Gangtok is the capital city of Sikkim. It is situated in lower Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1650m. Mount Kanchenjunga at 8,598 m which is the world’s third highest peak is visible from west of the city.
The nearest airport is Bagdogra, in West Bengal and the nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. We can take private taxi or share taxi. Private taxi would charge you ₹3000 and share taxi would charge you ₹200. It’s 5 hour drive from airport To Gangtok City.
As Gangtok has become tourist hub of India. Its hard to find Hotels in cheaper rates than other tourist places though rates differ from seasons to seasons. Rates increase in peak time you won’t get hotels under ₹ 1500 in peak time. But if you go off season you may find hotels under ₹ 700. If you go for booking hotels online you can find in much cheaper rates. And there are many Lodges in Gangtok which offers you rooms in cheaper costs under ₹ 500 for double bedrooms.
I would recommend Hotel Gangtok drift
Day 1 : Arrival In Gangtok
We arrived in Gangtok after a five hour drive from Bagdogra. We had taken private taxi from the airport. We had fun as we passed along Teesta river and mountains on the way to Gangtok. As the drive had left us a bit tired, we took nap in the hotel till 7 in evening and then we went to M.G Road. M.G Road is best place to shop or party in Gangtok. M.G Road is traffic and plastic free place. It is a famous hotspot for tourists and locals to hangout. It has a wide array of Hotels, Pubs, Outlets, Restaurants and I do recommend chocolate lovers and party lovers to visit once.
Do visit THE COFFEE SHOP and try Hazelnut latte.
Day 2 : Sightseeing In Gangtok
It took us almost 45 mins to reach Ranka Monastery as the condition of road is not that good, but believe me its totally worth to visit there. Ranka Monastery is one of the most wonderful monasteries in East Sikkim. The Monastery is spread out in a vast area with great scenic views. Since it is relatively a new Monastery and does not have much historical or strategic significance like Rumtek Monastery, It is not much talked about. You have almost free access to almost all parts of monastery. Well if you are hungry after a long drive then no need to worry as they are also numerous restaurants and a souvenir shop too. Photography is also free, as many monasteries don’t even have permission to click photo inside the monastery
It is 1 hour drive from Ranka Monastery and about 23 Kms from Gangtok city. The Rumtek monastery is in the opposite mountain from Gangtok. So if you visit Rumtek Monastery, there are many spots from where you get an amazing view of the whole Gangtok town on the opposite mountain. However from the gate of the monastery, it requires an uphill walk of about half a km to reach up to the main monastery and you may have good workout during the walk. As you reach main monastery you notice that Rumtek Monastery is one of the largest Monastery in Sikkim and belongs to the Kargyu sect of Buddhists which originated in the 12th century in Tibet. The architecture of the monastery is one of the finest in the world and resembles the original one in Tsurphu, Tibet. It a is three storeyed building and the main monastery has large prayer hall. The hall include large hand paintings, silk paintings and statues. Though you won’t be allowed to do photography.
The Old Monastery was once completely burnt by fire and had to rebuilt again!
Bakthang Waterfall is a 20 minutes drive from Gangtok. Bakthang Waterfall is a wonderful waterfall located on the North Sikkim highway towards Tashi View Point. While visiting Tashi View point or returning, it’s worth stopping at this roadside waterfall for sometime. While the height of the fall isn’t much, it’s the width of the fall that makes it so beautiful. The source of the water is at Ratey Chu. The flowing water falls over a canopy of green creepers. Which look awesome and relaxing.
Day 3 : Visit to Tsomgo Lake and Nathula Pass
We need to take permit to visit Nathula Pass, We can take permit from any tour agency Or by online. We need Govt ID proof and 2 passport size photographs In order to Issue permit. We can hire local taxi for Tsomgo Lake and Nathula Pass, They would charge 4000 to 5000 depending upon the conditions. It is advised to leave Gangtok early by 8 Am as it takes almost 2 hours to reach And It would take a full day to explore Tsomgo Lake and Nathula Pass
Tsomgo Lake, A glacial Lake in Sikkim which is located at an altitude of 12,310 feet. The name Tsomgo means ‘Source of water’. This is one of the few and awesome high altitude lakes in India. The lake becomes doubly attractive with the reflections of the surrounding hills on the water.
The fact, that the elevation of the lake rises from 5000 ft to 10,000 ft in a span of 15 km, makes it one of the most exciting rides ever.
Tsomgo lake are the popular areas where Yak riding in Sikkim is popular and many tourists who visit Tsomgo Lake go for Yak ride as it is fun and amazing experience . Yaks are domesticated animals in Sikkim but from the past many years, they offer memorable safari experiences.
This is memorial dedicated to Captain Baba Harbhajan Singh who is also called as hero of Nathula Pass. He died in 1968. But it is believed that his soul is serving border of India and China from many years and many soldiers posted to Nathula Pass have experienced.
Before reaching Nathula Pass we need to wear warm Jackets and Boots, We can also rents warm cloths at the entry of Nathula Pass. At an altitude of 4300 m, NathuLa Pass acts as one of the 3 links between India and China. The place also has historical relevance because it was the place through which the ancient silk route used to operate till 1962. You can also catch a glimpse of the fenced Indo-China border few meters away and you can spot both Indian and Chinese soldiers guarding the border. It requires a full day trip from Gangtok to visit Nathula.