Positioned on the slopes of a verdant mountain range, Gangtok is a dynamic capital city comprised of pastel-coloured buildings, revered Buddhist monasteries and tranquil gardens. The city centre is filled with Indian and exotic restaurants, while the surrounding region reveals waterfalls, lakes and a mountainous national park.
Things to do in Gangtok
Discover Gangtok’s rich Buddhism roots at one of the many temples around the city, including the 17th-century Rumtek Monastery, which offers scenic mountain views. Admire a range of Buddhist paintings, sculptures and statues at Pemayangtse Monastery or drive about 30 kilometres to the 18th-century Phodong Monastery.
Are you interested in tasting Indian and Tibetan cuisine? Dine at one of the restaurants in the city’s heart, such as Vingen Restaurant, Taste Of Tibet or Kanchan Sweets & Snacks. You can catch a movie at the nearby Denzong Cinema Hall or purchase regional produce and handmade goods from the stalls at Kanchanjunga Shopping Complex.
Nature lovers will enjoy visiting Sikkim Himalayan Zoological Park, where you can see leopards, red pandas and bears before admiring views of Mount Khangchendzonga. Don’t miss seeing the cascading Bakthang Waterfall, which can be viewed from a footbridge. It’s near Lhasa Falls, which is known for its adventure sports.
If you’ve got time for a day trip, drive about 150 kilometres to the picturesque Khecheopalri Lake, believed to fulfil wishes according to the Buddhist and Hindu cultures. Slightly north of town, the sprawling Khangchendzonga National Park is a popular hiking and mountaineering destination, known for its snow-capped mountains.
Getting around Gangtok
Gangtok is about 130 kilometres from Bagdogra Airport and is also accessible via trains to New Jalpaiguri and connecting taxis. You can easily walk around the city centre, but will need to use taxis, auto rickshaws and tour companies to venture further afield.