Gangtok: A Pocket Guide to a Peaceful Vacation
Gangtok is the capital city of Sikkim, India. Nestled amid the Himalayan mountains, Gangtok is a hidden gem that offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This pocket-sized city has a lot to offer visitors: breathtaking views of Mt Kanchenjunga, forests teeming with wildlife, alpine lakes and waterfalls, and ancient monasteries.
This peaceful town is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate, with its stunning natural scenery, friendly locals, and varied selection of things to do. Whether you’re looking to go on adventurous hikes, explore ancient temples, or simply take in the incredible views, Gangtok has something for everyone. But with so much to do and see in Gangtok, this pocket Gangtok travel guide will help you get your way around and get the best experience for your vacation.
Places To Visit in Gangtok
Despite being a small town with only 19.2 kilometres of square area, Gangtok hosts several scenic and widely visited destinations in India. Here’s a list of 10 places to visit as you plan your peaceful vacation in the city.
Nathula Pass is an open, high mountain pass that connects India and China. It is located in the Himalayan Mountains and is one of the highest mountain passes in the world. The pass is an important trade route between the two countries and has been used for centuries.
The pass has scenic beauty and offers stunning views of the Himalayan Mountains. The snowcapped mountains, green valleys, and rushing rivers make for a breathtaking experience. Due to the high altitude, the temperature at Nathula Pass is usually frigid, making it an excellent spot, especially during summer.
Located at the heart of Gangtok, the 11 km MG road is the central hub for shopping and businesses in the city. The road is flanked on both sides by shops, hotels, and restaurants. The area is a litter-free zone and only allows pedestrians, making it a popular shopping destination for tourists.
MG road Gangtok is known for its scenic beauty, temples, friendly people, and delicious food. It is popular to see tourists taking a stroll on this freeway or sitting on benches at various spots, absorbing the beauty. The MG Road is also the annual Gangtok Food and Culture Festival destination.
Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial Temple
Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial Temple is a temple dedicated to the memory of Baba Harbhajan Singh, a soldier in the Indian Army who is said to have died while guarding the Indo-China border. Baba Harbhajan Singh is believed to have miraculous powers and is said to protect the soldiers who serve at the border.
The temple is situated at an altitude of 13,000 feet in the Himalayan mountains and is a place of pilgrimage for many Indians. Every year, hundreds of people visit the temple to pay their respects to Baba Harbhajan Singh and to receive his blessings. Many also go to enjoy the beautiful scenery and calming temple atmosphere.
Tsomgo Lake is a popular tourist destination and is especially well-known for its unique beauty. The glacial lake is fed by melting snow from the surrounding mountains and is a water source for the Teesta River. The surrounding mountains and forests add to the beauty of the lake and make it a perfect place to enjoy nature.
Rumtek Monastery is one of the largest and most important monasteries of the Karma Kagyu tradition and serves as the seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage. The monastery was founded in the 16th century by the 9th Karmapa, Wangchuk Dorje, and has been the site of many important events in Tibetan history.
Today, Rumtek Monastery is home to over 600 monks and a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims worldwide. The calming aura around the temple and picturesque view of the surrounding mountains also spices up the experience at the temple, making it a must-visit for Gangtok tourists.
Tashi View Point
Tashi View Point is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Gangtok. Located northwest of the country, Tashi View Point offers stunning views of the Himalayan mountains. Visitors can also see the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park from here.
Tashi View Point is great to experience Sikkim’s capital city’s natural beauty and taste the country’s Buddhist culture. If you’re planning a trip to Gangtok, be sure to add Tashi View Point to your list of places to see.
Himalayan Zoological Park
The Himalayan Zoological Park is home to some of the world’s most exotic and endangered animals. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the park is spread across an area of 600 acres and is home to over 200 species of animals.
Some of the park’s highlights include the snow leopard, the red panda, the Asiatic black bear, and the Himalayan musk deer. Visitors can also see various birds, such as the Himalayan monal, the Tibetan eared pheasant, and the rufous-necked hornbill. The park also has a Museum of Natural History, which houses a collection of rare and endangered animals.
The Gangtok Ropeway is a popular tourist attraction in the city of Gangtok, India. The ropeway carries passengers from one end of the town to the other, providing stunning views of the Himalayan mountains. The ropeway is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get around Gangtok and is also one of the most scenic.
Flower Exhibition Centre
The Flower Exhibition Centre is a world-renowned centre for displaying and selling flowers. Located in the heart of the city, the centre is home to a wide variety of flowers from all over the world. Visitors can admire the beauty of the flowers on display and purchase them for their homes or gardens.
The centre also hosts various events throughout the year, including flower shows, workshops, and educational seminars. From unique arrangements to classic bouquets, the experience at the Flower Exhibition Centre helps you resonate with nature and spice your peaceful vacation.
Things To Do in Gangtok
Besides visiting various tourist attractions centres in Gangtok, you can do several other activities in the city to make your stay worthwhile.
- Attend Festivals and Fairs. Gangtok is known for its festivals and fairs. Some of the most popular festivals in Gangtok include the Losar Festival, Sikkim Mahotsav, and the Gangtok Festival. These festivals are a great way to experience local culture and meet new people.
- Join a Pilgrimage to a Temple. With over 200 monasteries and temples, Gangtok has been nicknamed the land of monasteries. Visitors looking to take a break from the city can visit the temples to observe their worship and explore the historical artifacts.
- Go on a Sports Adventure. Mountain biking is an increasingly popular activity in Gangtok, and for a good reason. The city is surrounded by large and scenic mountains, excellent for mountaineering, mountain biking, and trekking. Visitors may also take a ropeway cable, paragliding, and skydiving rides to capture the bird view of Gangtok’s beautiful terrains. If you want detailed information about Paragliding, check out our article about Best Places For Paragliding in Sikkim
- Explore the Beauty of Plant Life. Gangtok is home to several gardens and plant reserves. Some popular sites are the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, Saramsa Garden, and the Flower Exhibition Centre. Trekking through the greenery is an excellent way to connect to nature and enjoy a peaceful vacation.
- Visit the Local Market. One of the best ways to experience the culture of a new place is to visit the local market. And when it’s a peaceful city you visit, the experience is heightened. There are several markets to choose from, each with its specialties. Lal Bazaar is the main market in Gangtok, where you’ll find everything from fresh produce to clothes to electronics. In contrast, the Tibetan market is known for Tibetan souvenirs and handicrafts.
- Unravel the Night-Life of the Gangtok City. Gangtok is a pulsing city, with clubs that operate throughout the day and shops operating all night long. The joy of your life beneath the stars is an unforgettable experience, and if you go to Gangtok, do not forget to enjoy the last midnight hours you will feel blissfully happy due to the spectacular and lively nightlife in this city.
Check out our article about How to Plan a Romantic Vacation in Gangtok?
Navigating with the Gangtok Travel Guide
When planning a trip to Gangtok, navigating with a Gangtok travel guide will help you make the best reservations and prepare for the peaceful experience you desire. This Gangtok travel guide provides vital information you need to know about settling in and getting around the city.
How to Get to Gangtok
Although several travel agents help people get in and settle quickly in Gangtok, tourists may also decide to go on their own. To do that:
- You can take a bus, taxi, or shared jeep from Siliguri, and the journey takes around 5-6 hours.
- You can also fly into Bagdogra airport and take a taxi from there, which will take around 3 hours.
- You may also take the train.
Cabs and buses are the quickest for getting around in Gangtok. You may take public transportation or prefer to hire a private taxi to take you around the city.
Where to Stay at Gangtok
When planning a Gangtok vacation, one of the most important decisions you will make is where to stay. Whether you’re looking for luxury accommodation or budget options, the city has plenty of hotels, resorts, and guest houses.
One of the most important decisions you will make when choosing a hotel is its location. You will want to pick a centrally located hotel, so you can easily walk to all of the city’s major attractions. You also want to pick a place far from the crowded areas to truly get a peaceful experience during the vacation.
What is There to Eat at Gangtok
There are varieties of cuisines to choose from, including they reflect the diversity of Sikkim’s recipes and the richness of core Indian dishes. Some popular dishes include:
- Chhurpi ningro curry
- Sha Paley
- Sel Roti
Gangtok is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. Whether you are looking to experience the peace of nature or just a break from the buzzy lifestyle typical of several elite cities, Gangtok has numerous sites to help you connect well with nature. From the serene lakes of Tsongmo and Gyutche to the sacred temples of Enchey and Dodrul Chorten, there are plenty of places to explore on a peaceful vacation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to visit Gangtok?
The best time to visit Gangtok depends on what you want to do while in town. If you’re looking to enjoy the town’s many outdoor activities, the best time to come is during the summer, from June to August. The weather is warm and sunny, perfect for hikes and treks through the nearby mountains.
What are the best pilgrimage sites in Gangtok?
There are many beautiful and sacred pilgrimage sites located throughout Gangtok. From the serene lakes of Tsongmo and Gyutche to the sacred temples of Enchey and Dodrul Chorten, there are plenty of places to explore on a religious journey. Some of the best pilgrimage sites in Gangtok include the Enchey Monastery, the Do-Drul Chorten, and the Rumtek Monastery.