A simple thought of the Himalayas is enough to get me excited enough to visit it. My wish to visit the eastern Himalayas finally got fulfilled when I visited one of the most beautiful places — Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. It was rainy season when I decided to go there, but it did not deter me. I took a flight from Bengaluru to Kolkata and then on to Bagdogra. Travelling to Gangtok was very exciting. The roads were running parallel with the giant river Teesta which was swelled up at that time. After I got into the hotel, I decided to go for some local sightseeing after a few hours of rest. The hotel was less than 300 m away from MG Road. It was very well-maintained by the Sikkim government and I could see plenty of benches, clean road and a lot of shops. I heard from many locals that MG Road looks beautiful at night, so I decided to visit it again. For now, I headed towards the Government Institute of Cottage Industry where you can find authentic Sikkimese handicrafts and arts. With so much under its umbrella, no wonder, Gangtok is one of the famous tourist attractions in India.
The other places I visited the same day included Enchey Monastery, White Hall, Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok, and Tashi View Point, some of the more popular attractions in Gangtok. I planned my day two and day three to cover the places around Gangtok which included Lachung, Chungthang, Lachen, Tsogmo lake (also known as Tsango or Changu lake) and some other small towns. I decided to cover the Himalayan Zoological Park in Gangtok on day four. There were a variety of animals including some rare species like Red Panda and Snow Leopard. Do not forget to have soupy Maggi at the café in the zoo. Though each and every place gave me a unique experience, I enjoyed being at MG Road. Every night, I visited MG Road and chatted with locals for long hours. Do not forget to buy local artefacts and try out food at some of cafes. You will not regret paying for the food no matter where you are eating. It is delicious everywhere. Gangtok also has a number of nightclubs and pubs that play live bands.
How to get there:
By air: The nearest airport is at Bagdogra which is around 125 km away from Gangtok. You can hire cabs for Gangtok to Bagdogra.
By rail: The nearest railway station is at New Jalpaiguri, around 155 km away from Gangtok.
By road: There are many bus operators who ply between Kolkata, Guwahati and Gangtok. Shared taxis can be hired from Bagdogra and New Jalpaiguri.
Where to Stay
Hotel Pandim offers semi-luxury and luxury rooms at INR 800- INR 1,500. For bookings, contact Kesang Norbu Bhutia at +91-98320-80172 or mail at
About the Author
Jigyasha is an avid weekend traveller who also loves to read a book or two on her way. Second love: Theatre.