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 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.
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
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
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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