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Tourist Places To Visit In Gangtok
Nestled in the green eastern sanctuary of India, Gangtok attracts travellers with its vivid and bright emerald hues. A small settlement in the lap of Himalayas, it is the capital of Sikkim and offers a picturesque view like no other. Check out the top tourist places to visit in Gangtok, starting from Rumtek Monastery to Phodong Monastery to Kanchenjunga Mountain, and many more.
Bask in Spirituality at Rumtek Monastery
Located 24 kilometres away from Gangtok, Rumtek Monastery will bring you closer to your spiritual side. The long winding roads and the delightful scenic locales of rural Sikkim will take your breath away. The magnificent building of Rumtek Monastery coupled with the artistic murals will leave you spellbound. Ensure you respect the serenity of the place and maintain silence and decorum.
Shop Till You Drop at Lal Bazaar
Lal Bazaar is famous for its vivid colours. Known as the shopper's paradise, you can expect the best of the local cultural artefacts. The mellifluous colours will surely leave you enthralled and will make your pockets lighter. Be ready to bargain and haggle to get the best prices.
Find Inner Peace at Ganesh Tok
Ganesh Tok is located around 5 kilometres from the city centre. A visit to this peaceful temple is said to ease worries and find inner peace. You can also get a beautiful panoramic view of entire Gangtok town from here. Visit the temple early morning for great photo opportunities. Most of the images you see on the net of Gangtok have been taken from this very place.
Get Intrigued by the Ban Jhakri Falls
Your visit to Gangtok is incomplete without exploring this miracle of nature. Situated around 10-12 kilometres from the main city, it is a relatively new popular tourist destination. If you are on your honeymoon then Ban Jhakri waterfalls should surely top your holiday itinerary. The intriguing statues at the waterfall represent the Ban Jhakri tribals. A quick bite at the small restaurant in the vicinity is a must.
Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial Temple
Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial Temple is a shrine dedicated to a soldier who was martyred in the India-China war. Harbhajan Singh laid down his life defending his troops on Nathula Pass and his spirit is said to still protect the men who stand guard on this border. Thus the army believes him to be the soldier that never died. And this temple is where all soldiers deployed here come to pay their respects. The locals too hold this place sacred.
A place full of solitude and sacred vibes, Phodong Monastery is an 18th century Buddhist shrine in Gangtok. It has been an integral piece of the city’s cultural fabric and is highly revered by the people of Sikkim. The walls painted with murals, mediation halls at peace, natural beauty surrounding it… its’s a delightful experience. The Cham dance festival celebrated in February is a great time to visit Phodong.
World’s third highest mountain, Kanchenjunga is heavenly. Did you even go to Gangtok if you didn’t see Kanchenjunga? It just towers over the city, giving you sneak-peeks from here and there, from the end of a long street, behind trees, over the horizon. For the best views though, go to the Kanchenjunga National Park or visit the base camp of Mt. Kanchenjunga. You can enjoy a trek or just sit and watch the gigantic mountain.
If you are one of those who count your sunsets and sunrises in every new place, then Tashi Viewpoint is for you. This is the place that offers stunning views of the Himalayas as the sun sets behind them. The sun rising its head from between mountains is also perfect for you photographs. A clear day is best to visit, but even when clouds are hovering, nature still does her magic and show you a beautiful scenery.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a college to study Tibetan Buddhism in Gangtok. It is one of its kind, and creates a wholesome understanding for you, as visitors, about the Tibetan culture and religion. There are museums, coins, scrolls and statues that preserve the Tibetan way of life, while ancient manuscripts in languages like Lepcha, Chinese, Tibetan and even Sanskrit are found for you to peruse.
Nathula Pass is the pass that opens into India from China, falling on the ancient silk route. For centuries this pass has been integral in defence as well as trade in the subcontinent. Now it is also pretty good for touring. The beauty of Nathula is indescribable, all snowy glaciers and alpine flora, clear skies and skiing routes. You can stop by Sherathang, a trade market where you get to pick up authentic Tibetan wares at peanut prices. Or you can visit Kulup — the second highest golf course in the world. There is also the Gnathang War Memorial and Gnathang Monastery nearby.
A magnificent lake in Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake is glacial in nature and has natural beauty that takes your breath away. The water is icy blue in colour, while the Himalayan peaks form a chain of sentries around it. There are temples around this lake dedicated to Shiva, and prayer wheels that point to Buddhist practises. Once you are done touring these, you can turn to Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary for more flora and fauna of the area.
Mahatma Gandhi Marg
Locally known as MG Road, the Mahatma Gandhi Marg is a cultural delight when in Gangtok. It is a clean, clear street, one of the best actually, to just walk around and window shop. Or enjoy the sights and sounds of Sikkim. Due to its pedestrian-only status, the street is beautifully lined and has many cafes, restaurants, stalls and shops that may remind you of a small European town. The aura is like a carnival all year round and locals mill around selling knick-knacks and souvenirs. Do visit in December to enjoy their annual Gangtok Food Festival!
The Gangtok Ropeway will take you through a rather thrilling ride, with gorgeous views to spare as you climb the double cable line from Deorali to Tashiling to Namnang. The ropeway is located at Vishal Gaon and has been around since 2003. The 2 km journey accommodates 24 people in one ride and should not be missed! Bring out your cameras and step in!
A natural lake, Khecheopalri is nature’s blessing bestowed on Sikkim. From ancient Hindu legends to Buddhist myths, Khecheopalri Lake reverberates with it all. It’s been around for so long. Lord Shiva, Devi Tara, even Guru Padmasambhava are associated with the banks of this lake. The Yuksom-Dzongri-Goechha trek route passes close to this lake and many trekkers prefer to relax and take a breather here. The Chho-Tsho in October is a bustling time of the year to visit.
Kabi Longstok is a little secluded hamlet about 17 km from Gangtok. Tourists enjoy this village for its beautiful houses, Buddhist culture and the monastery. A serene little walk through Kabi Longstok will recharge you and show you the essence of Sikkim at the same time. The greenery around adds to the charm and scents, blowing new breath into your lungs.
Reshi Hot Spring
The Reshi Hot Spring is the best hot spring in Gangtok. Located in the perfect place, with shrines and greenery surrounding it, and warm water oozing out through the year, Reshi is perfect for a little detour. There are guest huts nearby if you want to spend the night, but do take your own food and bedding as those are difficult to find.