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Introducing Gangtok

Irreverent, laid-back and happy-go-lucky, Sikkim’s capital is mostly a functional sprawl of urban concrete interspersed with patches of forestry. True to its name (meaning ‘hill top’), the city perches along a precipitous mountain ridge, descending down the hillside in steep tiers. Apart from a few sights of religious importance and an inspiring view of Khangchendzonga soaring above the western horizon, there isn't much to see in town. That said, travellers love its relaxed grain and often linger here for a few days, soaking up the local culture while arranging their travels (eg treks and tours) around the state.

Gangtok’s crooked spine is the Rangpo–Mangan road, marked NH31A. The tourist office, banks and many shops line the central pedestrianised Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Marg, a pretty district patronised by shoppers, lovers, diners and local fashionistas.