Today the day was booked for local sight seeing. We were a little upset as we could not travel to Nathula Pass. But we luckily booked the 10 point full day tour with a local taxi operator. The driver picked us up from the hotel Grand Central at 8 AM.
If you want to know the reviews about this hotel, please comment below.
I will post the 10 points one by one.
- Rumtek monastery
We wanted to visit the Rumtek Monastery, and the trip began from monastery itself. It is one of the oldest monastery. We clicked lots of pics here as well. The monastery is very big and lots of monks come here for studying. There is also a souvenir shop just outside the monastery.
- Nehru Botanical Garden
After Rumtek monastery, next stop was the Nehru Botanical Garden. The garden is at a walkable distance from the Rumtek monastery. It has beautiful plants and the garden was nicely maintained. No much crowd was at the botanical garden.
- Shanti view point
From here, one can get a nice view of entire Gangtok. But we could not click any pic since it was foggy. We sat for a while at the view point and had momos and coffee. We love momos and coffee.
It was my life’s first ropeway. I really enjoyed the view. It takes you from one point to the other point and return. The view is mesmerising and one can even see tea estates from above. I wish there was seating inside.
- Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
This institute has a museum inside. Lot of information about Buddhism is on display. One can find immense depth of knowledge here.
- Gangtok Handicrafts & Handlooms
This institute also has a museum inside. Lot of paper articles and handicrafts are made here and sold. There is also a souvenir shops inside, where we could buy lots of local products. We purchased Sikkim red chilli paste here. In Sikkim, you get one of the most spiciest chilies. We also got bamboo pickle and some local fruit squash.
- Do-Drul Chorten
It is the largest Stupa in Sikkim. This stupa is laced with 108 Mani Lhakor prayer wheel.
- Flower exhibition center
This is one of the best flower exhibition I have ever seen. There were variety of plants inside, with fountains. It took us a while to visit entire exhibition. Just outside the exhibition they also sold saplings, roots and seeds. We got white lily roots (INR 50 each) though we were hesitant it would grow in Pune. But to our surprise we have small lily plants grown in our garden. It is yet to bear the flower. But yes, you can trust and buy few local flower plants and roots. Now we repent for not buying other varieties.
- Enchey Monastery
This monastery is located up on the hill and next to TV towers. Chinese pagoda style design is its unique style. The monastery was closed by the time we visited. We were very hungry. So we had Wai Wai here, as you can see in the picture here.
- Ganesh Tok
The Ganesh temple is situated at a distance of 6kms on a hill from Gangtok. One can get a nice view from here. We also clicked our pics in Sikkimese dress. There is also a souvenir shop here. I purchased thermos glass with lid from here for only INR 250.
- Hanuman tok
There is a Hanuman temple here. It is very near to Ganesh temple.
We finished the tour by 6 PM and the driver left us at the hotel. We quickly got fresh and left to the MG road. As in these all days, we hardly got any time to shop souvenirs. We were very excited to shop from local markets. As per my research, I was aware about some of the must buy items from Sikkim trip.
We were at the MG road by 7 PM. It was very crowded. There were shops on both sides and no bikes/cars were allowed inside. We had to walk along. We did purchase all the items which I had listed and also some of the things randomly which I found to be worth it. You must buy these items from Sikkim. All in one, we ended up buying lots of gifts for our family and friends, and within our budget.
We were tired and left to hotel. Had dinner in one of the local joint. We had chole puri and were full. That was the last night in Sikkim and next day was our move to Darjeeling.
For more details, read on for lour journey from Sikkim to Darjeeling on Day 7..