Best Places To Visit In Gangtok, Sikkim – Tourist Attractions

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Gangtok is the capital of Himalayan state Sikkim in north-east India. Sikkim is small but a beautiful state, full of tourist attractions. Gangtok being a city and better connected by road to Bagdogra airport is the preferred destination for travelers. Places to visit in Gangtok are many and diverse. Look at the variety it offers – Flower-shows, Monasteries, Himalayan Zoological Park, Tibetology Institute, Waterfalls, and of course bustling MG Marg.

Gangtok Tourist Attractions

We have put together this post for you to explore the popular destinations in and around Gangtok. Some of these places are within the city, few nearby and can be visited by hiring a day cab. Distant places of interests can be explored by conducted tours off Gangtok.

Places to visit in Gangtok City

Gangtok Flower Shows

Floral treat at Gangtok Flower show
Floral treat at Gangtok Flower show

Gangtok city residences and roads are full of beautiful flowering plants grown in pots. The weather seems to be suitable for gardening. The city hosts flower shows bang in the heart of the city. Visit the flower show and you will find beautiful colorful flowers. You can not miss the wide variety of orchid flowers. Photography is allowed. A very nominal entry fee is charged for entry.

Orchid flower at Gangtok flower show
Orchid flower at Gangtok flower show – Places to visit in Gangtok

M G Marg or Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Gangtok

View of Gangtok MG Marg during the day
View of Gangtok MG Marg during the day

Gangtok city center is known as M G Marg is a nice hangout area. If the weather is clear you can see the Kanchenjunga Peaks of Himalayas.

Kanchenjunga Peaks of Himalayas
Kanchenjunga Peaks of Himalayas

Food joints, souvenir shopping, hang out with crowds on vehicle free stretch of road is a nice experience. You can do some planning and inquiries with Tour operators for off-the-city destinations travel.

Gangtok MG Marg at evening
Gangtok MG Marg at evening

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok

Several original Thangka paintings, Buddhist prayer items, Buddhism related articles are on display at the institute. No photography is allowed inside the building. Nominal entry fee is charged.

Display of artifacts at Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok
Display of artifacts at Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok

Do Drul Chorten Stupa

Prayer Wheels at Do Drul Chorten at Gangtok
Prayer Wheels at Do Drul Chorten at Gangtok

Make your wishes at the prayer wheels at Do-Drul Chorten. It is very close to the Tibetology Institute. Perhaps the biggest Stupa in Sikkim, it has the Gold plated spire. Do Drul Chorten is circled by Chorten Lhakhang and Guru Lhakhang.

Places to visit near Gangtok

Gangtok city is on a hillside. Surrounding areas including hills have several interesting places to visit. You require a cab to visit these tourist attractions, as the public transport is poor. Following are a list of tourist attractions near Gangtok.

Bakthang Waterfalls, Gangtok

It is a relatively small waterfall en route to Banjhakri Falls. About 3-4 km’s from the city Bakthang waterfalls is on the main road. There are some adventure activities like rope climbing, rappelling etc. Tourists can also dress up in Sikkimese traditional attire for photo opportunities here.

Bakthang Waterfalls near Gangtok
Bakthang Waterfalls near Gangtok

Being a hilly state, the views from the waterfall area is also nice subject to weather conditions. In local language ‘Bak’ means forest and ‘thang’ means meadow or place. The natural spring water source of this falls originates from the dense vegetation above this site which is preserved as a Smriti Ban by the Forest Department. You can stop by for 15-20 minutes here to enjoy the nature.

Video of Bakthang Waterfalls

Watch this short video of Bakthang Waterfalls in HD mode for best effect.

Banjhakri Falls, Gangtok, Sikkim

It is also known as Ban Jhakri waterfalls. Banjhakri Falls is a perennial Waterfalls. The water cascades down in stages over the rocks from the springs in the higher reaches. The height of the waterfall is estimated to be about 100 ft. The direct plunge fall appears to be about 40 to 50 ft. It is located in a landscaped park about 7 km’s from Gangtok town.

Banjhakri Falls - Places to visit in Gangtok
Banjhakri Falls – Popular Places to visit in Gangtok

Around the waterfalls, gardens have been beautifully landscaped and adorned with ethnic sculptures and figurines depicting Jhakri culture. The figurines in the park illustrate rituals, some healing ceremonies, and others the induction process in the life of a shaman.

Ban literally means forest or jungle, and Jhakri means traditional healer. A Ban Jhakri is a mythical man, who exists only in folktales within the Nepali Community in Sikkim.

Video of Banjhakri Falls, Gangtok

Watch this video we managed to capture during our visit to the Banjhakri Falls. Best viewed in HD mode on our YouTube channel.

Himalayan Zoological Park, Gangtok, Sikkim

Golden Pheasant bird at Himalayan Zoological Park - Places to visit in Gangtok
Golden Pheasant bird at Himalayan Zoological Park

Himalayan Zoological Park near Gangtok is a good place to visit to meet the wildlife of Himalayas. The campus has Himalayan flora, fauna, and local forest trees.

Masked Palm Civet at Himalayan Zoological Park Places to visit in Gangtok
Masked Palm Civet at Himalayan Zoological Park Places to visit in Gangtok

Wildlife enthusiasts can find several Himalayan animals housed in large enclosures here. One of the main attractions is the Red Panda.

Curious Red Panda at Himalayan Zoological Park, Gangtok
Curious Red Panda at Himalayan Zoological Park, Gangtok

You can easily spend an hour in this vast lush green campus enjoying the chill weather. Nominal entry fee is charged for entrance to the park.

Himalayan Mountain Cat
Himalayan Mountain Cat

We enjoyed a long walk in the hilly terrain of Himalayan Zoo Park. On a clear day, you can see a lot of birds. Incidentally, when we visited it was raining and we missed the birds.

Rumtek Monastery

Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok
Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok

One of the oldest and largest monasteries, the Rumtek Monastery is about 20 km from Gangtok. Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre houses many sacred objects within the complex, magnificent one is the about 13 foot high Golden Stupa. The Beautiful landscape is also a highlight of the place.

Day Trips from Gangtok

Chardham, Namchi

Chardham at Namchi is a re-creation of the revered Char Dham’s of India on a hill top. You can easily spend 2-3 hours admiring the Temples and the giant Shiva Murti here. The weather is lovely as the clouds and the sunshine keeps on playing hide & seek on the hill top.

Read our detailed travel blog on Chardham Namchi

Chardham, Namchi

Temi Tea Estate

Temi Tea estate is the largest tea estate in Sikkim. It is en route Gangtok to Namchi. You will like the vast green landscape of tea gardens amidst the clouds. Driving along the rolling hills with fresh green leaves of tea is a treat for the eyes.

Temi Tea estate near Gangtok
Temi Tea estate near Gangtok

Buddha Park of Ravangla, Samdruptse Hill

Giant statue of Padmasambhava at Samdruptse
Giant statue of Padmasambhava at Samdruptse

World’s largest statue of the Buddhist Padmasambhava at about 120 feet towers over the Samdruptse hill. It is one of the Buddhist pilgrimage centers. Padmasambhava known as Guru Rinpoche is the patron saint of Sikkim. A rock garden is also nearby.

Adventure Trips from Gangtok

Surrounded by the Himalayas, the adventure can not be too far from Gangtok. Here are some of the popular options:

Nathula Pass and Tsomgo Lake

Frozen Tsomgo Lake Nathula pass is about 60 km east of Gangtok on one of the highest motorable roads. A visit to Nathu La Pass requires a permit and you must take a conducted tour from Gangtok.  The conducted tours also are subject to weather conditions. The route passes through the Tsomgo Lake which freezes during winters. The frozen lake, snowfall, landscapes are the attractions for the visitors.

Snow clad mountains en route Nathu La Pass
Snow clad mountains en route Nathu La Pass
Locals and Yak on snow clad mountains en route to Nathu La Pass
Locals and Yak on snow clad mountains en route to Nathu La Pass

Other interesting places to visit in Sikkim are Gurudongmar lake in north Sikkim, Kanchenjunga Waterfalls and Rabdentse ruins at Pelling in west Sikkim.

Choose the places to visit in Gangtok, Sikkim based on your interests.

Recommend you read following travel blog.

  1. Top 12 Sikkim souvenirs to pick – Shopping in Sikkim.
  2. Luxury hotel and resort Mayfair, Gangtok – Art & Aesthetics.
  3. Baiguney Sikkim Trip with Club Mahindra.

32 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Anu,

    I have a plan to visit Sikkim sometimes in next month. Your article has helped me in preparing a list of some of the places I want to visit there.

    BTW your blog remained inaccessible for few days. I was wondering what must have happened to it. It’s good that it’s back now. So keep travelling.

    • Happy that this post helped you Shareb.

      Yes, have been facing some challenges at the backend of the site. We are working on making it work normally asap. If you see another outage, please let us know.

      • I was with a thought that your hosting package must have been expired and you have forgotten to renew it.

        If that is not the case, I think you must let your hosting provider to know about it ASAP. On my side, I will let you. I am one of the regular readers of your blog.

        Thanks

  2. hey anu ji.
    my last 2 trips 2 sikkim and outskirts plus the places like lachen and lachung look incomplete after c-ing yr. vivid videos and vivid descriptions.
    feel like planning a 3rd trip. credit goes 2 u.

  3. Hi Anuradha,
    How did you guess that I’m planning the trip to Sikkim this year ? 🙂
    Thanks for some useful tips (as usual :))
    Greetings from Poland, Jan

  4. Wow.. Thanks for such a wonderful post of all things to see IN and Around Gangtok. Will surely make it a plan and visit these.

  5. good video presents and equally vivid descriptions.
    although i have travelled to sikkim twice earlier u have provided a deeper perspective.
    lachen and lachung were quite far off from gangtok.
    there was also a spring hot water about 3-4 hrs. journey from gangtok.

  6. Hi Anuradha Mam,

    I must say, I was reliving my days when I first visited this place. My first solo trip was to Gangtok and Yumthang valley in the year 2005 (i guess)
    Really liked your article. the places that you mentioned and all.
    Have visited some of them. May be if I visit this place again, would try to visit the non-visited ones.
    Btw, If you like you may also check out my small blog about my first solo trip to Yumthang Valley.

  7. Sikkim is one of the best places to visit in India. The natural beauty of the place is admiring. One should visit this state of India and get lost in its natural beauty.

  8. Anuradha, Thanks for detailed article. I have never thought of such a beautiful place in Sikkim.
    We may plan to go there, my self and my wife. We would like to know the best months to visit Sikkim, being old age couple. Further how is expensive stay at Sikkim. Both are important and practical point.
    Thanks for such a excellent article. Anantray Trivedi, Retied A.O., Ahmadabad.

    • Thank you, Anantray Ji. If you want to see lots of snow, go in winters, else rest of the year is good. Avoid monsoons.
      There are accommodations of all kinds in Gangtok – you should not have a problem regarding that.

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