Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim is the beautiful hill station. It has emerged into the mainstream travel destination of the India Tourism Industry, It is 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. It is located in the lower Himalayas at an altitude of 5,500 ft (1,676 m) at 27.33°N 88.62°E.
Gangtok gained religious significance among the Buddhists s a major Buddhist pilgrimage centre after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in the the year 1840. The Ranipool river flows by the west side of Gangtok and The Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak can be seen through the western side of Gangtok.
Best time to visit Gangtok
The best time to visit Gangtok is during the month September to January.
How To Reach Gangtok
Bagdogra Airport near Siliguri is the nearest airport which is located about 117 km from the city. This airport is connected with regular air traffic services from the Netaji Subhas International Airport at Kolkata. Major flight operators operate from different cities in India to this International Airport at Kolkata.
New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railhead and is situated about 117 km from Gangtok. There are overnight trains from Kolkata to this station. Moreover Howrah Railway Station at Kolkata is connected with daily trains from all over India.
Private taxis and buses are available from the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and the Bagdogra Airport. Moreover there Sikkim National Transport operates bus services from the Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus to Gangtok.
Major Tourist Attractions in Gangtok:
Enchey Monastery is built in the year 1840 and after the construction of Enchey Monastery, Gangtok became the major Pilgrimage center of Buddhist. It is located on a hill above gangtok from where tourist enjoy a spectacular view of Mount Kanchenjunga.
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 Sikkim, 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.
Nathula: It is a mountain pass situated about 56 km from Gangtok at an altitude of about 14,200 ft and is covered with rich varieties of alpine flora and fauna. It is a calm place to visit and is open only for Indian Nationals.
Ganesh Tok: This temple of Hindu god Ganesha is situated near the Sikkim Government nursery in East Sikkim and is situated on a small hillock on the Gangtok-Nathula Road.
Menam Hill: This hill situated at an altitude of about 10300 ft gives a wonderful view of the scenic beauty of the Kanchenjunga Hills and its surrounding ranges. On a sunny day, one can even see the plains of Bengal spanning across Kalimpong and Darjeeling Hills in the South.