Serpentine roads decorated with colourful prayer flags, rugged terrains, gushing waterfalls, snow-capped Himalayan mountains, and the Teesta River turning and twisting with every curve in the path, best define my visions from Sikkim.
One of the most scenic states in the country, Sikkim, is bound to surprise you with an abundance of beauty and a mix of terrain. Perched in North-East India and sharing its border with three countries, Nepal, Bhutan, and China, explains the restricted and reserved movement of the tourists. However, the exclusivity of the state makes it an even more exciting destination to explore.
The second smallest state in India can be broadly divided into four districts- North, South, West, and East Sikkim. A 14 days’ itinerary can aptly do justice if you intend to explore the entire state.
By Air ✈️
Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal is the gateway to Sikkim, and direct flights are functional from all major cities. From the airport, it is a 126 km transfer to Gangtok, via taxi. Despite the inaugural of Pakyong Airport in Sikkim in 2018, it remains to be non-functional. You can also book a helicopter ride from Bagdogra to Gangtok through the STDC ticket reservation counter or visit www.sikkimstdc.com. It is operational every day at 2:30 PM and costs Rs. 3,500/person.
Train tickets can be booked to New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri in West Bengal, from where Gangtok is a short road trip away.
A 4.5 hours' road trip to Gangtok is an inevitable part of the journey. You will find numerous options for shared taxi rides at both New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and Siliguri Taxi Stand, which won’t cost beyond Rs. 350/person and Rs. 250/person, respectively. Luxury shared taxis provided by wizzride.com is another viable option for Rs. 712/person (incl. tax). Private taxis are also available starting from Rs. 2,800.
*Tip: make sure your taxi is a Sikkim registered vehicle, else you will have to take another ride at West Bengal-Sikkim border.
7 Days Itinerary
Despite being the second smallest state in the country, travelling in Sikkim isn’t a piece of cake. The elevation and depression in the altitude contribute to an exhausting road trip. You can customize your itinerary as the adventure bug allows you. The course I followed was:
Day 1: Flight to Bagdogra, transfer to Gangtok
Day 2-4: North Sikkim Tour – Explore Lachung, Yumthang Valley, Zero Point, Lachen, and Gurudongmar Lake
Day 5: Explore Gangtok and nearby tourist attraction
Day 6: South Sikkim – Roadtrip to Temi Tea Estate and Buddha Park
Day 7: East Sikkim – Tsongo Lake, Nathu La Pass, Elephant Lake Point, Heart Lake, Thambi view point
Day 8: Transfer to Bagdogra
* Tip: If you wish to witness the magnificent Mount Kangchenjunga, Kangchenjunga Falls, and impressive monasteries covered in murals, a trip to Pelling, West Sikkim, is worth adding to your itinerary.
About the Blog
The first blog in the Sikkim Blog Series – Everything you Need to Know about North Sikkim.
My Travel Diary
The majestic Kanchenjunga standing tall and in all its glory against an ombre sky, vibrant huts and houses perched on the hills, and the chilly winds piercing through my skin welcomed me to the beautiful capital of Sikkim – Gangtok.