Gangtok gained prominence as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the early 1980s. Today, it is one of the most visited cities in Northeast India owing to its breathtaking natural beauty and religious significance. If you are planning a holiday in Gangtok, you must have at least 10 days to explore the top places in and around the city. The growing popularity of the destination has also given rise to a number of hotels in Gangtok. You can choose from a variety of options, depending on your budget and itinerary. Remember that most of the restaurants in Gangtok are on MG Road. If you stay anywhere else, you’ll be dependent on the hotel’s restaurant. So choose wisely!

Places to visit in Gangtok(List):

Tsomgo Lake Nathula Pass
Hanuman Tok Himalayan Zoological Park
Ranka Monastery Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
Flower Exhibition Center MG Marg
Ganesh Tok Rumtek Monastery
Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple Mangan
Tashi Viewpoint Kabi Longstok
Seven Sisters Waterfalls Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary
Do Drul Chorten Saramsa Garden
Ban Jhakri Falls Phodong Monastery

1. Tsomgo Lake, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#1 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

If you have enough time to visit just one place in Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake it is! Located at 12,400 ft. above sea level, this high altitude lake sits amidst mountains and derives its water from their melting snow. The unparalleled beauty of the site is absolutely mesmerizing. A striking feature of the lake is that it changes color with every season. It remains frozen during winters, but the snow around is replaced by blooming flowers in summers. Legends reveal that Buddhist monks used to study the lake’s color to forecast the future in olden times.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 40 km
  • Trivia: The Tsomgo or Changu Lake is considered sacred by the Sikkimese.
  • Travel Tip: A valid permit is required by both Indians and foreign tourists to visit the lake.

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2. Nathula Pass, Gangtok

Nathula Pass

#2 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

A part of the ancient Silk Route between India and Tibet, Nathula Pass is bestowed with natural beauty and stunning scenic views. Driving through its steep, slippery slopes, up to an altitude of 14,140 ft., will make for quite an adventure. Nathula Pass sees a large number of tourists during summer and autumn. Winters might not be the best time to visit as the temperatures are quite low, and the route is often closed due to heavy snowfall. The road remains closed for public on Mondays and Tuesdays, so make sure you plan your itinerary accordingly.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 56 km
  • Travel Tip: Only Indian tourists with a valid permit are allowed to visit the pass

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3. Hanuman Tok, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#3 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

Located at an altitude of 7,200 ft., this decades-old Hanuman temple is one of the most popular places to visit in Gangtok. Offering uninterrupted views of the Kanchenjunga range, this shrine is visited by tourists throughout the year for its serene ambience and stunning views. You can soak in the beauty of the lush greenery, the scenic hills and valleys and a small part of the town while climbing the paved stairs that lead to this blissfully calm divine site.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 11 km
  • Trivia: It is believed that Lord Hanuman rested at this site while carrying the mountain with the Sanjeevani herb from the Himalayas to Lanka

4. Himalayan Zoological Park, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#4 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

The first zoo in Sikkim, Himalayan Zoological Park offers an opportunity to explore the fauna in the region. Home to Snow Leopards, Himalayan Palm Civets, Red Pandas and Himalayan Black Bears, the place is unlike most of the zoos in the country. Animals are kept in open enclosures in replicated natural habitat and are not caged, which makes the overall experience a bit more pleasant. Situated at an altitude of 1,780 meters, the zoo also offers splendid views of Mount Kanchenjunga. Set aside at least 3 to 4 hours for the zoo, especially if travelling with children.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 7 km
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 25 for Adults and ₹ 10 for Children
  • Timings: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (Closed on Thursdays)
  • Travel Tip: Since the park is spread across a considerable area, it’s best to explore the area in a car though you can walk it as well

5. Ranka Monastery, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#5 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

The beautiful Ranka Monastery should be part of your itinerary for the stunning views it offers and of course, the opportunity to interact with Buddhist monks. You can click pictures with the monks during breaks, but you have to respect their faith and their way of life while interacting with them. Enveloped by thick forests on all sides, the monastery is a sight to behold. The quiet and the serenity here offer a glimpse of life completely different from the cities.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 20 km
  • Timings: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Trivia: The monastery follows the Zurmang Kagyu Lineage of Buddhism
  • Travel Tip: Keep aside a couple of hours for Banjhakri Falls when you visit the monastery. Try paragliding here for an unforgettable experience!

6. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#6 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

A peek into the past of a very intriguing culture, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a must-visit if you are a history enthusiast or interested to know more about Buddhism. Exhibiting an extensive collection of art work, objects, manuscripts, mementos and one of the world’s largest collections of Tibetan documents and literature, this institute is a keeper of all things significant to the Tibetan culture. The foundation stone of the institute was laid by the 14th Dalai Lama.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 5 km
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (Closed on Sundays)
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 10
  • Travel Tip: Photography is not allowed inside the premises

7. Flower Exhibition Center, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#7 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

The Flower Exhibition Center is located within walking distance from MG Road and displays a huge variety of flowers from across Sikkim. A heaven for nature lovers, the exhibition center remains in full swing throughout the year, especially during the annual flower show which is held from April to May. Home to many different and unusual species of plants, the exhibition center offers a refreshing break from the never-ending road travel schedules. You can simply relax in its pleasant ambience, admire the colorful flowers, and click some amazing pictures.

  • Timings: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 10

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8. MG Marg, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#8 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

MG Marg is the center of all activity in Gangtok, and it’s on your itinerary by default! However, if you have an extra day or a couple of hours to spare, do spend time in this vehicle-free zone to learn and explore the way of life in Gangtok. This buzzing market is home to a number of shops, some of which have been there since decades along with many restaurants, cafes and souvenir stores. Do try the Hungry Heads for yum cold coffee and sandwiches.

9. Ganesh Tok, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#9 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

Stunning views of the Kanchenjunga range, serene ambience and the blessings of Lord Ganesha – this pretty much defines Ganesh Tok. One of the most visited places in Gangtok, this shrine is actually quite small but people come here to soak in the beautiful vistas of the town, the rolling hills and the snow-capped mountains from its enclosed viewing lounge. Situated at an altitude of 6,500 ft., this Ganesh temple sees a huge flow of visitors throughout the year.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 8 km
  • Timings: 6:00 am to 7:00 pm

10. Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#10 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

The Rumtek Monastery, perched on a hilltop near Gangtok, is one of the largest monasteries in the state of Sikkim. Once known as the Dharma Chakra Centre, this glorious monastery is built in traditional Tibetan style. The three-storied building encompasses a splendid prayer hall with tangkhas, statues and stunning murals, the golden stupa of the 16th Karmapa and many other unique objects and religious scriptures. Belonging to the Kargyu sect of Buddhists, this ancient monastery is known for one of world’s finest architectures and it stands beautifully against the backdrop of majestic hills and waterfalls.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 35 km
  • Timings: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 10
  • Travel Tip: Remember to carry your identity cards as the monastery comes under the Indo-Tibetan Border Police.

11. Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple, Gangtok

Built in the memory of a martyred soldier named Harbhajan Singh, Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is one of the most popular places in Gangtok. It stands at an elevation of 4000 m (13123 feet) and anyone who visits the beautiful Nathang Valley tends to pay their respects at this temple. It is believed that Sepoy Harbhajan Singh went missing near Nathu La Pass in 1968 and the army found his body after 3 days of searching. It is said that the Sepoy himself led the soldiers to his body. Even after he passed away, he reportedly continued his duty along the border and protected the soldiers posted there. The Indian Army treats him as a soldier who never died. He was even promoted up the ranks until his retirement age.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 53 km
  • Timings: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Travel Tip: The shrine is only 9 km from Nathu La Pass, so you can combine both the visits.

12. Mangan, Gangtok

Teeming with nature’s bounty, Mangan is a popular attraction among nature enthusiasts and peace seekers. The place is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and peppered with flowering shrubs, glittering streams, beautiful trekking trails and many sightseeing spots. Mangan also offers some stunning views of the majestic Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world. As a base station for most trekking expeditions, the town draws many trekkers and backpackers as well. Colourful Buddhist flags add to the beauty of this small and scenic place and make it a must-visit.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 67 km
  • Travel Tip: Early winter is the best time to visit Mangan. Avoid a trip during the monsoon season.

13. Tashi Viewpoint, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#13 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

If you are looking to spend quality time in an unpolluted and serene environment, Tashi Viewpoint is the best option. The fresh air, picturesque ambience and magnificent views of the surrounding mountains make this place quite popular among picnickers and nature lovers. From Tashi Viewpoint, you can enjoy some breath-taking views of Mount Kanchenjunga, Mount Siniolchu as well as some important monasteries in Gangtok, such as Phodong and Labrang. Shutterbugs must visit the spot early in the morning and in the evening to capture unforgettable sunrise and sunset views.

  • Distance from Gangtok Centre: 7 km
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee; INR 10 for using the binoculars or telescopes present there
  • Timings: 5:00 am to 6:00 pm; 7 days a week
  • Travel Tip: The best time to visit the point is from March to June when the weather is pleasant, and the days are bright and clear.

14. Kabi Longstok, Gangtok

Kabi Longstok, a small, scenic, and the historically significant town is located at about 17 km from Gangtok. The place is home to a peaceful and beautiful monastery known for the origin of Buddhist culture and Sikkimese history in this region, in the 13th century. The monastery is still frequented by followers of Buddhism who wish to study the religion closely. The place also has a library, a garden and two life-size statues of Bhutia and Lepcha. Kabi Longstok is the place where the Bhutia chief Khey Bum Sar and the Lepcha chief Tekung Tek signed a friendship treaty of brotherhood. Thakurbari temple is also a popular attraction here.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 17 km
  • Travel Tip: Plan a trip between October and March when the temperature is mild and pleasant.

15. Seven Sisters Waterfalls, Gangtok

Places to Visit in Gangtok

#15 of 20 Best Places to Visit in Gangtok

True to its name, Seven Sisters Waterfalls is a set of seven waterfalls gushing over a wide cliff. This popular attraction is located on Gangtok-Lachung Highway, about 32 km from the main town. The place is surrounded by green vegetation and the sight of milky-white water cascading amidst lush surroundings and striking the rocks below is surreal! The waterfall looks breathtakingly beautiful during and after the monsoon season when it is in its full force. The tourist sheds and ropeway near the waterfalls are perfect to enjoy the beauty of the cascade from up close. Keep your camera handy for some nature photography.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 32 km
  • Timings: 24×7

16. Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary, Gangtok

Boasting an impressive variety of flora and fauna, Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary is a must-visit for every nature enthusiast. The sanctuary lies between Singtam and Dikchu villages and is spread over an area of 52 sq. km. From Clouded Leopard and Red Panda to Himalayan Brown Bear and Barking Deer, the sanctuary serves as a natural habitat for a variety of mammals. You can also spot different species of birds here, such as bar-throated minla, red-headed bullfinch, crimson-browed finch and the endangered rufous-headed hornbill. The dense rainforest is home to bamboo, ferns, oaks and a range of medicinal plants. What’s more, different varieties of orchids and rhododendrons plants are also found here aplenty.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 14 km
  • Entry Fee: INR 5 per person
  • Timings: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm; 7 days a week
  • Travel Tip: To visit the sanctuary, you must get special permits from the Forest Department.

17. Do Drul Chorten, Gangtok

Built-in 1945-46 by Trulshik Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Do Drul Chorten stupa is an important historic and religious place in Gangtok. It is nestled in the serene and scenic valleys of Gangtok and is frequented by devotees and tourists throughout the year. The stupa has 108 prayer wheels of Buddhism, all engraved with mantras that you can chant while rotating the wheels. The spire enshrines the deity of Vajra Kilaya or Dorjee Phurpa and you can find many holy Buddhist texts, mandala sets, and other objects of religious importance inside. Thanks to its picturesque surroundings, the monastery is frequented by peace seekers and shutterbugs.

  • Distance from Gangtok:5 km from city centre
  • Entry Fee: No entry fee
  • Timings: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm; 7 days a week
  • Travel Tip: The route to the monastery is steep and the climb can be a bit exhausting.

18. Saramsa Garden, Gangtok

Nestled in the hilly slopes of Pakyong and Gangtok, Saramsa Garden is a beautiful place spread over an area of 6 acres and dotted with colourful flowers and lush greenery. It has a greenhouse as well with a variety of orchids and other plants. Besides exploring the garden, you can engage in a range of recreational activities here, such as volleyball and football. Or you can just relax on a bench and enjoy the natural surroundings.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 13 km
  • Entry Fee: INR 10 per person
  • Timings: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm; 7 days a week
  • Travel Tip: The best time to visit Saramsa Garden is from November to May.

19. Ban Jhakri Falls, Gangtok

Cascading from a height of 100 feet amidst lush green surroundings and beautifully landscaped gardens, Ban Jhakri Falls is counted among the most popular places to visit near Gangtok. The waterfall is located inside Energy Park and is frequented by nature lovers, picnickers and peace seekers. Apart from the falls, the park has a manmade lake where you can enjoy paddle boating. It houses a swimming pool, refreshment stalls and resting places as well. The Sikkimese architecture and statues of Lyam, Lepcha, Mangpas, and Ban Jhakri ancestors all across the park accentuate the beauty of the place.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 8 km
  • Entry Fee: INR 50 per person
  • Timings: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm; 7 days a week
  • Travel Tip: The Energy Park also houses some natural energy production sites that are worth visiting.

20. Phodong Monastery, Gangtok

Perched at an altitude of 1372 m (4500 feet), Phodong Monastery is one of the six most important monasteries in Sikkim. It was built in 1740 AD and is a must-visit if you are looking to experience the true spirituality of this state. The monastery boasts vibrant exteriors with intricate architecture, while the interiors are decorated with beautiful paintings and murals. The surrounding hills and valleys add a sense of calm and peace to the environment, making it a perfect place to unwind amidst nature.

  • Distance from Gangtok: 38 km
  • Timings: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; 7 days a week
  • Travel Tip: Make sure to dress appropriately and maintain peace and decorum inside the monastery.

Place to Visit in Gangtok (Video):

Frequently Asked Questions About Gangtok:

Q: What is the best time to visit Gangtok?

A: Autumn (October-November) is the best season to visit Gangtok. You can also plan a trip to Gangtok during spring that lasts from March to June to see the beautiful Rhododendron flowers in full bloom.

Q: Is there an airport in Gangtok?

A: No, there is no airport in Gangtok. However, if you wish to travel by air, you can take a flight to Bagdogra Airport (128 km) and from there, take a taxi to Gangtok. The road journey will take 4-5 hours.

Q: How to reach Gangtok by train?

A: There is no railway station in Gangtok so you will have to reach New Jalpaiguri Junction (122 km) in Siliguri by train and thereafter, travel to Gangtok by road.

Q: What modes of transport are available to get around Gangtok?

A: The best way to travel from your Gangtok hotels to different tourist attractions across the city is by a taxi. These are available on both private and sharing basis.

Q: Suggest some things to do in Gangtok for adventurers.

A: River rafting, paragliding and trekking are some of the must-do things in Gangtok for adventure seekers. Another one of the most exciting things to do in Gangtok is driving through the Nathu La pass, which is one of the most stunning motorable roads in India.

Q: Where to shop in Gangtok?

A: The most popular shopping centre in Gangtok is Lal Bazaar, from where you can buy churpi, yak cheese, Nepalese khukris, bamboo and cane baskets and Tibetan prayer flags. MG Marg is also a good place to shop in Gangtok.

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