Monsoon is never the best time to visit the hills of Northeast India because monsoon brings continuous rain and clouds all over the region. However, this also brings out the true colours of the mountains and you will find yourself surrounded by fewer tourists.
If you find yourself in Gangtok during the monsoon for 3 days, here is a list of activities that you can do!
P.S: The Nathula pass zone is landslide prone, so if you are unable to visit then you can take a detour to Kalimpong 😉
Day 1: Handicraft, Flower Show & Shopping
As you reach Gangtok, you will feel immensely satisfied with the phenomenal beauty of the mountains. The Handicraft & Handloom museum is the first thing I saw when after entering the city. Located at zero point,most of the trainees here are disabled but their art speaks for themselves. The museum on the first floor displays antique and rare collection of legendary artists, which is not to be missed.
After seeing these amazing artwork and craft, it was time to witness the Flower Exhibition Centre. This is located at the end of the Ridge Park and isa small enclosure which holds more than 50 varieties of Orchids and other plants. We stopped by M.G Road for lunch before heading for shopping.
M.G Road is the most happening part of the town. Cute shops and cafes surround the place; Baker’s café, Roll house are some of the must-go cafes to try. This 1km stretch is a car and smoke free zone, and great for short walks.
Day 2: Nathula Pass, Tsogmo Lake & Baba Mandir
After touring the city on Day 1, it wass time for an early morning expedition to the mountains to witness the wonders of nature. Nathu La Pass is a must-go for the first timers. The famous Silk trade route is 56km from Gangtok. You can see the Indo-China trade route, binge-eat local food and shop your heart out. You would require a permit to visit the pass.
The picturesque Tsogmo Lake falls on the way to Nathu La pass. The oval shaped glacial lake has crystal like turquoise water and is home for various species of rhododendrons, poppies, irises etc.
After satisfying our eyes, I headed to the spiritual sight, the Baba Mandir, a shrine built by the Indian Army in remembrance of “Baba” Harbhajan Singh, a soldier who died near the Nathu La Pass. The monument is now a pilgrimage where people come to seek peace.
Day 3: Rumtek Monastery & Bakthang Waterfall
New day called out for new routes, and so we headed to the hills on the other side of the city. From Rumtek, one can see the complete city of Gangtok. This is one of the largest monastery of Sikkim and one of the finest in the world. The three storeyed building is house to the rarest of Buddhist religious artwork and the Golden stupa of 16th Karmapa which is made of pure gold. You can also stop by the small café that serves veg delicacies.
Gangtok is famous for naturally occurring lakes and falls. As we went by the National Highway 31A, we found a beautiful waterfall by the road named Bakthang fall. It comes down from the river Ratey Chu and is one of the prettiest waterfall in Gangtok. One can walk down the fall and take a bath. For adventure lovers, a short rope sliding is an icing over the cake.
Do let me know about your Gangtok adventure on the comment section below 🙂