Sikkim: Sikkim, which borders Tibet to the north and northeast, Bhutan to the east, Nepal to the west and West Bengal to the south, is one of the most popular tourist states in the northeast from India. Host to Kangchenjunga, India’s tallest peak and the third highest on Earth at 28,208 feet, Sikkim is certainly one of the most refreshing and must-see places to explore in India.Read also – Traveling to Ireland from India? Check the latest Covid rules
From rough mountains, deep valleys, dense green forests to rivers and waterfalls, Sikkim truly has all the potential to provide a visual feast for visitors. In addition, passes like Nathu-la, Jelep-la, Cho-la and many others which were once important passageways between Sikkim and Tibet are worth the detour. Also read – Planning a trip to Mussoorie? Here’s all you need to know
Another point of interest here, as we already mentioned above, is Mount Khangchendzonga floating above the cloud-covered Lower Himalayas and towering over the Sikkim landscape. Also Read – Philippines to lift Covid travel ban on India and 9 other countries from September 6
Here, we’ve curated an essential travel guide for those planning to explore the raw beauty of Sikkim and prepare to soak up a calming travel experience. Check it out!
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Lachung is a popular town in Sikkim at an altitude of 3000m (9600ft) and about 125km from Gangtok. Lachung’s phenomenal snow-capped peaks attract tourists from all over the world. For the uninitiated, Lachung is inhabited by Lepcha and Tibetan descendants. Besides its spectacular beauty, Lachung also offers ski and hiking trails for adventure junkies. The historic Lachung Gompa Monastery has beautiful ancient inscriptions. In addition, in August of this year, the Sikkim State Government also opened the famous Yumthang Valley in Lachung Village to tourists.
Best time to visit: October to June.
At an elevation of 14,000 feet, 56 km east of Gangtok, Nathula is located along the Indochina border and is one of the most exotic places in Sikkim. Forming an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road, the city can only be visited by Indians after obtaining permits from Gangtok. This beautiful place got its name from the Tibetan words where, Nathu means to listen to the ears and La means to pass. It is one of only two trading posts open between India and China. While it was closed during the Sino-Indian war, the road was reopened in the hope that it would promote the development of trade between the two countries. Some of the popular places to visit here are Nathula Pass and Tsomgo Lake.
Best time to visit: May to October.
Home to the world’s largest statue of Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim, Namchi is located about 78 km from Gangtok and is famous for its Buddhist monastery and scenic spots. This place offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the mountain ranges and the valley below at 1,675 m above sea level. Literally translating to “sky high” in the Bhutia language, Namchi is the seat of the Southern District of Sikkim in northeast India and is the second most populous district in the state. Predominantly Buddhist, the monastery of Shedrup Choeling, the monastery of Dichen Choeling and the monastery of Ngadak are among the many monasteries in the region. The pilgrimage centers, natural wonders and biodiversity of Namchi attract crowds of visitors who come for the breathtaking views of the Rangeet Valley and Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world.
Rimbi Waterfalls, Borong and Ralong Hot Springs, and Temi Tea Estate are other popular tourist destinations. While in Namchi, be sure to visit Tinkitam, the natural habitat of a rare species of terrestrial orchids (other orchids grow on trees) and home to football star Baichung Bhutia.
Best time to visit: March to May is a good time to visit Namchi when the temperature remains moderate. You can also visit between the months of September and November. To attend the Flower Show Festival, visit during the month of February and watch many Himalayan flower species bloom in beautiful shades.
Pelling is located at the foot of Kanchenjunga and is known for the magnificent views it offers. It is located 115 km from Gangtok, the capital of the state of Sikkim, at an altitude of 19.00 m. In fact, Pelling is the closest view to Kanchenjunga that you can get without leaving the comforts of good hotels. Known for its pristine natural beauty, the people of Pelling ensure that the natural and cultural resources of its land remain intact. This has enabled some of the city’s finest tourist attractions to be its waterfalls and lakes.
Khecheopalri Lake is considered one of the holiest lakes in the state. Another tourist attraction in Pelling is Pemayangtse Monastery, the oldest and most important monastery in Sikkim.
Best time to visit: From mid-February to May and September to December.
Located right in the middle of the Himalayan range, Gangtok is one of the most scenic places to visit in India for travelers. Without a doubt, this place presents the perfect picture of India’s large and varied topography. Popular for its vibrant nightlife, restaurants, shopping complexes, pool lounges and more, Gangtok is a favorite tourist destination for many people. Moreover, with the presence of so many monasteries, religious educational institutions and Tibetology centers, Gangtok has become a major center for the culture and learning of Tibetan Buddhism.
One of the things that makes Gangtok such an attractive vacation spot is its geography. It is located in the Lower Himalayas at an altitude of 1,650m, which makes it a cool destination. It sits on one side of a hill with a promenade named The Ridge which houses the Residence of the Governor (Raj Bhawan) at one end and a palace at the other.
Best time to visit: September to June.