Gangtok, located in northeast India, is frequently referred to as the “Gateway to Sikkim.” Gangtok means “hilltop,” which is appropriate given the town’s location. Sikkim’s capital city is one of India’s most beautiful hill stations.
This Northeast paradise will enchant all of your senses. There is no shortage of fun things to do in Gangtok, including trekking, hiking, camping, boat trips, and river rafting. Furthermore, there are a variety of activities and things to do in Gangtok that draw a significant number of tourists all year long.
The area is rich in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist culture, and several monasteries exist to explore. Other sports peculiar to the area, such as yak safari, paragliding, and ropeway rides, are among the most adventurous things to do in Gangtok.
We’ve put up a comprehensive list of the best Gangtok tourist attractions for you to have a wholesome vacation. Before your Gangtok trip, check out the must-do activities in Sikkim’s capital city.
1. Yak Safari
Taking a Yak safari, a huge mountain animal is one of the most important and distinctive things to do in Gangtok. The joyride can be experienced in any of the three locations where the activity is arranged. You may try it in the Dzongri region or at Tsomgo Lake.
Tsomgo Lake is one of the tourist destinations located 40 km from Gangtok. The area features a market and snow-covered mountains on one side. Yak safari is unquestionably an unforgettable experience you should not miss. These gentle and fragile creatures are covered in a lengthy hair to protect them from the chilly climates in which they live.
The Yaks in this area have been enhanced with colorful mats and strips glued to their horns. Each Yak has a tutor who will control the animal while you ride it.
It is one of the most enjoyable experiences you will have. Yak safari is one of the most tranquil activities in Gangtok city.
2. Tashi View Point
On a clear day, you may enjoy magnificent views of the towering Kanchenjunga from the Tashi Viewpoint (7.9 Km). It is one of the most touristy things to do in Gangtok. This location is well-known for its sunrises and sunsets and provides a breathtaking view of the Himalayan Mountains.
Come here to enjoy the dawn and sunset, as well as the breathtaking perspective of the city. Don’t be put off by the throng since the views of the city and the distant snow-capped mountains are extremely wonderful. You can also view the Labrang and Phodong monasteries, two of the oldest places to visit.
Tashi View Point is best visited between March and June when the weather is mild. You may look closer at the captivating peaks, Phodong and Labrang Monasteries, and the binoculars or telescopes available here for Rs. 10. There is a great cafeteria where you can eat snacks and drink hot tea while admiring the snow-covered mountains.
3. Seven Sisters Waterfalls
Are you not an adrenaline junkie? Pack a picnic basket and travel to the Seven Sisters Waterfalls in North Sikkim, a stunning cascade of water that cascades down the rock face in three unique tiers. The waterfalls are flanked on all sides by trees, along with beauty and wonderful weather.
The location of Seven Sisters Waterfall is ideal for unwinding and taking in the scenery. The scene gets even more stunning when the sun sets. The falls are around 32 km from Gangtok and are popular with picnickers and tourists who enjoy the falls from two observation platforms.
4. Nathu La Pass
Nathu La Pass, located at an elevation of 4300 meters, is one of three connections between India and China that is a part of the old Silk Road. It’s one of the country’s most beautiful highways for mountain biking. A few meters away, you can also see the gated Indo-China border, which both Indian and Chinese soldiers guard.
On a clear day, you can view Mt. Chomolhari and ascend a flight of stairs to see the actual boundary and an army memorial. Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir are generally included in the itinerary.
5. Cable Car Ride
This kilometer-long zig-zag thrill cable ride begins in Deorali and ends in Tashiling. It is a double-cable zig-zag cable car ropeway with a maximum capacity of 24 passengers per cable car. It is one of the most famous things to do in Gangtok and a top-rated Gangtok town tourist attraction, providing a bird’s eye view on the cable ride of the city’s old and colorful culture.
You need to stand in the cable car ride as there are no seats. The one-kilometer ride (2 kilometers round trip) features three stations: Deorali (near the Institute of Tibetology), Namnang, and Tashiling (near the Secretariat).
6. Himalayan Zoological Park
Gangtok town, the capital city of Sikkim, is heaven on earth for all animals, nature enthusiasts, and lovers of adventurous things. One of the most beautiful zoological parks is located in Bulbulay (east Sikkim) at an elevation of 1780 meters.
The Himalayan Zoological Park is notable not just for the animals it shelters but also for the breathtaking vistas of Mount Kanchenjunga. One of the things to do in Gangtok is to explore the park and look for wildlife.
The Himalayan Zoological Park first opened its doors in 1991. This zoo is unlike any other that one has visited. This zoological park’s primary goal is to keep the species secure and regular while they dwell in their natural habitat.
The Himalayan Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bear, Snow Leopard Cat, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Goral, Crimson-horned Pheasant, and many other creatures may be seen in this Zoological Park. A cafe, a gift store, a watchtower, washrooms, and different drinking water spots are also available in the zoo.
7. Helicopter Ride through Sikkim
A helicopter ride in Sikkim provides an aerial view of the Himalayan peaks and is one of the greatest things to do in Gangtok. It is an opportunity to feast your eyes on the magnificence of the whole city.
The raised structure of snow-capped mountains, valleys, canals, and woods will captivate you throughout the flight. See Gangtok from above and get a bird’s eye view of the city. You may even take a helicopter ride above religious communities to appreciate their wonderful beauty and worldliness.
The Valley of Flowers helicopter adventure would be the greatest. There may be certain photographic rules; according to the Ministry of Defense, photography may be prohibited in some areas.
8. Mountain Biking
In Gangtok, mountain bikers are treated with the pleasures of the arduous routes that have evolved into a biker’s dream. Mountain biking in Gangtok is one of the top exciting things to do in Gangtok for adventure lovers, with courses that stimulate adrenaline and provide a lot of thrill along with covering tourist attractions.
The duration of the activity ranges from four days to a full-fledged 15-day trekking and bike adventure. Most paths allow you to enjoy the finest Gangtok’s woods, villages, monasteries, rivers, waterfalls, and wildlife. Take in the scent as you ride past cardamom fields.
Paragliding is one of the most exciting things to do in Gangtok. Tourists worldwide travel to Gangtok to partake in this pastime. We were not born with wings but had always desired to soar. We can now do these adventure sports in Gangtok.
Consider yourself flying over spectacular views of nature’s wonders, snow-covered slopes and hills, rivers, meadows, and woods. That is precisely how it feels when paragliding in Gangtok.
While paragliding, you may enjoy and admire picturesque views of the gorgeous Himalayas, streams, and deep woods. You can select between a medium flight at the height of 1400 meters and a high flight at an elevation of 2000 meters.
A paragliding specialist will walk you through the process to guarantee that the ride is completed safely.
10. Tsuk La Khang Monastery
Gangtok, especially Sikkim, is highly recognized for its monasteries, among other important destinations. They are thousands of years old and shelter some of the oldest living disciples of the Lord Buddha. A visit here is a must on the list of things to do in Gangtok.
For architectural and history buffs, a day tour covering the famed monasteries is one of the top things to do in Gangtok in June. The Tsuk La Khang Monastery, one of the popular places to visit, is part of the Royal Palace complex and overlooks the massive mountain range.
This monastery is a two-story structure with a large collection of Buddhist writings. Every nook of this monastery is embellished with wooden carvings in the shape of a Snow Lion’s Head. Murals and altars adorn the monastery’s walls. This is one of Buddhists’ most important sites of prayer and assembly.
11. Teesta River
In one of the finest stretches on the Teesta River, whitewater river rafting is one of the amazing things to do in Gangtok! Thunder down the Teesta’s rapids, take in the breathtaking sights of the deep, dense forests with lush greenery that border its banks, and bring back some incredible stories to share and relive.
Teesta River has its value in Gangtok and the entire province of Sikkim. An experience here is a must on the list of things to do in Gangtok.
This river, Teesta, is rather long, and a few sections provide the ideal open water for boating. The rapid flow of water amidst the twists and curves is ideal for river rafting. River Teesta is suitable for both expert and inexperienced rafters.
The trained coordinators will help you throughout the procedure to ensure your safety. You will also be provided with essential river rafting equipment. Aside from river rafting, you may also spend some time boating here.
12. Tsongmo Lake
Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake, is a glacier lake in East Sikkim, around 40 km from Gangtok. The lake’s height jumps from 5000 (Gangtok) feet to 10,000 feet in 15 kilometers, making it one of the most thrilling places to visit ever.
The sheer splendor of nature is reason enough to visit Tsomgo Lake. The beautiful glacial lake, about a kilometer long, is surrounded by majestic silver firs and pine trees.
The lake’s waters change color with the seasons, from sapphire blue in the spring to a dark inky green as winter approaches. It is definitely one of the things to do in Gangtok.
The lake is shrouded in mists during the monsoon season, adding to its eerie atmosphere. Spring brings color to the lake’s pristine surrounds with various flora.
The region is teeming with wildlife, including rose finches, yellow-bellied fantail flycatchers, golden eagles, and a slew of migratory species, including tufted pochards, brown-headed gulls, and the infamous Brahminy ducks.
Tsomgo Lake is surrounded by gorgeous mountains and provides tourists with unparalleled tranquillity. It is, without a doubt, one of the nicest lakes in Sikkim.
However, if you’re lucky, you could see musk deers, gorals, or red pandas in Tsomgo’s upper range. There have also been reports of leopard and Himalayan black bear sightings.
13. Lal Bazaar
Lal Bazaar is a local retail complex in Gangtok where you can get a large range of merchandise from various categories. Locals flock here to buy bargains, and farmers and vendors sell their things all around. Among the many things to do in Gangtok, this is a fun experience. You may go around and buy items to take with you. Try some fast snacks and the famed “alu-cheura” on the first level of Lal Bazar Kanchenjunga Shopping Complex while at Lal Bazaar Gangtok.
Also, taste the local food in numerous tiny, fast food establishments, such as thukpa, momos, momo chilly, momo fries, sel-roti, faley, and so on. Of course, one of the most important things to do in Gangtok is to taste the local cuisine.
14. Ganesh Tok
Ganesh Tok is a renowned viewpoint in Gangtok and a small temple. The Kanchenjunga mountain can be seen in all its glory from here, especially in the morning. The modest cottage on top of a hill has breathtaking views.
The Ganesh Tok viewpoint, located 6500 meters above sea level, offers stunning views of the snow-covered Himalayas. Even so, the temple (dedicated to Lord Ganesh) is so small that it cannot hold more than one person at a time. The magnificent setting takes you closer to Mother Nature with its unusual surroundings and calming environment.
You’ll have to remove your shoes and wash your hands before entering the shrine. There is also a lounge and a patio right in front of the temple, which serves as the place’s main attraction.
Ganesh Tok is surrounded by hills, terrain, and stunning mountains. It is so congested that worshippers are forced to worship Lord Ganesha on all fours.
Hanuman Tok, named after Lord Hanuman, is located near Ganesh Tok at an elevation of 7200 feet. Eleven kilometers from Gangtok, this place gives a spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga range. The temple has religious importance and provides a serene environment. It is well-known for granting the wishes of its believers.
Ganesh Tok should be visited at least once to appreciate its beauty and escape daily life’s monotony. It is ideal for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
15. Yumthang Valley
Yumthang Valley in North Sikkim is 140 kilometers north of Gangtok and is among the top things to do in Gangtok. This rare and exotic region with hot springs, rivers, yaks, and beautiful green meadows is known as the ‘Valley of Flowers.’
This gorgeous valley, located at a height of 3564 meters, is perfect for nature lovers searching for nature walks. Since it houses the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, which has over 24 types of Rhododendron blooms (the state flower) from late February to mid-June.
On the approach to Yumthang Valley, you may enjoy flowing waterfalls, streams, and a spectacular view of the peaks Pauhunri and Shundu Tsenpa.
Yumthang Valley is closed to tourists from December to March due to heavy snowfall. Apart from the beautiful green meadows, the area is a dense forest of pine and silver fir. Yumthang Valley is home to numerous hot springs, popular with tourists for their amazing healing properties.
16. Goecha La Trek
There is no better way to see North Sikkim than by ascending the breathtaking Goecha La Trek, one of the Himalayan ranges. This popular trek takes you to some spectacular landscapes of the Himalayan ranges, surrounded by fresh cold breeze and silence in the wilderness. This trek is different and worth cherishing because you can see Kanchenjunga and the other 14 big summits like Mt. Pandim, Mt. Thingchinkhang, and Mt. Jopuno. Now that’s a lot of eyes popping and rubbernecking!
It may seem enticing and pleasant, but the Himalayas are notorious for their severe weather, and this journey is often regarded as moderate to challenging. Goecha La is a popular trekking location in Sikkim and the higher mountains of Bengal and North-East India.
The duration of the complete trek is around 11 days, filled with amazing views and experiences. I believe it will be an exciting adventure and a better approach to book one of the Sikkim tour packages available after researching and finding the best one for you.
17. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a significant Tibetan institute that encourages and conducts a study in Tibetan language, art, religion, and culture.
Its structure has traditional Tibetan architecture set among the lush flora, making it a spectacular tourist sight. A visit here is a must on the list of things to do in Gangtok.
It is adorned with golden-lined towers, vivid frescos, charming paintings, and a slew of windows on the top level that view gorgeous sun-lit mountains and natural landscapes.
The Tibetan library on the first level houses one of the world’s greatest collections of Tibetan archives and literature.
The towering picture of Manjushri, ‘the Bodhisattva of wisdom,’ is the center of interest here which was imported from Tibet. The late King of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal, donated the institute land, giving rise to the institute’s name.
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is located 2 kilometers from Gangtok town. The 14th Dalai Lama placed the foundation stone for the institute on 10 February 1957. It was opened on 1 October 1958 by India’s late Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The institute is a short walk from the Deorali Bazaar Ropeway Station and the Deorali taxi stop.
A cab will take you here in 10 to 15 minutes. If one enjoys walking, it is within walking distance.
18. Ban Jhakri Falls Park
A waterfall is a great place to spend a few hours away from the rush and activity of Gangtok’s town.
Banjhakri Falls also serves as an Energy Park and is ideal for a picnic or a leisurely stroll through nature. The park is spread over 2 acres of forestland and has a man-made lake, gazebos, paved walks, and a footbridge.
The park is themed on the tale of Ban Jhakri, a shamanic deity supposed to be the god of the forest and the originator of Nepali shamanism.
The Banjhakri Falls is fed by freshwater springs higher up in the highlands. The park’s crowning beauty adds to the natural aesthetic value of the tourist attraction.
The park is around 6 kilometers from Gangtok town and can be reached in about 30 minutes by hiring a local cab from the market area. Because the park is on the road to Ranka hamlet, you may visit it after seeing the Ranka Monastery.
The entrance charge is 50 Rupees. But if you have a camera, you must pay an additional price for shooting within the park grounds.
19. Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, which borders Nepal on the west and Tibet on the north, is one of Sikkim’s most intriguing and significant areas. This Reserve is one of the world’s 34 biodiversities, housing one of the highest ecosystems.
Khangchendzonga has gained a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list due to its massive natural forests and economic activities like agriculture, livestock husbandry, poultry farming, and much more.
This Reserve has strong cultural significance and encompasses a large area of land and mountains, as well as mountains, peaks, lakes, shrines, stupas, hot springs, caves, and much more.
Aside from these wonders, the Reserve is home to rare, unique species of enticing flora.
20. Pemayangtse Monastery
Pemayangtse Monastery, the main monastery of the Nyingma sect, is located around 2 kilometers from Pelling (one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism). With just over a hundred monks, this monastery is sparsely inhabited.
Snow-capped mountains and a tranquil valley sprinkled with beautiful clouds surround the monastery.
It also has excellent paintings, sculptures, and statues of many deities in the main structure, which is a big draw for visitors.
Make sure to visit the official website for Sikkim tourism to note further details on your trip. Have an amazing time with magnificent views in Gangtok town.