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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Vikrant Sharma

  • Tourist
  • Vikrant Sharma
  • Lives in Gaya
  • 1 Review

"A nice destination" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 days ago
We visited many site and enjoyed a lot there. We found lucky to see god ganesha in ganesh tok, it was really a good place to see and enjoy. We also visited nearby army camp that was also good. Really Gangtok is a very good place to spend our vacation. We enjoyed Sikkim assembly also near that rope way.
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Babita Goyal

  • Explorer
  • Babita Goyal
  • Lives in Kalimpong
  • 6 Reviews
  •  7 helpful votes
  •  4376 readers

"The unique dishes in North-East India" new review

  • 5/7
  • Posted 4 days ago
I want to write about the food culture in North-East India which many might not many know about. Having stayed in the North-East for 30 years, I would say that the food here is exceptional in its own way. North-East india has it's own food. Smoked meats, fiery chillies, chicken and pork dishes flavoured with bamboo shoots and chutneys and curries are the dishes of these states.

The North-Eastern states also have an exceptional variety of sweet dishes. In Sikkim - seal roti is very famous. It is eaten with spicy potato and is mainly prepared during the festivals. Assam has jaggery and peetha. Nagaland is known for the black rice pudding known as nap naang. Pukhlein made of jaggery & rice is the staple dish of Meghalaya. The dishes are lip-smacking. The food culture is amazing.
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  • 2 votes

Prabal Dental care

  • Scout
  • Prabal Dental care
  • Lives in Lucknow
  • 1 Review
  •  278 readers

"Awesome trip to Gangtok" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 5 days ago
Trip started when I landed in new jalpaiguri at 8 pm, njp didn't look like a great place to stay so I moved to Siliguri 10 km away to stay, at about 7 am in morning I booked taxi for Gangtok and started my journey from mid of forest of doas along river teesta on one side, you cannot ask for more than this, at about 1pm I reached Gangtok ( never forget to carry your address proof when visit gangtok ).

I stayed at hotel tashi thendup near mall road, after 2 hrs of rest I decided to take glimpses of mall road filled with pretty visitors and good architecture. I enjoyed my evening with Chinese food and talking with local gentry. Next day we went for nathula pass and tsongo lake 57 km away from Gangtok, filled with dangerous and adventures way, tsongo lake view and it's surrounding ice capped mountain ranges in mid of April with yak riding and hot thukpa and momos at -5 deg temp, then what else you can ask on a trip, no words, next day morning I visited great monastery of Gangtok and then in afternoon I winded up my journey and returned to Lucknow. Gangtok trip is awesome experience for lifetime.
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Pradeep Menon

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  • Pradeep Menon
  • Lives in Pune
  • 2 Reviews
  •  4 helpful votes
  •  476 readers

"Little North-Eastern Wonder" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 6 days ago
I visited Gangtok on a whim, because I had an extra day on a visit to Kolkata. Gangtok seemed exciting, so off I went.

To get to Gangtok, one needs to first get to Siliguri. From there, a number of private vehicles ply from Gangtok. One of the most striking things is the journey from Siliguri to Gangtok itself. An early morning drive, looking out the window of the vehicle, soaking in the gorgeous blue of the glorious Teesta river. Very few things match the experience.

Gangtok's main city centre is called (surprise, surprise! ) M. G. Road. It is always buzzing with activity, and it has a number of tiny little eateries serving good, cheap food. Shopping for mementos and gifts here is a little expensive, because nearly everything is sold at tourist rates. M. G. Road has been done up really well, with a quaint feel to it.

Pretty much everything in Gangtok shuts early, so if you're from a metro and are used to things staying open late, do factor that in when you visit. In fact, getting out of Gangtok post 8 pm is a bit of a problem!
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Kavita Rao

  • Connoisseur
  • Kavita Rao
  • Lives in Bengalooru
  • 20 Reviews
  •  489 readers

"A great city" new review

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 6 days ago
Great city with great sight seeing and very honest and friendly people. Very clean for a hill station and only needs a makeover on the roads to Gangtok and in the city. Plenty of sight seeing in the hills around and a bustling University town. Pollution free and lovely mountain air to breathe.
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Devinder singh

  • Scout
  • Devinder singh
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 3 Reviews
  •  460 readers

"Memorable Experience" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 7 days ago
It's an immense please to share my views & memories of my Honeymoon trip to Gangtok (North & South Sikkim) & Darjeeling.

All the points & locations of Gangtok, Kalingpo were excellent in beauty, neatness & well management by local residents & Government bodies.

I will definitely advise all the travellers to spare some time for the Eternal Beauty of Sikkim & Darjeeling.
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Prajakta Baikar

  • Explorer
  • Prajakta Baikar
  • Lives in Thane
  • 13 photos
  • 7 Reviews
  •  127 helpful votes
  •  10587 readers

"Truly beautiful" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
We went to Gangtok in November 2012. Our road journey to Gangtok was from Bagdogra. It was nearly 6 hours journey. The route was silky and the view on both the sides was truly wonderful. On our right side was beautiful river teesta. The mountains on both the side were massive and green. It truly felt as if we were babies in the lap of mother nature. On reaching Gangtok we checked in the hotel at around 9:30pm and it was damn chilling. Hospitality of the staff was very kind and helpful.

On second day we went to baba mandir at nathula pass. On the way we could see mesmerising mountains and clouds at our feet. It was snowing lightly when we reached near tshangu lake. At baba mandir, on 13000 ft, it was heavenly experience for me. Surrounded with massive mountains and driving through the clouds in chilling weather is unforgettable for me. On third day we went for sightseeing of Gangtok. The people, roads, shops, schools and all of the Gangtok city is like in valley of flowers. We could also view river teesta from Gangtok city. Its one of the cleanest and most beautiful city in India. Everyone should visit this place. I could even spend my life in Sikkim. It's worth it.
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Binay Sahu

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  • Binay Sahu
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 3 Reviews
  •  674 readers

"A good Destination" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
I visited Gangtok last April end with my family. It is a nice destination for holiday in the summer. We stayed there for 3 nights. On Day 1, we reached Gangtok at 4PM. We checked-in into the hotel. After relaxing for some time in the hotel, we went to MG road. MG Road is a new place for shopping. Hotels, Food, garments, medicine shops, travel agent offices, everything is available in MG road. On Day 2, we booked a cab and went for full day trip of the city and places nearby. We visited Banjhakri Water falls, Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok, Tashi View point, Flower show and Chorten monastery etc. All the places were very good. However, I liked Banjhakri Water falls and Hanuman Tok very much. On Day 3, we visited Nathula Pass, Baba mandir and Tsomgo Lake. However, due to heavy snowfall and bad weather, we got permission only up to Baba Mandir. The view of snow clad mountains at Baba mandir and Tsomgo lake was awesome.
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Divya Vijay

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  • Divya Vijay
  • 2 Reviews
  •  528 readers

"Scintillating trip" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
It's very beautiful place. The scenic is marvellous. Best time to go from November to May but March and early April will be ideal for people staying in hot places. Tsomgo lake and nathula are awesome. MG road in the city has much of shoppings. You can go for a city ride in just one day. Chardham and Namchi are places worth visiting also Temi tea gardens. If you have planned right, don't miss Lachung.
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Mudit srivastava

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  • Mudit srivastava
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 6 Reviews
  •  971 readers

"A nice experience" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
The experience of Gangtok was excellent as it is very clean city and people are so friendly. The MG road was excellent but quite expensive.

The places like tsomgo lake and baba mandir were also good to visit. You can also take adventurous ride of yak.
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Prashed Prashed Luna Suman Prashed, Prashed, Luna and 16961 other people have been to Gangtok.
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