A secluded Shangri-La mired in myths and legends, the small state of Sikkim genuinely welcomes travelers and pilgrims from all over. Blessed by the great Guru Padmasambhava himself, embellished with natural pearls, lush tea gardens, ancient monasteries and people who seem as close as our kin, a visit to Sikkim will leave you with a nostalgic affection. Mountains, rocky terrains, waterfalls and adventure in harmony with religious faith and generous people, get around and be enthralled in Sikkim.
At a swooping height of 5,550 feet, the capital of Sikkim, crowned by a spectacular view of Mount Khangchendzonga (Mt. Kanchanjunga in Nepal), Gangtok is a buzzing cosmopolitan with a vibrant mix of people and their cultures, traditional and modern. The town is definitely your hotspot to chill before going around traveling through the state. MG Marg, the country’s first litter and spit free zone, allows no vehicles into the marg. Relax, reconnect, hop and shop around the chain of malls, parlors, cafes, and clubs!
The seven minutes bi-cable Zig-back ropeway from Deorali to Tashiling makes for an awesome means to get sumptuous vistas of the town. The Khangchendzonga Tourist Villa and Entertainment Park at Ranka is a happening place to indulge in, and is facilitated with swimming pools, bowling alleys, musical fountains, laser shows and more!
Rumtek is a lush getaway just around 23 kilometers away from Gangtok. A quiet hilly terrain, Rumtek offers day tours around its nature trails, monastery tours, trekking and white water rafting. Rumtek Monastery is the largest monastery in Sikkim carved with the best of Tibetan architecture and treasures some of the rarest Buddhist artifacts in the world.
Rayong sunrise viewpoint, Ravangla:
Eight kilometers on the way to Damthang from the alluring Ravangla is the Rayong sunrise viewpoint. Brace yourself as the view plunges you in pure bliss as the first glimmering rays of morning sun hit the silver peaks.
The land of Guru Padmasambhava:
No land in Sikkim remains without the blessing of Guru Padmasambhava. The legends of the blessed paddy patch in Chungthang (the source of river Tista), the sacred Gurudongmar Lake, all speak of his compassion and wisdom. The gigantic 135 feet tall statue of the Guru in Samdrupste, the highest in the world, marks a celebration for Sikkim in reverence of the great Guru.
Perched atop the Solophok hill, this unique pilgrim centre of Sikkim is homage to the religious souls of India and beyond. The complex accommodates the replicas of the sacred ‘Chardham’ of Hindus, with huge statues of gods and deities. Established as a religious cum cultural centre, the complex is facilitated with necessary amenities for travelers with various interests.
Just 38 kilometers from Gangtok, Changu Lake settles at an altitude of 12,400 feet, ever-filled with pristine waters from the mountain snows surrounding the lake. The lake remains frozen in winter and blooms open with the flowers in spring. A yak-ride might add up to a quirky experience!
The cliffs of Sikkim amidst dense forests provide for a spectacular flow of waterfalls around the state. Ban Jhakri falls, Khangchendzonga Waterfalls, Rimbi Waterfalls, Seven Sisters Waterfalls, et cetera, among the famous few; experience the elegance of this nature’s majestic bestowal.
A flowery affair!
Flutter away amidst the blooming rhododendrons in the Shinba Rhododendron Sanctuary on the way to Yumthang, the Valley of Flowers itself. At a height of 11,800 feet, spring in Yumthang is set ablaze with the affluence of the wild flowers and rhododendrons also famous for its hot spring. Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is another blooming paradise in west Sikkim, a four kilometer walk from Hilley through the enchanting pine forests. Deorali Orchid Sanctuary in south Gangtok is also definitely not to be missed!
Rugged mountain terrains, lush valleys coupled with astounding views, Sikkim is a wondrous trekker’s paradise. Foreigners are required to obtain permits on most of the trekking routes being: Yoksum – Dzongri Trek, Tashi View Point – Tinjure Trek, Base Camp – Garakhet Trek, Phalut – Singelia Chiwabhanjang Trek and Hilley – Varsey Trek.
- Best time to travel: September to December or March to June
- Languages spoken: Nepali, Hindi, Tibetan
- Travel by road: Kathmandu- Kakarvitta – Silguri – Rangpo – Gangtok
For booking and more information: https://www.himalayanglacier.com/trips/enchanting-sikkim-kalimpong-and-darjeeling-tour/