Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gangtok and North Sikkim - places of Interest

Gangtok and Around


Roam around on MG Road. Do visit Allen’s Kitchen for Tibetan delicacies. There are various other places in Gangtok which can be covered in one day. But we didn’t include in our plan.

Changu Lake :

Tsomgo(Changu) lake is situated 35 km from Gangtok on the Gangtok - Nathula highway which forms a part of the old trade route from India to China. Stop at lake while returning from Nathula Pass.

Baba Mandir :

A temple built in his memory  of a soldier in the 23rd Punjab Regiment, who drowned in a stream near the spot.

Nathula Pass :

Nathula is a pass on the Indo Chinese boarder The pass was traditionally used by merchants of India and Tibet for trading (silk route). It is covered with snow for most part of the year. It is open only on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Its very cold place with temperature below zero even in May.   Totally covered in fog and snow around, do visit it. You can go right up to the border fence where you can see Chinese soldiers just a meter away.

On the way to North Sikkim

Tashi View Point

6 kms away from Gangtok on the North Sikkim Highway, offers an astounding view of the hills and valleys. Khangchendzonga can be seen on clear day from here. Phodong and Labrang monasteries can be seen on opposite hills.


Kabi Longstok

A place of worship where historical treaty of blood brotherhood between the Lepcha and Bhutia community was signed. There is a small monastery nearby. Its 20 kms from Gangtok.

Seven Sisters Waterfall

32 kms from Gangtok on the North Sikkim Highway. A must stop place.


64 kms from Gangtok, a district headquarter for North Sikkim. You have to take west for Dzongu and towards north for North Sikkim.

Singhik View Point

12 kilometers away from Mangan towards the north, this view point offers picturesque view of Mount Sinolchu. From the viewpoint you can see confluence of River Teesta and River Kanaka.


30 kms from Mangan, the town of Chungthang is present at the confluence of the rivers Lachen and Lachung  Chu, tributaries of the River Teesta. Here the road bifurcates to take different routes for Lachen and Lachung.

North Sikkim


At an altitude of 9000 feet, this small beautiful town is famous as overnight stop for onward journey to Guru Dongmar lake. Stay here gives much needed time for the body to get acclimatized to high altitude.

Thangu and Chopta Valley

While going to Guru Dongmar lake, some 36 kms from Lachen, you halt at Thangu for breakfast. Thangu has some wooden houses and military camps nestled in the alpine meadows. The place offers breathtaking scenic view of high snow capped mountains and Alpine environment. While returning from the lake, one can visit the small and beautiful Chopta valley.


Gurudongmar Lake

At 17200 feet on a vast plateau very near to Indo-Tibet border lies one of the high altitude lakes of the world which is also a sacred place for locals. At this altitude, you are most likely to get clear blue skies which renders the scenery astonishing surrounded by perennial snow covered mountain tops. Lake is almost frozen during winter. It’s a rough drive of around 5 hours from Lachen but million times worth it. Without Guru Dongmar lake, trip to North Sikkim is meaningless.


A very beautiful and picturesque Bhutia village settled in the Alpine valley on the banks of River Lachung is a base camp for surrounding attractions like Yumthang Valley, Rhododendron Sanctuary and Zero point. But the town, settled at an altitude of 8800 feet, itself is a worth exploring. Lachung Monastery on the slopes of the hill can be a good small trek from the town.



Yumthang valley, also known as 'Valley of Flowers' for the boom of rhododendrons. It’s a very scenic place gifted with green meadows, pine and silver fir forests, waterfalls and streams.
The hot spring is located close by the Yumthang village on the banks of Lachung River. The hot water is rich with sulplur.
The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary in Yumthang valley has more than 24 species of Rhododendron flowers and various other species of flowers.  Best season to visit this place  is from April to May end.



Yumesamdong (Zero Point) is very close to the Chinese border about 26 kms from Yumthang and at an altitude of 15300 feet.  It is the land of perennial snow. The stretch from Yumthang village passes through the rugged mountains. Ezilia, a plant used as incense, fills the air with fresh scent.

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