Mangan in Sikkim is at an average elevation of 956 meters above sea level and is nearly 65 km away from Gangtok the capital city. Mangan is the district headquarters of North Sikkim, a little hamlet with flower patches, and the water wheels strung with bells set in exquisite miniature gardens more than compensate for the primitiveness of the region.
The Mangan Bazaar is situated on the North Sikkim highway with around fifty odd shops. As more tourists came to Sikkim, Mangan easily cashed in on the tourism inflow with its splendid natural beauty. This has also helped the economy of the town to develop. Mangan is also quite famous for the production of large cardamom. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as the world capital of large cardamom. Being not too high, the temperature here remains pleasant throughout the year, probably another reason why Mangan is favorite amongst tourists.
Attraction in and around Mangan
Mangan and its nearby places have a lot to offer to the visitors. Several attractions and expeditions are in store for you.
Yumthang Valley : During your trip to Mangan, you can visit Yumthang Valley, Yumthang is a valley between the snow clad hills all around. It is around 75 kilometers from district headquarter, Mangan and around 95 kilometers from Gangtok. This valley is located at a distance of around 3575 meters and is a must visit location. You can catch views of the surrounding scenery from this valley, as it is dotted by very beautiful white peaks, clear and sparkling streams and flowering shrubs. This region also houses a hot water spring which is very famous among tourists who travel here.
Before entering the valley a small pedestrian road goes through a small bridge right way which connects the Yumthang Hot Spring. Hot water rich in sulphur, emanates from a small spring and is diverted inside a hut where two pools are made for the bathers. In such a cold place, it is a very pleasant experience to bath in the water, which is so hot in its natural form.
The Labrang monastery : which lies near Mangan is another must visit location. This is a very old monastery that was constructed in the year 1814. During your trip to Mangan, you can also visit the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary that houses more than forty species of these plants.
Kabi Longstok : About 20 kilometers on the way to North Sikkim, before Phodong, is Kabi Longstok, where the treaty of brotherhood between the Lepcha Chieftain-Tekong Tek and the Tibetan Chief Khye Bumbsa was signed. The spot where the treaty was signed is marked by a memorial stone and is seen on the left side of the road while traveling from Gangtok to Mangan.
Phodong : It is a small town with around ten shops and few hotels almost on the middle of the Gangtok-Mangan journey. A police outpost, a senior secondary school, Jawar Navodya Bhidhayala and a physical health center are near by.
Phodong Monastery : Phodong Monastery belonging to Kargyupa Sect(karmapa), is situated about a kilometer uphill by a jeepable road that bifurcates from the north Sikkim highway a little bit ahead of Phodong towards Mangan. The monastery was built by the Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal somewhere in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. The main annual Puja (worship) is performed on the 28th and 29th day of the tenth month of the Tibetan calendar when the religious Chaams or the dances are also performed.
Ruins of Tumlong Palace : The capital of Sikkim was shifted from Rabdanste to Tumlong in the beginning of nineteenth century. It is the fourth capital of Sikkim and remained capital for around ninety years. The ruins of the palace of Maharaja is seen just below the road between Phodong Monastery and Labrang Monastery.
Singhik View Point : Singhik is situated four kilometers away from Mangan towards the north. It has few shops on the roadside and a junior high school. The view point lies just on the road side from where is seen a very picturesque view of mount Silnoulchu . Right downwards from the viewpoint is seen the confluence of River Teesta and River Kanaka. Other surrounding places too look very beautiful from the viewpoint. A nice and clean guesthouse, suitable for a night halt is also available near by.
Chunghthang : is 30 kilometers away from Mangan further north. It is around 95 kilometers away from Gangtok. It is a small town on the way to Yumthang surrounded by high mountains that seem to be almost touching the sky. At an altitude of about 5,600 ft, Chungthang lies at the confluence of the Lachen Chu (Teesta) and the Lachung Chu (Chu means river in Bhutia language). The north Sikkim highway bifurcates here to take different routes for Lachen and Lachung. Spot of interest in Chungthang is a legendary rock having an imprint which is believed to be the foot mark of Guru Padmasambha. There is a small opening in the rock which remains filled with spring water. Adjacent to the rock there is a small stretch of paddy field defying the condition that demands the growth of paddy in this area.
Accommodation in Mangan
Mangan is not as famous as Gangtok among tourists or business travelers. So you will not find any plush hotels like in the capital city here. Though there are ample hotels that you can choose for short term stay and there are few that are enough for long stays as well. Arcady inhouse, Paksam Hotel, Mount View Hotel are few of the hotels that you can consider.
How to reach Mangan
By Air: Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Mangan which is 190 Km from here. You can catch a bus or hire a taxi from the airport itself.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is at New Jalpaiguri which is around 180 Km from here. There are number of buses from station to Mangan which will take nearly 6 hours to cover the distance. New Jalpaiguri station receives trains from all major cities of India .
By Road : Mangan is connected to capital city Gangtok by a all weather metaled highway. The distance between Gangtok and Mangan is nearly 65 Km. Buses ply regularly between Gangtok and Mangan.