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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lamuney Camp Site
A part of the Goecha La Trek, Lamuney is a place where you can set up a camp and take a break during your trek. The place is surrounded with the mighty Himalayas and the silver snow along with the brown mountains make a perfect colour combination. The scenic beauty of this place is a sight to behold absolutely and it is now a popular tourist attraction. Though it is only for the ones who take the trouble of trekking so high.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hotel Norbu Gang
We left for Gangtok after returning from Zero Point and having a sumptuous lunch at the Hotel at Lachung. It was almost 10 pm in the night when we reached our hotel at Gangtok. The next day i.e, 24th May, we had an elaborate American breakfast and set off local sightseeing in Gangtok. The first destination in the town was the Govt. of Sikkim's Handicraft & Handloom Museum, followed by the Flower Show at Congeal Palden Thondup Namgyal Memorial Park, the Ganeshtok -a view point just outskirts of Gangtok from where one can have a bird's eye view of the entire town and especially in case of couples, it is worthy of trying out photoshoot in traditional Sikkimese costume. We had our lunch at Ganeshtok and left for the next destination nearby 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.
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.
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.
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.
Bakhim is found 16 km from Yuksom in West Sikkim District. It lies at an elevation of around 3100m on the Dzongri (10 km) trek course. Bakhim is a characteristic natural garden which is encompassed by thick blended woodlands of magnolia, rhododendron, orchids, and plants. Prek Chu River streams in close vicinity of Bakhim. It summons charming, heavenly perspectives of mountain peaks and profound valleys all around. Tsokha Village and Phedang are the adjacent spots of major attraction. Transportation is easily available at the Bakhim Forest House and Tourist Bungalow. A few trekkers make Bakhim to arrive first stop while in transit to Goecha La trek. Bakhim is arranged at a separation of around 3 km from Tsoka yet the entering way is tough with the height being increased near about 300m. A top priority location in the Touristers agenda. The governtment here are also very helpful towards the touristers visiting this place.
Must Do in Aritar: Watch the sun rise over the Kangchendzonga.Do a trek short or long in and around.Try some momo and traditional local dishes. Aritar Lake Travel Tip: If you love hiking ,then a trek to Phushery Lake,Pangolakha and Rachela, the historic tri junction border of Sikkim, West Bengal and Bhutan,is quite thrilling experience.You may have chance to see red panda,peasant,rare species of butterflies,wild orchids and other exotic flora and fauna. How To Reach Aritar: Bagdogra is the nearest airport and New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station. From Siliguri it is almost 5-6 hours drive by hired cab or can be reached by four hours drive from Gangtok via Rangpo. Where to Stay In Aritar: If you need star category hotel,then this place is not for you.Couple of budget hotel is there .But I have seen some good home stay \farm house near the view point. Season to Visit: Avoid rainy season June to August,as these area is prone to landslide.Autumn and winter is best for Kangchendzonga View.
At Yangsum Farm, which is a local families homestay with four rooms and have renovated it sympathetically. Each room has an en-suite bathroom, wooden floors and can be configured to be either a double or a twin. For larger groups, one can use one of the other four en-suite rooms available at Yangsum . There is also a dining room/living room which we share with the rest of the homestay. Located in West Sikkim, 2 kms from the small bazaar village of Rinchenpong, at an altitude of 1500 metres Yangsum , a 44 acre heritage farm.Built in 1833 and refurbished in 1966 , into a fabulous home-stay, now grows from cardamom and ginger to avocados , to oranges, peaches , apricots , mangoes and tea. With accommodation, four spacious, well furnished , simple double bedrooms, two with semi-attached bathrooms and two with en-suite bathrooms with modern fittings and running hot and cold water. There is also a communal sitting room and a courtyard where guests can sit and enjoy the sun and nature. The food served is all organic, tasty and given personal touch by the owners. The guests, besides the Indian get a chance to go for Sikkimese food like nettles, ferns and bamboo. With activities, guests are suggested to go for trek, where the owners, show some great paths to walk on, or to go for white water rafting, monastery tour or learn the Sikkim cooking where guests get an excellent opportunity to be taught traditional recipes and cooking methods of Sikkim on a wood burning hearth. Yangsum Heritage Farm, a beautiful home-stay in peace and beauty. A real escape from the noise and rush of city life in midst of the beautiful scenery of Rinchenpong !
Ravangla is in the South Sikkim District of Sikkim and this Buddhist Stupa is originally known as the Ravangla Buddhist Park. The centerpiece of this park is a huge statue of Lord Buddha and this was inaugrated by the 14th Dalai Lama on the occasion of the 2550th birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha. This is surrounded by a number of famous monasteries and is also a part of the Himalayan Monastery Chain.
Mayal Lang Homestay
Settled amongst the trees is Mayal Lyang, a lovely house for a homestay. Mayal Lyang implies the 'Concealed Land' or 'Area favored by God' in the Lepcha dialect. A little stroll around the spot will disclose why we decided to call it so. Untouched by the traveler hustle clamor, this spot has shrouded fortunes behind each tree. Life here moves at its own particular pace. They will treat you like an augmented individual from the crew. The family you are living with would take you into their home and treat you like your relative. There is no less than one individual from the family who can communicate in English so if there is anything you have to request, you can do as such and make sure of an answer. They will go up against your visits around the wide open and acquaint you with their relatives and companions. They will reveal to all of you the excellence spots and clarify in detail every last plant and what its capacity is.
Khangchendzonga National Park
In July 2016, the Khangchendzonga National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it the first Mixed Heritage (combining both natural and man-made) Site of India. The reserve is named after the mighty Khangchendzonga mountain, the third highest peak in the world (28,169 ft), which can be seen from certain trek trails inside the park.Home to the Zemu Glacier and several others, the Khangchendzonga National Park protects the Himalayan treasures from the eastern side. The national park is also the natural habitat of Lepcha tribe, who continue to dwell within the protect area zone.
Modern Residency The
Considering the challenges identified with High Altitude & Mountainous landscape, this hotel offers enough comfort and nourishment facilities. A customary homestay with astounding sustenance amidst an unimaginable valley. Warm beds in cozy rooms, unstable high temp water and power, much to be expected in the middle of nowhere. Extraordinary place for explorers and those there for the experience. One will surely be shocked to see the view of mountains from the hotel. The staff is very friendly, they generally have a gentle smile all over and they treat the guests with utmost care. Hot water bottles are given and they additionally light the stove as it turns out to be exceptionally cool in the night. The eating spot is essentially stunning, very bright. Basic vegetarian food is given which is truly delicious. Even the breakfast is good. Early morning scenery from the hotel is a breathless view which no one will ever forget in their lifetime.
We reached Phamrong Falls, located between Yuksam and Gerethang, this is the highest waterfall of West Sikkim presents a magnificent scenario especially during Monsoon.A gentle gradient footpath takes one to a viewpoint for a closer view of this mighty gush of water. You have to climb near about 230 stairs to reach the proximity of the falls. From the top you will get the magnificent view of the valley. After returning from the Yuksom tour, we requested our driver to drop us at Upper Helipad , where you can spend some lonely time with the nature and also can enjoy with hot momos and coffee.
Thangsing Trekkers Hut
This is a small area and a settlement in the Goecha La. People come here when they want to rest during their trek or travellers who want to enjoy the beauty of the place by taking a little time. They can provide you some basic food and hot water and the huts is otherwise not at all nice. You can otherwise opt for the food from here and stay in your own tents which are quite easy to put up here. Grom here, the closest attraction is the Samiti Lake. This is from where you can enjoy spectacular views of Pandim.
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.
Hotel Garuda is just at the peak of Pelling providing some fascinating views of the mighty Kangchenjunga range.All of their rooms are comfortable but for nature lovers my one-stop suggestion would be room 'Nima' as from its private attached balcony the divine peak appears as if just a hand away.Hotel staff is very amiable and always active in their service.
The Dhungay Estate & Home Stay
Dhungay Estate and Home stay is situated at the foot of Rhododendron Sanctuary at a disclosure of 1500m. This huge estate is only five minutes tough stroll from the main jeep road. The house is encompassed by terraced ranches, profound valleys, so typical of West Sikkim. The house has five people living in it. Ran Bdr is the family's Head a Retried Spice (cardamom) merchant, who now meets expectations in the ranch. His wife Deo Maya is a house wife, Ganesh is a farmer, who helps the family doing family unit tasks. Padma Chhetri instructs in adjacent schools, and at night helps family to run the homestay. The family is warm and invites you into their home as well as their group. In any case, this is not at all noisy or oblivious of one's space. There are particular dinner times in the old style family kitchen and the food served is delicious.