Gangtok is the capital of the mountainous northern Indian state of Sikkim. Established as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the 1840s, the city became capital of an independent monarchy after British rule ended, but joined India in 1975. Today, it remains a Tibetan Buddhist center and a base for hikers organizing permits and transport for treks through Sikkim’s Himalayan mountain ranges.
Pelling is a small town in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, at the foothills of Mount Khangchendzonga. The late-17th-century Buddhist Sanga Choling Monastery has mountain views. Pemayangtse Monastery features wall paintings, sculptures and a gold-plated statue of Guru Padsambhava. Overlooking a valley, the 17th-century Rabdentse Palace, now in ruins, still has evidence of the king’s bedroom and kitchen.