If you are a traveler, I bet you don’t need alcohol or weed to stay high. There are places on Earth that drug you enough to leave you stoned for a long time. Gangtok, Sikkim is one such place that sits pretty in the lap of the Himalayas and offers surreal sceneries that you can’t refuse. Besides sceneries, there is a wide range of things to do in Gangtok. From chilling at gorgeous hilltop hotels to sitting by the serene lakes and gushing waterfalls, there are ample things to enjoy during your trip to Gangtok that will catch your fancy instantaneously. Though the city doesn’t belong to the group of happening cities in India, these tourist attractions in Gangtok make it one of the most sought-after cities of Eastern India.
24 Things To Do In Gangtok In 2023
Check out the 24 essential activities that must be on top of your list while planning your itinerary to the capital city of Sikkim. Have a look at the craziest things to do in Gangtok and take your pick. Keep scrolling down and read all these interesting things!
- Cable Ride – Witness Gangtok At A Glance
- Yak Safari – Take A Closer Look At The Mountain Animal
- Mountain Biking – Satiate The Adrenaline Rush
- River Rafting – Meet The Waters Of Gangtok
- Paragliding – Feel Like You Are On Top Of The World
- M.G. Marg – Indulge In Local Cuisine
- Tashi View Point – Witness The Hues Of Sunset
- Lal Bazaar – Spend Some Bucks On Souvenirs
- Tsuk La Khang Monastery – Embrace The Tranquil Aura
- Hanuman Tok – Take A Walk Through History
- Pemayangtse Monastery – Pay Your Respects
- Rumtek Monastery – Witness The Jaw-Dropping Architecture
- Seven Sisters Waterfall – Get Refreshed
- Nathu La Pass – Soak In The Beauty
- Tsongmo Lake – Embrace The Serenity
- Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary- Explore The Nature
- Ranka Monastery – Feel The Essence Of Spirituality
- Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve- Get Closer To Nature
- Mt Katao- Try Your Hands On Skiing
- Menmecho Lake- Sit By The Pristine Waters
- Do Drul Chorten – Witness An Architectural Marvel
- Tashiding Monastery – Lose Yourself In Spell Binding Views
- Banjhakri Falls – Enjoy A Fairytale Adventure
- Himalayan Zoological Park – See TheWild Side Of Gangtok
1. Cable Ride – Witness Gangtok At A Glance
This is a kilometer of zig-zag thrill that starts from Deorali and takes the visitors to Tashiling. Offering a bird’s eye view of Gangtok, it is one of the most famous things to do in Gangtok city and top-rated among Gangtok tourist attractions.
It is a double-cable zig back ropeway, in which each cable car can carry up to 24 passengers only. There are no seats in the cable car, so you need to stand. The 1 km long ride (2 km to and fro) has three stations – the first station is at Deorali near the Institute of Tibetology; the next station is Namnang; and the topmost station is in Tashiling, close to the Secretariat.
You can disembark anywhere but a 2-way ride is highly recommended. The ticket price includes two-way ride and awesome views, both ways, are guaranteed. Further, this 7-minute ride is not limited to the complete city view only; if the weather is good, brace yourself for a glorious view of Khangchendzonga.
Timings: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Deorali, Gangtok
Charges: INR 110 per adult and INR 70 for child below 6 years (free below 3) | Video camera charges: INR 100 (additional)
2. Yak Safari – Take A Closer Look At The Mountain Animal
Yak Safari makes for a unique experience among all the top things to do in Gangtok. A ride that slowly and steadily takes you to places in and around Gangtok while you firmly hold on to the hump of this huge mountain animal. As you move through the craggy terrain, amid the angelic beauty of Sikkim, the joyride gets into you completely.
Organized in different parts of Sikkim, Yak Safari is an unforgettable and one of its kind experience. The popular trails are Dzongri area and Tsomgo lake. Go up the mountain for a ride around the Tsomgo Lake and dont miss a photo session atop the Yak!
You can plan your safari as per the duration of stay there. Usually, the yak safari comes in a 3 to 5-day itinerary which can be planned according to your availability.
Location: Dzongri, Gangtok
Suggested Read: Trip To Nathula Pass: A Once In A Lifetime Vacation Worth Taking
3. Mountain Biking – Satiate The Adrenaline Rush
Gangtok has been a treat to mountain bikers, thanks to the grueling tracks that have turned into a biker’s delight. One of the best things in Gangtok for adventure lovers, mountain biking in Gangtok boasts of routes that trigger adrenaline and offer a lot of thrill.
The complete activity ranges from a period as short as four days to full-fledged 15-day trekking as well as biking expedition. Most trails are carved out to help you experience the best of forests, villages, monasteries, rivers, waterfalls, and biodiversity in Gangtok.
Location: Some of the existing popular routes for mountain biking is:
- Gangtok- Phodong- Rangrang- Dikchu Makha- Sirwani- Temi
- Gangtok- Rumtek- Sang- Sirwani- Temi- Namchi- Jorethang- Melli
- Gangtok- Rumtek- Sang- Sirwani- Temi- Namchi- Namthang- Rangpo
Charges: Depending on the operator and the route, the charges can vary a lot. Starting cost is INR 8,000 per person, and can also go up to INR 15,000.
Suggested Read: 15 Beautiful Resorts In Gangtok
4. River Rafting – Meet The Waters Of Gangtok
Still, wondering what to do in Gangtok? Indulge in one of the most exhilarating recreational water activities aka river rafting! River rafting in Teesta river is one of the many adventurous things to do in Gangtok, Sikkim. The fact that the rapids of Rangit and the Teesta rivers are graded at the international level at I to IV, makes the rafting one of the finest rafting stretches in the world. The turbulent water of Rangit with its multidimensiona rapids provide the rafters enough challenge and adventure. The river courses through gorges and valleys that offer picturesque spectacles and make rafting a truly memorable experience.
Over the years, many campsites have sprung up along the banks of River Rangeet, a tributary of River Teesta. They offer overnight stays with camping, bonfires and a full day of rafting.
Timings: 9 am - 4 pm
Location: Some of the popular routes are:
- Makha-Rongpo (Shortest Route)
- Dikchu-Teesta Bridge (Intermediately Long)
- Dikchu-Kali Johra (Almost five hours long)
- Bordang-Melli (More than five hours)
Charges: River rafting in Teesta will cost you anything between INR 500 – 1000 per person. Charges vary according to the route and the operator.
5. Paragliding – Feel Like You Are On Top Of The World
We were not born with wings but the desire to fly never really left our conscious. It made us reach out for a substitute and we fondly called it a paraglider. Paragliding is one of the adventurous things to do in Gangtok has become immensely popular given that it boasts breathtaking views of the Himalayas and the vivid nature in its backdrop.
To go paragliding in Gangtok you really don't need to be a pro. There are plenty of operators, and all of them offer complete safety. A certified pilot accompanies all enthusiasts, thus taking care of the entire flight and its navigation. Hands down, paragliding is undeniably one of the most sought after activities to do in Gangtok.
Timings: 9 am - 4 pm
Location: The starting point for Medium Fly (1400 m altitude, 5-10 mins) is Baliman Dara, and for High Fly (2200 m altitude, 20-30 mins) is Reshithang village.
Charges: Between INR 2000 and 5000, varies from operator to operator
6. M.G. Marg – Indulge In Local Cuisine
M.G Marg in Gangtok is considered the town center of Gangtok that houses some spectacular restaurants, food joints, and cafes. The two of the most popular ones are 9’INE Native Cuisine and Bakers Cafe on MG Marg, and trying their lip-smacking food is one of the most indulgent things to do in Gangtok.
9’INE Native Cuisine is widely popular for its Tibetan cuisine. You can feast on delicacies like Momos, Sikkimese Set Meal with Chicken, Fermented Soybean, Dim sums, and Mushroom Kachi. It primarily serves Asian, Tibetan, and Nepalese cuisines and is a must visit restaurant in Gangtok.
At Bakers cafe, you can sip on your favorite beverage, while sitting on the window-side table and gazing at the picturesque valley from the glass window. This cozy Western-style cafe is known for its strong espresso, refreshing lemon iced tea, croissants, baguettes, paninis, pizzas, hot dogs, and pastries.
Timings: Varies with the cafes
Location: M.G. Marg, Gangtok
Charges: Varies with the cafes
7. Tashi View Point – Witness The Hues Of Sunset
Relish the snow-capped mountains from close quarters amid floating clouds from Tashi View Point. It is located in Tashi, about 8 km from Gangtok. The point is one of the tourist attractions in Gangtok and offers an exceptional view of Kanchenjunga snow peaks on a clear day. Tashi View Point is known for its gorgeous sunrise as well as the mild sunset. As the day progresses you will find the peaks illuminated by changing the color of sun rays. To savor the alluring beauty of the place you must reach the point before 5 am.
On the mountains on the opposite side, you can see the Phodong and Labrang monasteries. From road level, you need to climb steep stairs to reach up to the circular viewing area. It can easily accommodate about 15-20 people at a time. There is no entry fee, however, youll have to pay Rs. 10 extra to get a closer view of the peaks with binoculars and telescopes already placed there. If you love mountains, capturing this sunset in your camera is certainly one of the best things to do in Gangtok.
Timings: Around 6pm
8. Lal Bazaar – Spend Some Bucks On Souvenirs
Lal Bazaar is a congregation of local artisans and farmers of Sikkim where they assemble to bargain, gossip or sell their commodities. The Bazaar makes for an ideal spot for shopping in Gangtok. On Sundays, Gangtok’s Lal Bazaar is a melody of colors where ethnic groups from different villages gather. Lal Bazaar is located just below the M.G Marg and is at a walking distance from most of the hotels in Gangtok.
You can easily find various utility things in the marketplace. The smell of dried fish, vegetables and cheese permeates the air as you venture along the bylanes of the market. The bustling bazaar makes for an ideal place for taking photographs of the local vendors selling their commodities.
Timings: 8 am - 7 pm
Location: Lal Bazaar, Gangtok
Charges: Varies with the vendors
9. Tsuk La Khang Monastery – Embrace The Tranquil Aura
Of all the places of importance, Gangtok is well known for its monasteries. They are thousands of years old and house some of the oldest living disciples of Lord Buddha. A day tour covering the famous monasteries is among the best things to do in Gangtok in June for architecture and history lovers.
Overlooking the colossal mountain range, the Tsuk La Khang Monastery is located in the complex of Royal Palace. One of the major places of worship and assembly for the Buddhists, this monastery is a two-story edifice that houses a wide collection of works of Buddhist scriptures. Every corner of this monastery is adorned with the wooden sculptures which are crafted in the form of Snow Lion’s Head. Murals and altars decorate the walls of the monastery.
Timings: 7 am - 7 pm
Location: Royal Palace Complex, Gangtok
10. Hanuman Tok – Take A Walk Through History
Sitting pretty at an altitude of almost 5500 feet, Gangtok offers some of the most surreal and out of the world places which are indeed a treat to the eyes. Though the complete city is extraordinary in its own way, there are places that stand out of the league. Plan a day tour dedicated to sightseeing, covering tourist attractions.
At an altitude of 7,200 ft and at a distance of 11 km from Gangtok town, Hanuman Tok offers a breathtaking view of Kanchenjunga range. The legend says that Lord Hanuman took rest for a moment at this place when he was on his way to Lanka from the Himalayas.
Timings: 7 am - 9 pm
Location: 11 km from Gangtok town
11. Pemayangtse Monastery – Pay Your Respects
Located at a distance of about 2 km from Pelling is Pemayangtse Monastery-the principal monastery belonging to Nyingma sect (one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism). This monastery is thinly populated with a headcount of little over a hundred monks. The monastery boasts of snow-capped mountains in its backdrop and serene valley dotted with fluffy clouds. Also, it features exquisite paintings, sculptures, and statues of different deities in the main building which remains a major source of attraction for the onlookers.
Timings: 9 am - 6 pm
Charges: INR 20
12. Rumtek Monastery – Witness The Jaw-Dropping Architecture
Located in Rumtek, 23 km away from Gangtok town, Rumtek monastery is one of the largest in Sikkim and belongs to the Kargyu sect of Buddhists which originated in the 12th century in Tibet. The architecture of the monastery is one of the finest in the world and resembles the original one in Tsurphu, Tibet. From the gate at the base, it requires an uphill walk (about half a kilometer) to reach up to the main monastery which boasts of a picturesque surrounding.
Timings: 7 am - 7 pm
Location: Surphu Labrang Pal Karmae Sangha Dhuche, Dharma Chakra Centre, Sikkim 737135
Charges: INR 10
13. Seven Sisters Waterfall – Get Refreshed
You can spend the entire day watching the clear blue, pristine waters of Seven Sisters Waterfall cascading down the mountains and not be bored. The waterfalls are surrounded by forests from all sides. The destination is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the view. As the sun starts to set, the sight becomes even more magical. You can arrange a small picnic with your family and friends there too.
Timings: 8 am - 5 pm
Location: National Highway, North Sikkim, Gangtok
14. Nathu La Pass – Soak In The Beauty
At an altitude of 4300 m, Nathu La Pass acts as one of the 3 links between India and China. The place also has historical relevance because it was the place through which the ancient silk route used to operate until 1962. You can also catch a glimpse of the fenced Indo-China border few meters away and you can spot both Indian and Chinese soldiers guarding the border. It requires a full day trip from Gangtok to visit Nathula. The trip is usually combined with visits to Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir.
Location: 54 km east of Gangtok
Charges: INR 200
Suggested Read: 11 Gorgeous Hill Stations Near Gangtok For That Perfect Getaway
15. Tsongmo Lake – Embrace The Serenity
Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake, is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim region, some 40 km from Gangtok. The fact, that the elevation of the lake rises from 5000 (Gangtok) feet to 10,000 feet in a span of 15 km, makes it one of the most exciting rides ever. It is enveloped by majestic mountains from all sides and offers unmatched serenity to travellers. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best lakes in Sikkim.
Timings: 10 am - 6 pm
Location: Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Tathangchen Area, Gangtok
Suggested Read: 31 Scintillating Places To Visit In Gangtok!
16. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary- Explore The Nature
Exhibiting the nature at its best, Shigba Rhododendron Sanctuary comes alive during the spring season in Sikkim. Nestled amidst the hills of Himalayas, visiting this location leaves every traveler awestruck by virtue of its vibrant and appealing colors. This sanctuary houses an intriguing and fascinating collection of forty different species of rhododendrons.
These woody, colorful plants flourish and bloom well during the spring season and attracts flocks of tourists every year. Apart from the impressive and expansive variety of rhododendron, the sanctuary is also home to hot springs and alpine meadows, amalgamating various wonders of mother nature and offering an overwhelming experience to man kind. With the floors being covered by lush greenery, this sanctuary makes a perfect escape for those who are seeking to get closer to nature.
Timings: 6 am - 6 pm
Location: Yumthang Valley, Gangtok
17. Ranka Monastery - Feel The Essence Of Spirituality
Offering extremely picturesque views, Ranka Monastery is an ideal place for those travelers who are seeking to take a road less taken. Being relatively new as compared to other monasteries in Sikkim, Ranka has earned itself a significance amonst Bollywood film makers.
Nestled amongst the forest-capped mountains with foliage greener than ever, Ranka monastery houses a great series of prayer wheels, a massive courtyard, and a stunning pagoda top. This monastery oozes out the essence of tranquility and spirituality. The terrace, located outside of the prayer hall, offers mesmerizing views of the mountains and sun setting, spreading hues of orange, yellow, and red all over.
The souvenire and gift shops constructed right next to the car parking allows travelers to carry some token of love for the friends and family back home.
Timings: 6 am- 6 pm
Location: 20 km from Gangtok town
18. Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve - Get Closer To Nature
Sitting with Nepal on its west and Tibet on its north-west, Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve is one of the most interesting and important places in Sikkim. Housing one of the highest ecosystems, this Reserve is one of the famous worlds 34 biodiversities.
Massive, natural forests and economic activities like agriculture, animal husbandry, poultry farming, and much more, Khangchendzonga has earned itself a place on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Covering a massive ground and mountain area, this Reserve has high cultural values and houses a fair amount of mountains, peaks, lakes, shrines, stupas, hot springs, caves, and much more. Apart from these marvels, the Reserve is also home to rare and endemic speices of alluring flora.
Timings: 10 am - 6:30 pm
Location: 31 A National Highway, Gangtok
19. Mt Katao- Try Your Hands On Skiing
Acting as a perfect spot for those travelers who are seeking to engage in adventurous escapades, Mt Katao is sitting around 15000 feet above the sea level. Offering travelers with various adventurous sports such as snow tubing, skiing, snowboarding, and much more, this location is nothing less than paradise on earth for thrill seekers. However, since this peak is a part of military base, one needs permits from the Indian Army to conquer the peak.
The floors of this mountain range are covered with the gorgeous and attractive flora such as poppy, rhododendron, primula, and many more. By virtue of its location high above the sea level, the Mt Katao is capped with snow almost throughout the year, making it appealing for the nature admirers as well.
Location: Lachung, Gangtok
20. Menmecho Lake - Sit By The Pristine Waters
Nestled between the mountains and exquisite pine forests, Menmecho Lake is a high altitude lake that receives its water from the surrounding icy mountains. With lake being crystal clear and sand covering the floors of lakes shore, this location oozes out the beachy vibes set amidst the snowy mountains, taking away the breath of travelers.
The beauty of the lakes and Nathang Valley, the changing colors of Menmecho Lake, picturesque views of the mountains, and the aura of peace surrounding this location makes travelers fall in love with itself easily.
Timings: 8 am - 5 pm
Location: 60 km from Gangtok town
21. Do Drul Chorten – Witness An Architectural Marvel
Visiting Drul Chorten is among the best things to do in Gangtok. This massive stupa takes away the breath of spectators by virtue of its magnificence. The golden dome at the top and the ivory white structure of this stupa is truly monumental and leaves the jaws dropped to the ground. This golden top can be observed from various nooks of Gangtok.
The place where the stupa is constructed was considered haunted for years. It was believed that the wanderers were often turned into victims of evil spirits that roamed this spot. But a follower of Nyingma Order of Buddhism, a celebrated lama of Tibet Trulshug Rinpoche made this place his refuge and drove away the spirits. The prayer wheels, holy books, and relics from the ancient past make the visit worthwhile.
Timings: 8 am – 5 pm
Location: M.P.Golai, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim
22. Tashiding Monastery – Lose Yourself In Spell Binding Views
Gangtok and its surroundings are full of places that exude peace and charm. One such charming escape is Tashiding Monastery. Sitting amidst the majestic mountains, this monastery is considered as one of the holiest ones in the entire Sikkim. Apart from offering solace, this also offers magnificent panoramic views to the spectators. Relax and meditate at the monastery as it is one of the best things to do in Gangtok.
This monastery boasts about old world charm. The serene ambiance, spectacular architecture, and the background with snow-clad peak offers an absolute experience to visitors. Tashiding Monastery was built back in the 17th century on top of a hill sandwiched between two stunning rivers Rangit and Rathong. The main thing that the monastery earned its fame was because of the celebrations of Bhumchhu festival that takes place on 14th and 15th day of the first month according to Tibetan calendar.
Timings: 7 am – 7 pm
Location: Sikkim 737111
Charges: Free of cost
Suggested Read: 20 Most Spellbinding Places To Visit Near Gangtok
23. Banjhakri Falls – Enjoy A Fairytale Adventure
There is an array of adventurous things to do in Gangtok and visiting the Banjhakri Falls is one of them. Out of all the breathtaking marvels of mother nature, the most refreshing and magical ones are the gushing waterfalls. The sounds of water hitting the hard rocks, the coldness of naturally occuring waters, and the surrounding greenery makes the falls look right out of a children’s storybook.
Gangtok gives one a chance to witness these magical natural wonders from up close. Banjhakri Falls are around 100-ft long waterfalls around 7 kilometers from Gangtok. These falls are a popular picnic spot completed with a manmade lake, a park that is themed on the Shaman Culture, structures with Sikkimese architecture, and gazebos.
Timings: 8 am – 6 pm
Location: Gangtok, Sikkim 737101
Charges: INR 50
24. Himalayan Zoological Park – See TheWild Side Of Gangtok
For all the animal and wildlife lovers out there, Gangtok is like heaven on earth. Sitting in Bulbulay, at an altitude of 1780 meters is one of the most stunning Zoological Park. This Park is not only famous for the creatures it houses, but also for the magnificent views of the majestic Mount Kanchenjunga. Exploring the park and spotting animals is one of the things to do in Gangtok.
This Zoological Park was established in the year 1991. This Zoo is different from all the others that one has seen. Main aim of the zoological park is to keep the species under safe and regular conditions while they live in their natural habitat. Various animals that one can witness in this Zoological Park are Himalayan Red Panda, Himalayan black bear, snow leopard cat, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Goral, Crimson-horned Pheasant, and many more.
The zoo is also home to various facilities like a cafe, a souvenir shop, a watchtower, washrooms, and various drinking water points.
Timings: 9 am – 4 pm
Location: Bulbulay, East Sikkim, Gangtok, Sikkim
Charges: INR 25 for Indians, INR 50 for Foreign Nationals
With this ready reckoner of best things to do in Gangtok, there is enough fodder for tourists and adventure enthusiasts to plan an unforgettable trip this northeastern beauty! When are you planning a trip to Gangtok? Book a trip at the earliest to avail exciting deals and discounts. You will have the time of your life here and will not be disappointed by the plethora of things that Gangtok has to offer you.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In Gangtok
Is it safe to go to Gangtok during COVID times?
You need to follow all the safety measures mentioned by the authorities to ensure a safe experience.Get yourself tested before heading for a holiday and wear proper masks while being out. Maintain social distance and keep sanitizing your hands regularly. Make sure that you carry disinfectants and sanitizers with you.
How to reach Gangtok?
The only way to reach Gangtok is by road from Bagdogra. Bagdogra has the nearest airport to Gangtok and is well-connectivity by road. Siliguri is the closest commercial hub and hosts numerous bus services to Gangtok. The nearest railway station is in New Jalpaiguri.
What shall I eat in Gangtok?
The most famous local dishes in Gangtok are momos, followed by Thukpa, Wonton, Thenthuk, Gyathuk, Shah-Phaley, Phagshapa, Churrpi, Sel Roti, Masaurya Curry, etc. The local cuisine is known for its refreshing flavours and authentic ways of cooking.
What are some of the adventurous things to do in Gangtok?
One can go paragliding, trekking, and mountain biking which are the best adventurous things to do in Gangtok. If you are looking for exciting things to do in Gangtok then you can also go for a Yark safari while holidaying in Gangtok in winter.
What are the things to do in Gangtok at night?
There are many live music clubs in Gangtok which you should definitely visit to enjoy the nightlife of the city. You can also go for evening strolls and nature walks to the nearby surroundings. If you like shopping then you can also visit night markets.
What are the popular monasteries in Gangtok?
Gangtok has a number of prominent monasteries. Some of the popular monasteries in Gangtok are Enchey Monastery, Tsuk La Khang Monastery, Gonjang Monastery, Dodrupchen Monastery, and Ranka Monastery.
What all animals can one find in the Himalayan Zoological Park?
Various animals that one can witness in this Zoological Park are Himalayan Red Panda, Himalayan black bear, snow leopard cat, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Goral, Crimson-horned Pheasant, and many more.
What is the best time to visit Gangtok?
There are two seasons when Gangtok is at its best. First from March to June and second from September to November. The weather remains pleasant during this time making sightseeing and other excursions easier.
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