Gangtok is the largest and capital city of the Himalayan state of Sikkim. It is a very popular and friendly hill station of north-east India. The name Gangtok derived from a Tibetan word, which means “hill top” or “top of the hill”. It is situated at 4,715 ft (1,437 m) above the sea level with a population around 80,000 belongs to different ethnicities – mainly Nepalese, Lepchas and Bhutia. Some Tibetan, native Sikkimese, Bengalis, Bihari, Maruary are also available.
Gangtok is the most popular tourist destination among all other tourist spots in North-East India, not only for the hill station but due to the higher peaks of the Himalayas, it has a comfortable and enjoyable mild-temperate weather round the year, a good and peaceful civic environment, minimum pollution and one of the most cleanest city in India, less crowd, adventurous facilities like trekking, mountain biking, river rafting, etc makes it a very important and memorable tourist destination to the tourists. And also Gangtok has a very important roll in Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning, now days. There has several Buddhist Stupa, Buddhist monastery, and tibetan educational centers.
Tourism is the main business in Sikkim. Maximum Sikkimese, are directly or indirectly depends on the tourism sector. But still Sikkim and Gangtok are not very popular to foreign tourists. So the government tries to improve its attraction to the tourists. They are very active for the tourist. Due to very strict rules cheating and rubbery are very rare cases in Sikkim. And also a Cabs fares are mostly fixed in all over the Sikkim.
Gangtok is a completely modern city with every type of modern facilities, like, modern shop, shopping mall, cinema hall, curio shop, video parlor, cyber café, ATM facilities, disco, etc. Casino facilities are also available here. M.G.Marg is the heart line in Gangtok. It is completely planed with western pattern. The area totally decorated with flowers, no traffic problems, and also some area is reserved for you to seat here and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere with a pleaser. Gangtok is an ideal example of a traditional culture with totally modern blend. But don’t forget, all shops of the city normally closed by 9:00 pm, except a few numbers of pubs which are open till 11:00 pm.
If you wish to see the beauty of the Gangtok city from the sky, you can take a 2 kilometer ropeway adventure from Deorali to Secretariat building. Surrounding Mt. Kanchendzonga, Mt. Siniolchu, and others snow covered mountain range increase its marvelous looks and make the city awesome and charming to the visitors. You can take a look of the surrounded area of the city much better form the near by Tasi view point, Ganesh Tok and from Hanuman Tok. There has another view point - Pathang, just after the Tasi view point. It is much peaceful due to low crowd, but Himalayan view is excellent from there. So you can take another drive from Tasi view point to reach here. Other key places to visit in and around Gangtok are Rumtek Monastry, Do-Drul Chorten, Enchey Monastery, Lal Bazaar, Tsomgo, Nathula Pass and many mores.
You can access all nearby tourist spots in Gangtok by hire a taxi or private car. Where in, Bon-Jhakri Spring, Chogial Rajbari, Orchid House, Enchey Monastery, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden, Dear Park and Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology (SRIT) are much famous. If you have much time to stay at Gangtok then you can make another trip to visit other spots, which are also close to the Gangtok.
Gangtak, the capital of Sikkim is connected by road with Darjeeling, Siliguri and kalimpong. And all major town within Sikkim are well connected with Gangtalk by road.
By Air ::
The nearest airport is at Bagdogra, 124 km from Gangtak and 11 km west from Siliguri by road. It is a domestic airport and scheduled flights with Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati.
You can get taxi and local bus from Bagdogra airport to Siliguri. Taxi fare is Rs. 150.00 whether bus fare near about Rs. 10.00
Helicopter Service ::
STDC (Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation) operates a helicopter service in between Gangtak and Bagdogra, which take near about 30 minutes to go. Service time are 11:00 am from Gangtak to Bagdogra and at 2:00 pm from Bagdogra to Gangtak daily. And fare is Rs. 1500 a person.
By Rail ::
The nearest railway stations are New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri around 125 km and 114 km road distance respectively. And all major cities in India are well connected with both railway stations.
Distance between New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri is 12 km and will take 15 minutes to come Siliguri from New Jalpaiguri. You can get taxi and any other vehicles to reach Siliguri. From there, you have the option of traveling to Gangtok by road, roughly 4 or 5 hour journey.
By Road ::
Gangtok is at a distance of 114 km from Siliguri and will take 4 hours from Siliguri to reach Gangtok. You can get taxi with a cost nearly Rs 1500 to Rs 1800. Or you can get jeep to come Gangtok on share with others and fare is near about Rs 120 to Rs 150 a person.
You can come from Darjeeling with a 4 hours journey by road. And there is another option to come Gangtak from Phuntsholing, Bhutan that is a 6 hours journey by road.