Planning that long due vacation? How about you go to Sikkim this time? The state is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and clean places to visit in the Northeast. Snow-capped peaks, lush greenery, thriving wildlife, adventure sports, trekking, culture - there's loads that you can do and explore in Sikkim. Check our guide on where you should stop by while you're here.
Planning A Vacation To Sikkim? Check Our Guide On The Places You Must Visit While You're Here
Spectacular views of the mighty Kanchenjunga, dense forests, walking trails and gushing rivers, that's what Gangtok is all about. Go for the ropeway ride while you're here for a bird's eye view of the hill station. The state capital also hosts a flower festival every year where different kinds of flowers from roses and orchids to alpine creepers and seasonal ones are up for display.
If you like to explore a place on foot, Pelling is the right place for you. Covered with thick forests and thriving wildlife, Pelling offers breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga and surrounding peaks. If you're looking for some peace, visit the Pemayangste and the old Sanga Choeling (walking is the only way you can visit this place) monasteries. Pelling also forms the base several popular treks in the state and also offers mountain biking and rock climbing opportunities.
Another popular place to visit is the Tsomgo or Changu Lake. Located at an altitude of over 12,000 feet, Changu Lake is made out of a glacier. The snow-capped peaks surrounded by alpine trees reflecting on the lake is a sight to behold and one that'll be etched in memory forever. Watch out for yaks and ponies and diverse flora and fauna. Home to Brahmini ducks, this lake is about 50 feet deep and a must-visit tourist attraction.
Surrounded by the Himalayas, Zuluk is a small hamlet located close to the Indo-Tibetan border on the ancient Silk Route. Make sure you take the necessary permission before you visit. All you wildlife enthusiats must head to the Zuluk Wildlife Sanctuary where you get to spot deer, yaks, wild dogs, Himalayan bear and several birds too! Head to Thambi View Point for stunning views of the mighty Kanchenjunga.
Nathu La Pass
Touted as one of the highest motorable roads in the world, Nathu La is one of Sikkim's most visited attractions. The drive to Nathu La boasts of astounding scenic beauty with snow-capped mountains all along the way. Make sure you take pictures because photography is strictly prohibited once you enter Nathu La. Stop by an army canteen for hot chai and samosa. Also, make sure you take the necessary permits before you visit.
Lachen, Lachung and Yumthang Valley
Three places located close to each other in North Sikkim, Lachen is known for its natural vegetation and being home to the Tibetan nomadic tribes. Lachung is a beautiful, small town surrounded by apple orchards, pine forests and waterfalls. You must visit the Lachung monastery and Zero Point while you're here. Known as the 'Valley of Flowers', Yumthang is all about hot springs, green meadows, grazing yaks and the Teesta river. Visit during the Losar Festival if you want to see rhododendrons in full bloom.
All you trekkers out there, the high mountain pass of Goechala is the place to visit for you guys. If adventure is what you are looking for, then this is where you should head. Thanks to its close proximity to some of the Himalayan mountains, Goechala also forms the base camp for breathtaking trek routes. Even if you aren't going for a trek, the place offers stunning views of the mountains around.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp
At an altitude of about 14,000 feet, Kanchenjunga Base Camp is nothing less than paradise for adventure enthusiasts. It's a difficult trek but then you get to brag about having climbed the base camp of the world's third highest peak that offers raw and pristine views of the Himalayas. Sounds pretty awesome no?
One of the least explored places in Sikkim, Green Lake is surrounded by glaciers and mountains and serves as the base camp to those climbing Kanchenjunga or the Zemu glacier. You get to pass through the beautiful Kanchenjunga National Park, see rhododendrons in full bloom and also witness the confluence of the Zemu Chu and Lachen Chu rivers while on your trek to the lake.
Singshore Bridge is said to be the second highest bridge in Asia at a height of above 100 m. It's located close to the quaint village of Uttarey and is quite convenient for treks. Crossing the bridge can be quiet an overwhelming experience with greenery all around.
A lesser-known village in the state, Ravangla offers spectacular views of the majestic Kanchenjunga and its sister peaks - Kabru, Pandim and Siniolchu. Rayong Sunrise Viewpoint, Temi Tea Garden, Relang hot spring and Ralang monasteries are other attractions you must check out. The roads to these places also offer scenic views of dense forests, mountains and greenery.
We know Teesta river is famous for rafting but we'd suggest heading to Aritar for river rafting, paragliding, trekking, hiking, camping and rock climbing. It's a haven for adventurists besides being an amazing destination for a quiet time in the lap of nature. Visit the temples and monasteries or stroll along the streams and forests.
Located over 20 kms from Gangtok, Rumtek Monastery is a must-visit for rare Buddhist art and mural paintings. You'll also find 1001 miniature gold sculptures! Surrounded by green mountains, this monastery belongs to the Kargyu sect that originated in Tibet and is also known as the ‘Dharma Chakra Centre’. It's the perfect place if solitude is what you're looking for. You also get to see the whole of Gangtok from here.
National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries
There are loads of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Sikkim that you can't miss out on if you are a birdwatcher or a wildlife enthusiast. Head to the Singalila or Khangchendzonga national parks for blooming rhododendrons and orchids and the rare Red Panda and Himalayan Black Bear as well as different species of birds. Another must-visit is the Zuluk Wildlife Sanctuary as well as the Shingba and Varsey rhododendron sanctuaries. You can also explore a lot of trekking trails here.