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Things To Do In Gangtok
Gangtok is a charming Himalayan city with exotic fauna and flora, a very romantic climate, and a lot of fun things to do. Gangtok has played an important role in the very interesting history of Sikkim. Sikkim was once an independent kingdom before it joined India and therefore has a unique historical past, and Gangtok being the capital of the state, preserves many relics from that era. The city is also an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Hence you will find a great many things to do here in Gangtok, for history buffs as well as nature lovers.
Experience Nature At Its Best
You have probably already heard of the thick coniferous vegetation and the rare orchids but when it comes to showcasing nature, Gangtok has much more to offer - like the beautiful Teesta River, the Yumthang Valley with its vast meadows, and the magical Tsongmo Lake at an elevation of over 12000 feet!
If you are hoping to get a glimpse of some of Gangtok’s exotic plant and animal life, then the Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is the place for you. It is home to the famous Snow Leopard, the Musk Deer and the Himalayan Tahr.
Explore the Orchids
Gangtok is proud of its orchids and encourages travelers to explore their dainty colours throughout the year. Try the Deorali Orchid Sanctuary and the Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden for an evening amidst flowers.
Find Peace With Buddhism
Gangtok is an important center for the Buddhist culture with the locals practicing Buddhist traditions since the time of the ancient monarchs. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology here studies and promotes the research of Tibetan culture in all its myriad dimension. They have vast libraries and hold the largest collection of Tibetan works outside Tibet. You could also visit the Rumtek Monastery, the Pemayangtse Monastery, and the Enchey Monastery to experience the spiritual atmosphere of Gangtok.
Adventure and Sports
Gangtok is a great place for trekkers, amateurs and professionals alike. One of the many popular routes is the Goechala Trek which takes you across beautiful meadows, past the Smiti Lake, and through thick forests with the icy Kanchenjunga peeking in the distance throughout. The Sampdakthu Trek is another magical route that winds through forests until you reach the peak and spot the jaw-dropping sight of the Everest glittering in the backdrop of the Kanchenjunga.
Another sport that many people look forward to is white river rafting on the Teesta River; the river is one of the best for the activity, with many rapids to choose from.
Yak It Up
If you want to turn things up a notch, try riding a yak. Many places have these majestic beasts in colorful saddles ready to carry people up and down the mountainous terrain.
Enjoy Unexplored Roads
You can also embark on a biking trip along the roads that lead to the outskirts of Gangtok. There are many biking trails that are perfect for riding, with the distant mountains acting as a relaxing backdrop. Pass through Sikkimese villages, cross a couple of streams and enjoy the sound of silence (barring your bike of course). You may even pass through some aromatic cardamom fields on your way.