Gangtok Hill Station – Gangtok Travel Guide
Gangtok is the capital and largest town of Sikkim – a state located in North East India. It is part of the lower eastern Himalayan mountain range with a population of roughly 50,000 people. It is one of the most popular and well visited Hill Stations for tourism in Sikkim, with its name meaning ‘High Hill’.
Gangtok is a reasonably commercialized town with many small hotels, restaurants and shops to accommodate the growing tourist demand. Back in 2007 it paid host to over 300,000 tourists. However tourists do not come here for the hotels and shops but instead to admire the natural beauty provided by the vast Himalayan mountain range, the spectacular monasteries and the diverse culture.
One of the most popular tourist icons is the seven point tour.
Seven Point Tour
It is named the seven point tour due to its seven notable points of tourist interest and takes around 4 hours to complete. The seven points are:
- The Rumtek Monastery – A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery originally built in the 16th century, it is the largest Monastery in Sikkim and home to a community of monks.
- The Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Gardens – A large collection of gardens home to many species of orchids and trees.
- The Shanti View Point – Provides a breath taking view of the lush green mountain valley and clouds. There is also a restaurant where you can enjoy some snacks and delicious momos.
- The Chorten Stupa – A large structure holding many Buddhist relics
- The Research Institute of Tibetology – A world famous centre for Tibetan studies and research, this institute houses a vast collection of Tibetan paintings, statues and other historical artifacts.
- Directorates of Handicrafts and Handlooms – Find a wonderful collection of handicrafts and handlooms when visiting this institute. Visitors can choose between a wide selection of furniture, hand carved foldable chairs, hand painted masks, exquisite dolls plus much more.
- The Flower Show – A spectacular flower show that features a collection of rare orchids.
Other Recommended Places to Visit
most unique wild life including the Himalayan black bear, the barking deer, the snow leopard, the Tibetan wolf and the red panda.
- Gangtok’s Cable Car –
The cable car provides the best method of viewing the entire Gangtok valley. You can find the entrance to it by visiting the Deorali market in the centre of the town. The cable is about 1km in length, with the journey lasting between 15-20 minutes and stopping off at 2 additional points, Nam-Nang and Tashiling.
Gangtok is becoming increasingly well known for its successful eco-tourism and adventure activities providing more than enough to satisfy the most eager of escapade seekers, activities include:
• Mountain Biking
• White Water Rafting
• Hang Gliding
• Yak Safari
Best Time to Visit
April to Mid June and Mid September to November are the best times to visit Gangtok. As with most Himalayan towns, Gangtok experiences mild and pleasurable temperatures for the whole summer ranging from 23 to 31 Degrees Celsius.
Getting to Gangtok
By Air: Closest airport is Bagdogra (in Siliguri) in the state of West Bengal .
By Road: Gangtok is connected with many other important towns in Siliguri which all form a solid network of roads that can be used all year round.
By Train: The two nearest train stations are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri.
Gangtok of Hotels
Gangtok has numbers of hotels, The biggest hotels are:
• Chumbi Residency
• Hotel Himalayan Heights
• Hotel Crystal Palace
• Hotel Central
• Hotel Bayul,
• Hotel Heruka