Surrounded by clouds and located in the eastern Himalayan range, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim’s tourism industry. The meaning of the word is precisely unclear, but the most popular meaning is ‘hill top’. Much is not known about the history of Gangtok. After the defeat of Tibetans by the British, this hill station became a major stopover in the trade route between Tibet and British India. After years of political uncertainty and struggle, Sikkim became a part of India in 1975. Located at an altitude of 1650m, this hill station enjoys a mild, temperate climate all year round.
City as Tourist Destination:
October to June is the best time to visit this hill station. Winters in Gangtok are breath- taking and the views of the mountains and valleys are absolutely beautiful. Restaurants in Gangtok feature a variety of cuisines, from western to local. Sikkimese Nettle Stew, chicken momos, green salad, hunan chicken and thukpa are a must try from the Tibetan cuisine. The nightlife of the city is virtually non-existent. Shops close down by 8 PM, though there are some restaurants and pubs which are open late in the night. The nearest airport to Gangtok is Siliguri and nearest train station is New Jalpaiguri. The population of Gangtok is a mixture of indigenous Sikkimese and people of Nepalese and Tibetan ancestry. The annual Gangtok Food and Culture Festival is organized by the Sikkim Tourism department in the month of December. Sikkim’s multi-cultural cuisine, along with traditional music and dance performances are presented.
Things to do:
The view of the Kanchenjunga will leave you spell-bound. The presence of Buddhism is clearly visible in this hill station in the form of monasteries and other traditions. The Seven Sisters and Banjhakri Waterfalls are extremely captivating. Do Drul Chorten, Tsomgo Lake, Rumtek Monastery, Tashiding Monastery, Nathu La Pass, Hanuman Tok, Singhik Viewpoint, Tashi Viewpoint, Kabi Longstok, Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology, Phurchachu Hot Springs, Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve and many other attractions are a must visit. The adventure junkie in you shall be pleased with the presence of water sports and trekking in Gangtok. Mountain biking also features in the list of adventure sports present in Gangtok. You can also watch the flower show as Sikkim boasts of harbouring 5,000 species of flowering plants. MG Road, Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom and Lal Bazaar are a great place to buy traditional items.
Hotels in Gangtok
There are plenty of Gangtok Hotels but one must book their hotels in Gangtok prior to their visit as during peak season it is hard to find hotels. There are budget hotels and deluxe and luxury hotels as well and can get according to their requirement and luxury. Gangtok also features an eco-garden resort with cottages. The theme of these cottages is ethnic Nepalese.
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