Amazing places to visit in Sikkim that should be in your travel log
Sikkim, an Indian state located near the Himalayas, with scenic locations tucked in its region to visit. Being the northeastern beauty state, Sikkim had immense natural places and ranked as the 2nd smallest state in the country after Goa. It’s geographically diverse, and the climate ranges between hi-alpine and sub-tropical. The state boasts with various cultural and natural resources and also has the only open land border between India and China. Rich in different variety of flora and fauna, the state is divided into four districts namely East Sikkim, West Sikkim, North, and South Sikkim. Due to its location, it’s areas are mostly controlled by Indian Army and requires a special permit to visit the place. Here’s a list of some of the ideal places that you can visit in Sikkim for pleasant holidays experience.
The capital and largest town of Sikkim, it has the headquarters of East Sikkim district. Gangtok has different ethnicities such as Nepali, Bhutia, and Lepchas. Being as capital, it is also the main base for Sikkim tourism. Never ending walking trails, gorgeous silver fir trees, and most importantly hospitality by the natives, Gangtok serves paragliding, Jhakri Falls, Yak ride, Ranges of Mt Kangchenjunga, and bird’s eye view from the ropeway.
Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is located in the north of the Nathu La Pass and is a glacial lake in Sikkim. The lake is situated at an average elevation of 3780 meters above sea level. It falls in the restricted area, and hence an inner line permit is required by Indians to visit this place. Foreign nationals are not allowed to visit this lake without special permission. The lake is about 1 km. Long, oval in shape, 15 meters deep and is considered sacred by the local people.
An old historic town in West Sikkim, Yuksom is bestowed with natural beauty and uninterrupted trail for trekkers. Meant to spend some quiet moments in the shadow of nature away from the hustle bustle of the city, this is the place with some of the key attractions likely Tashi Tenka, Historic Norbugang Park, Dubdi Gompa, Goechala Trek, and much more.
Nathu La Pass is situated at an elevation of 4,310 meters above sea level and is an offshoot of the old silk route. The government of India regulates the flow of tourists as the soil here is shallow and prone to landslides. Nevertheless, this is a must visit a site as the location is a Hiker’s Haven, as it offers picturesque views of the valley. The old silk route connects the Tibetan capital of Lhasa to the plains of Bengal to the south.
If you are an ardent fan of the captivating Himalayan Range, Pelling is the perfect destination to fulfill this purpose! It is from this Sikkimese town, one can have the best views of the Himalayas and the Kanchenjunga Peak, and can experience the best of mountains all at once. Located at the height of 7,200ft above the sea, this scenic town is bestowed with several waterfalls, breath-taking views, natural beauty and adventure options like rafting, kayaking, trekking, mountain biking and several others.
The capital of southern Sikkim district, Namchi is located at an average elevation of 1315 meters above sea level. The area is fast growing into a tourist destination with its enormous potential for all round tourist activities. The Namchi Monastery, Ralong monastery, and Tendong Hill are important Buddhist pilgrimage centers. The world’s largest statue (at 118 feet) of the Buddhist Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the patron saint of Sikkim, is on the Samdruptse hill (The Wish Fulfilling well) opposite Namchi and is a must visit.
Lachung, Lachen, and Yumthang Valley
Lachen is a distant village in North Sikkim and the winter home for Tibetan nomadic tribes. Lachung is a high altitude village of Tibetan and Bhutia people in North Sikkim. And, Yumthang is a beautiful valley bounded by snow-capped mountains. All three are breathtaking tourist places in Sikkim.
All the three valleys have combined spots namely Lachung Gompa, Monastery, Snowcapped highlands, frozen lakes, and colorful rhododendron bloom.
Nestled amidst the Maenam and Tendong Hills, Ravangla is among the best places to visit in Sikkim; especially in the southern part of the state. A scenic town between Gangtok and Pelling, this hill-town also hosts some of the most popular treks in Sikkim.
More popular as a paradise for the bird watchers, it is home to some of the rarest and endangered birds in the world. On a typical visit to Ravangla, you can spot dark-throated thrush, verdict flycatchers, blue whistling thrush, babblers, cuckoos and several others.
Touching a towering height of 10,000ft, Zuluk is one of the least discovered destinations in the entire of Sikkim. Located on the ancient ‘Silk Route,’ this quaint Sikkimese village takes the pride of being a vintage point to enjoy panoramic views of the Mt Kanchenjunga. In addition to the mysterious beauty of this hamlet, it is also popular among the adventure lovers as the ride to Zuluk takes them through 32 hairpin bends.
A different one amongst the places to visit in Sikkim, Teesta River is stunning to look at when it is frozen in winters. During spring, however, the river is shimmering in the sun rays and displays a perfect habitat for blooming flowers. You can enjoy river rafting, bird spotting, lush green flora and fauna, and Dikchu Bridge while visiting it.
One of the highest fresh-water lakes in the world, Gurudongmar Lake is a gorgeous place to visit in Sikkim, located at a towering height of 17,800ft and is also known as Tso Lhamo Lake. Considered as a sacred lake, the legends say that though this lake remains frozen during the winters, one of its portions never freezes. No matter, how extreme is the weather, this particular portion blessed by Guru Padmasambhava never freezes, and thus the devotees consider its water holy.
Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden
Located within proximity of the Rumtek Monastery, this lush and verdant botanical garden is the home to several rare and exotic species of plants and trees. Some of the orchids found in this garden are indigenous to only this part of the world and hold high medicinal and commercial value as well.
The largest Stupa in Sikkim, Do Drul Chorten was built in 1945 under the leadership of Truslshi Rimpoche. Holding a high prominence amongst all the religious sites in the state, this stupa is laced with 108 Mani Lhakor prayer wheels and is an ultimate place to connect with the essence of one’s inner-self.
Rumtek Monastery was built in the 16th century around the same time as the other two monasteries established by the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje and was the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage for long and was eventually abandoned to ruins. When the 16th Karmapa arrived in Sikkim in 1959, he decided to rebuild the monastery, as the site was considered highly auspicious.