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  • Sikkim is a wonderful destination year-round but especially gorgeous in winters. With so many places to visit in Gangtok in November and December, a visit to the city promises to be an adventure full of wonderful experiences.  Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is a small bustling city which offers tourists a chance to enjoy a plethora of activities ranging from visits to monasteries like Pemayangtse Monastery and Rumtek Monastery to visits to engaging natural spots like Goechala and the Seven Sisters Waterfalls. There is a lot to do in Gangtok, and no day of your trip will pass without adventure.

    Gangtok assumes a magical vibe when the falling snows send chilly airs blowing all around the town and cover the surrounding peaks in a white coat. There is hardly any snowfall in the main city itself though points like Nathu la and Zemu glacier receive a fair share of it. This is what makes them fantastic places to visit in Gangtok in November and December. Visiting the waterfalls and rivers in these months is also a great way to enjoy the trip since waterbodies assume a very different aspect during wintery days. 

    Visiting Gangtok in November and December also allows you to enjoy the many festivals that take place in the area at this time including the popular Gangtok food festival. And the experience of the cold winds rattling your very bones also makes the prospect of the Phurchachu Hot Springs a rather tempting one. The beauty of Gangtok is greatly magnified in the months of November and December, making it a place which imprints wonderful memories in the hearts and minds of its visitors.

    Listed are best places to visit in Gangtok in November and December:

  • 01Goechala

    Goechala

    Goecha La is a tiny village located in Sikkim. Surrounded by beautiful towering mountains all around, the little village allows for a peaceful retreat into peace and solitude. Magnificent views of Kanchenjunga and other peaks are visible from this village, especially in the cold months, making this one of the best places to visit In Gangtok in November and December, despite the cold.  But the reason this place is so popular with tourists is that it is the culmination point of the intense Goecha la Trek. 

    The Goecha La trek is one of the most famous treks in Sikkim and is capable of delighting the heart of all adventure seekers. The trek lasts for nearly 10 to 11 days and starts at Yuksom, near Pelling. During the course of the trek, the trekkers are treated to gorgeous sights of Koktang, Rathong, Kabru, Kanchenjunga and Pandim among others. Colourful forests of rhododendrons greet the eye at regular intervals too. You will also cross the high altitude Samiti Lake before reaching Goecha La and enjoying its perfect beauty.

    Location: Goechala, Sikkim

    Price: Treks costs approximately INR 10,000- 20,000 per adult


    There are many wonderful places to visit in Gangtok which make it one of the best tourist destinations in India.

    Goechala Trek, Sikkim, 2018

    Goechala Trek, Sikkim, 2018

    NNNNN2425 Ratings

    d10 Daysn9 NightslYuksom

    O18,500

    Starting from

    O16,500

  • 02Silk Route

    The Silk Route in Sikkim is a part of the larger Silk route that ran across Asia and Europe, connecting the lands and providing rich opportunities for trade. The silk route in Sikkim is just a segment of this ancient route but it is a wonderful place to go sightseeing in the state. Passes, lakes and temples, all form a part of the multiple attractions of the Silk Route. The Silk Route passes through the Jelepla Pass and the Nathula Pass and also weaves its way through past Changu Lake, Hangu Lake, India Lake, Strawberry Lake, Kupup lake among others. 

    There are several important temples on the route including Baba Mandir, and historically significant sights like Eagle’s Nest Bunker and Younghusband’s Track are also to be viewed. The Silk Route can be enjoyed via trekking as well as safaris. Popular trekking trails include the Lampokhari Lake Tre and Premlakha Village Trek. Trekking is a great option which reveals the beauties of the region in depth while safaris allow you to traverse the entire route with ease and in a short time.

    Location: Sikkim, India

    Timing: Open 24 hours

     Gangtok Tour offers a visit to a number of Buddhist monasteries, the most notable being the Enchey monastery, and stupas which have made Gangtok an important Buddhist pilgrimage destination.
  • 03Ropeway over Gangtok city

    The 1-kilometre long ropeway over Gangtok city is one of the best places to visit in Gangtok in December when the snows convert the city into a winter wonderland. This is a very popular attraction in Gangtok and during the high-season sees long queues of visitors.  The whole of Gangtok township is visible below and you will also be able to see the Deorali bazaar. You can also get amazing views of the Kanchenjunga peak and the valleys. 3500 feet below you, you will also be able to glimpse the flowing river cutting across the valley. The ropeway allows tourists to gain a unique view of the city and its environs and is a wonderful way to make memories in Gangtok.

    Location: Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    Price: INR 110- per adult and INR 70 for child below 6 years (free below 3); Video camera- INR 100

    Timing: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

  • 04Teesta River

    Teesta River

    One of the most important rivers of Sikkim, the Teesta river will flow alongside you through most part of the state as you traverse its length and breadth. This makes frequent stops on the river an easy option. Visiting Teesta river is a must for anyone travelling in Gangtok - it is not only a beautiful part of the mountainous landscape but also plays a large role in the life of the locals.

    There are many ways to enjoy yourself in the Teesta river. Simply dipping your feet in its cold waters is delightful, but you can take the experience to the next level by indulging in a bout of river rafting. Whitewater rafting is a popular adventure activity on the river and can be enjoyed at reasonable rates. The rapids are not extremely wild, so even beginners can venture on to them.

    Price: INR 2000- 4000 per person for river rafting

    White Water Rafting in Teesta River, Sikkim

    White Water Rafting in Teesta River, Sikkim

    NNNNM32 Ratings

    lGangtok

    O1,100

    Starting from

    O900

  • 05Pemayangtse Monastery

    Monasteries are great places to visit in Gangtok in November and December, filled with welcoming warmth and positivity. One of the most important monasteries in Sikkim, the Pemayangtse Monastery is the controlling monastery of the Nyingma Order of Tibet Buddhism. Founded in 1705 by Lhatsun Chenpo, it is also among the oldest monasteries in the state. The architecture of the monastery in combination with solitude-rich ambience makes it famous among tourists looking to gain a true flavour of Buddhism in Sikkim. 

    The paintings, statues, sculptures and artefacts that can be found in this monastery are one of a kind and extremely important to Buddhism. The motif of Padmasambahva, who was the reviver Buddhism in Tibet, and of his two consorts is a recurring feature in this monastery.  If you are planning to visit Gangtok in February, you can also plan your visit to the monastery so as it coincides with the famous Cham dance festival celebrated in the festival.

    Location: Pemayangtse Monastery, Pemayangtse, near Pelling, West Sikkim, India

    Price: Free entry

    Timing: 9 am to 7 pm.

  • 06Rumtek Monastery

    An important monastery belonging to the school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Rumtek Monastery s one of the many good tourist attractions of Gangtok. The monastery is world renowned for its Kagyu teachings. The architecture of the monastery is an especially popular attraction with tourists. Three storeys high and designed in the traditional gompa style, the halls of the monastery feature large hand painted and intricate wall murals, thankas, silk paintings and statues, that dazzle the eye with their beauty. 

    It is a place clothed in serenity, with large prayer halls which provide good spaces for undisturbed meditation. The top floor of the building features a small stupa and a terrace. The location of the monastery, 23 kilometres away from Gangtok and opposite it, allows visitors to enjoy magnificent views of the township ensconced by towering mountains. This is one place in Gangtok that you should definitely visit.

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

    Price: Free entry

    Timing: 8 am to 6 pm.

  • 07Nathula Pass

    Nathu La Pass is an important pass in the high Himalayas which connects Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. It is also the place where the silk route used to operate till 1962. Only Indian citizens can visit this pass. The pass is a wonderful place to experience the high-altitude beauties of Sikkim’s mountains. There are several ways to enjoy the pass. Simply driving or hiking along it is a pleasure but you can also visit the border trade market at Sherathang for a more interesting experience. 

    The golf course at Kupup is also a wonderful place to visit nearby. Covered in clouds, for the most part, this golf course is known to be the second highest golf course in the world. The Gnathang Monastery and Gnathang War Memorial are two other attractions nearby. A visit to the Nathu La pass is a must-do in Gangtok, so make sure it features prominently on your itinerary of places to visit in Gangtok in November.

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

    Timing: Open 24 hours

  • 08Hanuman Tok

    A sacred Hindu temple in Sikkim, Hanuman Tok is a place everyone must visit when in Gangtok. The temple is maintained by the Indian army and is renowned for its legend and its breathtaking views. This temple is said to be built upon the site where Lord Hanuman rested for a little period of time in the course of his search for the Sanjivani Booti. Located at a height of 7200 feet, the temple offers magnificent views of the mountains all around. The sight of Mount Kanchenjunga can also be enjoyed from the grounds of Hanuman Tok. You can visit the temple by car or even hike up to it, enjoying the natural beauty along the way. Its view makes this one of the best places to visit in November and December.

    Location: Hanuman Tok, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    Price: Free entry

  • 09Banjhakri Falls

    Located inside the landscaped Banjhakri Falls and Energy Park, the 100-foot Banjhakri waterfall is a pleasant attraction near Gangtok. The waterfall is a powerful force in the Gangtok imagery, with its name signifying its power. Ban Jhakr implies 'Jungle Priest' or ‘Jungle Magician’, and is known to cast away evil spirits from the place. The waterfall is a beautiful place to enjoy serenity in the midst of Gangtok’s touristic hassle. The waterfall is situated in an energy park- so named because of the unconventional ways in which energy is generated inside the premises. 

    An hour or two spent exploring the park will allow you to enjoy a man-made lake with a dragon at its centre as well as several examples of Sikkimese architecture. Picnicking in this park, next to the waterfall, is also a memorable way to spend time in the park.

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

    Price: INR 20 per person

    Timing: 10 am to 5 pm.

  • 10Seven Sisters Waterfall

    Of the many fun places to visit in Gangtok in November and December, the Seven Sisters Waterfalls are among the best. The seven waterfalls flow side by side across the rugged terrain with dense green jungles surrounding them on all sides. It is a magnificent sight to experience in Gangtok, especially after the rainy season, and should not be missed on any account. The waterfalls are a wonderful and potent reminder of nature’s power and creativity. 

    The seven waterfalls originate separately and merge midway, creating a strong stream that cuts through the rocks with its thunderous force. There is a ropeway near the waterfalls which is a great place to see the waterfalls up close. The tourist department has also put up sheds for tourists which are especially useful during the rainy season, as well as a cafeteria where you can enjoy refreshments.

    Location: National Highway, North Sikkim, Gangtok, India

    Price: Free

    Timing: Open 24 hours


  • 11Himalayan Zoological Park

    The Himalayan Zoological park, located close to Gangtok city, is a must-visit tourist attraction in the region. A beautiful place filled with undisturbed natural beauty, the place gives a home to several species of exotic flora and fauna including Red Pandas, Himalayan Black Bears, Snow Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Barking Deer among others. Birds like Lady Amherst Pheasant, Kalij, Satyr Tragopan are also visible inside its domains. 

    Trekking through the park is a good experience but if you wish to visit the entire expanse of the 260 acres of the park, taking a safari is a better option. There are several tourist amenities inside the park including a cafeteria, a gift shop and several canopied shelters all around for walkers to rest themselves in. The park is a wonderful place to spend a day since it allows you to immerse yourself right in the heart of Sikkim’s natural landscape.

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

    Price: INR 20 per adult; INR 10 per child

    Timing: 9 am to 4 pm


  • 12Tsongmo Lake

    Situated 40 kilometres away from Gangtok is a beautiful, fairytale lake known as the Tsongmo Lake. A glacial lake which flows from the glacier waters of the snow peaks all around. The lake is situated at a very high altitude of 12,310 feet and remains frozen for the winter months until April or May. The beauty of the lake is spellbinding- the clear waters reflecting the vast blue skies and towering Himalayan peaks are a magnificent spectacle. There are prayer wheels near the lake shore and a small temple of Lord Shiva to testifies to the sacred nature of the lake in the eyes of the locals. 

    There is a lot to do at the lake beside enjoying the scenery. Stalls of tea sellers and snacks sellers populate the lake’s shores and rides on ponies and yaks are popular with visitors. The lake is located in a restricted zone, thereby necessitating the need for permits for both Indian and Foreign nationals. The Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary is also located close to the lake and can be visited in tandem with it.

    Location: Tsomgo Lake, near Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    Price: Approx. INR 150 to 200

    Timing: Open 24 hours


  • 13Tashi View Point

    The Tashi View Point is a must-visit touristic attraction in Gangtok. Situated at a height a little distance away from Gangtok, the view point allows visitors to experience not only a great sunset but also a wonderful sunrise as well as views of the Gangtok valley stretching out below. Mount Kanchenjunga and other peaks can also be seen from this point. However, the views from the viewpoint can only be glimpsed on clear days when no clouds block the sun. The Bakthang falls are situated close to the Tashi viewpoint, and you can therefore combine visits to both places on one day.

    Location: Tashi View Point, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    Price: Free

    Timing: 4 pm- 6 pm


  • 14Visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

    A Tibetan museum near Gangtok, a visit to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a great way to spend an afternoon in the area. Sikkim has historically been influenced to a significant degree by Tibetan Buddhism and anyone wishing to understand the pulse of the region cannot miss out on exploring this link in greater depth. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology allows visitors to do just this. The building is a beautiful example of traditional Tibetan architecture. 

    The 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. It is a wonderful insight into the depth of ancient knowledge. A large image of Manjushri, who was the bodhisattva of knowledge and wisdom, which was carried to the museum all the way from Tibet, acts as one of the greatest attractions of the museum. The original teachings of Lord Buddha are also preserved in the library.

    Location: Deorali, Gangtok, Sikkim

    Price: Free entry

    Timing: 10 am to 4 pm


  • 15Phurchachu

    One of the best places to visit in Gangtok in December, when the winter snows spread their chill through the land, the Phurchachu Hot Springs are a great place to get a healing dose of sulphuric waters in Sikkim. The hot springs are located near the four holy caves of Gangtok, which gives an additional touch of holiness to the site. The waters of the hot springs themselves are considered extremely powerful because of their curative properties. Sulphur water has the power to alleviate, and in some cases completely cure, skin related diseases, arthritis of the joints, muscular problems, and back pains. The views from the location add to the pleasure of visiting them- the tall peaks covered in a green and white tower all around, the Rangeet river flows below, and a beautiful peace hangs in the air.

    Location: Phurchachu Hot Springs, Tinkitam village, near Reshi, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    Price: Free

    Timing: Open 24 hours


  • 16Phodong Monastery

    One of the many solitude covered monasteries in Gangtok, the Phodong Monastery was built in the early 18th century on the remains of an older monastery. One of the premier monasteries of the state, Phodong Monastery offers visitors the chance to take in the best of Sikkim. It is a good place to spend some quiet hours in- visitors can enjoy gazing at the ancient murals on the walls, admiring the ancient statutes and artefacts, and reflecting quietly on life in the serene halls. The elevation of the monastery allows makes for some magnificent views, simply looking out upon the tall peaks flecked by snowy clouds is a soul healing experience. If you happen to visit the monastery during its annual Cham Dance festival, you will get the chance to enjoy a different aspect of the monastery.

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

    Price: Free entry

    Timing: 10 am to 6 pm
  • 17Kabi Lungchok

    A site of significant cultural and historical importance in Sikkim, Kabi Lungchok is a good place to spend some time in near Gangtok. The Lepcha and the Bhutia tribes are known to have signed a ‘Treaty of Blood Brotherhood’ in this location, and some pillars marking the place still stand tall.  It is a small place in terms of sightseeing but the beauties of the natural setting add to its loveliness. You can stop at this location for some time while on the way to the Seven Sisters Waterfall, and enjoy the pleasant quiet of the place.

    Location: Approx. 17 kilometres north of Gangtok, Sikkim, India

    Price: Free entry

    Timing: 9 am to 5 pm

  • 18Enchey Monastery

    Situated at a height overlooking Gangtok, the Enchey Monastery is a good place to visit in the city. The monastery is not very large, but it is quaint and peaceful, and visiting it will not be a dispositioning experience. The monastery is extremely important to the local people of Gangtok- it lends an air of sanctity to their everyday actions and is therefore regarded as the Guardian of Gangtok. A good place to get away from the crowds of the city as well as to enjoy some meditative peace, this monastery should definitely be visited by people visiting Gangtok.

    Location: Gangtok-Nathula Road, Gangtok

    Price: Free entry

    Timing: 9 am to 5 pm



Attractions

1469099332_goecha-la-trek.jpg

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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