Touring Gangtok

Wreathed in clouds, Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim is located on a ridge at a height of 5500 feet. With a spectacular view of the Khangchendzonga, the town provides the perfect base for travel through the state. 

Gangtok is a cosmopolitan town which offers the tourist all possible amenities. Hotels are available in a range of prices along with a variety of eateries serving cuisine for all tastes. Shopping complexes, cyber cafes, night clubs and pool parlours abound for those so inclined.

MG Marg
The main street of Gangtok town is a great place to chill out. The countrys first litter and spit free zone, no vehicular traffic is allowed into the marg. You can sit at the Titanic Park or at the various benches stretched across the mall and take in the carnival like atmosphere, especially during the tourist season. The Mall is lined with shops on both sides of the road so shopping becomes an added pleasure.

Gangtok Overview
For a birds eye view of Gangtok take a ride on the bi-cable Zig-back ropeway. The ropeway has been fitted with fully computerized modern safety mechanism of international standards. On clear weather the ride offers a great view of the Khangchendzonga range apart from an overview of Gangtok town and the valley below. After you get off at Tashiling Secretariat you can walk to the Ridge Park and soak in the beautiful surroundings as well as visit the ongoing Flower Festival held just below the park.

Ganest Tok
For a view of Gangtok and all its surrounding, one can go to Ganest Tok situated on a ridge at a distance of 7 kms from Gangtok. From this Spot one can get a view of sprawling Gangtok town, while across the hills Mt. Khang-chen-Dzonga and Mt. Siniolchu loom over the horizon. A cafeteria serves hot tea, coffee and snacks. The view from here is truly breathtaking with snow peaks providing the perfect backdrop for a panoramic view of Gangtok town.

Hanuman Tok
A temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, is situated at an altitude of 7200 feet at a distance of about nine kilometres uphill from Gangtok on a blissfully calm and quiet hilltop. The location is completely free from the pollution of city life. Apart from the clear view of the peaks surrounding Mount Khangchendzonga, some portions of Gangtok town, one also gets a bird's eye view of the Selep water works, which supplies drinking water to Gangtok. Adjacent to this area is Lukshyama, the royal cremation ground having stupas and chortens. Here the mortal remains of the erst-while royal family members of Sikkim are cremated.

Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology
It is the most prestigious research institute of its kind in the world, NIT is a treasure of vast collection of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, statues and rare Thankas (colourful tapestries used in Buddhist liturgy). Apart from an attractive museum, it has over 200 Buddhist icons and other prized objects of art. As far as its collections are concerned, it is only next to an institute in Tibet. Today it is renowned world wide centre for study of Buddhist philosophy and religion. The institute was established in 1958 to promote serious study and research on Buddhism.

Enchey Gumpha
It should be ideally visited during the months of august and January. Dances and festivals are held during that period. The central attraction is a Chinese Pagoda styled edifice built in 1901. The Gumpha(monastery) offers a stunning view of the Kanchenjunga.



Government Institute of Cottage Industries
The institute was established in 1957. It is a great place to purchase local handicrafts like Tangkhas,woolen carpets, dolls and masks among other handicrafts.





Palace of the Chogyal
If you visit Gangtok in December then the place to visit is the Palace of the Chogyal (Monarch). The palace is open to the public during Pang Lhabsol festival.





Touring Rest of Sikkim

Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake
It is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim, India, some 40 kilometres (25 mi) away from Gangtok at altitude of 3,780 m (12,400 ft). The road to Nathu La passes the lake on north side. The Chinese border crossing is only some 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east-northeast in a straight line, but some 18 kilometres (11 mi) by road. Indian Postal Service released a commemorative stamp on the lake on 6 November 2006.

Yumthang Valley
It is a grazing pasture surrounded by the Himalayan mountains in the North Sikkim district of Sikkim, India. It is at an elevation of 3,564 metres (11,800) above msl at a distance of 150 km from the state capital Gangtok. It is popularly known as 'Valley of Flowers'. It is also home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, and has over twenty-four species of the rhododendron, the state flower. A tributary of the river Teesta flows past the valley and the town of Lachung, the nearest inhabited centre.

Lachung
It is a town in northeast Sikkim, India. It is located in the North Sikkim district and is near the border with Tibet. Lachung is at an elevation of about 9,600 ft or 3,000 m and at the confluence of the Lachen River and Lachung Rivers, tributaries of the River Teesta. The word Lachung means "small pass". The town is approximately 125 km from the capital Gangtok. Tourist come from all over the world to visit the town between October and May, mostly on their way to the Yumthang Valley and the Lachung Monastery. During winter the town is usually covered in snow. Lachung has been described as the "most picturesque village of Sikkim" by British explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker in his definitive, The Himalayan Journal (1855).

Gurudongmar Lake
Also known as Gurudogmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world, located at an altitude of 17,100 ft (5,210 m). It lies in the district of North Sikkim in the state of Sikkim in India, only some 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Chinese border. The lake can be reached by road from Lachen via Thangu.


Pelling
It is a town in the district of West Sikkim, India. Pelling is nestled at an altitude of 2,150 m (7,200 feet).  The Himalayas and the Kanchenjanga may be viewed at close quarters from Pelling. The land around Pelling is still a virgin territory and is bathed with alpine vegetation, with numerous waterfalls lining the hillside. In the months of winter, Pelling is sometimes covered with a blanket of snow. Pelling is 115 km from the state capital Gangtok and about 135 km from Siliguri, the nearest railhead and airport. Places to visit in and around Pelling include the local monastery, the rock garden and waterfall at nearby Rimbi, the imposing double-pronged Kanchenjungha Falls, the archaic quaint Singshore Bridge, the Chhange Waterfalls, the Khecheopalri/Khechuperi Lake holy to Buddhists and ancient Pemyangtse/Pemyangshi Monastery.

Other proximate locations to Pelling are Yuksom, Rinchenpong, Dzongri and Hee Burmiok.