Sikkim Tourism

Sikkim Tourism


About Sikkim

Sikkim

Sikkim is the second smallest state of India. It was an independent monarchy ruled by kings called Chogyals till 1975, when it joined the Indian union. Sikkim has borders with Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and the Indian state of West Bengal. Situated in the Himalayan ranges, the state is entirely hilly with elevations ranging between 300m and 8583m. The highest elevation is Mt. Kanchendzonga, the third highest peak in the world, which is worshipped as the guardian deity of the state.

 

Lepchas are considered to be the oldest inhabitants of Sikkim. Then came the Bhutias from Tibet, and later Nepalis, and the people from Indian plains. Sikkim is home to the Mahayana form of Buddhism and its colourful Gompas (Buddhist monasteries) are a major attraction. Of these, Rumtek monastery near Gangtok, and Tashiding & Pemayangste monasteries in West Sikkim are the most important.

 

Gangtok is the main city and the capital of Sikkim. It is a cosmopolitan place with views of snow-covered Himalayas, botanical gardens and monasteries. Gangtok is also an ideal base to visit the southern parts of the state where most of the tourist sites are located. Approachable from Gangtok, Tsongo Lake is located 3720m above sea level and is frozen during the winters. The Chinese border at Nathula Pass is close by. The town of Pelling is in west Sikkim and is a popular tourist spot. The Kanchendzonga National Park is a habitat for the snow leopard, red panda, Tibetan antelope and wild ass.

 

Phang Lhabso and Losoong are the main festivals of Sikkim. Phang Lhabso is dedicated to the worship of Mt. Kanchendzonga and is celebrated in August/September. Losoong is celebrated in December/January and marks the end of the harvest season.

 

Foreign nationals visiting Sikkim must obtain an Inner Line Permit. The permits are available at Indian missions and tourism offices in Delhi and Calcutta.

 

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Popular destinations in Sikkim



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Gangtok - One of the best places to visit in Sikkim
India Says Yes Award

India Says Yes Award

Winner for categories:

  • Hill
Check out India Says Yes Award Winners
Pelling - One of the best places to visit in Sikkim

Sikkim Traveller Reviews

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Read 78 state reviews
with average rating of 6/7, 1
out of 141 Sikkim reviews 78
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Varshil Somani
  • Varshil Somani
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 1 photo
  • 1 Review

"Awesome place" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Too good place in India. The government has made a temple of pilgrimage in Sikkim which is the symbolic of char dham in India. The climate is just fabulous. Darjeeling, Gangtok, lachung are other best places which can be visited with Sikkim.
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Basab Ray chaudh
  • Basab Ray chaudh
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 2 photos
  • 5 Reviews

"KALUK : Discover the beauty of Kangchenjunga" new review

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Kaluk is a small village in West Sikkim, 125 km away from NJP/ Siliguri. It takes about 6 hr to drive from NJP. Its a virgin hill station with couple of resorts having modern facilities. Right from the resort you can see the fabulous Kanchanjunga range. Rinchenpong, where Kabi Guru Rabindranath Tagore stayed, is located only 2km away. You can visit near by tourist places like Uttarey, Pelling, Barmiok, Hee, Chayatal, Okhrey and Barsey, all located within 10 to 50 km. I strongly recommend this trip of a week long.
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Sushil Bardia
  • Sushil Bardia
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 Reviews

"An awesome place to visit in winter" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
Sikkim is an awesome place to visit in winter. Best months would be nov to march. Number Of days required for completing almost all the places of sightseeing ranging from local to nathulla pass is around 8-10 days. Please do visit it, its a wonderful place. Discover Sikkim.
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  • 1 vote

Micky Gala
  • Micky Gala
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 1 Review

"One of the best place on earth"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Cool place to hangout & to have adventure & romance. Lot of travelling. Budget destination and beautiful sceneries. Tiger hill & Zero point must go places. Best place to spend time with your loved ones. Its Jannat in India. Best place to spend time with your loved ones.
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  • 5 votes

Bani Verma
  • Bani Verma
  • 8 Reviews

"Untouched sikkim"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Sikkim is a land of superlatives, with its magnification mountain rich cultures and pristine environments. The capital city of Sikkim is fittingly called Gangtok.

The places to visit around Gangtok are

tsuklakhang
nagyeal institute of tibiotologi
do drul chorten
ropeway flower show
hanuman tok, ganesh tok, mg marg
tsomgo lake
baba mandir
nathula pass
north sikkim
yumthang valley
gurudongmar lake
lachung
lachen
chung thang
seven sister water falls
west sikkim pelling monostry kanchangangha water falls
singhsor saspension bright kheehuperi lake yaksom kathok tsho dubdi monostry
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  • 6 votes

Prashanth Pattamatta
  • Prashanth Pattamatta
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 4 Reviews

"Sikkim's quotient of charm/magic is as high as its peaks"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
In early March 2015, me and my wife went to Sikkim. We planned to stay there for 9-10 days, so as to experience Sikkim at leisure. And I have to say even that was just about enough. At the end of the trip, we thought we stayed there for some more time.

Bottom line: Sikkim's quotient of charm/magic is as high as its peaks.

Sikkim has 4 districts named after the 4 directions NEWS. Among them we went to North, East and South Sikkim. West Sikkim had few attractions like Pelling, Khecheopalri Lake etc. But locals advised that there is nothing much you'll miss if not for a trip to the West. So, in the order of priority if I were to advise which destinations to cover in Sikkim, plan to cover North and East Sikkim first. And if time's still on your side, South Sikkim doesn't disappoint.

Our trip started with a day-long tour in and around the capital city, Gangtok. Our first stop was @ the ropeway, which gives a panoramic view of the city. The huge mountains, the steep valleys, and the city built across them are a site worthy of savoring. Then we went to the Institute of Tibetology which gives a glimpse of Tibet's history. Our next stop was at the Rumtek Monastery. It was a very peaceful place and by the time we went there, the monks we in the middle of a chanting session. Here, sit in peace and meditate if you can. Later we saw Banjhokri falls and clicked some pictures there. Apart from these, there are several viewpoints like Tashi viewpoint, Ganeshtok et., where you'll get to see the city from different places and each one is enchanting and unique. For most part of our journey, a glass full of chai and a plate full of momos was all the fuel we took to move along. The momos with the cabbage filling, the spicy pickle accompanying it and the masala chai aptly suit the climate there. We also got to taste the native Sikkimese cuisine in this cute-little restaurant called "9ine". Highly recommend this to anyone and everyone visiting Gangtok.

Our day 2 was a trip to Tsongo lake and Nathula pass. I'd advise travelers going to Sikkim to plan their trip during the month of march so as to experience snow in places like Tsongo and Nathula. For us, we went there just the day after the road to Tsongo has been cleared off snow. This day-long trip included a stop @ "Baba Harbhajan mandir" as well.

All these places are mostly covered with snow. While we were going, we saw the mountains on one side of the road pitch-white with snow. And contrastingly, mountains on the other side were completely barren and dark. A word of caution to travelers: Ensure to wear boots specially designed for snow, available at shops near Tsongo. Tsongo is called "Changu" in local dialect.

Right from the wooden buildings of Gangtok, to the first glimpse of snow on way to Tsongo, to the increasing intensity of snow from Tsongo to Nathula, to the completely snow-capped mountains at Nathula, it was a crescendo of snow, tempo of a musical increasing in intensity with the climactic high point @ Nathula. It is the Indo-China border and travelers are not permitted to click pictures in the vicinity. By walking 200-300 meters, you'll reach the fencing which separates the 2 countries. Yon can see soldiers on top of the towers, and buildings painted in Red on the other side. There its all snow, 360 degrees around. The air keeps getting thinner as we elite the steps to reach the fencing. The last 50-100 meters is the most difficult part. But the best part in these places, and it applies to all of Sikkim, is that you have a decent restaurant and clean toilet @ the remotest possible locations. Kudos and a note of Thank you to the State Government in this regard. After playing in the snow for a while we headed towards Baba mandir.

Baba mandir has a significant history which marks the valor of Indian army. Here you can see the Indian flag hoisted high up in the sky and snow-clad mountains all around. The "Swach Bharat Abhiyan" board at this remote location caught my eye & that of my camera as well. Here you can get a certificate stating that you have visited Nathula pass, from the concerned authorities. The route from Nathula to Baba mandir stays etched in my memory. It reminds me of a location from the movie "Interstellar" where the land is completely covered in Ice. As far as you can see, there is only one color and one thing that you can see and experience.

Our last stop for the day was at Tsongo lake, which was the most picturesque of them all. Its difficult to express the joy when you first see this place. Heavy white clouds on top, some amount of mist/fog which adds to the charm, clear blue skies on the other side, mountains covered with snow and some with trees + 0% vegetation on one side, barren and dark colored mountains on the other side, the black Yaks contrasting the snow, the colorful flags & colorful dresses of the locals making sure that not all is in B&W. and in the middle of all this variety lies a serene, peaceful, move-i-will-only-if-you-touch waters of the Tsongo. The photographer in me & the tourist in me were at loggerheads in terms of sharing the most expensive commodity i.e Time. So, for a good 15-20 minutes I clicked pictures/videos from all possible angles and spent the next half of my time essentially doing nothing and trying to savor the moment and be one with the little heaven that it is.

Will share the rest of our journey which includes a trips to South Sikkim, Lachung, Yumthang Valley, and walks on the MG road et al.

P.S: We stayed in this little gem of a place called "Hidden Forest Retreat". With an organic farm in their backyard, myriad colorful flowers in the garden, a superb view of the valley, restaurant without a menu and cooked from vegetables grown in their farm, wooden housing and warm & friendly hosts, this is the place to-be in Gangtok. Highly recommend!!
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  • 12 votes

Pramila Balsubramaniam
  • Pramila Balsubramaniam
  • Highlander
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 6 Reviews

"Must visit place for fun and adventures"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
It is the wonderful state and one must not miss. All the four districts are well maintained, clean and people are friendly and the tour operators are genuine. Important destinations are Gangtok, Peiling and Lachung. The right time to visit these places is from March to May.

In Gangtok, you should visit Babha Mandir, Lake, Nathulla Pass, Flower Garden. In Peiling, all the temples and tea estates. In Lachung, Zero point is a must visit. You can eat momos, parathas, thalis. You can go to Mall Road in Gangtok. River rafting and trekking are a must try adventures. It is better to go by air if affluent. Train journey from south would be very tedious.
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  • 7 votes

Mehdi Sweinstiger
  • Mehdi Sweinstiger
  • 8 Reviews

"Simply mesmerising..!!"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
I visited Sikkim while doing my basic mountaineering course with Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. So, I can proudly say that I covered nearly the entire west Sikkim on foot ( from 3000 feet to 17000 feet above sea level ). Sikkim Himalayas are marvellous. They simply mesmerise you. And they call you back. I am serious, you want to live there forever above 15000 feet from sea level. You have to be there to understand it. Its probably next to heaven at that altitude.
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  • 9 votes

Ankur Singh
  • Ankur Singh
  • Lives in Lucknow
  • 1 Review

"Cleanliness is a passion here"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Awesome place ever visited. One should visit and see the cleanliness there and learn from it. Apart from that, its a wonderful place to spend holidays. Its a hill station with all the amenities present and what to say about the massive great snow caps. Really enjoyed a lot.
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  • 9 votes

Chitransh Agarwal
  • Chitransh Agarwal
  • Lives in Bhopal
  • 14 photos
  • 1 Review

"Visit for the beauty, lifestyle and culture"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Dec 2, 2014
The whole state is filled with exotic natural beauty. The roads and the mountains just take you to a romantic Bollywood song. Starting from the bottom when you look at the top of the mountain a certain voice says in your head "We have to reach there, at the top".
I visited in June but would strongly suggest visiting earlier as there was rainy season a small trouble was faced by us. We arrived at Gangtok first in the evening and stayed at Norkhill hotel. The hotel was absolutely lavish with a breath-taking view of the clear sky, the mountains and the famous Paljor stadium. As the Football World Cup was on its peak at that time the environment was electrifying.
We visited the local market in the evening the MG road is a short visit which consist all the restaurants and the novelty which you want to buy and the next day we visited Lachung. It was a tiresome ride but the view made up for it (You can get taxis to get there, If you are looking for comfort you can get Innova or if you are trying to be cheap then the local Sumo will do). We reached Lachung at night where we stayed and had food. There was nothing in particular to see in Lachung but we had to stay there as it was night. The next day at 4 we began our journey to Yumthang valley (My My :*:*). I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life the flowing river with the mountains covered with snow took my heart away. We spent a considerable time there fooling around (P.S. Donít take small children there as the altitude is very high and they often feel nauseous or may get sick) Then we headed further to Zero Point. The journey was awesome and the bright and beautiful flowers alongside were just a treat to our eyes.
After reaching Zero point we could feel the altitude as we were panting even while we were standing we tried to run for just about one fourth of a kilometre and ended up laying on the mountains catching our breath. We were just a mountain away from Tibet isn't that cool. You can literally spend hours or even days taking in the beauty and let it simmer into your veins. We headed back after that, of course we didn't want to but the schedule was so tight. After reaching Gangtok the next day we headed for Nathula Pass (The Indo-China border).
As usual the roads were just mesmerizing and the wind was pulsating through our bodies. Our taxi stopped at a local market where the Indo-China trade was happening (I wouldn't go into details but you get jeans, shades at a very reasonable price. I got a pair of Levis for 400 bucks) We reached Nathula Pass and all the army were instated and the security was tight but the defence persons were cool. We shook hands with the chinese soldiers, I literally stepped foot in China for a minute and my phone beeped saying "Welcome to China blah blah" That feeling was so awesome. And they say that photography is not allowed but it sure is so take your cameras with you. When we were heading back we stopped at the Changu lake (If you are from a place with no lakes you will surely enjoy it.) we clicked photos of yaks and even wore their traditional outfits. (P.S. They will try to rip you off but you can get them for like 25/- per person)
We headed back to our hotel and the next day visited the 13 points of the local Gangtok they were also good most of them were viewpoints to see the Kanchenjunga range of mountains standing tall and if you plan your journey correctly you will be able to see the mammoth. We were just lucky enough

Now the general info.
If you hire a taxi to Yumthang your stay and food is covered.
We got a Sumo. it has a capacity of 10+1 including driver. we got ourselves a decent place and food for 1000/- per head, Yes including the stay and food
We ate at the local market as i am a foodie i love to try new delicacies. The food was good but nothing extraordinary. Maybe you will be lucky
And the most important thing of all please bring your passport size photos and ID proof (All the members who are travelling as you will need it to get the permits, and yes you need them to visit nathula and yumthang) As soon as you reach Gangtok visit the Tourist centre or whatever they call it and apply for permits or tell your hotel receptionist to do so

And that's not all South Sikikim is more awesome if you want to see the real culture which you will want to see once you stay at Gangtok. One advice, if you are visiting Sikkim please don't make plans to visit other places as it contains many other places which I was unable to visit because we visited Kolkata and Darjeeling (Nothing as compared to Sikkim). Places like Pelling, Guru Dongmar Lake (We missed it because of snow, Kalimpong and many more. I enjoyed immensely and maybe you will too. Happy and safe journey
Thanks for reading
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Destinations in Sikkim (Where to go in Sikkim)

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