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Gangtok
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Welcome to Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, India. It is the most wonderful, glorious, picturesque and a very popular hill station located in foothills of the mighty Himalayas. The perfect back view of the Khangchendzonga peak in Gangtok makes it a popular tourist destination.

About Gangtok:

Gangtok is a place which attracts tourists for its mesmerising, wonderful scenic beauty intertwined with all the modern amenities like good accommodation, vibrant night life, good food and perfect weather. It is also a famous Buddhist pilgrimage centre. Though Gangtok is a landslide prone region, the state tourism department has imposed strict rules for the safety of tourists. Nearly half a million travellers visit Gangtok every year.

Many adventure activities like Trekking, River rafting, paragliding mountaineering stand to attract tourists from all over the world. Gangtok is known as one of the cleanest places with litter/smoke-free zone. A perfect view of Gangtok can be had by taking a ride on the bikable zig-back ropeway, a 1 km ride from Deorali to Tashiling Secretariat. As Sikkim is a border state, several restrictions are imposed in view of safety. Hence foreigners other than Bhutanese require special permit to visit Gangtok.

Location:

Gangtok, being the capital city of Sikkim, is located in the Northeastern region of India. Gangtok in Sikkimese language (Bhutia) means “Hilltop”. It is one of the biggest cities in Sikkim and a popular Buddhist pilgrimage centre as many monasteries are located here.

How to Reach:

By Air:

The nearest airport is located in Bagdogra Airport, West Bengal. It is at a distance of 124 kms from Bagdogra. A 35-minute helicopter service is also available from Bagdogra to Gangtok.

By Train:

The railway station at New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri which is 148 km is the closest one to Gangtok.

By Road:

Well connected to all major cities in India.

Food:

Fine restaurants, cafes and good fast food eateries are located on Mahatma Gandhi (MG) road. A variety of veg and non-veg restaurants serve Continental, Chinese, and Indian delicacies.

Shopping:

M.G. Road in Gangtok is famous for shopping Tibetan clothes, expensive paintings, hand carved furniture, shawls, handicrafts, hand loomed carpets etc. Lal bazar is a good bargaining place for gifts and souvenirs.

Cultural Events:

Gangtok food and cultural festival is held in December every year by the Sikkim tourism department to promote tourism. Wide varieties of Sikkim dishes are prepared by the locals and sold at the food stalls. Various singing and dance performances can also be seen.

Accommodation:

  • Summit Nam Nang Courtyard and Spa

  • Gangtok-Delisso Abode, A Sterling Holiday

  • The Elgin Nor-Khill, Gangtok

  • Suhim Portico

  • Saramsa Resort

  • Bamboo Grove Retreat

Nearby Places To Visit:

There are many places to visit around Gangtok. Some of them are:

1. Nathula Pass:

Being one of the highest altitude (14,100 feet) passes located on the Indo China border, it is around 56 kms from Gangtok. Nathula pass forms the connecting link between Sikkim and Tibet autonomous region in China which was earlier known as the ancient silk route that was used for trading purposes. Nathula pass was opened to trade again after 44 years in the year 2006 that was earlier closed by India due to the Indosino war in 1962.This pass is considered as one of the highest motorable roads. The world’s second highest golf course is located in a nearby place called Kupup. Nathula also houses a place called Thegu where the world’s highest altitude ATM is located.This pass is open to public only for five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday. Prior permission has to be taken by visitors. Due to the high altitude visitors have to take care of their health as uneasiness may be caused due to difficulty in breathing. The best time to visit is from May to October.

2. Tsomgo Lake:

A glacial lake, also called as Changu lake is 40 kms from Gangtok. The lake remains completely frozen during winter months. The lake along with the ice covered mountains and the surrounding alpine forests make for very beautiful and marvellous views. On the occasion of Guru Purnima the Jhaksis (faith healers) gather around the lake as its water is known to have good healing qualities.

3. Rumtek Monastery:

Also called as the Dharma chakra centre, it is one of the largest monasteries in Sikkim. It is located 24 kms away from Gangtok. Here 1001 golden Buddha statues were installed; many Buddhist paintings and murals are also seen here.

4. Ganesh Tok View Point:

Ganesh Tok is a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh; in fact it is so small that only one person can crawl into the temple at a time. However, the main thing to be noticed here is its unique location which acts like a viewpoint. Located at an altitude of 6,500 meters above sea level, this place is the observing point for some of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the town below.

5. Kangchandzongo Biosphere Reserve:

This reserve is 45.9 kms from Gangtok. This park has 18 glaciers, 19 mountains and 17 high altitude lakes. Some of the rarest animals and birds like Snow Leopard, Red panda, Tibetan sheep, Musk deer, Bhard, Grey peacock pheasant, Tibetan snow cock, Himalayan snow cock etc. can be seen  in this region.

6. The Thakurbari Temple Or The Ganesh Tok:

Located 6 kms from Gangtok, this temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. One has to climb several steps to reach the temple. There is a very beautiful view point from here, which offers the visitors a very good panoramic view of Gangtok.

7. Hanuman Tok:

Located on the upper reaches of Gangtok, Hanuman Tok is a temple complex dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the mighty Monkey god. This temple was built as the site is considered as the spot where Lord Hanuman rested while carrying the mountain with the “Sanjeevani” herb. It is notable as it is maintained and frequented by the soldiers of the Indian Army.

Gangtok

8. Deorali Orchid Sanctuary:

More than 200 species of magnificent orchids are grown here.April to June is the best time to visit this park as the orchids are in full bloom.

9. Namgyal Institute Of Tibetology:

This institute is world famous for its research in areas of Tibet culture and language. A museum and a library are located in the campus.

10. Tashi View Point:

If you want to experience some of the most breathtaking and awe inspiring views of the Himalayas you must come to Tashi View Point in Gangtok. It is simply a circular viewing point where a maximum of four people can stand at a time. Nevertheless, the spot provides a brilliant panoramic view of the Kanchendzonga Mountain on a clear day.

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