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About Gangtok

Ideal Trip Duration: 2 Full Days

Base Station: Gangtok

Nearest City to Gangtok: Gangtok, Guwahati (543 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Gangtok: February to May & September to November

Peak Season: March to May

State: Sikkim | District: East Sikkim

Gangtok Weather: Summer: Maximum - 20°C and Minimum - 2°C
Winter: Maximum - 13°C and Minimum - -17°C

At a distance of 78 km from Kalimpong, 96 km from Darjeeling, 115 km from Pelling, 117 km from Siliguri, 403 km from Darbhanga, 496 km from Muzzafarpur, 543 km from Guwahati, and 670 km from Kolkata, Gangtok is a fascinating hill town and the capital of north-eastern state of Sikkim, India. Known for its cleanliness and breathtaking beauty, it is one of the popular places to visit in Sikkim and among the most picturesque hill stations in India.

Situated at an altitude of 5410 feet, Gangtok is the largest city and the main business and tourist hub of Sikkim. The name meaning hill-top, Gangtok is known for its scenic beauty and striking views of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. It is also known as the land of monasteries, as it has maximum number of monasteries in the world. Located right in the middle of the Himalayan range and having mild temperate climate year-round, Gangtok is the most important center for Sikkim Tourism.

According to history, Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840 CE. In 1894, the ruling Sikkimese Chogyal, Thutob Namgyal, transferred the capital from Tumlong to Gangtok, increasing the city's importance. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Tibet and India. After India's independence in 1947, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy, with Gangtok as its capital. After the integration with the union of India in 1975, Gangtok was made India's 22nd state capital.

A Himalayan wonderland, Gangtok is bestowed with unparalleled natural beauty, variety of vegetation, undisturbed valleys, peaceful environment and rich cultural heritage. Enchey Monastery, Ganesh Tok, Do Drul Chorten Stupa, Rumtek Monastery, Tsomgo Lake, Ban Jhakri falls, Nathula Pass, Pemayangtse Monastery, Deorali Orchid Sanctuary, Yumthang Valley, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Gardens, Gonjang Monastery, and Ranka Monastery are the top places to visit in Gangtok. MG Road, the main street of Gangtok is a great place to chill out throughout the day and is the main shopping area of Gangtok. This place is also the venue for the annual Gangtok Food and Culture festival held in December every year.

Festivals are an integral part of Gangtok being the capital of Sikkim has kept the culture and tradition intact. The vibrancy of these festivals is so beautiful that it will leave a lifetime impression on your mind. Saga Dawa, Phang Lhabsol, Dashain, Flower Festival, Gangtok Food and Culture Festival, Diwali, Losar and Makar Sankranti are the popular festivals celebrated in Gangtok with great pomp and fervor.

The nearest airport to Gangtok is Bagdogra International Airport, which is about 125 km from Gangtok. It has direct flights from Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. Also, there are daily helicopter services from Bagdogra operated by Sikkim Tourism development Corporation and it will take only 35 minutes to reach Gangtok. New Jalpaiguri is the nearest rail head and has trains from Patna, New Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Howrah, Bangalore, Dibrugarh, Puri, Gaya, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Amritsar, Chennai, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Bhubaneshwar, Cochin and Agartala. Gangtok SNT Bus Station is well connected by bus with Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Siliguri. From these places, one can take shared jeeps and taxis to reach Gangtok.

The best time to visit Gangtok is from March to May and September to November with cool weather and can enjoy the sightseeing. Better to avoid visiting Gangtok in monsoon season when there could be heavy landslides.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Good
STD Code: 03592
Languages Spoken: Nepali, English, Hindi, Bhutia or Sikkimese, Tibe
Major Festivals: Saga Dawa, Phang Lhabsol, Flower Festival, Losar and Makar Sankranti
Notes/Tips:
Foreign nationals (except Bhutanese) require an Inner-Line Permit to visit Gangtok.

How to Reach Gangtok

By Air

Nearest Airport: Siliguri - Bagdogra Airport (125 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Siliguri (120 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Gangtok SNT Bus Station (0 Kms)

Top 11 Places to Visit in Gangtok

Waterfall

#3 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 7 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Banjhakri Waterfalls is a scenic waterfalls located inside a landscaped park in Gangtok. Situated near Ranka Monastery, it is one of the most visited tourist places in Gangtok and among the best waterfalls in Sikkim.

Banjhakri Waterfall is a natural waterfall cascades down from a height of about 70 feet. The lush green surroundings of the waterfalls make it more beautiful and alluring. The word 'Banjhakri' means woodland shaman. According to legend, the ethnic tribes of Sikkim have a lot of faith in their local occults called Jhakris who have healing and magical powers and can influence the spirits to bring about good and evil.

Spread over an area of 2 acres, Banjhakri Energy Park has been built near the falls. Also known as Energy Park, the gardens have been beautifully landscaped around the waterfalls and the place is further adorned with several statues of Banjhakri, Lyam Lymay, Mangpas and Lepcha ancestors. The star attraction .....

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Pilgrimage

#6 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 3 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Enchey Monastery is an ancient Buddhist Monastery situated in Gangtok, Sikkim. Located on Gangtok - Nathula road, it is one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in Sikkim and among the best places to visit in Gangtok.

The literal meaning of Enchey Monastery is the 'Solitary Monastery'. The monastery is also an important seat of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. More than 200 years ago, this was the site of Lama Dhrupthob Karpo, a tantric master who was known for his flying powers. Initially, a small Gompa was established by him after he flew from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim to this site in 1840 CE. Later, it was rebuilt in 1908 CE by the 10th King of Sikkim, Sikyong Tulku.

The monastery is considered sacred as it is believed that the protecting deities, Khangchendzonga and Yabdean reside in this monastery. According to a legend, the spirits of the Khangchendzonga, Yabdean and Mahakala are subdued by Guru Padmasambhava .....

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Pilgrimage

#8 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 8 km from Banjhakri Falls and 16 km from Gangtok, Ranka Monastery is a Buddhist monastery situated at Ranka near Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. Also known as Lingdum Monastery, it is one of the most popular monasteries in Sikkim and among the must visit places in Gangtok.

Built in 1998 CE, the Ranka Monastery is the seat of Zurmang Charwang Rinpoche. The present Rinpoche is the 12th successive incarnation of this lineage. It is interesting to note that the monastery is mainly run by young monks. Since it is relatively quite a new monastery and does not provide a lot of historical or strategic significance such as Rumtek Monastery. However, the beauty of the monastery has attracted a lot of film makers.

Built in the typical form of Tibetan architecture, the monastery is spread out in a vast area with great scenic views. A huge gold plated Buddha statue sits in the lotus position inside the sanctum. There are low tables lying in rows inside the sanctum .....

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Nature

#11 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 8 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Tashi View Point is located at Tashi in Gangtok. Situated near Ganesh Tok, it is one of the stunning viewpoints in Gangtok and among the top places to visit in Gangtok.

Tashi View Point was built by the King of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal, who ruled Sikkim between 1914 and 1963. The circular shaped platform with railings has been built so that the visitor could view 360-degree perspective of the entire region. It is now developed and maintained by the tourism department. This point is mostly known for offering some of the best sunrise and sunset views.

This is an ideal place for nature lovers as it offers great views of the imposing Himalayan Mountains, specifically Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Siniolchu. The Phodong Monastery and the Labrang Monastery are also easily visible from here. Most of tourist visits the place during early morning to witness the beautiful sunrise and the dramatic play of lights over the mountains and hills. .....

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Park

#13 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 500 m from Rumtek Monastery and 21 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is a public garden located in Gangtok. Situated close to Rumtek Monastery, it is one of the most famous tourist places to visit in Gangtok.

Established in the year 1987, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is a well maintained lush green expanse of land with astounding beauty. The garden is maintained and managed by the Parks and Garden Units of the Forest Department of the Government of Sikkim. The garden houses rare flowers, plants and trees including Orchids of Himalayan region. It also has dense temperate forests of Oak and a beautiful lake.

There are more than 50 different varieties of tree species located inside this garden. Owing to the variance in altitude ranging between 1,800 m and 2,200 m, the park has a wide assortment of plants and animals. The garden also has a greenhouse, where different types of orchids are grown. With the intention of merriment .....

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Miscellaneous

#18 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 1 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, the Flower Festival is an international event held at the Flower Exhibition Centre near White Hall Complex in Gangtok. It is considered as among the popular flower shows in India and also the biggest flower show in Gangtok.

The International Flower Show is a month long festival held every year during summer. This festival is held during the peak flowering season in Sikkim and attracts tourists from all over India. The land of mystic grandeur, Sikkim has thousands of indigenous varieties of flora which include around 600 species of orchids, 240 species of trees and ferns, 150 varieties of gladioli, 46 types of rhododendrons along with a variety of magnolias and many other foliage plants.

The Sikkim government organizes this flower show cum exhibition every year. The state government invites participants from more than 12 countries to the show and related events which seek to promote Sikkim's natural wealth of horticulture produce, .....

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Backwaters | Pilgrimage

#29 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 17 km from Nathula Pass and 38 km from Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake or Tsongmo Lake is a glacial lake located in the East Sikkim district of Sikkim. Also known as Changu Lake, it is one of the top places to visit in Gangtok and among the beautiful lakes in Himalayas.

Located at an altitude of 3,753 m, Tsongmo Lake is one of the few and awesome high altitude lakes in India. In Bhutia language Tsomgo means 'Source of the Lake'. The lake gets its water from the melting snow on the surrounding mountains. The lake is formed in an oval shape and has a surface area of 60 acres. The maximum length of the lake is 1 km and an average depth of the lake is 15 m. The River Lungtze Chu originates from this lake and further falls into Rangpo-chu.

Highly revered by the Buddhists and Hindus, the lake surface reflects different colors with change of seasons. According to the history, the colour of water of this lake was studied by Lamas so as to forecast about the future. They believed, .....

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Pilgrimage

#30 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 22 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Rumtek Monastery is a beautiful Buddhist gompa situated near Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. Also called as Dharma Chakra Centre, it is one of the largest monasteries in Sikkim and among the best places to visit in Gangtok.

The Monastery was originally built in mid-17th century under the supervision of Changchub Dorje, the 12th Karmapa Lama. Perched on a hill overlooking Gangtok, Rumtek Monastery is the seat of the Karmapa Lama, the third highest monk in Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery belongs to the Kargyu sect of Buddhism originated during the 12th century CE in Tibet. With the generosity and help of the Sikkim royal family and the local folks of Sikkim, the monastery was rebuilt by the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje and named as Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center in 1966.

The shrine was established with a reason to spread the teachings of the Buddha throughout the world. The architecture of the monastery is one of the .....

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Nature | Pilgrimage

#31 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 9 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Hanuman Tok is a Hindu temple located atop a hill in Gangtok, the capital of the Indian state of Sikkim. Situated off from the Gangtok-Nathula Highway, it is one of the religious places to visit in Gangtok and among the top places of Pilgrimage in Sikkim.

Situated at an altitude of 7200 feet, the temple is dedicated to lord Hanuman, god of good health and strength. According to the legend, Lord Hanuman rested at this place while carrying Sanjeevani Parvat from the Himalayas to save Rama's brother Lakshmana. The idol of Lord Hanuman was erected here in 1950 when an officer named Appaji Pant had a divine dream at this location. Now, the temple was maintained and preserved by the Units of 17 Mountain Division of the Army.

The temple is divided into three sections- the main temple, old temple and the circular temple. A hint of Tibetan style of architecture is witnessed here. The main temple has a long hall which is painted in .....

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Museum

#33 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 3 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a Tibetan institute & museum located in Deorali area of Gangtok. Situated near Do Drul Chorten Stupa, it is one of the must visit places in Gangtok.

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is an important Tibetan institute that promotes and carries on researches in the field of Tibetan language, art, religion and its culture. The foundation stone was laid by 14th Dalai Lama in 1957 and inaugurated by Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1958. The land of the institute was donated by the late King of Sikkim Tashi Namgyal and hence the name Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.

The institute building boasts of traditional Tibetan architecture and remains as one of the finest traditional Tibetan designs in the world. It rises majestically with its tall golden towers, attractive murals and colourful frescos amidst the breathtaking natural scenery. It also has a museum, a library with rich collections .....

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Pilgrimage

#34 of 34 Places to Visit in Gangtok

At a distance of 3 km from Gangtok SNT Bus Station, Do Drul Chorten is a Buddhist stupa situated in Gangtok, Sikkim. Situated adjacent to Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, it is one of the most magnificent and the biggest stupas in Gangtok and among the top places to experience Gangtok Tourism.

Do Drul Chorten Stupa was built by Trulshik Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945 CE. According to legend, it is believed that this entire place was once haunted by evil spirits and many people who wandered around this place became victims and died. Later, Trulshik Rinpoche came to this place for hermitage and built this popular stupa to drive away the spirits.

Popularly known as Phurba, the white Chorten Stupa is marked by a golden top dome and can be seen from various places in Gangtok. The deity enshrined on top of the stupa is known as Dorjee Phurpa or Vajra Kilaya. The Chorten is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang, where there are two huge statues of Guru Rinpoche .....

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