Explore Gangtok Ganesh Tok

AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE‚Äč By Chayanika Dubey

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A brightly coloured temple resting at 6500 feet dedicated to the Hindu god, Lord Ganesha.

Among the resplendent Buddhist monasteries of Gangtok stands one of the many well-maintained temples of Sikkim, the Ganesh Tok, at a 13 km drive from The Elgin Nor-Khill. The literal meaning of the word ‘tok’ is ‘temple’ in the local language so it translates as the Ganesh Temple. The quaint and vivid Hindu temple, constructed in 1953 offers visitors panoramic views of the snow-dusted Kanchenjunga hills and the Gangtok city.

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The temple is considered extremely auspicious as Lord Ganesha is believed to fulfil the wishes of those who worship here.

The temple shrine is the abode of a beautifully sculpted idol of Lord Ganesh and is quite small so the devotees have to crawl to reach it. The prayer flags mounted along the path add to the vibrant and high spirits of the temple. If you are fortunate enough to plan your trip around the 10 day festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, you can witness various Hindu rituals. The temple is decked with lights and flowers, hymns are chanted followed by an Aarti ceremony and fireworks, creating a spellbinding aura of divinity.

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It is a good omen to receive prayer flags as a gift from a friend or a well wisher.

A short morning ride to Ganesh Tok would be a great start to your day, as you seek blessings at the temple and eat a hearty breakfast at the quaint little cafeteria in the complex, which also houses gift and souvenir shops. Hanuman tok, a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman is also located near the Ganesh tok which makes this a must-visit for the devotees. For a wholesome experience, you could visit the adjoining Smriti Van to plant saplings in the memory of your loved ones or to mark a special event.

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A bird”s eye view of the Gangtok town from Tashi viewpoint in Ganesh tok.

While the temple has spiritual and religious importance, its tranquil ambience and circular viewing lounge provide for a soothing combination of natural and saintly vibes. Ganesh tok is undoubtedly a place where the gods reside and it will convince you that you were looking for peace in the right spot.

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