The Ganesh Tok is another very popular sightseeing point in and around Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. It houses a small temple dedicated to the deity Ganesha and has a balcony that doubles up as a wonderful vantage point with the best view of the entire city as well as the well known upper Himalayan peaks. If you are in Gangtok, then you will definitely go there as it is a part of all half or full day tours.
The closest airport to Gangtok is in Bagdogra (IXB), which is close to Siliguri and the closest railway station is New Jalpaiguri Junction (NJP) also close to Siliguri. It is about 176 km away and is roughly a 5 hours drive down to Gangtok. From the city-centre, you can avail a local cab to get there. It is a mere 7km above the city.
There are no specific origin stories connected with this point. It has always been an amazing view point. The word ‘tok’ simply means a ‘hill-top’, so the word Ganesh Tok literally translates to Temple of Ganesha on a hill-top.
The temple however, is not very old and was built in the year 1952-53 by a political leader Shri Appa B. Pant as a dedication to the deity. The Department of Tourism has promoted this site ever since.
The temple is small and can hold only a few people at a time. It is located very close to the Tashi view Point and is adjacent to the Himalayan Zoological Gardens and is at an elevation of 6500 ft above sea level.
The usual colorful prayer flags adorn the flight of steps going up to the temple and lead to the main shrine as well as the a circular, glass-paneled viewing lounge, erected right next to the temple, at a slightly higher elevation. This is where people get their iconic shots of the Khangchendzonga, with the TV tower and the cityscape of Gangtok as a part of the canvas. One can also get a good view of the famous Enchey Monastery and the Royal Palace too from up there.
There is a balcony around the temple too that offers equally brilliant panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains too.
It is open between 5 am and 7pm and has no entry charges.