Crazy Things to Do in Gangtok – Sikkim
If beauty or serenity has to be described in one word, it has to be Gangtok without any second thought! Soaked with the captivating beauty of the spectacular Khangchendzonga and other several Himalayan peaks, the capital of the North-Eastern state Sikkim, this hilly city is something more than a paradise for its visitors!
It is in this city, one can find the first litter & spit free zone in the country. The various natural colours that reflects in this city, makes it one of the beautiful places to visit in India. The leisure experiences, sightseeing places, things to do or the adventure activities in Gangtok, makes it a must visit place not just in the country, but also in the entire world.
One city, multiple options; Gangtok has all the charms. Here’s what you can do while on a trip to this magnificent capital city of Sikkim:
1. Get an Adrenaline Kick while River Rafting in Teesta:
Making its way through Gangtok, the splashing waves of the Teesta River allures the adrenaline junkies to challenge the ghastly waves! With rapids of grade I-IV+, this gurgling river, while passing through Sikkim’s capital city offers some of the most enthralling river rafting destinations.
One such destination is the Makha town beside Gangtok. A circuit of around 11-km, rafting starts from this quaint little town and continues till Rangpo through Sirwani. Above all, what attracts the adrenaline junkies for river rafting in Gangtok is the astounding views while challenging and manoeuvring the ferocious rapids of Teesta River.
2. Yak Safari to the Pristine Tsongmo Lake:
Remember the story of the tortoise and the rabbit we learnt during our school days? If not, here is what the story teaches us: slow and steady, wins the race! And to experience this, you must take a Yak Safari in Gangtok.
Though a yak rides slowly on the gentle and steep slopes, a ride from Gangtok to the enchanting Tsongmo Lake is an experience that outlooks any of the activities in the vicinity. Taking you through the curvy, rugged and challenging terrains of Gangtok, a Yak Safari allows you time to absorb the fascinating colours and true beauty of this region!
3. Paragliding in Gangtok:
If you have to get introduced to the real and magical beauty, all you need to do is to take a flight over the city! And to accomplish this, you should directly head towards Luing Resithang, which lies within a close proximity to Gangtok’s Khel Gaon; eastern part of the city.
Opened to public in 2010, though this location is one of the newest in entire Sikkim, the charm and appeal it holds, can hardly be matched by other destinations. So, what you waiting for? Take a flight over this picturesque city and enjoy its aerial views like never before!
4. Enjoy Gangtok’s Bird’s Eye View from a Ropeway Cable Ride:
If you happen to take a trip to Sikkim, but you miss the ropeway cable ride over Gangtok, you will miss an opportunity of your lifetime! A 1-km zigzag ropeway ride that originates from Deorali and takes the visitors to Tashling, this ride offers the most stunning aerial views of this magnificent city.
Not just the city, but one can also enjoy breath-taking views of the Khangchendzonga over this 7-minute ride; providing the weather remains clear.
5. Attend the International Flower Festival, Gangtok:
“April showers bring May flowers”; and to witness this, you must visit Gangtok or the capital of Sikkim during the month of May! It is during this month, the entire city gets decorated in bright and enticing colours and lures the nature lovers from different parts of the globe.
Ranging from local to flowers from other parts of the worlds, exotic and enchanting orchids to seasonal flowers, varieties of roses to alpine creepers; this festival showcases everything that you can think of! Also, during this festival, the entire city attracts the foodies and become a gastronomic delight for them. Well, this year, the International Flower Festival will be held on 1st-30th May.
6. Visit Monasteries:
A popular pilgrimage for the Buddhists, Gangtok also attracts thousands of devotees from all over the country. Home to Enchey and Rumtek Monastery, Do-drul Chorten and Rumtek Monastery, the divinity and spirituality this city holds is truly remarkable.
Originally built in 1840, the Enchey Monastery was honoured by Lama Drupthob Karpo, a pious devotee who is believed to have flying powers. The Rumtek Monastery was built during 1700 and is now a major Tibetab Buddhism learning centre in the whole coutry. On the other hand, built in 1945, the Do-drul Chorten is one of the Stupas that contain ancient Buddhist relics and makes for a major tourist attractions in Gangtok.
7. Shopping in MG Marg:
In India, no matter which city you are in, you will always be in and around at least a road named after Mahatma Gandhi; the Father of our Nation! And in this race, why would Gangtok stay behind? The MG Marg or ‘Mahatma Gandhi Marg’ in Sikkim’s capital city is in fact the first road, where littering or spiting can result into severe punishment!
Jotted with colourful souvenir shops, cafes and places to eat, a visit to this road will get you closer to the indigenous cultures, colourful traditions and the local delicacies of Sikkim. And if you happen to be in this bustling corners of this road in December, you can revel around the ‘Gangtok Food and Culture Festival’, which is a riot of delicious as well as the authentic cuisines of Sikkim.
8. Visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology:
We might have made it to the Mars, but finding a place that is free from jealousy, treachery and all the human gimmicks might sound impossible to us! Well, finding such a place might be difficult, but is not impossible if you are on a trip to Gangtok!
Sprawling around scenic sylvan surroundings and built in traditional Tibetan architecture, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, is one such destination that is free from all the evils of the society. Home to some of the ancient relics, paintings, scriptures and murals, this Buddhism learning centre is known for its purity, serenity and peace!
9. Visit the Nathula Pass:
One of the most scenic journeys in Gangtok, a drive to the Nathula Pass is something that is included in most of the Gangtok tour packages or Sikkim tour packages. Situated at a height of 14,140ft above the sea level, this enthralling pass is one of the highest mountain pass in the world and was a part of the ancient ‘Silk Route’.
Though the pass was closed in 1962, it was later reopened in 2006. On the journey to this pass, you can also witness some of the hidden lakes, diverse range of flora and fauna, local shepherds with their sheep, yak and goats. If luck favours, you can also spot endangered species like snow leopards, Tibetan wolf, golden eagle and several others.
10. Sightseeing in Gangtok:
It is said that beauty lies in the eyes of the observers! Even if this is true, the mesmerising beauty and grandeurs of Gangtok will prove this wrong! Doesn’t matter when, with whom or how many times you visit this gorgeous city, you will definitely fall for it! Especially when you go for a sightseeing tour in Gangtok, in no ways, you can resist its charm.
And in case, you are running out of time, you can simply visit the Ganesh Tok or Tashi View Points in Gangtok and enjoy the opulent beauty of the city. Just a pleasant warning: don’t forget to pinch yourself; these are the spots where dream is no different from the reality!