Sikkim Gangtok Hill Station
In Sikkim, Gangtok is the largest town and its capital. It is situated at an higher altitude of 1437 metres of shivalik hills of eastern Himalayan range. Gangtok has developed as a main industry of tourism of Sikkim. Many tourists come here every year for enjoyment. Gangtok is mainly famous for its views of Mount Kanchanjunga, which is the third highest peak of the world. It is also famous for its views and duty. There are many religion and cultures of Gangtok. The people of Gangtok are very attached to their old traditions and customs. Gangtok is also very much developed of the fields of art hospital, educational institute broad roads, flyovers, markets, and other various fields. It is very much urbanized place.
Like Sikkim, there are not much records of history of Gangtok. The records that can be traced out are through the construction of hermitic Gangtok monastery, which was constructed of 1716. Till the construction of Enchey monastery , Gangtok was considered as a small hamlet. This monastery was constructed of 1840 that made it pilgrim center. It became the capital of Sikkim of mid 19th century after an English conquest due to the result of hostage crisis. Under the British rule of 1894, Thutob Namgyal, a Sikkimese monarch changed the name of capital from Tumlong to Gangtok that increased the importance of the city. During that period, a new brand palace was built of this new capital along with the buildings of the other state. After the independence of 1947, Sikkim became a national state having Gangtok as capital. Sikkim came as suzerainty of India with the prime condition that its independence would be retained by the treaty that was signed between Chogyal and the Prime minster Shri Jawaharlal Nehru.
How To Reach
Gangtok can be reached by air having its nearest airport at Bagdogra, which is near Siliguri having a distance of 124 km from Gangtok. Kolkata, Delhi, and Guwahati are connected to this airport. The connecting flights are available from Kolkata and Delhi for international travelers. Helicopter services are also available but only once of a day from Bagdogra to Gangtok.
The nearest railway station is 148 km away from Gangtok named as new Jalpaiguri. This railway station is connected to many of the major cities of India.
The bus services are very good. The Gangtok city is connected to many other cities by bus service. Tourist buses are also available that travels from Gangtok to Siliguri (114 km) and to Bagdogra (124 km).
Places To Visit
There are many tourist places and point of attraction of Gangtok, which are as follows.
This is the third highest peak of the world. The best views of this peak that can be seen are from Enchey Monastery and Ganesh Tok. These both are very high and above the town.
Do Drul Chorten, Gangtok
In Sikkim, Do Drul Chorten is one of the biggest and most important stupa. There are near about 108 prayer wheels (Mani-Lhakor) of this chorten. This stupa is situated near Gangtok.
Enchey Monastery, Gangtok
This monastery is near about 200 years old that is located on a Hilltop, which is 3 km away from metropolis centre.
In Nyingma tradition, this is a large monastery, which is very much famous for its large chorten.
Weather And Best Time To Visit
Gangtok is influenced by subtropical highland climate, which is influenced by monsoon. Just because of its high elevation and due to the sheltered environment, Gangtok has mild and temperate climate throughout the year. Like other Himalayan towns, Gangtok have 5 seasons namely spring, autumn, monsoon, summer, and winter.
The maximum temperature of summer is near about 22°C (March to June). The minimum temperature of Gangtok of winters goes to 4°C and its duration is from December to February. During summers, the maximum temperature observed goes to 25°C , which is very rare. During monsoon season, rainfall is very intense that cause landslides. Monsoon season ranges from July to September. The maximum rainfall recorded is of the month of July.
The most suitable timings for tourist is from September to June.
Languages And Culture
There are many local festivals that are being celebrated by the people of Gangtok apart from the major festivals like Diwali, Christmas etc. The new year is being celebrated of January by the Lepchas and Bhutias. However, the Tibetans celebrate their new year along with the "Devil Dance" of January–February. The two festivals named as Maghe sankranti and Ram Navami are important festivals of Nepali.
The popular food items famous of Gangtok are momos, wai wai and Other noodle-based foods like chowmein, thukpa, andthanthuk.
The people of Sikkim commonly hear western rock music that is being played of homes and restaurants. They are the basically music lovers. They also like Hindi pop songs. Football, cricket, and archery are some famous sports that are played of Gangtok.
The basic language that is being used of Gangtok is Nepali. However, English, Bhutia, Bengali, Hindi, Sikkimese, Lepcha, and Tibetan are also commonly spoken and understood by the major part of the population. The official language of Gangtok is English.
Hoten sonali is a very cheap and best place for the budget tourist that is located near the tourist information centre.
Address: NH-31/A, "BALUWAKHANI, Opp- B S N L & C P W D Office, Gangtok, Sikkim, India
International, Phone: (033) 2552 3432 / 2584 0080 (Cell: +91 98302 87429, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This hotel is also a very good one for the budget tourist, which is situated above the famous MG Marg. Rooms are very neat and clean and food is also very delicious.
Address: Tibet Road, Gangtok , Sikkim, India
Phone: 91 98323 48837
This place is also very good for the tourists and one of its speciality is that this organizes tours for tourist throughout Sikkim.
Address: Near SBI, Opp.Tourism Office, Gangtok - 737001
Festivals And Activities
This festival is being celebrated by whole of the people of Gangtok and is one of the major festival. This festival is celebrated as a tribute to Mount Khanchendzonga that is considered as ancestral deity of Sikkim. Warrior dance is one of the most important part of this celebration.
This is one of the Buddhist festival, which is very famous and beautifully celebrated of Gangtok. The people of Gangtok visits monasteries and offer worship. They also offer butter lamps. The monks take the look around the city of a huge profession carrying holy scriptures.
This is one of the colorful festivals that is being celebrated by the people of Gangtok for the owner of Mount Khangchendzonga, which is the guardian deity of Yabdu and to Sikkim, which is the supreme commander. The Lepcha community have a believe that they have been originated of Mountains.
This festival is being celebrated during the month of September-October. This has special importance for both the communities Hindus as well as Nepalis and meant for the good over evil.
One of the very famous outdoor activities of Gangtok is short treks, which are to the nearby hills and if one is seasoned player then he can go for long treks near about 1 week. The route of those treks is tough but is very beautiful.
Hotel Suhim Portico, Gangtok
This hotel is famous for its hospitality of the state of Sikkim and very famous of Himalayan Kingdom.
Address: Helpline Road (Bypass), Near District Court, East Sikkim, Gangtok - 737101
Rhenock House, Gangtok
This place is near about 122 kms from new Jalpaiguri Railway station and near about 127 kilometers from Bagdogra Airport.
Address: Development Area, Rhenock House Development Area, Gangtok - 737101
Golden Heights, Gangtok
This hotel has 30 rooms, which are very luxurious, beautiful, spacious, and comfortable having all the basic and luxurious facilities.
Address: Golden Heights, M.G.Marg, Gangtok - 737101
Mayfair Gangtok, Gangtok
This hotel is the first five-star hotel of Gangtok.
Address: Mayfair Gangtok, Ranipool, Gangtok – 737135
The most common mode of transportation of Gangtok are jeeps, taxis, and SNT buses. The most commonly used mode of transport to cover wide area and short distances is jeep. The frequency of this jeep and taxis is more than the buses between various destinations. These jeeps or cars can be shared by the tourist that splits the cost. These shared buses and taxis starts from the private taxi stands till mid afternoon and goes to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Siliguri.
There are various routes of taxis around the city and the charges for them within these areas is near about rupees 40 for a private taxi and rupees 8 for the shared one. NB: Taxis can be hired from designated stands.
Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake is situated of East Sikkim and is famous glacial lake. This is near about 40 km away from Gangtok and situated at the height of 3,780 m (12,400 ft).
From the north side of this lake, a road goes to Nathu La.
This is the town, which is located of Sikkim and is of the North of the North-Sikkim district.
This valley is situated of North-Sikkim district of Sikkim and is a grazing pasture that is surrounded by beautiful Himalayan Mountains. It is elevated up to the height of 3,575 meters (14,000) and is having distance of 150 km from the Gangtok
The main shopping complexes are situated on Mahatma Gandhi Marg. The shops are of carpets, foot wears, masks, handicrafts etc. There are three main markets for shopping of Gangtok namely old market, new market, and Lal market. There are also many traditional items available of the market like Thangkas, Choktsees, and collapsible wooden tables of local Tibetan designs. Sikkim is also famous for Sikkim tea having super taste. One must carry it home for its use.