Sikkim in February offers a unique experience with its cool winter weather. The weather in February in Sikkim will definitely be cold. It is somewhat peak winters in Sikkim during this month. The higher-altitude areas will have freezing temperatures and chances to enjoy snowfall and snow as you tread these northern parts of Sikkim is very high. Daytime temperatures in places like Gangtok and Pelling range from 5°C to 15°C, while temperatures in higher-altitude regions can drop below sub-zero temperatures, especially during the night and early morning.
Weather conditions in February in Sikkim
Most of the popular tourist destinations of Sikkim remain accessible in February. But if you have some remote areas in your itinerary which involves a lot of high-altitude road drive or hiking or trekking, it is essential to check road conditions and potential closures before setting out as you may have limited road access due to snow or adverse weather conditions. During February, the clear skies and the crispness in the winter air, offers you the joy of clear and unobstructed views of the Himalayan peaks, that includes the star attraction of Sikkim trip, the mighty Kanchenjunga. Given the cold temperatures, it’s recommended that you pack enough warm clothing, including heavy jackets, gloves and layers of clothing, while visiting Sikkim in February. Be prepared for the chill, especially while venturing to higher-altitude areas.
February being winters, the time for relishing the Sikkimese cuisine will be a hearty and joyous occasion. The spicy and authentic Sikkimese culinary delicacies will be perfect for the cold weather. Be sure to try local dishes like momos which are juicy dumplings, thukpa or the noodle soup, Phagshapa which is a traditional Sikkimese dish made with pork, radishes, Gundruk is a fermented leafy green vegetable dish, Sael Roti is a traditional Nepali deep-fried bread, Chhurpi or cheese made from yak’s milk. Warm beverages such as butter tea, also known as suja, made with tea leaves and Chhang which is a traditional alcoholic beverage made from fermented millet or barley will be liquid treats to the gastronomic agendas. The delightful, sweet treats such as roti, khapse, and pithas or rice cakes will add to the list of comforting meals. Enjoy the sidekicks too with a wide variety of pickles made from local ingredients such as bamboo shoots, radishes, and chilies. These pickles add a spicy and tangy side to all the main meals and are very much enjoyed during the winter season.
February in all probability will bring snowfall to higher-altitude areas like Nathula Pass and its adjoining areas. The beautiful frozen landscape covered in snow looks incredibly beautiful. If weather permits and does not force the routes to be closed down on account of heavy snowfall, Nathula Pass will be a memorable experience in February. To deal with the cold temperatures all around, heavy woollens are recommended and also before planning the challenging road conditions will have to be taken into consideration.
February not being a peak tourist season in Sikkim, so you can enjoy a quieter and more peaceful visit to the surreal location of Tsomgo Lake. Generally everywhere you go in the month of February in Sikkim, it will be less crowded and those who love winters and snow with some seclusion and peace, Sikkim can be very joyful and exhilarating. These high-altitude lakes are super zones for winter activities such as snowboarding or skiing. February will be an ideal time to enjoy these adventure sports. In years when there is sufficient snowfall, your Instagram photos will look surreal. With frozen whiteness all around, and the snow-capped towering mountains on all sides, the frozen Tsomgo Lake can be a photographer’s paradise.
Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple
While you are venturing out to watch the beauty and magic of Tsomgo Lake, do not miss out on your chance to pay tribute to the brave soldier of the Indian army who gave up his life while on duty in these frozen parts while protecting the boundaries of India. The shrine of Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is a revered shrine attracting hundreds of devotees all through the year. It is a must visit place in the region and the surrounding areas and landscape will give you a fair idea of the hardships faced by the Indian army on duty while nature is at its atrocious worst. The locals believe that the spirit of Baba Harbhajan Singh was indomitable and lingers on still in these parts as a saviour of the living in the adjoining areas of Sikkim and beyond.
Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, experiences cold weather in February. February month falls in peak winters in the Himalayan regions, and it is not the peak tourist season. Gangtok visit at this time of the year might prove to be a unique and serene experience. With temperatures ranging from 5°C to 15°C, it is advisable to pack enough warm clothing, containing heavy jackets, gloves, and layers, to stay comfortable. While Gangtok itself doesn’t typically receive heavy snowfall, you may watch the splendour of snowfall in the surrounding higher-altitude areas. Planning excursions to places like Tsomgo Lake or Nathula Pass, will land you in the midst of snow-covered landscapes. In Gangtok, the night and early morning temperatures will show a veritable dip
Sikkim festivals in February
Going by the lunar calendar, the Losar Festival, or more commonly known as the Tibetan New Year, generally falls in the month of February. It’s an important celebration in Sikkim and showcases a brilliant cultural extravaganza. Especially in Tibetan-influenced areas like Gangtok and Ravangla, you can the exuberance of the celebrations everywhere. Be a part of Sikkim’s unique traditions and cultural spectacle by participating in the festivities. Watch in awe the colourful processions, cultural performances and traditional rituals performed by the devotees during the festival of Losar.
Yumthang and Reshi
Sikkim is known for its several natural hot springs, which entice travellers from all across for their therapeutic abilities. February with the chill in the air and the nip in the biting cold atmosphere can be an excellent time to relax in these warm and therapeutic sulphur waters. The hot springs in places like Yumthang and Reshi are particularly popular.
Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary
The winter month of Sikkim is an excellent time for birdwatching and spotting exotic and rare wildlife in Sikkim. Wild life and bird photography will find a new meaning with the more frequent spotting. It is the time to watch the various migratory bird species. The wildlife sanctuaries and parks, such as the Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary, offer ample opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to catch these wild creatures in their natural habitat.
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary is located close to Gangtok. Visiting this unique park in February which is known for its alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems will be a delightful experience. In this month, you may see snow leopards, Himalayan tahrs, red pandas, and various bird species. The sanctuary also showcases the captivating Tsomgo Lake, which can be visited for its scenic beauty.
Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary
This sanctuary is a major tourist attraction of Sikkim and is clubbed together with a visit to the Yumthang Valley. As the name implies, this sanctuary is known for its rhododendron forests. The best time to visit this park to see in its peak of glory showcasing rhododendron blooms is the season of spring. Winter offers a different kind of beauty with snow-covered terrains. You can spot bird species and enjoy the peace and natural beauty of the area.
Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary
Similar to the Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary is also famous for its colour burst from the unique rhododendron blooms in spring. In the winter season, you can enjoy the peace of the forested areas and spot some unique bird species. This sanctuary is an ideal place for short treks and birdwatching and nature photography.
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in South Sikkim, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its dense forests and diverse wildlife. The winter month of February might be an ideal time to spot animals like red panda, Himalayan langur and various species of pheasants. The sanctuary also offers picturesque trekking routes where you can enjoy the winter landscapes.
Kitam Bird Sanctuary
Situated in South Sikkim, Kitam Bird Sanctuary is a heavenly destination for birdwatchers and nature lovers. The winter month of February will offer an opportunity to spot various migratory bird species in addition to the indigenous breeds. The sanctuary is known for its lush forests and peaceful environment.
Visiting Sikkim in February can be an overwhelming experience for those who appreciate winter landscapes, peaceful surroundings and unique cultural celebrations. As long as you are prepared for the cold weather and some intermittent travel disruptions due to snowfall in certain areas, Sikkim in February promises to be a charming and rare experience.
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The dates of our journey were February 7–15 of this year. The itinerary provided by Sikkim Tourism, our travel guide, was fantastic and guaranteed that our vacation will be memorable.
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