The capital city of the Indian state of Sikkim is the town of Gangtok. Adorned in blankets of dense white clouds, Gangtok is set at an altitude of 5500 feet. In order to make a journey through the entire state, Gangtok functions as an excellent base point. The town itself provides the tourists with a breathtaking sight of the Khangchendzonga. Once upon a time, Gangtok was a significant transfer point for people going to Tibet from India; however in the present era, Gangtok has flourished to be a popular and demanding governmental and trade centre. The town reflects an assortment of customs and traditions of different cultures and communities.
Being a cosmopolitan area, Gangtok provides visitors with all kinds of needs and facilities. Accommodation facilities are readily available between different price ranges. In order to have fun, one can opt for MG Marg, the main street of Gangtok. No cars or vehicles are permitted in the area of the MG Marg. One can also relax on the benches present in the mall and feast in the festival like environment, which remains especially during the peak season. There are numerous small and big shops in the Mall road, on both the sides of the street.
TOURIST PLACES IN GANGTOK
Gangtok Food and Culture Festival: Each year, during the month of December, a Food and Culture Festival is hosted in Gangtok at the MG Marg. In the festival one can observe the various musical shows and dance forms as well as can treat the taste buds to the multi-cultural cuisine of the Sikkim state.
Ropeway: Another attraction of the town of Gangtok is the Zig-back ropeway. To get an exciting view of Gangtok from a high altitude, one should definitely get into the ropeway. Between the two places namely, Deorali and Tashiling, the ropeway gives a ride. The total distance of the ride is 1 Km. 25 people can be present in the ropeway in one cabin at one point of time. A spectacular and amazing sight of the majestic Khangchendzonga and the entire town of Gangtok can be obtained from the ropeway, provided that the weather remains clear.
Ridge Park: One can also visit the Ridge Park, situated near Tashiling Secretariat.
Ganest Tok: Another location to visit is the Ganest Tok, from where one can obtain an extensive and breathtaking view of the entire town of Gangtok and the encircling areas with the majestic mountain ranges along with snow capped peaks. For food and other snacks, a cafeteria is present here.
Hanuman Temple: At a distance of 9 Kms from the town of Gangtok, a temple named Hanuman Tok is present. The altitude of the location is 7200 feet. The temple has been constructed in the name of the Lord Hanuman. The location provides a serene, calm and pollution free environment. From this point an extensive and breathtaking view of the entire town of Gangtok and the encircling areas with the majestic mountain ranges along with snow capped peaks can be seen.
Lukshyama: Lukshyama, which is the royal cremation place, is located beside the temple. Several stupas and chortens are present here. The members of the former royal family of Sikkim are cremated here.
Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology: One should also go and visit the Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology. It is a one of its kind research centre. A huge assortment of rare manuscripts and documents in Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit language and also numerous sculptures and unique Thankas are present in the NIT. In addition to all these, an intriguing Museum is also present here. The museum houses 200 Buddhist icons and other important art items.
HOW TO REACH GANGTOK
By air: The closest air terminal located to Gangtok is the West Bengal’s Bagdogra Airport. The distance between the airport and Gangtok is 124 Kms.
By rail: The closest railway stations to Gangtok are in New Jalpaiguri, which is located at a distance of 125 Kms away from Gangtok and the other one is in Siliguri, which is situated at a distance of 114 Kms away.
By road: One can reach Gangtok via the National Highway 31A, which connects Gangtok to other important towns and cities. State run buses are available as well as private buses, jeeps, taxies and private cars are also available.