Top Places To Visit in Sikkim
Hotels and Homestays in Sikkim
Weekend Getaways from Sikkim
115 Kms from Sikkim
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,October,November,December
One would assume that Thimphu is still settling into its role as the capital of one of the happiest countries in the world, Bhutan. Simple at heart, grappling with growing commercialisation, Thimphu is bustling with energy and is the heart of the country. Thimphu is a delight to explore if history interests you and also if you want a break from the quiet and serenity of Bhutan. Brimming with cafes, nightclubs and restaurants, the city welcomes people from all over the world with open arms. While here, do check out Changangkha Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the National Folk Heritage Museum which offers a peek into the life of the Bhutanese people, especially the rural way of life. There are tons of parks, gardens and galleries in and around Thimpu and you cover most of these in a single day depending on your interests. The exhibits here range from archaic to contemporary and are definitely worth taking a look at. Read More
Only a 2-hour drive from Paro, Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan is the most happening town of the country. Here, you can give your honeymoon a touch of fun, frolic and party!Where To Stay:
National Institute for Zorig Chusum in Thimpu is a must visit! It’s a government initiative to preserve local art and craft. It offers courses on Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts which includes calligraphy, painting, sculpture, wood carving, casting, pottery, embroidery, tailoring, weaving, masonry, silver and gold smith workshops. The discipline and skills that the students exhibit is extremely impressive!
Next day, hail a cab and travel to the capital town, Thimphu. Aim to keeping this cab to get around in Thimphu, as it be a more convenient and cheaper option since cab fares are high there. Moreover, the cab drivers in Bhutan are very gracious and will always indulge in a conversation about His Highness, Bhutan, and Buddhism. Thus, you'll be learning a lot while you're in transit. You can contact Mr. Mangal Singh at +975 17607472 to book for a trip.** (Read Part 2 for Thimphu, Punakha and Haa Valley)Cover Image Credits: http://www.mountainechoes.org/
Day 2: Phuntsholing -> ThimpuWe woke up early on Day 2 and met our guide Sangay who took us for our immigration process. We took around 3 hours at the Department of Immigration to get our permits and then after lunch we were off to Thimpu. There was initially some concern about the weather but the rain wasn't heavy enough to spoil our plans.
Next day morning, we geared up as soon as the 5AM alarm went off to capture the first light hitting Thimphu, Bhutan. A small hike to a nearby monastery with frozen dew all around the place was totally worth it. Sunlight falling on the mountain range behind the Thimphu city was quite a spectacular sight to watch.
Thimphu city is spread out along the side in a north-south heading on the west bank of the valley framed by the Raidāk River, which is known as the Wang Chuu or Thimphu Chuu in Bhutan. It is also the third highest capital in the world in altitude. The ancient capital city of Punakha was replaced by Thimphu when it was established as capital in 1955, and in 1961 Thimphu was declared as the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan by His Majesty the 3rd Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
Day 4: The way towards Thimphu started. The first stop to visit was kharbandi gonpa ( the monastery built by Royal Grandmother , Ashi Phuntsho Choedron in 1967). The beautiful and magnificent himalayan ranges were seen to the road which took upto the hills. The Toorsa river had its silent flow irrespective of the aura around. The small town of Chimakothi has its own culture maintaining its individuality. Finally the day or to be more appropriate the year ended with a theme based party in Bhutan.
101 Kms from Sikkim
Best time to visit - March,April,May
Bhutan has gradually become a popular tourist destination. And if you are visiting Bhutan, you can't possibly miss the lovely city of Paro. Considered to be one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan, it is definitely a must visit! A perfect mix of culture, beauty, nature and history, Paro offers you an experience unlike another. Do visit the unofficial Taktsang Monastery or Tiger's Nest, which is a delight for trekkers and explorers! Located on a hill, the trek to this monastery is something you'll always remember. Do carry water, wear proper shoes before you start your trek lest the number of halts increases your trek time. Another wonderful place to visit is the National Museum of Bhutan which is located in a former watch tower and hosts a collection of artefacts tracing the history of Bhutan. Among other places to visit, Rinpung Dzong and Drakhapo are definitely worth visiting. The Paro market is also a great place to explore and makes for a perfect location for an evening stroll. If you don't want to stay in the city, Paro is where you should head to. The lush valleys here are a delight to explore and the streams and meadows are nothing less than a postcard. Read More
Paro Tshechue/Paro Festival which happens in the month of April at the Rinpung Dzong is a series of dance performances by the monks and laymen wearing ornate costumes and masks. It is said that one gains merit by attending these festivals. (WooHoo! Brownie points for being a part of this) We woke up at 3am (we surprise ourselves by doing things like these :p ) to witness the Thongdrel festival – which is an unfurling of a massive embroidered painting of Guru Rinpoche. It is considered so sacred that simply seeing a Thongdrel unfurl is said to cleanse one’s sins!
Tiger’s Nest or Paro Taktsang monastery in Paro is by far the most iconic symbol of Bhutan. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. Hence the name – ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The trek takes about 6 hours which includes the tour of the monastery. The trail is uphill but not very steep, pretty doable we must say. It is tiring yes, gives you a serious fitness check (if you don’t believe in any form of exercise, like us!) but believe us, once you reach the top and inhale the pure and serene air, you will forget the aching bones and the gasping you experienced. The scenery over the valley is just mind blowing – completely lined with prayer flags and prayer wheels.
Day 4: On our way to Paro. 2nd important city and in fact only city with airport in Bhutan.. 1.5 hr ride from Thimpu .. 50 kms.Bhutan major attraction - Tiger nest.. Have always been enticed by its wallpaper like pics.. Time to turn imaginations into reality..Taktsang, or the Tiger's Nest Monastery, is one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan. one of the most challenging monasteries to get to. Located at an elevation of over 10,000 feet, Taktsang is the birthplace of Bhutanese Buddhism.
After breakfast, drive till the base of the world famous Taktsang Lhakhang. Taktsang Lhakhang or the Tiger's Nest is the most famous Buddhist pilgrimage site and temple complex in Bhutan. Visible from afar, this stunning and highly revered monastery is perched on a high granite cliff at an altitude of 10,236 ft., overlooking the northern Paro valley. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Paro (B)You can stay at-
After breakfast, visit National Museum, Paro Dzong and Kyichu Lhakhang. The National Museum of Bhutan is housed inside the revamped Ta Dzong, which was formerly a watchtower. It showcases an intriguing collection that illustrates the rich and unique cultural heritage and tradition of Bhutan, including ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts.
This morning, drive to Paro, en route visit Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong served as the capital of the country from 1637 to 1907 and the first national assembly was hosted here in 1953. Built in 1637-38, this massive architectural edifice is the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan. In addition to its structural beauty, it is renowned for containing the preserved remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan as well as a sacred relic known as the Ranjung Karsapani, a self-created image of Avalokiteswara. On arrival, checkin to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the local markets. Overnight in Paro. (B)
63 Kms from Sikkim
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,December
Kurseong, located about 30 km from Darjeeling, is for travellers who are looking to get away from the chaos of typical hill stations. With tea gardens as the region's landscape, Kurseong is as charming as it is lively and a perfect weekend destination if you are in West Bengal. There are a number of spots here that promise you an overwhelming view of the enveloping mountains – the most significant being the clear views of the mighty Kanchenjunga. Like any other hill station, Kurseong has its share of lovely touristy spots including Dow Hill, Eagle Craig and various tea estates including Makaibari Tea Estate (which is said to be the oldest tea estate in the region). If you are looking to explore the town completely, it's best to get in touch with some locals and discover hidden gems including trekking sites and birdwatching spots. Read More
244 Kms from Sikkim
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,July
The twin towns of Malda and English Bazaar make for an unusual holiday destination. Serving as a gateway to Bengal, one usually spots Malda on the way to Siliguri from Kolkata. Malda is a very small city, though the places surrounding it are considered to hold great architectural significance. Some of these destinations are also mentioned by the Archaeological Survey of India, including Gour, Farakka Barage and Jouhra Kali Bari. Gour, the erstwhile capital of Bengal is home to the original footprints of Lord Mohammad and it is very well preserved here. Adina is home to a beautiful mosque and if you have a few hours to spare, this small town deserves a visit. If you are a history buff, Malda will be a pleasure to discover, though you'll have to do a little research before setting out to explore.Read More
When we reached at Malda it was already 12:30 am. We reached Souma's Aunt's place. Had some dinner , get some sleep for about 2:30 hrs. We had slept only 2-3 hrs in the last 24 hrs and traveled more than 300 km by road that was too in uncomfortable conditions.We boarded on the train from Malda at about 6 o'clock. Not that its the best place I have ever visited , but something was special about the Darjeeling trip. There are a lot of things I have learnt from this trip , most importantly -1. Never delay when you need a trip, no matter whatever it takes.2. Unplanned trips are better, but only for off seasons.3. If you want to go for unplanned trips always make sure of two things that you know about the place , and you are physically fit for any type of situation.4. It is hard to go for a unplanned trip that even in budget. But if you are physically fit enough to stay in any type of room, travel in uncomfortable conditions and not allergic to local foods , you can travel anywhere without planning and within budget too.5. Traveling makes you wiser, happier and more fearless - if you trust this you can travel anywhere no matter the hurdles comes in your way.
69 Kms from Sikkim
Best time to visit - March,April,May,September,October,November
Mirik is a beautiful, laidback town, about 40 km from Darjeeling, popular for its scenic beauty and quiet surroundings. Mostly on the list of travellers visiting Darjeeling, this lovely town promises a wonderful day trip. Mirik Lake, located at the centre of town is a popular spot owing to its natural beauty. Do also visit the peaceful Mirik monastery situated close to the lake. This is where you'll find most locals and also a variety of local food stalls serving an assortment of snacks including the very famous jhaal muri! With umpteen homestays springing up in the region, Mirik is slowly becoming a popular weekend destination as opposed to the picnic spot it is. Surrounded by views of tea estates, on a good day you can also catch glimpses of the Kanchenjunga peak. It's best to plan your visit enroute to Darjeeling since it's convenient and the weather here is just perfect.Read More
6. Visit Mirik:Mirik is only 8 km from Tabakoshi. You can take a tour to Mirik. On the way to Mirik, there is a view point. Stop there to have a look at the vast expanse of the tea gardens and the surrounding hills. This is definitely a treat to watch.
My Driver asked me, Madam, Would you like to see 'Mirik' ?Mirik, it still reminds me of my decision which I took without giving a second thought while going to the Darjeeling. The name sounds to me very unique and I said Yes ! Why not. I still remember the wonderful scenic drive through tea gardens on hill slope. As we started the uphill journey, I felt as if I was rising above the earth, rising above the clouds. All I can see was white snow with mist in the air. On the way, I saw a lot of orange orchades and passed by the famous tea estate of Goodricke.It was altogether a nostalgic view . I reached Mirik around 5:00 pm in the evening. Mirik is a small and sleepy hill town nestled in the serene hills of Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. I had a very deep query about the term M.I.R.I.K since I was so fascinated with this name. Mirik comes from Lepcha words Mir-Yok meaning ;place burnt by fire. Mirik central attraction is its 1 km long lovely lake surrounded by Dhupi trees on one side and garden on the other side. The garden area has a playground where the British officers played polo during British Era in India. I still remember the Sumendu Lake surrounded by a garden and pine trees which was linked together by an arching footbridge called Indreni Pull. I sat down for sometime along the bank of the lake and relaxed with closed eyes then I crossed over the arching footbridge and crossover to the other side of the lake walked through the dhupi forest. I reached to the top of the monastery known as Bokar Monastery and which is famous as a Buddhist meditation center. Top of the monastery had a Tingling view point, a panoramic view of the the tea gardens.My driver suggested me that if I would have started early, I could have a reach a beautiful pace called Jorpokhri. This tiny place on a hill top has twin lakes, surrounded by forest and offers magnificent views of Kanchenjunga.After this 2 hours of visit, all I can say is that 'Mirik' ! you took my heart away
89 Kms from Sikkim
Best time to visit - February,March,October,November,December
The city of Jalpaiguri is located in West Bengal on the banks of the Teesta River, at the Himalayan foothills. It is a major trade centre and a transportation hub connecting North Bengal to the rest of India. Jalpaiguri is very strategically located with Bhutan in the north, Bangladesh in the south and Nepal not so far off. Significantly, it is situated in the narrow corridor connecting north-east India to the Indian mainland. Though Jalpaiguri has no popular tourist destinations of its own, it is favourably located from the hill stations of Darjeeling and Gangtok. The Gorumara National Park and Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary are also in the vicinity. The city of Jalpaiguri is located in an interesting topography criss-crossed by rivers and hills. Even with a mixed population, the place has cultural harmony. Jalpaiguri has an art gallery, town clubs, parks and a few temples. The beautiful Teesta River is a sight and more alluringly the city is surrounded by tea cultivations along the hill slopes in the periphery that make for a picturesque view. Read More
Welcome to your 'Bhutan - Dragon Kingdom' tour! On arrival at the railway station in New Jalpaiguri / airport in Bagdogra, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Phuentsholing, the border town in southern Bhutan. On arrival, check in to your hotel. The rest of the evening is at leisure for independent activities. Overnight in Phuentsholing. (Meals on your own)You can stay at-
Next morning by 8 a.m., we reached New Jalpeguri and took a rikshaw to hotel Breeze. We went around to the butcher market, vegetable market and bought Sondesh. Finally, we took our flights from Bagdogra back to Bangalore and that’s where one of the most adventurous voyages of my life came to an end.
Sikkim, the eight state of Northeast India. Train connectivity is available till New Jalpaiguri while Air connectivity is available till Bagdogra airport from where one has to travel by road (jeep, travellers) to the state of Sikkim. If you want to witness snowfall be sure to visit by the end of October. Lachung, Yumthang are the best places to witness snowfall. You may also visit Sikkim during the month of March - April when the Yumthang Valley is found filled with colorful blooming flowers. Read More
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Sikkim, the eight state of Northeast India. Train connectivity is available till New Jalpaiguri while Air connectivity is available till Bagdogra airport from where one has to travel by road (jeep, travellers) to the state of Sikkim. If you want to witness snowfall be sure to visit by the end of October. Lachung, Yumthang are the best places to witness snowfall. You may also visit Sikkim during the month of March - April when the Yumthang Valley is found filled with colorful blooming flowers.
Sikkim shares the international border with three countries, China in its north and east, Bhutan in its east and Nepal in its west. Sikkim has certain entry restrictions and an Indian national requires an inner line permit to visit protected areas such as Lachung, Tsomgo Lake, Nathulla, Dzongri & Goechala Trek, Yumthang, Yumesamdong, Thangu/Chopta Valley, Gurudongmar Lake. Permit for Nathula and Gurudongmar lake are issued by Tourism and Civil Aviation Department and can be obtained at Bagdogra Airport and Rangpo check post. It can also be obtained free of cost from here. Travel Agents and tour operators can also arrange the permit.Documents required:Photo ID proof such as a passport, voter's ID card or driving license.You can get the permit online here.Amazing places you shouldn't miss:Tsomgo Lake, Yuksom, Nathula Pass, Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley, Ravangla, Namchi, Zuluk, Teesta River, Gangtok and many more.A glimpse of the beauty of Sikkim:
1. Ride through stunningly varied landscapes
Away from the touristy fare, a hidden boutique stay in SikkimThis lavish property in Gangtok, spanning across 3 acres, is the perfect summer retreat for travellers looking to escape the heat. The boutique stay boasts of sprawling green lawns, a decadent spa, a ritzy gym, an in-house restaurant and bar. The entire home has a very minimalistic approach to styling the rooms and the exteriors. Also to do away with the chills after sundown, you could have a bonfire night in the lawn and engage in light banter with fellow travellers over umpteen cups of Darjeeling tea.Perfect for: Vacationers looking to get away from the humdrum of city lifeSpace: Every room can fit upto three guestsWhere: Rongay, Gangtok, SikkimHow to reach: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra at a distance of 154km. The nearest railway station is in New Jalpaiguri at a distance of 116km from the property.
Sikkim is not advisable for road trip during rainy season due to landslide prone area and therefore implementation of planned itinerary is subject to N number of conditions. 5 days are very less to visit all the places in sikkim. Making a compact itinerary and choosing what to include was an onerous job.
One of the Himalaya's best-kept travel secrets, Sikkim is a welcome diversion from all conventional notions of an Indian holiday. Far from Rajasthan's royal trail, Goa's beaches and Kerala's backwaters, this tiny Indian hill state prides itself on pristine alpine forests, lofty snow-capped mountains, craggy landscapes dotted with quaint villages and a rich tribal culture brocaded with vibrant Tibetan Buddhist accents. As we were tired of our daily hustle-bustle , we needed a break from this monotonous life , and sikkim was the best option to get rejuvenated. We planned our tour like this- First we are gonna stay in Darjeeling for 2 nights , then Go to gangtok- stay there for that night. Next morning off to Lachung ( 2 nights) and then back to gangtok. I was really excited about Lachung specifically because i have seen a lot of pictures of that place and heard this is called the Switzerland of India, but i was also a little tensed about this trip because there were two elderly people with us- my uncle and aunt. We booked a resort Apple valley Inn which is in lachung and talked to the manager of the resort.Mr. Sengupta,He is a very friendly and helpful person. He told us to take a package tour of 2 nights and 3 days and offered us very attractive off-season discount.Village Lachung On a sunny winter morning we started from gangtok for lachung. The sky was vibrantly blue, no trace of clouds. The whole gangtok city was shining. On our way we saw male Scarlet minivet, verditer flycatcher , Bat throated minla. suddenly we spotted a beauty- Himalayan Monal . It appeared like a blue colour burst and before i could take a picture it vanished.
Northeast India comprises of seven sister states and the Himalayan state of Sikkim. I always wanted to explore at least one state from northeastern India and Sikkim was my immediate choice when me and my husband decided to celebrate valentine’s day at some romantic place. Our second choice of destination was Darjeeling as it was at a feasible distance from Gangtok. We made our tour plans two days prior to our journey and so we did all bookings through travel agencies , I know its crazy but such is my life, but my suggestion to all my readers will be to do your bookings early by yourself to save hell lot of money and to cover more beautiful points on your journey which travel agencies don’t tell you about. If you are planning to go too, drop me an email or message so that I can guide accordingly and provide contacts .Highlights of my tourHotel : 3 nights at Gangtok ; 2 nights at DarjeelingFlights : Mumbai to Bagdogra via Kolkatta , Bagdogra to Mumbai via KolkattaCar : Intra / Inter cities transfer covering all our tripJourney To GangtokDay 1
If there is one place that truly makes you feel at home, it's the endearing state of Sikkim. Inhabited with mutual respect by both Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus, Sikkim boasts of some fantastic temples and monasteries. And, by the way, there's the majestic Kanchenjunga peak too, on the horizon.Cheapest month: FebruaryWeather: Cold but sunny. Minimum temperature – 4 degrees celsius. Maximum temperature – 7 degrees celsiusAverage expenditure per head per day: Rs. 1,500Insider tip to save further: Since there's a dearth of public transport, you will need to hire private cabs. Do not book online; it'll be cheaper if you negotiate directly with the taxi drivers.Book best hotels.Read more about Sikkim.
No wonder, Sikkim was amalgamation of natural splendors and rich Sikkim's-Tibetan culture. Due to extreme temperature and snow covered mountains, this state remains at the top of every traveler's list. Embarking on such an expressive place I had planned a tight schedule of 10 days to Sikkim, I had limited time to explore, and what I saw, completely astonished me. Walking down the MG road of Gangtok and wandering through Buddhist monasteries brought some unexpected culture and food. Driving down the unpredictable roadways covered by icy mountains, adorable waterfalls and photogenic foggy land at -6 degree C temperature had made me to write exploring lachung beyond our reach. And now instagramming sikkim: Tsomgo Lake, Namchi and Pelling. My next stage was about visiting Tsomgo - pristine exotic lake and Namchi, Pelling - quiet serene and wonderful side of Sikkim. I want to say it as Photographic journey to Tsomgo lake, Namchi and pelling