A place in heaven is the first thing that came to my mind as I stood infront of the frozen Tsomgo lake.
How to reach this place: You can land into Bagdogra airport which is well connected from Delhi and Kolkata or arrive at NJP railway station in Siliguri. A 5- 6 hours scenic drive will get you to Gangtok with most of the drive being adjacent to the flowing Teesta river and the rest of it in the middle of the clouds.
Though Sikkim has the same time zone as all of India but works differently. It almost seems like 08:00 pm when it is actually just 05:00 pm. The Go Caribou tip is therefore start early since everything closes early in this part of India. Yes, the first day is spent travelling and relaxing the night off.
Few places you should not miss:
Tsomgo lake also knows as Tsangu lake is a full day trip from Gangtok. Located in the middle of the snow covered mountains, the lake is very scenic. You will find it completely frozen in case you visit the place betwee January and Mid- March. You can also take a Yak ride at the Lake. Drive further ahead to the Nathula pass, the Indo- China border 9open to Indian visitors only on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) to wave across to the Chinese soldiers.
Rumtek Monastery, the largest monastery in Sikkim situated 25 kms from Gangtok. Though the climb is tedious (please ensure you wear comfortable shoes to climb up the steep road), the tiredness just vanishes with the calmness of the monastery. The architectural design is almost identical to the original Kagyu headquarters in Tibet which is one of six main schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
The MG road in Gangtok is a fantastic place to take an evening stroll. No vehicles are allowed on this road, leaving the entire area for you to explore. The view of the beautiful street lamps and benches to sit remind you of the British days. You can shop all you want on this street or even grab a bite of the famous Momo’s or Chowmein available there.
Other places you can visit in Gangtok are Jhakri falls, flower show, Tashi view point, Research Institute of Tibetology. You can also spend your evening at the Casino in Sarovar and Mayfair hotel.
We would recommend a minimum of 03 nights to enjoy the beauty and culture of Gangtok.
Travel tips for Gangtok:
Carry 04 passport size photos and a photo ID proof. PAN card, OCI, PIO & ADHAR card will not be accepted as id proof. This could be original passport, driving license, voter ID etc.
There are a few ATMs in Gangtok, so stack up cash incase you have not carried enough.
Credit cards are not widely accepted in this region.
The weather is cold throughout the year so ensure you have thermals
Some of the sightseeing has steep roads, so please carry comfortable shoes.