One can say that Gangtok is the gateway to Sikkim. A capital city and a busy administrative centre, it’s the first place that travellers visit when exploring Sikkim. In fact, all Sikkim tours begin at Gangtok as do all trekking itineraries. Promising picturesque beauty, delectable local cuisine, spiritual respite and a plethora of adventure activities, the best way to enjoy your Gangtok holiday is through Gangtok tour packages.
Whether your Gangtok itinerary is restricted to places in the city or you are exploring nearby places – there isn’t a better way to enjoy your trip than booking Gangtok tour packages. Home to people from different ethnicities, Gangtok has seamlessly brought together several cultures which have gradually integrated to create a melting pot. The influence of different cultures can be seen in the local cuisine and way of life
What also puts Gangtok in the bucket list of most travellers is the proximity to Mount Kanchenjunga. Offering breathtaking views of the majestic mountain range, the city is heaven for nature lovers. Other than the views of the third highest peak in the world, Gangtok tour packages offer a visit to breathtaking tourist attractions including Tsomgo Lake, Nathu La, Dooars and several monasteries.
Owing to the precarious geographical location of Gangtok, travellers need to remember that the terrain isn’t smooth and road journeys are generally bumpy. Before booking Gangtok tour packages, it also helps to keep in mind that the city is unlike any other and visiting a tourist attraction might take up half the day. If you have time in your hands and are willing to ride over a few bumps, then Gangtok awaits you with open arms.
As most travellers are aware, Nathu la is the most popular tourist attraction in Gangtok tour packages. Of course, no trip to the city is complete without venturing to this pass which connects Sikkim and China. One of the only three open border posts between the two countries, the mountain pass takes you as high as 14450 feet. The pass is accessible throughout the year on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays but we highly recommend avoiding winter months if you are travelling with children. The drive from Gangtok to the pass is long and as you climb higher, the temperature gets lower making the journey uncomfortable. However, a trip to the past is ideal for adventure enthusiasts.
More than the border post, the highlight of a trip to Nathu la are the sights you see during your journey. From mesmerising mountain ranges, gorges, waterfalls to verdant meadows, the views are breathtaking and chances are that you’ll stop multiple times to admire the scenery.
Changu or Tsomgo Lake is another popular tourist attraction which is a part of all Gangtok tour packages. One of the most beautiful high-altitude lakes in the country, you can combine your visit to Tsomgo with Nathu la. Surrounded by lush forests, the lake holds immense religious importance for the locals, especially the Bhutia clan and is counted among the best places to see in Gangtok.
It may surprise you to know that the lake changes colour depending on the season. During winter, the lake is covered in a translucent sheet of white while in monsoons, it’s glistening in various shades of blue. A popular legend in the area is that Buddhist monks predict the future depending on the colour of the water in the lake. If you are including a visit here in your Gangtok tour packages, we do recommend keeping aside at least three to four hours to admire this beauty.
Visiting the numerous monasteries in the city is a big part of Gangtok tour packages. One such beauty which is included in Gangtok packages is Rumtek Monastery. Said to be the largest monastery in Sikkim, it is known as Dharma Chakra Centre. Since the monastery is located close to 23km from the city, remember to plan your visit in the morning. Besides the breathtaking views from the monastery of the entire city, the dazzling temple and stupa will mesmerise you.
History lovers and spiritual seekers must keep aside a couple of hours from Gangtok tour packages if they want to learn more Buddhist culture. There are numerous relics, paintings and scriptures preserved in the monastery which you can see.
Another delight for history buffs in Gangtok tour packages is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. For those who want to learn more about Tibetan culture and Buddhist beliefs, a visit here will more than satisfy you. The centre has a huge collection in the form of books, scriptures and paintings and you must visit the museum and library for an informational tour. If you are not short on time, this should definitely be a part of your Gangtok tour packages.
In the centre of the city lies the busy town centre. Known as MG Road, this bustling market is a part of your Gangtok tour packages by default since all itineraries start from here. Home to several hotels, restaurants and local shops, this open town centre is the pulse of this small town. Even though MG Road is always crowded, the pristine roads and cleanliness will surprise you. A litter-free zone, the government has made considerable efforts to keep the roads free of vehicles, litter and pollution. If you happen to be in the city during December, you must include Gangtok Food and Culture Festival in your Gangtok tour packages for a glimpse of the local cuisine.
MG Road is also the best place to purchase souvenirs and local artefacts. There are a number of shops here offering Tibetan handicrafts, prayer flags, handmade woollens and food items. Like most markets in India, bargaining is your biggest asset here.
Among other places of importance in Gangtok tour packages, we highly recommend visiting Ganesh Tok, Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple, Do Drul Chorten and Flower Exhibition Centre. While there are several tourist attractions within the city which travellers must include in Gangtok tour packages, most places to visit lie outside the city and you will need to plan properly before heading out.
Researching about a destination before you plan a trip is one of the best travel tips. This holds true for a Gangtok holiday as well. Before booking Gangtok tour packages, it’s important that you know the best time to visit, things to do and of course, the places to visit. While the web is full of information, the most accurate source is travel blogs. Personal experiences of travellers go a long way in ensuring that you have a safe and memorable trip. To make your task easier, here are a few recommendations of travel bloggers from Tripoto. Go through them before you plan and book your Gangtok tour packages.
“This day can be spent on visiting Changu Lake, Baba Mandir and Nathu La Pass. These places are on the Indo- Chinese border so you need permits to go there. These places are also closed on certain days so you need to plan accordingly. You can ask your hotel staff and they can arrange the permits and vehicles for you. Just inform them a day before and provide what they require which is generally just photos and ID proofs.
The price of this trip can range from Rs. 400 to 500 each. Though some may quote higher but this is the average price range.” – Somnath Verma
“The Gurudongmar lake is situated at a height of 17800 feet. The lake is white in color and since the lake is frozen in all the seasons, it cannot be used for drinking purposes. However there is a story behind the lake. It is considered very sacred by Buddhists and the Hindus. The story is that when Guru Padmasambha was passing through Tibet the locals here requested him for water and a source through which they could have water supply. The guru then touched a part of a lake and from then, that portion of water in the lake did not freeze during the winter season. So this lake is considered to be very sacred and blessed. You will love the view of the entire surrounding and the water here is one of its kind.” – Ruchi Jain
“The market has all the facilities available and there are lots of convenience stores along with medicine shops as well should you encounter any health problems on the way. The evening can be spent around in the MG Market. The market has a huge alley with a paved stone pathway which gives the feel of a European architecture. It is stuffed with variety of gift shops, handicraft stores, souvenirs, electronics store, woolens and leather. Be prepared to spend some money as things are a little costly here.” – Rajat Chakraborty
Gangtok weather patterns are similar to the rest of the country. Winters in Gangtok are cold with an average temperature of 4 °C. Gangtok does not receive heavy snowfall, however, the upper reaches are covered in snow during winter. In fact, areas such as NathuLa and Tsomgo lake are usually cut off from the rest of the country between December and February. However, you can book Gangtok tour packages between October and November to avoid snowfall and harsh winters.
As is with most hill stations, spring is the best time to book Gangtok tour packages. The days are pleasant while the nights are a little chilly. Spring in Gangtok is from March to April. During this season the clear skies offer unhindered views of the mighty Kanchenjunga and other peaks.
Summers in this picturesque town is comfortable and not as harsh as the plains. The average temperature during summers is close to 22°C. May to June are the summer months and owing to pleasant weather, there's a huge increase in prices of Gangtok tour packages.
July to September is marked by the monsoon in Gangtok. The rains generally result in many routes being cut off due to landslides. However, it’s the best time to visit and book Gangtok tour packages if you are travelling on a budget.
Nature lovers always look for places which promise serenity and calm. If you and your partner are looking for a holiday destination which offers you a break from daily life, then head to Gangtok. Our first tip for those planning a couple vacation to the city is to book Gangtok tour packages for at least five to six days. Anything less than that and you might miss out on some of the gorgeous tourist attractions. The best part about planning a trip to Gangtok with your partner is the plethora of places to see which can be included in your Gangtok package for couples. From mesmerising lakes, enthralling monasteries to picturesque waterfalls, archaic temples and welcoming restaurants – Gangtok promises an action-packed vacation.
For those who are considering the city as a family vacation spot, book your Gangtok tour packages without another thought. A great place to travel with family and friends, the city promises an unforgettable experience. Not only will you be treated to a new landscape every day but there is so much to learn about new cultures, a different way of life and of course the delectable local cuisine. Don’t forget to include monastery tours and a visit to Nathu la when you are booking Gangtok tour packages for family.
Whenever most people think of food in Gangtok or Sikkim, hot steaming momos and thupkas come to mind. However, Gangtok has much more to offer than these famous delicacies. The cuisine of Gangtok is a mix of Indian, Nepalese and Bhutanese flavours. Rice is the predominant food for the locals and many amazing dishes are rice-based.
The local cuisine also includes lentils, dried vegetables, wildflowers and bamboo shoots. Apart from momos and thupkas, this quaint town offers lip-smacking delicacies like wonton, thenthuk (hand-pulled noodle soup) and shah-phaley (meat patty). These dishes are common at local restaurants and street food vendors.
Gundruk and sinki are two of the most popular appetizers in Sikkim. Though you will not find these at most restaurants, they are common snacks made at home. Nowadays a few restaurants have started serving these delectables. Gundruk is a delicacy made of dried leaves of cauliflower or radish or mustard plants. These dried leaves are then cooked with tomatoes and onions. Sinki is also a similar dish but is made only from tap roots like carrots, radish or turnip. These delicacies are slightly sour to taste and thereby are usually consumed as appetizers.