Exploring Gangtok : A Two-Day Itinerary for the Alluring Hill Station in India (2023)
Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is surrounded by beautiful clouds and is an alluring and boisterous hill station in India. High in popularity, at 1650 meters (above sea level), Gangtok is famous for its scenic beauty and fabulous view of the majestic Kanchenjunga. Plenty of campers, trekkers, and adventure enthusiasts make this capital city their base in the Himalayan Mountains ranges. Imagine seeing the wild red Rhododendrons spread out as a thick luscious carpet in the region from March to May.
This paradise of the Northeast has natural attractions such as Rumtek Monastery, Ganesh Tok, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Himalayan Zoological Park, Reshi Hot springs, and many more mentioned below.
Exploring Gangtok: A Two-Day Itinerary for the Alluring Hill Station in India
Let us see how we can spend two days and two nights in Gangtok:
Day 1 in Gangtok:
When you arrive in Gangtok, register at the hotel desk to check in and relax. Later, you can tour Gangtok’s city center to see the beautiful scenic spots and traditionally famous city areas!
Located in the center of Gangtok, MG Road, is a happening shopping and food hub in the capital. Hotels and restaurants are lined all along the roads of this boulevard square. In fact, walking along this stunning open mall is a thrill for tourists. You can see many people relaxing on benches or casually strolling around, enjoying the eclectic ambiance of the place.
This litter-free zone is clean and free from garbage, vehicular traffic, and even smoke. The Government has taken a green initiative, and the buildings on MG road are green.
The food and culture festival in December in Gangtok is trendy, and people from all over the world come here to visit during this time.
The Statue of Unity professing love, harmony, and peace is made of the figures of Khye Bumsa, the Bhutia Chieftain, Thetong Tek, the Lepcha leader, with his wife Ngo Kong ngol and overlooks the bustling MG Road. There is also an impressive statue of Mahatma Gandhi. MG Road looks dramatic after dark, with lighted Victorian lamps and quaint benches spread along the path.
New Baba Mandir:
The temple was constructed as a tribute to Baba Harbhajan Singh, a soldier in the Indian army. Locals and military personnel believe that his ghost is still alive and is manning India’s border. The challenging terrain makes it difficult for some tourists to visit the Old Baba Mandir. Thus, New Baba Mandir was built next to Tsomgo Lake in 1982. If you plan to visit this location, be aware that you must apply for the required permit and provide four passport-size photos and a valid ID.
The Flower Exhibition Centre:
It is like heaven for those who love flowers and house flowers from around Sikkim. Moreover, this rejuvenating location is a great place to visit as it is brimming with the scent and sight of various vibrant flowers in full bloom. The famed Sikkim Flower Show is a must-see event, which is held at the center and features orchids in full color. An artificial pond with a bridge is also located in the heart of the park, where visitors can promenade while admiring the fantastic scenery and snapping pictures.
Reshi Hot Springs:
Reshi Hot spring has historical significance and is famous because of its central strategic location. These easily accessible winter spas, Cha-chu, or hot water springs, have existed since ancient times. In fact, visitors come here and soak themselves in the medicinal healing hot water and cure themselves of certain skin diseases. Those wanting to put up here can book affordable huts. It can make a comfortable stay if you arrange utensils on rent and buy daily needed items and vegetables.
Himalayan Zoological Park:
The Himalayan Zoological Park, established in 1991, is about 3 km from the city center in Gangtok at Bulbuley. This first-of-its-kind zoological park of the Northeast, spread over 205 hectares at an altitude of 1780 meters from sea level, is ideal for wildlife lovers. In fact, many people capture extraordinary pictures of the majestic Mount Kanchenjunga from here.
Wild animals are tamed, safeguarded, and kept safe in their natural habitats. The eye-striking mountainous terrain and abundance of flora and fauna make this region attractive. If you want to check out the 2.5 km road running through the park, you can walk or drive through the park.
Spread over 205 hectares of land in the mountainous terrain, the Himalayan Zoological park is home to a variety of fauna, including the Himalayan monal pheasant, Himalayan palm civet, snow leopard cat, Himalayan red panda, goral, Himalayan black bear and crimson-horned pheasant. Why don’t you hire a car and explore the whole region? Enjoy the artifacts at the souvenir shop or grab food at the café.
As day one ends, head back towards the city center and stop to eat your sumptuous dinner at Mu Khimchi or the Taste of Tibet. A hot gourmet meal is waiting for you, so dig your teeth in and relax for the night after satiating your stomach!
Day 2 in Gangtok
The second day of your tour promises hours and hours of excitement and is jam-packed with fun things to do. After a great meal at the hotel or a nearby food joint, it’s time to depart for a day of touring in and around Gangtok. Peek into your travel itinerary and start your adventurous day.
The Handicraft Center is the first stop on this tour, followed by a visit to the famous Bakthang Falls. The MG Marg is a great tourist attraction because it is full of activity and excitement. You can do souvenir shopping and treat your taste buds to delectable foods and native tea in the region. These are some places that you should visit:
While traveling towards the Tashi Viewpoint or returning from it, you will see the gorgeous waterfall waiting for you. Picturesque sights with breathtaking beauty will leave you stunned. It’s a great locale to click pictures and buy quaint trinkets from the vendors settled here. The fall is wide and broad though it is not very tall. But this unique and distinct feature makes it look fantastic to the visitor.
Tashi View Point, Gangtok Overview
Eight km from Gangtok is a scenic spot called the Tashi Viewpoint with a fabulous view of the enthralling Mount Kanchenjunga and Mount Sinilochu. Built by Tashi Namgyal, the then-king of Sikkim, between 1914 and 1963, this place is very popular with travelers. The whole area has been under the patronage of the tourism department of Sikkim.
The snow-capped mountains provide a stunning view from the unpolluted Tashi Viewpoint, which is why it is a favorite picnic spot for foreign tourists, even locals. The Tashi View Point cafeteria makes hot tea and some delectable goodies.
The picturesque ambiance of the Himalayas and the serenity of the environment adds to the mystique. Tourists get an excellent view of the incredible Labrang and Phodong Monastery from here. The peace and harmony are unmatched here, and it’s a blissful experience. Grab a glimpse of the beautiful view of the mighty mountains and watch the sun’s bright rays shine on them, enlightening the whole environment.
Tsuk La Khang Monastery:
Tsuk La Khang Monastery built in 1898 AD, is a majestic and stately monastery in the Tsuklakhang Royal Palace’s compound. Local Buddhists go to this beautiful two-storied building with intricately created murals for their prayers. The holy place has innumerable scriptures, tantric deities, altars, and fabulous images of Buddha. On every corner of this tranquil meditative place is a striking Wood crafted snow lion that stuns the onlooker. Furthermore, the walls are covered with murals, and the alters with finely-carved deities.
The Rumtek Monastery is set on a hilltop with views of the city located 23 kilometers from Gangtok. The sacred holy place of Buddhists embodies the principles and outlook of Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the sixteenth Karmapa. One of Sikkim’s most prominent monasteries, it follows the Karma Kagyu tradition and engages in sacred rites. You can find a stunning golden Buddha statue, silk paintings, murals, thangkas, and other holy items inside this temple. The site is gorgeous, and the beauty is mesmerizing for the traveler.
One of Gangtok’s most popular tourist destinations is the vast and majestic Changu Lake. This lake is eye-striking, with its oval form spanning kilometers. This water body is located nearly 35 kilometers from Gangtok. To enjoy the beauty of the area, take a stroll here to enjoy the breathtaking vista of the snow-covered mountains against the backdrop of a cloud-filled sky. To visit Changu Lake, Indian and international nationals must get permission from the higher authorities. Also, make sure you bring four passport-sized photos with you when you apply for the required permit, along with a piece of valid ID evidence.
The Directorate of Handloom and Handicrafts in Gangtok was established in 1957. The principal aim was to protect and promote the regional arts and crafts of the state. The city’s largest bazaar of hand-made crafts is relatively close by, and you can pick what your heart desires from here at reasonable prices. Sundays are closed days, and there are excellent rugs, luggage, and masks for sale.
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
It was founded in 1958 and supported the study of the religion’s history, language, art, and culture. The 14th Dalai Lama laid the institute’s foundation, and the late Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru formally opened it. The main structure is a prime example of Sikkim architecture.
The ground-floor museum displays a distinctive collection of statues, old manuscripts, paintings, and other artifacts. Observe the museum’s most priceless case, which has the priceless relics of two Asokan missionaries named Madhyama and Kasyapagotra. Sundays are the only days the museum is not open, so plan a visit on the weekdays.
Infinity Futsal Arena:
You may not have time, and it is nearing evening, but try to sneak in some minutes to see the Infinity Futsal Arena if you love football.
Day two ends with sumptuous goodies from Mu Kimchi. Korean food lovers and people who love tasting cuisines from different parts of the world can taste authentic food here. The hills of Gangtok beckon you to taste fabulous cuisines. Choose your restaurant and pick the food of your choice here. After your excursion, get back to the hotel to unwind completely.
Best Time To Visit Gangtok:
The best time is during the pleasant autumn months, which last from September through October. Moreover, the spring and summer seasons, lasting from March through June, promise great sightseeing. One should be cautious of landslides and other unpleasant weather conditions, which can be dangerous for people if they plan an adventurous vacation to Gangtok during the monsoon months.
Mid-June to mid-September, Gangtok’s climate is equally mysterious and dangerous. One will frequently get disoriented in the thick fog that envelops the wet and soggy area. September and October in Gangtok are amiably mild and pleasant months to visit. It’s not that tourists do not visit during these times, but why not be safe and have a fun-filled blast in Gangtok when the weather is excellent?
Gangtok, or hilltop in the literal sense, is a beautiful hill station that has several scenic spots, cultural identities, and great adventure activities waiting for you. There is abundant splendour and natural beauty to greet your eyes in the surrounding regions of Gangtok and each moment spread here is worthwhile. If you get a chance, try to visit additional locations, such as Chorten Tibetology and Ganesh Tok during your second day or plan another visit to the area.