Gangtok | India
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Gangtok is a bustling, friendly hill station, and the capital of the Himalayan state of Sikkim. The name Gangtok is derived from the Tibetan word for 'hillside,' and the city has a population of around 100,000 (2012) being a mixture of indigenous Sikkimese and people of Nepalese and Tibetan ancestry.

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Planning a Trip

1 Get in 1.1 By plane 1.2 By train 1.3 By road By plane 27.2280555688.587777781 Pakyong Airport (PYG IATA), 35 km south in the town of Pakyong, was opened 2018 and is the first airport in Sikkim. Bagdogra Airport (IXB IATA) is farther away, roughly 14 km from Siliguri and 120 km from Gangtok, but offers more flight connections. It is served by direct flights from Kolkata and New Delhi. From the Bagdogra airport you have two options to reach Gangtok: You can hire a taxi or cab to reach at Gangtok: a lovely highway passing through beautiful scenery, waterfall and mountains will take you there. Sikkim Helicopter Service (STDC Helicopter), ☎ +91 3592-203960. A helicopter flies once a day from Bagdogra to Gangtok, departing around 14:30 and taking 35 minutes. The return flight departs Gangtok at 11:00 in the morning. Pre-booking required, as it carries only 8 passengers. ₹3,500 per person, paid by bank transfer. (updated Nov 2016) By train The nearest train station to Gangtok is New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri which has direct connections to New Delhi, Kolkata, and other major cities in India. It is a 10-12 hour journey from Kolkata. Once you arrive in New Jalpaiguri, you can either hire a taxi from the station itself or take an auto-rickshaw to the Siliguri bus stand. From there, you have the option of travelling to Gangtok by state bus, roughly a 5-6 hour journey. By road The roads in the area are all winding mountain roads in poor condition. The average travel speed between Gangtok and other cities is around 30 km/h. Shared jeeps connect Gangtok to Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and other mountain locales. Jeeps leave when full and are filled up by priority order so the price is generally fixed. Jeeps to Namchi, a nearby tourist destination with many holy sites, costs around ₹110 and takes about 3 hours. Jeeps to Kalimpong cost ₹120 and are available from Deorali (or Mainline) Bus Stand, distance of around 80 km and time around 3.5 hours. Fare of the shared taxis is generally fixed, around ₹155 to Gangtok from NJP station. Drivers might try to charge high so check for the fare with other taxis before taking one.

Gangtok

Getting Around

Entry permits to Sikkim As of May 2015, it is still necessary to obtain a Restricted Area Permit (also known as Inner Line Permit - ILP) for foreigners to travel in Sikkim. The permit is a piece of paper containing your passport data and dates you are permitted to travel (typically, 15 days). When entering and exiting Sikkim, your passport will be stamped much in the same manner as when crossing national borders. Obtaining a permit is a pure bureaucratic formality and usually takes a few minutes. You will need to fill in an application form and provide a few passport photos (3 to visit tsomgo Lake in East and 3 to visit North Sikkim. The permit can be obtained when crossing the Sikkim state border by road in Rangpo or Meili. Sikkim Inner like permit for travel form is available online for Sikkim travel and tour https://sikkimtraveltour.com and from Sikkim Tourism Center in Siliguri located at the S.N.T. bus stand (the place from which government buses depart for Sikkim: S.N.T. means "Sikkim Nationalized Transport") in the vicinity of Siliguri Junction railway station (different from New Jalpaiguri station, and reachable from there by taxi/public shared taxi). The website of Ministry of Home Affairs states that permits can also be obtained at large international airports (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata), but locating the relevant facilities has proven difficult for some travellers, due to incompetence of personnel. Permits can also be applied for at the time of Indian visa application, or at 14 Panchsheel Marg, New Delhi 110021 (011 26115346) and 4/1 Middleton Street, Kolkata 700071 (033 22817905). Within India Inner Line Permits may be issued by: Sikkim House, 12-14 Panchsheet Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi (Tel.011-2611 5346), Sikkim Tourist Centre, SNTC Bus Stand, Hill Cart Road, Silguri (Tel.0354-251 2646), Sikkim Tourist Information Centre, Sikkim House, 4/1 Middleton St., Kolkata (Tel. 033-2281 7905) Foreign Regional Registration Office in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Darjeeling. The permit is valid for 2 weeks from the border entry to Sikkim. It can by extended for 2 additional weeks at the Foreigners' Registration Office, Kazi Road, Ganngtok (Tel. 03592-223041) or from the police station at Mangan, Gyalshing or Namchi The Inner Line Permit allows travels in Southern Sikkim and great parts of Eastern and Western Sikkim with the exception of treks in high mountain areas. For the border regions, e.g. Tsomogo Lake in East Sikkim, most parts of North Sikkim and treks into high mountain regions, including Dzongri and Singalila Ridge a Protected Area Permit (PAP) is required. Foreigners must visit these regions in groups of at least 2 persons accompanied by a representative of an officially acknowledged tour operator. The agency will also apply for the Protected Area Permits. Certain regions, e.g. Nathu La in East Sikkim or Gurudongman Lake in North Sikkim, cannot be visited by foreigners.

Gangtok

Things to do

Kanchenjunga seen from Tashi View Point Gangtok provides beautiful views of the surrounding valleys and hills. There are also several viewpoints near the city with views of Kanchenjunga ranges. Lake Tsomgo, a popular and scenic lake around 40 km from Gangtok at an elevation of 3,780 m. make sure to see Hanuman Tok and Ganesh Tok along the way, monasteries with views of Kanchenjunga.Enchey Monastery is a 200-year-old monastery in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, located above Gangtok, just off the road to Lake Tsomgo. Rumtek Monastery and Ranka Monastery. Rumtek Monastery, 15 km from Gangtok, is one of the most famous things to see near Gangtok. Ranka Monastery, 20 km from Gangtok, is newer and quieter but also very beautiful. Nearby Ranka Monastery is the Kanchenjunga Tourist Complex, a combination hotel and family amusement park. Mahatma Gandhi Marg (MG Marg) is a pedestrian only avenue which forms the main shopping district. Near the main entrance of MG Marg is the tourist information office and a taxi stand, the final destination of many taxis from other parts of the city. Do-drul Chorten, a Buddhist stupa complex constructed in 1945. (Deorali district at the bottom of Gangtok) Dodrupchen Monastery is a monastery in the Nyingma tradition, famous for its large chorten. When in residence, Dodrupchen Rinpoche receives devotees to offer blessings from around 20:00 to 21:30. Flower show (1818 m), Ridge Park (Ridge Park Complex). 10:00-17:00. Near the White-Hall, flower show is at its best during the flowering season which is mid March to end of May in spring and October to mid December in autumn. The annual Cymbidium Orchid Show is from mid March to mid April. ₹10. (updated Jul 2016) 27.31588.60561 Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Deorali, e-mail: tibetologyinfo@gmail.com. Mo-Sa 10:00-16:00. A museum and library dedicated to Tibetan culture, language and history. It was inaugurated by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1957.   (updated Jul 2018)

Gangtok