Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth

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Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Sikkim-one of the smallest states of India situated in the north of West Bengal like a Crown. Sikkim is a crown of jewels for all the wandering souls. Small in size but vast one to explore. This is a one stop solution for every kind of travellers be it family vacation, romantic gateway, paradise for adrenaline junkies. So let's unfold the beauty of Sikkim a bit by bit.

Based on tourist attractions, Sikkim can be divided in three parts- North Sikkim, East Sikkim and South-West Sikkim. Here we will explore North Sikkim along with Gangtok.

How to reach:
Now Sikkim got its own airport, Pakyong Airport, one of the most picturesque airport as you can enjoy flying over the almighty Himalaya. This airport is connected by direct flight from Kolkata and Guwahati airport. Also there is Bagdogra airport near Siliguri, West Bengal 124 km away from Gangtok. The nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri(NJP) from where you can get shared/hired taxi for Gangtok. There is also regular Sikkim State bus service from Siliguri. It's 4-5 hrs journey from NJP or Bagdogra to Gangtok.

North Sikkim Itinerary with Gangtok
Main attraction: Yumthang valley, Gurudongmar Lake, Lachen, Lachung, Katao valley, Zero point, Tsomgo lake, Nathula pass, Rumtek Monastery etc.

The best time to visit: March end to mid June.

North Sikkim tour starts from capital city Gangtok. Generally it is a 2 nights 3 days trip. Many a tour operators are there in Gangtok as well as in Siliguri from where one can book this package. Transportation, stay and foods are included.

Day 1

Early morning start for Lachen. It takes almost 7-8 hours to cover approx 130 km distance from Gangtok including all stops. On the way, one can enjoy the nature in its purest form and also a number of falls. Also enjoy hot momos and thukpas. In the evening you will reach a small and picturesque village, Lachen. Now roam around and enjoy the homestay with hot foods cooked by your host.

Day 2

Very early in the morning, you have to start for Gurudongmar Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world. The picturesque turquoise Blue Lake mostly covered with ice in the lap of almighty Himalaya at a height of 17100feet is definitely a must see. From Lachen it takes around 3-4 hours to reach Gurudongmar Lake. On the way one can see the changing beauty of nature- from tree covered Himalayas to cold Himalayan desert, a glimpse of Ladakh. Here one must note, due to rise in height there is deficiency of oxygen, so please  keep it in mind. On the way back have lunch at Lachen at and then start for Lachung. In the evening you will reach another small but beautiful Himalayan village Lachung. You can explore Lachung by foot. There is one Buddhist Monastery and also apple orchard. At night enjoy your stay at a homestay. One can also try "Chang" - a local beer.

Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Hide n seek

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Cold Desert

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Cold desert on the way

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

On the way to Gurudongmar Lake

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania
Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania
Day 3

Early in the morning you have to start for Yumthang valley, also known as Sikkim Valley of flowers and also the home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. From there one can visit Zero point. From Lachung one can also go to Katao valley which is also very beautiful. After lunch start for Gangtok and by 7-8pm you will reach to Gangtok.

On the way to Yumthang valley

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

On the way

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Primula flower

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania
Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Rhododendron

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Snow covered Yumthang valley

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Somewhere in North Sikkim

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Homestay at Lachung

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Katao Valley

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Enjoying snowfalls

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Katao Valley

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania
Day 4

You can do a local sightseeing tour in and around Gangtok in the morning. The main attractions are Rumtek Monastery, Tashi view point, Banjhakri falls and some other falls, Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, Ropeway ride, Tashi view point, Eenchey monastery, Flower exhibition etc. Here I would like to mention, some of these will also come on your way to North Sikkim. Roam around MG Marg, enjoy the local Tibetan cuisine and explore the local market.

Day 5

Go to Tsomgo lake, 40 km away from Gangtok. It takes around 2 hours. Enjoy a yak ride and roam around. From there visit Baba Mandir dedicated to Harbhajan Singh and also Nathula pass, a pass between India and China. For Nathula one needs permit. So after reaching Gangtok, get the permit from Tourism and Civil Aviation Department through a registered tour operator. A photo ID proof and two passport size photos along with the fee are needed. Only Indian nationals are allowed to visit. Photography is strictly prohibited. It is open from Wednesday to Sunday. So plan your itinerary accordingly.

Frozen Tsomgo lake

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Tsomgo lake

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Zigzag road

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

The great Himalaya

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania
Day 6

Start for NJP or Bagdogra as per your return ticket. On your way back one can enjoy river rafting at the river Tista.

Rafting at Tista

Photo of Exploring North Sikkim #notinnorth by Wander Womania

Being from Kolkata, Sikkim is always my all-time favourite destination. I been there several times. The beauty of Sikkim is so captivating, nobody can help but falling for its charm. If you love travelling, specially to explore Himalayan beauty, but till now you have not visited Sikkim, you are missing something realgood thing. You might have explored so many places in North India, why not to try to explore Himalayan beauty in Sikkim this time? So just pack your backpack and embark on this beautiful voyage.

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