Best Time To Visit Sikkim
Sikkim is a beautiful state in northeastern India, known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and beautiful monasteries. Here is a brief travel guide for Sikkim:
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Sikkim is between March to June and September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and you can enjoy clear skies, lush greenery, and beautiful mountain views.
Places to visit: Sikkim is home to many beautiful places that you can explore. Some of the must-visit places include Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake, Nathu La Pass, Yumthang Valley, Pelling, and Ravangla. You can also visit monasteries like Rumtek Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, and Enchey Monastery.
Things to do: Sikkim offers a variety of activities for tourists. You can go trekking in the mountains, visit hot springs, explore the beautiful tea gardens, and try out local cuisine. You can also indulge in adventure activities like paragliding, river rafting, and mountain biking.
Culture and cuisine: Sikkim is home to a diverse mix of cultures, and you can experience a unique blend of Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan influences. Some of the popular dishes in Sikkim include momos, thukpa, gundruk, and Sikkimese-style chowmein.
Permits: If you are an Indian citizen, you do not need a permit to visit Sikkim. However, if you are a foreign national, you need to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter Sikkim. You can get an ILP from the Sikkim Tourism Office or the Indian Embassy in your home country.
Transportation: The best way to travel within Sikkim is by hiring a taxi or a shared jeep. You can also use public transport like buses, but they may not be as comfortable or frequent as taxis or jeeps.
Accommodation: Sikkim offers a range of accommodation options, from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels. You can choose from homestays, resorts, hotels, and lodges, depending on your budget and preferences.
HOW TO REACH SIKKIM?
Entry to Sikkim is only through the state of West Bengal. Sikkim State buses regularly ply between Siliguri and Gangtok.
Nearest railway station is at New Jalpaiguri in the state of West Bengal. From Delhi and Kolkata, trains can be booked upto New Jalpaiguri; from where, buses, jeeps and taxis can be hired till Gangtok.
If you are planning a trip by plane, then the nearest airport is at Bagdogra from where you can take a taxi to Gangtok. Several flights from Delhi and Kolkata fly regularly to Bagdogra.
Sikkim Local Tours –
*** Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, India. Gangtok is the capital city of the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and adventure tourism. Gangtok attracts thousands of tourists every year, who come to explore its snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys, sparkling waterfalls, serene lakes, and ancient monasteries.
Here are a few suggestions:
Tsomgo Lake: Located at an altitude of 3,780 meters, this glacial lake is a popular tourist spot. You can enjoy a ride on a yak or a mule around the lake, or even try your hand at ice-skating during winters.
Nathula Pass: Situated at an altitude of 4,310 meters, this pass connects India and China. You will need to obtain a permit to visit Nathula Pass, but it’s worth the effort for the stunning views and the experience of being at such a high altitude.
Rumtek Monastery: This is one of the most significant monasteries in Sikkim, and is home to several Buddhist monks. You can explore the monastery, watch the monks in prayer, and learn about the history and culture of Buddhism in Sikkim.
Ganesh Tok: This is a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, located at an altitude of 6,500 feet. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city of Gangtok and the surrounding hills.
Banjhakri Falls: This is a beautiful waterfall located about 7 km from Gangtok. The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and there are several walking trails in the area.
Tashi Viewpoint: This is one of the best spots to get a panoramic view of the Himalayas. On a clear day, you can see the peaks of Kanchenjunga, Siniolchu, and other mountains.
*** Lachung is a small village in the North Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim, and there are several beautiful sights to see in and around the area. Here are some of the top attractions for sightseeing in Lachung:
Yumthang Valley: Located about 25 km from Lachung, Yumthang Valley is known for its beautiful natural scenery, including hot springs, rhododendron forests, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Lachung Monastery: This 19th-century Buddhist monastery is located in the heart of Lachung village and is an important cultural site in the area. Visitors can admire the traditional Tibetan architecture and learn about the history and teachings of the monastery.
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary: This protected area is located near Yumthang Valley and is home to over 40 species of rhododendron flowers. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about the various types of rhododendrons and the ecosystem of the sanctuary.
Gurudongmar Lake: Located about 70 km from Lachung, Gurudongmar Lake is a high-altitude lake that is considered sacred by both Buddhists and Sikhs. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery and learn about the spiritual significance of the lake.
Chungthang: This small town is located about 30 km from Lachung and is known for its beautiful waterfalls, including the Bhim Nala waterfall and the Naga waterfall. Visitors can also see the confluence of the Lachen and Lachung rivers in Chungthang.
*** Lachen is a beautiful town located in North Sikkim, India. Some of the popular sightseeing attractions in Lachen are:
Gurudongmar Lake: It is a sacred lake located at an altitude of 17,800 feet and is one of the highest lakes in the world. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and offers breathtaking views.
Chopta Valley: It is a picturesque valley located at an altitude of 13,200 feet and is known for its stunning views of the snow-clad mountains and lush green meadows.
Thangu Valley: It is a beautiful valley located at an altitude of 13,000 feet and is known for its scenic beauty and trekking trails.
Lachen Monastery: It is a Buddhist monastery located in the heart of Lachen town and is known for its intricate architecture and beautiful murals.
Green Lake Trek: It is a popular trekking trail that takes you through the stunning landscapes of Lachen and offers breathtaking views of the Green Lake and the surrounding mountains.
Kanchenjunga National Park: It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes. The park is home to several rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.
*** Pelling is a beautiful town located in the western part of Sikkim, India. It is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty, scenic landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. Here are some of the top sightseeing attractions in and around Pelling.
Pemayangtse Monastery: This is one of the oldest and most famous monasteries in Sikkim, dating back to the 17th century. The monastery is known for its exquisite architecture, intricate wood carvings, and beautiful paintings.
Khecheopalri Lake: Also known as the “Wish Fulfilling Lake,” this sacred lake is located about 25 km from Pelling. The lake is surrounded by dense forests and is considered holy by both Buddhists and Hindus.
Rabdentse Ruins: These ruins were once the capital of the former kingdom of Sikkim and offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history and culture. The ruins are surrounded by lush green forests and provide stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Sangachoeling Monastery: This monastery is situated on a hilltop near Pelling and is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. It is known for its beautiful architecture, intricate murals, and stunning views of the surrounding valleys.
Yuksom: This is a small town located about 35 km from Pelling and is known for its historical significance as the first capital of Sikkim. The town is surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests and is a popular base for treks to nearby destinations like Dzongri and Goechala.
Darap Village: This is a small traditional village located near Pelling and is known for its beautiful landscapes, traditional architecture, and local culture. Visitors can interact with the locals, sample local cuisine, and learn about the region’s unique traditions and customs.
*** Yuksom is a small village located in the West Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim. Here are some of the popular sightseeing options in and around Yuksom:
Dubdi Monastery: Dubdi Monastery is one of the oldest and most important monasteries in Sikkim. It was built in 1701 and is located about 2 km from Yuksom.
Kartok Monastery: Kartok Monastery is another important monastery in the region, and is located about 3 km from Yuksom. It is known for its beautiful murals and thangkas (Buddhist paintings).
Tashiding Monastery: Tashiding Monastery is located about 19 km from Yuksom, and is considered to be one of the most sacred monasteries in Sikkim.
Khecheopalri Lake: Khecheopalri Lake is a beautiful lake located about 27 km from Yuksom. It is considered to be a sacred lake by both Buddhists and Hindus, and is surrounded by dense forests.
Pemayangtse Monastery: Pemayangtse Monastery is located about 32 km from Yuksom, and is one of the oldest and most important monasteries in Sikkim. It is known for its beautiful murals and sculptures.
Kangchenjunga National Park: Kangchenjunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is located about 42 km from Yuksom. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the endangered snow leopard.
Yuksom Dzongri Trek: The Yuksom Dzongri Trek is a popular trekking route that starts from Yuksom and takes you through beautiful forests and mountains, culminating in a breathtaking view of the Kangchenjunga mountain range.
*** Namchi is a beautiful town located in the southern part of the Indian state of Sikkim. Here are some of the popular tourist attractions in and around Namchi:
Samdruptse Hill: It is a beautiful hilltop with a giant statue of Guru Padmasambhava, the patron saint of Sikkim. It offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
Namchi Rock Garden: It is a beautiful garden with various flowering plants, rock formations, and water bodies.
Char Dham: It is a pilgrimage site that houses replicas of four important Hindu shrines – Badrinath, Jagannath, Dwarka, and Rameswaram.
Tendong Hill: It is a popular trekking destination that offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan range.
Ngadak Monastery: It is a beautiful monastery located on a hilltop and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Namchi Helipad: It is a scenic helipad that offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding hills.
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary: It is a beautiful sanctuary located at an altitude of 10,600 feet and is home to various species of flora and fauna.
Temi Tea Garden: It is the only tea estate in Sikkim and is known for its high-quality tea production.
*** Ravangla is a beautiful town in the Indian state of Sikkim, known for its natural beauty, serene atmosphere, and breathtaking views of the mountains. Here are some of the top sights to see and things to do in Ravangla:
Buddha Park: Also known as Tathagata Tsal, this park features a giant statue of Lord Buddha, surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens and stunning mountain views.
Ralong Monastery: One of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim, Ralong Monastery is a must-visit for anyone interested in Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery is known for its beautiful murals, thangkas, and ancient manuscripts.
Bonn Monastery: This is another important Buddhist monastery in Ravangla, which is known for its unique Bonn religion. The monastery is set amidst beautiful surroundings, and visitors can enjoy stunning views of the mountains from here.
Rayong Sunrise View Point: This viewpoint offers one of the best sunrise views in the region. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the snow-capped Himalayas, and the surrounding valleys and forests.
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary: This sanctuary is located about 10 km from Ravangla and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the red panda, Himalayan black bear, and several species of birds.
Temi Tea Garden: Located about 18 km from Ravangla, Temi Tea Garden is a beautiful plantation that offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Visitors can take a tour of the garden and sample some of the delicious tea produced here.
Here is a list of some of the best tourist places to visit in Sikkim for memorable holidays.
|Places to Explore in North Sikkim||Khangchendzonga National Park, Gurudongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley, Lachung, Dzongu|
|Places to Visit in East Sikkim||Enchey Monastery, Nathula Pass, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden, Tashi View Point, Hanuman Tok Temple|
|Places to Explore in West Sikkim||Khecheopalri Lake, Yuksom, Pelling, Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple, Okhrey|
|Places to Visit in South Sikkim||Borong, Solophok, Sikip, Namchi, Ravangla|
FOOD OF SIKKIM –
Sikkim is a small state located in northeastern India, bordered by Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal. Sikkimese cuisine is influenced by its geography, climate, and neighboring countries, resulting in a unique blend of flavors and ingredients. Here are some popular dishes from Sikkim:
Momos: These are steamed or fried dumplings that are commonly found in Sikkim and other Himalayan regions. They are usually filled with vegetables, meat, or cheese and served with a spicy tomato-based sauce.
Thukpa: This is a hearty noodle soup that is typically made with vegetables, meat, and noodles in a flavorful broth. Thukpa is a popular dish in Sikkim and other parts of the Himalayas.
Gundruk and Sinki soup: Gundruk and sinki are two fermented vegetable preparations that are used to make a flavorful soup. Gundruk is made with fermented mustard greens, while sinki is made with fermented radish taproots.
Sel roti: This is a popular snack or breakfast item in Sikkim, made by deep-frying a rice flour and sugar batter in the shape of a ring. It has a crispy exterior and a chewy interior.
Chhurpi: This is a type of cheese that is made from yak or cow milk. It is often used as a snack or a topping for various dishes.
Phagshapa: This is a pork dish that is cooked with radishes and chilies. It has a spicy and tangy flavor and is often served with rice.
Saelroti: This is a traditional Nepalese deep-fried bread that is made from rice flour and sugar. It is usually eaten as a snack or breakfast food and is a popular street food in Sikkim.
Chhang: This is a traditional alcoholic beverage made from fermented millet or rice. It is often served during festivals and special occasions.