Gangtok- Personification of Scenery
Snuggling in the lush greenery of the majestic Himalayas, Gangtok in Sikkim lies at 5,800 ft. This small city of Sikkim displays Buddhist prayer flags wavering in the mountain breeze, exotic orchids and warbling birds in a vibrant fusion. Visit Gangtok to see the profusion of blooming rhododendrons in the inmost of reds. Cherish the serene cool charm of the snow-clad peaks in an environ enhanced by the delightful bustle of hospitable people.
Early history of Gangtok can be traced back to 1716 AD when the Gangtok monastery was built.
The fame to the hill resort revolves around being a small hamlet till 1840. In due course of time, it also served as a major stopover point on the India-Tibet route during the colonial period. The hill town got reputation in 1894 when the capital of Sikkim got changed from Tumlong to Gangtok.
Tourist Attractions in Gangtok
The monastery is famous for its 'Bumchu' or the Sacred Pot. It contains holy water and
never gets dry. Offering gorgeous vistas of the Himalayas, it offers amazing scenery.
The Namgyal Institute is the place for bookworms. It houses world's largest collections of books. The fact that distinguishes it from other similar places is its treasure of rare manuscripts on Mahayan Buddhism. Built in a traditional style, it also has the relics of monks, masks, the carku and others.
If you are among Orchid lovers, you can head to the Orchid sanctuary. It houses a rich collection of 454 species of orchids.
Do Drul Chorten
Revered as the most significant stupa of Sikkim, the Do Drul Chorten treasures a holy gold-topped shikhara along with 108 prayer wheels. It also has Holy Books, mantras and various other religious objects. The Chorten also houses two large statues of Guru Rimpoche around it.
Literally, it means the “Solitary Temple”. The monastery is worth to pay a visit during the religious dances or 'Chaam', which is performed in January.
Tsuk la Khang
It serves as the prominent worshipping site for the local Buddhists. It houses a rich collection of scriptures and is distinguished by the exquisite mural covered interiors. Its lavish décor of altars also makes it stand apart. The place remains open for public during Losar, the well-known dance festival.
Best Time to Visit
Gangtok should be visited between October and mid-December.
Sikkimese food is a blend of Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian cuisine. Rice is the staple food of the destination. Shisnu (nettle soup), ningro (fern rings), churpi (yak cheese) and phing (glass noodles) are the local delicacies.
You can find a lot of souvenir and curio shops in Gangtok. Besides Tibetan, Bhutia and Lepcha dresses, wall hangings, silk paintings, prayer wheels, carpets and leather goods are the popular shopping items to buy.
Travellers can find a range of accommodation options that suit all the budgets. You can go for the luxurious one or to budget hotels, choice are available.
How to Reach
Gangtok is located at a distance of 721 km from Kolkata, 589 km from Guwahati, 584 km from Patna and140 km from Darjeeling.
Siliguri serves as the nearest airport.
Nearest railheads are situated at Siliguri/New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. From here, travellers can avail direct flights linked Bagdogra and Kolkata.
Regular Sikkim state transport buses run between Siliguri and Gangtok. The place can also be accessed by private vehicles.