The stunning landscapes surrounding the most popular places to visit in Gangtok consist of snow-laden highlands, sparkling lakes, and lush valleys. But the magical aura of the hills is not limited to just the capital city of Sikkim. It goes way beyond the city borders and extend up to some amazingly stunning places to visit near Gangtok.
1. Namchi: A magnificent Sikkimese city
Literally translated as the ‘top of the sky’, Namchi is one of the best beautiful places to visit near Gangtok that offers startling view of the Ranjit Valley and the Khangchendzonga range. The destination is famed for quite a few heritage monasteries, Buddhist pilgrim centres, and a life-size idol of Guru Padmasambhava. It is due to these attractions that the religious town is visited by devotees round the year.
Distance from Gangtok: 31 km
Major attractions: Choling Monastery, Ngadak monastery, and Rock Garden
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Visit Sikkim and explore Yumthang valley, Tsomgo Lake, Gangtok, Nathula Pass, and Pelling. Experience peace and tranquility while exploring Buddhist monasteries, snow-capped mountains, and wildlife sanctuaries. Book packages inclusive of airport transfers, cab, resort, sightseeing, and meals.
2. Yuksom: The meeting place of the 3 lamas
The former capital of Sikkim, Yuksom is among most beautiful tourist places near Gangtok. This quaint hamlet promises pristine beauty and serenity to tourists & locals alike. The hamlet houses Dubdi Gompa – the oldest monastery of Sikkim – and many other monasteries and stupas. The religious hill town is also a heaven for the trekking enthusiasts and is undeniably one of the best places to visit near Gangtok.
Distance from Gangtok: 38 km
Major attractions: Royal palace of Tashi Tenka, monastery of Kathok Wodsalin Gompa, and Norbugang Park
3. Tsomgo Lake: The sparkling glacial lake
Perched at 12,400 feet on the Gangtok-Nathula highway, Tsomgo Lake – or Changu Lake as it is locally popular as – is one of the highest & most famous lakes in India. This glacial lake that remains completely frozen during winter is certainly one of the most spectacular places to see near Gangtok. People love to indulge in yak rides & ice skating here or enjoy piping hot tea & instant noodles from the surrounding food kiosks.
Distance from Gangtok: 38 km
Major attractions: Blue & yellow poppies, Primulas flowers, and Brahminy ducks
4. Nathula Pass: Festooned with stunning scenery
Counted among the highest motorable roads in the world, Nathu La pass is located at 14,450 feet above the sea level; which makes it one of the must-visit places to visit around Gangtok . This famous corridor is a part of the historical Silk Route, connecting India and Tibet. Nathu La is open for Indians only from Wednesday to Sunday and one needs to take entry permit from the tourism department zonal office in advance. The war memorial and the exhibition centre of Indian Army are the major highlights here.
Distance from Gangtok: 52 km
Major attractions: Walking along the international border of India and China and yak safari
5. Ravangla: A picture-postcard destination
Snuggled between Tendong Hills and Maenam, Ravangla overjoys every tourist with tranquility of nature, peace, and jaw-dropping beauty of Himalayas. The hamlet, adorned with aromatic tea estates and monasteries, surely finds its name in the list of beautiful places to visit near Gangtok.
Distance from Gangtok: 64 km
Major attractions: Birds such as verditer flycatchers, babblers, blue whistling thrush, and dark-throated thrush
6. Zuluk: Unconventional and off-the-wall
A winding road with 32 hairpin bends will take you to Zuluk, one of the best places to visit near Gangtok. The picturesque hamlet of Zuluk is also a part of historical Silk Route and offers stunning view of Mount Kanchenjunga. Driving through this route is among most enthralling things to do near Gangtok, and this indeed attracts adventure-riders from across the world.
Distance from Gangtok: 91 km
Major attractions: Thambi Viewpoint and Nag Temple
7. Lachung: Come, explore, and fall in love with the riverside hamlet
Located at an elevation of 8,610 feet, Lachung is a quaint hamlet that is often described as the most picturesque village of Sikkim. The hamlet lies on the banks of the river by the same name and allures the foreigners & other tourists with its eternal charm, scenic beauty, and pristine landscape. The scenic splendor of this hamlet make it among the loveliest places to visit in Gangtok in October, or in fact any other month!
Distance from Gangtok: 102 km
Major attractions: Lachung monastery
8. Pelling: An adventurous wonderland with views to die for
One of the best places to visit in Sikkim, Pelling is adorned with sparkling waterfalls and lush green forests. But it has to be the amazing view of the mighty Himalayan ranges – including the Kanchenjunga Peak – from Pelling that will make your jaw drop in astonishment. Thanks to its easy connectivity this is among popular places to visit near Darjeeling and Gangtok.
Distance from Gangtok: 112 km
Major attractions: Adventure sports like rafting, kayaking, trekking, and mountain biking
9. Yumthang: The gorgeous flower valley near Gangtok
Yumthang is a charming valley near Gangtok. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Yumthang valley is a natural habitat to exotic & rare species of wild flowers like cobra lilies, primrose, and louseworts. For the best views of the color riot on the flower beds and enjoyable trekking experiences, one must visit this gorgeous valley during summer & spring seasons.
Distance from Gangtok: 127 km
Major attractions: Trekking up to Shiva temple amidst pine forest
10. Khecheopalri Lake: For wishes to come true
A nature lovers’ paradise, Khecheopalri Lake is one of the most popular religious places near Gangtok. Tourists, especially Hindus and Buddhists, visit this lake round the year or join the mass prayer during the 15th full-moon day of Lunar calendar (February-March) to make wishes. The lake, located amidst dense forests, is crystal clear and devoid of any leaves or other particles. It is believed, and has been reportedly sighted by many, that birds from the forests immediately remove any particle that drops on the water.
Distance from Gangtok: 133 km
Major attractions: Excursion to the closely Lepcha village
11. Phurchachu Reshi: Hot Springs loaded with medicinal values
Located by the River Ranjit near the Kadosangphu cave, Phurchachu Reshi Hot Spring is another famous tourist place in Sikkim. This thermal spring gushes out sulfur-rich water, which is said to have therapeutic values and skin disease healing properties.
Distance from Gangtok: 135 km
Major attractions: Hot water baths in the thermal springs to reinvigorate mind and body
12. Pemayangtse: Home to the second oldest monastery in Sikkim
Pemayangtse is a popular Buddhist religious center and houses a beautiful monastery by the same name. This 300-year-old monastery, raised in 1705 by Lama Lhatsun Chempo, comprises of a huge prayer hall, well-manicured garden, statues, paintings, and sculptures. The town is also the starting point for 46-km-long Dzongri trekking trail that goes through Khangchendzonga National Park.
Distance from Gangtok: 140 km
Major attractions: Pemayangtse monastery that houses the huge figure of Padmasambhava—the lotus born
So, which of these best places to visit near Gangtok is your favorite? Let us know in case we missed out on any of your favorite tourist places in this region. You can also explore some Sikkim-Gangtok-Darjeeling tour packages to add some other beautiful places near the town.
Further Read: 10 Beautiful Resorts In Gangtok
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