Gangtok Tourism
Hill

Gangtok Tourism

Gangtok Info

  • State: Sikkim
  • Famous for/as: Hill
  • Altitude: 1437 m
  • Pincode: 737101
  • District: East Sikkim
  • Language: Hindi,Nepali
  • STD code: 03592
  • Weather: Summer 10 to 28°C, Winter -5 to 16°C
Gangtok, the land of monasteries, is also the largest town of Sikkim. Situated in the Shivalik Hills and lying at an altitude of 1437 m, it’s an important Buddhist Pilgrimage Centre. Gangtok gained religious significance among the Buddhists after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in the latter part of the 19th century.

History of Gangtok

It was an important trade centre between the British and Tibet during the 19th century. Gangtok was made the capital of Sikkim in 1894 by Thutob Namgyal, who was a monarch under the British Rule. When India gained independence in 1947, Sikkim chose to be an independent monarchy and Gangtok continued to be its capital.

However, in 1975, after a period of strife and struggle, Sikkim was finally made an Indian state and Gangtok was made its official capital. The city suffered a major setback in its trade relations with Tibet after the Nathu La Pass was closed following the Sino-Indian war of 1962. However, the Pass has been opened in 2006, and Gangtok has again started functioning as a major trade point between India and Tibet.

People & Culture of Gangtok

The town has people from different ethnicities. The presence of Buddhists, Chinese, Tibetans as well as Hindus gives Gangtok a colourful ambience and every festival is celebrated here with the same fervour. Some of the popularly celebrated festivals are Losum and Losar, among others.

Most of the economy of Gangtok depends on tourism. A large part of the population of the town is employed in the tourism sector. Of late, eco-tourism has picked up in the region with tourists being offered the opportunity of trekking, rafting as well as mountaineering. Apart from the tourism industry, cottage industries form the other major portion of Gangtok’s economy which deals in watch making, handicrafts and local alcohol processing.

Things to do in Gangtok

Gangtok is full of gompas, stupas, parks and gardens. Some of the major attractions in and around Gangtok are the Rumtek Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, Tashiding Monastery, Tsomgo Lake, Nathu La Pass, Hanuman Tok etc. Visitors who want to explore Gangtok and its surroundings but do not want to do the planning themselves can opt for the several Gangtok holiday packages available.

Food & Shopping in Gangtok

Sikkimese food is a mix of Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian cuisine with rice being the staple. Some of the local delicacies of Gangtok are ningro (fern rings), shisnu (nettle soup), phing (glass noodles) and churpi (yak cheese) cooked with a lot of chillies. Apart from these, momos are available round the corner. There are a lot of restaurants, eateries and fast-food joints in Gangtok.

Gangtok is full of souvenir and curio shops. One of the best areas for shopping is the road near Lal Bazar which not only has many shops but prices are also cheaper by 30-40% than the shops on M.G. Road. The Sikkim Handloom and Handicraft Emporium sells masks, wall hangings, carpets, leather goods and Tibetan, Bhutia and Lepcha dresses. Other items that are popularly bought include thankas, silk paintings, prayer wheels, Tibetan jewellery etc. 

Travelling to Gangtok

Gangtok is connected to other parts of the country via an all-weather highway. The easiest way to reach Gangtok is by shared jeep from Siliguri, in West Bengal, which takes around 4˝ - 5 hours. Shared jeeps, the best way to move around in Gangtok, can also be availed from New Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong.

Buses run by the state carrier, Sikkim Nationalised Transport, terminate at the SNT Bus Stand on Paljor Stadium Road. Non-SNT buses stop at the Private Bus Stand, off NH-31A, below Deorali.

The nearest airport to the place is the Bagdogra Airport (124 km away) in the town of Siliguri, West Bengal. Bagdogra Airport is connected to Guwahati, Kolkata and Delhi with Kolkata and Delhi airports having international connections as well. Taxis are available from the airport to reach Gangtok. These cost around INR2000.

There is a helicopter service also which is run by the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation from Bagdogra to Gangtok, once a day. The cost for this is approximately INR2200 but baggage allowance is limited to 10 kg.

Gangtok does not have a railway station, the closest one being at New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, nearly 150 km away. The station has train services from all parts of the country with some of the prominent ones being Bangalore, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, New Delhi etc.

Travelling within Gangtok

SNT buses and private buses are available for travelling within Gangtok. SNT buses can be boarded from the SNT bus stand located on Paljor Stadium Road. For places such as Pelling, Yuksom and Tashiding, buses depart at 7 am and 12:30 pm from the SNT bus stop. An hourly service is also available for places like Ravangla, Namchi, Jorethang and Geyzing.

Taxis and shared jeeps are also available, usually at MG Marg and Lal Market. Taxis are not metered so it is best to negotiate the fare before boarding.

Accommodation options in Gangtok

Accommodation options in Gangtok range from budget hotels and mid-range hotels to deluxe hotels and luxury hotels. Tourists looking for budget accommodation can head towards Mall Road, Namnang Road and MG Marg. Paljor Stadium Road is where most of the heritage hotels are located.

Those looking for Gangtok luxury hotels can head towards places like MG Road, Paljor Stadium Road, P.S. Road, MG Marg and NH-31 A. Mid-range accommodation options are available on Church Road, MG Marg and Tibet Road.

The region enjoys mild temperature conditions with the maximum temperature not going beyond 22-25° Celsius throughout the year. This is characterised by the presence of temperate as well as deciduous forests of birch and oak in the region.
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Gangtok Traveller Reviews

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with average rating of 5.9/7, 1
out of 13014 Gangtok reviews 673
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Shubham Goyal

  • Scout
  • Shubham Goyal
  • Lives in Jind
  • 4 photos
  • 3 Reviews
  •  297 readers

"Beautiful place, Gangtok" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 3 days ago
Gangtok is very beautiful city full of peace and cleanliness. A very good range of hotels available with very tasty food. A must visit city with family or friends. Nathula pass is near to the Gangtok and Hanuman tok, Ganesh tok are also the religious places to visit here.
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Mohit sharma

  • Tourist
  • Mohit sharma
  • Lives in Nagaon
  • 1 photo
  • 1 Review
  •  178 readers

"Awesome vacation was spent there!" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 5 days ago
Spent 7 days at Gangtok are everlasting in my soul. The crowd during the new year eve was really awesome in the city. The M. G. Marg itself look like a paradise in India. The locals are very co-operative. We enjoy food at 'Pariwar pure veg restaurant' and 'Khan Chacha ki Bkryani' at M G Marg.
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Rohit Kumar

  • Scout
  • Rohit Kumar
  • Lives in New Delhi
  • 2 Reviews
  •  174 readers

"Nathula pass from Gangtok!" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 5 days ago
I visited Nathula pass its just 1. 5 hours away from Gangtok. I think it is the best place to go because one could feel being in Switzerland there. Snowfall also happens there time to time. Romantic place for loving couples. One must visit there :) All the mountains covered with snow looks awesome. So if you are on trip to Gangtok don't afford to miss this awesome experience.
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Samiran Chatterjee

  • Tourist
  • Samiran Chatterjee
  • Lives in Siliguri
  • 2 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  814 readers

"Nice and soothing place!" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 6 days ago
Great place to stay and enjoy the night at Mg marg. Once the town trip is complete one can go to several paces at east or north Sikkim. Place like Changu lake Nathula pass are one day journey. But Lachen, Lachung, zero point etc are most beautiful are to be visited by staying for several days. If one has a big group like 5-6 people no problem for sharing money. For single couple one needs to communicate with travel agencies located near sikkim tourism office at MG Marg. Also Hotel can arrange such sharing options with other groups but best to approach to the travel agencies and bargaining is a must. People are good and honest.
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  • 1 vote

Vikas Suri

  • Tourist
  • Vikas Suri
  • Lives in New Delhi
  • 1 Review
  •  260 readers

"Good destination with a nice view" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
I was there in off season but I enjoyed the stay in Gangtok, its snow covered mountains, tulips gardens, and especially the south Gangtok which is the place to visit. I will advise to visit this place in the month of December to march. Then you will be able to see the Himalayas clearly.
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Ratnadeep Kar

  • Tourist
  • Ratnadeep Kar
  • 1 Review
  •  300 readers

"Top entertainment place!" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
One of the best place I visited in my life. The best part of the place is the soothing weather and climate. The food is also remarkable and obviously one of the best I had ever tried. The people over there is also very co-operative and friendly and very innocent.
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Mr. Patel

  • Tourist
  • Mr. Patel
  • Lives in Lucknow
  • 2 Reviews
  •  286 readers

"Good experience!" new review

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Gangtok is situated in the Shivalik hills. The place is popular for buddhist pilgrimage site. Gangtok is the center of tourism activity full of monasteries, temples and lakes surrounded by great hills. Local market is good to buy gifts for your beloved. Beauty of this place is eye catching. Awesome weather.
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Mohit Bagaria

  • Tourist
  • Mohit Bagaria
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 1 Review
  •  255 readers

"Compulsory visit destination!" new review

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
The destination to Gangtok is very good due to best reason is very neat and clean place as it always have peace and for tourism. Best place to visit people here are very friendly. Nature places to visit are Changu lake and Nathula pass are very good. Indeed it has rope way too from where entire city is seen which is very beautiful. I loved the place very much.
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Rakesh Dhanamsetty

  • Tourist
  • Rakesh Dhanamsetty
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 2 Reviews
  •  438 readers

"Overall it was nice trip" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
This was my 2nd visit to Sikkim, am so in love with this place, I couldn't resist the temptation of visiting it again. Even my wife is now smitten with the beauty of Gangtok. One should definitely visit this paradise on earth, at least once in lifetime.
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Prachi Shukla

  • Tourist
  • Prachi Shukla
  • Lives in Surat
  • 4 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  538 readers

"Gracious Gangtok!" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Gangtok is a beautiful city with awesome weather. We went there in December and our trip turned out to be awesome. MG Marg at Gangtok is a center of attraction. One can get awesome mouth-watering food and awesome shopping experience at MG Marg. Gangtok is a modern city still untouched and blessed with beauty of nature. Tsomgo lake, Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir are must visit places which are routed through Gangtok in Sikkim. North Sikkim though not as favourite as Kashmir still holds beauty and purity to be called a Paradise on earth. Recommended months to visit are April-June when the places are covered with snow and flowers are in bloom. Nature and Beauty at its best.
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Tulsi Asish asish Animesh Bhaskar Tulsi, Asish asish, Animesh and 21763 other people have been to Gangtok.
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