Gangtok Tourism

Here tourism is religion, and religion is tourism 

Gangtok welcomes the early morning rays of the sun and readies itself for another beautiful day. A laid back town this might be, but it offers all the trappings of a modern city juxtaposed against the breath-taking beauty of the majestic Kanchenjunga. A land teeming with monasteries, meandering trails, gushing waterfalls, serene lakes and jaw-dropping vistas, it is one of the most popular destinations in India, and Gangtok tourism attracts crowds from across the world even.

Gangtok Tourism: A Quick View of the City
State Sikkim
Official Language Nepali, English, Bhutia
Dial Code 03592
Population 100,286
Currency Indian Rupee (INR)
Time Zone GMT +5:30 (IST)
Area 5,223 square kilometres

Highlights: Takes you on a high 


Spirituality calling 

The city has a strong Buddhist presence and you cannot miss the monasteries when you visit. Most are thousands of years old and you could even get a glimpse of some of the residents, the oldest living disciples of Lord Buddha himself. Include Tsuk La Khang Monastery, Phodong and Labrang monasteries, Pemayangste Monastery and Rumtek Monastery in your itinerary. 


Festivals 

Gangtok is a potpourri of religions and cultures, each one having its own festivals. Saga Dawa is the biggest Buddhist festival celebrated in Gangtok. The month-long festivities commemorate the birth of Buddha, his enlightenment and his subsequent salvation. Phang Lhabsol is celebrated in honour of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the reigning guardian deity of Sikkim. The festival of Dashain is celebrated by both Hindus and Nepalis. Other festivals to check out include Buddha Jayanti, Chotrul Duchen, Lhahab Duechen, Bhumchu and Drupka Teshi. 


Thrills and adventures 

Gangtok is an adrenaline junkie’s dream destination. The weather is just right, the altitude is challenging and the air is brimming with energy. You can start slow with a cable car ride from Deorali to Tashiling, and back. Feast your eyes on the stunning vistas that this one-kilometre long thrill ride takes you on. If you want something slower, try a yak ride. Meander along the paths of Gangtok, going where the yak takes you, along rugged routes through the craggy terrain. 

Want to up the ante a bit? Try mountain biking on the steep slopes. Or river rafting in the rapids of Teesta and Rangit. You can also try your hand at paragliding.

Other places to visit in Gangtok include the Seven Sisters Waterfalls, Nathu La Pass, Hanuman Tok, and the Tsongmo Lake. 


Markets and shopping 

Among Gangtok famous places is Lal Bazaar, your destination for souvenirs. Local artists set up shop here and the colourful items will always be cheaper than shops on MG Road. Gangtok is also famous for international branded winter wear that is 40% cheaper in summer. Carpets, leather goods, masks, wooden hanging artefacts, prayer flags, Thangka paintings, prayer wheels, singing bowls, dresses and jewellery of Tibetan, Bhutia and Nepalese origin and much more make up the complete Gangtok shopping experience. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of the local wine. 


Cuisine 

Ditch typical foods and go in for some traditional local Gangtok fare that blends cuisines from Tibet, China and Nepal. The first dish that you must try is the momo. Stuffed with minced vegetables, meat or cheese, this steaming hot dumpling is accompanied by a homemade sauce. Next on the menu is Thukpa, or Gya Thuk, a Tibetan-style soup with floating noodles and also loaded with vegetables or meat. Explore Gangtok and seek out Gundruk and Sinki, more homemade, local foods. Other dishes to try include fermented soybean, dim sums and the mushroom kachi. 


Interesting Facts about Gangtok 

  • According to the locals, Gangtok means ‘hill top’. 
  • Kanchenjunga is the world’s third-tallest peak. 
  • One of Buddhism’s holiest monasteries, Rumtek Monastery, is located in Gangtok. 
  • The city also has a thriving country-made alcohol industry.
  • Nathula and Jelepla passes are offshoots of the ancient Silk Route. 


Location: On top of the world

The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is nestled in the eastern Himalaya range, sitting at a height of 5,410 ft. The entire town is on one side of a hill, with the Raj Bhavan at one end and the palace at the other. Two rivers, Roru Chu and Ranikhola, skirt the town on its eastern and western boundaries, before flowing down south and meeting the famed Teesta. The area is prone to landslides, especially during the monsoon, so time your vacation wisely. 

Click here to view Gangtok on Google Map


Timings: Best time to visit

Pack your bags and head to Gangtok between October and December. It is the start of winter tourism in Gangtok and the region takes on a surreal tranquillity. Put on those walking shoes and allow your feet to take you on a journey of discovery. This land will relax you while also urging you to push your limits. Should you decide to plan for later in winter, be ready to brave temperatures below 0-degree Celsius. But there’s nothing like adventure and excitement to warm the spirit.

Summers are great too! This is when families and youngsters make a beeline for this tourist destination. The climate is just perfect and the time is right for sightseeing.

Avoid Gangtok during the monsoon. The landslide-prone land can get looser, creating road blocks and an uncertainty that is not a welcome holiday companion. 


How to get to Gangtok: Remote, not disconnected 

By RoadGangtok is well-connected to the rest of India with a multi-lane highway and is linked to neighbouring cities of Siliguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. You can get jeeps, vans, and buses from all these towns to Gangtok.  

By Rail - Take the train up to New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and then get yourself to Gangtok via NH10. 

By Air - You can get a flight to Pakyong Airport, about 35 kms from Gangtok. You can easily find transport once you step outside the terminal. 


History: An accidental evolution

Not much is known of Gangtok except early records that talk of the construction of a hermitic Gangtok monastery. It would have remained a quaint hamlet if not for the construction of the Enchey Monastery. For long Gangtok was the midpoint for all trade between the British and the Tibetans. It was during this time that the roads were built and telegraph lines laid down.

Sometime around 1890, the ruling Sikkimese monarch, Thutob Namgyal, transferred the capital of Sikkim from Tumlong to Gangtok. When India won its independence, Sikkim chose to remain an autonomous monarchy until 1975. After years of political uncertainty, struggle, riots and lack of development Sikkim decided to dissolve the monarchy and became India’s 22nd state, with Gangtok as its capital.

In Gangtok tourism is the biggest industry and every effort is taken to offer the discerning traveller a unique and memorable experience. When are you planning your vacation?

Language Spoken

Nepali, English, Bhutia

Currency used:

Indian Rupee (INR)

JUN-SEP 15oC
OCT-FEB 5oC
MAR-JUN 22oC

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Gangtok Tourism Guide

Famous all throughout the country as an avid holiday spot, Gangtok is home to an endless list of luxuries. If you’re looking for a holiday to completely unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures that nature has to offer; look no further because Gangtok is the place to be. In order to get completely mesmerised by this city, you need to avail the best Gangtok Tourism Package in keeping with your travel plans. 

Also, in order to do a thorough research of the city, you can download the Gangtok Tourism Guideor have a look online to maximise the results of your hard-earned holiday. We hope that you endure no hassles along the way. Also without too much delay, get hold of the best offer amongst all the Gangtok Tours.

Mesmerizing, joyful and beautiful, Gangtok is the capital city of Sikkim, branches along a swift mountain ridge, downhill in steep steps. A progressively budding sprawl of concrete, the town is sacred because of its natural beauty and Buddhist monasteries. Gangtok tourism is also famous for offering an excellent base for excursions to places such as Rumtek and Tsomgo Lake. Travellers remain here for a few days, exploring the local culture, stealing Kangchenjunga views from hotel terraces and organising their travels around the state.

Gangtok tour can take you to the historical Nathu La Pass that links India's Sikkim with China's Tibet Sovereign Region has received global fame because of its large stretch, ancient splendour and pleasant surroundings. The Deorali Orchid Sanctuary and Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park are of interest to nature and wildlife lovers.

Some of the famous places to visit in Gangtok are Tsomgo Lake, Ganesh Tok Viewpoint, and Flower exhibition centre, Tashi View Point and the local market, Lal Bazar. Gangtok tour packages also take you through a journey of discovering yourself with a perfect insight into Buddhist philosophy. The famous monasteries like Enchey Monastery and Tashiding Monastery teaches you the ways to balance your life.

This mesmeric and beautiful capital city will surprise you with its treasures. And, if you want to explore it all, then check out the Gangtok packages. Thomas Cook is here help you all the way through Gangtok Tours and will pay heed to the minutest of the details to make it an unforgettable experience. If you are a foreigner and visiting India for the first time, we can also help you with everything from currency conversions to flight tickets. We also offer you customized Gangtok tour packages so that you can enjoy your trip.

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