Gangtok, NE India & West Bengal

Gangtok Capital of Sikkim and Gateway to the Himalayas

Clinging on to a vertiginous outcrop, Gangtok gazes out across the Yumthang valley. Established in the 1840s as a Buddhist pilgrimage route, it still sees a steady flow of devotees, mala beads, prayer wheels in hand, traversing its streets. A centre for Tibetan Buddhism, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, housed in a traditional Tibetan style mansion, is a superbly curated museum. Gangtok also serves as a stop for would be mountaineers enticed by the Himalaya’s siren call. From Rumtek to Tsomgo Lake there are plenty of picturesque (and of varying difficulty) treks.