Gangtok, the largest town and capital of the Indian state of Sikkim, got its start as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the mid-nineteenth century, but today, it’s better known as a jumping off point for treks in the surrounding Himalayan mountains.
Much like Darjeeling, Gangtok descends in steep tiers down a mountain ridge, with views of towering Khangchendzonga to the West. At first glance, there isn’t much to the city as far as attractions go, but visitors often find themselves lingering, entranced by the laid-back vibe and local culture of the very clean and very well laid out town.
Most of Gangtok’s notable sites are of the religious variety, including the Enchey Monastery, the Rumtek Monastery (one of Buddhism’s most sacred), the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and the Thakurbari Temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Ganpati and Hanuman.
The easiest way to reach Gangtok is by bus or jeep from Siliguri. You can also catch a fixed-price taxi from the airport in Bagdogra.