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The name itself means 'hill top'. The beautiful hilly town offers picturesque views of the Himalayas. A quaint blend of the old and the new.
It is the capital of Sikkim State and an enchanting tourist destination that calls on scores of tourists from several parts of the globe.
This beautiful destination of Sikkim Tourism is known for the perfect amalgamation of tradition and modernity. It is situated atop a ridge at an altitude of 5,800 feet above sea level. The city is flanked by the world’s third tallest peak Kanchenjunga in its east direction.
The topographical location makes it a picturesque destination where the prayer flags fluff up in the breeze and wheels spin in the hands of Lamas, who mumble God invocations. This small town is an important place in the itinerary of tourists who want a break from the humdrum of modern life.
Some of the popular tourist attractions of Gangtok are:
This two hundred years old monastery situated on a hilltop is an important seat of the Nyingma order of Buddhism. The Monastery houses many images of Gods, Goddesses and other religious objects. The famous ‘Chaam’ or religious masked dance is performed in January at the monastery.
Ancient and beautiful, Labrang Monastery belongs to the Nyingmaoa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. This monastery is located at a distance of 2 km from Phodong Monastery. The monastery looks imposing at the very first sight. It has been maintained in its original condition, which is a contrast to the other monasteries in Sikkim.
It is a famous monastery located 24 kilometers from Gangtok and belongs to the Kagyupa sect of Buddhism. This monastery is the seat of the 16th Gyawla Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery consists of numerous sacred things; one of them is the Golden Stupa that holds the treasured relics of the Sixteenth Karmapa.
Constructed in the 17th century by Latsun Chempo, this monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism. The monastery is famous for its magnificent sculptures and gracefully decorated paintings that adorn the first floor. This monastery also has a remarkable collection of ancient Buddhist antique idols, scriptures and sculptures.
This park offers picturesque views of nature. It has an open enclosure housing animal like deer, Himalayan bear and Red Panda.
Phurchachu Reshi Hot Spring
This spring is considered sacred because Kadosangphu, one of the four holy caves lies here. Along with religious values the spring is also known for medicinal value. It is believed that the water of this spring can cure skin diseases.
This is a beautiful 1 km long lake famous for religious significance. The scenic beauty and tranquility of this lake allure large number of tourists to enjoy nature’s bounty. In winters, the lake freezes and during summers, there are a number of flowers blooming on the banks.
Popularly known as the wishing lake, Khecheopalri Lake is squeaky-clean and not a leaf can be seen floating on it because it is immediately taken away by birds. It is a celestial lake surrounded by immense natural beauty like mountains, dense forests and wildlife.
How to Reach Gangtok
Bagdogra in West Bengal is the nearest airport. Siliguri (114 km) and New Jalpaiguri (125 km) are the two nearest railway stations. Gangtok is linked to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri and also to all the District headquarters of Sikkim.
Best time to Visit Gangtok
The weather in Gangtok is best from March to late May and October to Mid-December.
Where to Stay in Gangtok
Gangtok abounds in hotels, which ensures best stay opportunities to the travelers. There are various groups of luxury hotels in Gangtok, which provide outstanding services and give grand hospitality to their guests. All hotels in Gangtok ensure an easy access to view the various fascinating diversities of the city.
Shopping in Gangtok
There are three main markets Old, New and Lal Markets, which are vital shopping zones in Gangtok. Tourists can buy traditional items like thangkas or religious scrolls, choktsees or collapsible wooden tables with intricate local Tibetan designs from these markets. The other things that tourists can buy are beautiful Himalayan artifacts like town-brass statues, jewelry, wooden carvings, woven fabrics and carpets.
Excursions around Gangtok
This is a famous excursion near Gangtok situated at an altitude of 3,780 meter above sea level and 38 km from the city center. The scenic beauty and tranquility of this lake allure a large number of tourists to enjoy nature’s bounty.
Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary is located at a distance of 25 km from Gangtok and spread over an area of 51.76 sq km. It is famous for the vast collection of flora and fauna.
This is one of the highest motorable roads covered by various species of Alpine Flora and Fauna. It is located 56 km from Gangtok at the height of 14,200 feet above sea level in the Tibetan plateau.