Here’s a list of the most beautiful places to see near Gangtok city on your next trip to the northeast. Whether you’re a nature lover or a history buff, all of these places ought to be on your bucket.
1. Namchi: A Magnificent Sikkimese City
Literally translated as the ‘top of the sky’, Namchi is one of the best beautiful places to visit near Gangtok that offers startling view of the Ranjit Valley and the Khangchendzonga range. The destination is famed for quite a few heritage monasteries, Buddhist pilgrim centres, and a life-size idol of Guru Padmasambhava. It is due to these attractions that the religious town is visited by devotees round the year.
Distance from Gangtok: 31 km
Major attractions: Choling Monastery, Ngadak monastery, and Rock Garden
2. Yuksom: The Meeting Place Of Lamas
The former capital of Sikkim, Yuksom is among most beautiful tourist places near Gangtok. This quaint hamlet promises pristine beauty and serenity to tourists & locals alike. The hamlet houses Dubdi Gompa – the oldest monastery of Sikkim – and many other monasteries and stupas. The religious hill town is also a heaven for the trekking enthusiasts and is undeniably one of the best places to visit near Gangtok.
Distance from Gangtok: 38 km
Major attractions: Royal palace of Tashi Tenka, monastery of Kathok Wodsalin Gompa, and Norbugang Park
3. Tsomgo Lake: The Sparkling Glacial Lake
Perched at 12,400 feet on the Gangtok-Nathula highway, Tsomgo Lake – or Changu Lake as it is locally popular as – is one of the highest & most famous lakes in India. This glacial lake that remains completely frozen during winter is certainly one of the most spectacular places to see near Gangtok. People love to indulge in yak rides & ice skating here or enjoy piping hot tea & instant noodles from the surrounding food kiosks.
Distance from Gangtok: 38 km
Major attractions: Blue & yellow poppies, Primulas flowers, and Brahminy ducks
4. Nathula Pass: Festooned With Stunning Scenery
Counted among the highest motorable roads in the world, Nathu La pass is located at 14,450 feet above the sea level; which makes it one of the must-visit places to visit around Gangtok . This famous corridor is a part of the historical Silk Route, connecting India and Tibet. Nathu La is open for Indians only from Wednesday to Sunday and one needs to take entry permit from the tourism department zonal office in advance. The war memorial and the exhibition centre of Indian Army are the major highlights here.
Distance from Gangtok: 52 km
Major attractions: Walking along the international border of India and China and yak safari
5. Ravangla: A Picture-Postcard Destination
Snuggled between Tendong Hills and Maenam, Ravangla overjoys every tourist with tranquility of nature, peace, and jaw-dropping beauty of Himalayas. The hamlet, adorned with aromatic tea estates and monasteries, surely finds its name in the list of beautiful places to visit near Gangtok.
Distance from Gangtok: 64 km
Major attractions: Birds such as verditer flycatchers, babblers, blue whistling thrush, and dark-throated thrush
6. Zuluk: Unconventional And Off-The-Wall
A winding road with 32 hairpin bends will take you to Zuluk, one of the best places to visit near Gangtok. The picturesque hamlet of Zuluk is also a part of historical Silk Route and offers stunning view of Mount Kanchenjunga. Driving through this route is among most enthralling things to do near Gangtok, and this indeed attracts adventure-riders from across the world.
Distance from Gangtok: 91 km
Major attractions: Thambi Viewpoint and Nag Temple
7. Lachung: The Riverside Hamlet
Located at an elevation of 8,610 feet, Lachung is a quaint hamlet that is often described as the most picturesque village of Sikkim and also as one of the best places to visit near Gangtok city. The hamlet lies on the banks of the river by the same name and allures the foreigners & other tourists with its eternal charm, scenic beauty, and pristine landscape. The scenic splendor of this hamlet make it among the loveliest places to visit in Gangtok in October, or in fact any other month!
Distance from Gangtok: 102 km
Major attractions: Lachung monastery
8. Pelling: An Adventurous Wonderland
One of the best places to visit in Sikkim, Pelling is adorned with sparkling waterfalls and lush green forests. But it has to be the amazing view of the mighty Himalayan ranges – including the Kanchenjunga Peak – from Pelling that will make your jaw drop in astonishment. Thanks to its easy connectivity this is among popular places to visit near Darjeeling and Gangtok.
Distance from Gangtok: 112 km
Major attractions: Adventure sports like rafting, kayaking, trekking, and mountain biking