Gangtok

Gangtok is the capital and largest town of the Indian State of Sikkim. Gangtok is popular place with tourists heading on treks. Gangtok would be easily one of the cleanest cities you would ever come across, highly organized and beautifully maintained; it is the Switzerland of the east.

Weather

The best time to visit Gangtok is from April to June when the climate ranges from 20-27 degrees. During June to September, the climate is mystic. There can be fog and rainfall at this time of the year; though September and October can be mild and pleasant.

How to Reach

Gangtok is not directly connected by train or air transport. The nearest air head is Bagdogra about 40 mins from Siliguri. While Guwahati is better connected to rest of the country but is about 550 km away. One needs to take an overnight train to New Jalpaiguri and from there private cabs could be hired to reach Sikkim.

The nearest rail head is New Jalpaiguri which is well connected to the rest of the country as most of the trains originating from Guwahati pass through New Jalpaiguri.

Key attractions/Sightseeing

The beautiful Gangtok has many popular sightseeing options.

Enchey Monastery: is on a hill and is revered by devotees, who believe that the two deities who protect Gangtok-Khangchendzonga and Yabdean reside there.

Ganesh Tok: is a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. One can catch a bird’s eye view of the city from here and get an opportunity to plant saplings in memory of their loved ones at the Smriti Van, next to the temple.

The Tashi Viewpoint: offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and is a great place for photography.

Do Drul Chorten: is the biggest and most important Buddhist stupa in Sikkim.

Chettiar Park: on the way to Kurinji Temple is another beautiful park that’s quieter than the centrally-located Byrant Park.

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT): houses a museum, which reportedly holds the largest collection of Tibetan works outside Tibet. It displays beautiful Tibetan iconography and art.

Banjhankari Falls: is known for healing sick people using natural products and herbs.

Deer Park: also called the Rustomji Park, has a big open enclosure in which animals native to Sikkim like the Red Panda and the Himalayan Bear are kept.

Rumtek Monastery is the largest monastery in Sikkim.

Namchi: is a very well-known trekking destination and is equally popular among tourists and pilgrims.

Samdruptse Hill: (meaning ‘Wish-fulfillment Hill’ in Bhutia), is popular among tourists for its spectacular view of the hills and the surrounding valleys.

Rock Garden: is an ideal picnic spot which offers serene atmosphere and a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.

Temi Tea Estate: is the only tea estate in Sikkim. Its tea is highly priced for its rich aroma and state.

Maenam Hill: is popular amongst trekkers and tourists alike, who come here to take in the majestic view of the Himalayas on one side, and the plains of Bengal on the other.

West Sikkim – Geyzing/Pelling: is an idyllic hamlet nestled in the Himalayas that offers great views of the Kanchenjunga range.

Pemayangtse Monastery: is considered unique, considering that it houses theta-sang lamas or the “pure monks”.

Rabdantse Ruined Palace: is famous for the ruins of Sikkim’s erstwhile king’s abode.

Khecheopalri Lake: is famous for its water, which appears supernaturally placid.

The Kanchenjunga Falls: is yet another attraction where one finds several magnificent waterfalls vying for visitors’ attention.

Ravangla: is fast growing in popularity; the main draws of the place are the richness of its natural beauty and some of the most beautiful views of the Himalayan peaks such as Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Siniolchu, Mt. Kabru, etc. Singshore Bridge, regarded as an engineering feat, has the distinction of being the highest bridge in Sikkim.

Chhangay Twin Falls: appear on the way to Uttarey from Pelling and add to the verdant beauty of Sikkim.

Kabi Longstop: is a small-town famous for adding an important facet to Sikkim’s history.

Seven Sisters Falls: is located around 32 km from Gangtok and one can see seven different waterfalls next to each other, especially during the monsoon season.

Singhik View Point: is a popular stopover for tourists because of its breath-taking natural beauty. Chungthang is a small village located around 100 km from Gangtok. The village reputedly has a rock on which Guru Rinpoche meditated.

Yumthang Valley: is famous as Valley of Flowers. Yumesamdong offers floral beauty, but what makes it unique is its natural hot springs, which contrasts strikingly with the freezing temperatures of the place. The hot springs, however, attract tourists because their waters are believed to have healing properties, especially for skin diseases.

Lake Tsongmo: is a scenic glacial lake and one can see it on the way to the Nathu La Pass, as the Chinese border crossing is only some 5 km away; it is about 18 km away by road. Baba Mandir is located around 10 km from Lake Tsongmo.

Sikkim is famous for its fruit processing and tea aside from the local handicraft. Passion fruit Squash, Alpine Cheese, Temi Tea and Maha Gurudev Tea are some of the local products.

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