Gangtok Sikkim’s modern capital is reverent, cheerful and pleasantly boisterous and more than specific sights is layered along a precipitous mountain ridge, descending the hillside in steep tiers. Viewpoints offers plunging green valley’s that remain beautiful even when partly shrouded in mist, Gangtok is appealing as a place. If the weather plays ball, look for glimpses of snow-topped Khangchendzonga on the skyline. One of the best attractions is the pedestrianised social & commercial heart is Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road or Marg, packed with restaurants, shops, travel agents and a bustling early-evening passeggiata of relaxed wanderers.
Gangtok is one of the most sought after destination is north east India. This is a beautiful capital town situated in the laps of Himalaya in the Indian state of Sikkim. Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalayan range and is at an average altitude of nearly of 5800 feet / 1800 meters.
The state is populated by various like Nepalis, Lepchas, Bhutia, etc and the cultural diversification can also be seen in the various places of Worship, Festivals and Cultural dances that are celebrated through the year. They are god fearing people but are quite hospitable. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya the place offers year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is the hub of Sikkim's tourism activities. In the year 1975 this small kingdom, after the integration with the union of India, was made India's twenty-second state of independent India and Gangtok was made the capital, soon after it developed into a beautiful tourist destination. Gangtok is a centre of activity and became the center of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning, with the presence of several monasteries, religious educational institutions and centers for Tibetology. Tour packages of Sikkim includes major places like Lachen, Lachung, Pelling and other smaller destinations like Temi, Ravangla, Kaluk, Chayataal, Uttarey, Varsey, Aritar, etc. Most of the packages of Sikkim are Gangtok oriented.
International Flower Festival is organized by the Government of Sikkim in the month of March every year. Losoong Festival marks the beginning of the Sikkimese New Year. Budhhist monks perform Cham Dances, Bumchu Festival is celebrated in the Tashiding Monastery on the 15th day of the 1st Tibetan month, the festival is believed to decide the fate of this beautiful state in the upcoming year. During the festival, the vessel containing pure water is opened to check the level of water, which signifies good or bad fortune for the state. Maghey Sankranti Mela is celebrated on 14th January every year and the cultural celebration goes on for 03 days. Sonam Lhochhar Festival marks the beginning of the Tibetan New Year and is celebrated with great zeal. The most popular cuisine of Sikkim are Momo, Wonton and Thukpa are the most popular cuisine
Periphery of Gangtok is quite forested consisting of temperate, deciduous forests of poplar, birch, oak, and elm, as well as evergreen, coniferous trees of the alpine zone. Orchids are common, and rare varieties of orchids are found. Bamboos are also abundant. In the lower reaches of the town, the vegetation gradually changes from alpine to temperate deciduous and subtropical. Sikkim wild life can be spotted in the following Parks & Sanctuary. They are Khangchendzonga National Park 1829 meters to over 8,550 meters and spread over an area of 850 square kilometers, Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary at an altitude ranging from 3048 - 4575 meters, Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary at an altitude ranging from 1524 - 2749 meters, Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary at an altitude ranging from 3293 - 4116 meters, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary spread over an area of 35 square kilometers (Maenam-la means “Treasure-house of Medicines) at an average altitude of 3200 meters and Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary spreading over 104 square kilometers at an altitude of 2200 - 4100 meters and with wide biodiversities. Gangtok wildlife spread from temperate to alpine. Poplar, birch, oak, and elm, as well as evergreen, coniferous trees of the wet alpine zone can be found in the state. Orchids are common, and rare varieties of orchids are featured in flower shows in the city. In the lower reaches of the town, the vegetation gradually changes from alpine to temperate deciduous and subtropical. Flowers such as sunflower, marigold, poinsettia, and others bloom, especially in November and December. This is the hub of tourist activities.
North Sikkim i.e. Lachung and Lachen tour starts from here along with inner line permit and other formalities. Green Lake Trek, permit for Goechala Trek also is done from Gangtok. Similarly the most attractive excursion staying at Gangtok is Tsomgo Lake and Nathu La Pass. Most of the Tour packages are based on destinations like Gangtok - Lachung - Yumthang – Lachung – Gangtok, Gangtok - Lachung - Yumthang – Lachen - Gurudongmar Lake - Gangtok, Gangtok - Namchi - Ravangla - Pelling, Aritar - Zuluk - Nathang - Gangtok are popular circuits. Dzongri & Green Lake Trek are also popular with the guests.
Gangtok Local sightseeing can be completed in 04 – 05 hours time. Tashi View point, Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok, Ropeway (Cable Car), Chorten Stupa & Institute of Tibetology, Bakthang Waterfall, Enchey Monastery, Flower Exhibition Center at one end of The Ridge park, Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom including a Sales emporium and a Museum showcasing many different handicraft items and artwork is worth visiting. Ranka or Lingdum Monastery, Ban Jhakri Waterfall, Rumtek Monastery - An additional attraction here is the Golden Stupa and Nehru Botanical Garden. Ranka or Lingdum Monastery, Ban Jhakri Waterfall, Rumtek Monastery - An additional attraction here is the Golden Stupa and Nehru Botanical Garden. There are few other attractions in and around Gangtok which are not covered under standard sightseeing. Saramsa Garden and Himalayan Zoological Park are two such nice attractions. Namchi Excursion & Nathu La Excursion, Baba Mandir & Tsomgo Lake Excursion are organized from Gangtok
Places of Interest
• Enchey Monastery
• Hanuman Tok
• Tashi View Point
• Ganesh Tok
• Do - Drul Chorten
• Kabi Langstok
• Himalayan Zoological Park
• Saramsa Garden
• Tsuk La Khang Monastery
• Ranka Monastery
• Ban Jhakri Falls
• Rumtek monastery
• Tsomgo Lake
• Nathu La (Pass)
• Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple
• Zoological park
• Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
• Flower Show
• Government Handicrafts Center
• White Hall
Airways - Pakyong Airport (PYG) is the nearest one Airport but due to high altitude flights sometime gets diverted. It is only 32 kilometers from Gangtok. Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is the second most nearest airport to Sikkim and is nearly 125 kilometers from Gangtok & 135 Kilometers from Pelling. The capital city of Gangtok has its own helipad and few other places also have Helipad. Chopper service is regular from Bagdogra to Gangtok once a day. Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is approximately 90 kilometers from Rangpo (The entry point to Sikkim). Railways – New Railway Lines are being laid up to Rangpo which will half the time of Travel from Siliguri. New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP) is the nearest major railway station and is approximately 135 kilometers away and is 04 - 05 hours drive from Gangtok. New JalpaiguriRailway Station is well connected to the rest of India with regular trains. There are regular train services to all the major destinations of India like Chennai, Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Patna, Mumbai, Bangalore, etc. Roadways – Gangtok is well connected with NH 10 and is 135 kilometers away from New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB). Pelling is nearly 136 kilometers from New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP) / Bagdogra Airport (IXB). The roads are scenic and traveling by road is the only options. Sikkim is connected with Tibet &China via the Nathu La pass. Nepal border Kakarvittaand Bhutan Border Phuentsholling is 05 – 07 hours drive from Gangtok.
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