Latest posts by Travel, Food N Fitness By Sapna (see all)
- A Travel Guide To Gangtok – Beautiful Gift Of Nature - December 27, 2017
- 5 Of The Best Museums To Visit Whilst In India - December 19, 2017
Are you sure you want to go for this trip?? Even before our check-in, Amit was apprehensive and asking this question. Though this time, I was not interested in answering him. What if I am three months pregnant, flights are delayed, tickets canceled and booked again? Its Holi (the festival of color in India), Tomato (my daughter) is only 2 years but still, I want to go. I really wanted to go because this was to be my first trip by plane and canceling tickets means to wait until eternity or another chance.
Finally, our flight took off and my trip to Gangtok began.
Located on the Northern side of the Famous Himalayas, the easternmost capital of Sikkim state is Gangtok. Gangtok is one of the best gifts of nature. It is a land of colorful Monasteries and a mixture of north-east culture/traditions. Through this blog post, Let me take you to the tour of “Gangtok- the beautiful gift of Nature”
Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim. In 1975, Sikkim became the 22nd state of India. Beforehand, Sikkim was ruled by Kings. The most interesting fact is that before 1840, no one was aware of Gangtok as a city. With the construction of Enchey Monastery, Gangtok came into existence.
Why visit Sikkim?
Sikkim is India’s first state where the major focus has been given to cleanliness. Here spitting on the road can cost Rs. 200 while there is the huge fine if anyone finds smoking on road. There are special smoking zones too.
Sikkim is India’s first slum/ hut-free state. Here even in villages, people have proper houses.
This is the only state which has a large number of Non-Indians in the population. Here most of the people are from Nepal.
In Sikkim, you can find vultures with 10feet wing spans. Also, the endangered species, red panda, can be found here. The red panda is also State Animal of Gangtok.
Places to visit in Gangtok
Gangtok is full of places to visit. If you love nature, peace, serene and beauty this place is surely meant for you.
This monastery is located 3KMs away from Gangtok City. It was the private Chapel of the royal family of Gangtok. But today, students from all over the world came to learn about Buddhism. This monastery is also famous for the celebration of many Budha festivals, in which Buddhist dances wearing colorful masks. This monastery is an ultimate example of the culture, scriptures, and literature.
This monastery is also located in the north-west area of Gangtok, and is 3KMs from Gangtok City. Enchey Monastery is about 200 years old. Today, more than 90 Buddhist monks live here. The monastery was built at the exact location where Lama Druptub Karbo had his hermitage.
Ranka Monastery is also popularly known as Lingdum Monastery. It is located 20KMs away from Gangtok City. Outside this huge and beautiful monastery, there is a small market run by local people. Here you can purchase woolen clothes as well as souvenirs. During the evening, you can also be a part of the prayers by Buddhist monks.
This is one of the beautiful temples of thee God Hanuman. It is located 20KM away from Gangtok City. It is a place from where the peaks of Kanchenjunga are very clearly visible. It is a must visit place if going to Gangtok.
Changu Lake (also known as Tsomgo Lake) is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim, some 40 kilometers from the capital Gangtok. This lake is egg-shaped and is surrounded by high mountains. The views of this lake cannot be described in words. You can also enjoy Yak ride here.
Nathula is the border that divides India and China. It is mostly used for commercial purposes by both the countries. It is the only border between Indian and China which can be reached by Indians. You can even meet Chinese soldiers and shake hands with them. It requires a special permission to visit this border but is mostly closed during Winter.
Shrine of Baba Harbhajan Singh
This Shrine is located in the mid of Nathula and Changu Lake. It is 25KMs from Gangtok city. Baba Harbhajan Singh was an Indian Army soldier during Punjab regiment of 1965. He was stationed at Indo-China border and died during patrolling – some have come to believe his spirit protects every soldier in the inhospitable high-altitude terrain of the Eastern Himalayas. As with most saints, the Baba is believed to grant favors to those who revere and worship him.
Things must try/ to do in Gangtok
With very reasonable fees, you get to see more than 600 kinds of orchids, 240 kinds of vegetation, 46 kinds of rhododendron named flowers. Here you will find some very unique species of flowers. Since Gangtok is situated near to the Himalayas, the weather is pleasant all year round. This exhibition is open all year as well.
Mahatma Gandhi Road
Mahatma Gandhi Road is where you can find big brands names as well as local souvenir. Cars and other vehicles are strictly prohibited on this road. The best thing is you can sit on benches at the roadside and can enjoy the view. Also throwing garbage or anything on this road can attract a hefty fine.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
As per Darjeeling tourism, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is one of the most important and famous institutes in the world that does research in the areas of Tibetan language and culture. It also has a museum, a Tibetan library with rich collections and also a reference center about Tibet and Himalayas in general.
Located in Deorali and less than 2 kilometers from the main town of Gangtok, the institute is perched in a small forest of birch trees, oak, and magnolia … a wonderful serene ambiance.
Nearly 20KMs away from Gangtok, you can enjoy paragliding. They offer two types of rides- medium and high. For this sports, you should ideally not weigh more than 90KGs.
How to visit Gangtok:
Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Gangtok. You can easily get cabs from the airport only which may charge you from 2500-3000 for each ride. If you love to travel like locals than you can try local buses which are reasonable but remember, it takes some extra time.
Final things to note
Most of the key sites to see in and around Gangtok are located rather far away. Though a very systematic city, people here can be less helpful. Even the cab and hotels cost you higher and people here are hardly willing to negotiate on price. It is also worth noting that sometimes, cabs will drop you at their desired location, no matter how far you have to walk from there.