10 Awesome Places to visit in Gangtok

10 Awesome Places to visit in Gangtok

The city of Gangtok, Sikkim's capital, is a major draw for visitors to northeast India. It offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and adventure activities. Here are some of the top places to visit in Gangtok:

MG Marg 

M.G. Marg (or MG Road, or Mahatma Gandhi Road) is a major thoroughfare in Gangtok and a popular destination for visitors. It feels more like an expansive pedestrian shopping center or plaza, where both locals and visitors can take leisurely strolls or relax on one of the many seats scattered throughout the center and sides of the street to soak up the ambiance. The 1-kilometer stretch of road is designated for pedestrians only, with no vehicles allowed. At the heart of the area stands a statue featuring Bhutia Chieftain Khye Bumsa, Lepcha trailblazer Thetong Tek, and his wife Ngo-Kong-ngol, adding a touch of cultural significance to this lively street.

Enchey Monastery 

Located on a hilltop in Gangtok, Enchey Monastery is a Buddhist monastery that offers stunning views of the city. Enchey Monastery, which is situated 3 kilometers northeast of Gangtok, is an ancient temple that is approximately 200 years old. It is part of the Nyingma sect of Vajrayana Buddhism and is a very important part of the spiritual landscape of the area. Lama Drupthob Karpo, a skilled practitioner of tantric Buddhism with the ability to fly, sanctified the site with his blessings. According to legend, he constructed a small gompa before flying from Maenam Hill in south Sikkim to establish the monastery. The name Enchey Monastery, which means 'the solitary temple', may be interpreted as a reference to the peaceful seclusion of the site, which is said to have been home to a small hermitage built by the monk upon his arrival.

Tashi Viewpoint

Located around 8 km from Gangtok, Tashi Viewpoint offers panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. The Tashi View Point is a delightful destination that provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and Gangtok itself. This popular tourist spot is located 8 km away from the town and is renowned for its picturesque sunrise and sunset vistas. Visitors can witness the Kanchenjunga and Siniolchu Peaks' colors transform as the sun slowly moves across the sky, and also catch a glimpse of the famous Gangtok monasteries of Phodong and Labrang. While taking in the breathtaking panorama, tourists can sip on refreshing drinks and purchase souvenirs from the shops located here. For nature enthusiasts seeking a peaceful respite from the city's hustle and bustle, Tashi View Point is a must-visit destination where birdsong and gentle breezes provide a relaxing ambience. The best part is that admission is free, though a nominal fee of Rs. 10/- will be charged for using the binoculars or telescope to get a closer look at the captivating surroundings of Sikkim's capital.

Ganesh Tok

Ganesh Tok, a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and Gangtok city. Located seven kilometers outside of Gangtok at an elevation of 6,500 meters, the Ganesh Tok Temple is so small that only one person at a time can fit inside it. But the view from here is absolutely stunning, taking in the entire city of Gangtok, the Raj Bhavan complex, and even Mount Kanchenjunga.

Hanuman Tok 

Another temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Hanuman Tok, is located at an altitude of 7,200 feet and offers beautiful views of the city and the surrounding hills. Located in the mountains above Gangtok, Hanuman Tok is a holy temple dedicated to Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god. Travelers from all over the nation come to worship at this massive temple complex. The Sikkimese shrine is located 11 kilometers from Gangtok, on the way to Nathula, another popular destination. As you make your way up the stairs, you might catch a glimpse of a cross or hear the distant chanting of worshippers. The breathtaking views of the Himalayan landscape, including the town of Gangtok and the surrounding hills and valleys, are the highlight of the trip.

Do Drul Chorten 

A stupa located in Gangtok, Do Drul Chorten is one of the largest stupas in Sikkim and is surrounded by 108 prayer wheels. Drul Chorten, also known as Druk Chorten or Bhutanese stupa, is a type of religious monument found in Bhutan. It is a form of Buddhist architecture that is primarily used for meditation and prayer. The word "Drul" means "enemy" in the Bhutanese language, and "Chorten" means "stupa" or "monument." The name "Drul  Chorten" is thus believed to represent the stupa's function as a protector against negative forces and energies. Drul Chortens are typically made of stone and are characterized by their tall, conical shape and intricate ornamentation. They are usually adorned with colorful prayer flags and feature a small door or entrance way that leads to a sacred chamber containing religious artefacts and offerings. In Bhutanese culture, Drul Chortens are considered to be powerful symbols of spiritual enlightenment and protection. They are often built at sacred sites or along pilgrimage routes and are used by both monks and laypeople as places of worship and contemplation.

Rumtek Monastery

Located around 23 km from Gangtok, Rumtek Monastery is one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim and offers stunning views of the surrounding hills. Rumtek Monastery, also known as the Dharma Chakra Center, is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in the Indian state of Sikkim. It is one of the most significant monasteries in the world and is the seat of the Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery was built in the 16th century and renovated in the 20th century to its current grandeur. The monastery is renowned for its beautiful architecture, stunning murals, and intricate carvings. It also houses several precious Buddhist relics, including ancient scriptures and thangkas. Visitors can attend prayer sessions, witness traditional Buddhist ceremonies, and explore the monastery's extensive library. Rumtek Monastery is a must-visit for anyone interested in Tibetan culture and Buddhism.

Flower Exhibition Centre

A beautiful garden located in the heart of Gangtok, the Flower Exhibition Centre is home to a wide range of flowers and plants and offers a peaceful and serene environment. Sikkim's flower population is a visual delight, with over 4000 types of flowering plants, including 600 orchid species and 30 varieties of Rhododendron. If you're keen on catching a glimpse of these blooms, a visit to Ridge Park and the Flower Exhibition Center is highly recommended. The Ridge Park lines Ridge Road, skirting the Chief Minister's residence. This impeccably designed garden features fountains and a traditional gazebo, and in May, the park transforms into a vibrant canvas of colors. Below Ridge Park, you'll find the Flower Exhibition Center, exhibiting flowers from all corners of Sikkim. During the annual Mayflower show, the humble greenhouse turns into an exotic paradise, with Azaleas, Anthuriums, Orchids, Celosia, Chrysanthemums, Gentians, Hydrangeas, Liliums, Poppies, Rhododendrons, Roses, Tulips, and a plethora of other flowers of every size, shape, and hue greeting visitors.

The exhibition center, a greenhouse that hosts various species of flowers, offers the unique experience of walking into a room filled with a multitude of cheerful flowers.

Himalayan Zoological Park

Located around 8 km from Gangtok, the Himalayan Zoological Park is home to a wide range of animals and birds, including the endangered snow leopard. For wildlife enthusiasts in Sikkim, Himalayan Zoological Park is a must-visit destination. The park was established with the aim of preserving wildlife in their natural habitat without disturbing them. Situated in Bulbuley, just 3 kilometers from Gangtok, the park offers stunning views of Mt. Khangchendzonga at an altitude of 1,780 meters. Covering a vast area of 205 hectares in the mountainous terrain, the park is home to various fauna species that can be found in the Himalayas, including the Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Himalayan Red Panda, Snow Leopard Cat, Goral, Himalayan Palm Civet, Himalayan Black Bear, and Crimson-Horned Pheasant.

As the first zoological park in Sikkim, the Himalayan Zoological Park sets an example for modern zoos that aim to replicate natural conditions for the animals. The best time to visit is between mid-February and May and mid-September and December. Managed by the Forests, Environment, and Wildlife Management Department of the Government of Sikkim, the park is a prime destination for nature lovers who wish to observe wildlife in their natural habitat.

Tsuklakhang Royal Chapel

Located inside the Royal Palace in Gangtok, Tsuklakhang Royal Chapel is a Buddhist temple that offers a glimpse into the rich culture and history of Sikkim. Located 3 kilometers away from Gangtok SNT Bus Station is the Tsuk La Khang Monastery, a grand Buddhist monastery known as the Palace Monastery. It is a significant place of worship and one of the top tourist destinations in Gangtok. This impressive monastery is part of the Royal Palace complex and was constructed in 1898 during the reign of King Thutob Namgyal. Initially used for important royal events, it is now a prominent Buddhist assembly and worship center. The Royal Chapel is a two-story building that follows the traditional Sikkim architectural style, with a central assembly hall and a vast collection of Buddhist literature. The walls and altars of Tsuk La Khang are adorned with striking murals, depicting Buddha, Bodhisattva, and other tantric deities of Buddhism. Snow Lion Head sculptures are located at every corner, adding to the monastery's aesthetic appeal. Throughout the year, Tsuk La Khang hosts a variety of festivals, including Phang Lhabsol and Losoong (Tibetan New Year), which are celebrated with great enthusiasm. During these festivals, the monks of the monastery perform the Chaam (mask dance) and the Black Hat Dance, symbolizing the victory of good over evil forces.

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