Giving your daily routine a miss is sometimes not only refreshing but is also necessary. Whether it is the curiosity of seeing distinct animals at their most natural habitat, a fascination for visiting pilgrimages for that oh-so divine experience or just simply an urge to find a giant rejuvenation source amidst lofty hills, you need to shun your inhibitions and go on a break you really deserve. We bring to you the top 5 weekend getaways from Gangtok…
Darjeeling is nature’s pristine beauty at its best. There are wide landscaped vistas of green lush, so walking anywhere is easy. Mornings are extra delightful here, thanks to the spectacular panoramic view of snow-capped peaks. However, the stand-out feature of this town remains to be its wide and exquisite variety of tea. While being there, do not miss the street food as well. Noodle based soups will leave you completely mesmerised. And the momos there are simply in a class of their own.
What You Should See: Happy valley tea estate, Batasia Loop And War Memorial, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Cable Car, Lloyd’s Botanical Garden
Best Time to Visit: Oct-Mar
How to Reach: Being 98 km away, road routes would be the best option. There are daily buses from Gangtok to Darjeeling. A shared cab is another good option.
The main reason people visit this Himalayas surrounded valley is its natural surroundings and lofty mountain peaks. Visiting Yumthang around spring is a pleasant surprise, for you’ll see it beautifully wrapped in a myriad of colorful flowers. Trekking is another major sports people are drawn to Yumthang.
What You Should See: Seven Sisters Waterfalls, Rhododendron Blooms, Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, Yumesamdong
Best Time to Visit: Apr-Nov
How to Reach: Located 127 km away from Gangtok, road routes are the best way to reach there.
The riverine grasslands and dense forests never fail to give you a thrill, no matter how many times you visit Lataguri. And if you love to see animals in nature, then Lataguri is the place to be at for it is primarily known for its flora and fauna. Its serene tranquil atmosphere is worth ditching your routine behind and have some nice time in the lap of nature.
What You Should See: Gorumara National Park, Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, Jayanti Mahakal Caves, Murti River
Best Time to Visit: December to February
How to Reach: It is located 150 km away from Gangtok. Hiring a taxi or a car are the best ways to reach there.
The place becomes a frequent nest for those who are looking for some spiritual experience or want to try some adventurous sports amidst hills. It is home to a number of monasteries- most important among them is the Pemayangtse Monastery which is also one of the oldest. On its third floor, there is Guru Rimpoche’s 7 tiered wooden model- very admirable in our opinion. A religious dance known as ‘Cham’ is also performed there every year in either January or February. Another prominent attraction is Sangachoeling Monastery, which you’ll find is located in just the right tranquil location- at the top of a mountain.
In addition, sports like Kayaking, mountain biking, white-water rafting and other traditional sports are something you’ll find people frequently getting indulged into.
What You Should See: Rimbi Waterfall And Karchen Powerhouse, Rabdentse Ruins, Sanga Choeling Monastery, Sangay Falls, Darap Village
Best Time to Visit: Sep-May
How to Reach: Located 148 km away from Gangtok, travelling by car is the best way to reach there.
Dzongu is a calm and quiet village and is perfect for those who are looking for some offbeat element from their weekend getaway. There wouldn’t be much hotels and resorts there, so you get a unique opportunity to share the home with the local folks. Their different culture and living styles would be refreshing in so many ways. Dzongu also has a lot of nature retreats other than its amazing people. Gushing waterfalls, hot water geysers and a tiny monastery which is hidden deep in the woods, are some of the places you should not miss. There are also interesting rickety bridges that would sway if it gets windy!
What You Should See: Lingzey waterfalls, Hot Spring, Tingvong Monastery, Traditional Lepcha house
Best Time to Visit: Summers are the best time. In winters it gets awfully cold there.
How to Reach: It is located 67 km away from Gangtok. Take a shared vehicle from Gangtok to Mangan and then from there are freely available shared jeeps to Dzongu.