The celestial beauty of Gangtok is ardently guarded by the clouds that envelope it. Perched at a height of 5500ft, it offers panoramic views of the Mt. Khangchendzonga. This beautiful state accommodates both natural and the modern with efficiency and grace. Rugged mountains and pristine lakes exist alongside shopping complexes, cyber cafes and night clubs, thus making it one of the most favored honeymoon destinations in India.
Besides, this charming place and the areas around it are also famous for their fairs and festivals and other delights, attracting a large number of tourists every year.
Must Visit Places in Gangtok
A vacation in Gangtok brings with it limitless opportunities for both fun and adventure. One of such places is Bakthang. Bakthang waterfalls lie along the 31 A National Highway that leads to North Sikkim. The waterfall originates from Ratey Chu. This area is a picture of tranquility and allows a couple to spend some special moments with each other.
Sikkim is also dotted with many hot springs. Head to the Yumthang Hot Spring, located some distance away from Yumthang Village, and discover the therapeutic properties of the waters. This place provides a hut with two pools for visiting tourists.
Tsomgo Lake, seated peacefully at an altitude of 12,000ft, draws hundreds of visitors the year round. Surrounded by rocky terrain, this lake is covered with snow from early winter to late spring. One can enjoy a ride on colorfully decorated yaks and mules here, besides munching on local delicacies and snacks.
Of course, no visit to Gangtok is complete without a visit to Nathula Pass. Touching the skies at an altitude of 14450ft, it’s one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The scenic beauty of this region, consisting of alpine flora, is spectacular.
Things to do in Gangtok
Visiting Gangtok is like embarking on a roller coaster ride of adventure, sightseeing and reconnecting with nature. Once here, go on a Yak Safari. Riding a yak – the preferred form of transportation for the locals can be an unforgettable experience. The best places to go for a yak safari are the fringes of the Tsomgo Lake or the Yak trails of the Dzongri area.
For an evening of music and dance, rush to Cafe Live & Loud. Gangtok’s most happening bar, it treats its guests to a tsunami of music, ranging from rock to alternative pop. During the day, one can sit back and soak in the relaxed jazzy vibe pervading this place.
To get a taste of authentic Korean cuisine in Gangtok, enjoy a meal at Mu Kimchi. The initial climb of 80 steps brings you to this wonderful restaurant whose interiors are defined by original bamboo ceilings and woven lamps, with a moderate taste of modernism all around.
Sikkim’s handlooms and handicraft items are treasures worth possessing. At the Directorate of Handloom & Handicrafts, located at “Zero Point” in the capital city, one comes across a range of locally produced items, such as thangka paintings, carpets, handlooms, wooden carved and painted items, besides others.
Places to visit in North Sikkim
The northern district of Sikkim consists of many places of interest which should definitely find a mention during your honeymoon in Gangtok. Mangan is one of such places. 67km from Gangtok, this enchanting place serves as a transit point to other destinations of the region. However, you should head here for the 3 day Mangan Music Festival. Bands – local, as well as from other Northeastern states, present an electric mix of foot-thumping, vibrant music.
Singhik, located around 4km from Mangan, is a dreamy place, perfect for couples seeking some cozy moments. One can get some fabulous views of Mt. Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu from Singhik View Point. A tourist lodge is also available for those looking for an overnight stay.
Revisit Sikkim’s fascinating history in its age-old monasteries. Around 38km from Gangtok lie the monasteries of Phodong, Phensang and Labrang, all close to the North Sikkim Highway. Visitors are left marveling at the old mural paintings and frescoes decorating its walls while discovering fascinating details of Buddhism.
Rumtek Monastery, located 23km from Gangtok, is another place which should be visited. Its main attraction is the seat of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa of the Kargyu sect of Buddhism. It is also the epitome of Tibetan architecture.
A sea of flowers awaits you at Yumthang. Situated at a height of 11,800ft, this place is also popularly called “Valley of Flowers.” Hold hands in hands and explore the place.
Where to stay
Gangtok has several hotels, lodges and guest houses where visitors can book their stay. Each one of these accommodations ensures that the guests are looked after in every way possible, and their stay is made a memorable one.
When to visit
Gangtok draws in a large number of tourists from the months of September to June, which is considered to be the peak season. However, the beauty of this incredible state is at its fullest display during the autumn season – September and October, and from spring to summers – March to June.
How to reach
By air: – The nearest airport to Gangtok is about 124km away in Bagdogra, West Bengal. Hired taxis or private vehicles are available from the airport.
By train: – New Jalpaiguri Station, about 148km from Gangtok, is the nearest railway station. From here, one can hire a taxi. Another option is to catch a state-run bus, which takes about 5-6 hours.
By road: Sikkim is well- connected to other major cities through the National Highway NH 31A. Buses and private cabs can be hired to arrive in Gangtok.
Have you been to Gangtok? Let us know your own tips!
Author Bio – A soul bred in the mountains, Akansha Negi doles out travel inspiration from solo wandering, exploring heritage and culture, tasting local cuisine, adventures and experiences of her travels.