Essential Information of Gangtok
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Essential Information of Gangtok
The following information on Gangtok would be helpful for all those adventures seeking souls who wish to gaze at the magnificent views of the Kanchenjunga from the hill station, Gangtok. Gangtok which means “TOP OF THE RIDGE”, spreads over a forested mountain that faces the Kanchenjunga snow peaks, a sight to behold. A beautiful hill town and the capital of the north-eastern state of Sikkim, this can safely be said as one of the most beautiful hill stations of the country.
Gangtok has a number of vintage points from where one could get magnificent views of Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan snow peaks.To have the maximum benefit out of a visit, a basic amount of Gangtok travel information comprising of all necessary facts is highly essential. The interesting facts about Gangtok denote that it is situated at an altitude of 5,410 ft in east-Sikkim.
During 1894-1975 it was a part of the Namgyal kingdom and a center of Royal administration and then became the capital of Sikkim after it became a state. Other necessary Gangtok facts suggest it to be a rather peaceful and serene place and a center of booming economy and advanced lifestyle. The residents mainly comprise of Nepalese, Lepchas, and Bhutias, although the Lepchas are the original residents.Hinduism and Buddhism are the most significant religions in Gangtok although it has a sizeable Christian population and a small Muslim minority.
STAY IN GANGTOK
Tourists can use the information on Gangtok to plan their visit beforehand and finalize their accommodation options.It’s only a 4 hours’ drive from Darjeeling and 4.5 hours from both NJP (the nearest major railway station) and Bagdogra (the nearest airport). Tourists can also avail private taxis from all these places and buses from Siliguri. Sikkim being a border state has several areas marked as Restricted Areas while others as Protected Areas. While Indian tourists do not require permits to visit Gangtok, all foreign nationals (except Bhutanese) require an Inner-Line Permit to visit Gangtok.
For a road trip, tourist map of Gangtok is the main necessity. The Gangtok tourist map with distance can help the tourists seeking adventure by helping them visit new places mentioned on the map all by themselves.Gangtok is abundant in natural beauty and the various natural attractions such as the Tsomgo Lake, Ban Jhakri Falls and Tashi viewpoint are worth visiting. Gangtok tourism also includes places like the Enchey Monastery, Ganesh Tok and Do Drul Chorten Rumtek Monastery.
This climate of Gangtok makes it difficult for certain tourists to take a visit. Like most places in north east India, Gangtok faces the extremes of winter and monsoon. However, weather of Gangtok during the summer (April - May) and autumn (October - November) are quite pleasant and best for the views with a clear sky as well as soothing. As has been mentioned in most of the facts about Gangtok, it is this climate of the hill station that makes the trip worth it as it’s the snowy hilltops that are a sight to watch.
One can find a variety of hotels on the tourist map of Gangtok. Tourists are offered a wide range of accommodations from modern luxury hotels to budget stays. Tourists can choose to stay in the town center (i.e. on or near MG Marg) or a bit away from the crowd in a location that commands spectacular views of the mountains. The tourist map of Gangtok also mentions other accommodation options for the tourists like guest houses. Thus a Gangtok tourist map is highly essential for a hassle free stay in the hill station.
Apart from that, tourists can visit Hanuman Tok, a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, situated at an altitude of 7200 feet at a distance of nine kilometers uphill from Gangtok on a blissfully calm and quiet hilltop. Also Ganesh Tok, situated on a ridge at a distance of 7 km from Gangtok, from where tourists can get a view of sprawling Gangtok town, while across the hills Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Siniolchu loom over the horizon. Such is the natural beauty of this heavenly abode on earth.
FOOD IN GANGTOK
The information on Gangtok testifies that the Gangtok cuisines cater to the taste buds of every tourist. The food in Gangtok comprises of Indian, Chinese and Authentic Tibetian cuisines. Such a rich, splendid and authentic variety of food in Gangtok offers the tourists with varying choices. The tourists just cannot afford to miss the special food in Gangtok including Momos, Thukpa, Wonton, Gyathuk, Thenthuk and more.
The Gangtok cuisine also comprises of exotic teas, coffee flavors, authentic soups and a local alcoholic beverage called Chang. One can easily find mouth-watering Gangtok cuisines in any of the local restaurants and at decent prices.
LANGUAGE AND FESTIVALS OF GANGTOK
As has been suggested by the information on Gangtok, the most commonly used language in Gangtok is Nepali. English being the official language of Sikkim and Hindi being the national language of India are well understood here as well. People also speak Bhutia (Sikkimese), Tibetian and Lepcha. The Gangtok tourists can interact with the people in any of the languages. The local people are hospitable and friendly.
As per the facts about Gangtok, there are a number of festivals that are celebrated in Gangtok. The city witnesses celebration of diverse ethnic festivals. Religious festivals of Dashain, Tihar, Diwali, Holi, and Christmas amongst others are celebrated in Gangtok. Saga Dawa is a famous Buddhist festival celebrated in Gangtok. Phang Lhabsol, a colorful festival, is celebrated in the honor of Mt. Kanchenjunga. In the month of September- October, Dashain is celebrated which holds special significance to both Hindus and Nepalis.
While the Bhutias and Lepchas celebrate their new year in January, the Tibetans celebrate Losar (new year) with “Devil dance”. The Nepalis celebrate maghe Sankranti and Ram Navami. Other festivals include Buddha Jayanti, Chotrul Duchen, Saga Dawa, Bhumchu, Lhahab Duechen and Drupka Teshi.
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FAQ's of Gangtok
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Pong Labsal festival, celebrated in the month of December, is one of the most popular and major festivals in this region. During that time, the gate of Chogyal's Palace is open for the travelers. Other tourist festivals include Flower Festival, Gangtok Food and Culture Festival, Hee Bermiock Heritage & Tourism Festival, Khangchendzonga Tourist festival, Lampokhari Tourism Festival, Mangan Music Festival, Namchi Mahotsav, Ravangla Festival and many others.
There are a number of treks one can go for but all the treks require a decent fitness level. Some of them are Dzongri, Versay, Tholung, Goecha La, Tosar Lake, Everest Singalila and Green Lake trek.
Snowfall can be witnessed in the winter months of January and February in Gangtok. Else you have to travel to the Zero Point where snow can be witnessed anytime throughout the year.
The best time to visit Gangtok is April to June and also from September to November when one can experience variable temperatures with pleasant summers and autumn in the foothills & freezing winters high up in the mountains.
One cannot miss Momos, Thukpa, Wonton, Gyathuk, Thenthuk and more, along with a Sikkim style meat patty called Shah-Phaley. Along with this you get to choose from a huge variety of authentic soups almost unique to the area. Chang is a locally made alcoholic beverage and is a must try while here. Authentic Tibetan and Indo-Chinese cuisines are also available in the restaurants and must also be tried.
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