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Home   »  Top India Destinations   »  Gangtok

gangtok india

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A Rendezvous With Gangtok
Gangtok is the capital of tiny Himalayan state of Sikkim. Sikkim is located just above India's chicken neck area of West Bengal and is at an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level. Sandwiched in between Nepal and Bhutan, Sikkim shares its boundary with China besides Nepal and Bhutan. The snow clad mountains, rich flora, serene Buddhist monasteries and beautiful people catapult this small town to great heights in the field of tourism.

Things You Can Do In Gangtok
» Sightseeing : Gangtok is a city where you will get to see numerous ancient and modern Monasteries, which are of sheer beauty. Set amidst the majestic mountains and hills along with few lakes at some places Gangtok has numerous places of interest for the tourists.

» Shopping : The main purchasable items of the place are local handloom and handicraft products with a strong Tibetan influence. Shops are mainly located in Old market, New Market and Lal market areas.

» Adventure Sports : If you love adventure, then Gangtok will never disappoint you. You can indulge in trekking, nature walk and several other adventurous activities while touring Gangtok.

Sightseeing in Gangtok
» Do Drul Chorten : Do Drul Chorten is regarded as the most important 'stupa' of Sikkim. It was built in 1945 by Trulshi Rimpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism. The stupa has sacred gold-topped shikhara with 108 prayer wheels. There are two huge statues of Trulshi Rimpoche in the place. It is visited in large numbers by followers of the religion.

» Tashi Ling : The Tashi Ling is another important site to visit in Gangtok. Tashi Ling monastery is best known for its 'Bumchu' (Sacred Pot). This pot contains holy water, which has never run dry for the last 300 years. The place also provides a spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga ranges.

» Namgyal Institute : The Namgyal Institute was built in the year 1958 to promote research in Mahayana Buddhism and Tibetan language and traditions. This institute has been built in traditional style and has the world's largest collection of books and rare manuscripts on Mahayana Buddhism. The institute also houses relics of monks, samples of Lepcha scripts, masks and sacred objects like Kapali.

» Orchid Sanctuary : The Orchid Sanctuary is one of its kind in Sikkim. The sanctuary is famous for its rare and extensive collection of orchids. Although variations are made depending on the season, the wide spread orchid sanctuary has almost 454 species of orchids. The place is a must-see for nature lovers.

» Deer Park : Officially known as the Rustamji Park, adjacent to the new secretariat, this park is home to good numbers of Red Panda and the Himalayan Bear. A very big statue of Lord Buddha has also been kept in the park premises in front of which a butter lamp burns continuously. The park also provides great views of nearby hills.

Excursions from Gangtok
Ritco ToursSome of the best places for excursion near Gangtok are Tsomgo lake, Fambong La wildlife sanctuary and Nathula pass. Tsomgo lake is considered sacred by the local people. The entire lake freezes during winters. The wild life sanctuary of Fambong has some rare animal varieties that are found in Himalayan region and can survive in high altitudes. Nathula is the highest motorable road in the world and is richly covered by Alpine flora. It is located at an altitude of 14, 200 feet.

Most Ideal Time To Visit
Gangtok is basically a cold place with temperatures in winter reaching the freezing point. The winter temperatures are in the range of 0 degrees to 18 degrees. Summers are mild and pleasant with temperatures in the range of 13 degrees to 28 degrees. Rainfall takes place during the May-October period. The best time to visit Gangtok is during March-May and October-December period.

Getting There
» By Air : The Bagdogra airport at a distance of 124 kms from Gangtok is the nearest airport. However, daily helicopter services have been introduced from Bagdogra airport to Gangtok. The helicopter connects with flights from Delhi and Kolkata, and leaves for Gangtok daily. The helicopter leaves between 1 P.M and 3 P.M and prices have been fixed at Rs. 1500. The service takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the capital of Sikkim. Taxi services are also available in the airport to transport tourists to Gangtok.

» By Trains : The nearest railhead is Siliguri (New Jalpaiguri) at a distance of 148 kms. All trains coming from different parts of India to Guwahati halt at the station.

» By Road : Regular bus services are available from Siliguri (110 km) to Gangtok. Siliguri links Gangtok to rest of the country. There are also bus services from Darjeeling (90 km) and Kalimpong (70 km). From Siliguri one starts for Gangtok on NH 31 and then branches off to NH 31 A from Sevoke, 20 km from Siliguri. The condition of the roads are generally good and pass through picturesque locations.

Anchoring In Gangtok
Ritco ToursThe most important thing to note is that foreign tourists require an Inner Line Permit to visit Sikkim. The permit can be obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi or Government of Sikkim. Permits are valid for 15 days. To visit interior areas, Protected Area Permits may also be obtained.

In Gangtok, un-metered taxis are the best way of to move around in the town. However, the rates between points are fixed by the district administration and it is compulsory for taxis to carry rate charts. Shared taxis within Gangtok and taxis for excursion to nearby areas are also available.

Gangtok is known for its serene ambience and hospitable people. But as most of the people speak only the local language, there might be problems in communicating with people. To ensure a hassle free trip to Gangtok, you can always book with us. We are experienced tour operators conducting tours to Gangtok for the past many years. We offer all the facilities including luxury cab services and stay in best hotels of the place.

Gangtok offers a wide variety of accommodation. Budget hotels, mid-range and top-end hotels are all available in Gangtok. In order to attract tourists throughout the year, most hotels offer heavy discounts during the lean season.

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