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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Binay Sahu

  • Scout
  • Binay Sahu
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 3 Reviews
  •  43 readers

"A good Destination" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 days 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
  • 1 Review
  •  18 readers

"Scintillating trip" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 3 days 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

  • Explorer
  • Mudit srivastava
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 6 Reviews
  •  47 readers

"A nice experience" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 4 days 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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Cnaresh

  • Scout
  • Cnaresh
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 1 Review
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  214 readers

"Overall, a memorable experience" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 4 days ago
The capital of Sikkim is a very clean, calm and pleasant place worth for a traffic free holiday. The Sikkim government has ensured that the importance of the place is not destroyed due to unwanted traffic, hence only certain sized vehicles are allowed to pass on the roads during peak hours. Also, strict instructions of not throwing garbage on roads, use of plastic bags, or urinating on the roads are given to the tourists. Also, strict action against eve teasers is also taken.

As already mentioned Nathula Pass and Tsomgo lake is worth visiting and will take an entire day. The Buddhist monasteries in Gangtok are also worth visiting, especially Do-Drul Chorten. There is a memorial temple of Baba Harbhajan Singh who died fighting for the country on the way to Nathula Pass.

The local food that is fried momos are worth relishing. Souvenirs like the bells from monastery, woollen clothes, and jackets can be purchased.

The trip to Gangtok is pretty safe as there are a set of rules that govern the local people. However, it is best to visit during March to June and to avoid in monsoons and severe winters. Due to high altitude of Nathula Pass, one should take precautions as there may be altitude sickness and breathing problem due to lack of oxygen. Overall a memorable experience.
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  • 2 votes

Sivasankaran Muthukumarasamy

  • Scout
  • Sivasankaran Muthukumarasamy
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  426 readers

"Gangtok is the north east region of our country" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
Gangtok is the north east region of our country. There are many places to see. Mainly Nathula pass pasupathi nagar both are the borders with China and another with Nepal. Our jawans guarding our border in that chillness is very great thing. The roads are narrow and with very steep ups and downs. In other part of Gangtok the Rumtek monastery which is the oldest one is very nice and the golden Stupa is all must see things. Also the Buddhist big statue in the area near Chardham temple also must see places. Chardham temple of Shiva is a great achievement in charge that height. The temple is very neat and clean. There are many more places to see. The Khanchenjunga peak also visible which is their pride they say.
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  • 2 votes

Swamy

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  • Swamy
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  658 readers

"One of the best holiday destination" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
The capital of the state of Sikkim, Gangtok is an attractive tourist destination, reflecting a unique ambiance which derives from its happy blend of tradition and modernity. Alongside the deeply felt presence of stupas and monasteries, Gangtok also bustles like any other thriving town. Some of the key places to visit include Nathula Pass and Tsomgo lake.
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Tarun Bansal

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  • Tarun Bansal
  • Lives in Pune
  • 2 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  658 readers

"Excellent location, food & shopping options" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
We chose Gangtok as our honeymoon destination. It is an awesome place for couples. Must visit place especially for couples. Nice sightseeing. Way to China border is amazing. Excellent food and nice shopping options. We stayed 5 days in the enjoyable trip to Gangtok.
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Nancy Dias

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  • Nancy Dias
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  971 readers

"Clean city with well-maintained traffic" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
We went with our family, it was our first visit to hill town of North East. A beautiful journey of 80 kilometer beside river Theesta. It took four to five hours to reach Gangtok. People of Gangtok are very cooperative, sweet and helpful. MG Marg makes you feel that you are out of India.

Most of the vehicle driver are very nice. They don't try to cheat you. Rumtek Monastery is a place must to visit. You get all kind of food at most of the hotels. It was good to see so many people from all over India. The language is not a problem. Hindi is widely spoken and understood.

Gangtok is very clean and tidy city. Traffic is well maintained in spite of narrow roads. Lots of small places to witness within the city. Lot of options for vegetarian food. A must visit place.
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Maheshwari Maheshwari

  • Connoisseur
  • Maheshwari Maheshwari
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 10 photos
  • 6 Reviews
  •  2480 readers

"Liberating experience"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
If looking for a spiritual experience Gangtok could be ideal. Connecting to nature, the clean air & water are unfathomable to metro city dwellers. Sikkim is India's top tourist destination in my opinion. Malaysia, Thailand, Venice or no match to Sikkim.
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Girish Adiga

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  • Girish Adiga
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 9 Reviews
  •  4 helpful votes
  •  5003 readers

"Very clean city and lovely place to hangout with ur loved ones"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Gangtok is very clean and tidy city. Traffic is well maintained in spite of narrow roads. Lots of small places to witness within the city. Lot of options for vegetarian food. This place is good to stay and then move out of north and east sikkim. You will see huge army campus just outside the city and expands till the border. Get your camera and explore this wonderful city. Do not miss the MG road.
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