Sikkim in 4 days

Tripoto
13th Jun 2014

Sidhheshwar Dham in Namchi

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

Namgyal Institute Of Tibetology

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

MG Marg in Gangtok

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

View on the way back from Nathu-La

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

Tsomgo Lake

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

Yaks to Sikkim are what camels are to Jaisalm

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

View of Rumtek monastrey from the gate

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

Some kittens we found at Rumtek :3

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

Banjhakri Falls from a distance

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

Banjhakri Falls

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

Ranka monastery

Photo of Sikkim in 4 days by Radhika Murthy

Sikkim, located north of West Bengal in India, is a real unexplored gem. The small state, with an area of only around 7000 kms, has a lot to offer. Ours was a family trip, and we rented a taxi most days to travel. These taxis are in abundance in Sikkim, especially in Gangtok, where we set up camp.

Travel:
We took a train from Delhi to New Jalpaiguri (West Bengal) and a taxi from there. It’s a three to four hour drive, depending on traffic and weather conditions. The drive, though, is a treat in itself. The lush green forests and mountainous roads are fun to travel by, even if they aren’t all in the best of conditions.

Weather:
The weather is generally cloudy, and rainfall is an almost everyday affair. But Gangtok itself is pretty sunny and hot, with the temperature dropping the further we go into the mountains. I would advice travellers to keep both woollens (especially if you plan to go to Nathu-La) and summer wear.

Food:
There are very many eateries offering all types of cuisines in Gangtok, with many major restaurant chains also having branches there. There are also many opportunities to sample the local cuisine.

Time spent and places of interest:
Since ours was only a four day trip, we weren’t able to explore every place at leisure, but no part of our trip was hurried. A week would be the ideal time to spend there, if you’re interested in visiting all the places of tourist interest. Some places we visited were:

  • Namchi – Famous for its places of worship and rock garden
  • Gangtok – Capital of Sikkim, best place to stay when in Sikkim. All amenities are available. Also its main street, MG Marg, is a must visit. It also has other attractions, such as Namgyal Institute of Tibetanology and Enchey monastery.
  • Nathu-La – it is located on the Indo-Tibetan border. Getting there is slightly tough, as it is at an altitude of 14,000 ft, but it is definitely worth it.
  • Rumtek monastery – one of the most famous monasteries in Sikkim, it is a prime example of Buddhist architecture.
We visited Namchi on the way to Gangtok from New Jalpaiguri. The Siddhesvara Dham, which has replicas of Jagannath, Dwarika, Rameshawaram, Badrinath dhams, as well as the twelve Jyothirlingas, will be a delight for everyone from the elders in the family to the kids.
Photo of Namchi, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
On day 2, we visited spots in Gangtok, such as Namgyal Institute Of Tibetology and Enchey monastery.
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
Day 3 was spent on Nathu La, Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir and Tsomgo lake. The difficult journey to Nathu La only enhanced the thrill of watching over the border into China. Baba Harbhajan Singh mandir was built as a tribute to a soldier of the Indian Army, who died near the place where the temple is built. Tsomgo lake is located at an altitude of 12,400 ft. It is sacred to the locals, and is extremely well maintained and clean. Cradled amongst the mountains, it is definitely a sight to behold.
Photo of Nathu La, East Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
Photo of Nathu La, East Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
Photo of Nathu La, East Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
Day 4 was spent on places of interest near Gangtok, and Rumtek monastery was our first stop. It is one of the main centers of Buddhist spirituality, and gave us an amazing opportunity to observe and interact with Buddhist monks. From there we made our way to another monastery, Ranka monastery, which also had a school of Buddhist learning nearby.
Photo of Rumtek Monastery, East Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
Photo of Rumtek Monastery, East Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
Photo of Rumtek Monastery, East Sikkim, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
We rounded up day 4, and our trip to Sikkim with a visit to Banjhakri Falls near Gangtok. These falls and beautiful and serene, with places to sit and eat near the falls and wind down after a day of sightseeing. (Though I would recommend you get your own food.)
Photo of Banjhakri Fall, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
Photo of Banjhakri Fall, Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Radhika Murthy
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