Gangtok is the capital city Sikkim, the second smallest state of India. Famous for its many important monasteries, and for the picturesque views of the Himalayas, Gangtok is one of the important hill-station of the country. In Gangtok you can see a smooth blend of both tradition and modernity. Located at an altitude of 1547 m above sea level, Gangtok houses some of the important Buddhist religious sites too. The existence of the peaceful Chortens or Stupas, old monasteries and the un-spoilt natural beauty of Gangtok offers you a truly unique traveling experience
Gangtok in Sikkim is well connected by roads, rail and air transport. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra in West Bengal. There are helicopter services from Bagdogra to Sikkim. The nearest railhead is at New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, which is connected by regular trains from different cities in India. One can easily reach Gangtok by road from the airport and the railway station. The city is connected with West Bengal by all weather roads which connect Siliguri and Kalimpong in West Bengal with Sikkim.
There are a large number of tourist attractions in Gangtok. They include the Government Institute of Cottage Industry, Enchey Monastery, Ridge Park, Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology, Do-Drul Chorten stupa, Deer Park, White Hall, Tashi View Point, Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok, Himalayan Zoological Park and the Sa-Ngor-Chotshog Centre. One can also have excursions to nearby places around the city like the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center, Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden, Saramsa Garden or the Ipecac garden, Water garden, Changu lake, Nathula Pass, and the Menmecho Lake.
The city of Gangtok is also famous for having wide varieties of flora and fauna. The main vegetation in the forests of Gangtok consists of Oak, Katus, and Kimbu. One can visit the sanctuaries in and around Gangtok in Sikkim like the Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
Best time to Travel : March to late May, October to Mid-December.
Weather Conditions :
Summer : Max- 21°C, Min – 13°C;
Winter : Max -13°C, Min – 0.48°C; Rainfall : 325 cm per annum.
Sightseeing in Gangtok Sikkim
Built about 100 years ago is the Labrang Monastery, just 1 km further from Phodong. This monastery belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, the same as that of Pemayangtse monastery in West Sikkim. Its name translates simply as the dwelling place of the Lamas (Buddhist monks).
About 6 km from Gyalsing town is the Pemayangtse Monastery. This monastery was originally built as a small temple in the last of 17th century by Latsun Chempo. But, later the temple structure was rebuilt into a monastery.
A 24-km drive from Gangtok, through the beautiful, bewitching countryside leads one to Rumtek. Rumtek, is the seat of the Karmapa Lama who heads the Kagyupa Sect of Buddhism.
Tasuklakhang – The Royal Chapel
The Royal Chapel, Tsuklakhang, is within the palace grounds. Popularly called Tsulakhang Royal. It is the main place of worship and gathering and the repository of a vast collection of Buddhist scriptures.
This park is also called the Rustomji Park named after one of the Dewans of the Chogyal of Sikkim. The park has a big open enclosure, sheltering animals like the red panda and the Himalayan Bear. A big statue of Lord Buddha commemorating his preachings of the noble truths in the Deer Park at Sarnath beautifies the park premises. A butter lamp continually burns in front of the statue, which is surrounded with flowers of amazing variety. The park commands a spectacular view of the hills, surrounding Gangtok.
On bifurcation road between Gyalsing and Yoksum, is clear water Kechopari Lake (wishing lake). The lake is surrounded by mountains with dense forests and wild life. It is so placid, crystal clear that not a leaf can be seen floating over it, because it is immediately lifted by birds.
Phurchachu Reshi Hot Springs
About 25 km from Gyalsing, near Reshi, after crossing Rangeet River by a pedestrian bridge is the Phurchachu springs with medicinal properties. These springs are considered holy, as one of the four holy caves is located here. This holy cave is called the “Kadosangphu” or ‘Cave of the occult fairies’ and is located on the south of the four cardinal points.
Some Important Destinations near Gangtok (Sikkim)
New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal is about 124 km from Gangtok and Siliguri in West Bengal is 114 km from Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim in India.