Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim and lies in the eastern part of the state with a population of around 50,000. It is an important tourist centre and gateway to other tourist destinations in the state. It is one of the cleanest cities in the Eastern Himalayan Region with its well kept streets and hygienic environment.
Although, Gangtok have now donned a modern look with its discotheque, bars and plush markets, it still retains its old world charm with its monasteries, culture and diverse traditions. Gangtok also enjoys a temperate and alpine climate that is prevalent throughout the state. The town is situated on a hill at an altitude of 1780 m – 1830 m, overlooking the Ranikhola River; on the eastern side of the town the magnificent peaks of the Kanchenjunga are visible.
It has a mild temperate climate and the temperature ranges from 25 Deg Celsius in the summer to 3 Deg Celsius in the winter.
Gangtok is located 110 km from Siliguri and can be reached by taxi or bus.
Rumtek Monastery – Built by the Gyalwa Karmapa of the Kagyupa sect of Buddhism, it is one of the largest monasteries in the world. The monastery is built in the model of the Kagyupa sect’s monastery in Tibet. It is a popular place for tourist and pilgrims.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology – The only research and academic institute of the Mahayana sect in the world. It was built in 1958 for the protection and advancement of Tibetan language and traditions. It houses many valuable manuscripts, scriptures, statues and thankas.
Enchey Monastery – The Enchey Monastery which means the ‘solitary temple’ is more than 200 years old. It belongs to the Nyingma-pa sect.
Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden – It is located 24 km from the state’s capital and houses a botanical garden of temperate vegetation and more than 50 species of trees and plants found in the state.
Tashi View Point – This point offers a spectacular view of Mt. Siniolochu and Mt. Kanchenjunga. It was built by the late King of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal and is located at a distance of 8 km from the town.
Ganesh Tok & Hanuman Tok – These are also view points that provide a panoramic view of Gangtok. As the name suggests, the hillock has two temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman.