About GangtokThe capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is an exceptionally beautiful city. Located in the lap of mother nature, Gangtok is the centre of tourism, education and business. It is the largest town of Sikkim and the centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture. Gangtok is known for its irresistible scenic beauty with several tourist places such as monasteries, historical places, wildlife sanctuaries, parks and lakes and falls. The lofty hills, clouded mountains and exquisite flora and fauna welcome tourists to this wonderful city wholeheartedly and one who visits the city once is sure to take back home sweet memories of the splendid city.
History of GangtokThe history of Gangtok is recorded from the construction of hermitic Gangtok Monastery in 1716. The construction of the Enchey monastery in 1840 marked the importance of Gangtok as a pilgrimage centre. After Indian independence Sikkim became a nation-state and Gangtok was made its capital. Later in 1975 Sikkim was made a state and Gangtok its capital.
Geography and Climate of GangtokGangtok is located in the Shivalik Hills at an altitude of 5,500 feet. There are higher peaks in Gangtok and the Himalayan ranges remain snow-clad towered over the town giving it a wonderful look. The town is also known to possess large forest cover.
The climate of Gangtok is monsoon – influenced subtropical highland type. The city experiences mild and temperate climate throughout the year. The average maximum temperature remains 22o C in summer and 4o C in winter. Summers are mild and winters are cold and misty in Gangtok. The city could be visited round the year as the weather remains moderate and temperate round the year.
Demography of GangtokAccording to 2011 census, the population of Gangtok is 98,658. While the population of male is 53 % that of the females is 47 %. The average literacy rate of Gangtok is 82.17 % where the literacy rate of male is 85.33 % and that of the female is 78.68%.
Culture of GangtokGangtok is predominantly inhabited by the people of Nepali origin. Other ethnicity dwelling in Gangtok include the Bhutias, Tibetans and the Lepchas. Marwaris, Biharis and Bengalis are also the residents of the capital. Nepali is the most widely spoken language in Gangtok. Due to the presence of different communities in Gangtok varied culture is followed in the state capital. The Maghe Sankranti and Ram Navami are the most important festivals of the Nepalis. Buddhism is the widely followed religion in Gangtok as Gangtok is a centre of Buddhist learning and culture.
Tourism and Transport in Gangtok
Gangtok is a place of tremendous scenic beauty. Nature along with historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, monasteries and temples and lakes and falls all make Gangtok a place worth visiting. Once in Gangtok tourists would be delighted to visit the tourist spots such as Enchey Monastery, Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim Deer Park, Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, Fambong Lho Sanctuary, Ban Jhakri Falls, Tsongmo Lake, Tsuklakhang Palace, Kabi Lungchok and many other places. Gangtok is also a wonderful place for shopping too. Lovers of traditional items would be surely excited to shop in Gangtok. MG Mark is the main market area in Gangtok lined with shops all around. Shopping of stuffs like cloths, footwear, traditional jewellery, souvenir and gifts, handloom and handicraft items and so on would be worthwhile in MG marg. MG marg is also lined up with hotels to give accommodation to tourists and also serve delectable food.
The capital city Gangtok is well connected with the rest of India by National highways 31A and 31 which link Siliguri in West Bengal to Gangtok. Regular buses, jeeps and taxi services are available from Siliguri to Gangtok. As Gangtok does not have a railway station and airport so the nearest railway station and airport to Gangtok is Siliguri.