Gangtok the capital city of Sikkim is known for its naturally beautiful treasures. Its like opening the box and enjoying every treasure you explore. Ever since I studied in my geography class that highest mountain peak in India is Kanchenjunga, I always wondered how magnificent it will look. It was one of the biggest reasons to plan a trip to Sikkim. Tranquility blended with exotic views makes Gangtok an immensely suitable destination for an amazing holiday.
We hired a car from NJP (New Jalpaiguri) station which took us to Gangtok, the route was spectacular and Teesta river flowing through this state makes it even more appealing.
Compelling reasons to visit Gangtok
- Beautiful waterfalls
- Awesome Mountains
- Pollution free environment
- Unmatched cleanliness
- Mesmerizing flowers
- Historic places
- Amazing people
I think I have given enough reasons why it’s a place to find perfect solace, let’s see what we can do here.
Things to do in Gangtok
River rafting in Teesta
Teesta river has a sacred importance for people of Sikkim and it is also a famous spot for river rafting activity. The water is very cold and you can do rafting for a stretch of 11 km from Makha to Sirwani. Rapids are huge fun the rafting experience here is different, while rafting you can also view fusion of two rivers. The location is picturesque and the rafters will offer a photographer, who will do the clicking for you while your enjoy rafting activity.
It will cost you close to 1000 INR per person for rafting, the cost differs from the place you book.
Gangtok has a flower exhibition at white hall, where there is a huge variety of different types of colourful flowers and flora.
Gangtok view from rope way cable ride
Rope way cable ride is a famous tourist attraction as you can see the entire city and a close look to the Kanchenjunga peak. Its a 1 km long cable starting from Deorali to Tashling lasting for about 7 minutes. The aerial view of city is amazing and looks like Kanchenjunga is calling you.
The ticket costs about 110 INR per person.
Monasteries are pilgrims for Buddhists, Gangtok has splendid monasteries which are thousands of years old. The architecture is incredible, several lamas are been trained here. Monks and lamas are pretty shy people and they did not talk much but they were nice enough to allow us click some pictures. The atmosphere is serene giving these monasteries a divine touch. Most popular ones to visit are:
- Rumtek Monastery
- Tsuk La Khang Monastery
- Lingdum Monastery
- Pemayangtse Monastery
MG Marg which is named after Mahatma Gandhi is the busiest street in Gangtok, you have several options to shop and eat. You can get amazing shoes here, I got two pairs which everyone asked me about. It is clean and colourful because of the beautiful flowers planted near the benches. There are some really good souvenir shops, the entire market is worth a visit. Even if you are not fond of shopping you can visit this place to enjoy the Sikkimese delicacies.
A day tour to Nathula pass and Tsongmo lake
This tour is my personal favourite, Tsongmo lake or Changu lake is located at 12300 ft. It takes 1.5 to 2 hrs to reach this place from Gangtok. This was the first spot of the tour, I was spellbound by the surrounding and view of this beautiful lake. You’ll find a lot of people do Yak safari and even if you want to click a picture with them you’ll have to pay.
Next spot was Nathula Pass which is located at 14000 ft and serves as a India-China border, you can see soldiers from both the armies. This was my first time to see a border where at one step is one country and on the next step is another. It was fascinating to see how man has created boundaries so strong to build nations. I applaud all soldiers serving their country at such harsh conditions.
Last spot was Baba Mandir, this place is known as a wish fulfilling temple, people specially come to here to pray and stay for a long time with a list of wishes.
You require permit to visit all these places, so make sure you get them before your visit.
Tashi view point
This point is known for its exotic views , usually tourists arrive at this place in evening to enjoy the mesmerizing sunset. Along with sunset you can also see how the sky changes its colours enhancing the beauty of the glorious mountains. If you are an early riser you can also enjoy sunrise at the same spot.