“Work. Travel. Save. – Repeat” – My life Mantra!
This January, we went on a 2 day short trip to Gangtok. The journey started with us taking flight from Mumbai via Delhi to Bagdogra, the nearest airport to Gangtok. After having lunch, We were taking nap during flight. The man beside me who also happens to be my fiance, was literally snoring :/
For a moment I opened my eyes, looked outside window and again closed my eyes, as I saw only clouds. And then it struck my mind, I again peeked with my half eyes open to confirm, those were not clouds! Those were snow cladded mountains of mighty Himalayas. And I knew that very moment it’s going to be an unforgettable trip <3 !
We reached Bagdogra airport, hired a cab and it took around 4-5 hours to reach Gangtok. The roads to Gangtok are li’l rough but provide an excellent view of tea gardens initially, and then run parallel to river Tista. As we approached Gangtok, the weather turn colder and snow cladded mountains were visible.We reached Gangtok by 8 PM, and it was already dark outside. We had our dinner and went to sleep as we had to wake up early next day.
Here I am listing few must visit places and activities to get indulged in, while on a Gangtok Trip!!
1. Nathu La Pass
Located at an altitude of 14,140 feet and 52 kms away from Gangtok, Nathu La pass was a major route of passage between India and Tibet(China) before it was closed in 1962. The road to the place is one of highest motorable roads in the world, you will get to see snow everywhere if you are visiting in December-January.
Due to heavy snowfall, the pass is mostly shut down but we were lucky enough as it was not closed that day. Only citizens of India are allowed to visit the place and for that a permit is required from the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department through a registered and recognized Travel Agency.
After reaching near to the border, phone & camera are not allowed and one have to climb stairways to see border between India & China. Because of the high altitude at Nathula, oxygen level in the air is quite low. One can face breathing problems at Nathula, but you will surely feel gratitude and proud of our Indian Army, who are vigilant and active in such harsh environment. It is advisable to wear warm clothes, boots, hand gloves, and cap as temperature is quite low. In case you do not have gloves/boots, you can buy or rent them in market on the way to pass 🙂
2. Tsomogo (Changu) Lake
It comes on the way to Nathula Pass, and is a huge lake surrounded by mountains. The time we visited , it was completely frozen. There were beautiful Yaks decorated in colourful beads & tassels, their caretakers were offering to take pictures or ride on them (obviously it was chargeable). The over all view was breathtaking , and we could not resist to go on other side of the lake. We played with snow for a while and clicked few pictures, until our cab driver started calling us for lunch. We had our lunch in one of the local shops. The shopkeeper lady was very friendly and even suggested us some cool nightclubs in the town. 🙂
3. M G road
Like every city in India, this road is important in Gangtok also. It is located in centre of town, and is stretched over 1 Km with shops and restaurants lined up both side. It’s a pedestrian only zone and vehicles are not allowed on this road. It is an entirely litter free , no smoking zone.
Tourists and locals can be seen leisurely walking, shopping etc. The crowd seems to be happening and place become livelier as evening approaches. You can buy gift items and memoirs from this place for your loved ones. Also I will recommend to visit the tea store named ‘Golden Tips” they have all variety of darjeeling tea, white, green, masala tea, you name it.
4. Banjhakri WaterFall
It’s a 100ft waterfall in a themed park developed as a major recreation center and tourist attraction near Gangtok highlighting shamanic tradition of the people of Sikkim. The official charge a mere entry fee of Rs.20 for admission.
If you are into spirituality, Gangtok is heaven for you! Ranka monastery, located about 20Km away from Gangtok is one of the beautiful monasteries in Sikkim. The monastery provide a breathtaking view of hills & greenery and is relatively new compared to Rumtek Monastery. Rumtek monastery is one of the largest monastery in Sikkim and is about 23Kms away from Gangtok. Unlike Ranka monastery, it requires an uphill walk of around half kilometer from entry gate to reach main monastery. But once you are there, you will forget all worldly problems. 🙂
It was an impromptu idea when we were coming back from Banjhakri falls. We instantly planned to paraglide amidst beautiful hills and trust me you will also not regret it, if given the chance! We experienced a paragliding flight (read FLYing :))with Adventure Zone, from a place named Ani Gumpa to Reshithang. It was a very pleasant flight and the fact that I have done it before made it a more comfortable one, Check the video below
7. Spicy Food
If you are in Gangtok and did not try momos, you are doomed! Kidding 😉 It’s just that they make best momos with lip smacking chutney, and once you have it, you will eat it everyday and in every meal. We were addicted to it to the level that we lost count how much we had it and continued eating momos in Siliguri.
On a serious note, visiting such places make us realize how tiny we and our problems are!!
Alright guys! this is it from my side, If I forget anything please mention in comments below. Do visit Gangtok and share your experiences.
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