Weekend Getaway To Mountainous Gangtok 

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A 4 day trip from Delhi to Gangtok seemed like the perfect thing to do on an extended weekend especially when you have friend's for company, who share the passion for wanderlust. So, without any further delay, we booked our flights and hotel and within no time we were off to explore the glorious Gangtok.

The nearest airport to Gangtok is Bagdogra in West Bengal. From here, cabs are available to reach Gangtok, which is around approx 120 Kms away and takes about 4 hours. We reached Bagdora, around 12pm and then took a cab. I must say that the journey from Bagdodra to Gangtok is extremely picturesque as you pass through mountains and valleys, the sight of which is instantly refreshing. We checked in to our hotel in Gangtok by 4pm and rested for 2 hours. At around 6:30pm, we were ready to explore.

We covered the following places during our two day stay, which cannot be missed while visiting Gangtok:

Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by peopleandcity

M.G. Marg - I have been to many hill stations, in fact I was born in one, but never have I seen such cleanness and orderliness on a main road. It's called the M.G Road, which was extremely clean and very well maintained. It offers many options to shop, eat and explore. There are many food joints offering variety of food options to choose from. But to our surprise the prices are quite low, when compared to other North Indian hill stations. We strongly recommend you to try Roll House Momos.

Nathu La Pass - This is undoubtedly a not-to-be-missed attraction from Gangtok. At 14,000ft with temperature of minus 6 deg in February end, it itself speaks about the place. It is the border post between India & China and a very important trade route as well. This is the same pass from where new route to Kailash Mansorvar yatra has been opened. It was beautifully covered with snow and seeing our armed forces guarding our borders at such high altitude certainly evokes a feeling of pride. It takes around two hours to reach this place from Gangtok.

Photo of Nathula, Sikkim, India by peopleandcity

Tsomogo Lake - This Lake lies on the way to Nathula. You can stop by either while ascending to Nathu La or returning. It remains frozen during winters. You can enjoy a yak ride or get a photo clicked with them here. Few food joints are also present, where you can sip a hot cup of tea while marveling at the enchanting beauty of Mother Nature. However, weather is unpredictable, which can be seen in our photographs as well.

Photo of Tsongmo Lake, East Sikkim, Sikkim, India by peopleandcity

Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple - This temple is dedicated to late soldier Harbhajan Singh, who was part of Punjab Regiment and was posted here in Nathula. As per history, Harbhajan drowned in a glacier while leading a column of mules carrying supplies to a remote outpost. His remains were found after three days and he was cremated with full military honor. As per local folklore, it is believed that Harbhajan Singh, himself helped the search party to find his body. Some Indian soldiers also believe that in the event of a war between India and China, Baba warns the Indian soldiers of any impending attack at least three days in advance.

Gangtok Ropeway - Gangtok ropeway is quite an attraction as it links Deorali Bazaar (near the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology) to Namnang Station near Assembly House on the ridge. It offers spectacular views of Gangtok and the surrounding mountains and valleys. The splendor of the place will leave you spellbound for sure.

Ganesh Tok - Ganesh Tok near Tashi View Point is a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The temple is popular amongst locals as well as tourists. The temple compound is yet another place offering great views of the majestic mountains, rolling hills and vibrant Gangtok town.

Photo of Ganesh Tok, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by peopleandcity
Photo of Ganesh Tok, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by peopleandcity

We also visited few monasteries, such as Rumtek Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, which should be a part of your itinerary.

We were now nearing the end of our trip, when we were informed by Go Air officials that our flight has been cancelled. We were shocked as they did not present any reason for the same! Though they did not offer us hotel stay, they did agree to refund or reschedule our flight.

We picked the latter and informed our respective offices. Now, with one more day at hand, we planned to go to Darjeeling, 100kms from Gangtok, which is a much raved about hill station in the East. We booked a hotel and took a cab to our destination. On arrival, we straight away headed to the Mall Road but were highly disappointed as it offers absolutely nothing. There are no good restaurants or market area. It was unclean and in utter disorder. It was sad to see the town in such a state, which certainly has tourism potential. The only place which we loved in Darjeeling was Glenary's Bakery. They serve one of the best pastries and cakes in the region. After satisfying our sweet tooth, we decide to return to our hotel and rest for the whole day.

Photo of Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim, India by peopleandcity

However, as our flight was rescheduled for the next day evening, we called Happy Valley Tea Estate to enquire about tour visit. It was a 45 minute tour commencing at 10am next morning. It perfectly fitted in our schedule and hence we booked it. At the tea estate, next morning, we were given detailed knowledge about tea harvesting and processing. I enjoyed it thoroughly as I am a tea lover and will recommend it to all tea lovers. The tea gardens offer good photo ops as well. It was now time to pack our bags and return to the city life after this rewarding and refreshing break in the hills.

This post was originally published on People And The City.

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