Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, the northeastern Himachal state of India. Sikkim is a small but extremely picturesque state. There are many panoramic places in this beautiful state. Gangtok is an urban area. It is a favorite tourist destination due to its proximity to Bagdogra Airport by road. The scenic spots here are captivating, as well as diverse. Various types of attractions like floral display, Buddhist monastery, Himalayan zoological park, Tibet Study Institute, waterfall, a bustling Mahatma Gandhi Marg will satisfy you here.
Places to visit in Gangtok
The purpose of this edition of mine is to make you aware of some popular sightseeing places that can be included in the journey of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Some of these places are within the city of Gangtok and some are around the city where you can go by car as a day trip. You can do far off places by conducting organized tours of the city.
Gangtok city floral exhibition
The entire city of Gangtok, its habitat and roads are all filled with beautiful floral plants. Some were grown on the earth while some were sheltered in pots. The climate here seems to be very good for gardening. A flower exhibition is organized in the middle of the city of Gangtok. You must take advantage of the opportunity to see colorful and different types of flowers. Here you will see such types of flowers that you have never seen in life. You will be stunned by the type of orchids. The best part is that there is no restriction on painting and photography. The entry fee is also nominal only.
Mahatma Gandhi Marg
In the center of the city is the Mahatma Gandhi Marg or MG Marg where you can enjoy the chahal initiative of the city while walking. If the sky is clean, you can also see the Kanchenjunga peak of the Himalayas.
Driving on this route is prohibited. You can walk here without any hassle. There are many foodie shops, souvenir shops and many other shops on either side of the route. People walking together make this walk even more laughable.
Namgyal Tibet Shastra Institute
Namgyal is the Tibetan Institute of Tibetan Museum which promotes and sponsors research work related to Tibetan civilization, religion, language, art and culture and history. The institute has many original and rare collections of Thangka paintings, objects of Buddhist prayer, objects related to Buddhism, manuscripts in Tibetan and Sanskrit etc.
Two Drul Chorten Stupas
Doral Chorten Stupa Namgyal is located near the Institute of Tibetology. I think this stupa is the largest stupa in Sikkim. There is a cover of gold letters on its peak. Chorten Lhakhang and Guru Lhakhang surround two Drul Chortens. Visit the two Drul Chorten and rotate the prayer cycles and show your favorite wish.
Places to visit around Gangtok
Gangtok city is situated on the slope of a mountain. The area and hills surrounding it are filled with many attractive sights. You will need a train to visit these tourist places. Public transport is not convenient. I want to tell you some fascinating sights around Gangtok city.
This is a small waterfall on the way leading to Banjhakhari waterfall. Located about 3 to 4 kilometers from Gangtok, this waterfall is on the main road itself. Some exciting sports are also organized here, such as rope climbing, rappelling, etc. Tourists can also take their photographs by decorating the traditional costumes of Sikkim.
Being a mountainous region, the landscape around here is very attractive. It is necessary that the sky is clean. In the local language ‘Bak’ means forest or forest and ‘thung’ means plain. The origin of the natural water source of this waterfall lies in the dense forest situated above this place. The forest department preserves this forested area under the name of Smriti Ban. While going towards Bhanjkari waterfall, you can stay here for 15-20 minutes and enjoy nature.
Buckthong spring video
Be sure to watch this video made at the Buckthung Falls. Use HD mode for best viewing.
To this waterfall Banjakadri Or it is also known as Jhankari Falls. Banjakadri The waterfall is a perennial waterfall. The water stream coming out from the water source situated at the height comes down falling, bouncing and stuttering on the rocks at different stages. The height of this waterfall is about 100 feet. The first straight fall of the waterfall is about 40 to 50 feet high. This waterfall is in the Landscape Park, located about 4 kilometers from the city.
There is a garden around the waterfall which is built with utmost beauty and artistry. Many types of statues and artefacts are not only enhancing the beauty of this garden, but also present beautiful concept of Jhaki culture. These statues also provide information about the traditional rituals, remedial rites and mitigation of Sikkim i.e. entry into the Zoroastrian religion.
Ban means forest and jhakdi literally means traditional healer. Ban Jhakdi is a mythological character whose existence is seen only in the legends of the Nepali community of Sikkim.
Banjhakadi Falls Video
We made this video of Banjhakadar Falls during our visit here. Do visit it to enjoy the waterfall directly. For best viewing, watch on YouTube channel using HD mode.
Himalayan Wildlife Park
The Himalayan Zoological Park, located near the city of Gangtok, is the best place to get acquainted with Himalayan animals and birds. Here you can learn about the flora, fauna and local tree trees found in the Himalayan regions.
Himalayan wildlife is housed in large enclosures in this zoological park. These enclosures have been constructed in such a way that they provide almost natural surroundings to these creatures. Snow leopard and red panda are the major attractions here along with other rare creatures.
Visiting the conservation center of this huge, lush greenery and rare Himalayan species, that too in a cool invigorating environment, will make you swell. While viewing it, you can easily tell 1 to 2 hours as you wish. The entry fee to the park is also nominal.
We thoroughly enjoyed walking in the mountainous region of this Himalayan zoological park. On any day when the sky is clear, you can also see many types of birds. It was raining the day we came here. So we could not see the bird.
Rumtek Buddhist Monastery
Rumtek Buddhist monastery, one of the largest and oldest Buddhist monasteries, is about 20 kilometers from Gangtok. Many sacred objects are kept in the premises of Ruktek Dharma Chakra Center. The most special and grand among them is the 13 feet high golden stupa. The garden developed in the premises of this monastery is also very visible.
One day trips from Gangtok
The Char Dham of Namchi atop the hill is a replica of the revered Char Dham of India. Here you can easily spend 2 to 3 hours looking at the ancient temples and the huge idol of Lord Shiva. The climate here is very pleasant. The clouds and the rays of the sun mesmerize us while playing a game of hide and seek.
Read our detailed travel memoirs on Chardham Namchi.
Tammy tea gardens
Temi Tea Gardens is the largest tea plantation in Sikkim. The plantation is on the route from Gangtok towards Namchi. The landscape of lush green tea plantations peeping through the clouds will mesmerize you. Going by car on winding roads going through them is a different experience. It will drench your memory and eyes with its beauty.
Ravangala Buddhist Garden at Sandarupatse Hill
The 120 feet tall Buddhist Padmasambhava statue on Sandrupatse Hill is his largest statue in the world. It is one of the Buddhist pilgrimage centers for Buddhist pilgrims. Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rinpoche, is the mentor guru of Sikkim. There is also a rock garden ie Shallodyan nearby.
Sightseeing near Gangtok – Exciting Tours
Sikkim is an area surrounded by the peaks of the Himalayas, so the journey will also include adventure. That too not far from Gangtok city! Here are some popular options:
Nathula Pass and Songmo or Changu Lake
Nathula Pass is about 40 km east of Gangtok. The route to reach here is one of the highest motorable routes. Permission letter is required for the Nathula Pass visit. It is also necessary to choose the planned travel facility from Gangtok. These planned trips are determined only by weather conditions. On the way to reach here is the Songmo or Changu lake which freezes in winter. The cold-frozen lake, snowfall and landscape here are special attractions for tourists.
Some other attractive places of Sikkim are Gurudongmar Lake in East Sikkim, the Kanchenjunga Falls and the Rabdantse Relics at Pelling in West Sikkim.
Whenever you come on a trip to Sikkim, you can choose a place of interest according to your interest.
Also read these travel memoirs published by me on Sikkim and Gangtok.
Buy 12 best souvenirs of Sikkim
Gangtok city – beyond its 10 popular sightseeing places
Translation: Madhumita Tamhane