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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Read 557 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.9/7, 1
out of 10141 Gangtok reviews 557
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Maheshwari Maheshwari

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

"Liberating experience" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 1 week 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

  • Explorer
  • Girish Adiga
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 9 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  1243 readers

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

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 1 week 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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Santosh Gupta

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  • Santosh Gupta
  • 2 Reviews
  •  6 helpful votes
  •  685 readers

"Gangtok trip was a great trip of my life" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Gangtok trip was a great trip of my life. Very nice weather and very nice people. Genuine fare of cab & sightseeing vehicle. Good food. My personal experience was very nice for Gangtok. Next time when I will be free for five (5) days I will definitely visit again to Darjeeling & Gangtok.
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Bighnajit Mishra

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  • Bighnajit Mishra
  • Lives in Hyderabad
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  781 readers

"Snowfall is overwhelming" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Gangtok is a very clean and nice city. People are very good and cooperative. The food is also good and place to visit is very easily accessible from gangtok. Nearby Tsomgo lake or places within the city is also accessible very easily. Though no snowfall in Gangtok city, it can be seen in Changu lake.
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Aniket Kulkarni

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  • Aniket Kulkarni
  • Lives in Pune
  • 4 Reviews
  •  3 helpful votes
  •  1349 readers

"Must visit place for an unforgettable memory" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Great place to visit. Entire mountain experience with nice places to roam around. Stuff to buy at the markets, food to eat etc. Very clean and organized city which I must appreciate. I never got any other city during this trip as clean as Gangtok was.

Hotels to stay are good, Many places to visit nearby which make the stay worth while. Do not forget to try Momos, I would recommend the small outlet at the very end of the M. G Market. Cheers ;)
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Vinod chander khera

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  • Vinod chander khera
  • 2 Reviews
  •  1124 readers

"An average place" new review

  • 3.5/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
We had no exposure to common people of Sikkim except the people at the hotel or the drivers. All the time we were confined to the vehicle and a little bit of sightseeing. The Waterfalls around Gangtok were the only things that we liked about the place.
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Rajesh kumar

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  • Rajesh kumar
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 4 Reviews
  •  1739 readers

"Not so overwhelming as anticipated" new review

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Gangtok, well this venue meant something to me as most of my friends have been here before and they did praised the place. With few ifs and buts I would say it's been a satisfactory time for me. Services does need some improvement for person like me just so that I can recommend the place to others I know.
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Abhisheak

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  • Abhisheak
  • 4 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  2632 readers

"Gangtok - a place to travel" new review

  • 5/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
Gangtok is a nice place, this is the capitol of Sikkim. The city is very clean and well-maintained. This is a no smoking city. Transport are available to plan your travel to explore the beauty of Sikkim. But just one alert the behaviour of the drivers may not be as good as the nature of Sikkim.
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Jyotirmoy

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  • Jyotirmoy
  • 2 Reviews
  •  1602 readers

"Awesome place for a fun filled adventure" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
There are times when you want to get off from your mundane life and experience a carefree holiday which is nothing less than a refresh button. You want the place to be adventure filled, having great scenic beauty and just doesn't trouble your pockets much. My friend you are looking for Gangtok.

There are a plethora of options for visit in Gangtok. Starting from the beautiful Hanuman Tok to the freezing beauty i.e The Tsomgo lake to the mysterious and beautiful Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial temple, Gangtok has got everything you wished to find for a holiday visit.

The local food is great. You may find a lot of non-veg items and stuff easily. Vegetarians might need to search a bit but its not a gold search. The local cuisines like Momo are mouth watering. Also always try YY prepared by the dhabas there.

I tried rope climbing along with some trekking. There are awesome places to visit on a day to day basis. The more you explore the better it gets.

The place is best to visit in mid march to early may. You get to have a good amount of fun. Its cheap but make sure you mark the bandhs which are frequent nuisance in this part.
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 m bhattcharya

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  •  m bhattcharya
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 2 Reviews
  •  1755 readers

"A nice place" new review

  • 4/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
Gangtok is good and its food was different. Gangtok sightseeing are good and a small fall was here. Overall, Gangtok is a good place. Gangtok city are clean and traffic rule are so strict. Gangtok is also famous for its momo and thai food and the gandhi peth place is so good.
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Amit Amit sethia Nupur Tusar Amit, Amit sethia, Nupur and 16286 other people have been to Gangtok.
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