Gangtok is a city situated in the northeastern state of Sikkim. It is said to be one of the most beautiful hill stations in the country. Gangtok is a popular tourist attraction due to its popularity.
In addition to the serene ambience of stupas and monasteries, Gangtok is teeming with vitality like any other prosperous city. Some top places to visit include Do-Drul Chorten, Rumtek Monastery, Tashi View Point, Enchey Monastery, Tsomgo Lake, Ban Jhakri Falls, and the local bazaar, Lal Bazaar etc. Furthermore, North East India boasts of the grand river Teesta as a must-visit destination for desirous white-water rafters.
Overview of what the blog post will cover
- Top 5 Things to Do in Gangtok
- Famous Things to Buy in Gangtok
- Ranka Monastery Gangtok
- Places to Visit in Gangtok
Top 5 Things To Do in Gangtok
Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, is one of the most beautiful places in India, having plenty of things to do and exotic places to visit. If you are planning a trip to Gangtok, it is crucial to list things to do. Here are the top 5 things to do in Gangtok that you should remember while planning a trip.
1. Ride on the Ropeway Cable Car
The most famous thing to do in Gangtok is to ride on the cable car that offers panoramic city views. The ropeway ride starts from the Deorali market. Tashiling is an excellent opportunity for a bird’s eye view of the city.
Timings: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Charges: INR 110 for adults and INR 70 for children below 6 years (free below 3 years)
Video charges: INR 100 (additional)
2. Yak Safari
Yak Safari offers a truly unique experience among the top attractions in Gangtok. The slow ride takes you to various locations in and around Gangtok while you hold firmly onto the hump of this vast mountain creature. As you move through the rough terrain, surrounded by the exquisite beauty of Sikkim, the thrill of adventure will completely amaze you. Don’t miss out on this remarkable opportunity to explore the stunning landscape of Gangtok.
3. Mountain Biking
Gangtok is a haven for mountain bikers, with its challenging trails that have become a true delight for cycling enthusiasts. The rugged terrain, breathtaking terrain, and surreal scenery make an unforgettable biking experience.
Charges: Depending on the operator and the route, the changes vary. The costs range from INR 800 per person up to INR 15,000.
4. River Rafting
River Rafting in the Teesta River is another adventurous thing in Gangtok, Sikkim. Gangtok is in the heart of the Himalayas and offers some of India’s best rapids. The Teesta River is one of the most sought-after river rafting in Gangtok. A trained guide will steer you through a wild maze of churning water as you navigate this scenic river.
Timings: 9 am – 4 pm
Charges: INR 500 – 1000
Paragliding in Gangtok is an experience that every adventure seeker must try at least once. The thrill of soaring high up in the sky, with the picturesque Himalayan ranges as your backdrop, is truly an unforgettable moment. With many professional and experienced pilots, you can rest easy knowing you are in safe hands.
Timings: 9 am – 4 pm
Charges: Between INR 2000 – 5000, depending upon the operator
Why is it worth doing or visiting Gangtok?
Gangtok is a breathtaking hill station in India. The city is surrounded by mountains, thick forests, and winding roads that offer a mesmerising landscape view. From temples and monasteries to hiking trails and adventure sports, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and spiritual enthusiasts.
One of the significant advantages of visiting Gangtok is that it is a small town, and everything is within walking distance. Visitors can explore the city’s vibrant markets, experience the local cuisine, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals. The city is home to numerous attractions, which allow visitors to immerse themselves in Sikkimese culture.
Gangtok is also a popular gateway for travellers who want to explore the surrounding region, which is home to some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the world.
Famous Things to Buy
Gangtok is a charming hill station nestled in the mountains of Sikkim. It is known for its scenic beauty, vibrant culture and friendly people. Apart from its natural beauty, Gangtok is also famous for its shopping destinations. When in Gangtok, you should buy some exclusive souvenirs.
- Tibetan Carpets: A perfect reflection of Sikkimese culture to decorate your homes with a traditional touch. Tibetan carpets are one of the best things to buy in Gangtok. The price ranges from INR 3,000-8,000.
- Handicrafts: Vibrant and artsy Buddhist figurines, Prayer flags, Wall hangings, and Canvas are the favourite shopping items in Gangtok. You can pick beautiful Tibetan lanterns or colourful hangings from MG Market. Most of these items cost around INR 100-750.
- Local Teas: Grown in the famous Temi Tea Garden, the Sikkimese tea is organic for all tea lovers. The healthy, refreshing and authentic taste makes everyone love tea. A pack of Green Tea costs around INR 120-450.
- Spices: Adding different flavours and aromas to food takes away the heart of many. Sikkim offers the best flavours of black cardamom or ‘Bari Alcha’ with costs ranging from INR 150-500. The ingredients are undoubtedly one of the best souvenirs for Indian homemakers.
- Semi-Precious Stones & Silver Jewelry: Well-crafted Jewels include Dragon jewellery, precious stones, and all kinds of accessories made of silver are famous in the city. Every other shop in the town sells various types of unique designs. The cost starts from INR 200 to 2,000.
- Hand-Woven Jackets: Another attraction to shopping in Gangtok is Kimono Style Chic Jackets. The traditional dress of Sikkim, called ‘Kho’, is a must-buy for anyone visiting Gangtok. These dresses are colourful, elegant and uniquely hand-woven Sikkimese, making them a great way to remember your time in the beautiful city. The cost for these beautiful jackets ranges from INR 2000-4000.
- Hand-Carved Wooden Tables: Gangtok’s uniquely designed and hand-carved wooden tables are beautiful and unique forms of craftsmanship. They are made with locally sourced wood and carved by skilled artisans using traditional techniques. The price ranges between INR 8,000-15,000.
Ranka Monastery is a popular tourist attraction located in Gangtok, Sikkim. Also known as the Lingdum Monastery, the complex is perched on a hilltop surrounded by lush green forests and scenic mountains. The monastery was established in 1998 and is an important centre of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is known for its intricate architecture and intricate wall paintings that depict the life and teachings of Lord Buddha.
The Ranka Monastery is also famous for its religious ceremonies and festivals, which are held throughout the year. Visitors can witness the monks chanting and doing their traditional dances known as Cham during these ceremonies. The monastery is a peaceful and serene place, and visitors can soak in the tranquillity of the surroundings while taking in the spectacular views of the mountains. For those seeking a deeply spiritual experience, the monastery offers retreats and teachings from experienced lamas. A visit to Ranka Monastery is a must-do for anyone travelling to Gangtok, as it provides a glimpse into Sikkim’s rich history and culture.
Best Time To Visit Ranka Monastery
The perfect time to visit the Ranka Monastery is from October to November and from March to May since the climate is quite pleasant at the same time.
How To Reach Ranka Monastery
Ranka Monastery is situated at a distance of about 15-20 kilometres from Gangtok. You can hire a taxi and enjoy the journey conveniently to reach the destination. If you are low on budget, you can hop on a bus at the Gangtok Bus Stand.
Places to Visit in Gangtok
Nathu La Pass
First on the list is visiting NathuLa Pass, 4,310 metres above sea level. Nathu La is an open border between India and China, considered one of the highest trade points for export and import between the two countries. Once you reach Nathu La, you will be mesmerised by the stunning scenic beauty of the Himalayan mountains.
The second thing to do is explore Tsomgo Lake’s beauty, also called Changu Lake. It is a glacial lake which is 3,780 metres above sea level. It is a popular destination for travellers because of its picturesque view and the serenity it offers. If you visit during winter, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in some local winter activities around the lake.
Third to the list is a journey to explore Rumtek Monastery, one of the famous monasteries in Sikkim. It is located at a distance of 23 kilometres from Gangtok City. It is a great way to experience the culture and religion of local people. You can take part in meditation activities.
Next to the list is to visit Ganesh Tok. Ganesh Tok is a small temple and a loved viewpoint in Gangtok. It is a small temple on the hill with an exciting view. The Kanchenjunga Hill can be seen at its best in the morning and offers breathtaking views of the mountains dusted with snow. The temple’s inner sanctum is so tiny that the devotees must crawl on all fours to reach Lord Ganpati.
Last is to shop at MG Marg, the city’s heart. It is a well-maintained street lined with shops, cafes and restaurants, making it a shopper’s paradise. From traditional handicrafts to fashionable clothes and accessories, this street has everything you need to take back some souvenirs.
Gangtok is a place that offers a lot of things to do and see. The top 5 things to visit in Gangtok are a must while visiting the city. From natural beauty to cultural heritage, there’s something for everyone in Gangtok. So, if you are planning a trip to Sikkim, Gangtok should definitely be on the list of places to visit.
In summary, visiting Gangtok is an unforgettable experience. The city’s unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage makes it an ideal destination for tourists seeking a peaceful and adventurous retreat. Be sure to include visiting Gangtok in your bucket list and experience a surreal view of nature and its spiritual solace.