Gangtok, Ropeway 390A1841


The City in Transition
As the dawn breaks, a refreshing breeze from the mountains blends with the monks' hymns in an old monastery. The colourful prayer flags flutter with the Tibetan prayer chants. A buzzing market in the downtown leisurely wakes up for another beautiful day. Under the gaze of the mighty Himalayan range, Gangtok, at an altitude of 1700 meters, has many attractions for nature lovers, pilgrims and adventurous people.
Gangtok, the modern capital of Sikkim, is a city in transition. This cosmopolitan town has a blend of tradition and modernization.
Situated on a ridge, Gangtok on a clear day provides an excellent view of Mt Kanchenjunga Snow Peaks beyond the sweeping valleys. Nature lovers prefer Gangtok mainly for the proximity to exploring the higher Sikkim Valleys that stretch beyond the Trans-Himalayan region. A pristine high altitude Alpine Lake at 3600 meters above sea level named Tsongo Lake is just a 2hrs drive from the city. For exploring the serene yak pasture, flower valleys, glacial lakes, the rugged elevated plateau above 4000 meters, remote nomad villages in the extreme North of Sikkim, Gangtok is the ideal base.
Due to the presence of many monasteries, Gangtok has become a famous pilgrimage centre for Buddhists. It is the centre of the Tibetan school of arts, language and culture. Institute of Tibetology, Rumtek Dharmachakra Centre and several other institutes are the centres of advanced study and research on Buddha's teachings and philosophy.
Gangtok is one of the most unpolluted cities in India. Traffic is more controlled and disciplined than in other cities, and it was awarded the best-controlled traffic system in India. The centre of activities and shopping in Gangtok is the M G Marg, where the most important commercial centres, hotels, restaurants, and tourism offices are located on this road. The MG Marg is recently beautified for the tourists and made a no smoking and no littering zone. Vehicle movement has also been restricted, and only pedestrians can use this from 8 AM to 8 PM.

Activities in Gangtok

Helicopter Ride
  • Helicopter Ride - Sikkim Tourism Department has introduced a tourist helicopter service from Gangtok, which takes the tourists on an attractive mountain flight over the great Himalayan snow ranges. A small carrier run by the Pavan Hans takes about five passengers at a time and fly them over the North Sikkim Alpine Valleys and close to Kanchenjunga Peak for some stunning close view of the landscape. MORE

Walking and hiking
  • Walking and hiking - For nature lovers, Gangtok has several short and long walking and hiking options. The city itself has many attractions with old markets, curio shops, traditional buildings, monuments and monasteries. Simultaneously, the more extended hiking options will take you to nature with a nice view of mountains and valleys. MORE

Monastery visit 
  • Monastery visit  - Sikkim is also known for its Monasteries. Among the several monasteries in Sikkim, Gangtok has several important monasteries in and outside of the cities. The monastery buildings with traditional Tibetan architecture are important tourist attractions in Gangtok. They are also used as study centres for Buddhist Monks, and cultural shows and ceremonies are performed during festivals.  

  • Excursion    - Gangtok offers many attractive short and long excursions options. The most popular one for the tourists staying in Gangtok is Tsongo Lake at a distance of 40kms over 12000ft altitude. The more enthusiastic tourists (Only Indians) can drive further to Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir close to China Border at over 14000ft. You would need a special area Permit from the Army to visit these places. MORE

Shopping in Gangtok  
  • Shopping in Gangtok   - For exotic boutiques and traditional artefacts, Gangtok is the best place for the Shoppers in Sikkim. Sikkim is a land of various tribes and communities that have their distinct culture, lifestyles and beliefs. Each community's unique tradition and culture reflect in their daily life and in the artwork they produce. The most colourful buys are the Tibetan Thanka or the Scroll paintings. They are painted with rich vegetable colour and gold dust by dignified artists. MORE

Night Life
  • Night Life - The nightlife in Gangtok is getting immensely popular with the introduction of casinos – the first in India's land. The other Indian Casino is located in Goa, but it is not on the ground but on the seawater. Gangtok has a couple of casinos in the Royal Plaza Hotel, which was introduced in Gangtok and followed by Mayfair Spa Resort – 10kms downtown. There are many nightclubs or discos in some of the hotels where one can kill weekends till late at night. Few pubs and bar in the MG Marg remains open till 11 PM and offer some excellent quality food and drinks.MORE

  • Casino  - The casino is a very recent addition to Sikkim Tourism activities. So far, two major hotels have introduced this gambling entertainment in Gangtok. One is in Royal Plaza - a 4-star premium hotel in the city centre and the bigger one is in Mayfair - a luxury Spa Resort - 10kms away from the city.

Attractions in Gangtok

  • Tibetology Institute and Museum 

    Institute of Tibetology cum Research Center in Gangtok is one of India's most important centres and perhaps globally for scholars and higher Buddhist students. The centre's main building shows the traditional Tibetan architecture and design and is a rear storehouse with an extensive collection of books and scripts of the Buddhist religion.

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  • Dodul Chorten

    Dodul Chorten, or the sacred monument for Buddhists, is a huge imposing monument built on a hillock in Deorali Gangtok. The large round-shaped white coloured Chorten is located just beside the Tibetan Institute and is encircled by colourful prayer wheels and flags.

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  • Cottage Industry and Handicraft Center

    The Cottage industry and handicraft centre is a government institution built in the year 1957 to promote the exclusive traditional handicraft and art skill of Sikkim. The centre is located at zero point – just a 5 minutes' walk from Gangtok city's heart. Several departments in the centre are mastering the various artworks, including Traditional Thanka Painting, wooden handicrafts, handlooms, jewellery and handmade toys and dolls. The centre has several students in each field learning and mastering the skill of traditional handicraft.

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  • Flower Show and Exhibition centre

    If you are interested in seeing the exotic Himalayan flowers and orchids, you must visit the Orchid Center in Gangtok. Situated close to the Chief Minister House, on the ridge park on the top of the city, the Flower and Orchid exhibition centre has a vast collection of rare Himalayan orchids and flowers.

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  • Enchey Monastery

    Enchey Monastery is considered one of the oldest monasteries in Gangtok. The 8th Choygal of Sikkim first built it in 1840 and eventually bought this tiny town into a pilgrimage centre. This important Monastery in Gangtok follows the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism. This Monastery is located at an isolated place on top of a hill over the Gangtok town.

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  • Tashi View Point

    Tashi View Point in Gangtok is the highest View Point in the city, situated 5km away from the Main Market. With its altitude on a top of a hill, the place offers an excellent 360-degree view of Kanchenjunga Peak and a vast valley, including the Gangtok town.

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  • M G Marg 

    The most happening place and the central shopping area and Mall of Gangtok are the Mahatma Gandhi Marg or MG Marg. This area is the most popular place for the tourists and the local people who come here for a walk or spend some leisure time or shopping or trying different cuisines of Tibetan, Indian, and Chinese.

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  • Lal Bazar

    Unlike the MG Marg Market, the Lal Bazaar is more famous for the typical city people and not for the regular tourists. But although this is not meant for the regular tourists, the travellers with a keen interest in experiencing the everyday daily life of the common people of Gangtok may find this place quite interesting. Lal Market is the traditional Gangtok market built way back in the 1950s and sells almost everything a city needs.

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  • Rumtek Monastery

    The most important and most extensive among all monasteries in Sikkim is Rumtek Monastery. This is also a famous pilgrimage centre in Sikkim. Located 24kms away from Gangtok, Sikkim's capital town, the Monastery is also known as the Dharma Chakra Center.

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  • Tsongo Lake 

    Tsongo Lake or Changu Lake lies at an altitude of above 3600 meters (12000ft) and is just a 2hours drive from Gangtok town. The Alpine Lake, known for its pristine natural beauty, is one of the prime attractions for holidayers coming to Gangtok. It has proximity to Tibet Border and falls on the ancient trade route between India and Tibet. Nathula, the Indo-China Border Point at 4000 meters, is just a 20kms drive from this lake. This trade route was operational before 1965.

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  • Nathu La Pass 

    Nathula Pass at 14400ft above sea level is the only active trade route between India and China at present. Situated in a strategic location, this high altitude Himalayan Pass used to be the most crucial trade link between Sikkim and Tibet before the 1960s. The mules carrying wools, salt, gold, and borax were used to enter India from Tibet and took back garments and other essential materials from India. This is also a sensitive area in the Indian frontier.

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  • Baba Mandir 

    The legendary Temple of Baba Harbhajan Singh on the way to jeep la Pass from Tsongo Lake is an exciting place to visit when you are going to the Tsongo and Nathula Pass. At an altitude of over 3500M covered mostly in snow, this temple of a dead army man has a legend associated with it.

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  • Tsuklakhang Palace and Monastery

    Tsuklakahang Palace and Monastery are one of the oldest buildings in Sikkim situated above the Gangtok town and built in a traditional Sikkimese style the building used to be the Royal Chapel for the Chogyal of Sikkim.

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  • Hanuman Tok

    Hanuman Tok, or the temple of the Lord Hanuman (The Langur) with an excellent viewpoint, is situated on the way to Nathula Pass about 5kms from the Gangtok city centre. At an altitude of 2200M, the viewpoint presents a nice view of the surrounding, including the Kanchenjunga. The area also receives snowfall during winter. From Hanuman Tok, one can also visit the Himalayan Zoological Park situated just beside this.

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