Popularly known as the ‘Gateway To Sikkim,’ Gangtok is a picturesque hill town complete with postcard-worthy landscapes and exciting excursions. From thrilling adventure activities such as river rafting, hiking and paragliding to peaceful spots where you can revel in picnics and sunsets, Gangtok will keep you happily occupied with its stunning offerings. Not just activities, but Gangtok is also home to people from different ethnicities, including Nepalis, Bhutia and Lepchas, making it a melting pot of varied cultures and delicious food.
Since the hill town is nestled deeply amidst the mighty Himalayas, there are plenty of things to do in Gangtok that provide an experience unlike any other. To make your travel plans smooth, we have gathered the top adventurous things to do in Gangtok and other activities you should not miss out on while visiting this gorgeous place.
6 Best Things To Do In Gangtok
1. Drive Or Hike Through Nathu La Pass
The highest motorable road in the world, Nathu La, is perched at 14450 feet above sea level and co-joins Sikkim and China. As one of the most critical passes in India located at the Indo-Tibetan border, the road was once part of the Silk Route and now stands as one of the three open places for the India-China trade. The pass has cold weather throughout the year, but it also has some of the most stunning views you can experience through your hike or drive. The temperatures tend to drop to -25 degrees Celsius during the winter months, with snow all around, making it a wonderland you will find impressive if you love snow. The drive through the pass is worth the entire day’s trip from Gangtok, especially when paired with a visit to Tsomgo Lake. Nathu La, which translates to “ listening ears” and “pass”, is undoubtedly one of the most amazing things to do in Gangtok.
- Distance From Gangtok: 56.3km (approx)
- Best Time To Visit: From Wed – Sun, May-October (Requires A Permit)
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A stunning view of Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, the peaceful monasteries of Gangtok, terraced rice field and the lush green mountains is almost everything that you can enjoy as you paraglide through the hill town of Gangtok. While there are several adventurous things to do in Gangtok, paragliding undoubtedly stands out and rightly so. Not only will the activity get your adrenaline pumping, but it also offers you an aerial view of the city, which is bound to be etched in your brain for many years. Paragliding in Gangtok is best enjoyed from March to June and September to November when the sky is clearer, and you can revel in the unobstructed view of the city.
3. Catch A Sunset At Tashi View Point
To catch a stunning view of Mount Kanchenjunga and Mount Sinilochu, you can head to Tashi View Point, which is just 8km from the city centre. The king of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal, who reigned from 1914 to 1963, built Tashi, and that is how the viewpoint got its name. From one side of the Tashi View Point, you get uninterrupted views of the snow-capped mountains on a clear day, while amidst the opposite mountain ranges, you can see the Phodong Monastery and Labrang Monastery. A viewpoint also has the most mesmerising sunrise view, where you can see the changing colours and the cast of these colours on snowy peaks. However, to catch this view, you must reach the spot before 5 AM to catch this view. You can also visit the nearby Bakthang waterfall when you head to this viewpoint.
- Timings: 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Entry Fee: Nil
4. Enjoy A Peaceful Time At The Monasteries
Gangtok is home to several beautiful monasteries which provide insight into the Buddhist culture and splendid Tibetan architecture. Not only just within the city but several monasteries near Gangtok are structural marvels within themselves and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Rumtek Monastery, Enchey Monastery, Tsuk La Khang Monastery and Pemayangtse are some of the best monasteries to visit in and around Gangtok. With its intricate architecture and exhibits of the preserved golden stupa and other artefacts belonging to the 16th-century Karmapa, the Rumtek Monastery is truly a sight to behold. Enchey Monastery is almost 200 years old and gives you the perfect view of the region’s culture. A visit to these monasteries is one of the best things to do in Gangtok.
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5. Shop At MG Road
The heart of Gangtok, MG Road, is where all the hustle and bustle of the city happens. You can find everything from shopping to great local eateries at MG Road. Whether you want to shop for souvenirs, trinkets, or traditional Sikkimese teacups, you can find them in the green shops on either side of the road. The boulevard comes alive in December when the Gangtok Food and Culture Festival takes place. The celebrations welcome people from all over the world, and you should not miss it if you visit the city during the winter. The road is completely vehicle free and for pedestrians only, making it extremely clean and fun for a stroll.
6. Picnic At The Seven Sister Falls
A short drive from Gangtok, the Seven Sister Falls are a must-visit attraction of Gangtok. The seven waterfalls that cascade side by side over rugged cliffs come even more alive after rains. The water gurgling through the lush green vegetation is even prettier when the sun sets and makes for the most stunning photography landscape. The area also has several seating spots where you can enjoy a picnic with your loved ones while enjoying the fantastic view of the falls nearby. The site is also a top pick amongst trekkers and photography enthusiasts.
With plenty of activities to enjoy, you are bound to have a fun-filled time in Gangtok. So start your planning today!