Go For River Rafting
Teesta River is the most important river in not only Gangtok but the entire state of Sikkim. The river has a long stretch, and some areas of it offer the best opportunity for rafting. Because of the variety of swirls and turns, caused by the ever-changing terrains, Teesta is perfect for both experienced and new rafters. There are some areas that are challenging when there are also portions where you can raft peacefully. All the patches on the river, where rafting is possible, you can find professional rafting organizers. They provide you with the raft, the safety jackets, and experts rafters who will guide you during the session.
Once you decide if you are comfortable with small waves or if you would like to challenge the larger ones, you can get a ticket and go on to the crazy adventure. Adults and kids can equally enjoy river rafting in Gangtok. It starts from a small beach area that is also perfect for a family picnic. You can then get dressed in the jacket and helmet, and get on the raft.
Location: Triveni, near Teesta Bazar.
Price: Rs. 900 per person.
Timing: December to June is the best time for rafting there.
From gushing waterfalls to sprawling forests, from solitary monasteries to austere mountains, Gangtok offers a range of awe-inspiring things to do for visitors
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Among all the Things To Do in Gangtok, one of the most thrilling ones surely is paragliding. It’s becoming the most popular adventure activity in Gangtok, and quite rightly so. Imagine you have wings and you are flying over a breathtaking landscape of snow covered mountains, rivers, meadows, and forests. That’s exactly what you get when you are paragliding in Gangtok. You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy paragliding in Gangtok either. The operation centres have trained paraglide pilots who will accompany you on the ride and control the flight for you. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the stunning view.
The ride is not suitable for people who weight over 90 kg or physically unfit to take off and land. Those are the two times when you have to follow the instructions of your pilot and do the work. However, it’s quite simple once you know what to do. You can either opt for the medium flight where you paraglide at an altitude of 1400 m, or you can take the high flight that takes you up to 2000 m.
Location: Baliman Dara.
Price: Rs. 4500 for high altitude fly and Rs. 2500 for medium altitude fly per person.
Timing: May to October.
Goecha La Trek
This is amongst romantic treks in the Himalayas where you actually romance the high mountains, valleys and resplendent atmospheric conditions! The ecosystem including the culture of the people here, is a sharp contrast to what you see in the rest of the country.
You are enchanted unceasingly as you walk through the forests bestowed with Rhododendron trees that reverberate divine pristine-ness. Be it walking through the vast Dzongri and Thansing meadows or enjoy beautiful sights of the Samiti Lake, there is a blooming feeling of ecstasy when you are here. All along you are looked upon by the Kanchejunga and Pandim ranges. The trekking sojourn through such an enchanting land is inexplicably surreal and magical to say the least!
Cycling on Silk Route
This is surely one of the Activities to do in Gangtok that the adventure lovers can go crazy for. The Kanchenjunga and the Himalayan ranges will accompany you through the entire trip, which surely is one aspect that makes this cycling trip unavoidable. The Silk Route journey is organized by many tour operators who will provide you with the required cycle, helmet, and other gears that you need. They organize the trip which includes camping and sightseeing. It starts from Sillery Gaon. You can reach there by car from the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. There are famous spots like Rishikhola, Zuluk, Nathang Valley, and more where you can take a break.
There will be experts present with you during the trip who arrange for all the require permits and help you with technical understanding of long-distance cycling. Make sure that you carry your water, food, and necessary medicines that you may require during the trip. If you are planning to go on the cycling trip on Silk Route then it’s advised that you practice cycling before your trip. This will prepare you to enjoy the tour in good health.
Location: Old Silk Route, East Sikkim.
Price: Rs. 20,800 per person.
Timing: It takes 7 days.
Enjoy at Seven Sisters Waterfall
One of the must Things To Do in Gangtok is to visit the gorgeous Seven Sisters Waterfall. As the name suggests, there are seven waterfalls of different sizes that flow side by side. The scene is spectacularly mesmerizing. During the monsoons, all the seven waterfalls come to life and fiercely come down from the mountain and create huge waves below. This dangerous phenomenon is one sight that you must not miss on your trip to Gangtok. This has made the place a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, especially the ones with a camera. It absolutely is a thing to capture.
The seven waterfalls rushing down through the forest covered mountains create a perfect harmony and you can spend hours looking at them. The destination is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the view. As the sun starts to set down, the long shadows of the mountains and the orange sky reflect on the Seven Sisters Waterfall, making them even more magical. You can arrange a small picnic with your family and friends to spend a lovely day surrounded by nature.
Location: National Highway, 32 km from Gangtok.
Timing: May to July is the best time when the waterfalls are in their full glory.
Visit Nathu La Pass
If you are thinking about adventurous Things To Do in Gangtok then a trip to the famous Nathu La Pass can surely be the best thing to do for you. Located at a height of 14150 feet, the Nathu La Pass used to be a passage to the Silk Route when it was operational. The area offers a stunning view of the white mountains, and the journey itself is an adventure to remember. The India-China border is only a few feet from the Nathu La Pass and you can see the soldiers of both the countries guarding the border. You can visit the Sherathang Market and cloud-covered Kupup on your trip.
Because of its height, the Nathu La Pass has a lower level of Oxygen. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying Gangtok Adventure Activities as you can easily carry a small Oxygen cylinder with you. Apart from a Protected Area Permit, issued by the Sikkim Tourism Department, you will also need to carry an ID proof and two passport size photos with you. You won’t be allowed to enter the Nathu La Pass without them.
Location: 52 km from Gangtok.
Price: Protected Area Permit costs Rs. 200 per person.
Timing: 8 AM to 9 AM, Wednesday to Sunday.
Visit Tsomgo Lake
Located in East Sikkim at an elevation of 3,780m, the Tsomgo Lake is also called ‘Changku Lake’. Associated with numerous myths and beliefs, this alluring lake is situated on the Gangtok Nathu La Highway and within the close proximity to the Chinese border.
During winters or summers, the climatic conditions prevailing around this stunning reservoir varies from chilly to moderate. Stunning views of the nearby snow-capped mountains, reflections of the loft clouds on the clear blue water surface and the alluring views of the surroundings make this lake a spectacular sight in Gangtok.
However, due to its close proximity with the Indo-China International Border, the non-Indian nationals might have to take special permissions in order to visit this lake.
Enjoy Yak Safari
A yak safari is one of the most tranquil Activities to do in Gangtok when you visit the Changu Lake, also known as the Tsomgo Lake. The lake is 40 km drive from the Gangtok town. The area has a market at one side and snow cover mountains on the other sides. Yak safari undoubtedly is a unique experience that you surely must not miss. These calm and gently animals are covered in long hair to protect them from the cold areas they are found in. The Yaks here are decorated with colourful rugs and ribbons tied to their horns. Every Yak has a trainer who will control the animal when you are riding it.
Experiencing the beautiful mountains and the lake from the back of a Yak is surely something that you will never forget. You can rent a Yak from the market area and go on the safari tour of a lifetime.
Location: Tsomgo Lake, located about 40 km from Gangtok.
Price: Riding a Yak to the bridge costs 40, to the viewpoint 80, to the village 100, and all the way to Kemang costs 250. Taking a photo will cost you Rs. 10.
Timing: Winter season is the best time.
Go For Cable Ride
Riding the 24-passengers-carrying cable cars is one of the things in Gangtok that you must take part in. This double cable ropeway is the perfect place to see the city from. It offers a wonderful view of the valleys below. During the tourist season, the cable cars are always fully booked and there’s always a long queue waiting to ride it. So, if you want to fully enjoy the ride then make sure that you are one of the first people to enter the car. The entire ride is 1 km long with three stations. You can get a ticket from any of these and then get on the cable car.
You can get down on any of the three stations too, Deorali, Namnang, and Tashiling. However, it’s recommended that you take the whole two-way ride. The ticket price already includes it and you will get two completely different views on the journey. That surely is the best way to get value for your money.
Location: Deorali in Gangtok is the lowest point to ride the cable car.
Price: It costs Rs. 110 per adult, Rs. 70 per kid below 6 years, and free for kids below 3 years.
Timing: 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM every day.
Biking on a rugged terrain with all-encompassing scenery in the backdrop is a surreal experience! Gangtok offers some of the most scenic biking trails in the world. On a biking sojourn in this hill city, witness the beauty of the landscape, exquisiteness of the flora and fauna, lush green hills and the quaint villages. Experience and embrace the natural beauty of Gangtok, stop by and click photographs and wave at the locals whose heartwarming smiles make your journey worth!
Ride past cardamom fields and smell the fragrance. Get breathtaking views of the city from the mountain ridges. Refresh yourself with the crystal clear mountain streams. Bike unaffected and free-spirited through deodar and pine forests. Become one with nature and let your abundant energies manifest itself through this exciting outdoor activity on your Gangtok trip.
Helicopter Ride in Sikkim
A helicopter ride in Sikkim is an opportunity to get an aerial view of the Himalayan ranges and amongst the top things to do in Gangtok. It is a time to feast your eyes on the grandeur of this place. Be spellbound by the high-rise mountains, valleys, rivers and forests as you see them from the sky. See the Gangtok town and get a comprehensive eagle’s eye view of its landscape. You can also go on helicopter rides over the monasteries and explore their spirituality and devotion.
The best helicopter trip would be the one over the Valley of Flowers. There could be some rules pertaining to photography; as per the Ministry of Defense, photography may not be allowed in some regions. However, despite of such restrictions, a helicopter ride is a must while visiting the salubrious hill city in Sikkim.
Visit Rumtek Monastery
Also called the Dharmachakra Centre, the Rumtek Monastery is a renowned place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. Built in the 16th century, this monastery is perched atop a hill from here you get a panoramic view of the city while on your Gangtok trip.
Being the largest monasteries in this region, people visit this place for its surroundings and picturesque views as well. A small path meanders from the monastery and passes through terrace rice fields. You can follow this path to witness sloshing streams and rare plants that make up a unique ecosystem. The monastery is surrounded by mountains, streams and forests. It is perfectly nestled amidst such enchanting beauty to make your visit to this place a memorable one.
The aforementioned are some of the many things to do in Gangtok. Bestowed with numerous avenues for recreation and adventure, this capital city of Sikkim has its own glory and charm. Be it the sprawling meadows to the sunset views from cliffs, everything about Gangtok are cradled by nature’s finest attributes.
View Sunset At Tashi Viewpoint
If you have ever wanted to view the Kanchenjunga mountain range from a close distance, then the Tashi Viewpoint is the ideal spot for you! Located only a few miles away from the main city, it can easily reached. Also, one of the most sought after destinations for the nature photographers and admirers, the mystique appeal of the viewpoint is a must for everyone.
Mostly swarmed during the early hours of the day, the rays of the rising sun creates a magical charm around the point. Illuminating the ambience with the golden sunrays, it offers the panoramic views of the Khanchendzonga and Siniolchu peaks. Circular in shape, it allows four people at a time and a visit to this viewpoint is one of the surreal things to do in Gangtok.
If you are looking for Things To Do in Gangtok then you should consider hang gliding. Imagine yourself as a bird, floating over the beautiful snowy Himalayan Range with colourful town and valleys below. If that interests you then hang gliding is something that you will most definitely enjoy. This adventure sport is one of the newest additions to the adventure sporting culture of Gangtok. It’s much like paragliding but in its case, you hold on to a bar attached to the wings and hang by it. However, you will, of course, be strapped to the top of the bar with a belt for safety purposes.
The hang gliding points offer the necessary gears you need to participate in the activity. You can also rent a GoPro camera for an extra Rs. 1000 to record your entire flight. It surely will be a great memory to keep forever. If you have done hang gliding before and can manage it well then opt for a solo flight. However, for the first timers, there are piloted flights available which are safer.
Location: Yumthang and Jorethang.
Price: Rs. 2500 per person. Video recording will cost you extra.
Timing: Mid May to October, early morning to afternoon.
Discover Lal Bazaar
Lal Bazaar is an open market area in Gangtok that is known for great variety of stores and products it offers. The market was established in 1956 and has only grown is proportion since. The place is always filled with the locals and the tourists. This creates a wonderfully vibrant atmosphere. This is something that must be experienced by every traveler for its uniqueness. However, that’s only the half of it. Lal Bazaar is also a perfect place to shop if you enjoy bargaining. The locals come here to shop for vegetables mostly but you should be looking for the different varieties of cheeses found here. Cheese made of Yak’s milk is particularly unique about this market.
Although the market is now named the Kanchenjunga Shopping Complex, the locals still recognize it by its original one. There are stores where you can find traditional items such as pottery, flags, knives, and more. Even if you don’t have anything to buy, visit Lal Bazaar for experiencing the local lifestyle.
Location: Vishal Gaon, Gangtok.
Price: Varies from shop to shop and product to product.
Timing: It’s open all year long. However, Sundays are the best days to visit to experience a vibrant atmosphere.