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Top 5 Must See Tourist Places in Sikkim, India

Updated on April 27, 2010


Situated at the foot of Mount Kanchendzonga, Sikkim is a small stretch of land sandwiched between the Kingdom of Nepal in the West and the Kingdom of Bhutan in the East. Sikkim also shares its border with West Bengal. Sikkim is an adorable place replete with lofty snow-capped mountains, green-colored rolling slopes, the gushing hills streams, scenic landscape, sparkling orchids, placid lakes and picturesque glaciers.

A Budhist Monastery in Sikkim, India
A Budhist Monastery in Sikkim, India

Sikkim Tour


Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim is located at an altitude of about 5600 feet. It is a lovable hill resort lying in the lap of the snowcapped peaks of the towering Kanchenjunga. There are tourist attractions galore in Gangtok including museums, monasteries, lakes and several scenic spots. The one place no visitor to Gangtok should miss is the Deer Park which affords a panoramic view of the valleys surrounding the city of Gangtok. The park is also home to many uncommon animals like the Red Panda and the Himalayan Bear.

There are a plethora of monasteries in Gangtok and the chief among them are Pemayangtse Monastery built in the 17th century and the Labrang Monastery that is about a century old. The Royal chapel, Tasuklakhang within the palace grounds has a large collection of Buddhist scriptures.

The Tsomgo Lake is a serene sacred lake revered by the Buddhists and the other beautiful lake one must visit, is Kechopari with placid and crystal clear water set amidst dense forests.

Tashi is a popular picnic spot where most tourists flock and from there you can enjoy a spellbinding view of the imposing Kanchenjunga. People suffering from various ailments and those wanting to rejuvenate themselves should visit the Phurchachu Hot Springs that reportedly have medicinal properties as also spiritual powers.

Changu Lake

Changu Lake

Situated around 35 kms away from Gangtok,, Changu Lake is a picturesque lake located at an altitude of 12,310 ft on the Gangtok Nathu La highway. The lake is fairly large about 1 km. long, oval in shape, 15 meters deep and is considered holy by the local people.

This placid lake remains frozen during the winter months up to mid-May. The lake has dense Alpine forests where one can see some rare animals like the Red Panda, Brahminy ducks and variety of exotic birds. Between the month of May and August one can see witness a variety of flowers blooming like the Rhododendrous, various species of Primulas, Blue and Yellow Poppies, Iries etc.

Sikkim - Kingdom in the Clouds

Yumthang Valley

Yumthang, more familiarly known as a Valley of Flowers is situated in the lofty reaches of Himalayas. The Yumthang valley adjoining Tibet, is situated at an altitude of 1180 ft. Yumthang is a dream destination, covered with Rhododendron and Primula flowers. From the valley one can view a stunning array of peaks Pauhunri and Shundu Tsenpa. A number of hot springs are sporadically scattered in the valley providing visitors to enjoy the warmth of the water even during the chilly winters.

Rich in sulfur these springs are believed to have miraculous healing power. A tributary of the river Teesta flows past the valley and there's the fascinating town of Lachung in the vicinity.

Rumtek Monastery Sikkim

Rumtek Monastery

A tour of Sikkim will be incomplete without a visit to the Rumtek Monastery - the largest monastery in Sikkim sprawling over a huge area. It was originally built in 1730 by the ninth Karmapa but was destroyed by fire and was renovated by the late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in 1960. The monastery includes a school to impart teachings in Tibetan and various aspects of Buddhism. An aviary containing the most exotic birds also exists within the monastery complex.

Another notable feature is that some distance above the monastery, there is a hermitage in which monks go into prolonged retreat for meditation for spiritual practices. The monastery houses some of the world's most unique religious scriptures, manuscripts and religious art objects.


Other Chief Attractions in Sikkim

Nathu La is a Pass on the Indo-Chinese border and was once the main access for Sikkim -Tibet Trade. Nathu La Pass, more fondly called as the Silk Route, is at an elevation of 14,450 feet and renowned for its diverse alpine flora and fauna.

The Himalayan Zoological Park spread over an area of 205 hectares in the mountainous terrains is an exciting place for wildlife lovers. The Park has been preserving all sorts of wildlife in their natural habitat. Located in Bulbuley, the Park is at an altitude of 5,840ft (1,780 mtrs) and provides a splendid view of Mt. Khangchendzonga.

Sikkim has over 194 age old Monasteries of great spiritual and historical significance. Some of the foremost Monasteries are Rumtek, Pemyangtse, Sangacholing, Dubdi, Tashiding, Phensong and Phodong.

Visit Sikkim

Sikkim is a land of many charms and offers enough - whether you are a nature lover, spiritual seeker, wildlife enthusiast, holidaymaker, adventurer or an ordinary tourist. It can be stated without fear of contradiction that Sikkim has ample interesting destinations for visitors of all sorts and hues. If you are traveling to India, you must spend time in Sikkim to enjoy and become part of the celestial beauty of this heavenly State.


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