Gangtok is the capital of the state of Sikkim. The Gangtok hill station is among the top tourist destinations in India and draws local as well as foreign tourists in large numbers. The Buddhist pilgrimage centre in Gangtok is the best attraction for devotees, hikers, trekkers, nature lovers, and adventure enthusiasts. Tourists frequently visit here to catch a glimpse of the majestic snow-capped mountains. Gangtok tourist places are best for couples, solo travellers and families. So, a Gangtok tour package will satisfy the thirst of any nature lover.
How to Reach Gangtok
Gangtok is one of the famous tourist destinations for couples and also among the most visited hill stations in India. Gangtok is well connected by air, train and road. Visitors can reach Gangtok easily through all the modes of transportation from every city. If you want to enjoy a hassle-free trip, you can pick your choice of transport accordingly.
How to Reach Gangtok By Air
The Bagdogra Airport (IXB) in West Bengal is the nearest airport to Gangtok which is 124 km far from the city. Bagdogra airport is well connected with all the major towns in India such as Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Guwahati and Kolkata. After reaching the airport, tourists can hire taxis or cabs to reach Gangtok, which takes around a 4-hour drive. One can also choose helicopter services operated by the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation which offers daily services from Bagdogra airport to Gangtok and will only take about 20 minutes to reach the destination. The only airport in the Sikkim state is Pakyong airport at Pakyong city and is 30 km from Gangtok.
How to Reach Gangtok By Train
The nearest railway station to Gangtok is New Jalpaiguri railway station in Siliguri. New Jalpaiguri and Gangtok are at a distance of 124 km from each other. The railway station is well-connected to major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai. From New Jalpaiguri station, you can hire a taxi or cab to Gangtok or go to the Siliguri Bus Stand and catch a state-bus to Gangtok, which will take you about 5-6 hours.
It is the busiest railway station serving the North-Eastern states of India and connects them to the prime cities of India as well as neighbouring countries of Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Major trains operated by the station include Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express and Sampark Kranti Express.
How to Reach Gangtok By Road
Gangtok city is well connected by road with Siliguri (118 Km), Darjeeling (96 Km) and Kalimpong (75 Km). Tourists can also hire private buses, jeeps and taxis from Siliguri and Bagdogra.
Visiting Gangtok by road is one of the preferred ways of travelling. Tourists can also enjoy the scenic beauty of Gangtok by a road trip. NH 10 and NH 310A are major highways connecting Gangtok to other parts of the country. For tourists who wish to reach the city by bus, they can visit the SNT Bus Station.
The Nearest Railway Station to Gangtok
New Jalpaiguri Junction (NJP) is the nearest railway station to Gangtok, located in the Siliguri city. The Gangtok railway station is important for the travellers as there are so many tourist places in Gangtok, Siliguri, and Darjeeling which are located at a nearby distance. Due to lots of scenic beauty and tourist destinations, this railway station always witnesses massive passenger traffic.
Some of the lists of nearby railway stations from Gangtok where visitors can reach this place with ease:
1. New Jalpaiguri Junction Railway Station (NJP)
New Jalpaiguri station is an A1 category broad gauge railway station under Katihar railway division of Northeast Frontier Railway zone. It is one of the largest and busiest railway stations of Northeast India. New Jalpaiguri station is ranked the 10th cleanest railway station in India. The station code of New Jalpaiguri station is NJP.
Some of the famous trains that pass through the NJP railway station are:
- Guwahati Express (06336)
- New Delhi Kamakhya Premium (02504)
- Dibrugarh Jhajha Express (15942)
- Njp Rnc Special (08630)
- Capital Express (13245)
2. Aluabari Road Junction Railway Station (AUB)
Aluabari Road railway station is under Katihar railway division of Northeast Frontier Railway zone located in Uttar Dinajpur district of West Bengal. The distance between Gangtok and Aluabari Road railway station is 123 km. There are around 100 trains which stop here so that tourists can visit Gangtok easily.
Some of the trains that stop at Aluabari Road Junction are:
- Rnc Njp Special (08629)
- Mahananda Express (15484)
- New Jalpaiguri Howrah Ac Express (22310)
- Kanchanjunga Express (15657)
- Kamrup Express (15960)
Download railway food app, RailRestro for online food delivery in trains and stay updated about any train’s PNR status, train schedule, as well as train running status.
3. Dhupguri Railway Station (DQG)
Dhupguri station is located in Jalpaiguri district. It is 184 km away from Gangtok City. Dhupguri railway station falls under Northeast Frontier Railway Zone. There are many trains which stop at Dhupguri railway station from where you can go to Gangtok by bus or taxi. The station code of Dhupguri railway station is DQG.
Some of the famous trains pass through the Dhupguri station are:
- Hwh Ghy Special (02501)
- Testa Torsa Express (13141)
- Uttar Banga Express (13147)
- Avadh Assam Express (15910)
- Brahmputra Mail (14055)
Related: Check online live train status and get accurate details about the real-time train running status.
Top Things to Do in Gangtok
From sightseeing in Gangtok to adventures trekking, there are so many activities for visitors to enjoy in Gangtok. The cold climate, stunning beauty and majestic views of Gangtok attract tourists from across the world.
Tourist attractions in Gangtok include beautiful rivers, snow-capped mountains and lush greenery and more.
Here are some of the popular tourist places to visit in Gangtok and top things to do there:
1. Seven Sisters Waterfall – Soak in the Beauty of Nature
One of the best things to do in Gangtok is to visit the incredible Seven Sisters Waterfall. There are seven waterfalls of various sizes that stream side by side. The scene is spectacularly mesmerizing. During the monsoons, all the seven waterfalls fiercely come down the mountain and create huge waves below.
The destination is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the view. You can organize a picnic with your beloved ones to spend a beautiful day surrounded by natural beauty.
Location: NH, 32 km from Gangtok.
Timing: May – July
2. Nathu La Pass – Embrace the Serenity
If you want to do adventurous things in Gangtok, then you must visit the Nathu La Pass. It is situated at a height of 14,150 feet. The area offers a glorious view of the snowy mountains. The border of India-China is only a few meters away from the Nathu La Pass. You can spot the soldiers of both countries guarding the border.
The views from the second highest mountain pass are fabulous. En route you will come across two beautiful locations – the Jhakri Waterfalls and the stunning glacial lake, Tsomgo Lake.
Location: 52 km from Gangtok
Charge: Rs. 200/person
Timing: 8 AM – 3:30 PM, Wednesday – Sunday
3. Goecha La – Romantic Treks in the Himalayas
Goecha La is the highest mountain pass in Sikkim, India in the Himalaya range. The south-east side of Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s 3rd highest mountain, can be viewed from the pass. Trekking in Gangtok becomes even more exciting because views of the high mountains and green valley from the top are breathtaking.
Charge: Approx Rs. 16,500/person
Duration: Around 10 days
Shopping in Gangtok
MG Road, New Market, Lal Bazaar, and Buddha Park of Ravangla are the best shopping markets in Gangtok during a journey. It is not possible to think of returning without stuffing your luggage with Tibetan Carpets, Stones, Silver Jewelry, Hand-Woven Jackets, Choksee, and many more. You can buy Sikkim Tea, Sikkimese Liquor, Thangkas and Masks, and also shop local handicrafts of Sikkim and many more things in the city. Its diverse culture and lovely traditions are well reflected through the many items that this place offers, which people can take home as souvenirs or gifts.
The Best Time to Visit Gangtok, Sikkim
The best time to visit Gangtok is from September to June. These autumn and spring-summer seasons experience a pleasant climate which is ideal for sightseeing.
- Winter in Gangtok (October-February) offers a panoramic view of the surrounding hills crowned by shimmering white snow.
- Summer in Gangtok (March-June) is relaxing with this hillside town experiencing cosy temperatures from March to June that hardly exceed above 23 degree Celsius. It is also a notable time to explore the northern as well as the western parts of this hill station.
- Monsoon in Gangtok (July-September) is better to avoid visiting Gangtok and the state of Sikkim during the monsoon season since the heavy rainfall leads to landslides which may cause a lot of inconveniences.
Hotels in Gangtok
Gangtok is a popular tourist destination for couples and for accommodation, you can choose budget-friendly or luxury hotels and resorts. Some of the famous hotels are The Royal Heritage (Heritage Hotel), Mayfair Resort and Spa (Spa, Casino and Resort), Lemon Tree Hotel (5 Stars), Hotel New Orchid (4 Stars), Aurora Gangtok (3 stars), Samaya Hotel (2 stars) and Tiara Regency (1 star).
Local Food Options in Gangtok
The ‘Taste of Tibet’ is the famous eat-out option in MG Road, Gangtok. It is the best place to enjoy local foods of Gangtok. Few menu items to try are Phashapa, Thenthuk, Churrpi, Sel Roti, Momo, and more. Cafe Culture is the best place to spend some relaxing time having excellent Indian and Asian dishes.
Festivals in Gangtok
Gangtok is known for its cultural diversity. Local people of Gangtok celebrate festivals and paint the city with a million vibrant colours that attract local peoples as well as tourists from all over the world. The festival includes many folks dances, music, competitions, colourful clothes, and the list is endless. There are many Sikkim festivals that you can enjoy while on a trip to this fantastic destination of Gangtok.
Top 5 Sikkim Festivals are:
- Losoong Festival
- Sonam Lhochhar Festival
- Ram Navami
- Saga Dawa
- Indrajatra Festival
Also Read: International Flower Festival at Gangtok
These festivals show the living style and cultural practices of this place.