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1. Nathula Pass: A Link Between Sikkim and China

When you’re looking for places to go in Gangtok, you’ll always hear Nathula Pass as the first suggestion because of the beauty of this place. This mountain pass between the Himalayan peaks is one of the highest motorable roads in the world and connects Sikkim to China. The journey on this picturesque road is what allures people from all over the world. At a height of 4310 m, you’re in for an adventurous ride of your life, which would forever be etched in your memory. You do need a zonal permit to access this pass, though. The beauty of this place cannot be described in words, so you must add this to your places to visit in Gangtok itinerary to experience this for yourself.

Best time to visit Nathula Pass: Wednesday to Sunday – 8 A.M to 3:30 P.M

Distance from the nearest airport: Approx. 178 km from Bagdogra airport

Distance from the nearest railway station: Around 98 km from Jalpaiguri station


  • It’s one of the highest motorable roads in the world
  • It’s home to Tibetan gazelle, Snow Leopard, Yaks, Tibetan wolves
  • Nathula Pass is one of the open trading border posts
  • Breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains

Things to do in Nathula Pass: Trekking, enjoying the scenic beauty

Climate conditions: The climate here doesn’t exceed 15 degrees Celsius and during winters, it can drop down to –25 degree Celcius.

Nearby attractions in Nathula Pass: Chumbi valley of Tibet, Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple

How to get the permit of Nathula Pass:

  • Only Indian National can get a permit to Nathula Pass
  • You must apply for the permit in the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department
  • You’ll require two photographs and a valid identity proof to do so

Nathula Pass travel tips:

  • If you get motion sick, then do carry medicines as the road are winding
  • Remember to carry your permit
  • Don’t visit this place during monsoons due to chances of landslides

2. MG Road: The Central Shopping Hub in the City

Whatever your expectations are from this place, it’ll surely exceed that because this pedestrian-only zone is the perfect place to shop. This 1 km road, which is among the popular tourist attractions in Gangtok, is more of a boulevard, or an open mall full of vibrant shops, restaurants, and hotels. The hustle and bustle of this place would excite you and awaken the shopaholic in you. The best part is the cleanliness of this place, which makes the experience even more amazing. Now you know why it’s one of the attractions in India. You’ll come across several attractions here, such as the Mahatma Gandhi statue. The Gangtok Food and Culture Festival is also held here every December.

Best time to visit MG Road:

Wednesday to Monday – 8 A.M to 7 P.M

Tuesdays – Closed

Distance from the nearest airport: Approx. 123 km from Bagdogra airport

Distance from the nearest railway station: Approx. 160 km from Jalpaiguri station


  • It’s a pedestrian-only zone
  • There are green buildings on both side of the road due to the Sikkim government’s Green Initiative
  • Gangtok Food and Culture Festival is held here every December

Things to do in MG Road: You can shop in the market, relax and leisurely stroll on the street, visit the local attractions

Nearby attractions on MG Road: Mahatma Gandhi Statue, Statue of Unity

Restaurants near MG Road: Roll House, Baker’s House, Rasoi

Hotels near MG Road: Summit Alpine Abode Continental, Hotel Sonam Delek, Muscatel Delamere Central

What to buy from MG Road: Handicrafts, clothes, souvenirs, footwear

MG Road travel tips:

  • It’s a spit and litter-free zone
  • You’d have to park your vehicle away from the market and then walk
  • Smoking isn’t allowed here
  • Visit this road during night when it’s illuminated
  • Watch the cultural shows in Titanic Park

3. Tsomgo Lake: Visit the Glacial Waters of Sikkim

Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is a must-visit location in Gangtok; after all, you cannot miss out on the glacial waters. The magnificent beauty of this attraction would leave you spellbound. The coalescence of snow-capped mountains, lush green forests, and this serene lake make for a memorable experience. At 12,400 ft. above sea level, it’s one of the very few high-altitude lakes that you’d come across. Therefore, it’s one of the top places to visit in Gangtok in January. Its specialty is the color changing nature; in monsoons, the water is of bright aqua color, but as winter approaches, a thin layer of ice forms on it. As for the summers, you can see the vibrant colors of the flowers reflecting in the water.

Best time to visit Tsomgo Lake: January to March

Distance from the nearest airport: Approx. 164 km from Bagdogra airport

Distance from the nearest railway station: Around 201 km from Jalpaiguri station


  • The picturesque view of the mountains, lakes, and forest
  • One of the few high-altitude lakes

Things to do in Tsomgo Lake: Yak and Mule rides, eat hot noodles, ice skating, and walk on the river during winters

Restaurants near Tsomgo Lake: Zongri Bakery and Café, The Rooftop, The Blossom

Hotels near Tsomgo Lake: Treenz Kanta Chumbi Residency, Sterling Gangtok, The Elgin Nor-Khill

Legend of the Tsomgo Lake: According to the myths and legends, the Buddhist monks could tell the future based on the color of the lake. The faith healers or Jhakris used to visit this lake for its healing qualities during Guru Purnima or Rakshabandhan.

How to get a permit of Tsomgo Lake:

  • Indian Nationals need to carry a valid identity proof and two photographs. Pan Card isn’t accepted.
  • You need to apply for the permit at the Police Check Post.
  • Foreign Nationals require a special permit from the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department and Police Check Post.

Tsomgo Lake travel tips:

  • Wear boots with a firm grip as the area near the lake is slippery
  • You can also rent boots from the nearby shops for around INR 50/-
  • Visit the lake early morning, if possible, as there are a few slide-prone areas

Other lakes in Gangtok: Khecheopalri Lake, Gurudongmar Lake, Elephant Lake

4. Rumtek Monastery: One of the Most Significant Religious Attractions

Sikkim is famous for its religious monasteries, so on your vacation to Gangtok, it’s imperative to explore the Rumtek Monastery. It’s a popular Gangtok tourist spot because of its visual appearance. This monastery belongs to the Kagyu sect of Buddhists and its architectural style and structure is similar to the original one in Tibet. This three-storey monastery includes a shrine and a monastery for the monks. The interior of this place is astounding with hand painted wall paintings, silk compositions, statues, and much more. This monastery has also preserved a Golden Stupa and other sculptures that were owned by the 16th Karmapa. They believe that the Golden Stupa would remove all obstacles from the 16th Karmapa’s path of reincarnation.

Best time to visit Rumtek Monastery:

Winters – 10 A.M to 5 P.M

Summers – 8 A.M to 5 P.M

Distance from the nearest airport: Approx. 134 km from Bagdogra Airport

Distance from the nearest railway station: Around 172 km from Jalpaiguri station


  • This monastery’s a treat to the eyes
  • The glorious Golden Stupa is preserved here
  • It stores some of the world’s special religious scriptures
  • Its aim is to spread Buddhist teachings around the world

Things to do in Rumtek Monastery: Marvel at the Golden Stupa, soak in the piousness of the place, admire the architectural marvel

Restaurants near Rumtek Monastery: The Coffee Shop Restaurant, Roll House, Taste of Tibet  

Hotels near in Rumtek Monastery: The Fern Denzong Hotel and Spa, Mayfair Spa Resort and Casino, The Elgin Nor-Khill

Rumtek Monastery travel tips:

  • You’d have to walk up to the monastery after a certain point
  • You must make a donation to the monastery
  • Walk around the monastery in a clockwise direction
  • Don’t disturb the wildlife
  • Perform Kora, which is a revolution of the monastery to attain merit for the deceased or to pray for prosperity

5. Ganesh Tok: Enjoy the Soul-Stirring Views from this Hilltop

This small temple in Gangtok is situated on a hilltop and offers alluring views of the Kanchenjunga mountains. Reaching this viewpoint definitely comes under the best things to do in India. The size of this temple is so small that only one person can fit at a time. You can seek blessings of Lord Ganesha and enjoy the panoramic views of the hills and verdant greenery. There are colorful flags tied to the stairs leading to this temple that enhance its beauty.  The lounge and balcony here are the main attractions of this place, but it’s still among the Gangtok sightseeing places that you must visit.

Best time to visit Ganesh Tok: 6 A.M to 7 P.M

Distance from the nearest airport: Approx. 128 km from Bagdogra airport

Distance from the nearest railway station: Around. 165 km from Jalpaiguri station


  • Mesmerizing views of the Kanchenjunga hills
  • Perfect place for photographers and nature lovers

Things to do in Ganesh Tok: Admire the picturesque views, seek blessings from Lord Ganesha, and relish street food

Restaurants near Ganesh Tok: Hotel Sher-E-Punjab, Absolute Demazong, Baker’s Cafe

Hotels near Ganesh Tok: Muscatel Grand Silk Route, Central Hill Resort, Summit Oriental Boutique Hotel and Spa

Nearby attractions in Ganesh Tok: Hanuman Tok

Ganesh Tok travel tips:

  • Remove your footwear before entering the temple
  • Some parts of the temple don’t allow photography and videography
  • Visit the gift shop for souvenirs and bargain the prices

Other temples in Gangtok: Hanuman Tok, Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple, Thakurbari Temple, Shiv Mandir

6. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology: Immerse in the Tibetan-Buddhist Culture

This one of its kind institutes is famous for preserving the Tibetan-Buddhist culture and its history, which is centuries old. You’ll get a glimpse of the Buddhist culture and history buffs would find all the items inside fascinating and intriguing. NIT preserves the past to help people who wish to pursue Buddhist studies or Asian culture can acquire the right knowledge from here. There are more than 60,000 books in this institute that talk about the first lessons of Lord Buddha. It’s definitely one of the places to visit in Gangtok even for those who aren’t history buffs because the tranquil environment here is soul-stirring.

Best time to visit Namgyal Institute of Tibetology:

Monday to Saturday – 10 A.M to 4 P.M

Sundays, second Saturdays, and Government holidays – Closed

Distance from the nearest airport: Approx. 121 km from Bagdogra airport

Distance from the nearest railway station: Around 153 km from Jalpaiguri station


  • This institute preserves the Tibetan-Buddhist culture and history
  • The Tibetan architectural style is a sight to behold
  • There are 60,000 books regarding Lord Buddha’s first lessons

Things to do in Namgyal Institute of Tibetology: Explore the institute and the items displayed

Restaurants near Namgyal Institute of Tibetology: Shuffle Momos, Café Infinity, The Coffee Shop Restaurant

Hotels near Namgyal Institute of Tibetology: Sumi Shangrila Deorali Gangtok, The Golden Crest, The Royal Plaza

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology travel tips:

  • Remove your shoes before entering the museum
  • Photography is prohibited inside the museum
  • Visit the bakery opposite NIT

7. Kanchenjunga Mountain: The Third Highest Peak in the World

You might have heard of this majestic mountain in Sikkim, but have you ever witnessed it in all its glory? Well, it’s time to do so by counting this as one of the adventurous things to do in Gangtok. This mountain has been declared sacred because its name means “The Five Treasures of the High Snow.” The five treasures refer to God’s repositories, which are gold, silver, gems, grain and holy books. The magnificence of this mountain is only appreciable when you trek on its many routes that go through verdant forests to gorgeous countryside. You can stay in the base camp overnight to admire the beauty of this snow-clad mountain.

Best time to visit Kanchenjunga Mountain: March to April or October to December

Distance from the nearest airport: Approx. 114 km from Bagdogra airport

Distance from the nearest railway station: Around 143 km from Jalpaiguri station


  • It’s the third highest peak in the world
  • Watch the sun rise over the peaks
  • Marvel at the breathtaking beauty

Things to do in Kanchenjunga Mountain: Trekking, camping, and admiring the enchanting view of the mountain

Restaurants near Kanchenjunga Mountain: Baker’s Café, Lhasa Newar, Gangtok Junction

Hotels near Kanchenjunga Mountain: Mayfair Darjeeling, Ging Tea House, Crescent Resort

Nearby attractions in Kanchenjunga Mountain: Kanchenjunga National Park, Tashi viewpoint

Legend of Kanchenjunga: It’s believed that Kanchenjunga is home to a mountain deity Dzo-Nga, who is also referred to as the Kanchenjunga demon. It looks like a yeti or demon and was once seen by a British Geological Expedition in 1925.

Kanchenjunga trekking details:

  • The trek starts from Yuksom, which is also the base camp
  • It’s a difficult trek due to the landscape
  • There’s heavy snowfall during winters and monsoon from May till October

Kanchenjunga Mountain travel tips:

  • Avoid visiting this place during monsoons
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes with a firm grip
  • Visit Tashi Viewpoint for an excellent view of the mountain

8. Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple: The Shrine of a Martyred Soldier

When you’re on Nathula Pass, you’ll come across a road between Nathula and Jelepla Pass where Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is located. This shrine was built at the samadhi of Harbhajan Singh who was martyred soldier in the Sino war. It’s imperative to pay your respects here whenever you visit the Nathula Pass because it’s believed that Harbhajan Singh guards the lives of the soldiers at the border. People worship the picture of Baba Harbhajan Singh here and seek his blessings. Locals also believe that if you leave a bottle of water here and drink from it after a few days, your wishes will come true. You can understand why this is among the important places to visit in Gangtok.

Best time to visit Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple: 6 A.M to 8 P.M

Distance from the nearest airport: Approx. 124 km from Bagdogra airport

Distance from the nearest railway station: Around 156 km from Jalpaiguri station


  • This temple is a shrine of Harbhajan Singh, a martyred soldier
  • There’s an office beside the temple where his uniform and shoes are kept
  • The picturesque view of the mountains

Things to do in Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple: Seek blessings of Baba Harbhajan Singh, leave a bottle of water here to fulfill your wish, learn about the legend of this temple

How to get a permit of Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple:

  • To get a permit, Indian Nationals must visit the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department
  • You’ll require a valid identity proof and two photographs
  • Apply for the permit a day before

Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple travel tips:

  • Since this temple is at an altitude of 4000 m, you must take precautions and carry an inhaler if you’ve breathing issues or medicine for motion sickness, headache, nausea.
  • Carry the permit to visit this place


Q1. What to see in Gangtok?

There are several incredible places to see in Gangtok, including:

  • Nathula Pass
  • Kanchenjunga Mountain
  • Tsomgo Lake
  • Rumtek Monastery

Q2. What is Gangtok famous for?

Gangtok is famous for being a city deeply rooted in Buddhist culture and traditions. You’ll be charmed by the simplicity of the place and its people. It’s the land of monasteries and is a Buddhist pilgrimage site for many people.

Q3. Where is Gangtok located?

Gangtok is located in Sikkim and is the capital city of this state. It lies in North-East India at an altitude of 5,600 ft.

Q4. How many days are enough to visit Gangtok?

3 to 4 days are required to explore this city to the fullest and to experience everything that it has to offer.

Q5. Which month is best for Gangtok?

September to October or March to June is the ideal time to visit this city. The weather’s pleasant during this time and you’ll be able to watch the spring flowers beautifying this destination.

Q6. Is it safe to visit Gangtok in June?

Yes, it’s safe to visit Gangtok in June because the weather’s favorable during that time. A lot of tourists visit the city during this month.

Q7. Which place is better Darjeeling or Gangtok?

Darjeeling and Gangtok are both excellent destinations and their climate conditions are also the same. They both experience cooler climates and have gorgeous attractions for the tourist to explore.

Q8. Which place is better Shillong or Gangtok?

Shillong and Gangtok are at a higher altitude and offer some of the most mesmerizing views to the tourists. The climate, landscape, attractions, all work in favor of a successful holiday, so both the destinations are excellent.








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