Last Updated: Jun 9, 2017 

Gangtok Sightseeing Tours &áOperators

 
 
What to expect 
You will need to take a local taxi or a reserved car (small taxis/cars take 4 persons and larger vehicles like Scorpio, Sumo take 7 persons) for local sightseeing tours. Taxis are available at the stand near MG Marg. Tour operators can also offer reserved cars. An advantage with a tour operator is you can book a tour in advance before reaching Gangtok. However the charges are likely to be a bit more than taxis. 
 
 
 
The most popular are the standard sightseeing tours (3-point, 7-point or 10-point) offered by all local taxi drivers. Here are the places you will visit in such tours (note that you can have a chat with the driver and fine tune the visits, i.e. visit one point instead of another if the driver agrees, sometimes you may need to pay a bit more for him to agree). 
 
3-point Tour (Half Day) 
1. Tashi View point - A great view point for watching the Kanchenjunga Snow Peaks on a clear day. Also an excellent place for sunrise view. 
2. Hanuman Tok - A Hanuman temple with a wonderful viewing area. 
3. Ganesh Tok - A Ganesh Temple with viewing lounge and open balcony. 
 
Reserved small taxi rate for 3-pont tour: 
Rs. 1,000/- (in high season), Rs. 800/- (in low season) Fare Updated: January 2017 
 
7-point Tour (Half Day) 
You will visit all the points in 3-point tour (as mentioned above) and additionally the following: 
1. Bakthang Waterfall - Excellent wide water streams falling on a canopy of trees. The fall is located close to Tashi View point by the roadside and also offers great views all around. 
2. Enchey Monastery - Located on a hilltop, it's one of the oldest monasteries around. 
3. Flower Exhibition Center - Located near Gangtok town and at one end of The Ridge park, the center has great collection of flowering plants including Orchids (in season though). 
4. Handicraft Center - This is the building of Directorate of Handicraft &áHandloom including a Sales emporium and a Museum showcasing many different handicraft items and artwork created by the local artists and craftsmen. 
 
Reserved small taxi fare for 7-point tour: 
Rs. 1400/- (in high season), Rs. 1000/- (in low season) Fare Updated: January 2017 
 
 
 
10-Point Tour (Half day) 
Apart from the 7-point attractions above, you will additionally visit the following: 
1. Chorten Stupa - A famous Buddhist religious monument with a golden dome top which is visible from many places around Gangtok. 
2. Institute of Tibetology á- A world famous institute doing research on Tibetan language and culture, also has a great museum and library with rare and huge collections. It's located within a short walk from Chorten Stupa. 
3. Ropeway (Cable Car) - Great ride to view the whole of Gangtok, the valley and the peaks from far above. 
 
Reserved small taxi rate for 10-point tour: 
Rs. 1800/- (in high season), Rs. 1500/- (in low season) Fare Updated: January 2017 
 
Full day 10-Point Tour 
This full day tour covers several attractions outside Gangtok but within about 25kms radius. You will need a larger taxi vehicle like a Scorpio, Innova etc for Ranka and Banjhakri waterfall since the road condition is bad. Taxi drivers with smaller cars are likely to refuse. There are quite a few points and good distances to cover in the hills, so start early (by 8am). You can take your lunch at the cafe at Ganesh Tok area or at the Ropeway point. 
 
 
 
1. Ranka or Lingdum Monastery: About 45 minutes drive from Gangtok, set up on a hill and one of the most wonderful monasteries in east Sikkim. 
2. Ban Jhakri Waterfall: A great waterfall in a landscaped forest garden. The place is an excellent picnic spot for families. 
3. Rumtek Monastery: The most famous monastery with grand Tibetan architecture. It was designed after the original one in Tibet. An additional attraction here is the Golden Stupa. 
4. Nehru Botanical Garden: This is near Rumtek. There is a concrete pathway to take a stroll through the garden with many subtropical trees &áplantations. There is a large nursery here for growing Orchids of many types. It also has a children's playground, swings etc. Overall a nice picnic spot. But for the purpose of this tour, you should not spend much time here as time will otherwise run out for the other sights. 
5. Shanti View Point: A viewing area near Rumtek. Spend a few minutes to watch the great views of Gangtok township at the opposite mountain. 
6. Enchey Monastery: An old renowned monastery founded in 1800s. 
7. Ganesh Tok: The Ganesh temple about 6kms away from Gantok with a nice viewing area. 
8. Ropeway: Great 1km cable car ride across three stations from Deorali to Tashiling 
9. Institute of Tibetology: Renowned institute on Tibetan Language &áculture, also has a great museum and library. 
10. Tashi View Point: Excellent sunrise and Kanchenjunga viewing area. 
 
Taxi rate for full day sightseeing (Fare Updated: March 2017): 
Rs. 2800/- for small taxi (in high season), Rs. 2000/- (in low season) 
 
Day trips from Gangtok 
A popular and probably the best day tour from Gangtok is a trip to Tsomgo Lake - a glacial lake about 35kms from Gantok and at an altitude of about 12,310 ft. The same day trip also covers the fabled Baba Mandir. You can additionally cover Nathula Pass which is further up and about 52kms from Gangtok and see the Indo Chinese border and the Chumbi valley through which the old Silk Route (i.e. the trade route between India and Tibbet) passes. 
 
 
 
Tsomgo lake and Baba Mandir combination takes about 5-6 hours round trip (including the time it takes to see the places). With Nathula it becomes a full day trip. 
 
Note that you should take a large vehicle like Scorpio, Jeep etc for these places due to the road condition and steep gradient. All these places (Tsomgo, Baba Mandir and Nathula) are restricted areas and only Indians are allowed to visit with necessary permits. You will need to carry valid Photo Id card (PAN cards not accepted) and two passport size photos each to get the permits. 
 
If you are taking a taxi from the stand, you will need to get your own permit from Sikkim Tourism Office at MG Marg or through a travel agent. I won't suggest you hand over your ID cards to an unknown taxi driver to organize the permit. Otherwise go through a reputed tour operator or your hotel who will take care of the permits. It needs to be done at least one day in advance. 
 
Rate/Fare updated: January 2017 
Tsomgo and Baba Mandir: Rs. 4000/- in reserved Sumo/Max 
Tsomgo, Baba Mandir and Nathula: Rs. 5,500 in reserved Sumo/Max 
Tsomgo, Baba Mandir and Nathula: Rs. 7,000 in reserved áInnova/Scorpio 
Shared Jeep for Tsomgo (from Gangtok stand): Rs. 400/- per person including permit. 
Shared Jeep for Tsomgo, Baba Mandir, Nathula (from Gangtok stand): Rs. 700/- per person including permit. 
 
Note:  
1) The above reserved vehicle rates includes permit fees for up to two persons. 
2) During low season you are unlikely to get shared vehicles. 
 
Taxi tours on a day rate 
There are several other attractions in and around Gangtok which are not covered under any standard set tours. Saramsa Garden and Himalayan Zoological Park are two such great attractions which are my favorites. So what do you do? You can always take a taxi for a point to point travel and negotiate the rate with the driver. But getting a taxi on your return may not be always easy. The best is to hire a taxi for half a day or full day and go around as you like. 
 
 
 
Actually the taxi drivers won't mind driving around if you pay them the day or half day rate. However you need to ensure that you are covering the places logically in a correct sequence to avoid redundant travel. If you plan to do that, some of the attractions that you may plan to cover in a day at your own leisure pace (usual time is from 9:30am to 4:30pm): 
 
Day Tour - 1 
  • Ranka Monastery 
  • Banjhakri Waterfall 
  • Rumtek Monastery 
  • Saramsa Garden 
  • Ropeway 
  • Chorten Stupa 
  • Institute of Tibetology &áMuseum 
  •  
    Day Tour - 2 
  • Flower Exhibition Center 
  • Handicraft Center 
  • Hanuman Tok &áViewing area 
  • Ganesh Tok á&áViewing area 
  • Himalayan Zoological Park (will easily take about 2 hours as animals are kept in large open enclosures like in their natural habitats) 
  • Tashi View Point 
  • Enchey Monastery 
  • Bakthang Waterfall 
  •  
    Day rate for taxis (Fare Updated: March 2017): Rs. 4500/- for Innova/Scorpio 
     
    Gangtok Sightseeing Tour Operators 
    There are literally hundreds of tour operators in Gangtok and most do a good job. Here are some of them (all are registered under Sikkim Tourism Department and member of Travels Agents Association of Sikkim): 
     
  • Marcopolo World Travels Agent, P.S. Road, Gangtok. 
  • Mobile: 9434001011/ 9434144194, Email: [email protected] 
     
  • Khangri Tours &áTreks, opp. Sonam Delek Hotel, Tibet Road, Gangtok 
  • Email: [email protected]; Phone: +91-3592-206050 
     
  • Potala Tours &áTravels, P.S Road, opposite Hotel Tibet. 
  • Phone: 03592200043; Email: [email protected] 
     
  • Dikcha Tours &áTravels, Church Road, Gangtok. 
  • Phone: 03592200131, 9832327936; Email: [email protected] 
     
  • Yuksom Tours &áTreks, Borong House, Above Telephone Exchange, Gangtok 
  • Email: [email protected]; Phone: +91-3592-206822 
     
  • Sikkim Holidays Tour Trek Expedition, opp. Hotel Blue Sky, Tibet Road, Gangtok 
  • Email: [email protected]; Phone: 03592-206154 
     
  • Blue Sky Tours &áTravels, Sikkim Tourism Building, M.G.Marg, Gangtok 
  • Email: [email protected]; Phone: +91-3592-205113 
     
  • Yak and Yeti Travels &áExpeditions, Zero Point, NH-31A, Gangtok 
  • Email: [email protected]; Mobile: +91-9933008822 
     
     
     
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    Visitors' Reviews/Comments 
     
    Hrishikesh Krishna (June 2017) 
    Is there any restrictions that one can't do local sightseeing in Gangtok by personal car? Is it compulsory to hire a car by tour operator even for Gangtok local sightseeing? 
     
    Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) June 2017 
    There is no such restriction unless you are using a commercial vehicle from outside the state of Sikkim. 
     
    Gaurav (March 2017) 
    I had booked the tour 2 months in advance (through Yak n Yeti Tours) and paid 50% advance. Since I wanted everything perfect, I even agreed to pay 30% more than market rates. However despite promising me best of the car and driver by Mr. Satish, nothing was planned as per our request. Mr. Satish had out-sourced the trip to other agencies and never bothered to check the car and driver provided. The pick-up car sent at railway station was in a bad condition. 
     
    Out of our 5 days trip, we got only one chance to visit Changu lake due to bad weather conditions, however, this solo chance was also lost since the car sent was in a pathetic condition (front wind shield cracked, interiors dirty and broken) and the driver was áinexperienced ? as a result we had to cancel the trip mid-way. Even the permit he took was in fake names as he lost our photographs which I had myself delivered to his designated place at MG Road. 
     
    Don't go by his nice words and promises - he is a greedy person who takes more clients than he can order. For just 2 days I paid him Rs 12K which he didn't even think of returning once! I hope this review does good to future travelers - I would highly suggest that don't pre-book cars/ tours and you can easily do it once you are in Gangtok. Though Gangtok is a beautiful place, Yak n Yeti ruined our experience!!