Sikkim: A Breathtakingly Beautiful Travel Destination in India
Sikkim is a small Himalayan state, located in the north-eastern part of India and flanked by Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. Its geography is dominated by the majestic and lofty snow-capped mountains and luxuriant green forests.
The best time to visit Sikkim is March to June and September to December.
Getting to Sikkim
The nearest airport is at Bagdora in West Bengal, where scheduled flights operate from Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta) and Mumbai (Bombay). It takes four hours to get to Gangtok (the capital of Sikkim) from the airport.
The closest railway station is New Jaipaiguri, in West Bengal.
Gangtok is well connected by road.
Places to Visit in Sikkim
Sikkim offers the traveler a mix of heritage and adventure tourism. Nestled under the protective shadow of Mt. Khanchenzonga (the third tallest peak in the world), this vibrant and colorful state presents a host of monasteries, beautiful lakes, scenic beauty and exciting trekking routes.
Gangtok, located in the eastern part of Sikkim is a charming, laid-back town, with city life inter-mingling with the traditional style of living.
Visit the beautiful Rumtek and Enchey monasteries, treasure houses of some of world's most exclusive religious scriptures and sacred objects.
The Tsomgo Lake, on the Gangtok-Nathula highway is a picturesque spot, and remains frozen most of the year. The ice-covered lake, with the snow-clad mountains and numerous yaks is a must on every itinerary.
The Nathula Pass, the former silk trading route between India and Tibet, is presently the very last point of India. One can have a glimpse of the Great Wall of China from Nathula on a sunny day.
The Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary, 20 km from Gangtok, is the home of the Himalayan Black Bear, the Red Panda and the Civet Cat.
The Khecheopari Lake, considered sacred by the Hindus as well as the Buddhists, has its own distinct charisma and charm. It is often called the ‘Wishing Lake’.
West Sikkim too is dotted with innumerable monasteries. The Pemayangtse Monastery is considered exceptional because of its purity. The monastery is meant only for the “ta-sang” lamas or the pure monks.
Yuksom, the first capital of the state of Sikkim, is a beautiful town and the starting point of the trekking route to Dzongri and the base camp of Mt. Khanchenzonga.
Lachung, a small Bhutia village, lies on either side of River Lachung Chu. Resting at an altitude of 2684metres, it is encircled by snow-capped peaks and is a land of spectacular beauty. A visit to the cottage industry gives an insight in to the local handicrafts.
Twenty-five km from Lachung, Yumthang is a paradise for nature lovers. The valley offers a dazzling view of the alpine backdrop. The Shingbha Rhododendron Sanctuary, with 24 species of rhododendron, and the ‘Tsa-Chu' or the hot spring are hugely popular among tourists.
Picturesque landscape, consisting of lofty mountains, lush forests, natural geysers, tea gardens and a charming countryside; south Sikkim is truly enchanting. The pictorial view of Mt. Khanchenzonga, beautiful caves, untouched and unspoiled nature and lovely flora and fauna make the locale highly alluring.
The wonderful climate, the scenic beauty, the peace and calm of the quaint villages, the lofty Himalayan snow-clad peaks and the verdant green valleys, the rich flora and fauna and the exciting trekking routes, make Sikkim a decidedly appealing tourist destination.