Gangtok Travel Guide
Gangtok Travel Guide: Integration with India has turned Gangtok into a modern capital. Broad roads, flyovers, posh markets, state-of-art hospital, educational institutes, fast food outlets, discothèques, and all other modern amenities are all there. An imposing 200 ft-high TV looks down at the town. Cosmopolitan flavor pervades everywhere and the Internet Age has already dawned.
Yet the old world charm exists just beneath the surface. Whether it’s the monasteries, temples or even nature- life just ambles. While the adventurous can go for trekking, white-water rafting, hang gliding, yak safari et al, others can soak in the best that the nature has to offer.
Places to visit in Gangtok
Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology(SRIT)
The world renowned institute and is one of the few of its kind. It has one of the world’s largest collections of rare Buddhist books on Mahayana Buddhism, over 200 Buddhist icons, plus many religious works of art and incredibly finely executed silk embroidered thangkas. Situated amidst a small forest of oak, magnolia and birch trees its building is a fine specimen of Tibetan architecture.
Do-Drul Chorten (Stupa)
Encircled by 108 prayer wheels built by late Trulsi Rimpoche, it is one of the most important and biggest stupas found in Sikkim. Inside are complete mandala sets of Dorjee Phurba (Bajra Kilaya), a set of Kan-gyur relics (Holy Books), complete ‘Zung’ (mantras) and other religious objects. Around this Chorten, are also 10 Mani-Lhakor (prayer wheels)? These prayer wheels are turned by the devout Buddhist while chanting “Hail to the jewel in the Lotus”, to invoke the Bodhisattva.
This park affords a spectacular view of the hills surrounding and Gangtok is perched precariously on top of a hillside plunging almost vertically deep into the valley. The park’s enormous enclosure displays different types of deers. A few cages provide a safe refuge for animals native to Sikkim like the Red Panda and the Himalayan Bear.
A big statue of Lord Buddha commemorating his preaching of the noble truths in the deer park at Sarnath adorns the park premises.
Located on a hilltop above Gangtok, this monastery is an important seat of the Nyingma order. Built as the Solitary temple, it is meant for solace and no other construction is allowed near it. It contains images of god, goddesses and other religious objects and the venue for ‘Chaam’- a religious masked dance performed with great fanfare for two days.
Tashi View Point
Built by the late King of Sikkim, its a site from where a breathtaking panorama of the majestic Mt. Khangchendzonga and surrounding hills can be seen. On the opposite hill, the Phodong and the Labrang monasteries can be seen.
A temple devoted to Hanuman, a God worshipped by the Hindus, it is so small that one has to crawl to get inside.
Himalayan Zoological Park
Located exactly across the road opposite Ganesh Tok, it covers an area of 205 hectares. This area is also known as Bulbuley and extends almost upto Hanuman Tok. Fenced open air enclosures house the red pandas, Barking Deer, bears and other animals of Sikkim
Gangtok – Adventure Sports
Gangtok allows you to indulge in adventure activities like trekking, white-water rafting, hang gliding, yak safari, and mountain biking. There are superb treks to the Pemayangtse, Khechopalri, Yuksam, Tsokha, Dzongri, Thangshing, Zemathang, Chaurigang, Tashiding, Varsey, Yangang, Rabongla, Sang and Sikip.
Shopping in Gangtok
Apart from curios you may pick up bronze and silver jewelry, turquoise, coral jewelry and beads. You may also pick up from carpets, handloom fabrics, thangka paintings and wooden objects as gift items and souvenirs.
How to Reach Gangtok
AIR Nearest airport is Bagdogra in West Bengal (124 kms.)
HELICOPTER–available between Gangtok – Bagdogra – Gangtok
ROAD: Gangtok is connected with all weather metaled road with Siliguri, Kalimpong, Gangtok etc.