Resting on the tributary of the Tista River in the southeast-central part of Sikkim, Gangtok is a spectacular hill station and home to several serene monasteries, striking lakes, dense valleys, delicious tea yards, and much more. The natural beauty, amazing trail, roaring rapids, sparkling waterfalls, and rugged cliffs offer some of Sikkim’s most arresting natural sights and scenery.
Scrolls down and know more about the best places to visit in Gangtok for a memorable vacation.
- Rumtek Monastery
- Tashi View Point
- Yumthang Valley
- Nathula Pass
- Khangchendzonga National Park
- Tsomgo Lake
- Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
- Banjhakri Water Falls
- Do Drul Chorten Monastery
1. Rumtek Monastery
Sikkim’s monasteries are always on the top list of every traveler, and the Rumtek Monastery is not an exception. It is one of the best places to visit in Gangtok and is also considered the top attraction in Gangtok. The monastery is a melting pot of rich culture and tradition.
Rumtek Monastery is a great example of classical Tibetan gompa style architecture, which is a three stories high construction. The monastery obeys the school of Tibetan Buddhism and is particularly famous for its Kagyu teachings. To witness the amazing architecture and to spend peaceful moments many travelers visit this amazing attraction in Gangtok. You can also enjoy the beautiful view of the Gangtok valley, which is on the opposite side of the monastery. Visit this popular monastery of Gangtok in November to behold the beauty of the scenic surroundings.
- There are a lot of tea stalls and snack stocks at the taxi drop-off point.
- You can buy souvenirs and other things near the taxi drop-off point.
- It is advised to the travelers that they should have a guide with them to help them with a better visiting experience.
- While you are in the monastery do follow their custom of circling the shrine in the clockwise direction.
- Leave some donations in the donation box.
- It is strictly prohibited to enter the premises under any influence of drugs.
- You cannot drink outside or inside the premises.
- Smoking around and inside the monastery is an offense.
- Do not talk too loudly in the monastery and follow all the rules.
- Rumtek Monastery is a three-story building with amazing architecture.
- It is an artwork of thangkas and Mughals
- It temple celebrates the birthday of his Holiness, Losar festival, and Dungdrub Puja.
- The golden stupa is 13 ft. high.
Timing: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: INR 10
2. Tashi View Point
One of the best tourist places in Gangtok, Tashi View Point is an impeccable box for a nature lover. Undergo the chilling cold, climb up to the top to behold the charismatic first rays of the Sun.
The Tashi View Point in Gangtok offers a mesmerizing view of sunrise and sunset through majestic Kanchenjunga. Tashi View Point is ideal for those who want to enjoy their holiday in the lap of nature away from city life.
- Stick to the timings if you want to enjoy the view offered by Tashi Point.
- It is better to visit here between March and June so that the clear sky can give you a view of the entire valley.
- You can use taxis to commute from Gangtok to the viewpoint and then back.
- The viewpoint is located approximately 8 km from the nearest town.
- You can get a glimpse of the famous monasteries of Phodong, Gangtok, and Labrang.
You can also witness the changing colors of Siniolchu and Kanchenjunga Peak.
Timing: 5:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: No entry fee (But you will have to pay 10 INR for binoculars and telescope use.)
3. Yumthang Valley
One of the hidden treasures in North Sikkim, Yumthang Valley of Flowers is a place for those who admire the beauty of nature. It is one of the best places to visit North Sikkim during summers. The valley boasts a wide variety of colorful and exotic Himalayan flowers. Surrounded by lush green mountains, crawling rivers it attracts peace-loving travelers but is considered one of the most photogenic places in Sikkim.
If you are looking for the best places to visit in North Sikkim then, you must explore this place on your Sikkim trip. Yumthang Valley of Flowers is an army-protected area, a permit is required to explore this place, which you grant from the Gangtok Tourism office. It is also known as Zero Point because it is the last point of all Civilian roads.
- Whatever time you are visiting here, do ensure that Yumthang Valley remains cold so do carry enough cold clothes.
- You should carry cash because you won’t find any ATMs around.
- It is better to stay at Lachung for a day and then head for the valley.
- You will have to obtain the Protected Area Permit to visit Yumthang Valley.
- You will have to stay at Lachung which is the nearest settlement to the valley.
- The visitors will not get any accommodation in the Yumthang Valley.
Entry Fee: You just have to obtain a PAP to visit here.
Read Also: Skiing in Yumthang Valley
The list of tourist places in Sikkim cannot overlook Lachung. It is a high-altitude peaceful village and one of the best places to visit in North Sikkim. Lachung is an abode to the Tibetan and Bhutia community.
The magnificent Lachung Chu River, also known as Lachung Gompa adds a wondrous appeal to this mountain village. Resting at an altitude of about 8,858 feet, the place is known for its beautiful surroundings. Surrounded by the snow-capped mountain peaks, beautiful waterfalls, meandering glacial rivers, and fruit orchards. Lachung is a must-visit place in Sikkim to experience a serene escape. If you are a fan of snow, then the winter months are the best time to visit Lachung.
- The best time to visit Lachung is during the summer season.
- Do not miss out on visiting the Lachung Zero Point.
- Do visit the Lachung Monastery, Chungthang, Yumthang Valley, Chopta, Thangu Valley, Shingba Rhododendron
- Sanctuary, and Seven Sisters Waterfall.
- Don’t miss out on visiting Bhim Nala Waterfalls.
- You can also enjoy trekking at Mount Katao.
- Become a part of the mask dance at the monastery.
- Enjoy a trip to Gurudongmar Lake.
- The Lachung Zero Point is at an altitude of 15,300 ft.
- You will have to obtain the Inner Line Permit to visit here.
- The Lachung Zero point is 26 km away from Yumthang Valley.
- Lachung is located at an altitude of 8588 ft.
Entry Fee: No Entry Fee is required
5. Nathula Pass
Joining India with Tibet and remaining a part of the historic ‘Silk Road’, Nathula pass is one of the must-visit attractions in Sikkim.
Located in the Himalayas about 4,310 m above sea level, the Nathula pass is one of the highest motorable passes in the world. It attracts many bike riders to conquer its road. En-route you can also visit Changu Lake and Baba Mandir. You can buy a certificate of your Nathula visit as proof from the army canteen Nathula.
- You can get the permit by applying at the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department.
- Visiting here in the summer season is the only option.
- Keep warm clothes in your bag and wear them in layers while you leave for visiting the pass.
- Make sure that you have the permit, and also are not visiting here on Monday or Tuesday.
- The Nathu La Pass is home to several species of flora mainly shrubs and fauna that includes birds and some other animals.
- This pass was once the silk route and it was sealed away for more than 4 decades.
- The Nathu La pass was reopened in 2006
- This pass is one of the trading borders between India and China.
Timing: Wednesday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM (Only for Indians)
Entry Fee: None (but you have to get the permit to visit here)
6. Khangchendzonga National Park
Covering an area of about 1784 sq km, Kanchenjunga National Park is a high-altitude national park located in Yuksom. It is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim with kids, the park is known for its sumptuous wildlife.
Rare wild animals such as Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Great Tibetan Sheep, Bharal, and Musk deer can be spotted here. Nature and wildlife lovers around the globe visit here to admire its beauty. Apart from its flora and fauna, this national park is blessed with a unique variation of plains, dense valleys, tranquil lakes, gleaming glaciers, and striking, snow-capped mountains covered with ancient forests. Kanchenjunga National Park is also one of the best places to visit in Sikkim during winters.
- It is better to visit here during the summer season for better enjoyment and exploring the national park.
- Wear warm clothes and hiking shoes.
- Keep a water bottle in your backpack and enjoy the trek. Also, keep some snacks like chocolate bars.
- Take a guide along so that you do not get lost and get a better trekking experience.
- The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Indian visitors have to pay 300 INR per head for the first seven days and then 40 INR for additional days.
- International visitors have to pay 560 INR per head for the first seven days and then an additional charge of 80 INR is taken.
- 80 INR is for students for the first 7 days and then 20 INR is what is charged thereafter.
- The tent charges are 50 INR per day per tent.
- If you want a guide you will have to pay 10 INR for a day.
- For a still camera, the person has to pay 30 INR.
- For a video camera, a person has to pay 1000 INR.
- For a movie camera, a person has to pay 35000 INR.
Timing: 24 hours
Entry Fee: None (Inner Line Permit has to be obtained to visit the park.)
7. Tsomgo Lake
A glacial lake located at an altitude of about 12,310 feet above sea level, Tsomgo Lake is one of the most prominent and beautiful places to visit in Gangtok.
The lake is renowned for its tranquility and breathtaking beauty. Witness the icy blue waters of the lake reflecting the grand peaks of the Himalayas, which is a beauty to behold. undoubtedly Tsomgo Lake is one of the must-visit places in Gangtok.
- The best time to visit here is between April and May.
- Get the restricted area permit to visit Tsomgo Lake.
- It is better to get the permit before you reach here because it takes a day or two to get issued.
- Make sure you carry enough warm clothes to cover yourself up.
- You can also rent the plastic boots if you don’t have the trekking shoes and they will cost you INR 50 only.
- It is advised to visit here during early mornings so that you can do all your photography and enjoyment and leave before evening.
- You do not have to pay anything to enter Tsomgo Lake other than the agent fee.
- It is the perfect location for people who wish to enjoy bird-watching activities.
- You will have to trek to the lake and that’s the best part for travelers.
Timing: Sunrise to Sunset
Entry Fee: None (You will have to get the permit for Tsomgo Lake)
8. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
Tibetology Museum or Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is one of the best places to visit in Gangtok. Once you visit this place you will get to know about the depth understanding of rich Tibetan culture.
The museum houses numerous statues, coins, hand paintings, embroidery work – known as thangkas, ancient manuscripts in various languages such as Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, and Lepcha, and Tibetan artworks, and artifacts as well. The rich library of Namgyal Institute of Tibetology has a collection of more than 50,000 books. It is one of the best places to visit in Gangtok with family.
- Respect and follow all the rules of the tourist attraction.
- Do remove your shoes before you enter the museum.
- Inside the museum, no visitors are allowed for photography.
- You can have something from Baker’s cafe that’s opposite to the institute building.
- The best place to buy some souvenirs is Asta Mangala Art.
- You can buy some Sikkimese art pieces as well as clothes from Asta Mangala Art.
- The museum of this place has ancient manuscripts in Chinese, Sanskrit, and Tibetan.
- The library at the institute has more than 60,000 volumes of translation.
- There is a 135 volume encyclopedia and other books but none of them can be rented to read.
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (The institute is closed on second Saturdays, Sundays, and all the government holidays.)
Entry Fee: INR 10
9. Banjhakri Water Falls
The word “Banjhakri” refers to the woodland shaman. It is a combination of two words Ban and Jhakri. Ban denotes “forest” while Jhakri denotes “priest”. Banjhakri falls is an exceptional touristy spot in Sikkim. The serene surrounding and the milky white water cascading down soothe your senses and let you soak in the tranquility.
The sounds of the water are somewhat loud and engaging can be heard from a long distance. Enjoy being in the lap of nature and make your holiday in Gangtok a memorable one.
- Visit the other attractions around the place.
- Make sure you have your hiking boots in your backpack.
- Keep an extra pair of socks.
- Do keep an extra pair of clothes as well.
- The best time to visit here is between October and February.
- It is approximately 12 km from Gangtok.
- The cascade of the waterfall is 40 ft.
- The main attraction here is the Energy Park.
- The other attractions around the waterfalls include Mangpas, Lepcha, Ban Jhakri ancestors, and Lyam Lymay.
Timing: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: INR 50
10. Do Drul Chorten Monastery
Located close to Tibetology Institute and Gangtok Centre on a hillock, Do Drul Chorten Monastery is one of the peaceful places to visit in Gangtok. Do Drul Chorten is also called Stupa, which is marked by a golden dome that can be seen from different places in Gangtok.
Do Drul Chorten Monastery was built by the Venerable Trulshik Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism, in 1945. Surrounded by Chorten Lhakhang and Guru Lakhang, where you can witness the two large statues of Guru Padmasambhava, who was a legendary Indian Buddhist mystic. The Stupa is regarded as one of the most significant Buddhist stupas of Sikkim.
Gangtok being a top-notch destination in North-East India is visited by a number of travelers every year. People love the adventure activities it has on offer while witnessing the natural beauty. The above-listed attractions are the places that should not miss out on being on your itinerary.
So while creating one, do list these best places to visit in Gangtok so that you get to witness the best of this city.