Utopia does exist, in the quiet valleys of Gangtok. The clean streets, scenic charm, friendly people, no-smoking policy and various other attributes bring Gangtok closer to a utopia than any other Indian City. If you think that India is unsafe, then Gangtok will change your mind.
HOW TO GO
Bagdogra is the closest airport but it is difficult to reach Gangtok from there. Plus, the next closest airport, Guwahati Airport, is 550 km from the city. It is better if you take a train from a major Indian city. Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Puri, Jodhpur and many other cities to New Jalpaiguri ( NJP). Once you reach here, there are cabs you can hire to take you to Gangtok, or you can travel to Gangtok via Darjeeling.
WHEN TO GO
Gangtok is not unbearably hot or bone bitingly cold. The city boasts nice weather all year round, but from June to September it receives monsoon rainfall. Trekking and sightseeing become difficult with rain pouring down. Avoid the rainy season by visiting between March and May. If you prefer a cooler temperature visit between December and February.
THINGS TO DO
It is not the monuments nor the tourist sites that appeal to travelers. Gangtok holds an inherent mystic charm in its spinning prayer wheels, robed monks, pagoda roofs, gushing Ranipul River and the Kanchenjunga (the third highest mountain in the world). Tourists from overseas need an inner line permit, as well as a restricted area permit if they want to reach the trekking trails leading to Tashi Viewpoint.
WHERE TO STAY
Bamboo Grove Retreat on Kazi Road provides you biking facilities along with the daily amenities. Other budget hotels are Hotel Tibet, Akshma’s Homestay, Hotel Nirvana, and Hotel Pandim. Booking your hotel room on Goibibo or Oyo saves you a lot of research.
HOW TO CHARGE YOUR PHONE
Standard Indian sockets are the same as in Britain, type G. If you use a different socket then you will have to bring a travel adapter with you because you will have a hard time finding an adapter in Gangtok. The standard voltage is 230 V, so, if your devices run below 230V you will need a transformer as well.
For in depth knowledge of Gangtok do check out our blog post
December 27, 2017 8:29 am