Gangtok is the capital of the mountainous Northern Indian state of Sikkim. Established as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the 1840’s, the city became capital of an independent monarchy after British rule ended, but joined India in 1975. Today, it remains a Tibetan Buddhist center and a base for hikers organizing permits and transport for treks through Sikkim’s Himalayan mountain ranges. Sikkim Tour or Gangtok Tour organized by Himalayan Destination can make your vacation memorable one, as we are specialist in this sector and we operate hotels The Sunrise Residency at Gangtok. Himalayan Destination is one of the best Gangtok tour and travel operator. Himalayan Destination is one of the best tour and travel operator, who organize Gangtok Tour.
MG Road / MG Marg is the heart of Gangtok and its most happening place. It is the central shopping hub of this beautiful state capital with various Shops, Restaurants and Hotels lined up along both sides. MG Road is an open Mall or Boulevard Square which is widely regarded to be the town center and is the best shopping destination for tourists. This is a great place to take a leisurely stroll or just sit on the benches and revel in the eclectic ambiance.
The first thing one notices when on this approximately 1 km stretch of road is the cleanliness. There are boards everywhere which say “Welcome to M.G. Marg, Spit, and Litter Free Zone“. The entire area is free of smoke, litter, and vehicular traffic. It’s a pedestrian-only zone, and vehicles are not allowed. The buildings on both sides of MG Road in Gangtok are painted green in line with the government’s green initiative. This place is also famous for the Gangtok Food and Culture Festival which is an extravaganza held in December every year and thronged by connoisseurs from all over.
The Statue of Unity overlooks MG Road which comprises of the figures of Bhutia Chieftain Khye Bumsa, the Lepcha leader Thetong Tek and his wife Ngo Kong ngol. This statue promotes peace, love, and harmony. About midway is an imposing statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Other eye-catching additions are the Victorian lamps and various benches along the path. Gangtok’s MG Road looks stunning after dark when the lights are lit making it a much-thronged place in this quaint hill town.
Ganesh Tok is a small temple and a loved viewpoint in Gangtok. Situated on top of a hill, the quaint place has mind-stirring views – the Kanchenjunga hill can be seen in its true form of glory from here and is at its best especially in the morning. The Ganesh Tok viewpoint, situated at a distance of 6500, offers stunning views of the mountains dusted with snow. The temple (dedicated to Lord Ganesha) is, however, so small that it can only fit one person at a time. The sublime place takes you a step closer to nature with its surreal surroundings and comforting ambiance.
The Ganesh Tok Temple itself is quite small. Colorful flags are tied across the stairs making it stand out. There is a place where shoes can be kept safe, and hands can be washed before entering the temple. There is also a lounge and a balcony in front of the temple which is the main attraction of the place. The serene Ganesh Tok is surrounded by hills, landscape, and beautiful mountains. It is so overcrowded that the devotees have to go down on all fours to worship Lord Ganesha. Ganesh Tok should definitely be visited at least once to experience its beauty and break away from the monotonous routine. It is a perfect place for all nature lovers and photographers.
Hanuman Tok, dedicated to Lord Hanuman is situated near Ganesh Tok at an altitude of 7200 feet at a distance of 11 km from Gangtok and offers an amazing view of the Kanchenjunga range. The temple has a religious significance attached to it and offers a peaceful surrounding. It is known for fulfilling the wishes of its devotees. Hanuman Tok should definitely be visited at least once to experience its beauty and break away from the monotonous routine. It is a perfect place for all nature lovers and photographers.
Hanuman Tok is a very famous temple of Gangtok which is named after Lord Hanuman and is maintained by the Indian Army. This temple is juxtaposed against the Kanchenjunga peak which is the third highest peak in the world. The eclectic beauty of Hanuman Tok makes you enjoy it thoroughly keeping you close to nature. The sight of the enormous hills around the capital city of Gangtok is captivating, and after you reach the top, the snow-dusted peaks of Kanchenjunga and the spectacular range of the Himalayas leave you awed. You can visit Hanuman Tok before 5:00 AM to view the sunrise, the beauty of which is beyond description. The glorious sight of the place is sure to leave you speechless. The serenity of Hanuman Tok makes it a perfect spot for you to relax, meditate and get all charged up.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is an abode of centuries-old Tibetan-Buddhist culture and its history. NIT preserves the glorious past of the country, the religion and its precious culture with utmost dedication and that shows in the excellent collection in the museum and the library which are the main attractions here. As important as its role is for the pursuers of Asian culture and Buddhist studies, with its quiet and serene charm, it is a paradise for the tourists as well, especially for the occasional history-enthusiast. Photography is not allowed inside, but you can take some time off technology and take in all you want with the lens of your eyes.
In spite of being primarily a place for study and research of Tibetan and Buddhist culture, The Namgyal Institute has emerged as a major tourist attraction in Gangtok. It promotes and supports the study, research, and preservation of Tibetan history, art, literature, architecture, religion, philosophy and anything and everything else that comes with that. With a foundation stone laid by the great Dalai Lama himself, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is among the pioneer of preservation and promotion of Tibetan art and literature.
Built in the Tibetan architectural style amidst the lap of lush green nature, the façade rises majestically with its tall golden towers, attractive and significant murals and colorful fresco. The exquisite and greatly maintained pieces in the museum and the library – the statues, the manuscripts, the art pieces, the rare literary works and encyclopedia, the relics and remains – all speak of a culturally rich past and thanks to NIT, an academically prosperous future.
The Himalayan Zoological Park is located in Bulbuley, 5 km away from Gangtok and is the place for all the wildlife lovers. With an altitude of 1780 meters, one gets an amazing view of the Mount Kanchenjunga from here. Established in 1991, Himalayan Zoological Park is the first one of its kind situated in the North-Eastern part of India. The park fulfils all the requirements of a Zoo where the creatures are kept under regular conditions and safeguarded as well as tamed without irritating them and ensuring that they live in their normal habitat. Spread over 205 hectares of land in the mountainous terrain, the park is home to a variety of fauna including the snow leopard cat, goral, Himalayan Palm Civet, Himalayan Red Panda, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Crimson-Horned Pheasant, and Himalayan Black Bear etc.
The Forests, Environment & Wildlife Management Department, Government of Sikkim maintains this first ever zoological park of Sikkim. A 2.5 km road runs through the park where you can either drive or walk. In case you decide to walk, be prepared since it will take a long amount of time to reach the habitats. So, it is advisable for you to hire a car for about half a day and explore the zoo. Some facilities present at the zoo include café, souvenir shop, drinking water points, washrooms and a watchtower for you to get an amazing view of the entire area. Do visit the Himalayan Zoological Park in Gangtok to be a part of the natural habitat of a variety of species and enjoy the wonderful natural beauty surrounding the place.
Flower Exhibition Center, which is situated in Gangtok, showcases flowers from the different parts of Sikkim together under a single roof which makes it a heaven for all the nature lovers. Located right across the White Memorial Hall and below the Ridge Park, it lies at a walking distance from the MG Marg. Though the flowers are displayed here all through the year, the annual flower show which is held from April to May should not be missed out on as during this time, the management gathers here and presents numerous varieties of orchids along with other flowers from around the state. Participants from the neighboring states are invited to be a part of the annual flower contest held in the premises by the Government of Sikkim.
A medium-sized tropical greenhouse, the center is filled with unusual species of plants including numerous species of fresh orchids namely Anthurium and Lilium. The presence of such different varieties of colorful flowers along with its enchanting fragrance fills up the entire center making it a very refreshing place for the visitors. This lovely place is fantastic to spend time at just looking at the flowers and clicking pictures. In addition to all this, there is an artificial water pond along with a bridge constructed over it where the tourists can take a little stroll while enjoying the pleasant ambiance around. One is likely to get amazing photographs among the colorful and bright bushes and flowers. This place is worth a visit if you are planning a trip to Gangtok for looking at the ever-smiling flowers is going to freshen you up entirely and brighten your day.
Do Drul Chorten is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim, nestled in the stunning valleys of Gangtok. Built in 1945 under the supervision of late Truslshi and Rimpoche, the Stupa has around 108 Mani Lhakor or prayer wheels. These wheels are engraved with important mantras which can be chanted by rotating them. The quaint serenity and calmness of Do Drul Chorten has attracted tourists and devotees since years.
The Korten Stupa was once believed to be haunted by evil spirits until the very respected Lama Trulshig Rinpoche came to this place and built a stupa in 1946. The deity engraved on top of this stupa is Vajra Kilaya who is considered to be one of the most prominent chortens in Sikkim. Inside the monastery is the complete set of Dorjee Phurba, holy Buddhist texts and other religious paraphernalia. Do Drul Chorten has a dharma preaching centre on its premises which was established by Dodhrubchen Rinpoche. The stupa is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang housing two huge statues of Guru Padmasambhava. This is a quaint little place for people seeking solace in the hill town.
Saramsa Garden, at a distance of 14 km from Gangtok, also known as Ipecac Garden, is indeed a treat for your senses. The exquisite range of different colored flowers with the surrounding lush greenery is going to hold your attention. There is a large greenhouse in the garden as well which preserves a range of orchids. The mesmerizing garden is also well-developed where you can involve yourself in recreational activities such as volleyball and football. Apart from these facilities, it also has a convention center next to the nursery where all the functions and meetings are conducted.
Set up in the year 1922 by the Forest Department of the government of Sikkim, the main agenda for building this garden was to look after the needs of the British officers in addition to the Namgyal royal family. The garden got its name ‘Ipecac’ after the Forest Department introduced a medicinal plant known as ‘Cephaelis Ipecacuanha’ in 1940. Before that, a variety of fruit trees including orange, pineapple, guava, and banana were grown in the garden. A range of orchids too was grown in the region after which the garden developed into a picnic spot.
The Saramsa Garden is divided into several blocks for the ease of navigation. There is a small footbridge that is constructed over a small-sized pool with different-shaped plants in the block. Another block has a bench built under the shade of the trees for the visitors to relax. Since this place brings you one step closer to nature, it is all the more enjoyable. So, if you are planning a trip to Gangtok, do not forget to visit this wonderful creation of nature with a little help from mankind.
Tashi Viewpoint situated 8 km away from central Gangtok, it is a scenic beauty from where travelers can get a view of the magnificent Mount Sinilochu and Mount Kanchenjunga. It was built by Tashi Namgyal who was the king of Sikkim between 1914 and 1963, and that is how the place got its name. Developed by the tourism department of Sikkim and nestled in a perfect location, one can get a beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains from Tashi Viewpoint. This spot also serves as a fabulous picnic place for local, as well as foreign tourists, due to the presence of a cafeteria and sheds bordering the site of the viewpoint.
The splendid Tashi Viewpoint does not have a match due to its unpolluted environment which has been developed in a manner that helps the tourists understand the trance of the Himalayas. The picturesque ambiance, in addition to its serenity, plays a major role in helping the travelers enjoy a view of the Phodong Monastery and Labrang Monastery from here. Tashi Viewpoint is no less than a paradise for all the local and the young people who assemble here during the weekends to enjoy and be a part of the incredible sightseeing.
For the overseas travelers, it is advisable to visit the place during the morning time to experience a more explicit and transparent view of the mighty mountains juxtaposed against the golden hues of the rising sun. So, if you ever plan a trip to Gangtok, do not miss out on visiting Tashi Viewpoint to help you break away from your monotonous life in an environment filled with peace and harmony.
Banjhakri Falls a new sightseeing destination for the tourists and spread over an area of two acres of land, the Banjhakri Falls is situated at a distance of 7 km from Gangtok on the way to Ranka Monastery. The waterfall which falls from a rocky height of about 40 feet and cascades down with a lot of force is the main attraction of the Energy Park present here. Beautifully landscaped gardens abound the waterfall along with beautiful statues of Lyam Lymay, Mangpas, Lepcha, and Ban Jhakri ancestors. The entrance of the park also comprises of several recreational activities and refreshment stalls. In addition to several resting places, there is a swimming pool present for the visitors as well.
The name Banjhakri is composed of two words- ‘Ban’ meaning forest or jungle and ‘Jhakri’ meaning traditional healer. According to mythological tales, a Ban Jhakri is a man who possesses some powers and exists in folktales in the Nepali Community of Sikkim. It is the belief of the local people according to which a Banjhakri resides in the forest and lives in the rock caves where he worships the spirits. All the ethnic communities which are present believe in these mysteries even today since they form a part of their culture and tradition.
You will come across numerous ethnic sculptures along with figurines showcasing the Jhakri culture throughout the Banjhakri Energy Park. The figurines present in the park depicts various rituals, healing ceremonies, and the induction process followed in the life of a Shaman. Banjhakri Falls is a beautiful and relaxing stop while exploring the beautiful city of Gangtok. With the beautiful surroundings and lush environs, the place will definitely help you break away from the fast moving life of the city and unwind.
Ranka Monastery also known as Lingdum Monastery, the Ranka Monastery which follows the Zurmang Kagyud lineage of Buddhism is situated at a distance of 20 km from Gangtok. The regal monastery is spread over a vast area and provides fantastic scenic views to the tourists. Considered as one of the most significant and glorious monasteries in East Sikkim, being relatively new is one of the primary reasons why it is not talked about a lot. The beauty of the Ranka Monastery has, however, attracted some filmmakers here, and it has been a part of several Bollywood movies that have been shot here.
The Ranka Monastery is one of the most pictorial monasteries in East Sikkim due to the presence of beautifully forested mountains on its borders. Near it lies a 2-storied building with classrooms for the young lamas to study in. Whenever there is a break, the courtyard gets filled with monks wearing beautiful robes colored in red and saffron. Visitors can also click pictures with the monks who stay in full energy. There are a restaurant and a gift shop on the premises for relaxation.
Another major attraction here is the Banjhakri Falls which is situated near the sublime monastery. Adventure lovers are going to have a great time here for they can experience the fun of paragliding from here to a nearby place. Ranka Monastery is going to provide you with a lot of spiritualism combined with exquisite views. The beauty of this place is worth admiring and do not forget to interact with the young monks who are trained here.
Ropeway is known to be one of the top thrilling things to do in Gangtok, Gangtok Ropeway offers not only an exhilarating experience but also a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the valley below. Inaugurated in 2003, the double cable zig back ropeway can carry upto 24 passengers and covers a distance of 2 km to and fro. Usually the cable cars are full and you have to wait in line for your turn, but the gorgeous views of the Kanchenjunga peaks and high hilly area on the way is totally worth the wait. Also, since there are no seats inside the cable car, so to obtain a good view standing seat (next to the glass pane), you will have to try and get in first.
The aerial ropeway is 935 m long, from the start to the end point and the complete journey takes a total of 15 – 20 minutes. It has three terminal stations – Tashiling, Namnang or Deorali, the lowest one being at Deorali. You can get on or get down at either of the three stations. The Deorali Station is situated near the Institute of Tibetology and offers beautiful views of the Gangtok market and the township below. As you go higher and higher, there are even better panoramic vistas of the valley below and of the blue hills in the backdrop. Namnang is the central station and the highest one is at Tashiling near the Secretariat.
The Rumtek Monastery is one of the largest and most significant monasteries in Sikkim, perched on top of a hill 23 km from Gangtok. Originally called as the Dharma Chakra Centre, it belongs to the Kargyu sect of Buddhists who originated in Tibet in the 12th century. Verdant green mountains surround the monastery and thus serves as a visual treat besides being a focal point for spiritual solace. If you climb on top to the Rumtek Monastery, you can have a breathtaking view of the whole Gangtok town situated right opposite the hill. Besides this, the architecture of the striking monastery is one of the finest in the world.
The glorious Rumtek Monastery houses a beautiful shrine temple and a monastery for the monks which were established with the aim of spreading the Buddhist teachings around the world. The sublime structure has a walkway around it on which the monks, pilgrims and visitors perform Kora (a circuit round of the monastery). The splendid Rumtek Monastery has preserved a golden stupa and various other sculptures which belonged to the 16th Karmapa. It also serves as the storehouse for many unique objects besides storing some of the world’s unique religious scriptures. The massive prayer hall inside the stunning monastery is a place worth seeing that is decorated with splendid murals, statues and thangkhas.
Nathula, one of the highest motor-able roads in the world, is a mountain pass in the Himalayan peaks that connects India with China. Situated on the Indo-Tibetan border 14450 ft. above sea level, Nathu La is one of the most important Himalayan passes in the country. Nathu means ‘listening ears’, and La means ‘pass’. Nathula is one of the three open trading border posts between India and China and is famous for its picturesque beauty and beautiful environment. The temperature here remains low for most parts of the year, and it becomes a hot-spot for tourists during summer.
New Baba Mandir is new constructed shrine of sepahi Baba Harbhajan Singh, who died as he fell from horse back on to a gorge while on duty, is popularly known as Baba Mandir. This mandir, located 50km away from Gangtok, at an elevation of 4000 meters, is worshiped by local people as well as army officials. This Mandir hosts all the memories of Baba Harbhajan Singh. There is an interesting belief about this temple. Baba Harbhajan was an Indian soldier who died near the Nathula Pass. He is revered by the soldiers of the Indian army, who have built a shrine in his honor. Baba is believed to have granted favors to the soldiers, and guard each one in the inhospitable terrain. There is a Old Baba Mandir near Changu (Tsomogo Lake) dedicated to Baba Harbhajan too.
Inside the Baba Mandir, you will come across a large photo of Harbhajan Singh which is worshiped by his devotees. Tourists who come here leave their water bottle for a few days and collect it later for it is believed that by drinking that water all the wishes come true. Harbhajan Singh’s office has been built on one side of the temple with a dining place, and a room for him to stay at with his uniform and shoes. Though the temple is present on the side of a road, it is surrounded by magnificent mountains thereby giving an amazing view to the tourists. Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is a must-visit due to the tales associated with the place.
Tsomogo Lake is also known as Tsongmo Lake or Chango Lake. It is one of the most famous lake in this route. Altitude of this lake is 12,313ft and situated 40km away from Gangtok. The lake is surrounded by steep mountains which are covered with snow during winter. During summer the snow cover melts and forms the source for the lake. The lake surface reflects different colors with change of seasons and is held in great reverence by the local Sikkimese people. The lake which remains frozen in winter season, sometimes extending up to May, receives an average annual precipitation of 1,183 mm (46.6 in) with temperatures recorded in the range of 0–25 °C.
Tsomogo Lake is a glacial lake that derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains around it. This glacial lake is famous for its color changing waters. Monsoons see a bright aquamarine lake whereas, in the winters, it freezes into a translucent cover of ice. As the summer approaches in mid-May, the periphery of this lake is dotted with a thousand blossoming flowers that lend the waters a riot of vibrant colors.
In the Bhutia language, ‘Tso’ means lake and ‘Mgo’ mean head and essentially means ‘source of the water’, holding immense religious and cultural significance to the Bhutia people. Considered as a sacred lake by the Sikkimese, Changu Lake is associated with many myths and legends. They say the Buddhist monks used to analyze the color of the lake to forecast the future.
Though Gangtok can access throughout the year but Tsomogo Lake, Baba Mandir & Nathula route is not accessible for 365 days. So you have to considered about those route accessibility and plan accordingly on your Gangtok vacation.
In January – February
From January to February Gangtok is at its coldest; especially in the mountains, but clear skies reward those who brave the low temperatures. The valleys are warmer and sunny with clear views of the incredible Himalaya. Due to colder temperatures, visitor numbers will be lower.
High altitude area specially Tsomogo Lake, Nathula & Baba Mondir road mostly closed due to heavy snow. Difficulty for getting permit on this area. It is ideal for those who want chilled weather and heavy snow. Night temperature may goes near to negative. Travelers may arrested by snow in this time in high altitude. Travelers may visit in this time with sufficient buffer day.
On March Gangtok is at its coldest; snow melting has started in high altitude areas. Temperature may closer to negative sometimes at night. Mountains remain covered snow clapped. The valleys are warmer and sunny with clear views of the incredible Himalaya. Due to colder temperatures, visitor numbers will be lower. You can plan at this time but you can stuck any time at high altitude due to snow falls. Road to Tsomogo Lake, Nathula & New Baba Mondir may close and you may not get permit due to snow.
In April – May
April and May are among the most popular times to travel as temperatures are pleasant and the valleys are abundant in nature; especially as all the flowers start to bloom. Early April witnesses the Rhododendron, so mountain slope may colorful. It is ideal for photographers and nature lovers Early April you may get snow at Tsomogo Lake, Nathula & New Baba Mondir route.
In June – September
June to September is monsoon season in Sikkim. But monsoon comes in this area little late so any one can visit till mid June. Although showers can occur at night without spoiling daytime explorations, conditions aren’t ideal for those who want to explore remote areas. Sightseeing is still possible – just be prepared with a raincoat. Views are best in the mornings following night-time downpours. It is the best time for mountain shower lover. But landslide can happen any time to spoil your trip. So plan accordingly with sufficient buffer time.
The majority of travelers (around 80%) want to visit Gangtok in October, so plan well in advance to ensure you get your preferred accommodation and good value flights. It is are ideal for offbeat lovers and enjoying stunning views and pleasant temperatures. Expect it to be around 25°C in the sun, but there will be cooler temperatures in the evenings and at higher altitudes.
It is ideal time for those traveler who want mostly clear sky for photograph. So don’t hesitate to plan in this season. This season is famous for mostly clear with blue sky, Snow Clapped mountain & less crowd so anyone can spend their memorable time with your love one.
On December Gangtok weather started cold; especially in the mountains, but clear skies reward those who brave the low temperatures. The valleys are warmer and sunny with clear views of the incredible Himalaya. Due to colder temperatures, visitor numbers will be lower. But from 20th to 31st December Gangtok mostly overcrowded. Tsomo Lake, Nathula & Baba Mandir route close any time due to sudden snow falls.