GANGTOK is a bustling, friendly hill station, and the capital of the Himalayan state of Sikkim. The name Gangtok is derived from the Tibetan word for ‘hillside’. Gangtok is one of the cleanest cities in India and is well organized and beautifully maintained. Gangtok is the main base for Sikkim tourism. Mostly devoid of large shops, this place is a nice break away from typical city lives. The best season to visit Gangtok is Jan-March. There are forest regions around Gangtok, as well as evergreen, coniferous trees of the wet alpine zone. Flowers such as sunflower, marigold, poinsettia, and others bloom, especially in November and December.
- Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 meters. Within the higher peaks of the Himalaya and with a year-round mild temperate According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the town falls under seismic zone-IV, near the convergent boundary of the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates and is subject to frequent earthquakes.
- The existences of steep slopes, vulnerability to landslides, large forest cover and inadequate access to most areas have been a major impediment to the natural and balanced growth of the city.
- Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. In 1894, the ruling Sikkimese Chogyal, Thutob Namgyal, transferred the capital to Gangtok. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and cities such as Kolkata in British India.
- After India won its independence from Britain in 1947, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy, with Gangtok as its capital. In 1975, after the integration with the union of India, Gangtok was made India’s 22nd state capital.
Food & Sports
- A popular food in Gangtok is the momo, a steamed dumpling containing pork, beef and vegetables cooked in a doughy wrapping and served with watery soup. Wai-Wai is a packaged snack consisting of noodles which are eaten either dry or in soup form.
- Football (soccer), cricket and archery are the most popular sports in Gangtok. The Paljor Stadium, which hosts football matches, is the sole sporting ground in the city.
Gangtok is famous for its natural beauty and caring and peace-loving people. Various places worth a visit are the MG Marg, Nathula Pass and Flower Exhibition which are in and around Gangtok.