Location : It lies on a ridge overlooking the Ranipool River .
Population : 90000
Languages : Nepali, Sikkimese, Bhutia, Lepcha, Hindi, English
Best Time to Visit : October to March
STD Code : 03592
The hill resort of Gangtok is a popular travel destination in India. A tour of the hill resort of Gangtok reveals that the Himalayas in the backdrop of the town. The entire Kanchenjunga Range is worshipped as a local deity. The unspoilt natural beauty of Gangtok and its peaceful Chortens/Stupas offer a truly unique traveling experience in India.
The hill resort of Gangtok is the capital of the eastern Indian state of Sikkim. Gangtok is located in the south of the district of East Sikkim. The hill resort covers the western side of a long ridge flanking the Ranipul River.
Sites to Visit
One of the tour sites of Gangtok is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. It was built in 1958 and is a research center for Mahayana Buddhism and Tibetan culture. Besides being a museum of traditional and old artifacts, tourists can also buy Buddhist religious books and other objects of craft. Gangtok also offers the Orchid Sanctuary, which is the home of some 500 varieties of orchids to the travelers.
Sites Near By
Another site near Gangtok is the tourist attraction of Rumtek Gompa. The Gompa is a rich monastery and abode of the head of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. Devotees and tourists often flock to it throughout the year. Then there is the Tsongo or Changu Lake in the Northeast of Gangtok. Tourists require special permits to travel to this picturesque locale.
What to Buy
Gangtok is indeed a treasure trove for its tourists. Besides curios you may pick up bronze and silver jewelry, turquoise, coral jewelry and beads easily from Gangtok. For the food freaks Gangtok offers the dried fish, yak's cheese (churpi), and yeast for making the local beer (tomba).
Gangtok also offers several options for gift items and souvenirs. You may take your pick from carpets, handloom fabrics, thangka paintings and wooden objects
For the adventure tourist Gangtok is the place to be at. While at the hill resort of Gangtok you may indulge in adventure activities like trekking, white-water rafting, hang gliding, yak safari, and mountain biking. Gangtok offers interesting treks to the Pemayangtse, Khechopalri, Yuksam, Tsokha, Dzongri, Thangshing, Zemathang, Chaurigang, Tashiding, Varsey, Yangang, Rabongla, Sang and Sikip. The state tourism department of Sikkim has been promoting the adventure tourism potential of Gangtok.
Best Time to Visit
Gangtok experiences a lot of rainfall throughout the year and temperatures are mild. The best time to visit Gangtok is between the months of October and March.
Where to Stay
The hill resort of Gangtok offers several accommodation options to its tourists. Gangtok has star categorized hotels as well as cheaper options too. There are facilities to make your stay in Gangtok comfortable. You may be able to get discount on the tariffs during the low season. For winter stay the tourists must check out the provision of hot water.
While in Gangtok, the tourists may feast on a variety of cuisines. There are Tibetan, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Continental cuisines to choose from. In Gangtok banana pancakes, chicken-fried rice and the famous momos are the hot favorite delicacies. You may even check out Gyakho, a traditional soup served on special occasions. Then there is the tomba, a traditional drink consisting largely of fermented millet, with a few grains of rice for flavor, served in a wooden or bamboo mug, and sipped through a bamboo straw. Though alcohol is as readily available as rice and pulse.
How to Reach
By Air : Nearest airport is Bagdogra (Siliguri) in the state of West Bengal , which is 124 km from Gangtok. Bagdogra has regular flights from Calcutta and Delhi .
Rail : The two closest railway stations are Siliguri at a distance of 114 km and New Jalpaiguri at 125 km connecting with Calcutta , Delhi , Guwahati, Lucknow and other important cities in India .
By Road : Gangtok is well connected by surface network with Darjeeling , Kalimpong, Siliguri and other important centers of Sikkim . The Sikkim Nationalized Transport plies regular bus services linking the capital with all the above-mentioned places.