Tucked in the verdant Shivalik Hill range, this quaint little town has several vantage points that offer panoramic glimpses of lush green valleys and stunning views of the world’s third tallest peak, Kanchenjunga. Gangtok is a potpourri of cultures, owing to its assimilation of Buddhist, Nepali, Sikkimese and Bhutanese influences. Just 30km from Gangtok is the Tsomgo Lake. This glacial lake, locally referred to as Changu Lake due to its conch-like shape, remains frozen for most part of the year.
According to folklore, Gangtok was a sleepy hamlet of monks, till the tantric lama Dhrupthob Karpo came flying in. He set up a solitary hut on a hilltop, which grew into the much-revered Enchey or 'solitary' monastery. Built on a hill ridge above Gangtok city, the monastery offers great views of the Kanchenjunga peak. During January, this ancient monastery comes alive with the famed mask dance called the ‘Cham’.
Destination Type: Mountain
Destinations Nearby: Darjeeling 108 km, Siliguri 115 km, Kolkata 670 km
Nearest Sterling Resort: Sterling Darjeeling
Languages: Sikkimese, Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Hindi and English
Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station ( Broad Gauge )
Nearest Airport: Bagdogra. Pakyong Airport near Gangtok, to be inaugurated shortly.
Summer: March to June. Pleasant with average temperature of about 22°C.
Monsoon: June to September.
Winter: November to February. Minimum temperature ranges between 4 °C and 7 °C.
1. Foreign nationals must obtain a permit to visit Gangtok.
2. Irrespective of the nationality, permits are required to visit places such as Nathu La.
3. Taking a helicopter ride is a great way to get a bird's eye view of Gangtok and it's surroundings.
4. Leave your footwear outside before entering monasteries and temples.
5. Touching someone’s head is considered to be offensive as the head is regarded as sacred in Buddhist tradition.
6. The city is very pedestrian friendly. Do explore on foot.
Gangtok - a melting pot of ethnic cultures that offers a delightful journey in gastronomy.
The cable car ride between Deorali and Tashiling will show you the view of Gangtok from the mountains.
There is a lot of history and folklore behind the Enchey Monastery, a significant religious centre in Gangtok.
Hanuman Tok is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is believed that he had rested here before proceeding to Lanka with the Drongiri Mountain.
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology was built to preserve and nurture Tibetan culture and Buddhism. The institute's museum has a fascinating collection of cultural and religious artefacts, one of the largest outside Tibet.
Home to invaluable treasures including the bejeweled black hat meant for the Karmapa, Rumtek is one monastery in Sikkim you cannot miss.
The Plant Conservatory in Gangtok is a place that will give you a glimpse of the variety of plants that grow in this region. With an endless list of flora, this place is like a museum of plants!
Gangtok's Mall Road is where the town comes alive! Grab a coffee at a trendy bakery, browse through the books at a pop-up store, or simply watch life go by.
Sikkim produces some of the rarest and best quality flowers in the country. Walking into the flower exhibition centre during the month of May is like taking a deep dive into a world of different colours and aromas.
A tranquil, azure water body high up in the mountains of Gangtok, the Changu Lake is one place you have to see for yourself to believe that it exists!