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.
The Khangchendzonga National Park or the Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve as it was previously known, lies in Sikkim, in the state of West Bengal. The park has been named after the third highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga or Khangchendzonga (which means The Abode of the Gods) which forms an impressive background in the park at an imposing 8,586 meters in height. The total area under this park is more than 1784 square kilometers. The park itself is on a high altitude at 1829 meters with as many as 18 glaciers like the Zemu Glacier dotting its landscape. The area of the park starts from the cold deserts of the Lhonak Valley and the Lachen ridges to Yuksom. The west boundary is along the borders of both China and Nepal. The park is a cold wilderness on one of the highest peaks on the planet within a spectacular mountain range. Khangchendzonga is an independent mountain with its own glaciers and glacial system—a unique feature in itself. This national park is home to flora and fauna endemic to the Himalayas.
[Also Checkout: 100 Best Indian National Parks]
Pelling is located in the state of Sikkim at an average elevation of 2,150 meters above sea level. The town (which is also a hill station) lies amidst the foothills of the snowcapped Eastern Himalayas and provides panoramic views of the surroundings and mountain peaks like Kanchendzonga which is the 3rd highest peak on Earth. Most of the terrain is rocky with montane forests and few hill slopes which have been converted into terraced farms.
For those who love anything and everything about mountains, visiting Gangtok could be a dream come true moment. Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is situated at an altitude of 5500 feet above sea level and on the eastern Himalayan range. Mount Himalayas hold a magic so powerful that you cannot help but be mesmerized. The view of Khangchendzonga from Gangtok is awe-inspiring. The name Gangtok means ‘lofty hill’. It rose to prominence after the construction of Enchey Monastery in the year 1840, as it then became a popular pilgrimage for followers of Buddhism. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Gangtok.
Prior to the year 1962 when it was closed, Nathula Pass served as a passage between the two countries India and Tibet. Situated on Indo-China border, the route is also referred to as Silk Route, as it served as an important route for silk traders of Sikkim and Tibet. Tibetans used the route to flee Tibet when China captured the country.
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, covering 31-sq.km land, lies at altitudes of 3200 meters to 4200 meters. It is situated 30 km away from Gangtok. The views of Khangchendzonga peak are awesome. To the south lies Mount Norsing and Mount Pandim making the picture complete. While the altitudes of the sanctuary may be physically challenging, the breathtaking sights of the snow-clad mountains elevate your spirits to a different plane. Trekkers frequent this part of the world for the challenge it offers and nature lovers adore this sanctuary for its limitless beauty.
Whatever religious belief you embrace, your love for nature will definitely lead you to Hanuman Tok, which offers some of the most amazing views. It is located at an altitude of 7200 feet. The temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is maintained by the army. The garden is full of flowers and well maintained. The small museum here offers some information on the construction of the temple.
Located in the picturesque Yumthang Valley, Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is considered one of the best sanctuaries in the land. The beauty of the valley is enhanced by Yumthang Chu flowing through it. The valley in itself spellbinds you with its alpine meadows, rich greenery, hot springs and many glacial streams running through it.
Tashi view point is located 4 kms from the city. Tashi Namgyal, the Sikkim king, built this view point, which offers spectacular views of Mount Khangchendzonga and few other famous snow-clad mountain peaks. The view of Gangtok valley is amazing. The famous Phodong and Labrang monasteries situated on the hills opposite this view point can be seen from here.
The unique feature of the Himalayan Zoological Park is that it is more of a natural habitat for wildlife than the conventional zoo that limits the movement of animals. Situated 3 km from the city and on a scenic hillcrest, the sprawling 230 hectares of land captivates your senses. The picturesque surroundings of the zoo include the majestic Khangchendzonga range. The altitudes of the park, range from 6545 feet to 8152 feet and you would love your walk through the rich greenery. When human mind seeks natural environment to relax and unwind, is it not justice to let animals enjoy their natural abode? Though zoo is the only way through which man can view wild life directly, the thought behind Himalayan Zoological Park to ensure the best atmosphere for wildlife in the process is very inspiring.