Gangtok is India’s gateway to the Himalayan Mountains, and it is quickly becoming an industry leading and world class destination for adventurous Indian travelers who are looking to enjoy good food, great wilderness, pristine ecosystems and exquisite hiking. If you are considering a stay in a one of the Sterling Holidays resorts in Gangtok or the surrounding area, or you are planning and expedition to climb Sikkim’s Himalayan Mountain ranges, then you should consider these travel tips and ideas before you go. Do your research to get the best deals before you embark on your trip?
Gangtok is famous for it’s numerous festivals. There is a festival nearly every month, and exciting things are happening year round. Sikkim, and in particular Gangtok, has a very diverse ethnic population, and that’s why there are so many different festivals celebrated throughout the year. You might be able to experience a festival not celebrated in the part of India you are from. Hindu festivals like Holi are celebrated, but so are Nepalese festivals like Dashain and Tibetan festivals like Losar. Even Christian holidays like Christmas are celebrated. Whenever you visit Gangtok you will be able to experience the local culture by attending a festival. The locals are always happy to get visitors from all other regions in India, and they are extremely accommodating to tourists who want to learn about the customs and cultural practices of the people in northeast India.
Food in Sikkim is varied and delicious. Local chefs take prides in the regional dishes which vary greatly from what most Indians expect when they think about Indian food. Nepalese and Tibetan foods are prevalent in the region. A thick and hearty noodle soup called thukpa makes a great meal, and it will give you a lot of energy to go hiking for a whole day. Momos, which are steamed buns filled with pork, are found nearly everywhere. They can easily be found in town on the side of the road. Momos are the most popular street food in Gangtok. They taste great when dipped in a sauce or even in a bowl of soup. To wash down your meal after a relaxing day trekking you should try some alcohol like jannr. Jannr is a mild alcohol made from millet, rice or barley, and it is typically drunk from a bamboo shoot. You might even be able to try something that is not commonly found in other parts of India: cheese. An herb-flavored cottage cheese called chhurpi is one of the many dairy products you can find in Sikkim. Buttermilk and dahi yogurt are common side dishes, too.
Opportunity for Hiking
Gangtok is the starting base for those looking to climb the Himalayan mountain ranges in the Indian state of Sikkim. The city itself offers spectacular views of nearby mountains like, which is the largest peak in India and third largest in the entire world. The monsoon season in Sikkim is typically between June and September, so you should plan your trip accordingly if you want to experience the best conditions for trekking and hiking. April, May, October and November will offer the best dates for hiking and mountaineering in calm weather. If your trek is expected to be a daunting one you are advised to hire a local guide to help you along the way.
Find Some Inner Peace with Tibetan Buddhism
Because of its relative closeness to Nepal and Tibet, Gangtok features many monasteries and temples. The area is known as a center of Tibetan Buddhist culture. Shared taxis regularly run from Gangtok to Yuksom – which offers fantastic hiking trails like the Yuksom-Dzongri trail. This trek is a popular high altitude excursion along the Rathong Chu River in western Sikkim. Yuksom also has many monasteries to see during your visit such as the Dubdi Monastery and Mallu Monastery. Be sure to stop by one of the monasteries and greet the monks for luck before you head out on your next adventure in the local hills and mountains.
Other Types of Ecotourism in the Area
Trekking, hiking and mountain climbing aren’t the only thriving types of ecotourism you can partake in in Sikkim. River rafting is gaining popularity very quickly in Sikkim. The local government has focused its efforts on expanding ecotourism in recent years while maintaining a balance of environmental sustainability, so you can be sure your adventure won’t damage the local flora and fauna.
Sikkim is one of the most interesting states in India that you can visit. It is a great place to go to if you are into mountain climbing, trekking, hiking or any other type of ecotourism. The area is filled with beautiful landscapes, peaceful monasteries and amazing festivals. The food is delicious and hearty, and the people are friendly and accommodating. They are happy to have visitors from all over India. Be sure to check out this part of India if you are an adventurer, foodie or a traveler looking for a peaceful time.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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