Gangtok is sprawled over steep slopes and hills. This capital city of Sikkim can only be seen in parts and bits. One of the best things you could do before exploring Gangtok is to get a whole picture of the town from Ganesh Tok, which is the highest point around Gangtok (6500ft). On a clear day one can see most of Gangtok from the observatory tower at Ganesh Tok. It can be reached after 6-7km steep ascend from the main town. One has to hire a taxi to reach there. In Gangtok, you’ll spend a lot of money on travel expenses and it will be a good idea to bargain and bring down the return journey to Rs250-Rs300.
At 8 am I was the first visitor to stand on top of the peak. It was a glorious morning like most October mornings here. Evening usually plays spoilsport. Mornings are probably the best time to visit Ganesh Tok. Few days of Staying in Gangtok has already taught me that morning begins with sunshine and most evening ends with nimbus clouds. Fog appears out of nowhere and a little bit of drizzle and rain is pretty much part of the daily ordeal.
I had few minutes to myself at the observatory tower built adjacent to the Ganesh temple. The observatory tower has a small sitting area in the middle. Few minutes later, before I could ascend devotees and visitors started pouring in. The Ganesh temple is small and cannot accommodate more than 10-15 people at a time. A priest sat inside the temple chanting prayers and giving blessings to devotees. They then proceed to the observatory tower.
When I arrived, there was nothing, but when I came back there were new sprout of makeshift shops and dress rental all over the place. Apart from souvenirs, they also keep traditional dresses for rental. An instant photograph cost around Rs.50 per copy. Domestic tourists loved dressing up in Sikkimese dresses and getting clicked. It could very well become a priceless souvenir. As the day wore on, more tourists started pouring in. It is one of the most visited places in Gangtok. Visiting Ganesh Tok leaves you a lot clearer about the topography of Sikkim.