Gangtok as its name suggests in the local language is situated on a hilltop. This Hill station is a place of surreal beauty and peace. This little town is literally situated on a peak between the clouds. Gangtok is nestled in the eastern reaches of the Himalayas at an altitude of 1,650 feet.
This town was a mere suburb before the British rule is the capital of Sikkim and also its biggest town. Sikkim acceded to the Indian Union in 1975 becoming the 22nd state to do so. The quaint town of Gangtok is dominated with the presence of monasteries. These monasteries lend it an air of rare serenity and spiritual peace.
Due to its location and altitude Gangtok has a subtropical climate as experienced by highlands. It is situated in the temperate zone and has a mild climate throughout the year. The summers in Gangtok are pleasant, recording temperatures around 22 degrees Celsius whereas in the winter temperature drops to around 4 degrees Celsius. Monsoon months are foggy and bring heavy showers. Monsoons in Gangtok are the epitome of beautiful weather.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Gangtok is in the summer, through the months of April and May and in the autumn through the months of October and November. The weather during these months is mild and conducive to travel.
Attractions/Things to Do
Gangtok has a variety of attractions, which include Yumthang the scenic vale of flowers having rhododendrons creating a colorful multiplicity which is a worthwhile experience, Lachung which offers the beautiful view of the mountainous terrain, Zero Point which is snow clad and marks the end of the road accessible by civilians, the famous Nathu La pass which was once a route for trade with Tibet, Tsomgo the gelid lake which possesses an ethereal beauty, Pelling the hamlet that offers an extraordinary view of Kanchenjunga besides its quaint charm and monasteries, Gurudongmar Lake a beautiful lake and one of few lakes situated at high altitudes, Rumtek Monastery which home to the Karma Kagyu and surrounded by beautiful streams and a picturesque landscape, etc. Gangtok also has a famous handicrafts market and is a seat for religious tourism. This place caters to the taste of every type of traveller.
How To Reach
Gangtok is one of the major towns of Sikkim and is easily accessible from Darjeeling, Siliguri, Kalimpong and Bagdogra. The nearest Railway station is New Jalpaiguri located at Siliguri. The nearest Airport is Bagdogra which is a small distance away from Siliguri and is well connected to Gangtok via helicopters. The roads around Gangtok are well connected and taxi services and jeeps can be hired from Kalimpong, Siliguri and Darjeeling. Gangtok is connected to other Indian cities through the National Highway 31-A.
Distance From Major Cities
- Siliguri-124 kilometers
- Darjeeling– 96.8 kilometers
- Kalimpong– 74.8 kilometers
Accessibility and Accommodation
Gangtok is an extremely popular and well-connected travel destination, which offers a host of different activities to experience and sights to see. The town center at M.G. road is the hub for hotels and other accommodation. One can roam the town on foot or through easily available taxi services. Foreigners require an Inner-line permit to enter Gangtok, however Indian nationals do not require the same.