literally so. It is a pleasant walking street with no vehicles, rowdy traffic or garbage. There are numerous shops and food joints on either side of the M G Marg and seats in the between. Once you visit M G Marg, you will simply realise that you are in a different place, it might feel that you are not in any Indian crowded city.
2. Go for Monastery hopping
Sikkim is the home to many beautiful monasteries and Gangtok has a fair share of them. The most famous one is the Rumtek monastery that was built in the 16th century. These monasteries are the centre of Tibetan learning and are also the bearer of the age-old Tibetan tradition and culture.
Also visit the Enchey Monastery and Ranka Monastery. In fact, rent a car for the day and visit the monasteries and other places of attractions in Gangtok.
3. Paragliding in Gangtok
The thrill of getting an aerial view of Gangtok city as well as some Himalayan peaks are simply inviting. Go for a paragliding trip at Gangtok. There are two types of paragliding trips offered in Gangtok – Medium fly and High Fly. You do not require any special training for these trips as you will be accompanied by a trained pilot. Baliman Dara near Gangtok is the takeoff location for the medium Fly. The flying time is 5-10 minutes. Landing takes place at a stadium field at Reshithang Sports Village. For the High Fly, the takeoff location is Bubbuley Dara and the altitude from where you take off is almost 2200 meters.
So if you want to get an adrenaline rush, definitely go for paragliding.
4. Take a yak ride at the Tsogmo Lake and visit the Nathula Pass
While in Gangtok, spare one day to visit the Tsogmo lake (also called Changu Lake) amidst the snow-capped mountains. Here you will find the friendly yaks ready to pose a picture with you. And if you want, also take a ride on the yaks.
After your visit to the Tsogmo Lake, drive further to visit the Nathula Pass on the Indo-Chinese border.
5. Take the ropeway ride to get a bird’s eye view of the Gangtok city
If you are at Gangtok, do not miss the ropeway ride. It starts from Deorali and covers a kilometer of zig-zag way to Tashiling. You will get a magnificent view of the city.
6. Attend the International Flower Festival at Gangtok
If you love colours, visit Gangtok during the month of May when the whole city is blooming with colourful flowers. The city simply gets adorned by beautiful flowers and orchids and attracts visitors from all over the globe. The flower show is held throughout the month of May and is same this year too.
7. Experience the gastronomical delights of Sikkim
Gangtok is a place for the foodies. You will get various Tibetan and Sikkimese cuisines. Also, the simple street food like momos, thukpa are yummy. A few famous restaurants of the city are Taste of Tibet, Café Culture, Green Tara restaurant, Gangtalk among so many others.
8. Go for sight-seeing
Rent a car and go for a sight-seeing trip. You will visit the monasteries, Dro Dul Chorten, Ban Jhakri Energy Park, Tashi Viewpoint, Hanuman Tok high up on the hill and other places of interest. It will definitely be a day well spent.
9. Explore Sikkim
Gangtok is the centre of Sikkim. If you want to explore North Sikkim (Lachen, Lachung and Gurudongmar Lake), you have to start from Gangtok. Plan a trip to visit the exotic Northern Sikkim.
Also visit Pelling, Geyzingand Pemayangtse on West Sikkim to get marvellous views of the Kanchenjunga ranges.
Enjoy your stay at Gangtok and explore Sikkim. It is a wonderful state and is a treasure trove for travellers and tourists alike.
If you have any questions regarding your plan to Sikkim, just feel free to contact us.