Located in the Eastern Himalayas, Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim. The name literally means ‘hilltop’.
The earliest known history of Gangtok is from 1716, when the Gangtok monastery was built. In the 19th century, the British captured it and it became a midway stop for traders. It was made the Sikkim’s capital in 1894 and monarchy was abolished in 1975.
Gangtok – Hill Station with Natural Beauty and Wildlife and an Outdoor Adventure, Art&Culture destination
The high elevation of Gangtok, with a mesmerizing view of the Kanchenjunga, enthrals visitors. The regions around Gangtok are densely forested and evergreen coniferous trees are plenty. Many beautiful flowers bloom in autumn. It is also home to the Fambong La Wildlife sanctuary.
Gangtok offers several trekking, camping, mountain biking, rafting, and other adventure activities to the visitors.
Gangtok has long been a centre of Buddhist spirituality and learning; The Enchey and Gangtok monasteries attract hundreds of pilgrims. Elaborate hand painted scrolls in vivid colours called Thangka and weaving of nettle cloth by the indigenous Lepchas, are special handicrafts here.
Gangtok is inhabited by Nepali Indians, Lepchas, and Bhutias who celebrate the New Year in January. The Tibetan New Year is celebrated after that, with the ‘Devil Dance’. Several tourist festivals are also held in addition to the religious ones.
Traditional cuisine includes shah-paley (patties) and churpee, (yak milk cheese) in addition to noodle based dishes.
Sikkimese people are fond of dance and music, and Hindi pop, western rand Nepali rock are most popular. Football, cricket and archery are popular sports.
Today Gangtok is a busy administrative centre with a tantalizing mix of cultures. Most people directly or indirectly depend on tourism for their livelihood.
Climate and Best Time to Visit
September to June is the best visiting time though climate is pleasant all year round.