Sikkim is a scenic state in the northeastern part of India. Sikkim is bordered by Nepal in the West, Tibet in the North, Bhutan in the East and West Bengal, Bangladesh in the South. If you are looking for a travel spot that has a moderate and placid climate, then you must visit Sikkim!
It has a subtropical, temperate climate. On the East Himalayan borders there lies an alluring vicinity. The state of Sikkim is the second smallest state of India. It is like a pure drop of honey with a lot of sweetness.
The capital city of Sikkim is Gangtok. The four districts of Sikkim are North district, East district, West district and South district. Lepchas and other tribes inhabited Sikkim over the years.
It was ruled by the Namgyal Dynasty until 1975. In 1975 Sikkim became an Indian state. The Namgyal Dynasty belonged to a Buddhist King and therefore Buddhist culture is visualized in Sikkim.
There is plenty to wander around in Sikkim. It is a basket full of beauty and nature.
Listed here are Sikkim’s points of interest that you will wish to visit again and again!
The capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok cannot be ignored if you are visiting the state. Gangtok is an essential tourist attraction. It is well- known that the North-Eastern states of India give us a glance of the tradition of Buddhism.
Therefore we find numerous monasteries not only in Gangtok but also in Sikkim. But that’s not all it has!
Gangtok is situated in lower Himalayas and its name is derived from the meaning ‘hill cut’. The world’s highest mountain peak, Kanchenjunga is present in the state.
The Gangtok sightseeing is worth taking a ride around. The view around the mountains and valleys is eye-capturing and camera ready.
Nathu La Pass and Tsomgo Lake are other prominent visit areas. Nathu La Pass is a snow-carpeted area and has winding roads. This was once a trade route between India and Tibet. Visiting the place is possible with permission from the Sikkim Government and necessary documents.
Tsongmo Lake is a scenic lake located at about 40 km from Gangtok. This lake is surrounded by mountains and has a very pleasant atmosphere. The water of the lake is maintained clean.
There are Yak rides around the lake. The lake is a habitat for varied species of flora and fauna. Do remember that the Nathu La Pass and Tsomgo Lake can be visited only through permit and tour operator authorised by the Sikkim Tourism Government.
Pelling, a small town of Sikkim is yet another little gem with lots to experience. This little place has spots of peace, history, amusement, adventure, beauty and more.
The peace destination spot in Pelling is the Pemayangtse Monastery. It is one of the most famous monasteries and is 300 years old. This is the point where you can just let your stress off and relax!
Then is the place to have experience of visiting the history. Rabdentse Ruins is a historical site. It was once a palace and was destroyed during a war.
The ruins have pillars and destructed rock remains which give glimpses of the ancient kingdoms and lifestyle. This is an amusing location for those who find their interests in history.
The other two places to view while at Pelling are Sinshore Bridge and Sewaro Rock Gardens. Singshore Bridge is the second-highest bridge in Asia connecting two hills and giving a sight of lush green valleys.
There is great excitement rushing through the body while walking across the bridge. Sewaro Rock Gardens is a spot to spend your leisure time around the green lawns.
3.Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim
This reserve acquires its name from Mount Kanchenjunga. Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve is a conservation park for endemic species.
It is a shelter for varied species of plants, animals. There are beliefs that the park also has religious holy aspects. There are lakes, natural forests, hills, habitats, hot springs and livelihood of humans too. Numerous ecosystems are found here.
The flora of the reserve includes Fir, maple, oaks, medicinal herbs and shrubs. Most interestingly you will find different species of fauna like red panda, snow leopard, musk deer, snow pigeon, blood pheasant and more. You can enter the reserve with permission.
Further things to do and places to visit in Sikkim:
Sikkim points of interest cannot be just counted on fingers! They are Lachung, Yuksom, Yumthang, Singalila National Park, Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Nathang Valley, Darap, Rangpo, Geyzing, Pakyong, etc. These places are perfect for everything you want to do while on a trip.
You will find monasteries, birdwatch, hot springs, valleys, rivers, lakes, snow-peaked mountains, lush green moist fields, glaciers and waterfalls. Rhythmic rides on fleecy Yaks are must to do.
What’s the most amazing job while you are in a mountainous region? TREKKING! Most of the above-mentioned sites provide this enthusiastic opportunity to trek on the mountain hills. Hiking in Sikkim is also something that cannot be brushed off.
More or less you will find these elements all over Sikkim. So there is no chance that you would miss something and leave out of the state. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology situated in Gangtok is a museum and a library.
Distinct scripts, books, sculptures and ancient cultural know-how are found here. Temples like Baba Harbhajan Singh temple, otherwise known as Baba Mandir and Ganesh Tok are also great tourist attractions.
Another tourist spot is Zero Point located in Yumthang Valley. This the point where normal civilization ends and the complete snowy mountain region with extreme temperatures starts. It is located at thousands of feet above the sea level. You can see flower valleys with variant flower species at various spots at different times of the year.
The Trail Teach
There is no direct railway network to Sikkim. However, if you wanna enjoy your journey in the train across those meadows, chill weather, fields, then here is the way!
There are a number of trains that one can find from big cities of India to Jalpaiguri and Siliguri. These towns of West Bengal are closer to Gangtok.
Bagdogra airport located in West Bengal is also nearer to Siliguri. If you wish to travel through the air, you may land at this airport and reach Sikkim. Nonetheless, Sikkim now has its own airport at Pakyong, near to Gangtok. It is one of the highest airports in India which began in 2018. So one can directly fly to Sikkim airport.
To travel through a bus, you can find buses run by State Transport at Siliguri. Also, the respective State Transportations facilitate tourist buses from different states and cities to Siliguri. From Siliguri and Jalpaiguri, share cabs and taxis are also available. To travel within the state, private cabs, taxis, jeeps, buses are available.
We recommend you to carry a Sikkim map to plan out visiting nearest places together and then jumping to other places. This would avoid chaos and over journey tiredness. Further, you can keep a check on your budget.
Best Time to Visit Sikkim
Listed below is the best time to visit Sikkim:
- Best time to visit Gangtok is between September to October and March to June
- Visit Nathu La Pass between May to October
- Visit Tsomgo Lake between December to February
- September to May is time to visit Pelling
- Visit Singshore Bridge between June to August
- March to May is time to visit Sewaro Rock Gardens
- Visit Khangchendzonga National Park between March to May and December
- November to January is the best time to visit Pakyong
- Visit Zero Point between March to April and February to June
Sikkim Summer Expedition 2020
Day 1: Bagdogra-Gangtok
The trip starts at Bagdogra. We drive from Bagdogra to Gangtok. Gangtok is the capital of the North-East Indian state of Sikkim. Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalayan range at an altitude of 1650m(5410ft).
The alluring city nestled in mountains and clouds is the centre of Sikkim’s tourism industry. We also get a breathtaking view of Mt.Kanchenjunga from some parts of the city.
Strolling through M.G.marg, the Secretariat, Kazi Road, Tibet Road provides an essence of this glittering pristine landscape. Also, the Lal bazaars of Gangtok depict the true vibrant colours of Sikkim. The night stay is at Gangtok.
Travelling Distance: 145km
Travelling Time: 4-5hrs
Day 2: Gangtok-Changu Lake-Nathula Pass-Gangtok
We start the day by a visit to the ‘Tsongmo Lake’ (‘Changu Lake’). The tranquillity of the lake will reinvigorate your lungs with pure air. Post the halt at the lake we continue on our route to the hilly territory of Indo-China border.
As we proceed up towards the border, the scenery transitions to dry sandy land. Visiting the Nathula Pass(if permitted) is a thrilling experience. The Nathula pass used to be an entry from Tibet to India. The night stay is at Gangtok.
Travelling Distance- 130km
Day 3: Gangtok-Lachen
Post breakfast we depart for Lachen. We drive through Mangan which is the last town in North Sikkim. Lachen is a town situated in North Sikkim. The name ‘La Chen’ means ‘ Big Pass’. The town serves as a base to the Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake.
North Sikkim is still uninhabited due to extreme climate. Lachen valley is a paradise for every traveller due to its snow-covered mountains, captivating lakes, channels of flora and lively local culture.
After reaching Lachen, check into your stunning homestay. Enjoy an evening stroll through the village and experience ancient art and design.
Travelling Distance: 107km
Travelling Time: 4-5hrs
Day 4: Lachen-Gurudongmar Lake-Lachung
We leave for Gurudongmar Lake early in the morning. The lake is one of the purest lakes in the world. The lake takes over your mind, soul and body and brings a feeling of pure bliss.
It is located at an altitude of 5,425 m and is one of the highest lakes in the world. It is a holy place of worship for the Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs.
We drive back to Lachen for a quick meal and head to Lachung. Night stay at Lachung
Travelling Distance: 113kms (Lachen-Lachung)
Travelling Time: 4hrs
Day 5: Lachung-Yumthang Valley Of Flowers-Dzongu
On the fifth day of our trip, we first visit the Yumthang Valley of flowers and the zero point. The gorgeous valley is glistening with its turquoise blue waters at this time of the year.
The zero point located at an altitude 15,300 feet is the last outstation of civilization and there is no path ahead. The oxygen levels here are very low, due to the high altitude.
The zero point is famous for the stunning convergence of three rivers surrounded by snow-clad mountains and picturesque views. From zero point we head back to Lachung for a quick meal.
We head to Dzongu from Lachung. Dzongu is a large triangular region with lush green forests, freezing cold streams, fabulous waterfalls and hot water springs. The village is specially reserved for the Lepcha community to conserve the original tribe, its lifestyle, art and culture.
The Lepchas are worshipers of nature and do not support polluting the environment. The night stay is at Dzongu.
Lachung-Yumthang Valley and Zero point
Travelling Distance: 51km
Travelling Time: 2hrs
Travelling Distance: 72km
Travelling Time: 3-4hrs
Day 6: Drongzu-Temi Tarku
Post breakfast, we depart for Mantam lake and the Lingthem Hot water springs. It is believed that a dip in this hot water spring purifies your body and cures it of any sicknesses. It also refreshes your mind and gets rid of fatigue.
The Mantam lake was formed due to a huge landslide in 2016. Now it is a white sand beach and it is perfect for picnics and laying tents. We have lunch at the lake and leave for Temi tea estates.
Temi Tea estates are considered to be one of the best tea estates in the world as tea is made purely with organic fertilizers The path leading to the tea garden are truly enthralling as they are lined with cherry blossom trees.
We also create very delicious momos on our own with the help of the locals. The evening is leisure time which can be spent by interacting with the locals, fun activities and adoring the captivating sunset at the tea garden. The night stay is at Temi Tarku.
Travelling Distance: 77km
Travelling Time: 3-4
Day 7: Temi Tarku-Bagdogra
This is the final day of the trip. We depart for Bagdogra with blissful memories to cherish forever.
Goecha La Trek, Sikkim-Travel Guide & Itinerary
Frequently Asked Questions About Sikkim:
Q: What is the distance from Bagdogra to Gangtok?
Q: What is the distance from Darjeeling to Gangtok?
Q: What is the distance from Siliguri to Gangtok?
Q: Which are the best places to visit in Gangtok?
Ans: The best places to visit in Gangtok are-
- Tsomgo Lake
- Nathu La Pass
- Mahatma Gandhi Marg (M.G.Marg)
- Lal Bazaar
- Kanchenjunga Mountain
Q: What is the best time to visit Gangtok?
Ans: The best time to visit Gangtok is between September to October and March to June.
Q: What is the distance from Gangtok to Lachung?
Q: Which are the best places to visit in Sikkim?
Ans: The Best places to visit in Sikkim are-
- Tsomgo Lake
- Nathula Pass
You may plan your visit based upon the spot you want to travel or just choose the period between which you can visit most places in the state.
Conclusively, Sikkim showcases and offers us all its natural beauty throughout the year. One thing is for sure that each time you recollect the sites and spots of Sikkim, you would relive the whole beauteous, fascinating and cherishing journey. Lastly, do not forget to plunge yourself into the delicious cuisines, especially tasty, steamy momos!
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