Gangtok Tourism: Overview

    Gangtok is the largest town and capital of smallest state of India, Sikkim. Gangtok is suited at an altitude of 5410ft in the Eastern Mighty Himalayan Range. Within the mighty Himalayan range with a mid-temperate climate Gangtok is the centre of Sikkim’s tourism industry and is a home to more than 100000 peoples with different ethnicities like Bhutia, Lepcha and Indian Gorkhas.

    Gangtok became a popular Buddhist excursion site after Enchey Monastery was built in 1840. Later in 1894, Chogyal Thurton Namgyel, the ruling Sikkimese, transferred to the new capital in Gangtok, which became the major business route stopover between Lhasa in Tibet and cities like Kolkata, Delhi in the early 20th century. With Gangtok as its capital, Sikkim Monarchy chose to remain an independent monarchy after India won its independence from British Empire. Later in 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of capital after India occupied Sikkim.

    Sikkim Culture

    Almost all the culture and tradition practised in Sikkim is based upon two main religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, which the Sikkimese people follow. Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalese are the three main tribes of Sikkim; Nepali is the common language spoken by the people of Sikkim. Lepchas are the oldest resident people of the state, and they either follow Hinduism, Buddhism or Christianity.

    Important Festivals in Sikkim

    Many cultural festivals are celebrated in Sikkim according to the Tibetan calendar and Nepali calendar. The main and important festivals of Sikkim are Dashain, Tihar, Manghey Sankranti, Lhosar, Chaite Dasian, Drukpa Tsechi, Phang Lhabsol, Saga Dawa, etc. Tourism in Gangtok gets its peak during these festivals.

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    Accomodation Hotels in Gangtok

    There are varieties of resorts, hotels, and home-stays in Gangtok,Sikkim . There is nothing to trouble about an accommodation in Gangtok as you can find luxury premium as well as mid range and budget hotels or homestays. Mostly, the agents who make the package will get you the type of hotel you will be comfortable with. The most renowned and most popular hotels in Gangtok are hotel Mayfair, Lemon Tree hotel, Summit Norling Spa and Resorts, Udaan Woodberry Hotel and Spa, Hotel New Orchid and Spa and many more.

    How to reach Gangtok?

    Gangtok,Sikkim is well connected to the rest of the India through airway, railway and roadways. Pakyong Airport is only Airport in Sikkim, 30 kilometers from Gangtok. Currently Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is the main and closest airport to Gangtok that connects Sikkim by air located approx 123 Kilometers away and New Jalpaigur Railway Station is the nearest station that connects Sikkim by railways. Getting to Gangtok through roadroads one can hire private taxis or can get on fix priced sharing taxis and also buses available on the designated stands.

    Best time to visit Gangtok

    The best time to visit Gangtok,Sikkim is during the month of late September to mid of December and then from March to June when Gangtok is having its autumn and spring-summer which provides a pleasant climate for sightseeing. Gangtok enjoys a subtropical, highland climate which is owsome and moderate for outdoor activities and hiking for all year round. Gangtok is well positioned and a great base for touring around, exploration and making day trips in Sikkim. In winters the temperature drops to 4degree to 7 degrees without snowfall, in summer it rises to 14degrees to 20degrees.Read our guide to read about tourist places in Gangtok.

    Places to visit in Gangtok

    Nathu La Pass, Gangtok

    Nathula, one of the highest motorable roads in the world, is a mountain pass in the Himalayan peaks that co-joins Sikkim and China. Situated on the Indo-Tibetan border 14450 ft. above sea level, Nathu La is one of the essential Himalayan passes in the country. Nathu means 'listening ears,' and La means 'pass.' Nathula is one of the three open trading border posts between India and China and is famous for its picturesque beauty and beautiful environment. The temperature here remains low for most parts of the year, and it becomes a hotspot for tourists during summer.

    Nathula Pass Weather and Best Time to Visit

    Nathula Pass experiences heavy snowfall during winter. The temperature of this area may drop down to -25 degrees Celsius. If you really love snow, you can visit Nathula Pass in winter with thick woolen garments. May to mid-November is the summer season when the temperature ranges around 10 degrees Celsius.

    MG Road, Gangtok Overview

    MG Road is the heart of Gangtok and its most happening place. It is the central shopping hub of this beautiful state capital, with various shops, restaurants, and hotels lined up along both sides. MG Road is an open mall or boulevard square widely regarded as the town center and the best tourist shopping destination. This is a great place to take a leisurely stroll, sit on the benches, and revel in the eclectic ambiance.

    The first thing one notices when on this approximately 1 km stretch of road is the cleanliness. There are boards everywhere that say, "Welcome to M.G. Marg, Spit, and Litter Free Zone." The entire area is free of smoke, litter, and vehicular traffic. It's a pedestrian-only zone, and vehicles are not allowed. The buildings on both sides of MG Road in Gangtok are painted green in line with the government's green initiative. This place is also famous for the Gangtok Food and Culture Festival, which is an extravaganza held in December every year and thronged by connoisseurs from all over.

    The Statue of Unity overlooks MG Road, which comprises the figures of Bhutia Chieftain Khye Bumsa, the Lepcha leader Thetong Tek and his wife Ngo Kong's goal. This statue promotes peace, love, and harmony. About midway is an imposing statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Other eye-catching additions are the Victorian lamps and various benches along the path. Gangtok's MG Road looks stunning when the lights are lit after dark, making it a much-thronged place in this quaint hill town.

    Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok Overview

    The Rumtek Monastery is one of Sikkim's largest and most significant monasteries, perched on top of a hill 23 km from Gangtok. Originally called the Dharma Chakra Centre, it belongs to the Kargyu sect of Buddhists who originated in Tibet in the 12th century. Verdant green mountains surround the monastery and thus serve as a visual treat besides being a focal point for spiritual solace. If you climb to the Rumtek Monastery, you can have a breathtaking view of the whole Gangtok town right opposite the hill. Besides this, the architecture of the impressive monastery is one of the finest in the world.

    The glorious Rumtek Monastery houses a beautiful shrine temple and a monastery for the monks, which were established to spread Buddhist teachings worldwide. The sublime structure has a walkway where the monks, pilgrims, and visitors perform Kora (a circuit round of the monastery). The splendid Rumtek Monastery has preserved a golden stupa and various other sculptures which belonged to the 16th Karmapa. It also serves as the storehouse for many objects besides storing some of the world's unique religious scriptures. The massive prayer hall inside the stunning monastery is a place worth seeing that is decorated with splendid murals, statues, and thangkas.

    Tsomgo Lake, Gangtok Overview

    Perched between the mountains at a dizzying height of 12400 ft above sea level, the Tsomgo Lake is one of the few high-altitude lakes in India situated on the Gangtok - Nathu La highway. Also popularly known as Changu Lake, it is a part of every tourist's itinerary, and for a good reason - the overwhelming scenic beauty. Enveloped by steep snow-capped mountains and resting between a bright green carpet of alpine forests, the charming beauty of Tsogmo Lake is bound to leave you in awe. The lake's mesmerizing scenic allure and legendary significance to the locals make it a must-visit attraction in Sikkim.

    Tsomgo Lake is a glacial lake that derives its water from the melting snow of the mountains around it. This glacial lake is famous for its color-changing waters. Monsoons see a bright aquamarine lake, whereas, in the winters, it freezes into a translucent cover of ice. As the summer approaches in mid-May, the periphery of this lake is dotted with a thousand blossoming flowers that lend the waters a riot of vibrant colors.

    Ganesh Tok, Gangtok Overview

    Ganesh Tok is a small temple and a loved viewpoint in Gangtok. Situated on top of a hill, the place has mind-stirring views - the Kanchenjunga hill can be seen in its proper form of glory from here and is at its best, especially in the morning. The Ganesh Tok viewpoint, situated at a distance of 6500, offers stunning views of the mountains dusted with snow. The temple (dedicated to Lord Ganesh) is so tiny that it can only fit one person at a time. The sublime place takes you closer to nature with its surreal surroundings and comforting ambiance.

    Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok Overview

    One of the very few of its kind, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is an abode of centuries-old Tibetan-Buddhist culture and its history. NIT preserves the glorious past of the country, the religion, and its precious culture with the utmost dedication shown in the excellent collection in the museum and the library, which are the main attractions here. As important as its role is for the pursuers of Asian culture and Buddhist studies, with its quiet and serene charm, it is also a paradise for tourists, especially for the occasional history enthusiast. Photography is not allowed inside, but you can take some time off technology and take in all you want with the lens of your eyes.

    Kangchenjunga, Gangtok Overview

    The third-highest peak in the world, the majestic Kanchenjunga, also spelled Kangchenjunga, is one of the most stunning mountains. Surrounded by Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet, Mt Kanchenjunga was first scaled in 1955 but has been declared sacred since then. Kanchenjunga' is a Tibetan name that means 'The Five Treasures of the High Snow'. The treasures represent the five repositories of God, namely gold, silver, gems, grain, and holy books. There are a lot of trekking routes in and around Kanchenjunga, which will take you through woody forests and serene countryside.

    Kangchenjunga Mountain near Darjeeling is the third-highest peak in the world, with a peak elevation of 8,586 m. In the Kirat religion of Sikkim, the mountain is regarded as very sacred, and in the local Limbu language, it is also called Sewa Lungma. Four of the five Kanchenjunga peaks can be viewed from many points in Darjeeling and Gangtok. Out of the many moments in Darjeeling from where you can have a spectacular view of the peak, Tiger Hill is one of the best. If you're in Gangtok, the Goecha La trek in Sikkim is the standard base camp for trekking up the range.

    Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple, Gangtok Overview

    Situated on the road between Nathu La and Jelepla Pass, at a distance of 64 km at an elevation of 4000 meters, Baba Mandir is the shrine built at the Samadhi of Harbhajan Singh. It is the local belief that every person visiting the Nathang Valley and crossing through this enchantingly beautiful terrain has to pay their respects to Baba Harbhajan Singh. Think of it as something other than an ordinary temple, for you'll be mistaken! As you climb the stairs to the concrete construction, flanked with bells on both sides, you'll be rewarded with the most ineffable samadhi you have ever visited.

    Legend has it that 35 years ago, while leading a pack of mules from his division at Tukla to Deng Dhukla in East Sikkim, Sepoy Harbhajan Singh went missing. After a search was launched, the Army discovered his body after three days. It is also believed that he led the soldiers to his body. After that, many soldiers in the troop reported that Baba had been coming in their dreams, asking them to build a shrine in his memory. A samadhi was thus made in his memory and called the 'Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple.' Many people believe Harbhajan Singh comes to the temple every night and does his rounds after wearing his uniform. People worship him as a saint who guards the lives of soldiers along the border.

    Inside the Baba Mandir, you will find a large photo of Harbhajan Singh, which his devotees worship. Tourists who come here leave their water bottles for a few days and collect them later because drinking that water is believed that all their wishes come true. Harbhajan Singh's office has been built on one side of the temple with a dining place and a room for him to stay at with his uniform and shoes. Though the temple is on the side of a road, it is surrounded by magnificent mountains, giving the tourists a fantastic view. Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is a must-visit due to the tales associated with the place.

    Mangan, Gangtok Overview

    The town of Mangan, serving as the capital of the northern part of Sikkim, is a central tourist location, and travelers mostly use this town as a base station from where they commence treks and tours to other parts of this district. Mangan is one of the most essential and least populated towns in Sikkim. It is the entry point to North Sikkim and developing into a tourist hotspot because of the breathtaking view of the Kanchenjunga range. Mangan has slowly created a sanctuary for nature lovers, travelers, and soul seekers as many white peaks, sheer and sparkling streams, and flowering shrubs surround it.

    Mangan is an attractive place with good sightseeing spots and a transit point to other regional destinations. A three-day music festival is organized here in December every year, where bands from the area and other Northeast states perform for a vast crowd. Mountains, music, and cold weather make it an inspiring event. Other attractions of Mangan include an exhibition cum sale of local handicrafts, a presentation of traditional cultural songs and dances, and a food festival.

    Himalayan Zoological Park, Gangtok Overview

    The Himalayan Zoological Park is located in Bulbuley, 3 km from Gangtok, and is a place for all wildlife lovers. From here, at an altitude of 1780 meters, one gets a fantastic view of Mount Kanchenjunga. Established in 1991, Himalayan Zoological Park is situated in the North-Eastern part of India. The park fulfills all the requirements of a zoo where the creatures are kept under stable conditions and safeguarded and tamed without irritating them and ensuring that they live in their typical habitat. Spread over 205 hectares of land in the mountainous terrain; the park is home to various fauna, including the snow leopard cat, goral, Himalayan palm civet, Himalayan red panda, Himalayan monal pheasant, crimson-horned pheasant, and Himalayan black bear.

    The Forests, Environment & Wildlife Management Department, Government of Sikkim, maintains this first-ever zoological park of Sikkim. A 2.5 km road runs through the park, where you can either drive or walk. If you decide to walk, be prepared since it will take a long time to reach the habitats. So, you should hire a car for about half a day and explore the zoo. Some facilities at the zoo include a café, souvenir shop, drinking water points, washrooms, and a watchtower for a fantastic view of the entire area. Do visit the Himalayan Zoological Park in Gangtok to be a part of the natural habitat of a variety of species and enjoy the incredible natural beauty surrounding the place.

    Reshi Hot Springs, Gangtok Overview

    Sikkim has numerous hot springs, but the Reshi Hot Spring is the most famous one due to its strategic location and the religious significance that it holds. These hot water springs or Cha-chu present in Reshi are winter spas from the ancient period where pilgrims and visitors spent a week or more soaking themselves in the springs believed to contain medicinal properties. Easily accessible, the spring is present right after a downhill drive of an hour towards the Rangit River valley. For the tourists' comfort, temporary huts are available for an overnight stay at affordable prices with no bedding or cooking utensils. Small shops in the neighborhood sell vegetables and other daily necessities.

    Also known as 'the cave of occult fairies' Lho Khandro Sang Phug is a small monastery and a holy cave situated adjacent to the river. Due to the presence of this cave, the water in the Reshi Hot Springs is considered sacred, and a warm soak in the springs is said to be very good for curing all skin diseases. The presence of abundant sulfur makes the water temperature perfect for carrying out a treatment to beat the cold air. This place is also an ideal spot for trekking, followed by a relaxing bath in the spring. You can also click lots of photographs in the area and have a wonderful visit.

    Kabi Longstok, Gangtok Overview

    Situated at a distance of 17 km from the northern capital of Gangtok is Kabi Longstok, the quaint little town considered to be a historical place due to the initiation of the Sikkimese history here in the early 13th century. There is an exquisite Buddhist monastery nearby where you can spot kids and Buddhist followers studying religion and its beliefs. Along with this, there is a library and a garden as well where you can discover more about the place and its past. There are life-size statues of Bhutia and Lepcha, who were the blood brothers, erected near the stone pillar to pay respect. With this place's beautiful stories, Kabi Longstok will undoubtedly captivate you with its incredible beauty.

    This place has a past associated with it because it was here that a friendship treaty of brotherhood was signed between Khey Bumsa, a Tibetan chieftain, and Tetong Tek, a Lepcha tribal chief, in the 14th century. To mark the event and the location, a vast stone pillar is situated in the middle of the dense forest where the agreement was signed.

    With Kabi Longstok being one of the most popular spots of Gangtok, you will come across the Thakurbari temple, which was built in memory of the event. Set in the middle of the forests, Kabi will send chills down your spine, mainly when someone narrates the history of the place. If you plan a trip to Gangtok, Kabi Town should definitely be on your list of must-visit places.

    Seven Sisters Waterfalls, Gangtok Overview

    Justifying its name, Seven Sisters Waterfalls comprises seven different waterfalls amicably arranged side by side on a wide rugged cliff which seems distinct when looked at from a distance. This famous waterfall is situated at a distance of 32 kilometers from Gangtok on the Gangtok-Lachung Highway. It appears even more beautiful after rain when it comes to life and offers a captivating view. The gurgling water passes through the green vegetation onto the rugged cliffs and falls on the limestones making a roaring sound. The idea of the setting sun pulls the visitors to indulge in a long photography session. With the Tourist and Civil Aviation Department building a waiting shed and a cafeteria for the tourists to refresh themselves and click pictures of this nature's beauty, the Seven Sisters Waterfalls are a perfect picnic spot to spend time with family and friends.

    The captivating Seven Sisters waterfall got its name primarily because it falls in seven stages, from which visitors can see only four steps from the bottom. The rest falls way higher and gets hidden between the rocks, preventing it from being seen. The view of the falling water juxtaposed against lush mountains in the background is enough to make the visitors spellbound, making it one of the region's most visited and photographed waterfalls. This picture-perfect spot is loved by photographers, nature lovers, and picnickers. To give a much better view and photographic break to its visitors, a small footbridge crossing over the stream has been constructed here. The rainy season is the best time to visit the Seven Sisters Waterfalls or when the snow melts; as it is during this time, the waterfall comes back to life and is an absolute delight to watch. If you are planning a trip to Gangtok, take advantage of including this place in your must-visit areas for its remarkable beauty, and the incredible location is worth visiting.

    Flower Exhibition Centre, Gangtok Overview

    Flower Exhibition Centre, situated in Gangtok, showcases flowers from the different parts of Sikkim under a single roof, making it a heaven for all nature lovers. It is located right across the White Memorial Hall and below Ridge Park, within walking distance from the MG Marg. Though the flowers are displayed here throughout the year, the annual flower show held from April to May should be noticed. During this time, the management gathers here and presents numerous varieties of orchids and other flowers from around the state. Participants from the neighboring states are invited to participate in the annual flower contest held on the premises by the Government of Sikkim.

    A medium-sized tropical greenhouse, the center is filled with unusual species of plants, including numerous species of fresh orchids, namely Anthurium and Lilium. The presence of such different varieties of colorful flowers, along with their enchanting fragrance, fills up the entire center, making it a very refreshing place for visitors. This lovely place is fantastic for spending time at just looking at the flowers and clicking pictures. In addition to all this, there is an artificial water pond and a bridge constructed over it where the tourists can take a little stroll while enjoying the pleasant ambiance. One is likely to get amazing photographs amongst the colorful and bright bushes and flowers. This place is worth a visit if you are planning a trip to Gangtok, for looking at the ever-smiling flowers will freshen you up entirely and brighten your day.

    Do Drul Chorten, Gangtok Overview

    Do Drul Chorten is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim, nestled in the stunning valleys of Gangtok? Built in 1945 under the supervision of the late Truslshi and Rimpoche, the Stupa has around 108 Mani Lhakor or prayer wheels. These wheels are engraved with important mantras which can be chanted by rotating them. The quaint serenity and calmness of Do Drul Chorten have attracted tourists and devotees for years.

    The Korten Stupa was once believed to be haunted by evil spirits until the very respected Lama Trulshig Rinpoche came to this place and built a stupa in 1946. The deity engraved on top of this Stupa is Vajra Kilaya, considered one of the most prominent chortens in Sikkim. Inside the monastery is the complete set of Dorjee Phurba, holy Buddhist texts, and other religious paraphernalia. Do Drul Chorten have a dharma preaching center on its premises which Dodhrubchen Rinpoche established? The Stupa is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang, housing two giant statues of Guru Padmasambhava. This is a quaint little place for people seeking solace in the hill town.

    Saramsa Garden, Gangtok Overview

    At a distance of 14 km from Gangtok, Saramsa Garden, also known as Ipecac Garden, is indeed a treat for your senses. The exquisite range of different colored flowers with the surrounding lush greenery is going to hold your attention. There is a large greenhouse in the garden as well, which preserves a range of orchids. The mesmerizing garden is also well-developed, where you can participate in recreational activities like volleyball and football. Apart from these facilities, it also has a convention center next to the nursery where all the functions and meetings are conducted.

    Set up in 1922 by the Forest Department of the government of Sikkim, the main agenda for building this garden was to look after the needs of the British officers and the Namgyal royal family. The garden got its name 'Ipecac' after the Forest Department introduced a medicinal plant known as 'Cephaelis Ipecacuanha' in 1940. Before that, a variety of fruit trees including orange, pineapple, guava, and banana were grown in the garden. A range of orchids too was produced in the region, after which the garden developed into a picnic spot.

    The Saramsa Garden is divided into several blocks for ease of navigation. A small footbridge is constructed over a small pool with different-shaped plants in the block. Another block has a bench built under the shade of the trees for the visitors to relax. Since this place brings you one step closer to nature, it is all the more enjoyable. So, if you are planning a trip to Gangtok, remember to visit this wonderful creation of nature with some help from humankind!

    Hanuman Tok, Gangtok Overview

    Hanuman Tok is a famous temple of Gangtok named after Lord Hanuman and maintained by the Indian Army. Situated at the height of 7,200 feet, the regal temple is juxtaposed against the Kanchenjunga peak, the world's third-highest peak. The eclectic beauty of Hanuman Tok makes you enjoy it thoroughly, keeping you close to nature.

    The sight of the enormous hills around the capital city of Gangtok is captivating. After you reach the top, the snow-dusted peaks of Kanchenjunga and the spectacular range of the Himalayas leave you awed. You can visit Hanuman Tok before 5:00 AM to view the sunrise, the beauty of which is beyond description. The glorious sight of the place is sure to leave you speechless. The serenity of Hanuman Tok makes it a perfect spot for you to relax, meditate, and get all charged up.

    Paragliding, Gangtok Overview

    Paragliding is one of the exciting things to do in Gangtok and one activity that you must definitely experience. The place lets you try your hand at the opportunity with the help of a professional trainer and with complete safety measures. Besides giving you a fantastic adrenaline rush, the activity lets you have a bird's eye view of the beautiful city.

    Tashi View Point, Gangtok Overview

    Situated 8 km from central Gangtok, Tashi Viewpoint is a scenic beauty from where travelers can view the magnificent Mount Sinilochu and Mount Kanchenjunga. It was built by Tashi Namgyal, who was the king of Sikkim between 1914 and 1963, and that is how the place got its name. Developed by the tourism department of Sikkim and nestled in a perfect location, one can get a beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains from Tashi Viewpoint. This spot also serves as a fabulous picnic place for locals, as well as foreign tourists, due to the presence of a cafeteria and sheds bordering the site of the viewpoint.

    The splendid Tashi Viewpoint does not have match due to its unpolluted environment, which has been developed in a manner that helps the tourists understand the trance of the Himalayas. The picturesque ambiance and its serenity play a significant role in assisting travelers in viewing the Phodong Monastery and Labrang Monastery from here. Tashi Viewpoint is no less than a paradise for all the locals and the young people who assemble here during the weekends to enjoy and be a part of the incredible sightseeing.

    For overseas travelers, it is advisable to visit the place during the morning time to experience a more explicit and transparent view of the mighty mountains juxtaposed against the golden hues of the rising sun. So, if you ever plan a trip to Gangtok, visit Tashi Viewpoint to help you escape your monotonous life in an environment filled with peace and harmony.

    Tsuk La Khang Monastery, Gangtok Overview

    Situated in the Tsuklakhang Royal Palace complex, Tsuk La Khang Monastery is the palatial monastery of the former royal family of Sikkim. Built-in the year 1898 AD under the rule of Thutob Namgyal who was the 9th King, Tsuk La Khang is the prime place of worship for the local Buddhists residing in the region. This beautiful two-storied structure with mural-covered interiors also comprises an extensive collection of scriptures and is decorated with altars, images of Lord Buddha, and tantric deities. This monastery was earlier used as a site where marriages and coronations of the Sikkim royalty took place. Wooden sculptures crafted as a Snow Lion's head are present on every corner.

    On entering the monastery, you will come across the beautiful walls which are decorated with murals and altars carved with the images of deities. Not only this, several festivals are held throughout the year, including Phang Lhabsol and Losoong. Chaam, which is a very famous mask dance, is performed by the monks of the monastery during these festivals. When the New Year is celebrated, the Black Hat Dance is performed as well, showcasing the victory of good forces over evil ones. The tranquil Tsuklakhang Monastery remains open for tourists during Losar, a famous dance festival. Combined with the spiritual and serene environment, the incredible natural beauty surrounding the Tsuk La Khang makes it a must-visit place in Gangtok.

    Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, Gangtok Overview

    Nestled in the exquisite Yumthang Valley in North Sikkim, the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is known for the magnificent rhododendrons found here. Sprawling over an area of 43 square kilometers and comprising of several species of rhododendrons, the sanctuary is situated at an elevation of 3,048 to 4,575 meters. The azaleas bloom to their total capacity and turn the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary into a riot of colors from April to July, making it the best time to visit the place. The sanctuary gets its dramatic look from the Yumthang Chhu meandering through it.

    In addition to the 40 different species of Rhododendrons, which make the park appear colorful during spring, other trees present here include Saxifrages, Aconites, Potentillas, Aconites, and Gentias. Since Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is situated close to the Tibetan Plateau, it also experiences long winter seasons. Though the cool breeze starts in November, January is the coldest month. Also, the valley's beauty increases by ten times due to heavy snowfall. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is a beautiful place to spend time amidst the picturesque location and natural beauty all around. Adventure lovers can also have their share of fun by trekking through the Yumthang Valley.

    Enchey Monastery, Gangtok Overview

    Enchey Monastery, meaning 'the solitary temple,' is a holy pilgrimage spot for Buddhists in the magical wonderland of Gangtok, surrounded by natural beauty. The presence of tall pine trees, flowery meadows, and the beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga Hills gives the devotees a feeling of being in the middle of a serene and blessed environment. Situated 3 km to the northeast of Gangtok, this monastery is about 200 years old. History has it that Lama Druptob Karpo, a famous tantric with flying powers, flew down to the Maenam Hill and built a hermitage at this exquisite location which was later renovated under the rule of Sidkeong Tulku in the Chinese Pagoda style.

    Presently, this holy monastery houses 90 monks and pays respect to Loki Sharia, Lord Buddha, and Guru Padmasambhava. A massive metal-roofed prayer hall inside Enchey Monastery consists of numerous images of Gods, Goddesses, and Tantric. The porch has a wheel of law that ripples in perfect sync with the chants of the monks. Apart from its beautiful location, the Enchey Monastery is also a famous tourist location due to the Chaam dance (a particular prayer offering by monks by wearing masks) organized on the 18th and 19th day of the 12th lunar month as per the Tibetan calendar. Pang Lhabsol is another festival celebrated in the monastery, which brings the Bhutias and Lepchas together by swearing on blood brotherhood, with the witness being the Khangchendzonga. If you are interested in learning about the culture of the monks or their history in a surreal and peaceful environment away from the noise of the city, this is the place for you.

    Saga Dawa, Gangtok Overview

    The Saga Dawa festival is one of the most important festivals for the people of Sikkim, celebrated enthusiastically in the capital city Gangtok. The Mahayana Buddhist tradition recognizes the full moon day of the fourth month of the Buddhist calendar as the anniversary of Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and Nirvana. The day is celebrated by various names across India and abroad.

    Saga Dawa is among the many ways devotees commemorate the day. Festivity occurs across Gangtok through processions, prayers, and extending alms to the needy. The customs and rituals, carried out in remembrance of the Buddha, are said to bear fruits for the observers in the future.

    International Flower Festival in Gangtok, Gangtok Overview

    The International Flower Show is held in Gangtok every year. Several beautiful species of flowers are showcased here, such as orchids, gladioli, roses, cacti, alpine plants, creepers, climbers, ferns, herbs, etc. Also, lectures and seminars are held in which renowned botanical scientists come over to speak. The festival takes place throughout May and is a primary source of attraction among tourists and local inhabitants. The Flower Show is also accompanied by a food festival, where one may try several local delicacies.

    The International Flower Festival, organized by the Government of Sikkim, is celebrated in the northeast Indian state of Sikkim. The exhibition of flowers, which is the center of attraction of the festival, takes place in the Flower Exhibition Centre or near the White Hall Complex in the state's capital city, Gangtok.

    International Flower Festival Celebrated – A Festivity of Fragrance

    The International Flower Festival held in the Gangtok city of the northeast Indian state of Sikkim is a joyful celebration for people of all kinds of varied interests and affinities. The exhibition of hundreds of species of different flowers makes the event such that no visitor is left not in love with the celebration. Thirty different varieties of rhododendrons and hundreds of other flowers are showcased at the festival, making the event equally fragrant and picturesque. Apart from the showcase of flowers, the festival also includes various competitions. Visitors can also enjoy the river rafting experience and participate in various seminars and lectures held at the time of the International Flower Festival in Gangtok.

    An exhibition of different species of flowers is organized in the Flower Exhibition Centre near the White Hall Complex. There are over thirty species of rhododendron, six hundred species of orchids in total, and around 250 different species of plants, trees, and ferns that are put on display. The festival's beauty lies among these diverse floras that are the center of attraction for visitors from across the country. A large section of the orchid is the growth of the state of Sikkim itself.

    The Food Festival

    Along with the display of numerous varieties of flowers, a food festival is also organized alongside it. People can indulge in locally prepared food which remains one of the traits of the identity of the cultural beauty of the place.

    Adventurous Experience

    Apart from these, the mountainous region of the Himalayas is always open for adventurous sports and journeys. One can experience rafting and other forms of adventure in the mountains, special provisions for which are made by the Tourism Department of the Government of Sikkim during the time of the International Flower Festival to promote tourism in the state as well as to give the visitors best of recreational experience in the land.

    The International Flower Festival held in Gangtok provides an exhibition of flowers and various lectures and workshops to enrich people seeking knowledge of the world of floras.

    Cable Car Ropeway, Gangtok Overview

    Known to be one of the top thrilling things to do in Gangtok, Gangtok Ropeway has a breathtaking bird's eye view of the valley below. Inaugurated in 2003, the double cable zig back ropeway can carry up to 24 passengers and covers a distance of 2 km to and fro. Usually, the cable cars are complete, and you have to wait in line for your turn, but the gorgeous views of the Kanchenjunga peaks are totally worth the wait. Also, since there are no seats inside the cable car, you will have to try and get in first to obtain a good-view standing seat (next to the glass pane).

    The aerial ropeway is 935 m long, from the start to the endpoint, and the complete journey takes a total of 15 - 20 minutes. It has three terminal stations - Tashiling, Namnang, and Deorali. You can get on or get down at either of the three stations. The Deorali station is the lowest base point and is situated near the Institute of Tibetology and offers beautiful views of the Gangtok market and the township below. Namnang is the central station, and the highest one is at Tashiling near the Secretariat. From the road, a staircase leads to the ticket counter upwards. Once you have bought the tickets, you can wait for your turn in the waiting room situated on the same level. The cable car station is located around 100 feet upwards, which you can reach in an elevator.

    Yak Safari, Gangtok Overview

    Experiencing Yak Ride is one of the essential activities and unique things to do in Gangtok. You can experience the joyride in any one of the three places where the activity is organized. You can try it at the Dzongri area and Tsomgo Lake. Remember to leave the saddle, or you disbalance and are on the ground in no time. Nevertheless, it is one of the most fun experiences that you will try in your life.

    Mountain Biking in Gangtok, Gangtok Overview

    Another one of the thrilling activities and things to do in Gangtok is riding a mountain bike in the hills and valleys. Besides giving you a high adrenaline rush, mountain biking lets you peek into the new and un-commercialized part of the city. The thrilling ride takes you through the best of forests, valleys, rivers, waterfalls, and lakes.

    9'ine Native Cuisine, Gangtok Overview

    9'ine Native Cuisine is a dainty cafe located in the suburbs of Gangtok catering to Asian, Tibetan, and Nepalese cuisines. Especially popular for its sumptuous Tibetan food, the restaurant is a very famous hangout spot, and visiting here is one of the prime things to do in Gangtok. Besides delicious food, the Cafe offers picturesque views of the hills and valleys. 9'ine Native Cuisine is a dainty cafe located in the suburbs of Gangtok catering to Asian, Tibetan, and Nepalese cuisines. Especially popular for its sumptuous Tibetan food, the Cafe is a very famous hangout spot, and visiting here is one of the prime things to do in Gangtok. Besides delicious food, the Cafe offers picturesque views of the hills and valleys.

    Baker's Cafe, Gangtok Overview

    Baker's Cafe is one of Gangtok's most popular and picturesque cafes. The western styled Cafe also serves delicious western food. You can gorge on pizza and pasta while sipping tasty shakes and beverages. Besides, the Cafe is done in shades of brown with tons of cutesy artsy bakery products on display that will compel you to eat twice as much as you're hungry. Plus, the window seats offer mesmerizing views of the majestic hills outside.

    Phodong Monastery, Gangtok Overview

    Located in Phodong near Gangtok in Sikkim, Phodong Monastery is one of the state's six most important Buddhist monasteries. Besides being a popular place for tourism, a monastery is an important place for Buddhist pilgrimage. Boasting of a striking architecture with vibrant colored exteriors and delicate interiors that are adorned with gorgeous paintings, murals, and frescoes, the monastery is also considered one of the most beautiful in all the country. It houses a total of around 260 monks at present.

    Phodong Monastery is based at a vantage point, at a towering height of 4500 m, that provides a lovely backdrop of the lush green hills in the distance and the peaceful valley down below. Besides the regular devotees, the place is also frequented by tourists, nature lovers, and wanderers. It is considered a perfect place to sit down, reflect, and unwind as the pristine place reverberates with serenity, peace, and calm.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    The main attractions in Sikkim are MG Marg, Tsomgo Lake, Baba Mandir, Nathula Pass, Gurudongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley, Zero Point, Kaala Pathar, Namchi Char Dham, Buddha Park in Ravangla, and many monasteries.

    There are two major tourist attractions in North Sikkim, namely Lachung and Lachen which are located at a distance of 120 km from Gangtok and it takes around 5-6 hours to reach these places from Gangtok as the roads are narrow.

    No, Nathula Pass remains closed on Mondays and Tuesdays of every week for all tourists.

    No, Indian Nationals do not require a entry permit to visit Sikkim. However, there are certain restricted places (like Tsomgo Lake, Baba Mandir, Nathulla Pass, Gurudongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley) for which all Indian tourists have to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) which is arranged by the local tour operator.
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