Don’t let rain be a spoilsport to your tour plans to the heavenly land of Sikkim. Afterall, “Adventures are the best way to learn.” Let not rain play a dampener to your travel plans. Sikkim sees considerable rain in September, as it is still the monsoon season in most parts of the state full-swing, but towards the end of the month, you will pleasantly feel the rejuvenating flavour of autumn all around. The clouds will start floating in white fluffy balls and as they sail past the very green and rain-washed trees and mountain foliage, it makes for a pretty and picturesque mountain scene. The clean greenery beckons, the waterfalls leap and bounce with renewed supply of rain waters, the grass shines wet after a downpour, the streams gurgle with joy and Sikkim gets dressed in a rejoicing, vibrant raiment. The rain song lures a few adventurous ones to discover the joys of ebbing rains and tip-toeing autumn.
Do be prepared for rains in September in Sikkim. Set and get your rubber boots, raincoats and umbrellas to deal with the rain and have a good time while you set off to explore Sikkim.
1. East Sikkim basks in the glory of early autumn in September
Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, sees a pleasant temperature range of 15-20°C during this time. It offers the bustling M.G. Marg with its cafes, bars, restaurants, souvenir stalls and a view too. Located 2 kms from M.G. Marg is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology that can be your initiation with fair knowledge about Tibetan Buddhism and Sikkimese culture. The museum and library contain a good amount of literature on these related topics. The museum demonstrates the wealth of Buddhist art through its ancient collection of statuettes, paintings, coins and thangkas. Located just adjacent to the institute is the massive stupas of Do Drul Chorten with a park fabulous for a leisurely stroll. If you want to gaze at a tumbling cascade of a mass of swollen waterfall which has just drunk enough monsoon waters, Banjhakri Waterfall is absolutely splendour-filled. It is a 100 feet tall cascading stream that really comes to life after the rainy season during September. The waterfall is located about 7 kms from Gangtok city centre and is a must visit.
2. Monastery visits can be spiritual
Enchey Monastery is 10 kms from Banjhakri Falls and can be visited during the same trip. This gompa was originally constructed back in the 1840s. Though not as regal as other gompas, it offers scintillating views of the royal Kanchenjunga ranges. Gangtok sightseeing also includes the visit to the Tsuklakhang Monastery. This is a monastery located amidst Gangtok’s hustle and bustle, but can be an everlasting source of peace and tranquillity. Rumtek Monastery is located just 23 kms from the city on a hill at a height of 5,500 feet. This gompa belonging to the Kagyu sect overlooks the peaceful town of Gangtok and is a delight to art and architecture lovers due to its interesting murals. Phodang Monastery is located around 40 kms from Gangtok, and belongs to the 18th century, standing tall and proud showcasing ancient frescoed paintings.
Distance from Gangtok
Within the city precincts
3. Nathu La Pass: To be or not to be
September still enjoys the last dregs of monsoon wetness in Sikkim. In such a scenario there is a possibility that Nathu La Pass, located at a height of 14,140 feet, is closed to tourists as roads get treacherous. In case the roads are accessible, and you are fortunate enough to make a trip, you shall be able to enjoy a scintillating greenery of verdant vegetation across the eastern slopes of Sikkim Himalayas. Located 60 km from Gangtok, Nathu La has a legendary past with its association with the ancient Silk Route connecting India and Tibet since the beginning of time.
Changu Lake is also famous as Tsomgo Lake and can be conveniently clubbed with Nathu La Pass visit located at 12,310 feet. In September, the still waters of this lake reflect the ostentatious and heavenly images of the clouds and the surrounding mountains. If the rain gods hark the clouds to stop pouring the oval-shaped lake can be a source of memorable experience. It is merely 40 km from Gangtok.
Proceed in the same route inching towards the legendary Nathula Pass and in about a distance of 15 kms from Changu Lake, you shall be overwhelmed with the feeling and sentiments attached with Baba Mandir. This shrine has been named after the legendary soldier of Indian army Harbhajan Singh who sacrificed his life in an attempt to diligently serve his duty. The temple is located at 13,000 feet and on a clear September day, the views that the shrine offers are strikingly gorgeous.
5. The melting monsoon of North Sikkim
North Sikkim is resplendent in September. It wears the garb of royal robe with the surrounding towering peaks and the greenery sparkles under the misty haze of liquid autumn sunshine. There would be some notable destinations in North Sikkim that can definitely not be missed.
Lachen: Jewel of North Sikkim tour
Located at a height of 8,800 feet, Lachen is a quaint and exquisite mountain town that is perfect for nature lovers during the monsoon. The temperature hovers around 14 to 20 degrees Celsius and makes for a perfect monsoon escapade.
Sparkling Gurudongmar Lake
The journey to the spectacular Gurudongmar Lake might not be on the cards because of the torrential rainfall. At 17,000ft, the early morning drive from Lachen will take you past some of the best sceneries in Sikkim. It all depends on the mood of the weather gods.
Lachung: The perfect getaway
Lachung located at a height of 9,000 feet is a picturesque town of north Sikkim. Temperatures here hover from 13 to 23 degrees Celsius in September. Even on a rainy day in monsoon, this quaint town offers captivating views of the hazy rain-washed mountains.
It is a must-visit gompa located in an apple orchard and offers a perfect combination of peace and tranquillity with immeasurable natural beauty.
This valley is located at a distance of one and a half hour drive through picturesque hill roads from Lachung. This valley is often compared to paradise on earth and veritably ‘Sikkim’s Garden of Eden’. Located at 11,800 feet, this valley breathes beauty and is shrouded in mystic glory of breath-taking flora and fauna with fantastic views of Himalayas.
An outstanding frozen destination to catch some Himalayan snow. If rains permit, one can take a drive up to this 15,000-feet high location to reach Zero Point. By road it is 23 km from Yumthang and travellers can enjoy a beautiful cloud-kissed view of the northern mountains. You can also experience the beauty of the point of three rivers, under the veil of monsoon glory.
6. Monsoon Flavour of West Sikkim
If you are planning to cover West Sikkim in September, the western hill town of Pelling located at a height of 7,200 feet is an exciting option. The weather ranges from 13 to 23 degrees Celsius. Escaping the intermittent phases of downpour, Pelling will give you a great chance to feel the vibes of real Sikkim. Nature will be verdurous, fresh and green and the smell of wet earth will infuse with the senses and create some magical moments. There are some beautiful places to visit within short distances from Pelling.
Pemayangtse Monastery is located 9 km away from Pelling and can be enjoyed in a sunny spell between clouds and is the second oldest and most important monastery in Sikkim, designed and founded by Lama Lhatsun Chempo in 1647. It offers Himalayan view from a very close distance. The Buddhist art, paintings, statues of saints and Rinpoches in this monastery are legacies of Sikkim’s ancient religious culture and traditions.
The Rabdentse Ruins is located 32 km from Pelling. Here, you will find a happy fusion of historical remnants and natural beauty come together to provide travellers a glimpse of this mountain kingdom back in the day. After a shower of rain the ancient remains of Sikkim’s age-old capital will look even more alluring in September.
For enthusiastic adventurers looking for a monsoon trek across the wilful greenery, Yuksom in the west at a height of 6,000 feet is a good beginning. It is also known as the ‘gateway to the Kanchenjunga’ and is located at a distance of 40 km from Pelling. It is called so for a reason and as you proceed and reach the final stretches of the trek, be ready to be overwhelmed by the charming views of various peaks such as Dzongri, Pandim, Ratong, and the most prominent one of the towering Kanchenjunga.
A trek from Yuksom holds the promised delight of the virgin beauty of beautiful Khecheopalri Lake. The lake is referred to as brooding beauty due to its seclusion and the thoughts and feelings it evokes.
The September Sky of South Sikkim
Namchi is located 80 km from Gangtok in the south. It is alluring for all travellers in September. The mercury doesn’t drop beyond 16 degrees and never goes above 23 degrees Celsius. Namchi literally means ‘top of the sky’ and it will prove to be a great boost to all your joys of a trip to Sikkim. And it offers fantastic views of Khangchendzonga mountains.
A stroll around this tourist attraction of South Sikkim will prove heavenly on a September day. The height of Samdruptse Hill is approximately 7,000 feet and it will make the weather very pleasant. The park that surrounds it is blessed by the beauty and majesty of the 138 feet statue of Padmasambhava. Samdruptse Hill earns a greater measure of fame on account of its popularity as a ‘wish fulfilling hill’. This hill will offer a magnificent view of Mt. Kangchenjunga along with the richly forested slopes of Himalayan ranges in September. Located at a distance of 6 km from Namchi town, the hill is a sleeping volcano and the locals believe only prayers can stop it from erupting. Monks and local devotees offer their sincere prayers for protection from its wrath.
Samdruptse Monastery is a popular tourist haunt where you shall be awed by the 45 metre statue of Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rimpoche. The monastery was founded by His Holiness Dalai Lama. From the portals of the monastery, an uphill journey takes us to the precincts of the statue of Guru Padmasambhava constructed on a raised platform. The statue conforms to the traditional Buddhist Ideals. The golden casting sparkles brilliantly in the sunlight. Samdruptse Hill is located at 2134 meters which makes this remarkable structure the highest statue of Guru Padmasambhava in the world. The construction was started in 1997 it took nearly seven years to complete.
Ngadak and Sherdup Choeling monasteries
Sherdup Choeling Monastery and the Dichen Choeling monastery are at a distance of 2 km apart from each other. Ngadak Monastery has a pretty rock garden adjacent to it in its upper slopes that will be a pleasant surprise with its collection of rare flowers and plants.
Is September a good time for visiting Sikkim?
Sikkim in September is a perfect place to visit. There might be rainfall in some parts of the state such as Gangtok, Pelling, Lachung and Yumthang. The average temperature in the month of September hovers between 5 and 7 degree Celsius. Consult the weather forecast before planning for Sikkim in September.
Should we go to Sikkim in September?
Monsoon in Sikkim stretches from July to September. Monsoon is not recommended for Sikkim visit. The state receives average to heavy rainfall that increases the chances of landslides and road blockage. Temperature falls and the weather gets pleasant with a small bit of chill in the air.
Will it rain in September in Sikkim?
September falls in the monsoon season in Sikkim and receives moderate rainfall. Roughly 8 to 15 days of rain are there in Sikkim weather forecast. Rubber boots and umbrellas can be put to good use. September can be avoided in case you have other options.
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