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  • If you are planning a visit to Sikkim, you cannot miss out on Gangtok, the capital of the state. There are many wonderful places to visit in Gangtok which make it one of the best tourist destinations in India. From gushing waterfalls to sprawling forests, from solitary monasteries to austere mountains, Gangtok offers a range of awe-inspiring things to do for visitors. Sight-seeing facilities undoubtedly abound, but so do adventure sports. 

    Tourists can enjoy river rafting in the wild rapids of the Teesta river, rappelling in front of the gorgeous waterfalls, paragliding over the sweeping landscape of Gangtok, and rock climbing over the rugged terrain among other activities. But for those who do not wish to get up their adrenaline, Gangtok also offers the chance to immerse yourselves in the beauties of nature at every step of your vacation.

    Gangtok is a place that is brimming over with natural wonders of which the Kanchenjunga mountain is the most imposing. This mountain stands tall over the other magnificent peaks of the Sikkim Himalayas and can be glimpsed from most places around Gangtok. The stern aspect of this snow-clad mountain with its terrifying slopes adds adventure to every moment spent in Gangtok, and its memory states imprinted in the mind long after the trip is passed. 

    Other good attractions in Gangtok include the monasteries. The peaceful ancient halls make for a lovely retreat away from the rush of touristic pleasures of the towns and can be rejuvenating to experience. There is also the chance to enjoy several passes in Gangtok including high passes like Nathu la and Jeep la. There are many amazing tourist places in Gangtok and visiting them is a wonderful adventure that will leave you with a treasure trove of precious memories that last forever.

    Here are some best places to visit in Gangtok:

  • 01Kanchenjunga Mountain

    Kanchenjunga Mountain

    The sight of the third highest mountain in the world is one of the best attractions in Gangtok. Kanchenjunga towers high above the other peaks of Sikkim and can be glimpsed from most places around Gangtok. But if you want to go beyond gazing and actually enjoy the mountain up close, you can engage in treks to the base camp of Mount Kanchenjunga or simply visit the Kanchenjunga National Park. If you want to enjoy trekking to Kanchenjunga, the Green Lake trek, as well as the Kanchenjunga Base camp trek, are a great option to explore since it takes you right up to Zemu Glacier, the location of the base camp in Sikkim.

    Location: Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to reach: You can trek for 10 to 12 days and reach the base camp or take a safari through the Kanchenjunga National park.

    Timings: Vary by activity.

    Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek 2018, Sikkim

    Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek 2018, Sikkim

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  • 02Phodong Monastery

    One of the best solitude rich places to visit in Gangtok, this monastery was built in the early 18th century on the remains of an older monastery and plays an important part in the cultural landscape of the place. The monastery is among the most revered monasteries in Sikkim and offers visitors a chance to enjoy the spiritual depth of Sikkim at its best. Spending some hours enjoying the ancient murals on the walls as well as the ancient sculptures and artefacts preserved in the halls is a good way to enjoy the monastery. 

    For those looking to gain some peace, the meditation halls of the monastery are perfect. Situated as it is in the midst of grand natural beauty, a visit to this monastery is a meditation in itself. The annual Cham dance festival is celebrated here in February. The views from the monastery are also wonderful.  

    Location: Approx. 28 kilometres from Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to reach: Public transport is available and private cars can be rented in Gangtok too.

    Timing: 10 am to 6 pm

  • 03Magnan

    Magnan is a small town situated approximately 65 kilometres away from Gangtok and is famed for its breathtaking natural beauty. Though small, the town offers a dazzling variety of engaging activities to its visitors, which ensures that no day spent here seems wasted. From simply gazing at the stalwart mountain peaks to enjoying a range of adventure activities to immersing yourselves in spiritual serenity, there is a lot to do here. 

    Among adventure activities, enthusiasts can enjoy paragliding, rock-climbing, mountain-biking and forest camping while a spiritual retreat can be enjoyed in Labrang Gompa, one of the most revered monasteries in Sikkim, as well as in Phadong Monastery and Tholung Monastery. Namprikdang, located at the confluence of the Kanaka and Teesta rivers, is another magnificent place to visit near Magnan.

    Location: Magnan, North Sikkim, India

    How to reach: Buses and private rental cars can be taken from Gangtok.

  • 04Tsongmo Lake

    One of the most important and magnificent places to visit in Gangtok, the Tsongmo Changu Lake is a glacial lake situated 40 kilometres from Gangtok at a height of 12,310 feet. A fairytale lake of breathtaking beauty, Tsongmo Changu should definitely be on your travel itinerary for Gangtok. The icy blue waters of the lake reflecting the grandiose peaks of the Himalayas make for a spectacular sight. The prayer wheels and the small Shiva temple on its shores are a testimony to the sacred nature of the lake in the eyes of the locals. Spend an entire day at this lake since it is a once in a lifetime experience. 

    Picnicking on its shores will prove to be a memorable delight and it can be augmented with the help of the tea and snack sellers who sell mouth-watering treats near the lake. If you wish to enjoy additional attractions near the lake, a visit to the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary can be planned alongside.

    Location: Tsomgo Lake, near Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to Reach: Transport can be rented in Gangtok.

    Timing: Open 24 hours

  • 05Nathu La Pass

    One of the most significant places to visit in Gangtok, the Nathu La Pass is a pass which connects Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. In the ancient days, this pass formed a part of the Silk Route, one of the most important trading routes in the world. Visiting Nathu La Pass is a must-do when in Gangtok because the views and experiences that you can have here are unlike any other. The beautiful pass can simply be enjoyed by driving or hiking around it leisurely. The height of the pass ensures magnificent mountain views, especially on clear days. 

    Besides enjoying the pass itself, you can also visit the border trade market at Sherathang and indulge in a unique shopping experience. You can buy raw silk, butter, china clay, goat and sheep skins, horses and a lot more from this market.  A trip to the second highest golf course in the world at Kulup should also form an art of your plans for Nathu La. The Gnathang Monastery and Gnathang War Memorial are two other attractions nearby.

    Location: Nathu La, Sikkim – China-Tibet Autonomous Region

    How to reach: Cabs and jeeps can be hired from Gangtok

    Timing: Open 24 hours

  • 06Ganesh Tok

    Ganesh Tok is one of the famous tourist places in Gangtok, renowned primarily for the intensity of the views visible from its complex. Located close to the Tashi View Point and the Bakthang falls, a visit to Ganesh Tok is a must on the local sightseeing circuit in Gangtok. The temple in the complex is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Situated in the midst of nature, this temple is a delight to visit and offer prayers in. A circular balcony and lounge near the temple are perfect places to look at the view. The grand range of mountains including Kanchenjunga is visible from this point as is the spectacle of the Gangtok valley rolling down below. Sunsets from this spot are enchanting too.

    Location: East District, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to reach: Public transport is easily available from the main Gangtok city

    Timings: 7 am to 6 pm

  • 07Ban Jhakri Falls

    If you wish to enjoy some delightful sightseeing and memorable picnicking in Gangtok, the Ban Jhakri falls are a great place to do so. Located inside the landscaped Banjhakri Falls and Energy Park, the 100-foot Ban Jhakri Waterfall is a beautiful spot. Nature reigns supreme here, and a still silence hangs all around, only punctuated by the powerful gushing of the water falling with force on the rocks. The Ban Jhakri Falls occupy a potent place in local mythology since they are said to have a power which can repel evil spirits. When you are in the park, make sure to visit the man-made lake there which features an imposing dragon statue in the centre. The natural energy production sites of the park are also worth a visit.

    Location: Banjhakri Falls and Energy Park, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to Reach: Cabs can be hired from Gangtok.

    Timing: 10 am to 5 pm

  • 08Do Drul Chorten Stupa

    A landmark sight in Gangtok, the Do Drul Chorten Stupa is a good place to visit in the city. Built-in 1945-46 by Trulshik Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism, this stupa holds significance in the city because of its said ability to drive away evil spirits. It features the traditional 108 Mani Lhakor or prayer wheels of Buddhism which are supposed to have wish-granting properties. The golden top of the stupa enshrines the figure of Dorjee Phurpa or Vajra Kilaya. If you are interested in understanding the cultural pulse of Gangtok, a visit to this chorten, which is among the most important chortens in Sikkim, is a must. The climb to the top is slightly exhausting because of its steep nature, but the views from the top are rewarding.

    Location: Near Gangtok Centre, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to reach: Public transport is easily available in Gangtok.

    Timings: 9 am to 6 pm

  • 09Rumtek Monastery

    One of the most important and culturally significant monasteries in Gangtok, the Rumtek monastery is among the must-visit places in Gangtok. The monastery follows the school of Tibetan Buddhism and is especially renowned globally for its Kagyu teachings. The architecture of the place is also a major attraction. It is built in the classical Tibetan gompa style and is three storeys high. All its floors feature interesting sights that are capable of imparting the deep knowledge of Buddhism to their viewers along with the history of the sect. 

    The halls of the monastery feature large hand painted and intricate wall murals, thankas, silk paintings and statues, all of them startling in their depth and beauty. The top floor of the monastery features a stupa and a terrace. The location of the monastery is such as to allow for a magnificent view of the Gangtok valley on the opposite side and is also a major attraction of the monastery.   

    Location: Tsurphu Labrang Pal Karmae Sangha Dhuche, Dharma Chakra Centre, Sikkim, India

    How to Reach: Transport is easily available from Gangtok.

    Timing: 8 am to 6 pm

  • 10Tashiding Monastery

    An important tourist attraction In Gangtok, the Tashiding Monastery is a must visit when in Gangtok. It ranks amongst the most important monasteries of Gangtok besides being one of the oldest. The monastery runs under the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is rich in legends. This makes it a crucial part of the cultural landscape of Sikkim. Its location is also particularly pretty; it is located at the confluence of the Rathong Chu and the Rangeet Rivers which adds to its meditative beauty. Spending several hours here simply gazing at the murals and paintings on the walls, the artefacts preserved in its halls, and just meditating in its serenity is a great way to enjoy a day in Gangtok. The Bhumchu festival, an important local festival, is also celebrated in this monastery, so you can plan your visit to the place such that it coincides with the festival.

    Location: Yuksom, West Sikkim, India

    How to Reach: Public transport and cabs are available from Yuksum and Gangtok

    Timing: 9 am to 6 pm

  • 11Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

    A place where Tibetan Buddhism is studied and preserved in depth, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a popular attraction in Gangtok. Since the region is heavily influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, understanding it is a great way to understand the motivations of the local population Namgyal Institute of Tibetology allows visitors to do just this. Beautiful Tibetan architecture defines the building and its museum houses several statues, coins, scrolls with hand paintings & embroidery work (thangkas), Tibetan artworks and artefacts, as well as ancient manuscripts in Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese and Lepcha. The library of the Institute houses over 60,000 books among which are the original teachings of Lord Buddha. A large image of Manjushri, who was the bodhisattva of knowledge and wisdom, is also contained within the halls of this institute.

    Location: Deorali, Gangtok, Sikkim

    How to reach: Public transport is available and private cars can be rented in Gangtok too.

    Timing: 10 am to 4 pm

  • 12Tashi Viewpoint

    The Tashi Viewpoint is one of the popular places to visit in Gangtok. Famed for its sunrises and sunsets as well as its startling views of the entire grand Himalayan mountain range, Tashi Viewpoint is a place that will leave you with some great pictures and countless memories. Viewing both the sunrise and the sunset here is a great idea since it allows you to the experience the depth of Sikkim’s natural beauty in all its aspects. Try to plan your visit so that it falls on a clear day as clouds can really dampen the pleasure of the viewpoint. Combining the visit to the viewpoint with visits to the Ganesh Tok and the Bakthang falls is a good idea.

    Location: Tashi View Point, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to reach: Public transport is available and private cars can be rented in Gangtok too.

    Timing: 4 pm- 6 pm

  • 13Himalayan Zoological Park

    Located close to Gangtok, the Himalayan Zoological Park is one of the great tourist attractions in Gangtok. Though natural beauty can be enjoyed everywhere in Gangtok, the concentrated natural variety that is to be found in this zoological park gives you a different insight into nature’s bounty in Sikkim. There is a lot that can be enjoyed inside this park including a dazzling variety of flora and fauna. Red Pandas, Himalayan Black Bears, Snow Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Barking Deer find a home here as do birds like Lady Amherst Pheasant, Kalij, Satyr Tragopan among others. 

    Trekking through the park is the best way to enjoy the minute details of the park but doing so will not allow you to enjoy all the areas of the 260-acre park. If you wish to enjoy the entire length and breadth of the ark, booking a jeep safari is a good idea. The park is well maintained and provides a truly enjoyable experience to its visitors.

    Location: Bulbulay, East Sikkim, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to reach: Public transport is available and private cars can be rented in Gangtok too.

    Timing: 9 am to 4 pm

  • 14Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary

    A beautiful place where natural beauty bursts into its best possible bloom, the Fambong La Wildlife Sanctuary should be on the top of your travel itinerary in Gangtok. A sanctuary is a delightful place which not only houses a bewildering variety of animals and birds including Red Pandas, Himalayan Beer and Civet Cat Binturongs, but also a gorgeous range of flora including bamboo and rhododendrons forests. Delightful wild orchids flourish beguilingly all around. 

    Spending several hours roaming around leisurely in this sanctuary will allow you to enjoy nature’s gifts comprehensively. Gorgeous views can be had from this sanctuary, especially if you head over to Tinjure, the highest point in the place, located at a height of nearly 7000 feet. Permits are required to visit the sanctuary and can be obtained from Gangtok. This is one of the best tourist places in Gangtok and should not be missed.

    Location: Approx. 30 kilometres from Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to reach: You can take a private car or cab to the Sanctuary.

    Timings: 7 am to 6 pm

  • 15Khecheopalri Lake

    Khecheopalri Lake, also known as Kha-Chot-Palri, is a natural lake near Gangtok and is one of the places you definitely should visit in Gangtok. A destination reverberating with legends, the lake is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists for its mythical associations. The shores of the lake are associated with powerful figures like Guru Padmasambhava, Lord Shiva and Goddess Tara apart from other important mythical figures.

    The Khechoedpaldri hill near the lake is also considered to be a sacred spot by the locals. Trekkers on the Yuksom-Dzongri-Goechha La trekking corridor will get a chance to visit this lake on the route. Going to the lake with a local guide will allow you to understand the history of the place better. If you visit it in October, you will also be able to enjoy the ritual Chho-Tsho festival that is celebrated on the lake.

    Location: Khecheopalri Lake, Pelling, West Sikkim, India

    How to reach: Public transport is available and private cars can be rented in Gangtok too.

    Timing: 8 am to 6 pm

  • 16Sa-Ngor-Chotshog Centre

    Located in the Upper Tathangchen area of Gangtok, this monastery is one of the most culturally important places to visit in Gangtok. Being the only monastery in Sikkim which belongs to the Sakya Order of Tibetan Buddhism and is, therefore, a unique monastery to visit. There is a lot to be enjoyed inside the monastery including ancient paintings and thangkas. In addition, a large and imposing statue of Buddha beautifies its grounds s does a stupa decorated with fluttering flags. A wonderful stillness hangs over the monastery, making it a great place for meditative thoughts.

    Location: Upper Tathangchen, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to reach: Public transport can be availed of

    Timings: 8 am to 6 pm

  • 17MG marg

    The most popular tourist market in Gangtok, MG Marg cannot be missed when in the city. It is a wonderful place which incorporates the best of Gangtok and its tourist culture and presents it to its visitors in colourful displays. Free of litter and smoke, this pedestrian only zone is a good way to spend your evenings in Gangtok. Many restaurants and bars line its streets and a carnivalesque atmosphere prevails all year long. 

    Strolling leisurely along the road, stopping at quaint shops selling local goods and trinkets, enjoying warm beverages as the chilly winds blow all around, and dining in the cosy comfort of a Tibetan restaurant are some of the best things to do in MG Marg. If you are visiting in December, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy the annual Gangtok Food Festival held in this place.

    Location: MG Marg, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    How to reach: You will have to walk up to the main MG Marg from the parking lot

    Timings: 10 am to 8 pm

  • 18Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial Temple

    A temple dedicated to the memory of Harbhajan Singh, a soldier martyred during the Sino war. Harbhajan Singh died defending his country and fellow soldiers on the Nathu La pass. His legend is also believed to have supernatural powers and his ghost is believed to guard soldiers along the border. This belief has led to the Indian army treating him as a soldier who never died. Harbhajan Singh continued to receive his rank duly till he “retired” some years ago. This legend is the reason this temple is so popular with tourists in Gangtok. A visit to this temple is an enjoyable experience and can be combined with a visit to Nathu La pass.

    Location: Between Nathu la And Jelep la Pass, Gangtok, India

    How to reach: Public transport can be availed of

    Timings: 8 am to 5 pm

  • 19Flower Exhibition Centre

    There is nothing quite so delightful as the sight of flowers bursting into bloom in the mountains. The chilly air and the silent ambience adds to the beauty of the sight and makes for a very memorable experience. The Flower Exhibition Centre on the Ridge above Gangtok is one such place. The exhibition centre features a dazzling variety of flowers, arranged in an open area and a closed enclosure.

    A nominal fee is required in order to enter the enclosure but the money paid is absolutely worth the while. The exhibition centre comes into prominence especially during the months from March to June, when orchids bloom wildly and are put on display inside the centre. Other flowers on display include Blue Venda Orchids, Celosia, Chrysanthemum, and Paps.

    Location: White Hall Complex, Gangtok, India

    How to reach: Public transport can be availed of

    Timings: 9 am to 5 pm

  • 20Seven Sister Water falls

    One of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring spectacles of Gangtok, the Seven Sisters waterfalls should definitely be visited when you are in Gangtok. The Seven Sisters waterfalls reflect the unique creativity of nature- seven separate waterfalls, originating from different sources and flowing side by side, marge into one powerful waterfall mid-way through. The combined force of these seven streams results in a thunderous waterfall which captures the imagination of all viewers with its might. 

    A ropeway near the waterfall is a good place to enjoy the falls from up close. Since the waterfalls burst into full power only during and after the rains, tourist sheds have been built at convenient locations around the waterfalls. This allows people to enjoy the sight of the falls without getting drenched in the rains. A cafeteria also operates nearby.

    Location: National Highway, North Sikkim, Gangtok, India

    How to Reach: cabs can be hired in Gangtok

    Timings: Open 24 hours


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Goecha La Trek

Goecha La is a high mountain pass in the Himalayan range. The trek starts at the sleepy little town of Yuksom in West Sikkim. The town is very pretty with lush green surroundings and a salubrious weather to go with it. You can shop for all supplies at Yuksom before beginning the trek as this is the only place where you will get to buy all your necessary items.

Furthermore, before trekking the Goecha La, you will have to do two things, first make an entry at the local police station and second pay the permit fees at the forest check post. Usually the agencies take care of all these hassles and you will not have to bother about them.

The first phase of the trek to Goecha La will take you from Yuksom to Sachen. Yuksom is situated at an altitude of 5,700 feet and Sachen is situated at an elevation of 7, 200 feet. The trekking trail passes through a route of immense natural beauty. You will come across lush green fields, valley of the Rathong River and thick forests. From Sachen you will need to climb ahead to Tshoka which is at an altitude of 9,650 feet.

This trek is quite enjoyable in the initial phase but becomes tryingly steep towards the later phase. On reaching Bakhim, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Yuksom valley. As you trek on ahead, you pass through Dzongri and Phedang. You will also be able to enjoy the beauty of some of the densest rhododendron forests in India and get a breathtaking view of the highest mountains in the Himalayan range. You will pass through the beautiful Samiti Lake which will mesmerise you with its sparkling blue waters.

The entire journey from Yuksom to Goecha La is a treat to the eyes. Despite being a test of physical stamina, the route is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful routes that you can come across while trekking in the Himalayas.

Best Season: September- November & March-April
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging
Max. Elevation: 5002 m
Best Offers on Goecha La Trek

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