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.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Sikkim is from October to May
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
Tsongmo Lake is situated 38 km from Gangtok and at an elevation of 12,400 ft, the ethereally excellent Tsomgo lake is an absolute necessity on each visitors agenda. A twisting street through rough mountain landscape and sharp cliffs takes you to Tsomgo, which implies source of the water in Bhutia dialect. It is heared that in past times, Buddhist ministers would study over the water's shade of the lake to figure the future. The lake is likewise of extraordinary importance for the Jhakris of Sikkim who assemble here every year on Guru Purnima. For the visitor, a visit to the lake offers a glorious excursion. Rides on colourfully designed yaks and donkeys are offered at the lake site, which additionally has a variety of food stalls serving snacks and drinks. Snowboots and gumboots can be rented here. Tsomgo lake is open for both Indian and outside nationals, however international guests must be in a gathering of two or more and need to apply for a guests license through an authorised travel organization.
Yumesamdong (Zero Point)
Yume Samdong is around 26 kilometers from Yumthang, another acclaimed spot in North Sikkim. Yume Samdong of North Sikkim is set at an elevation of 15,300 feet above sea level. Since the spot is in close vicinity to the border standing between India and China, a special license is required to visit Yume Samdong. The drive through the mountain amidst the unpleasant region of Sikkim is an breathtaking experience.The most imperative essence of the spot lies in the Azalea's scent. Azalea frames a major source of income to local people. They make the crude material out of which neighborhood people make incense sticks. Being set at high elevation, Yume Samdong in Sikkim remains snow loaded consistently. So it is advised to take preliminary measures before a trek to Yume Samdong is attempted. But for trekkers, the course from Yume Samdong to Yumthang is one of the most loved ones. It takes just about an hour drive to reach Yume Samdong from Yumthang. This drive is as sparkling as the spot itself.
Changu Lake also noted as the " source of the lake' in Bhutia dialect. Situated around 35 kms far from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, this quiet lake is situated at an elevation of 12,310 ft on the Gangtok Nathu La expressway. The lake has enchanting Alpine forests, which is home to some uncommon creatures like the Red Panda, Brahminy ducks and many more variety of birds. Between the month of May and August one can see a large variety of flowers sprouting like the Rhododendrous, different types of Primulas, Blue and Yellow Poppies, Iries etc. The lake is about 1 km. Long, oval shaped, 15 meters deep and is viewed as a holy place by the nearby local people. It's cool, serene water easily converges with the beautiful excellence around. The Changu Lake is adjacent to Gangtok, one can easily reach it after landing in Gangtok. Accomodation is very easily available in Gangtok.
Goecha La (View Point 1)
Goecha La (el. 4940 mt or 16,207 ft) is a high mountain pass in Sikkim, India in the Himalaya range. The southeast face of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain, is viewable from the pass, which is also a base camp for those aspiring to scale the mountain. From here, you can see the head-spinning Goecha La (4940m) for those incredible views of Khangchendzonga. A further viewpoint, another hour’s walk ahead, offers even closer views.
Kanchenjunga National Park
Day 3 started with warm up exercise and a good short jog around the place. We saw the snow-capped Himalayas with its 2nd tallest peak – Kanchenjunga standing majestically right in the centre. After some local sightseeing, we were briefed about the trek and the route post which everyone introduced themselves. And thus, we spent our last night in the pleasant weather of Darjeeling before beginning our trek on the following day. Day 4 began pretty interestingly for me, of which I may write in April of 2014. The entire batch got ready and assembled for the flag off to begin our journey. On reaching the starting point by a jeep, we were introduced to our 2 trek guides. Both of them lean, fit & unbelievably young! One of them was 23 years old and he was responsible for leading the group. Looking at their normal backpacks, we felt a little foolish to have carried such huge rucksacks. By the end of the trek, we realized it was indeed stupid to have carried more than 2 pair of clothes as that’s the maximum required for such a cold journey.
Yuksom Dzongri Trek is one the most mainstream short high elevation trekking destination in Sikkim. Dzongri trek is a shorter variant of the Goechala Trek. This specific trek begins from Yuksam and winds up at Yuksam in 5 days. Dzongri trek is extraordinarily suitable and intended for the trekkers who needed to investigate more in shorter duration of time. Indeed Dzongri and Dzongri La is the best spot for a mountains' perspective and its extents in the Sikkim Himalayas. Alongside Mighty Mt. Kanchendzonga 8585m - The third most noteworthy mountains on the planet, the absolute beauty seen amid this trek from Dzongri, View Points from here are Mt. Pandim, Mt. Kabur north, Mt. Kabur south, Mt. Kumbhakarna, Mt. Simvo and many more. The best time to visit Dzongri is from mid March-April, and afterward from September to mid October, in order to maintain a strategic distance from snowfall and storm downpours.
Elegantly situated at MG Marg, the heart of Gangtok, this restro is an incredible spot to appreciate, loosen up and mollify your craving throbs with lip smacking recipes and reviving drinks. The menu has crisply prepared baked goods, smooth cakes, filling sandwiches and sweet-smelling espresso on its menu. Run by local people and expats, Bakers Cafe is absolutely a spot to investigate in the town.This spot is a sample of reasonable valuing with amazing nourishment quality. The staff is exceptionally respectful and are continually ready to present with a smile, also the soothing music played here will make you feel refreshed. Cozy warm air, awesome spot for a recess from all the strolling and visiting around. Cakes served here are heavenly and the coffee is outstanding. If you cherish breads or have a sweeth tooth, you will love this spot. One must pay a visit to this cafe and must try the coffee they serve.
Banjhakri Water Falls
Banjhakri falls is a remarkable touristy spot in Sikkim. There is very popular story behind this spot and its name. The word "Banjhakri" means woodland shaman, now if we separate it further "Boycott" implies primitive and "Jhakri" implies shaman. Shaman is a priest among specific people of northern Asia, viewed as one with recuperating and supernatural forces who can impact the spirits and achieve good and evil. Furthermore, it is these Shamanistic practices that are delineated by means of the dolls in this amusement park. Some of these portray customs, some recuperating ceremonies and others the start process in the life of a shaman. All these are entirely fascinating as is the waterfall that thunders down from a height of say 70 feet. Few facilities have been built for the visitors to go closer to the waterfall and take a shower.This a ideal place for kids to enjoy and is also best for family hangouts.
Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir
Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir otherwise called Baba Mandir, located in the middle of Nathula and Jelepla at an elevation of 13,123 ft and around 52kms from Gangtok, it is a recognized touring spot of Sikkim. This mandir is devoted to Harbhajan Singh, who was a trooper of the Indian Army. Two sanctuaries have been manufactured to show adoration to Baba Harbhajan Singh. The old one has been assembled at the dugout's site, where Baba Harbhajan was posted amid his residency in the Indian Army. For the travelers' convenience, the samadhi of Baba Harbhajan Singh has been reconstructed at the intersection of Kupup Gnathang street and the trail leading to Menmecho Lake, on November 11, 1982. This place of worship is famously perceived by touristers all over the country as New Baba Mandir. A round excursion from Gangtok including Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir takes about Rs 3,500 by a large reserved vehicle like Sumo or Qualis.
In close vicinity of Gangtok, stands the Enchey Monastery (3 km far from the town focus) on top of a hill. The site on which the monastery stands is accepted to be honored by the renowned tantric master Druptob Karpo. It is said that this loved master, who had flying ability, traveled to this site from Maenam Hill in south Sikkim and manufactured a little hermitage. Later, amid the rule of Sikyong Tulku in the mid nineteenth century, the monastery was built and given the shape of a Chinese Pagoda. The Monastery building is a little and basic two storied structure encircled by tall pine trees. The special highlights of monastery are the wall paintings portraying the protective god and wheel of law on the porch. The three Gods worshipped in this monastery are Buddha, Loki Sharia and Guru Padmasambhava. The yearly celebration of Enchey is praised on the eighteenth to nineteenth day of the twelfth month of the Tibetan timetable which is January.
Zero Point Yumesamdong
As we moved towards the Zero Point at Yumesamdong (15,300 feet above MSL), the weather began becoming chilled. Finally when we reached the Zero Point, which is always covered with snow all round the year perennially, it was rather difficult to prevent ourselves to venture into those snowfields and play with the snow balls as long as possible. The mighty peaks covered with snow and the chilled water streams flowing down the mountains commanded breathtaking and unparallel views. Time came after 2 hours of our personal photoshoots and playing around in snow, to move on for the return journey to Gangtok.
Lachung is a town and a very famous Hill station in North eastern part of Sikkim, India. The town is more or less 125 kilometers (78 mi) away from the capital Gangtok. The town's economy has been supported by tourism as the district has been opened up by the Indian government. Travelers originate from everywhere throughout the world to visit the town in the middle of October and May, particularly on their way to the Yumthang Valley and the Lachung Monastery. Dialects talked here are Nepali, Lepcha & Bhutia. Amid winter the town is normally secured in snow. Lachung is likewise the base camp for Rhododendron Valley Trek, which begins from Yumthang Valley and finishes at Lachen Valley. The people living in Lachung mostly make their earning by serving the visitors who keep coming throughout the year to visit Lachung. The government has is also very helpful in providing assistance to the visitors.
Pelling is approximately 130 km far from Siliguri and 115 km from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and is very well connected by transport and jeep services. The lovely little town of Pelling is popular for magnificient views of the snow-topped Kanchenjunga range, the third most elevated crest in the world.The Placid town pulls a large portion of the guests for its representative status in history, and nature of the state of Sikkim. Situated at a height of 6,800 ft, Pelling offers great perspective of the whole Kanchenjunga mountain reach including Koktang, Kumbhakaran , Rathong, Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Siniolchu and many more. This is as close as you can get to the Kanchenjunga range without leaving the material solace of good lodgings. Because of its worthwhile area, numerous hotels and cabins have come up in and around Pelling taking into account shifted tastes and budgets. Also the climate in Pelling may change from bright and sunny to blurred and miserable in a matter of minutes.
Char Dham or Siddheshwar Dham is a popular vacation spot in Sikkim. It is a copy of all the 12 Jyotirlingas and Char Dhams in India. You'll discover here a 33 m tall Shiva statue raised on the Solophok peak. It's an enormous journey complex with Hindu sanctuaries all around. Generally, it's a decent place that gives you positive vibes. Char Dham is a journey destination arranged at Solophok Hill, which is at a separation of around 5 km from Namchi Town. Solophok Hill has a verifiable and religious significance, as it is trusted that meeting this spot washes away one's sins. The venture is visioned by CM of Sikkim. They have built the sanctuaries of all the 12 jyotirlinga, Char dham and other essential sanctuaries. The sight is awesome and you will love to see the climate there. Best time to visit Char Dham or Siddheshwar Dham is during summer or during winter.
Around 3 kms from Pelling and couple of minutes walk further down from Pemayangtse Monastery are the Rabdentse ruins the second capital of Sikkim, established in the year 1670. The spot has stunning perspectives inundated with history all around. All around secured remains with clear signs of the rooms and other areas. These remnants are accessed by a short wooden walk which is extremely wonderful. The stroll from the sanctuary to the remnants will simply make your day. But these remnants have a story to tell. Its a half kilometer stroll from the main street perhaps a little more. In any case, once there, your effort is justified. Everywhere in this place you will see what remains. Not a large territory to cover so it's manageable by walking and on the off chance that you stroll up here from Pelling, you may have a decent half day trip. This spot is genuine amazement, regardless of the possibility that somebody is not excited to watch historical ruins, he can still visit for stunning perspectives.
Sachen is the spot that is not explored to the world. Discussing improvement, the city is not having numerous assets. It is the slope station having constrained convenience and facilities. Sachen is found near another slope station of Sikkim known as Goechala La Pass. Goechala is well known for trekking and experience significant others are coming to the town at incessant interims. On the off chance that you plan to reach Sachen, then you are finding the opportunity to visit Goechala also. Next close traveler spot is Yuksom that is one all the more trekking spot. Discussing Yuksom it is the chronicled town of West Sikkim set up in 1642 ADs. There are numerous base camps in Yuksom, however you need to enroll for this camp ahead of time. The seats are constrained, and individuals from diverse roots are continually attempting to reach Yuksom. One will consider themselves lucky after visiting this place.
Nobody tells you much about this place, except that it is a Buddhist Stupa. And, there is an eerie message outside that says that the land it was built on was once haunted by evil spirits that would kill the people who came here. The stupa had to be built to free the land from these spirits. For something that claims to do such a dangerous task, the stupa looks quite a bright and pleasing place. It's open to the public only on specific days and is a great place to stop by.
Hanuman Tok is located more or less 5 km rising from the White Hall on a bifurcating street of the GangtokNathula highway. It is 11 km far from Gangtok town. The height of this tall structure is about 7,200 ft. The Hanuman Tok in Sikkim itself gives brilliant photographic perspectives of the Khangcendzonga. The snow-topped mountain tops look heavenly from this sanctuary. From the Hanuman Tok, one can likewise see the waterworks of Selep located far away, the most important and only source of water for the whole city of Gangtok. The Hanuman Tok rests at a height of a few hundreds feet over for the whole city. The adventure to Hanuman Tok is an exciting one, which offers excellent perspectives of the capital city of Gangtok and the surrounding uneven hilly regions. There are several chortens and stupas at this spot, which imply the accurate areas where the last customs of the royal corpses were carried to.
As you climb towards Gochala Pass you can appreciate the shade of straightforward torquise of Lake Samiti-A frosty lake in the Onglathang valley. The consecrated Samiti Lake situated at an elevation of 4250 m trail is the perfect spot for outdoors and you can lose yourself in the sentimental isolation of this lake as it reflects snow topped mountains. From this small sized lake, the Teesta River takes birth as a stream scarcely a foot wide. The water in the lake plays with ice before getting solidified in winter. The impression of the mountains on the lake triples the excellence. Everything looks so ancient that you very nearly hope to see a Dinosaur pass by. A herd of birds, the cranes swims on the serene ice water of Samiti Lake. These flying creatures are migrators from Russia, China and different parts of India. If you love to trek then this is a place you must visit.
we are in Pemayangtse Monastery right now. Its chilling cold and super blue sky,this monastery is situated at the top of the pelling hills with Mt Kangchendzonga shining at the backdrop. Pelling was not in our tour plan, we were supposed to go to kalimpong and dello hill, but at the last moment we missed our bus and somehow managed to go to melli from where we could hire a private car to kalimpong. At about 9 am we reached melli, and we got to know that the road towards kalimpong is closed due to massive landslide and heavy rain!!!
The Pemayangtse Monastery is a Buddhist religious community in Pemayangtse, close to Pelling in the north eastern Indian state of Sikkim, situated 140 kilometers west of Gangtok. About 2kms from Pelling, you can visit the principal monastery belonging to the Ngingma group (one of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism) which was implicit in the year 1705 AD. One of the first and couple of oldest monastery in Sikkim, it was fabricated by Gyalwa Lhatsun Namkha Jigme.The most important one amongst three monks, who blessed the first religious ruler of Sikkim at Yuksam in 1641 AD. These days, the child monks get a legitimate classroom and teachings by the educators in the correct monastic school called Laptha. Today numerous youngsters having a place with this religious community are in the enormous Buddhist learning centers in different states of India, such as Namdoling Monastery of H.H. Penor Rempoche (Mysore), Mindoling Monastery of Thichen Rempoche (Mousori) and inside Sikkim are Takche Dubda of Ven.
Mahatma Gandhi Marg
The city is live! MG Marg is the main market and a beautiful place to go to. You can take a carpool for Rs. 20/- per head (yes, they have it, running the city even before the low-landers started making money out of it). The sophisticated Vishal gaon has a cheaper, more rugged local brother - the Chotey Gaon. The people are extremely friendly, you can hit a cheerful conversation very easily and get going on and on about yourself, parallely taking suggestions and P.S. notes from them.
Yumthang Valley - Tamu Tour and Treks
Yumthang valley is another beauty in itself. Mist cladded mountains and valleys, wild horses strolling briskly all around. It gives you a feeling of mini Switzerland(not a comparison but just a reference). It is place where you can spend a good amount of time and then head for other adjoining places like Zero Point, Katau and an hot water spring. This valley is also known as valley of flowers but we did not find much of an evidence to verify that. Nevertheless, the trip to Yumthang valley is a uber pleasant experience that you would love to capture in your camera.
Baichung Stadium is a very famous football stadium in Namchi. The stadium was framed in honor of Baichung Bhutia, India's most famous contemporary footballer. He is an Indian footballer of Sikkimese-Bhutia descent who plays as a striker. Bhutia is thought to be the torchbearer of Indian football in the global coliseum. Bhutia is usually nicknamed as the Sikkimese Sniper on account of his shooting abilities in football. The state intends to effectively advance the game made prominent after Bhutia turned into being the first Indian to play in an European League and guide the national team as a captain. This spot is under development and soon it will turn into a center of game exercises in Sikkim. This stadium is situated at a decent tallness above ocean level and it sees that the administration is empowering football. The Baichung Stadium is the best place to visit for the people who love football or any sort of sports.
After a tiresome day at Nathula pass, my parents retired to bed as we had to leave early in the morning for Rumtek monastery! But instead of staying in the hotel room my sister and I decided to take a stroll in the streets to get an essence of Gangtok's night life! We headed towards the Mahatma Gandhi Marg which was pretty close to our hotel.
Khangchendzonga National Park
Khangchendzonga National ParkLocated in North Sikkim district, named after Mt. Kanchenjunga, and previously known as Kanchenjunga National Park, it is one of the very few high-altitude national parks in India. Along with the abundance of flora and fauna, the presence of various glaciers and Lepcha tribal settlements within the biosphere reserve add to its unparalleled beauty.
Kanchenjunga South Peak
If you love adventure and adventurous activities interest you, Kanchenjunga is the place for you. Climbing the world’s 3rd highest mountain will definitely interest you. Kanchenjunga which stands at an altitude of 8586 mts calls for technical expertise because the route to the peak is almost unknown. It was dangerous, but it was thrilling. Each expedition that we did, was altogether an entirely new experience. We experienced undiscovered dangers and unexpected pitfalls along with avalanches, falling rocks etc. Trekking at Kanchenjunga is definitely an Experience of a lifetime.
On the way, you can also halt for some time to get some snaps with Changey Falls. You will get many falls like this in Pelling. Changey falls from a height of about 300m and is a treat to watch when there is bright sunshine.Then we headed towards Uttarey village. The height of Uttarey is about 6600 ft. The main attraction here is the beautiful view of the valley with stunning backdrop and a park created in the memory of Tenzing-Hillery.