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City Profile - Gangtok

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» Accent City: Gangtok » State :Sikkim » Region : 29 » Surface Area : 954 sq km.
» STD Code :3592 » Currancy : Indian Rupee (INR) » Local Time : IST (+5.5 GMT)
Population : 30702

Language : Nepali, Sikkimese, Bhutia, Lepcha, Hindi and English

Religion : Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism

Latitude : 27.333333

Longitude : 88.616667

Climate :

Gangtok enjoys pleasant temperate weather all around the year. The weather of Gangtok makes it a popular summer holiday destination. The average temperature of all the days of the year taken together is 18 degrees centigrade.

The term 'Weather' implies a phenomena in the atmosphere of planet Earth. The phenomena is taken in aggregate over a short period of time-usually hours or days. Average weather conditions taken for a long period of time is referred to as climate of a particular place. The weather of Gangtok is bracing cool throughout the year (all 365 days plus leap year allocation)

The weather of Gangtok is cool and rainfall occurs all twelve months of the year. Gangtok experiences heavy rainfall due to its proximity to the Bay of Bengal.

The weather of Gangtok exhibit standard variations throughout the year. The mean temperature varies from 1.5 degrees centigrade to 9.5 degrees centigrade. The maximum temperature in Gangtok is recorded during the summer months ( July and August) and the minimum temperature in the months of December and January. Fog is common in Gangtok during the months starting from the month of May until the month of December. Snowfall is common on the upper reaches of Gangtok.

The weather of Gangtok undergoes a rainy season during the months from May to early October. Rainfall is heavy and well distributed in this time of the year. July is the wettest month in Gangtok. The highest rainfall may exceed 5000mm during any given year.

The minimum temperature recorded in Gangtok is 1 degree centigrade and the maximum temperature is 22 degrees centigrade.

Restaurants In Gangtok

Genral Information - Gangtok

Nestling in the lush greenery of the Himalayas is Gangtok (5,800 ft), the small capital city of Sikkim, where Buddhist prayer flags flutter in the mountain breeze, exotic orchids and chirruping birds run riot in a colourful melee. Visit Gangtok for a peek at the profusion of blooming rhododendrons in the deepest of reds and savour the serene cool beauty of the snow clad peaks in an ambience enhanced by the cheerful bustle of a warm, hospitable, pleasant and hard-working people.

Gangtok is a blend of the traditional and modern, where modern concrete multi-storeyed structures clinging to the hillside stand alongside 'chortens' (stupas) and monasteries; young college girls in trendy dresses rub shoulders in the market place with elderly matrons clad in traditional 'bakus' and lamas in colourful maroon and mustard robes play football with youngsters in blue jeans and T-shirts.

History :

Like the rest of Sikkim, not much is known about the early history of GangtokThe earliest records date from the construction of the hermitic Gangtok monastery in 1716.Gangtok remained a small hamlet until the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840 made it a pilgrimage center. After the defeat of the Tibetans by the British, Gangtok became a major stopover in the trade between Tibet and British India at the end of the 19th century.Most of the roads and the telegraph in the area were built during this time.

In 1894, Thutob Namgyal, the Sikkimese monarch under British rule, shifted the capital from Tumlong to Gangtok, increasing its importance. A new grand palace along with other state buildings was built in the new capital. Following India's independence in 1947, Sikkim became a nation-state with Gangtok as its capital. Sikkim became a suzerain of India, with the condition that it would retain its independence, by the treaty signed between the Chogyal and the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.Trade between India and Tibet continued to flourish through the Nathula and Jelepla passes, offshoots of the ancient Silk Road near Gangtok. These border passes were sealed after the Sino-Indian War in 1962, which deprived Gangtok of its trading business.In 1975, the monarchy was abrogated and Sikkim became India's twenty-second state, with Gangtok as its capital. Gangtok has witnessed annual landslides, resulting in damage to life and properties. The largest disaster occurred in June 1997, when 38 were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed.

Place To See :

The huge white Do-Drul Chorten with its golden spire is a landmark of Gangtok. Built in 1945, it is surrounded by 108 prayer wheels and houses several rare religious tetxs. Nearby are two gompas (Tibetan Buddhist temples) housing huge statues of Guru Padmasambhava. About three km from the town, set on a prominent ridge, is the Enchey Monastery, the seat of the Nyingma order. This is where you can see masked dances performed during the 'Chaam' festival in January every year.

The Government Institute of Cottage Industries (also called the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom) promotes and teaches the ancient crafts of Sikkim (like painting, mask making, weaving, wood carving) to keep them alive. You can spend hours exploring the Research Institute of Tibetology, housed in a traditional terracotta-and-white building. It is a unique centre for the study of Buddhist philosophy and religion. It has a collection of rare Buddhist manuscripts, 'thankas' (religious tapestries), and other artefacts. It is open throughout the week – 10 am to 4 pm.

There are several interesting places around Gangtok, such as Ganesh Tok (7 km), Hanuman Tok (11 km) and Tashi View Point (8 km) from where you get the most amazing views of the Kanchenjunga, Mt. Siniolchu and other snow-clad peaks.

How Get There :

By Air
Gangtok is not directly served by air. The closest airport is at Bagdogra, West Bengal. The 124 km drive to Gangtok takes 5 hours and is facilitated by numerous taxis, shared jeeps and hired cars with chauffeurs.

By Road
The drive to Gangtok from Siliguri (West Bengal), 114 km away, is the shortest. Darjeeling, the beautiful and oft-visited hill station in West Bengal is also connected by road to Gangtok. Taxis, buses and hired cars with drivers ply regularly on these routes as they inch past the narrow but well maintained mountain roads. Passengers request a vegetable-shopping stop as they pass through little hamlets with fresh vegetables sold on the roadsides. The drive is very scenic with the Teesta River flowing on the left hand side and the green hills on the right. As you get closer to Gangtok, look out for the multihued flowers that dot the landscape, especially in spring.

Note: Roads can get blocked due to landslides during the rainy season (June to September) and you can get stuck in Sikkim but not for more than 2 or 3 days. The army bulldozers get to work immediately and clear up roads, which are the lifeline of Sikkim.

By Train
Gangtok is not on the railway map. The nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal), 125km away from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Trains from all the major cities of India connect to New Jalpaiguri. The drive to Gangtok city takes about five hours and numerous buses, taxis, shared 4WDs and hired cars with chauffeurs cover the distance all through the day.

Accomodation :

There is a wide variety of hotel accommodation available at Gangtok - deluxe, standard, budget - depending on what you want to spend. Don’t expect international standard of 5 star luxury and facilities though. Peak season means higher costs and off-season discounts are not uncommon.

Shopping :

In Gangtok, the capital city, the main areas for shopping are Old Market, New Market and Lal Market. The government handicraft and handloom emporia are on the crossing of M.G. Marg and New Market and are the best places to buy carpets, masks, religious scroll "tankha" paintings on silk, Buddhist prayer wheels and bright Choktse tables.

Events :

On this day people go to monasteries to offer butter lamps and worship. A huge procession of monks goes around Gangtok carrying the holy scriptures.

It is celebrated to offer thanks to Mount Khangchendzonga, the guardian deity of Sikkim and to Yabdu, the supreme commander.

It is the biggest and most important festival of the Hindu Nepali population is celebrated in September-October. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

City District Population
Gangtok East Sikkim 30702
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