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
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Jaikishor Gautam
  • Jaikishor Gautam
  • Lives in Varanasi
  • 1 Review

"Must visit destination to feel the touch of nature's beauty" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 3 days ago
Beautiful sound of the temple bells, chirping birds in solace and the feeling of being in lap of mother nature is still with me which I witnessed in Gangtok. All the places you see in Gangtok deserves visit. I loved Thukpa, a Tibetan-style noodles mixed in soup, and flavored further with vegetables or minced food. It is much savored by both tourists and locals alike and is available in all the prominent eateries of the town. The Denzong Inn, located on the Lall Bazaar Road, has a restaurant inside which serves awesome Thukpas(Denzong Cinema Chowk). I will recommend to visit the place again and again, at least once in life.
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Hd Desai
  • Hd Desai
  • Lives in Guwahati
  • 2 Reviews

"A wonderful place to visit" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 5 days ago
-Usually Sikkim features subtropical highland climate so atmosphere wise its perfect as you might have dry weather, experienced monsoon or slight snowfall.

-Its the center of Tibetan Buddhist culture so if you are keen about knowing the culture of Buddhist and would like to visit several monasteries, religious educational institutions its a perfect place for you.

- The wow location is "Tsomgo Lake", Hanuman Tok, NAMCHI Sikkim Shiva Temple, Himalayan Zoological Park, Cholamu Lake, Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve, nathu la. These are fantastic place to visit

-I insist everyone include these places into their itinerary. You can find really mesmerizing and breathtaking scenes, even you can plan tracking and exploring activities. If you really love the nature, please only then visit this splendid places.

-Try to carry some eatable stuff with you as all the above mentioned places are bit far so its good to carry. The best thing to try is momo there.

-I advise everyone to carry a garbage bag so that you can avoid throwing rubbish there around to keep this beautiful place alive.

-MG road is one of the main shopping center and cultural activity streets located in Gangtok, you can spend there a day shopping. If you are looking for cheaper stuff to buy and if you are good at bargaining go to local market you can get stuff in very cheap rates.

-Good to visit in APR-MAY and SEPT-DEC.
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  • 3 votes

Hemmanroy Thaker
  • Hemmanroy Thaker
  • Lives in Surat
  • 11 Reviews

"A mind blowing experience" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 7 days ago
A mind blowing and a life time experience. Enjoyed the tour. Gandhiji was right when he travelled the length & breadth of India in order to know and understand the people, culture, etc. Experience the same while passing through Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim. Sikkim was the best place so far visited by me.
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Pritam paul
  • Pritam paul
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 1 Review

"An awesome place to refresh" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Awesome place to refresh your mind. Just visit and be happy. I went there with my friends group. And if you are a college buddy then you should visit this place in winter. Mountains, ice, chilled breeze and what more can I say. Wish to visit this place again.
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  • 3 votes

Subhrajyoti Medda
  • Subhrajyoti Medda
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 3 Reviews

"Perfect place for holiday" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
It was really a good trip. The city was clean and weather is pretty good. Enjoyed the weather and local food. It is a perfect place for holiday where you can enjoy luxury, comfort and good shopping experience along with splendid scenic beauty.
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  • 6 votes

Rama Shankar
  • Rama Shankar
  • Lives in Ghaziabad
  • 3 Reviews

"Good Experience" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
Instead of visiting Darjeeling, we prefer for Gangtok. I was really a good trip. the city and the desinations was clean and weather is pretty good. Enjoyed the weather and local food. Few Temples is being maintained by Military and was very much clean. We missed our bag for some time at the temple but located from that place itself. Missed the snow fall but had a great trip.
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Agarwal Sanjay
  • Agarwal Sanjay
  • Lives in Siliguri
  • 6 Reviews

"A beautiful hillstation"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Gangtok is a very beautiful hill station and the people there are very friendly. All types of foods are easily available. Various local sight seeing are there to spend the time and relaxation. Almost all multibrand food, snacks, clothes are available. Local conveyance is available easily. Momos and chowmein is excellent. Most of the branded showrooms and resto bars are in M. G. Marg and easily assessable.
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Kshitij  Deopa
  • Kshitij Deopa
  • Highlander
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 9 Reviews

"A place of spiritual beauty"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
The buses are available from Siliguri bus station which is on walk-able distance from the Siliguri railway station. The fare till Gangtok is Rs 160. You must have identity card because the officials ask for it at the entrance gate to Sikkim. The place is entirely different from rest of India. The hotels charges are minimum Rs 1000. The evening view of Kanchenjunga mountain from the city, the MG road, city view from the rapeway, rumtek monastery banjhakri falls can be visited in a day with many other places. The taxi drivers have their destination packages like in dharamsala and mcleodganj for Rs 1800. You need an extra day to Nathula pass. The minimum charges are 10 rs for nearby points. Place is safe and the people are very helpful. You can enjoy sikkimese alcohol, pork momos, beef kabab at reasonable rates. You will never get tired watching the view outside as there are rivers, waterfall and cute sikkimese people outside. Happy journey..!!
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  • 31 votes

Pawan talukdar
  • Pawan talukdar
  • Lives in Guwahati
  • 1 Review

"A place to have good fun"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Gangtok is the best place for holidays. There are many more sight seen here as like Ganesh Tok, waterfalls, monasteries, flower park etc. Paragliding is the good adventure here. The city is very clean. Mahatma Gandhi Marg ( MG MARG) is the best place in gangtok.
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Joy Pal
  • Joy Pal
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 1 photo
  • 3 Reviews

"Must visit all place, very interesting"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
First of all maintain rules of Sikkim Govt. Avoid drinking alcohol on the time travel. Every point is so beautiful. Yumthang valley is like Switzerland. Gurdomber lake is heaven's lake. Now Gangtok is new looks is parasailing. Please try this adventure, you may try water rafting. Gangtok have some good trek routes.
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  • 4 votes

Ronicalui Subham Joydeep sarkar Dhawal Ronicalui, Subham, Joydeep sarkar and 14112 other people have been to Gangtok.
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