The headquarters and the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is also a municipality and the largest city of this Northeast Indian state. Located at an elevation of 5.410 ft of the Eastern Himalayan range, the town resides amongst the higher peaks of the Himalayas. That is why Gangtok owns a mild and temperate climate all the year round. Summer is definitely pleasant, while some higher altitude lakes get frozen during winter.
Since 1840, after the construction of Enchey Monastery, Gangtok became a prime Buddhist pilgrimage. The town was crowned as capital city of Sikkim in 1894. The ancient silk route or the trade route from Lhasa of Tibet to Kolkata and other major cities of British India passed through Gangtok and it was one of the prime places to halt on this route. When Sikkim was made the 22nd state of India in 1975, Gangtok remained its capital.
Flora of Gangtok and the surrounding places is represented by tropical, temperate, alpine and tundra species of plants and trees. The region is actually an ecological hotspot of lesser Himalayas because of 5,000 species of flowering plants, 11 varieties of oak, 8 tree ferns, 515 species of orchids, 36 species of rhododendron, 60 primula species etc, and a huge amount of various fauna. There are snow leopard, red panda, Asian black bear, musk deer, Himalayan tahr, leopard cat and some other endangered animals, along with great avifauna like snow partridge, plovers, pigeons, griffon vulture etc.
Gangtok is very well connected with the towns around like Darjeeling, Siliguri, Bagdogra etc. by road. Shared jeeps, rental cars, private and govt. buses are available to travel towards Gangtok. The nearest broad-gauge railway station to Gangtok is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and Siliguri Junction Railway Station. And Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport, from where some people take the new helicopter service to reach Gangtok.