Places to visit in Gangtok

When you travel to Gangtok, you will love to visit popular tourist spots and enjoy the local culture. Amongst other Things to do in Gangtok, you can surely explore some of the best things to do in Gangtok to make your trip a fulfilling one. On a trip to Gangtok things to do can include exploring Gangtok attractions and visiting the places of interest.

Built by Trulshik Rinpoche in 1945, the Dro-dul-Chorten is a Buddhist stupa which belonged to the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism. It is considered to be one of the more important monuments in the state of Gangtok.  The stupa is surrounded by 108 wheels of prayer which are all inscribed in native Tibetan language. Inside the monument lie Kanjur holy books, mantras, relics and many other religious artefacts of immense significance.  Various other stupas surround this one namely the Jang Chup Chorten , which was built in memory of the creator of Dro-dul-Chorten. The stupa usually accommodates about 700 monks and is also available for tourists offering prayers, or simply viewing.

This is one of the most important places with regard to the Kagyu lineage outside Tibet. Founded by His Holiness the sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, this monastery became the international Kagyu Headquarters from where this sect related activities were managed all throughout the world. Currently it also plays host to new generation of Kagyumasters who are very diligently taught the art of meditation. The Dharma Chakra Centre, meanwhile, houses a breath-taking main shrine temple along with the accommodation of monks.It is also home to a lot of old school relics.

To accommodate and keep in mind the needs of kids, Gangtok facilitates all sorts of opportunities for the younger ones. Your kids along with you can enjoy all that this area has to offer in the form of many fun filled activities. From viewing the mountains to exploring the vast forest cover, to taking adventure trips to the Tsomgo Lake, Gangtok will be cemented in your hearts as a leisure trip for your kids. The beautiful and accommodating weather is also another huge plus when it comes to a meaningful outing with your young ones. Not only that, Gangtok has its share of shopping centres and amusement parks which show that it isn’t merely and informative place, but also an entertaining one! The various zoos and animal shelters will ensure that your kids will have nothing short of an amazing time.

This temple is very picturesquely located on the banks of the ever flowing Rangit River. It has the idol of Lord Shiva in its premises and the temple is known to have a significant amount of religious importance related to the Hindi text of Mahabharata. Located under the West Sikkim district it is popularly known as the Kirateshwar Mahadev Mandir. Between the months of November and December, the temple plays home to the Bala Chaturdesi festival. 

Rebuilt in the year 1948 with the guidance of the Lamas, the Phensang Monastery is located 9 kilometres North of Gangtok. Quite charming in itself, this monastery is located on a gentle slope which lies between Kabi and Phodong. Astonishing features of this monastery is that it was primarily established in the year 1721 during the rule of Jigme Pawo. Currently host to about 300 monks, an annual festival is held on the tenth month of the Tibetan calendar which sees a whole lot of art forms being carried out.

A site promoting religious as well as Eco tourism, this pilgrim centre is located on the Solopok Hill. It consists of an 87 feet high statue of Lord Shiva and has a central temple centre at 108 feet. In accordance to Hindu culture, one only attends nirvana after visiting the four major religious ‘dhams’ which are successfully created here. Spanning approximately 7 acres, this site resides about 5 kilometres from Namchi Town. 

Initially known as the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, this institute was established way back in the year 1958. Named after late Palden Thondup Namgyal (The Chogyal of Sikkim), its main aim was to research and analyse the Mahayana Sect of Tibet along with the overall Tibetan culture and language. Beautifully set on the top a hill, the institute offers a lot of insight into the norms and traditions of Tibetan culture. It is also the safe keeper of many Buddhist texts and rare manuscripts and other cultural aspects. It is also set up in a picturesque forest, amidst Birch, Magnolia and Oak trees.  

Covering acres of space in the form of a beautiful tropical greenhouse, The Flower Exhibiton Centre in Gangtok is a sight not to be missed for plant and flower enthusiasts. Every year, during the month of March, this centre hosts the Sikkim Flower Show which showcases the various types of orchids which fully bloom around this time. Tourists from all over the sub-continent engage in this show because of its beautiful spread.

Located in Ravangla, this tea garden is the only one in the entire state of Sikkim. However that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best in the world, let alone the country. Advocating for the processing of Organic Tea as per international guidelines, the tea stock is usually exported to foreign countries. It was established in the year 1969 by the government of Sikkim, occupying 440 acres of land. It has also won the ‘All India Quality Award’ in the years 1994 and 1995. 

Due to the fact that Sikkim has a lot to offer in terms of its natural resources, a tourist is most definitely spoilt for choice. With such beautiful and picturesque locations which are waiting to be exploited, Sikkim is the ideal place to be at any time of the year. 

Tashi viewpoint is one such place wherein you can get Gangtok’s best view of Khangchendzonga. It lies just 4km northwest of town. 

Hanuman Tok, is another serene location, which lies on a hilltop and serves as a wonderful facility to walkers. Lastly, Ganesh Tok offers a very appropriate view of the city and it also has very cute cafes for travellers.

The Himalayan Zoological Park is one such zoo which is well reputed in the country because of its high standards of maintenance. The zoo offers to tourists a wide variety of animals from the snow leopards to the Himalayan Bears. They also have a cafe inside, which provides snacks for tourists. 

Sikkim is also home to the Saramasa Garden which is a regular spot for tourists wanting to picnic. It lies between the slopes of Gangtok and Pakyong. Such natural attractions go on to show the richness in the nature of this state.

Home to a wide array of people from different backgrounds and cultures, Sikkim is host to a lot of indigenous tribes. Thus is contains all sorts of religious monuments such as temples and stupas. Tsuglhakhang is one such impressive temple which is open to tourists and pilgrims, which is located next to the Chogyal Palace. Enchey Gompa, on the northern border of Gangtok, is a serene monastery which is pretty famous for the Detor Chaam masked dances which take place in the end of the year. It is a prominent cultural event in Sikkim. 

Proving very difficult to cover in one trip, Gangtok has a host of famous landmarks of which Chogyal Palace is one. Though it is not accessible to common folk anymore, it can still be seen from Ganesh Tok. This palace was of important historical significance because it played a crucial role of Sikkim merging with India in 1975.

The Banjhakri Falls Energy Park is another off beat landmark. A favourite of most locals, the park offers a very nice relaxing and picnic spot. This essentially goes on to show how many landmarks and spots are waiting to be visited and marvelled by Sikkim. 

Home to the most beautiful natural resources, Gangtok has mountains, rivers and lakes alike, which are all worth a visit. Lake Tsongmo, Nathula Pass and the Teesta river are the more prominent natural spots.

The Damodar Ropeway is a cable car service which encompasses the best view of the city of Gangtok, spanning from the Institute of Tibetology to the Secretariat. Trekking is a very ardent activity and can be done towards the Northern region of the state, as is River Rafting. 

If you long for relaxation facilities in Gangtok, you can avail all of those in the more famous resorts and hotels around the city such as the Mayfair Spa Resort and the Summit Norling Resort and Spa.

Gangtok is technically the western music hub of India. Therefore the music scene in the city is a very lively one. Cafe Live & Loud is a bar which hosts live music gigs and so does Pub 25, both of which lie in the heart of the city.

The eateries in Gangtok thrive on a cuisine which is unique to itself. Taste of Tibet is one such restaurant which is very popular amongst the youth of Sikkim. 9’ine is a more posh fine dining sort of place which serves the best local delicacies in the city. Gangtalk, Tangerine and Chopsticks are some of the other reputed restaurants.

Authentic Sikkimese food consists of sisnoo, fiery pork chutney; soyabean chutney and gundrukkojhol. These dishes are respective delicacies, and their taste lies beyond words. The food in Gangtok is also influenced by the Tibetan style of cooking, which is precisely why momos, thukpas and shyaphale are available in abundance. 

X’cape is a very happening club which is located next at the Vajra Cinema Hall. It is probably one of the more popular pioneers of nightlife in Gangtok. Club King B is a relatively newer place which has opened but is slowly garnering its own popularity.

Lal Bazaar is one of the most well-known flea markets in the area. 

A wide variety of Chinese items and souvenirs can be found at the ever-famous MG road. The prices there are pretty cheap and bargaining is something which is also encouraged! MG Road is also famous for its Tibetan and Sikkimese curios. Old Market and New Market are the more famous shopping spots.

Known to be one of the more economical and cheap destinations for shopping, Gangtok plays host to a lot of traditional artefacts, as well as street markets.

The State Handloom and Handicraft Emporium promote leather and woollen goods, some of which are hand woven in a training centre for needy women. The pricing is very appropriate and a wide variety of products are available namely carpets, sweaters and other embroidered products. The Tibetan Handicraft centre is another privately run store.

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