When you are in Sikkim, you have several monasteries to visit. Though they are beautiful, these monasteries, one does tend to look for something else after visiting five of them. By this time, you are probably tired, looking for a place that would soothe you. If you are in luck and the weather favors you, Ganesh Tok can be the perfect conclusion to your day tour.
The word "tok" means temple. Ganesh Tok is a temple located at an altitude of 6,500ft, about 5 kms from Gangtok Mall. It is right opposite the Gangtok Zoo and very close to a Pine forest and Tashi View Point. It is a good idea to hire a cab to reach this place as the climb is steep and will tire you out if you are not in the mood to trek. And if you are going there at the end of a long day, I am assuming you will not be in the mood.
The place itself is quiet, especially if the crowd is sparse, and you can hear distant bird calls. If you are lucky, you will find yourself surrounded by clouds, and if you are extremely lucky, the clouds will part at just the right point and the right time and reveal a magnificent view of Mount Kangchenjunga to you. But for this, you need to climb up to the observatory. We will come to this soon enough.
If you do decide to take a taxi, the vehicle will drop you right at the entrance of Ganesh Tok. From there, a ramp (with an easy incline) will take you towards the temple. After a few steps, you will reach the place where you are supposed to remove your shoes. The temple, which is at the top level, is a tiny one. You spend a few minutes there and then move on to the adjacent circular structure, which is really the most magical part of Ganesh Tok.
It is a circular observatory with glass windows all around. You can choose to go inside the observatory, though most people prefer to hang out in the balcony that runs along the perimeter of the observatory. This is the place where you can spend hours if weather chooses to be kind to you.
The balcony overlooks a valley with rolling hills, with clouds floating around. The air is so fresh that it soaks away your tiredness. The bird calls are like meditation music. You can easily lose yourself to the magic. The only thing that can play spoilsport is the crowd. If you go there during tourist season, you will probably be fighting for a decent foothold on this balcony. So do plan your trip keeping this in mind.
Ganesh Tok was the last point we visited in Gangtok, and it was worth it. We would have preferred a little less crowd, but over the years we have learned to be thankful for small mercies. There were other things to explore, such as a souvenir shop, several small eateries near the parking, and a pine forest close by, but we chose to go back to the Mall after this. We were yet to plan the next day, which would either take us to Pelling in the West or Yumthang in the North. If you have been following the blog, you would know the destination we chose. For the rest of you, you will need to go back and read about it.
If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling -
1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter Use dustbins.
2. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.
3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.
4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.
5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite