Sikkim Diaries: Getting Around in Gangtok

gangtok, hills, mountains, morning view

Gangtok is the capital of the state of Sikkim in north-eastern India. But for me, it is a city of flowers. Everywhere I looked around I saw flowers blossoming along the roadside, boulevards, and fences and balconies along the houses. Colorful flowers, green hills and people in fashionable clothes make quite a view to enjoy in Gangtok.

gangtok, sikkim

I was there during the second week of May, 2016. With pleasant weather and abundance of hotels and transport, Gangtok serves as a perfect base for exploring various scenic places in North and West Sikkim. For more information, travel photos and itinerary, check out:

We returned to Gangtok after Gurudongmar trip and stayed there for one night and two days. Gangtok sightseeing comes in packages such as 3-point, 7-point, or 10-point tours for half-day or full day. We booked a 7-point tour package, which covered the following places:

  • Rumtek Monastery
  • Shanti View Point (There is nothing much to see here. However, we enjoyed Momo sold here at reasonable price – Rs 40 for a plate)
  • Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
  • Do-Drul Chorten
  • Suicide Point (Don’t be afraid! This is just another view point. 😉   :D)
  • Flower Exhibition
  • Handicrafts & Handloom Center (You’ll find a variety of Tibetan handicrafts including mask, clothing accessories, carpets, wall rugs, bags, and many more at authentic price.)

It was a half-day tour. We started at around 9:30 in the morning and completed by 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The post-lunch session was meant for a ropeway ride and shopping at the main market at MG Marg.

Rumtek Monastery

More than an hour drive from Gangtok, Rumtek Monastery is a must see. The monastery is a center of Tibetan Buddhism offers beautiful and quiet surroundings where you would love to spend some time watching the rituals by the little monks, listening to their chanting, and praising the colorful architecture of the monastery.

Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok, Sikkim

Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok, Sikkim

rumtek monastery, gangtok, sikkim, architecture, tibetan architecture

rumtek monastery, gangtok, sikkim, stairs, blue flowers

rumtek monastery, gangtok, sikkim

rumtek monastery, gangtok, tibetan art, murals, painting

monks, rumtek monastery, gangtok, sikkim, buddhist, rituals

Oh yes! Before you leave, don’t forget to stop by this handicraft shop once. You may find something interesting to buy.

souvenir shop, rumtek monastery, gangtok, sikkim

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Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

If you want to delve deeper into the Tibetan culture this is a place to be.  The institute conducts different programs to promote research Tibetan history, religion, art and culture. Exquisite silver accessories and beautiful thangkas caught my eyes as soon as I enter the museum.

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Do-Drul Chorten

A Tibetan Buddhist shrine and a peaceful place for prayer Do-Drul Chorten is situated right beside the Institute of Tibetology. The snow white stupa is surrounded with prayer wheels.  I peeped through the window of the prayer hall to find that young priests were chanting and learning their part.

do-drul chorten, tibetan buddhist, shrine, gangtok sightseeing, gangtok

Suicide Point

I don’t know why this beautiful place has a terrible name like this! But I loved walking along the canopied trail that took me to the spot from where I could see green slopes all around and a winding river stream deep down the gorge.

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stairs, prayer flags, suicide point, gangtok, sikkim,

hills, mountains, view point, suicide point, gangtok, gangtok sightseeing

Flower Exhibition

This is a must-see in Gangtok. A variety of flowers with their scientific names and descriptions are displayed in a greenhouse-like place.

flower exhibition, gangtok, gangtok sightseeing, things to do Gangtok

Ropeway

After the day-trip we came back to hotel for lunch. I could see the ropeway cable cars moving up and down sitting right at our hotel’s dining room. By 3:30 pm we set out again for a ropeway ride and walked to the station near Butterfly Bridge.

gangtok, streets in gangtok, sikkim

However, we had to wait for nearly two hours at the ticket counter as there were only two cable cars with a capacity of 24 people each. By the time we boarded the cable car the sun was about to set beyond the hills. 😦

gangtok from ropeway, ropeway ride, gangtok things to do

However, it’s a short 15 minute ride which offers colorful panoramas of the city, Gangtok.

gangtok, ropeway

gangtok, rooftop, ropeway ride, sikkim, things to do gangtok

MG Marg

With a lively atmosphere, numerous shops and restaurants, MG Marg is the pulsating heart of Gangtok. Sikkim government’s Tourist Information Center is also located here. From beautiful accessories to delicate handicrafts to fancy umbrellas there are many things you can buy as souvenirs.

mg marg, market, gangtok, sikkim

Well, if you don’t like wasting money in shopping, just sit on a bench at the plaza and watch people and activities around you. People-watching is a nice time pass, isn’t it? 😉   😀  mg marg, market, gangtok, main market, gangtok shopping

See you soon… 🙂
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41 thoughts on “Sikkim Diaries: Getting Around in Gangtok

  1. Great post on this stunning land, Moon 🙂

    I always wanted to explore Sikkim, but, it’s still not happened…

    I would rank this post as one of the most inviting one to explore Sikkim and Gangtok in particular 🙂

    I missed quite some action here in wordpress this year…

    Hope you are doing good and thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    Have a beautiful day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I lived in gangtok for 4 years. And I have lived at other places . But that place has a special place in my heart. Thank you for making me relive some of my memories.

    Liked by 1 person

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