Gangtok is the capital of the second smallest state in India, Sikkim, situated in the north eastern part of India. Straddling on the flank side of a ridge, Gangtok at an altitude of 5500 ft spreads within a radius of about 5 km.
From almost virgin and rustic pastoral valleys to a sophisticated and lively urban center, bustling with trade and business activity today, Gangtok has come a long way.
Gangtok remained unknown to the rest of the world but was opened to the outsiders after the construction of the Enchey Monastery, a popular Buddhist pilgrimage centre, in 1840.
Gangtok being on the trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and India made it a major stopover during the British Raj. When India got independence, Sikkim chose to remain as an independent monarchy.
In 1975, Sikkim was made part of India.
Ever since independence, Gangtok has under gone a rapid transition in its outlook to reflect a metropolitan flavour. Moreover with tourism evolving as a mainstream industry in the region, its economy has further accelerated the growth of various linked industries like hotels, restaurants, transport and retail services.
Strategically located in the East District of Sikkim, Gangtok is the primary seat of governance and a base camp for exploring the various other parts of Sikkim.
Gangtok, being the capital city, bustling with trade and business activity, offers some of the most enchanting sightseeing and excursion options around the city.
Mount Kanchenjunga (8598 m) dominates the skyline of Gangtok and is the world’s third highest peak.
Take a drive to Tashi View point, Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok and Bakthang Falls for better and panoramic views.
Located 3 km above Gangtok, Enchey Monastery is a beautiful 200 year old temple belonging to the Nyingma order set amidst a peaceful environment. Rumtek Monasteryand Do-drul Chorten also attract a lot of Buddhist pilgrims and tourists.
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology houses a rare collection of Tibetan, Sanskrit and Lepcha manuscripts, Buddhist statues, masks and Thangkas.
Climb on to the Gangtok Ropeway and enjoy the small thrill ride from Deorali to Tashiling and back where one can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Gangtok town.
The Botanical Gardens is an enchanting and soothing experience where one can enjoy rare species of flora amidst lush green vegetation, especially the numerous orchids found in the garden.
About 40 km from Gangtok is located the pristine Tshangu Lake, at an altitude of 12,200 ft, one of the holiest lakes. Further up is the Nathula Pass, an open border between China and India. Also nearby is the Baba Mandir, built in memory of Captain Harbhajan Singh.
The nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri and the closest airport is Bagdogra airport.