Gangtok, the exotic capital city of Sikkim, is a Buddhist haven. In sync with the Zen philosophy that divinity can only make its way through clear and clean surroundings, Gangtok is an epitome of neatness and is one of the few such places in India. The stunning panoramic views of the snow-capped Mount Kanchenjunga, only add to the Gangokian environs. Offering the best tourist places in Gangtok, this place is also famous for its distinct cuisine, of which Momos and Kinema, are an excellent example. Gangtok is a city of great food, atmospheric sceneries and beautiful Buddhist monasteries, which include Rumtek and Enchey. It has great potential for sightseeing as well, including the Nathu La Pass and Tsomgo Lake. Gangtok is also a testament to the unique fashion sense of the North East. The folks here are known to have a keen sense of style and have a totally refreshing way of wearing the most casual outfits. Gangtok also has a very folksy and indie live-music sentiment. Finally, the people make the place and it is the helpful and friendly citizens of Gangtok, who are true exemplars of the principles of the Buddhist lifestyle.
Situated in the eastern Himalayan range, state capital Gangtok combines a modern, resort town style with ancient spiritual beliefs and an impressive natural heritage. Mountain views act as the backdrop to holidays in Gangtok, where much of the focus also lies on the monasteries, shrines, and temples of this old center of Tibetan Buddhist pilgrimage. Local delicacies such as momo (stuffed dumplings) also link Gangtok to Tibet. Use Gangtok as your gateway for exploring the state and beyond, with tour operators offering a number of day excursions and longer trips. To know more about the best tourist places in Gangtok, read below:
A quaint town at the foothills of the Himalayan ranges, Siliguri is a postcard-perfect amalgamation of urban culture and natural beauty. The picturesque city is endowed with the best of nature, full to the brim with its rolling green tea gardens and the snow-clad Himalayan mountaintops peeking into the horizon at a distance.
Owing to its rich wildlife population, tourism in Siliguri is synonymous with its wildlife safari facilities. The vast Mahananda Wildlife sanctuary, sprawling between the banks of Teesta and Mahananda, is home to a number of species of animals and birds, and also provides its guests ample opportunities for trekking and bird watching. The sanctuary also houses the North Bengal Wild Animals Park, where tourists can avail jeep rides to watch the animals play and be in their natural habitats.
A major tourist attraction in Siliguri is the Salugara Monastery, famous for its 100-feet stupa built by Tibetan Buddhist Monks. The monastery, known as The Great International Tashi Gomang Stupa, is situated only 6 kms away from the main town and houses five major Buddhist relics, making it one of the most popular Buddhist monasteries in the world. Siliguri, however, is not negligent to other faiths. One can also find here the magnificent ISKCON temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, and Kali Mandir which welcomes a number of pilgrims each year.
If one is looking to shop in Siliguri, the Hong Kong market on Hill Cart Road is the place to go. A flea market selling goods at a fairly cheap rate, the Hong Kong market is a popular go-to place for tourists and is thronged by shoppers throughout the year.
The best time to visit Siliguri would be during the winter months between November and February when the weather is fairly cold and outdoor activities such as trekking, safaris, and bird-watching can be enjoyed in a humidity-free atmosphere.
Siliguri is well connected to all nearby cities in West Bengal by road and rail. The Siliguri railway station is the main junction of the town. The Darjeeling-Himalayan toy train, a world-famous attraction, can be availed from Siliguri junction if one desires to travel to Darjeeling from here. The nearest airport to Siliguri is the Bagdogra airport, from whence one may avail buses or cars to reach the place.
If you love being outdoors and surround yourself with the freshness and calm of nature, Dooars is the most ideal place for you to visit when you are in Darjeeling. Dooars is a place that defines ‘pristine nature’ with its untainted, lush green landscapes. It is a vast region of floodplains that encompasses tea gardens, hill slopes, undulating meadows, tropical forests, and ethnic villages.
The place is ideal for nature photography, wildlife exploration, and nature stay. The natural beauty of the region and the variety of experiences it has on offer make Dooars one of the most fascinating places to visit in Darjeeling.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit from Spring to winters between March to November with mild rains.
Highlight: The highlight of this place is sure to be the view of Kanchenjunga ranges. The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, and Dhirdham temple are the most visited places here.
Covered in the lap of nature this hill station in Assam is a perfect destination for fun, adventure and peaceful vacation. Laced with lush greenery, misty hills and panoramic landscapes, Haflong is famously known as “White Ant Hillock''.
The hill station has abundant spots to enjoy with lush-vibrant forests and tranquil landscapes. Home to beautiful birds and orchids, Haflong Hill station in Assam is a dream destination for campaigning gigs, nature admirers, and a paradise for trekkers. This spectacular hill station in Assam becomes a bird sanctuary during winters as a good number of migratory birds visit here.
A list of must keep a souvenir from this hill station in Assam is - bamboo woven handcrafted products and hand-woven textile and the luscious bamboo pickle by local artisans.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is during winter season between October to February.
Highlights: Haflong lake, Haflong hills, Maibong, Bhuvneshwar temple, Jatinga.
Located approximately 250 kms from Guwahati, Diphu is one of those hill stations where one can choose to unwind, relax and unfold the mystery of nature. Singhason, the highest peak in this charging hill station, is an ideal spot for adventure seekers.
It is only 2 kms away from the town and offers an adventurous and beautiful trekking route. At an altitude of 1600 meters, this is surely an adventure seeker’s spot. One can trekk to the highest point of Diphu and enjoy the stunning view of the Brahmaputra valley.
Best time to Visit: The best time to visit this beautiful hill station in Assam is between Early to peak winter season that is between August to December.
Highlight: Singhason, Arboretum- a planned landscape, botanical garden, Taralangso Cultural Centre, Marat Longri National Park and the district museum.
Located around 50 Kms from Darjeeling, this place offers a spectacular view to Kanchenjunga ranges, lush green forests and the twin lakes. The best way to reach Mirik is via road on a private cab or a self-driven car. The view enroute is mesmerizing and makes the journey fun and memorable.
One can stop and enjoy the gorgeous view of the valley, the sparkling water and captivating greenery. When in Mirik it is a must to go for a walk at the Mirik Lakeside trail, enjoy feeding fish, opt for horse ride & paddle boating at the mirik lake. The other attraction is visiting Simana, it is the Indo-Nepal border area, where the road belongs to India and the valley view area belongs to Nepal.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit this tiny beautiful place is between March to July & October – November.
Highlight: Mirik lake also known Sumendu lake, Pashupati Nagar Market, floating lakeside market, Orange Orchid garden, Mirik tea gardens, Bunkulung hillside village, Bokar monastery, Bhagwati Mandir, tingling viewpoint and visit to Simana.
Jaldhaka is a serene destination best for a family leisure vacation with some beautiful camping spots in the dense forests & cascading water. The river valley is located under Kalimpong sub-division and is cordoned off from the rest of the Darjeeling district by a mountain ridge descending south-east from Reche-la of Neora Valley National Park.
Jaldhaka River flows between India and Bhutan and offers a scenic view of the valley that will surely let any heart skip a beat. One can enjoy a good vacation at this river valley indulging in activities like fishing, bird watching, trekking and sightseeing.
Best Time to Visit: The best way to visit Jaldhaka is during Winters.
Highlights: Jaldhaka Dam - Bindu, Jaldhaka River Valley viewpoint, Jaldhaka riverside, Coronation Bridge, Gorumara national park, Chapramari national park, Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary, Jalpaiguri, Lataguri hill station, forests area, and a wildlife sanctuary.
Kalimpong is among the least explored yet beautiful destinations. Located at the foothills of Himalayas, Kalimpong is a hill station in West Bengal with a beautiful view of Teesta valley and home to Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje - 17th Karmapa.
The busy bustling bazaars, flower market and buddhist monasteries are a must visit when you are in this town. Trekking in Kalimpong is an absolute delight and the adventure seekers can opt to trek through the sprawling tea gardens, covered by the green jungles and misty air or to go rafting at Teesta river.
Best time to Visit: Summers are the best time to visit, between March to May is ideal.
Highlight: Zang Dhok Palri Phodang & Thongsa Gompa, Tharpa Choling the Buddhist monastery, Deolo hill, Durpin Dara Hill, Dr Graham’s house, Mangal dham Temple, Crockety British Cottage, Gouripur House, Galingka Bungalow, Teestha bazaar, Flower nurseries, St. Theresa church, Lepcha Museum, Samco Ropeway.
Kurseong, famously known as the City of white Orchids, is a nearby hill station to Darjeeling. The name behind this quaint small town is because the Kurseong hill slope is home to innumerable white orchids which creates a bright and beautiful landscape. This city surely serves as a peaceful alternative to Darjeeling.
As the the story goes that the british Viceroys used to visit this destination to recover from illness and to get some peace of mind and since 1880s this hill station has been a destination for rejuvenation of body, soul and mind. When in Kurseong it is impossible not to fall in love with the gorgeous tea gardens, fresh air, dense forest, snow-clad mountain, and the peaceful sunset that turns the sky to a striking canvas.
Best time to Visit: Summers and winters are the best seasons to explore this beautiful place. March to June and September to December is an ideal time for a visit.
Highlight: The British era architecture is sure to be a sight for an enthusiast. There are some scenic points, which offer a view to snow peaks and the Siliguri plains overview.