Northeast India comprises of seven sister states and the Himalayan state of Sikkim. I always wanted to explore at least one state from northeastern India and Sikkim was my immediate choice when me and my husband decided to celebrate valentine’s day at some romantic place. Our second choice of destination was Darjeeling as it was at a feasible distance from Gangtok. We made our tour plans two days prior to our journey and so we did all bookings through travel agencies , I know its crazy but such is my life, but my suggestion to all my readers will be to do your bookings early by yourself to save hell lot of money and to cover more beautiful points on your journey which travel agencies don’t tell you about. If you are planning to go too, drop me an email or message so that I can guide accordingly and provide contacts .
Highlights of my tour
- Hotel : 3 nights at Gangtok ; 2 nights at Darjeeling
- Flights : Mumbai to Bagdogra via Kolkatta , Bagdogra to Mumbai via Kolkatta
- Car : Intra / Inter cities transfer covering all our trip
Journey To Gangtok
We started our journey early morning from Mumbai Airport at 7.45 and reached Bagdogra(closest airport to Sikkim) at 14.35 , so it took us 7 hours to reach our destination as our flight was via kolkatta . On arrival, we drove to Gangtok in a private vehicle. It took us 4 hours to reach our hotel in Gangtok but as you travel closer to Sikkim the route gets scenic and interesting so the journey is not boring at all. As we were tired from our journey we were happy to order our dinner from room service and call it a day.
Exploring city of Gangtok
We made a lot of changes in our plan after realising that the itinerary provided by our travel agency did not cover all good places to visit ,our driver offered to cover those places for which we had to pay extra money but it was worth it. Following are the places we visited on our day 2
Ganeshtok and Cottage Industry
We began our journey with visit to a Ganesha Temple , the view of the city from temple was mesmerizing. We also went to the nearest monastery to take blessings and then did some shopping for handicrafts at a cottage industry.
Flower Show Complex
This flower centre is a paradise for plant lovers . This is the venue of famous Sikkim Flower Show usually held around march when the orchids are in full boom. So if you plan to visit in march you will be lucky enough to enjoy the colourful event, unfortunately the show was not available during our visit but the greenhouse itself was an absolute treat to the eyes.
Surrounded by beautiful gardens , it is a picnic spot where you will go crazy clicking pictures and admiring the beauty of the waterfall.
Paragliding over Gangtok city
If you are an adrenaline junkie like me , it is an experience of the lifetime . It will cost you 2500 rs and 500 extra for video
Do Drul Chorten
It is the popular Stupa built by Rinpoche , a Tibetan Buddhist , it is surrounded by 108 prayer wheels .
Road trip from Gangtok to Nathula pass
The route from Gangtok to Nathula pass is awesome but if you get car sick easily then don’t forget to take a tablet prior.
Changu Lake ( Tsomgo Lake)
Tsomgo Lake is a two-hour drive from Gangtok on the Gangtok-Nathula highway. About a kilometre-long and 50 metres deep, Tsomgo Lake is popular as a tourist attraction and a holy site as well. It’s encircled by lush green landscapes on all sides.
Baba Mandir (new)
It is built because original Baba Harbhajan Mandir is not open for visitors due to some permission issue.
Ganju Lama museum
Visit this patriotic place to pay tribute to our soldiers and also because you will get a breath-taking view from this place .
This pass is a Indochina border , the soldiers there are kind enough to answer questions we ask them . Photography is strictly not allowed but you can click pictures from the parking like we did.
Road trip from Gangtok to Darjeeling
There are a lot of options to do on this route like water rafting or visiting Lamahata a botanical garden , we have to skip both because of time constraint and we chose to visit Rumtek instead.
About 25 kilometres east of Gangtok and at an altitude of 5,800 feet is Sikkim’s biggest monastery, the Rumtek Monastery. Built in 1740 and rebuilt in 1979, the monastery features a golden stupa containing the relics of the 16th Karmapa, with several other sacred Buddhist artefacts.
The view of the river Great Rangeet meeting Teesta is an awesome treat for the nature lovers. The river Rangeet with its deep green and crystal clear water gushes in and meets the forceful mountain stream Teesta at a point called Triveni.
There are so many things to do in Darjeeling but we had no time but following are some important experiences you must not miss when in Darjeeling.
Tiger Hills Sunrise Point
Watching sunrise and simultaneously watching its reflection on Kanchenjunga is an experience no money can buy , but for that you have to reach early and find yourself a spot as the point is crowded as hell .
It comes on the route towards airport from Darjeeling but we were unaware of it and so we drove 1 hour from Darjeeling there just for shopping .
Himalayan Mountaineering institute
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
This zoo is an ideal place for animal lovers. Seeing them caged breaks our heart a little though . Variety of animals and birds will make you fall in love.
That was all ! Next day we were back to our routine life which is hardly routine for us . Hope it was enough of a glimpse in our trip to explore northeast marvels Gangtok and Darjeeling ! Keep travelling and Do not forget to be Snazzy !