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Places To Visit In Sikkim

Sikkim is a gem tucked in India’s northeast corner, with breathtaking vistas of the Himalayas. You are certainly missing out on something truly wonderful if you haven’t considered experiencing the grandeur of this magnificent state. With captivating meadows, snow-capped and the sky-piercing Himalayas, and the mesmeric beauty of its lively culture, Sikkim is like miracles in a small package.

You may get to Sikkim by flying, obtaining a train ticket, or driving from any region of India. Sikkim’s enhanced connectivity with the rest of the country, while being landlocked with other North-East sister states, has attracted a large number of tourists each year. This location is lovely, but the people of Sikkim are even more so.

Tsomgo Lake, Yuksom, Lachung, Lachen, Yumthang Valley, Teesta River, Ravangla, Pelling, Zuluk, Namchi, Khangchendzonga National Park, Rumtek Monastery, and many other stunning locations.

This Himalayan state, which contains the world’s third-highest peak, Mount Kanchenjunga (8586 meters), provides many reasons to visit it right immediately. Today is the last day to book your Kanchenjunga trek reservation and brave the difficult terrain. Sikkim’s tourist attractions are located over the state’s four divisions: north, south, east, and west.

Dense Alpine forest, steep slopes, magnificent waterfalls, tundra regions, and melting snow glaciers abound in North Sikkim. Lachung, Lachen, Chungthang, Yumthang Valley, Mangan, Zemu Glacier, Khangchendzonga National Park, and other places of interest.

Tsomgo Lake & Baba Mandir(38 Km from Gangtok)

Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake, is a glacier-fed water body that is one of the top spots to visit in Gangtok. Tsomgo Lake, at an elevation of 12310 feet, is one of Sikkim’s most popular tourist destinations. On the way to the Nathula Pass, the lake is 38 kilometres from Gangtok.

This lake is recognized for its natural beauty and is one of India’s highest altitude lakes. The sight of the surrounding snow-covered hills reflected in Tsomgo Lake is a memory to be treasured for a lifetime. The lake is about a kilometre long and has an egg form. Winter is the ideal time to see Tsomgo Lake because it is also the best time to visit Gangtok.

Key Attractions

Yaks and Mules are the biggest attractions there.

Yellow and blue poppies, Primulas, and Irish poppies are among the most attractive flowers. Brahmini ducks are migratory ducks & look alluring.

The lake site’s tourist attractions include pleasure rides on adorned yaks and mules, as well as food and drink stalls. On the lake’s shore, there’s also a modest Shiva shrine. All Indians visiting the area must receive permits because the lake is located in a restricted area. A specific permit is required for foreign nationals.

Tsomgo Lake Permit:

Tsomgo Lake is in a restricted area, and all tourists must receive permits to enter the otherwise prohibited area. Special permits are required for foreign nationals. You will need to go through officially certified travel agents and tour operators to secure these permits, as they are not available online. Except for the agent’s fee, there are no fees or costs associated with acquiring these permits. You will be needed to submit an ID proof and two passport-size pictures. Permits can take up to two days to arrive.

History of Tsomgo Lake & Baba Mandir

 Tsomgo means “source of water” in Bhutia, and the source of this lake’s water remains a mystery to this day. Legend has it that the place where the lake now stands was once a shed where yaks lived, and the land surrounding the lake was once a tribal community. One night, the tribe’s oldest woman had a dream that the village would soon be submerged in water, leaving no signs of life. She warned all the villagers, but no one listened to her and dismissed her as insane. After failing to persuade the others to leave, she left the village with her yak, and the village was soon submerged in water.

Geography and Climate

On the road to Nathula Pass, Tsomgo Lake is 40 kilometres from Gangtok. The word Tsomgo means ‘Source on Lakes’ in Bhutia Language. It is the most frequented destination in Gangtok, with an elevation of around 12,000 feet above sea level. The lake is oval and about one kilometre long. It’s around 50 feet deep on average. It was formed by snowmelt water from the mountains surrounding the lake, and a river known as the Lungtze Chu was formed from the lake. The lake continues to flow into Rangpo-chu. According to legend, Sikkim’s spiritual gurus used to study the colour of the river to predict the state’s future.

 Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Winter (December to February)

The coldest months are mid-December through mid-February. The temperature fluctuates from -100°C at night and 70°C during the day. In East and North Sikkim, this is the ideal period to see snow. Temperatures range from -3°C to 10°C in December, and the water begins to freeze. At the end of December, there is a chance of snowfall. The coldest month is January when the lake is blanketed in thick snow. Temperatures in January range from -15°C to 5°C. It may be as cold as -20oC in rare circumstances.

Spring (March to April)

It will be mildly cold throughout March and April. Temperatures range from -50°C at night to 100°C during the day in March, and from -30°C at night to 180°C in April.

Summer (May to June)

Tsomgo Lake will not be too hot in May and June. Temperatures in May range from 30°C at night to 220°C during the day. The summer vacation season begins in May, and the lake attracts the largest number of visitors.

Monsoon season (July to Mid September)

The months of July and August are not recommended because there is a chance of heavy rain. The temperature fluctuates from 100°C at night and 220°C during the day.

Autumn is a wonderful time to visit (October November & December)

Tsomgo Lake is perhaps best visited in October and November, shortly after the monsoon, when the sky is clear and the temperature is reasonable. The temperature fluctuates from -50°C at night and 180°C during the day. It’s also a fantastic time to take pictures.

When is the best time to visit Tsomgo Lake?

The grandeur of Lake Tsomgo, also known as Changu Lake, can be enjoyed all year. Changu Lake is covered in snow throughout the winter, from January to mid-May, and tourists can enjoy trekking and yak rides along the lake’s beaches. From October to December, the lake is partially covered in sheet ice, and migratory birds can be seen waddling on the water. The bright color riot of rhododendrons and primulas near Lake Tsomgo is also worth seeing. Changu Lake is best visited between April and May.

How To Reach

Tsomgo Lake is located in Gangtok, which lacks its own rail station. The Siliguri Railway Station in New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railhead, at a distance of 148 kilometres. You can either take a taxi or a bus to Gangtok from the Siliguri Bus Station, which is located right adjacent to the railway station. From here, it takes roughly 5-6 hours to reach Gangtok.

Special cars with competent drivers qualified to drive at such high elevations are available for rent to go to Changu Lake, which is located on the Jawaharlal Nehru Road. A round-trip reservation for a 7-seater vehicle will set you back INR 4000. You can pay INR 450 per person to share the vehicle.

Things to Do at Tsomgo Lake

The outstanding visual splendour of Tsomgo Lake has enchanted visitors from all over the world and has them coming back for more, especially during the winters and summers. Rhododendrons, primulas, irises, and multi-coloured poppies create a vibrant and colourful outline along the edges of this oval-shaped glacier lake as spring arrives. In the summer, there are many exotic and medicinal plants that blossom. During this time of year, a glimpse of Changu Lake is sure to make you fall in love with nature’s enthralling and amazing creations.

During the winter, the entire lake turns into a massive ice tray. As the frost glistens in the mild sunlight, the beautiful surface of this lake gleams. It is truly a visual feast to see this massive lake frozen solid at the base of the gorgeous snow-covered mountains. From Tsomgo Lake, you may get a panoramic view of Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital. Many uncommon migratory birds, notably the Brahmini duck, have chosen this magnificent lake as their yearly home. When the west becomes excessively cold, hundreds of Brahimini ducks migrate here to warm up in these calm waters.

Apart from gazing into the majestic grandeur of Tsomgo Lake and losing yourself in its hypnotic appeal, there are several attractions that tourists go to.

Legend of Tsomgo Lake

Tsomgo Lake is surrounded by folklore and mythology. It is supposed that Buddhist monks could foresee the future just by looking at the colour of the lake; a darker tinge in the water suggested a darker or more problematic future. During Guru Purnima and Raksha Bandhan, Sikkim’s faith healers, known as Jhakhris, visit this lake to offer prayers and benefit from the healing capabilities of the pristine lake’s waters.

Nathula Pass (56 Km from Gangtok)

Nathula Pass is about 53 kilometres from Gangtok’s main city. This location is not only one of the top tourist destinations in Sikkim, but it is also a politically significant location in the state. The Nathula Pass connects India with Tibet, resulting in a mix of Indian and Tibetan cultures in the area. You can buy a sovereign for yourself and your pals in Sherathang, a well-known border commerce market. This bustling market also has Tibetan artefacts for sale. Near Nathula Pass, there is a region called Kupup that is perpetually cloudy and visiting there could be a unique experience for your trip to Sikkim.

Nathula is a mountain pass in the Himalayan ranges that connects Sikkim with China. It is one of the world’s highest motorable highways. Nathu La, located 14450 feet above sea level on the Indo-Tibetan border, is one of the country’s most important Himalayan passes. ‘Listening ears’ is the meaning of Nathu, while ‘pass’ is the meaning of La. Nathula is one of India’s three open trading border checkpoints with China, and it is known for its scenic attractiveness and natural beauty. During the summer, the weather remains cool for the majority of the year, and it becomes a popular tourist destination.

Key Attractions:

To be believed, a unique samadhi must be seen somewhere in the heart of Kupup Valley, 60 kilometres from Gangtok and 20 kilometres from Nathu La Pass. Every visitor to the Nathang Valley who passes through this enchantingly gorgeous area is expected to pay their respects to Baba Harbhajan Singh, according to local belief. You’d be incorrect if you thought it was just another temple! You’ll be rewarded with the most ineffable samadhi you’ve ever experienced when you climb the stairs to the concrete structure bordered on both sides by bells. The Baba Mandir, or Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple, is a modest space consisting of two chambers that were once a soldier’s bunker. A desk and a chair are in one room, with a banner asking guests not to sit on Babaji’s chair. The other room contains a single bed, a thick blanket, and an altar where worshippers can place their offerings. A set of polished boots and an army uniform are also kept under the bed. When someone comes to clean the samadhi, the uniform is often crinkled and the boots are dirty. Isn’t it strange?!

Nathula Pass Permit: 

Only Indian nationals are granted a valid permit to access NathuLa Pass. The permit is obtained by applying to the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation. This can be accomplished with the assistance of a licensed travel agent. For the same, a valid identity document and two pictures are required.

History of Nathula

Nathula Pass, located on the Old Silk Route, connects Sikkim with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. After the People’s Republic of China repressed a Tibetan uprising in 1959, it was shut down for nearly four decades. When former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited China in 2003, however, discussions to reopen this crucial route were renewed. The Nathula Pass, as it now stands, was reopened in 2006 and has acted as an official Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) site ever since. Visit Sikkim’s Nathula Pass to discover more about the region’s history.

Nathula is one of India’s three open trading border checkpoints with China, and it plays an important role in Sino-Indian trade

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Nathula Pass is from May to October. The temperature is roughly 10 degrees Celsius. Winters here are cold and snowy, with temperatures as low as -25 degrees Celsius. Nathula Pass is at its best in the winter for snow lovers, but proper clothing is required. The scene of snow-capped mountains and valleys is indescribably beautiful.

How To Reach Nathula

Bagdogra airport is the closest airport to Nathula and is connected to destinations such as Delhi and Kolkata. You can rent a taxi from there to get to Gangtok, which is well connected by road to Nathula.

Jalpaiguri, 98 kilometres from Gangtok, is the nearest railway station. To get to Gangtok, take a taxi from here.

Road: Nathula and Gangtok are well connected by road. To get to Nathula, hire a taxi from Gangtok.

Things to do in Nathula Pass

In Nathula Pass, there are a variety of things to do.

There are numerous activities in and near Nathula Pass. Some of the top things to do include:

  1. Climb to the Indo-Chinese border via the slope and stairs.
  2. Go on a hike to Menmecho Lake.
  3. Take a swim or just take pictures at Mandakini Waterfall.
  4. Seek blessings at Baba Mandir and learn about Baba Harbhajan Singh’s epic narrative.
  5. Pay a visit to the War Memorial to see the majesty and bravery of Indian warriors.
  6. Visit the Zuluk Wildlife Sanctuary to see unusual flora and creatures.

Precautions

If you want to enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free journey, keep the following things in mind:

  1. On Mondays and Tuesdays, Nathu La is closed. So, save for them, and plan your trip on a weekday.
  2. To get to Nathula Pass, you’ll need a permit. Make sure you’ve booked your trip with a licensed travel agent who can provide you with a permit.
  3. The months of March to October are the finest for visiting NathuLa. Due to significant snowfall, it is closed for the rest of the year.
  4. Because Nathu La is located at a high altitude, you may experience breathing difficulties.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp (61 Km from Gangtok)

The majestic Kanchenjunga often spelled Kangchenjunga, is the world’s third tallest peak and one of the most beautiful mountains. Mt Kanchenjunga, which is surrounded by Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet, was first scaled in 1955 but has since been deemed sacred. The Tibetan name Kanchenjunga means “The Five Treasures of the High Snow.” The treasures are gold, silver, gems, grain, and holy writings, which reflect God’s five reservoirs. In and around Kanchenjunga, numerous trekking paths will take you through wooded forests and tranquil landscapes.

With an elevation of 8,586 meters, Kanchenjunga Mountain, in Darjeeling, is the world’s third tallest peak. The mountain is considered sacred in Sikkim’s Kirat religion, and it is also known as Sewa Lungma in the local Limbu language. Four of Kanchenjunga’s five peaks may be seen from numerous locations in Darjeeling and Gangtok. Tiger Hill is one of the many places in Darjeeling from which you may get a beautiful view of the peak. The Goecha La trek in Sikkim is the typical base camp for trekking up the range if you’re in Gangtok.

Key Attractions

Base Camp Kanchenjunga The following are the main highlights of trekking:

  1. Take in the panoramic vista of the surrounding peaks, including Frey Peak (5830m), Koktang (6,148m), Kabru Peak (7,412m), Rating, Chandra Peak, and the Kabru Dome (6600m).
  2. Meet and interact with wonderful people from isolated villages.
  3. Trekking to the base camp of the world’s third-highest mountain is an unforgettable experience.
  4. Take a tour of a Sikkim tea garden and learn about the many types of teas while spending time in nature.
  5. Take a monastery visit to learn more about Sikkim’s vibrant culture.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Permit

This permission must be obtained through a legitimate Nepal-based travel agency. To receive permission, a group of at least two hikers is required.

You’ll need the following items:

  • Valid passport having at least six months remaining validity, as well as a valid Nepal visa that extends beyond the RAP’s expiration date.
  • You must provide details of the application, itinerary, and insurance for the guide on the agency’s letterhead paper.
  • ID for online submission (as provided by agency)
  • Dollar specifics
  • A digital copy of a passport-sized photograph

History of Kanchenjunga Base Camp

According to the history of Kanchenjunga, Kanchenjunga was regarded as the world’s tallest peak until 1852. Based on different readings and measurements, Mt. Everest was declared the highest mountain after the Great Trigonometric Survey of India in 1849. In 1856, Kanchenjunga was officially relegated to third place. The people regard the mountain as a sacred site and think that a yeti (Himalayan demon) known as Nee-gued still roams its slopes. Since the year 2000, climbers have been prohibited from ascending the mountain.

Geography and Climate

Kanchenjunga is the world’s third tallest mountain peak, located between Nepal and Sikkim, with three of its five main peaks right on the border and the other two in Nepal’s Taplejung region. Kangchenjunga Main, Kangchenjunga West, Kangchenjunga Central, Kangchenjunga South, and Kangbachen are the five peaks. The highest point in the Brahmaputra River basin, which is one of the world’s largest, is Kangchenjunga Main. With sixteen summits exceeding 7000 meters, the Kangchenjunga Himal portion of the Himalayas is found in both Nepal and India. There are 120 glaciers in this sector, with four main glaciers originating from the peak: Zemu, Talung, Yalung, and Kangchen, and flowing into rivers like the Teesta, Arun, and Kosi.

Location:

Kangchenjunga, with its five enormous massifs, is the world’s third tallest peak, according to geographical data. In the year 1988, substantial footfall began in these five Himalayan massifs in the Sikkim region. Trekking in the area was once prohibited to protect the area’s ecosphere.

Weather:

The best time to trek to Kanchenjunga base camp is during the spring and autumn seasons. The lower region will be warmer and hotter than the top mountain region, where temperatures might plummet to minus 25 degrees. In the winter, the average temperature is below 15 degrees.

Best Time to Visit

There are specific times when you should go on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. The ideal time to visit Kanchenjunga Base Trek Camp 2018 was from the middle of March to the end of June, and then from the middle of September to the middle of November. Because of the favourable meteorological conditions, this is considered the best season to visit Kanchenjunga for hiking.

During the monsoon season, trekking should be avoided. Rain makes the paths slick, which increases the risk of accidents and even obstructions. Trekking is not possible during the winter season due to severe snowfall, which makes the trails impassable and makes the weather extremely uncomfortable. So, here are the seasons that you can schedule your expedition around.

How To Reach

Rail: The nearest railway station to Yuksom is New Jalpaiguri, which is around 150 kilometers distant.

Road: Yuksom, the Goecha La base camp, is easily reached by road from several large cities, including Siliguri. It’s around 140 kilometers away and serves as the gateway to Sikkim’s capital, Gangtok.

Things to Do at Kanchenjunga Base Camp

  1. Take on a tough walk through a place that is rarely visited by hikers.
  2. Follow the glacial torrents of the Tamur and Ghunsa Rivers to their source on the Kanchenjunga Himal’s northwestern flank.
  3. Trek to Kanchenjunga through the Mirgin La Pass (4500m). 4. Set up camp at Pangpema and spend the night there (5140m)
  4. Take in breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga massif, Makalu range, and nearby peaks such as Jannu.
  5. Trek through the Gurung, Limbu, Rai, and Sherpa people’s isolated villages.

Legend of Kanchenjunga Base camp

  1. Embark on a challenging traverse through a region seldom visited by trekkers
  2. Follow the glacial torrent of the Tamur and Ghunsa Rivers to their source on the northwest side of the Kanchenjunga Himal
  3. Cross the Mirgin La Pass (4500m), trek to Kanchenjunga 4. Base Camp and spend the night at Pangpema (5140m)
  4. Witness unsurpassed views of the Kanchenjunga massif, Makalu range, and surrounding peaks including Jannu
  5. Trek through remote villages of the Gurung, Limbu, Rai, and Sherpa peoples

Precautions:

  1. Do not bring any materials that are not biodegradable.
  2. Pay attention to the journey leader’s and guide’s directions.
  3. It is completely forbidden to consume alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
  4. Make sure you’re medically fit for the trek by consulting your doctor.
  5. Exclusions – 6. Travel expenses to and from Kathmandu are not included. Throughout the journey, there will be food and water.

Yumthang Valley of Flowers (61 Km from Gangtok)

Yumthang Valley, in North Sikkim, approximately 140 kilometres north of Gangtok. This uncommon and exotic region with hot springs, rivers, yaks, and lush green meadows is known as the “Valley of Flowers.” This beautiful valley, located at an elevation of 3564 meters, is a haven for nature enthusiasts, as it is home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, which blooms over 24 varieties of Rhododendron flowers (the state flower) from late February to mid-June.

Due to severe snowfall in the region, Yumthang Valley is restricted to travellers from December to March. Yumthang Valley has a few hot springs that are popular with tourists because they are said to have amazing healing powers. Apart from a heavenly green meadow, the region is surrounded by a lush green forest of pine and silver fir trees. You may see gushing waterfalls and streams along the road to Yumthang Valley, as well as a spectacular view of the peaks of Pauhunri and Shundu Tsenpa.

Yumthang Valley of Flowers Permit

Because Yumthang Valley is so near to China’s border, the entire region is under military supervision. Yumthang requires a Protected Area Permit, which can be obtained through the Gangtok Tourism Office, the Mangan District Administrative Center, or the Chungthang Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s Office. The permit is also handled by the tour organizers.

Geography and Climate

Yumthang Valley is located in the northwestern part of Sikkim, at an elevation of 3564 meters. The region is one of Sikkim’s most well-known tourist spots, known as the ‘Valley of Flowers’ due to its unique location above the tree line where no trees grow. The perfumed surroundings, the shrubby slopes of the snow-capped mountains surrounding the valley, and the broad lengths of land covered in floral meadows make this region a natural wonderland that attracts many travelers from all over the world. The valley serves as a vantage point for the Panhunri and Shundu Tsenpa peaks, which together offer an incredible panoramic backdrop for the rushing Teesta river.

Best Time to Visit

This beautiful destination, 140 kilometres north of Gangtok, deserves its own visit. Because it is bordered by mountains and running rivers, it is ideal to visit at any time of year. If you want to see the blossoming beauties, though, you need to visit Yumthang between late February and mid-June. The months of September through December, on the other hand, are great for capturing a clear sky and snow-capped mountains. If you are a culture vulture who enjoys seeing new locations, the best time to visit Yumthang Valley is between February and March, when the Losar Festival is held.

How To Reach

The best method to get to Yumthang is to take a shared or own vehicle to Lachung, which is around 125 kilometers away from Gangtok, and stay overnight. It is not possible to go directly from Gangtok to Yumthang in a single day because the region is prone to fog and darkens early. The drive from Lachung to Yumthang takes around 50 minutes, and the road is dotted with vibrant flowering flowers, providing a relaxing and stunning ride.

The nearest airport to Lachung is Gangtok Airport. Regular flights to many destinations are available from there. To get to Lachung, you’ll need to take a taxi or a bus from here. Yumthang Valley may be reached through public transportation from Lachung.

Rail: The city of Lachung has a railway station that is conveniently accessible by car. To get there, you can take any of the various public transportation options. The rail system is well-connected, making your journey more comfortable. Yumthang Valley may be reached through public transportation from Lachung.

Road: Because Lachung is a highland station, tourists prefer to travel by road. To get here, you can take a taxi, a jeep, or a bus. Gangtok (113 km) has a good road connection to Lachung.

Things to Do Yumthang Valley of Flowers

 Yumthang Valley is a lovely spot tucked in the heart of northern Sikkim, with brilliant blossoms blanketing the landscapes and unique species aplenty. During the summer, alpine forests and fir trees border the hilly landscape, and during the winter, the entire valley is blanketed in sparkling snow, producing a spectacle that rivals any popular hill station in India.

Although the region’s major attractions focus on its natural beauty and bright vegetation, adventure seekers will find some worthwhile options to satisfy their sporting desires in this ‘Valley Of Flowers.’ Continue reading to learn more about some of Yumthang Valley’s top activities.

Precautions:

Make sure you visit Yumthang during the optimum time of year so you may enjoy the best experience possible.

Because the valley is so close to the Chinese border, the army controls the entire area, and tourists must obtain a Protected Area Permit before entering. So, when organizing your trip, don’t forget to get it from the Gangtok Tourism Office, the Mangan District Administrative Center, or the Chungthang Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s Office. Alternatively, you can ask your tour coordinator to make the arrangements for you.

Regardless of the season you visit Yumthang, make sure you bring thick clothing because the temperature may get very cold up there.

Remember to bring your necessary toiletries and medications, particularly the ones for high altitude sickness.

There are no ATMs in Yumthang, so bring enough cash.

Prefer to spend the night in Lachung and start your journey to Yumthang only early in the morning, as the evenings in Yumthang start to get darker and foggier around 5:30 PM.

Make sure your footwear is durable.

If the food in the hills does not appeal to you, you can bring your own snacks or find a great restaurant in Sikkim.

Gurudongmar Lake of Flowers (174 Km from Gangtok)

Gurudongmar Lake, in Sikkim, is one of the world’s fifteen tallest lakes, standing at a height of 17,100 feet above sea level. It is also Sikkim’s second-highest lake, behind Cholamu Lake, which sits at a height of 18,000 feet. The magnificent and picturesque splendor of the location attracts visitors from all over the world. Gurudongmar Lake also has significant religious importance, and the stunning vista of Mount Siniolchu and Kanchenjunga from the lake is something to witness and treasure. The water of Gurudongmar Lake is thought to have medicinal properties, and many visitors carry it back with them.

Gurudongmar is a very holy lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and crystal pure ice water. It is a source of the Teesta River, which flows through Sikkim, West Bengal, and Bangladesh before merging with the Bay of Bengal. Nearby, there is a ‘Sarva Dharma Sthal,’ which is a popular place of prayer for people of all faiths. Lachen, a small and lovely village in North Sikkim, is home to Gurudongmar Lake. Before seeing the magnificent lake, it is highly advised that you spend the night in this town. The mesmerizing Gurudongmar Lake’s strategic location and proximity to other prominent sights appeal to tourists, making it one of Sikkim’s most popular attractions.

Gurudongmar Lake of Flowers Permit

Because of the proximity to China and the Tibet border, an Inner Line Permit is required to access this section of Sikkim. While Westerners are only permitted to travel up to Yumthang and Chopta Valley, Indians are permitted to explore the beautiful Gurudongmar Lake. The permit can be obtained a day before your journey to the lake in Gangtok. The tourism office requires photocopies of identification as well as two pictures. You can also request that your travel agent obtain the permit on your behalf.

History of Gurudongmar Lake of Flowers

Guru Padmasambhava (an 8th-century Indian Buddhist guru) stopped here on his way back from Tibet, and the Gurudongmar Lake was named after him. He and the lake are the subjects of a legend. The locals begged Guru for a solution because the lake used to totally freeze during the winter and could not be used as a source of drinking water at that period.

Guru consented and placed his hands on one of the lake’s points, which is the only area where the water never freezes. Since then, the lake has been revered as a spiritual site, and worshippers gather sacred water in containers.

Geography and Climate

Gurudongmar Lake, at an elevation of 17000 feet, is arguably the most spectacular lake on the earth. The holy lake, which is located on the north side of the Khangchengyao Range and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, solidifies throughout the winters except in one area where the impassioned conviction has been especially honoured. The Tibetan border in China is only a few kilometers away from the lake. The lake’s flavorful water is thought to have the magical ability to give issueless couples children. Surprisingly, both Hindus and Buddhists in the area are respectful of Gurudongmar Lake’s imagination.

Location:

Gurudongmar Lake is the largest lake in Sikkim, with a surface area of 290 acres and an elevation of 17,800 feet. It’s surrounded by snow-capped mountains, creating a breathtakingly beautiful setting. Except for one small region, the lake freezes during the winter. Buddhists and Hindus both consider this location to be blessed. The entire lake is regarded as sacred and is said to have numerous therapeutic properties. Buddhist prayer flags can be seen flying along the lake’s edges.

Weather:

Gurudongmar Lake, in Sikkim’s North district, is a popular tourist destination. Gurudongmar is one of India’s and the world’s tallest alpine lakes, standing at 17,800 feet (5,400 meters). The lake is formed by the melting of snow from the glaciers. Gurudongmar Lake is located 175 kilometres from Gangtok and 67 kilometres from Lachen. You can also stop through Thangu and Chopta Valley on the way. Temperatures range from -20°C to 10°C, and the weather varies throughout the year. Autumn is the finest time to visit Gurudongmar Lake (November & December). The greatest period to see snow is from January through March. In North Sikkim, April is the flowering season.

Best Time to Visit

Between November and June is the best time to visit Gurudongmar Lake because the weather is lovely at that time of year. In Lachen, the summers are mild and pleasant. Every summer, a yak race known as Thangu is held here. Lachen may be rather cold in the winter. During the winter months, Gurdongmar Lake freezes entirely and is a sight to behold.

How To Reach

Bagdogra Airport, about a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Lachen, is the nearest domestic airport. To go to the lake, you’ll need to book a taxi from the airport to Lachen, where taxis and jeeps are available.

Darjeeling Railway Station, which is connected to most of Sikkim’s cities and is 171 kilometres from Lachen, is the closest railway station to Gurudongmar Lake. It is well connected to Siliguri, Sukna, Tindharia, Mahanadi, Dilaram, Sonada, Jorebungalow, and Ghum.

Road: Lachen is connected to all of Sikkim’s major cities via the Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) and certain private transport services. Buses run frequently between Lachen and these states.

Things to Do Gurudongmar Lake of Flowers

The Gurudongmar Lake is a gorgeous delight for the eyes that manage to gratify everyone who comes to see it. Many visitors also enjoy trekking from the lake, which serves as the starting point for various hikes. The Sarva Dharma Sthala, a well-known spiritual destination for peace seekers, is known as the “temple of all religions” and is located near the lake.

The Tso Lhamu Lake, which is the Teesta River’s source of water, is about 9 kilometers away and can be visited alongside the main attraction.

Legend of Gurudongmar Lake of Flowers

Throughout the night in Gangtok, it rained nonstop. With each passing minute, the possibility of departing on our scheduled excursion to Gurudongmar the next morning grew more remote.

At an elevation of 17,300 feet, Gurudongmar is one of the world’s highest lakes, located in the northwestern Indian state of Sikkim. The famed Buddhist saint Padmasambhava is said to have worshipped here, making this lake particularly important to Buddhist Lepchas. Guru Nanak Dev, the Sikhs’ first Guru, is said to have paused and blessed the lake on his trip to Tibet. According to folklore, local yak grazers met Guru Nanak Dev Ji and lamented their difficulty in finding water in this area.

 This beautiful splendor is occasionally hampered by the presence of an occasional car or two that has most likely missed a bend and become lodged in a boulder or tree far below. As you see your driver negotiate the incredibly sharp corners one after another, you can only hope and pray that your automobile does not end up like that.

Our goal this time was to climb higher, closer to the Teesta’s source. We arrived at Gangtok in the evening to find severe rains. Although it was not particularly cold in May, everything was drenched and dripping with rain. In the morning, it was still pouring heavily.

Precautions:

Foreign nationals are not permitted to visit Gurudongmar Lake due to its proximity to an international boundary. Foreigners are permitted to go until they reach Chopta Valley. Indians, on the other hand, can visit the lake after obtaining an Inner Line Permit. Any of the government-approved travel businesses can assist you in obtaining the permits.

Ravangla (69 Km from Gangtok)

Ravangla, a small hamlet in South Sikkim with a spectacular vista of high-forested hills and undulating valleys dotted with village huts, is a great holiday location. A modest hermitage is housed in Ravangla, which is located at the base of Menam hill. The major attraction of this town is the stunning vista of the snow-covered peaks that separate the Teesta valley from the Rangit valley. Ravangla offers spectacular views of Kanchenjunga, as well as its sibling peaks Pandim, Kabru, Sinialchu, and others. Ravangla is a site worth visiting because of its vast natural diversity, unusual flora and fauna in thick forests, majestic snow mountains, waterfalls, scenic tea gardens, tranquil villages, ethnic culture, old monasteries, and fresh environment.

Ravangla is one of South Sikkim’s most well-known tourist spots. Ravangla, located at an elevation of 7000 feet on the ridge between Maenam and Tendong Hill, offers a breathtaking view of the Greater Himalayas. Ravangla has become a must-see destination due to the beauty of its scenery and its location as a transit hub to nearby tourist attractions. Every year around August-September, Ravangla stages the Pang Lhabsol event spectacularly. The Rayong dawn viewpoint, located 8 kilometres from Damthang, offers a stunning view of the sun’s first rays landing on snow-capped peaks. Yangang, Tinkitam, Kewzing, Barfung, and Bakhim, all Surrounding Lepcha and Bhutia villages, are ideal for short village trips.

Key Attractions

Here are some of the greatest sites to see in Ravangla that you should not miss out on while your Sikkim holiday. All of these locations may be visited with family, friends, or a partner. Make sure to include all of them in your schedule.

Attend Phang Lhabsol Bon Monastery, also known as Bonpo Monastery, and Buddha Park, also known as Tathagata Tsal Ralang Monastery.

Doling Gompa is a great place to go trekking.

Souvenirs at the Kheunpheling Carpet Centre

Rayong Borong Hot Springs: Relax And Rejuvenate Sunrise Point: For A Romantic Morning

Soothe Your Eyes With Green Vistas At Temi Tea Garden

Trek up Maenam Hill to see the sunset.

Ravangla  Permit

There is no permit needed for Indians.

History of Ravangla

The 14th Dalai Lama dedicated the monument on March 25, 2013, and it became a stop on the ‘Himalayan Buddhist Circuit.’ The Buddha statue commemorates the 2550th anniversary of Gautama Buddha’s birth. The Sikkim government and its people collaborated to build and install this statue at the location. This park’s Buddhist circuit was established as part of a State government strategy to increase pilgrimage and tourism in the area. Within the complex lies the Cho Djo lake, which is surrounded by forest.

The people of Ravangla erected this beautiful Buddha Park with the most beautiful Sakyamuni Buddha statue that can be viewed clearly from all parts of Southwest Sikkim near Ravangla and a few regions of West Sikkim. It is a charming park where visitors may find plenty of peace and tranquilly, as well as scenic surroundings and broad walkways for relaxing strolls.

Geography and Climate

Location: Ravangla’s Buddha Park, also known as Tathagata Tsal, is located near Rabong (Ravangla) in Sikkim’s South Sikkim region. It was built between 2006 and 2013, and its centrepiece is a 130-foot (40-meter) high Buddha statue. The location was chosen as part of the greater monastic complex of Rabong Gompa (Monastery), which is also a centuries-old pilgrimage attraction. Ralang Monastery, a significant monastery in Tibetan Buddhism, is also close by.

Best Time to Visit

Except for the harsh winters, the weather in Ravangla is nice all year. Winter is the greatest time to visit this location. The months of August and September are great for visiting this location because that is when the Pang Lhabsol festival takes place.

How To Reach

Air: The nearest helipads are in Gangtok and Pelling; however, a helicopter must be chartered. Bagdogra Airport, which is 135 kilometres from Ravangla via Jorethang, is the closest airport. Regular Indian, Spice Jet, Kingfisher, and Jet Airways flights connect Bagdogra with Kolkata, Guwahati, and Delhi. Ravangla may be reached via bus from the airport.

New Jalpaiguri, which is about 110 kilometers away, is the nearest train station. The station of New Jalpaiguri is well connected to the rest of India. Regular train service to Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Jaipur, Bangalore, Chennai, and other destinations is available.

Roads are well-built, and Sikkim’s vast network of roads is well-connected to the rest of the state’s destinations. Ravangla is roughly 65 kilometres from Gangtok. All tourist attractions have private vehicles available at regular intervals, although it is advisable to hire a vehicle such as a bus or a cab.

Things to Do Ravangla

Ravangla is ideal for individuals who like to go on short hikes in the hills. The town is surrounded by dense forests and hills, which add to the town’s charm. Travelers flock to this location to see a variety of migratory birds as well as breathtaking vistas of peaks like Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, and Mt. Sinialchu. The major activities here include sightseeing, bird watching, and trekking.

Enchey Monastery

Enchey Monastery, which translates to “solitary temple,” is a Buddhist holy pilgrimage site located in the mystical paradise of Gangtok, surrounded by natural splendor. The presence of tall pine trees, floral meadows, and a breathtaking view of the Kanchenjunga Hills give worshippers the impression that they are in the midst of a tranquil and blessed environment. This 200-year-old monastery is located 3 kilometers northeast of Gangtok. According to legend, Lama Druptob Karpo, a prominent tantric with flying abilities, swooped down to Maenam Hill and established a hermitage there, which was later restored in the Chinese Pagoda style under the authority of Sidkeong Tulku.

This holy monastery, which houses 90 monks and pays homage to Loki Sharia, Lord Buddha, and Guru Padmasambhava, now accommodates 90 monks. Within Enchey Monastery, there is a vast metal-roofed prayer hall with countless images of Gods, Goddesses, and Tantric beings. The porch contains a law wheel that waves in perfect time with the monks’ chanting. Apart from its beautiful setting, the Enchey Monastery is also a popular tourist destination because of the Chaam dance (a special prayer offering performed by monks wearing masks) held on the 18th and 19th days of the Tibetan calendar’s 12th lunar month.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

You may participate in the Detor Cham festival, which takes place in September and October. The legendary Monks Cham Dance will be performed throughout the festival. Enchey Monastery is also difficult to visit during the winter and when there is a lot of rain because it is located at a high altitude.

How To Reach

Because the monastery is located on the Nathula-Gangtok route, it is easily accessible by car. You may also take a cab from Gangtok and walk to Enchey Monastery in 15 to 20 minutes. You can make a pit stop along the road and ask the locals for directions.

Singalila National Park

The Singalila National Park is West Bengal’s highest national park, rising more than 7000 feet above sea level in the Singalila range. Originally a wildlife refuge, the national park now comprises 78.60 square kilometres of virgin rhododendron forests, alpine valleys, and uncommon animal and orchid species. It is most known for presenting a magnificently mind-blowing perspective of the Himalayan peak, which provides a panoramic vista of the massive Himalayas from Nepal through Sikkim and up to Bhutan. The Red panda and the Himalayan black bear can both be found in Singalila.

Because the territory is tightly designated for the conservation of biodiversity, activities such as developmental forestry, poaching, hunting, and grazing on agriculture are not authorized, this wonderful Singalila National Park is a refuge for all the creatures that call it home. The national park is also part of a hiking route, making it a trekker’s and adventurer’s dream come true. Singalila National Park gets its name from the Singalila spur, which runs across the park and descends from Mount Kanchenjunga in the north to the Gangetic Plains in the south.

Key Attractions

 Singalila National Park Permit: Upto 100 words

Before accessing the main region of the Singalila National Park, you must get a permit from the forest department. The permission may be obtained at the Forest Department office in Manebhanjan or at the national park’s entry, which is about 1km from Tumling.

History of  Singalila National Park

The British Government purchased the Singalila forest on lease from the former King of Sikkim in 1882. After independence, the forest area became a wildlife sanctuary in Darjeeling District, and in 1992, it was transformed into a National Park. The unique Singalila National Park is located in a protected forest that has long served as a hiking path connecting Manebhanjang, Sandakphu, and Phalut. The first known climbing team, commanded by Jules Jacot-Guillarmod, and the famed occultist Aleister Crowley, both utilized this hiking path. In 1905, a party attempted but failed to ascend Mount Kanchenjunga. The park and its ridge are also included in George Thengummoottil’s film “Singalila in the Himalaya.”

Geography and Climate

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

The location has extreme weather conditions throughout the winter season due to its high height. As a result, the best time to visit the Singalila National Park is in the spring and summer, from March to May. Also, while the park is closed to tourists from June 16 to September 15 each year due to severe rain, you can come during the post-monsoon months of mid-September to early December.

How To Reach

The roads at Singalila Park are fairly well linked. To go to Manibhanjan, take a bus from Darjeeling city bus station or hire a private cab. To get to the park, you may either hike through the jungle or take a vehicle safari.

Things to Do  Singalila National Park

Camping: Camping in Singalila National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it requires prior permission, which may be obtained for a cost at the Manebhanjan Check Post. The cost is determined by the number of camping tents, the location of the camping space, and the amount of stuff carried by the campers. On the way to Phalut, people trekking from Sandakphu will find plenty of places to camp.

Bird Watching: Singalila National Park is home to a diverse range of uncommon and unusual birds, and visitors will leave no stone unturned in their quest to see the stunning flock. Around 200 species can be found in the national park.

9.    Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden

Nature has gifted Sikkim with abundant flora and wildlife, attracting travelers from all over the world to this landlocked state nestled in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas. Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is a renowned tourist spot located 22 kilometers from Gangtok on the path to Rumtek Monastery. Rumtek Monastery is Sikkim’s biggest monastery, where monks undertake ancient Karma Kagyu lineage ceremonies and practices. Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden, originally opened in 1987, is a scenically endowed lush green stretch of land that has enchanted visitors with its breathtaking beauty. The Forest Department of the Government of Sikkim’s Parks and Gardens unit looks after the lush green stretch of land.

Surrounded by imposing peaks The Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden contains a collection of over 1.5 lakh attractive plants and a large variety of oak types, making it a botany enthusiast’s dream come true when visiting Sikkim. The large variety of flora and flowers is supposed to be the result of the elevation change from 1800 to 2200 meters. The Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden has a combination of tropical and temperate species that have been well-cared for. In the garden, a large greenhouse has been built to accommodate several Orchid types. The botanical garden offers something for everyone, and a modest recreational area with a merry-go-round, swings, and see-saw has been created to provide entertainment for youngsters.

During a visit to Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden, wander through the verdant meadow sprinkled with countless alpine trees while being amazed by the bright color riot of orchids and unique Himalayan flora and learning more about the enormous variety of flora present in the Himalayan area. The goodness of nature has no bounds, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden offers a view of unspoiled nature.

Key Attractions

 There are more than 50 distinct tree species in the garden, including thick temperate clusters of big oaks. The garden’s remarkable differences in altitude, which span from 5900ft to above 7000ft, are the major reason for its diverse assortment of flowers.

Geography and Climate

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

 The best time to visit this garden to appreciate its beauty is during the spring and summer when the flowers are in bloom. It’s a fantastic idea to go between March and late May.

A visit in October (post-monsoon) is recommended for those who wish to see the trees and flowers glistening in the sunlight.

You’ll be able to see the garden prepare for the impending winter when the temperatures decrease from November to mid-December.

The park is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., and visitors must go by 6.30 p.m. To experience the natural tranquillity, arrive as early as possible, as is the case with all botanical gardens.

How To Reach

 The Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is a 5-minute walk from the Rumtek Monastery if you’re visiting the gompa.

You may take a shared cab or charter a jeep from Gangtok to the botanical garden, which is 23 kilometres distant. The NH10 and the Ranipool-Rumtek-Sang Road are the quickest routes.

There is a ₹10 admission charge.  

Precautions:

Make sure you stay off the grass and stick to the well-marked walkways.

Please remember that the conservatory is not a park, so don’t pick flowers, leaves, or ferns. If park officials catch you in the act, you might face a fine.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden was created to highlight Sikkim’s diverse floral landscape. Respect the natural beauty of the location by avoiding polluting it.

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Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, one of the few of its type, is a repository of centuries-old Tibetan-Buddhist culture and history. NIT is dedicated to preserving the country’s great heritage, religion, and valuable culture, as seen by the superb collection in the museum and library, which are the primary attractions here. With its serene beauty, it is a delight for travellers, especially for the occasional history-enthusiast, as significant as it is for those interested in Asian culture and Buddhist studies. Inside, photography is prohibited, but you are free to disconnect from technology and take in as much as you want via the lens of your eyes.

The Namgyal Institute, despite being primarily a centre for the study and research of Tibetan and Buddhist culture, has become a prominent tourist destination in Gangtok. It encourages and supports the study, investigation, and preservation of Tibetan history, art, literature, architecture, religion, philosophy, and other related subjects. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a pioneer in the preservation and development of Tibetan art and literature, with a foundation stone placed by the Dalai Lama himself.

The façade rises magnificently with its towering golden towers, appealing and noteworthy paintings, and bright frescos, built in the Tibetan architectural style in the lap of lush green nature.

Key attractions

On the bottom level of the building is a museum with a remarkable collection of sculptures, coins, masks, thangkas, Tibetan art & items, and old texts donated by renowned monks and monarchs. There is a shop called Asta Mangala Art right over the street from the institute building where you can fill your bag with presents and souvenirs such as detailed things such as German cutlery and traditional Sikkimese apparel. Do-Drul Chorten Stupa, one of Gangtok’s must-see attractions, is just a short walk away.

 Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Permit

The entrance fee for the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is Rs. 10/- per individual. It is available to the general public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday to Saturday). It is also closed on Sundays, the second Saturday of each month, and major holidays. It is customary to remove one’s shoes before entering the premises. Inside the museum, photography is not permitted.

History of  Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

Tibetan history’s torchbearer has a substantial basis of its own. The late King (Chogyal in Sikkimese) Sir Tashi Namgyal, after whom the institute is named, donated the land on which the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology sits. The 14th Dalai Lama, the Buddhist religious hierarchy’s head, placed the foundation stone for the institute on February 10, 1957, and another illustrious figure, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first and then Prime Minister of India, opened it a year and a half later, on October 10, 1958.

 Since then, the Namgyal Institute’s structure has changed several times. It was opened to international collaboration and received a research wing in 2002.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

 The institute is open all year.

How To Reach

The facility is about 15-20 minutes away from any visitor staying in Gangtok. You may simply catch a cab there from the centre of downtown Gangtok, which is only 2 kilometers away. If you’re taking a tour of the city, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is included in practically all of them. Deorali Bazaar Ropeway Station and Deorali taxi station are both within six minutes’ walking distance of the institute.

Things to Do  Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

  1. NIT Museum: The NIT Museum is located on the ground level of the central structure, surrounded by elegant towers and a mural-covered façade. The museum has a rare collection of timeless and valuable Tibetan and Buddhist artefacts, including sculptures and figurines, ceremonial objects, traditional art pieces, thangkas (Buddhist paintings on cloth), and numerous old manuscripts written in Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan, and Lepcha. Over the years, these texts have been gathered from all over the world.

A casket with relics of two Ashokan missionaries and sandalwood images depicting five great men from Buddhist history – Guru Rinpoche (the bringer of Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet), three founding lamas of Sikkim, and King Phuntsok Namgyal – are among the major attraction pieces at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Museum (the first monarch of Sikkim). The stunning silver figure of Manjushri, the bodhisattva or enlightened Lord Buddha, portrayed in real Sikkimese workmanship, is the show-stopper of the whole exhibition.

  1. Library: NIT’s library has some of the best and rarest literary works on Tibetan and Buddhist history, philosophy, religion, and culture, as well as journals and publications on the subject. It contains about 60,000 books, including many translations of Buddhist teachings, as well as research papers and articles on Buddhist studies authored by academics and researchers over the years. The library also features xylographs, which are wooden plates with transcripts inscribed and embossed in reverse, which are common in Chinese and Tibetan culture.

The 135-volume Encyclopaedia Tibetica is among the numerous rare items on display. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Library is free to all visitors, however, because it is a reference library, no one is allowed to borrow books and take them home.

Precautions:

  1. Before entering the museum, remove your shoes.
  2. Photography is absolutely banned within the museum.
  3. Across the street from Namgyal Institute is a cosy cafe that is a branch of Baker’s Cafe on MG Road in Gangtok. It provides sizzling hot tea and coffee, as well as a selection of munchies. This is a good place to rest and unwind after the journey and talk about everything that happened.

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Lachung (103 Km from Gangtok)

Lachung, a popular tourist destination in North Sikkim, is located at the confluence of two streams, the Lachung and the Lachen. Because of the numerous waterfalls that pour in this area, this town is a renowned tourist destination. From here, you may catch glimpses of snow-capped mountains, which make for a beautiful spectacle. Lachung is also a popular starting point for trips to Yumthang Valley, a popular tourist destination in Sikkim.

Lachung is a little village in Sikkim surrounded by gorgeous mountains that entice people to visit every year. It’s Sikkim’s lovely town, with its snow-capped mountains, dazzling streams, summits, incredible waterfalls, and so much more. It’s the ideal tourist destination for relaxing vacations surrounded by apple orchards, peaches, and apricots. Lachung’s market is brimming with goods including skillfully woven rugs and blankets, making this town excellent for shopping. Lachung translates to ‘Small Mountain,’ and it takes its name from the gorgeous mountains that surround it.

Key Attractions

 The Pelling Helipad is about a kilometre from Pelling’s principal centre, the police checkpoint. The short trip from the Pelling Helipad to the Kanchenjunga and its mountain ranges is a pleasant one that gives an incredible view of the Kanchenjunga and its mountain ranges, which is commonly visited by many tourists.

Sangachoeling Monastery was founded in the 17th century by Lama Gyalwa Lhatsun Chempo and is located at the top of a ridge near the town of Pelling, Sikkim. It has earned a lot of reputation throughout the years as one of the world’s oldest Buddhist sanctuaries. Pemayangtse Monastery is one of Sikkim’s oldest and most famous monasteries, located 5 kilometres from Upper Pelling. The monastery is distinguished by its artistically carved, wooden, 7-tiered 3D model depicting a celestial environment, providing a spiritual insight into religion.

Rabdentse Remains: The ancient ruins of the Old Rabdentse Palace may be seen on the lower hillside to the southeast of Pemayangtse Monastery in Pelling, Sikkim. The former palace and monastery are now completely destroyed, and the Archeological Survey of India is in charge of maintaining and restoring them.

Darap Village is an 8-kilometre drive from Pelling and is an ideal location for a laid-back and pleasant vacation. Because of its modest environment and structure, it allows visitors to stay in simple homestays and learn about Sikkim’s culture and customs.

Rimbi River: The Rimbi River meanders about 12 kilometres from Pelling, just ahead of Darap Village. Families enjoy this place for picnics since it is surrounded by stones and pebbles. It also has a popular little hydroelectric power plant on the property. There are also the ruins of a tourist attraction called the Rock Garden, which was wiped away by a flood many years ago.

History of Lachung

 Lachung translates to “little pass.” The settlement is around 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Gangtok, the state capital. The town is home to an Indian Army advanced base. Lachung was a commercial centre between Sikkim and Tibet until the Chinese conquest of Tibet in 1950, after which it was closed.

Weather: 15° C

Best Time to Visit

Lachung is best visited virtually all year because each season has its own unique beauty. Summers and winters, on the other hand, are preferable to the monsoon season since excessive rains might ruin outdoor activities. Summers are cool and pleasant, while winters are bitterly cold due to the constant snowfall. The monsoon season is characterised by constant rainfall, which interrupts sightseeing activities.

Season of Summer

The month of March symbolises the start of the summer season, which lasts until May. The weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 28 degrees Celsius, making it simple to explore the town. Because of the rich vegetation and blooming flowers, the sights are even more captivating.

Season of the Monsoons

The temperature drops to 12 degrees, and severe rains are common this time of year. It starts in July and ends in September. Monsoon is not a good time to visit if you have sightseeing plans because rain can disrupt your plans.

Season of Winter

Lachung’s winters are bitterly cold, with temperatures dipping below 0 degrees and hovering around 10 degrees. The season begins in October and continues until February.

How To Reach

The nearest airport to Lachung is Gangtok Airport. Regular flights to many destinations are available from there. To get to Lachung, you’ll need to take a taxi or a bus from here.

Rail: The city of Lachung has a railway station that is conveniently accessible by car. To get there, you can take any of the various public transportation options. The rail system is well-connected, making your journey more comfortable.

 

Road: Because Lachung is a highland station, tourists prefer to travel by road. To get here, you can take a taxi, a jeep, or a bus. With road transportation, Gangtok (113 km) is well connected to Lachung.

 

Things to Do in Lachung

Mask dance at Lachung Monastery- Located 50 kilometres from Lachung, the Lachung Monastery can captivate anyone with its annual mask dance. Heavy masks and vivid colourful clothing worn by the performers add to the spectacle’s beauty. You can connect with the monks to learn about their lives and shop for real Sikkim textiles at the handloom centre.

 

A day journey to Gurudongmar Lake, at an elevation of 17,800 feet, is a stunning sight, with the half-frozen lake and snow-capped mountains in the background. Since ancient times, it has been linked to a variety of religious beliefs.

 

Mount Katao Trekking- A journey to Lachung would not be complete without a visit to Mount Katao. Trekking on icy trails and bathing in the sun while taking in the stunning views of Katao should be on your bucket list.

 

Bhim Nala Waterfalls- Known as Sikkim’s tallest waterfall, Bhim Nala Waterfall is divided into three tiers. It’s 13 kilometres from Lachung and can be a great site for shooting photos, sipping coffee, and relaxing while driving to Lachung.

 

Legend of Lachung

 

Precautions:

 

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  1. Pelling (72 Km from Gangtok)

 

Pelling, a lovely town in Sikkim’s West district, has overtaken Gangtok as the state’s second most popular tourist attraction. The main appeal of the site, which is located 10 kilometres from Geyzing and 130 kilometres from Gangtok, is the stunning view of the Khangchendzonga and neighbouring peaks. The famous Pemayangste monastery is less than a kilometre from here and is a major tourist hotspot. Pelling also serves as a base for several treks in the region and offers opportunities for mountain biking, rock climbing, village tours, and meditation. The picturesque hamlet of Pelling is an ideal vacation spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Pelling, a lovely little town perched at 6800 feet, was once covered in thick forest, which was home to numerous local wild animals of the time, including the Wildman ( may not be yeti though). This ridge, which lies between two old Buddhist monasteries (Pemayangtse and Sangacholing), has grown into Pelling, a full-fledged community. Pelling is becoming one of Sikkim’s most popular tourist destinations. Pelling is also the hub from where all of West Sikkim’s stunning tourism attractions may be explored.

 

 

Key Attractions

 

Pelling Permit

 Pelling does not require a special permit; the ILP that you will obtain for entering Sikkim will be enough.

History of Pelling 

There isn’t much to say about Pelling’s history, other than it was the first capital of the state of Sikkim. According to historical sources, the Chogyal dynasty ruled here in 1641, and the three Lama academics placed the foundation stone.

Geography and Climate

Location: The primary appeal of the site, which is located 10 kilometres from Geyzing and 130 kilometres from Gangtok, is the stunning view of the Khangchendzonga and neighbouring peaks. The famed Pemayangste monastery, less than a kilometre away, is a popular tourist destination. Pelling also serves as a base for a variety of excursions in the region and offers opportunities for mountain biking, rock climbing, village visits, and meditation. The picturesque hamlet of Pelling is an ideal vacation spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Weather: 17° C

Best Time to Visit

Pelling is located at an elevation of 2000 metres, with temperatures ranging from 25 degrees Celsius in the summer to 1 degree Celsius in the winter. In the summer, it is quite warm and pleasant. From July to September, the monsoon season is in full swing. Pelling is accessible at any time of year, but it is better to avoid visiting during the monsoon season.

How To Reach

Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri is the closest airport to Pelling, which is a four-hour drive away. From here, you can take a taxi or a bus to Pelling.

 

Railway: The nearest railway station to Pelling is Jalpaiguri Railway Station, which is 170 kilometres away. Guwahati Express, Ndls Bgp Express, Mas Njp Express, and Dbrt Rajdhani connect it to major cities such as Chennai, New Delhi, Howrah, Alipur, and Darjeeling.

 

Road: The Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) and certain private travel services connect Pelling to the rest of Sikkim’s cities. To go to Pelling, you can use a bus.

 

Things to Do Pelling

There are a variety of things to do here. Trekking and village walks, which include witnessing rural life and participating in organic farming operations, are two of Pelling’s most popular activities. Traditional house visits, cultural events, and Limboo storytelling sessions, as well as handcraft making, are some of the other fun things to do here. Bird watching, fishing at Rimbi, hot stone baths, and jungle walk with bird watching are just a few of the things that will make your vacation to Sikkim unique.

 

Legend of Pelling

 

Precautions:

 Keep unneeded loud noises to a minimum.

Avoid polluting the environment by littering.

 

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13. Zuluk (91 Km from Gangtok)

 

 

Zuluk (also known as Dzuluk, Jhuluk, or Juluk) is a small hamlet nestled in the lap of the eastern Himalayas in Sikkim, perched at a height of 10000 feet above mean sea level. The region is blessed with panoramic vistas of ice-capped mountains, deep gorges, dense woods and sparkling streams.

 

Zuluk prides itself on being a “virgin destination,” as it is rarely visited by seasonal tourists. Staying in homestays given by locals rather than commercial hotels is recommended for a better experience of the mesmerising locales and ultra-beautiful landscape. While walking along some of these trails, you may see Army jawans, jeeps, and tents.

 

Key Attractions

 Lungthung

Lungthung is around 4 kilometres from Zuluk and is known for its lush green tea farms, glossy green meadows, and rough mountainsides. The majority of the people that live here are Tibetan refugees. You may have a cup of local tea with some of them and listen to their fascinating stories about family history and culture. Alternatively, you may just bring some food and settle down for a picnic or a midday meal.

Lake Kupup

Kupup Lake, also known as Bitan Cho, is a high-elevation lake that sits at 14000 feet above sea level. It’s also known as Elephant Lake because of its elephant-like form. There is also a Yak Golf Course nearby, which is the world’s highest golf course. The Yak Golf Course, in partnership with Kupup Lake, hosts an annual water polo game that is a big deal in the area. From January through May, the lake is frozen.

Tukla

Tukla, 4 kilometres from Lungthung, is famous for the Battle of Tukla. Lt. Col Francis Younghusband led a special British army through here in 1903 to assault Tibet. That was the start of a horrific conflict. Several Tibetan warriors were killed in this battle. In honour of the troops who perished in the conflict, a memorial has been erected.

Valley of Nathang

The path or route from Tukla splits into two directions: one leads to Nathang Valley and the other to the Old Baba Mandir. Nathang Valley is the centre of the area’s homestays and hostels. You’ll find proper lodging, nice food, and a few tidbits here.

Lake Menmecho

Menmecho Lake is a little further distant from Zuluk, and it takes about an hour to get there. The lake is produced from the river Rongpo-Chu and is nestled between the mountains of Jeep la.

 

Zuluk Permit

Zuluk is located in East Sikkim’s restricted area and can only be visited after obtaining proper permits from officials. To access Zuluk, a special Line Permit is necessary, which may be obtained from either Rangli or Gangtok itself. The following documents must be brought with you: A passport or voter identification card (for adults) One photo ID card and a passport or birth certificate (for children under the age of 18). (School ID or Aadhar Card) At least four passport-size photos All of the above-mentioned documents should be photocopied. A foreign national, one from Pakistan, China, Myanmar or Bangladesh would need to obtain a permit after writing to the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi.

 

History of Zuluk

Zuluk was originally a key stop on the old Silk Route connecting Tibet and India, which was frequented by traders looking to sell silk items and handicrafts in India. It ran from Lhasa, Tibet, to Kalimpong, West Bengal, and was in operation until much later, even after China invaded Tibet.

 

Best Time to Visit

You can go to Zuluk in the summer, from August to September, to see the verdant valley blossoming with bright flowers. Alternatively, visit between January and April to experience frigid temperatures and abundant snowfall.

How To Reach

 

Zuluk is about 90 kilometres from Gangtok. From Gangtok, go either the Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir route or the route through Pakyong and Lingham. It will take a total of 4 hours. If you’re coming from somewhere other than Gangtok, such as Darjeeling, Pelling, NJP, or Bagdogra, you’ll need to stop in Rongpo first. To go to Zuluk, use the Rorathang path from here. If you’re coming from Bengal, you can reach Zuluk via Pedong, Reshi, and Aritar.

 

Things to Do Zuluk

  1. Bring enough warm clothing because the weather in Zuluk is bitterly cold, but travel light because you may need to move around.
  2. Only drink bottled water that you must bring from Rongli, Pedong, or Siliguri because there isn’t a single shop in the region.
  3. If you wish to drink alcohol, do so on your own. There are no shops that sell foreign booze in this town.
  4. Because there are no pharmacies or chemists in the area, bring some basic medicines with you, such as those for fever, headaches, stomach aches, and antiseptic ointments.
  5. Make sure you have adequate cash on hand for all of your transactions. In Zuluk, there are no ATMs and card payments are not accepted.

 

Legend of Zuluk

Thambi View Point

Your car will begin ascending high mountains as soon as you get to Zuluk. The famous Zig Zag Street makes a few dozen bends and curves to traverse the 14 km distance between Thambi and the viewpoint. At an elevation of 11,200 feet, it offers a spectacular sunrise vista. The whole eastern Himalaya, including Kanchenjunga, may be viewed from this vantage point. You’ll be surrounded by dense virgin backwoods, untouched and unaffected by modernity’s colours. You may also spend time here viewing large, brightly feathered species such as Satyr Tragopan and Himalayan Monal. You may also take a walk around and look for the first silk course. Several places of the stone-cleared roadway are still immaculate.

While on your way to Thambi View Point, you may also stop at the location where a group of locals claimed to have seen the Yeti. As you sit by the small fire in the night beneath the open twilight sky, the accounts of “Yeti,” “Bonzhakri,” and other old legends sound incredibly plausible. If you’re in Zuluk, you should definitely stop over and listen to the residents’ tales.

Precautions:

 Expect no contemporary facilities because this is a poor community where individuals have just been giving homestays for the past few years. The rooms are of a decent standard, with running water and a commode in the bathroom, but no television or a geyser. On-demand hot water will be available.

If you have respiratory problems, stay in Zuluk instead of Gnathang Vally. Visit Gnathang on your route to Kupup.

Don’t overthink things; simply take measures and enjoy your vacation.

 

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14. Rumtek Monastery (23 Km from Gangtok)

The Rumtek Monastery, built on top of a hill 23 kilometres from Gangtok, is one of Sikkim’s largest and most important monasteries. It belongs to the Kargyu Buddhist sect, which began in Tibet in the 12th century and was originally known as the Dharma Chakra Centre. The monastery is surrounded by lush green mountains, which provide a scenic pleasure as well as a focal point for spiritual consolation. Climbing to the top of the Rumtek Monastery provides a beautiful view of Gangtok town, which is located directly across the hill. Aside from that, the magnificent monastery’s architecture is among the best in the world.

 

The magnificent Rumtek Monastery has a gorgeous shrine temple as well as a monastery for monks, both of which were built to disseminate Buddhist teachings throughout the world. Monks, pilgrims, and visitors conduct Kora on the walkway that surrounds the magnificent building (a circuit round of the monastery). A golden stupa and numerous other sculptures from the 16th Karmapa have been preserved in the magnificent Rumtek Monastery. Apart from keeping some of the world’s most distinctive religious scriptures, it also functions as a storage facility for a variety of rare objects. The massive prayer hall, which is decorated with splendid murals, statues, and thangkhas, is a sight to behold within the stunning monastery.

History of Rumtek Monastery

The Rumtek Monastery, also known as the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center, was created in 1959 in Sikkim by His Holiness Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. It was initially built under the supervision of the 12th Karmapa, Changchub Dorje, in the mid-1700s. It is a world-famous Kagyu teaching centre founded by the first Karmapa, Dusum Kheyenpa. He meditated for four years and found inner peace. He was subsequently given complete transmission in the Kagyu tradition, which is referred to as ‘The Great Seal.’

The Karmapa Lineage’s profound knowledge and wisdom have been passed down through centuries, and the spirit of peace and harmony has been spread throughout the various incarnations of Karmapa.

 Location: The Rumtek Monastery is surrounded by lush green mountains and is about 23 kilometres from Gangtok. It serves as a visual as well as a spiritual getaway. The monastery’s architecture is strikingly similar to the Kagyu headquarters, one of Tibet Buddhism’s schools.

Best Time to Visit

The monastery is open all year, but the months of September to June are the best for visiting Rumtek Monastery.

How To Reach

Taking a private vehicle from Gangtok to Rumtek Monastery is the most convenient method to get there. However, you may also go for the more cheap option of using a shared vehicle. On NH31A, close to the Hotel Hungry Jack, you may rent a shared cab at the Gangtok Taxi Jeep Sevice Stand. From 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., it is open. Alternatively, you may take a bus from Gangtok to Rumtek regularly. The buses and taxis will drop you off below the monastery, where you will have to trek a lengthy and steep uphill path to the Rumtek Monastery’s main entrance.

Air: The nearest airport is Bagdogra in West Bengal, which is 124 kilometres from Gangtok. There is a daily helicopter service that runs between Bagdogra and Gangtok to cover civil flights. You may either take a bus or rent a cab to Gangtok from there.

Rail: The nearest railway stations to Gangtok are Siliguri (114 km) and New Jalpaiguri (NJP/125 km). You may then take a bus or a cab to Gangtok.

Road: Sikkim is well connected to Guwahati by decent roads, and there is a regular bus service from Bagdogra, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Calcutta.

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15. YumeSamdong

Yumesamdong, Sikkim’s pristine beauty, is a valley on the Lachung River about 15 kilometres ahead of Yumthang. It is located at 4724 m height in the state’s northeast corner and is generally known as the Zero point, which refers to civilization’s furthest reaches. There are no highways left, only snow-covered landscapes with a breathtaking pictures contrasting with the patchy blue sky in between the cool chilly air. The location is close to the Chinese border. As a result, it necessitates the acquisition of an Inner Line Permit, which may be obtained at the Tourist Information Center or from any licenced tour operator.

YumeSamdong Permit

 Yumesamdong – For domestic tourists, permission is granted by the Police Check Post, while for foreigners, a permit is issued by the Tourism Department and the Police Check Post.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

Yumesamdong Valley is best visited between March and May. Even though the area is mainly covered with snow, it is nevertheless accessible through passable roads during this season.

How To Reach

 Yumesamdong valley is around 26 kilometers from Yumthang valley, which is just an hour away by a winding mountain route (15300 ft). This location is not usually included in conventional itineraries, although it is frequently included as an add-on to Yumthang Valley. Because none of the other vehicles is allowed, one can hire a cab from a tour operator who is registered with Sikkim tourism.

Things to Do in YumeSamdong

Yumesamdong’s snow-capped mountains and ice-fed valley provide the ideal environment for capturing the finest of frigid nature. Yumesamdong can be combined with Yumthang Valley and Katao. Yumesamdong, often known as the Valley of Flowers due to its lush meadows and pleasant wind, is only an hour’s drive from Yumthang. Nearby, there is a valley known as Katao, which is sparsely covered with poppy, primulas, and rhododendron. If you want to learn more about Sikkim’s local culture and traditions, go to Lachung village, which is only 24 kilometres from Katao.

Legend of Yume Samdong

 The Yumesamdong valley is extremely near to Lachung, and the town of Lachung is frequently used as a one-stop-shop for visitors to the Yumesamdong valley. This location is situated in the northern region of Sikkim, at a height of 3000 feet above sea level. Yumesamdong is also accessible from Yumthang, which is 26 kilometres distant. Yumesamdong is approximately two hours away by car from Yumthang. This drive is one to look forward to since it takes you through the most beautiful area of the Himalayas.

The ride across the steep hill roads in the Himalayan foothills, surrounded by spectacular snow-capped peaks, can only be characterised as a “once in a lifetime adventure.”However, because this location is near the international boundary between China and India, authorization from the local authorities is required before visiting.

The distinctive aroma of the Rhododendron blooms that flood the valleys is Yume Samdong’s most striking feature. It’s best described as a vast natural basin surrounded by rocky peaks interspersed with unproven grazing fields.

 

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16. Tso Lhamo Lake

Key Attractions

 The Tso Lhamo Lake valley, with its eye-pleasing and jaw-dropping scenery, is at the top of the list of sites near Tso Lhamo Lake. Its splendour is enhanced by the Kangchenjunga mountain and the Tibetan Plateau. You’ll savour the gorgeous setting amid mountains and abundant biodiversity.

Tso Lhamo Lake Permit

A special Protected Area Permit is required for travellers visiting Tso Lhamo Lake in North Sikkim. They’ll require two copies of coloured, current passport-sized pictures and a piece of valid ID evidence such as an Aadhar Card, Passport, Voter ID, or Driver’s License.

In the case of a family excursion, each person will be required to present their identification. Students are allowed to bring their school/college IDs with photos. Foreign tourists must provide the Restricted Area Permit as well as two copies of passport-size pictures to get the same.

 Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

Except for the monsoons, which are the strongest nation and disrupt all roads and connections, the Tso Lhamo Lake in Sikkim is gorgeous all year. As a result, any time of year is a good time to visit Tso Lhamo Lake, depending on your preferences. Each season provides a unique experience. For instance, the spring season, which runs from March through April, provides a flora-rich experience.

 

The region is covered in orchids, rhododendrons, and other flowers during this time of year. At times, there is even a little snowfall. This is the best time to explore the valley and the Tso Lhamo Lake if you are a nature lover.

However, if you enjoy the snow, the months of December, January, and February are great. During this season, the whole Chopta Valley is blanketed with snow. The months of September and October are the finest for visiting the Tso Lhamo Lake in North Sikkim. During this period, the sky is clear and the weather is more dependable. Getting to this altitude is simpler during this time of year. You may arrange your journey properly to avoid any potential problems later on.

 

How To Reach

Reaching Tso Lhamo Lake is difficult due to the elevation, the inclement weather, the somewhat deteriorated route, and the necessity for Sikkim police clearances. Those who are fortunate enough to obtain permission are treated to one of nature’s most beautiful vistas.

 

The topic of how to go to Tso Lhamo Lake is probably on your mind. There are a variety of options available to suit your needs. Bagdogra Airport, the nearest airport, is four and a half hours distant from Lachen. You may easily travel by taking a flight from your location to Bagdogra Airport. Taxis are available as you check out. Taxis are available for rent from the airport for Lachen and Lake if you’re lucky.

Tso Lhamo Lake in Sikkim may also be reached by train through Darjeeling. Most of Sikkim’s major cities, including Siliguri, Sukna, Tindharia, Mahanadi, Dilaram, Sonada, Jorebungalow, and Ghum, are connected by the Darjeeling railway station. From these railway stations, taxis are once again accessible.

 

Sikkim State Road Transport offers a large number of buses that run to Lachen, and some private companies also provide taxis. If you hire a cab to get to Tso Lhamo Lake, they will handle the permitting process for you.

 

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17. Thangu

 

Thangu, at an elevation of roughly 3900 metres, is a lovely town about two hours drive from Lachen. It is a pleasant village where visitors frequently unwind before embarking on a journey to Gurugongmar Lake, Muguthang Lake, or Cho Lhamu Lake. The rows of trees can be seen in Thangu Valley, and when one climbs higher, the breathtaking Tibetan Plateau panorama opens out. This charming village is an ideal starting point for nature enthusiasts.

The best time to visit the mesmerising Thangu Valley is between May and June, when the entire valley is adorned with vivid alpine flowers, and between October and March when the thick snow covers these exquisite flower beds. The village’s charm is enhanced by the beautiful hiking paths that go from Thangu to areas like Chopta Valley and Muguthang. Because Thangu is so close to the Indian-Chinese border, it also has a large military installation.

 Thangu Permit

For domestic tourists, permission is granted by the Police Check Post; for foreigners, a permit is issued by the Tourism Department and the Police Check Post. For visits to these places, foreigners must apply through a Sikkim Tourism authorised Travel Agent in parties of two or more.

 Geography and Climate

It lies in the Alpine range of mountains, at a high height of 3962m, and offers a different way of living. Serene is laid-back, and far from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life. The dwellings are modest and cosy, and the residents still cook and perform errands using old-fashioned techniques. A kitchen garden and shed are found in almost every home. Because it is next to an army installation, there is a lot of monitoring in this region, and photography is prohibited. People from the army may be seen moving around. Thangu is an excellent place to stop and take in the splendour of the mountains up close.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

Between November and June is the ideal time to visit Thangu since the weather is good during this time of year. Summers are pleasant, and an annual yak race known as Thangu is held here each year. Thangu may be rather chilly in the winter. During the winter months, the famed Gurdongmar Lake nearby freezes completely, creating a stunning sight.

 

How To Reach

The Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport to Sikkim. Thangu may be reached via shared jeeps or buses from here.

 

Rail: The nearest train station is New Jalpaiguri, from where a bus or private automobile may be taken. Thangu and New Jalpaiguri are 147 kilometres apart.

You may drive from Lachen to Thangu by road. Thangu and Lachen are 27 kilometres apart.

Things to Do in Thangu

Thangu is a little town where many travellers acclimate before seeing Gurudongmar Lake or Muguthang. The wooden cottages and army barracks dot the alpine meadows. The tranquil water of the Teesta, which flows through the valley, creates a stunning contrast. The valley of Thangu, which is mostly populated by Nomadic tribes, is crisscrossed by a variety of streams and rivulets, the most prominent of which are Chopta Chu, Thangu Chu, and Lassur Chu.

Some guests who want to walk and explore the region might take the paths from Thangu to Chopta Valley and Muguthang.

 

Legend of Thangu

 This lake, adjacent to Thangu Valley, is 1710 feet above sea level and is home to yaks and other high-altitude animals from Tibet and Sikkim. It is one of the world’s 15 tallest lakes, and it will enchant you with its stunning and magnificent splendour. Its spectacular beauty attracts visitors from all over the world. Many travellers bring the water from this lake back home because they think it has medicinal properties.

Precautions:

 Because Thangu does not offer jeep rental alternatives, make sure you book a vehicle well in advance, ideally in Gangtok. Thangu serves as a rest stop for trekkers heading to Chopta Valley, Muguthang, and Green Lake. Make sure you spend some time acclimating to the high elevations in Thangu.

 

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18.   Yuksom (122 Km from Gangtok)

Yuksom is a lovely village in Sikkim’s western area, and the village is noted for its natural beauty. The settlement of Yuksom is nestled in the centre of mountains covered in rich green flora, close to the Kanchenjunga National Park. The town serves as a gateway to Mount Kanchenjunga’s base camp. Yuksom is thus a popular tourist destination and the starting point for some of Sikkim’s most challenging treks. There are several intriguing tourist things to explore here and the local food is a must-try.

Yuksom hamlet is historically significant to the Sikkimese as it is where the first Chogyal was anointed in 1642. Yuksom is home to several religious and historical landmarks, including the earliest monasteries in Sikkim, the Dubdi and Sangachoeling monasteries. The picturesque Khecheopalri Lake, which the Sikkimese regard as sacred, is another famous tourist site in the vicinity. Although it does not afford excellent views of the high mountains, Yuksom is a historic and picturesque town that serves as the trailhead for the Khangchendzonga Trek.

Key Attractions

Dubdi Monastery, also known as Yuksom Monastery, is a Buddhist sanctuary in Yuksom dedicated to the Nyingma branch of Tibetan Buddhism. It was founded in 1701, under the reign of Chogyal Namgyal, and is one of Sikkim’s oldest monasteries, with significant historical value. The literal meaning of the name ‘Dubdi’ is ‘the refuge,’ and its mesmerising hilltop setting within the thick chestnut forest vividly demonstrates this. A short walk to the monastery takes you through a natural paradise adorned with fine tall trees and a beautiful stoned road that finally leads to a panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains, distant valleys, and vegetation.

Yuksom Permit

 Yuksom’s Inner Line Permit is sufficient.

If you are not an Indian, though, you must travel with a guide.

History of Yuksom

 Yuksom is a historical town in the West Sikkim district of the Northeast Indian state of Sikkim, located in the Geyzing subdivision. Phuntsog Namgyal, the first Chogyal (temporal and religious ruler) of Sikkim, founded it as the Kingdom of Sikkim’s initial capital in 1642 AD.

Yuksom, which means “three lamas’ meeting place,” is the ancient capital of Sikkim, founded in 1642 AD. For Buddhists, it is unquestionably a pilgrimage site. Yuksom is now a little town with a bazaar of a few modest roadside stores selling food and household things, a few cafés, and a happy population. Yuksom is more of a social community since it attracts people who use the town as a base for hiking adventures. Still, while shopping in town is restricted, it’s better to pack the essentials.

Geography and Climate

Yuksom’s temperature and environment are pleasant all year round, given its natural location. The weather in Yuksom, which is situated at a moderate height, is nice from March to June and September to November, with the coldest months being December and February during the winter season.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

Yuksom has good weather all year, so you may visit this town whenever you want. The months of March, April, May, and June are the finest months to visit this location.

How To Reach

Bagdogra, about 170 kilometres from Yuksam, is the nearest airport. You’ll need to take a bus or taxi to Yuksam from here.

 New Jalpaiguri (NJP), roughly 150 kilometres from Yuksam, is the nearest railway station. A cab may be hired from NJP to Yuksam.

Road: The road to Yuksam is poorly lighted, thus it is not recommended to go through it at night. So, catch an early bus from the train station or the airport.

Things to Do in Yuksom

Trekking

Yuksom is a popular hiking destination, and the following are some of the recommended routes:

Yuksom to Dzongri Walk: The gorgeous Sikkim terrain, towering mountains such as Kabru, Ratong, Kanchenjunga, Koktang, Panding, and Narsing, can all be seen on the route to this trek. Beautiful waterfalls and sunset spots, such as Tiger Hill, will also be visible.

Pemayangtse to Yuksom Journey: A six-hour trek via Barey and Oranges leads to Yuksom.

Yuksom to Bakhim is a five-hour journey through lush woods and mountain ranges ranging from 2500 to 3500 metres.

It’s a six-hour hike from Bakhim to Dzongri and back, passing through magnificent flower fields.

Bakhim to Yuksom to Pemayangtse: It takes 4 hours to return to Yuksom. After that, it’s time to return to Darjeeling, which is a magnificent drive down the Teesta River.

Pay a visit to the Basudha Farm.

The farm is 30 kilometres from Yuksom and can be accessed by vehicle or cab in less than an hour from Bishnupur.

The Biodiversity Festival is a must-see.

Yuksom is well-known for hosting a Biodiversity Festival, which teaches people about the importance of maintaining the world’s ecology and history.

Legend of Yuksom

 Yuksom’s beauty can only be appreciated on foot because it is a tiny community. In around 2 hours, you can walk around the entire town. People will pass through a variety of stores and places of worship along the journey, many of which are charming.

Precautions:

Because it borders China, Western visitors must first get a Restricted Access Permit before visiting and, more importantly, before hiking. With your Indian visa and passport, you may obtain this permission at Sikkim Tourism Offices in Delhi, Kolkata, Siliguri, Rangpo, Darjeeling, and Melli (boundary) (have two passports photos, in case). This permit is valid for 60 days for foreign tourists. This does not apply to Indian tourists. The licences are free, although they require some work to get.

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19. Hanuman Tok

Hanuman Tok is a well-known Gangtok temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman and maintained by the Indian Army. The regal temple, which stands at a height of 7,200 feet, is set against the Kanchenjunga peak, the world’s third-highest mountain. Hanuman Tok’s unique beauty makes you experience it wholeheartedly while keeping you connected to nature.

The vista of the massive hills around Gangtok’s main city is mesmerizing, and as you reach the top, the snow-capped peaks of Kanchenjunga and the majestic Himalayan range leave you speechless. You may go to Hanuman Tok before 5:00 a.m. to see the sunrise, which is quite breathtaking.

History of Hanuman Tok

 The Indian army looks after the temple, which is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It was founded in 1952.

Geography and Climate

The Hanuman Tok, at a height of 7200 feet above sea level, is a magnificent architectural edifice. The temple is a tall structure perched on a ledge above the road. To get to the main temple, one must climb some flights of paved steps flanked by lovely gardens and fountains. The temple’s seats and gardens are lush with flowers and foliage. The temple is a peaceful location to visit and a haven of refuge for anybody. The trek to the temple is strenuous, but it is doable. Furthermore, the ascent will transport tourists to the temple, where they will be able to offer prayers and see the breathtaking view of Kanchenjunga.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

Between January and March, when the weather is warm and agreeable, is the best time to see the Hanuman Tok.

How To Reach

Hanuman Tok is easily accessible because it is a well-known Gangtok tourist attraction that is frequently included on sightseeing trips. It’s around 11 kilometres from the city centre, on the Gangtok-Nathula Highway. To go to Hanuman Tok, you can rent a cab from the hotel where you are staying. You must ascend the cemented stairs to the summit after arriving at the parking lot. But don’t worry; the ascent is simple and manageable, and the paved steps provide seats for resting in between.

Legend of  Hanuman Tok

According to legend, Hanuman Tok was where Lord Hanuman slept while transporting Sanjeevni to Lanka from the Himalayas. People used to worship a stone that was located here in the open for a long time until Appaji Pant (an officer) constructed a statue of Lord Hanuman after having a dream about this sacred spot in the 1950s. At Hanuman Tok, it is claimed that all wishes are granted, attracting a large number of residents as well as tourist pilgrims from all over the country. This land was transferred to the Indian army in 1968, and the army has maintained and conserved it ever since.

Precautions

  1. Wear suitable footwear because the sanctum sanctorum must be walked barefoot. Also, avoid wearing socks because the spot is almost always moist.

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20. Ganesh Tok

 

Ganesh Tok is a popular viewpoint in Gangtok with a tiny shrine. The tiny spot, perched on a hill, offers mind-blowing views – the Kanchenjunga hill can be viewed in all its grandeur from here, and is especially beautiful in the morning. At a distance of 6500 metres, the Ganesh Tok viewpoint provides breathtaking views of the snow-covered Himalayas. However, the temple (dedicated to Lord Ganesh) is so small that only one person can enter at a time. With its bizarre ­­­surroundings and soothing atmosphere, the exquisite location brings you closer to nature.

The Ganesh Tok Temple is tiny. Flags of various colours are tied over the stairwell to make it stand out. Before entering the temple, there is a location where shoes may be stored and hands can be cleansed. In front of the temple, which is the major feature of the area, there is also a lounge and a balcony. Ganesh Tok is surrounded by gorgeous mountains, hills, and scenery. It is so congested that worshippers are forced to worship Lord Ganesha on all fours.

Hanuman Tok, dedicated to Lord Hanuman, is located near Ganesh Tok at an elevation of 7200 feet, 11 kilometres from Gangtok, and provides a spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga range.

Though Ganesh Tok is open all year, the months of December to February are very cold. Due to huge landslides, the monsoon season should also be avoided. The best time to visit the area is during the spring season, which runs from March through June. The sky is clear, and the temperature is still nice. It’s also the greatest time to try out all of the adventurous activities.

History of  Ganesh Tok

 The Ganesh Temple is the exact translation of the term ‘tok,’ which means ‘temple’ in the local language. The modest and colourful Hindu temple, built in 1953, provides tourists with magnificent views of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga mountains and the city of Gangtok.

Geography and Climate

It is one of Sikkim’s most prominent Ganesh temples, located 6,500 metres above sea level on a magnificent mountaintop. It can be accessed after a 7-kilometre difficult climb from the main town.

It is located near Tashi Viewpoint on a hill next to Sikkim’s television tower and provides wonderful views of the city and, on a clear day, the beautiful Khangchendzonga, the world’s third tallest peak.

The way to Ganesh tok is almost like a rainbow, with multicoloured prayer patakas (flags) hoisted and knotted across the roads.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

Anytime is the best time to visit Ganesh Tok.

How To Reach

The route to Ganesh Tok is 7 kilometres from Gangtok town, and it is adorned with Tibetan prayer flags, providing for a colourful excursion. The best option for getting to and from the temple is to rent a cab. Because there is a parking lot nearby, this shouldn’t be a difficult ascent.

 Things to do

A circular balcony and a viewing lounge surround the temple, providing a panoramic view of huge green areas, the Raj Bhavan complex, and the entire town of Gangtok in all its splendour.

Although the temple is so little that it can barely fit one person, it remains a key draw for all tourists visiting Gangtok.

Ganesh Tok, around 4 kilometres from the temple and frequently visited by visitors when visiting Hanuman Tok is a must-see for anybody considering a trip to Gangtok.

Legend:

 The temple shrine houses a finely crafted statue of Lord Ganesh that is so little that pilgrims must crawl to get to it. The prayer flags strung along the route contribute to the temple’s vivid and upbeat atmosphere. If you time your vacation to coincide with Ganesh Chaturthi, a 10-day Hindu celebration, you will be able to observe a variety of Hindu ceremonies. The temple is decorated with lights and flowers, and hymns are sung before an Aarti ritual and fireworks, creating a magical air of divinity.

 

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21. Sikkim Himalayan Zoological Park

The Himalayan Zoological Park, located near Bulbuley, 3 kilometres from Gangtok, is a must-see for all animal enthusiasts. From here, at a height of 1780 metres, one may obtain a spectacular view of Mount Kanchenjunga. Himalayan Zoological Park, which opened in 1991, was the first of its sort in India’s north-eastern region. The park satisfies all of the characteristics of a zoo, in that the animals are maintained in controlled environments, are protected, and are tamed without annoying them, allowing them to live in their natural habitat. The park is home to a variety of species including the snow leopard cat, goral, Himalayan palm civet, and Himalayan red panda. It is spread out over 205 hectares of land in a rocky environment.

This first-ever zoological park in Sikkim is maintained by the Government of Sikkim’s Forests, Environment, and Wildlife Management Department. A 2.5-kilometre road goes through the park and maybe driven or walked on. If you want to walk, keep in mind that it will take a long time to reach the habitats. As a result, it is recommended that you rent a car for around half a day and tour the zoo. The zoo has a café, souvenir store, drinking water stations, washrooms, and a lookout from which you can get a great view over the entire region.

Key Attractions

Many rare and endangered animal species may be found in the Himalayan Zoological Park. From pleasant green terrain to deep rainforests, the zoo encompasses a wide range of ecosystems. Himalayan Black Bears, Red Pandas, Snow Leopards, Common Leopards, Leopard Cats, Clouded Leopards, Tibetan Wolfs, Himalayan Palm Civets, Large Indian Civets, Bharals, Gorals, Barking Deer, Yaks, Porcupines, and more animals may be found at the zoo. A wide variety of birds may be seen here, including Silver Pheasant, Golden Pheasant, Kalij, Lady Amherst Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, and others.

The animals are maintained in open enclosures due to the size of the land. A watchtower with a panoramic view of the zoo and its surroundings is one of the tourist attractions. You may also visit the café and gift store, as well as the washrooms and drinking water stations.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

From mid-February to May, and later from mid-September to December, are the best times to visit the Himalayan Zoological Park. You will have a wonderful time because the weather in the area is so lovely at this time of year.

How To Reach

The park is located at Bulbulay, around 6 kilometres from Gangtok. The Himalayan Zoological Park is reached through a narrow walkway that runs parallel to Ganesh Tok. You can easily get here by taking a cab, which is the ideal choice for exploring this steep landscape.

 

Precautions:

  • Inside the zoo, no polythene bags or plastic bottles are permitted.
  • Maintain a clean environment.
  • Put on a pair of comfy shoes that will allow you to stroll freely.
  • Feeding animals on your own is not a good idea.
  • Do not place the cameras in front of the animals’ faces.
  • Maintain silence and refrain from speaking aloud.
  • To fit in with the zoo, dress in earth tones.

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22. Phodong Monastery

Phodong Monastery, located in Phodong, Sikkim, near Gangtok, is one of the state’s six most prominent Buddhist monasteries. The monastery is a very important Buddhist pilgrimage site in addition to being a famous tourist destination. The monastery, which has stunning architecture with brilliant coloured exteriors and delicate interiors covered with magnificent paintings, murals, and frescoes, is also regarded as one of the most beautiful in the country. At the moment, it is home to roughly 260 monks.

The Phodong Monastery is situated at a vantage position of 4500 metres, with a beautiful backdrop of lush green hills in the distance and a tranquil valley below.

History of  Phodong Monastery

In 1740 AD, the fourth monarch of Sikkim, Gyurmed Namgyal, constructed Phodong Monastery. It is one of three significant Kagyu sect monasteries in Sikkim and belongs to the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. The monastery was devastated by an earthquake over time, and the Lamas rebuilt it in 1977.

Geography and Climate

It is located 28 kilometres from Gangtok. It was built in the early 18th century but an older monastery had pre-existed the current one.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

the greatest time to visit the Phodong Monastery is during the Phodong Festival, which takes place in late December or early January. When the monastery is decked out in lights and streamers, you may join in the festivities. The area comes alive with celebrations, making for an unforgettable experience.

How To Reach

The Phodong Festival, which takes place in late December or early January, is the best time to visit the monastery. You are welcome to participate in the festivities when the monastery is decked out in lights and streamers. Celebrations abound throughout the region, providing for a unique experience.

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23.  Chopstick, Gangtok

 This Chinese restaurant can provide a delectable meal for you and provide a superb dining experience. It is easily accessible due to its market position. You may have a beer here while eating Chinese or Sikkimese food.

It has a nice vibe, courteous service, and terrific uptown music, making it a great time and experience for the money. Chopstick greets you with open arms, friendly service and delectable meals.

MG Marg, Vishal Gaon, Gangtok, Sikkim 737102 is the address.

For two people, the usual cost is between INR 700 and 1500.

Chinese, Asian, vegan, and vegetarian cuisines are available.

Opening Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week.

Specialities: Chilly pork, grilled fish, fish fingers with cheese, and spicy chicken are all specialities.

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24. Crumbs N Whips, Namchi

This stylish coffee shop doubles as a pizzeria, serving delectable pizza and pasta. The cafe sells vegetarian burgers, grilled sandwiches, and subs, all of which are influenced by American fast-food culture. On top of that, you’ll see posters of The Beatles, Kurt Cobain, and a slew of other American musicians and bands on the walls.

Crumbs N Whips serves fast nibbles and cheesy pleasures alongside freshly made coffee and refreshing shakes, as the name implies.

Location: Namchi 737126, India | Jorethang Road | Zero Point

For two people, the average cost is between INR 500 and 1000.

Italian, Chinese, pastry goods and wine pours are among the cuisines available.

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Hawaiian pizza, cheese grilled sandwiches, vanilla shakes, and cool drinks are all specialities.

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25. 9ine Native Cuisine Restaurant, Gangtok

Sikkim has numerous attractions and travelling all day might be exhausting. You’ll need to relax and eat at some time, and that’s where the 9ine Native Cuisine Restaurant comes in.

This is one of Gangtok’s most prominent restaurants, specialising in traditional Tibetan food. Other international meals are also available. They provide a range of local delicacies in addition to momos and thukpa. You will get a true sense of Sikkim after eating here.

M G Marg, Gangtok is the location.

Price: One person may dine here for Rs. 200 or less on average.

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26. Taste Of Tibet Restaurant, Gangtok

The Taste Of Tibet Restaurant has been a popular dining destination for visitors and residents alike due to its convenient location and reputation as an authentic diner. In terms of aesthetics, the restaurant has kept things basic, focusing instead on providing you with the best genuine Tibetan food. All visitors to this Sikkim tourist attraction are enamoured by it.

The chicken shape, which is their speciality, must be ordered here. They do, however, specialise in practically all regional cuisines. The food at Taste Of Tibet Restaurant is reasonably priced, yet the quality is not compromised.

Location: The address is MG Marg, Vishal Gaon, Gangtok.

Time: The best time to visit is between 11 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The cost is Rs. 300 per person.

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27. Taste Of Sikkim Restaurant, Ravangla

Restaurants aren’t often thought of as tourist attractions, but the Taste Of Sikkim Restaurant is one of the best locations to visit in Sikkim. When you’re hungry, it’s one of the greatest locations to be in the market area.

It may sound unusual, but when there is no electricity and you eat at candlelight tables, the Taste of Sikkim Restaurant becomes even more lovely. The pleasure of having the tastiest momos, soup, and noodles served to you by an always-smiling crew is relaxing. It also welcomes local musicians with open arms.

Location: Ravangla Bazar is located on Ralong Road.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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  1. Dynasty Wine And Dine, Gangtok

Dynasty Wine and Dine is a top-notch restaurant to visit in Gangtok, leaving no space for any type of flaws in their cuisine, services, ambience, or cleanliness. Dynasty Wine and Dine will wow you from the first bite of whatever item you sample here, from delectable appetisers to enticing drinks and mocktails, from spicy Chinese meals to icy sweets.

It has great cuisine and is highly recommended by Chinese food aficionados. It is located near to the ropeway. If you want dim sum in a stunning Himalayan environment with a well-kept interior, this is the place to go.

Location: Ropeway Building | Namnang, Gangtok, India (737101)

For two people, the typical cost is around INR 1000.

Cuisines: Chinese, Asian, and vegetarian cuisines are available.

Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week.

Specialities: Chicken loaded nachos, pan-fried noodles, walnut toffee, steamed fish, and dimsums are some of the restaurant’s specialities.

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29. Baker’s Cafe, Gangtok

If you enjoy country music and don’t mind eating fast food without gaining weight, the Baker’s Cafe is just up your alley with a diverse menu.

Begin with an organic ginger tea, then fill up on pancakes, paninis, and hummus, before finishing with a freshly baked dessert. A slice of pastry or a scoop of ice cream would make you feel like royalty.

Location: Arithang, Gangtok, Sikkim 737101 Mahatma Gandhi Marg

For two people, the typical cost is between INR 700 and INR 2000.

Italian, American fast food and vegan specialities are among the cuisines available.

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Specialities: Pizza, Pasta, Wedges, Burgers, and Cocktails are among the restaurant’s specialities.

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30. Mu Kimchi, Gangtok

Mu Kimchi can satisfy your taste buds with flawlessly prepared meat, salads, and other chopstick meals if you are an enthusiastic lover of Korean food who is very concerned about how well the meat on your plate is cooked. Even if you have never experienced traditional Korean cuisine and want to, this is one of the spots in Sikkim where you may do so without hesitation.

Mu Kimchi is an attractive alternative thanks to its darkly illuminated braided lamps, cosy environment, bamboo ceiling, and unique setting. Please keep in mind that you’ll have to climb roughly 80 stairs to get to Mu Kimchi’s meal.

Location: Namnang Road, Gangtok 737101, India (opposite Sikkim Express).

The average cost for two people is around INR 2000.

Cuisines: Asian and Korean cuisines are available.

Opening Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week.

Specialities: Kimbap (Korean sushi) and bulgogi (beef and pork) sets are specialities.

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31. Namchi

Namchi, the South District’s district headquarters, is a bustling market town that has swiftly grown into a popular tourist destination. The two massive sculptures are the principal tourist attractions of Namchi, which means “Top of the Sky.” These two massive sculptures, which face one other from opposing slopes across Namchi, draw a large number of tourists each year. Namchi is located in a lovely area with a great view of the Khangchendzonga mountain and the Rangit valley. The Sherdup Choeling Monastery and the Dichen Choeling Monastery are also nearby.

Namchi is the seat of the South Sikkim district, which is rapidly becoming a tourist destination because of its pilgrimage centres. It is also worth visiting the world’s biggest statue, which is located here. In Namchi, a lot of luxury hotels are being built, and the current ones provide adequate amenities for you to have a pleasant stay. Tourists will find the baths and bars in this town to be quite pleasant. The historic Ngadak monastery is around two kilometres from Namchi. The highly stunning Rock Garden, located on a hill directly above Ngadak monastery, is a famous tourist destination because of the numerous distinctive flowers and plants that bloom every spring.

Key Attractions

 Tendong Hill is one of Sikkim’s most romantic spots, set in a tranquil setting. Locals think that the hill keeps floods and disasters at bay. This is one of Sikkim’s most stunning sites, as well as an excellent hiking location in South Sikkim.

This hill, located at an elevation of 8530 feet and surrounded by deep forest, provides an amazing perspective of the surrounding mountains and plains. The Chola range in the east, the Singalila range in the west, Nathu La, Darjeeling, and parts of the West Bengal lowlands, as well as Gangtok town, are all visible from here. You may get here by hiking from Damthang. In addition, you may see a diverse range of lush flora and animals while hiking.

History of  Namchi

 Pende Ongmoo, the wicked princess who poisoned one of Sikkim’s Chogyals, was captured and slain for her crime at Namchi, according to legend. Her soul, according to legend, still haunts the Ghurpisey slopes.

Geography and Climate

Namchi sits at a height of 1,675 metres (5500 feet) above sea level. It is located 78 kilometres (48 miles) from Gangtok, the state capital, and 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Siliguri, the nearest railhead and airport. Namchi is located between Melli and Jorethang, off the beaten path. Namchi is well linked to neighbouring places in West Bengal and Sikkim. Namchi to Gangtok, Pelling, Jorethang, Kalimpong, and Siliguri is served by Jeeps and buses on a regular basis.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

The summer months of Namchi include March, April, May, and June. Summers have temperatures as high as twenty-eight degrees (28°C) and as low as ten degrees (10°C). The weather is favourable throughout this time, making it a perfect time to explore the town. You must, however, bring winter clothes. The monsoon season in Namchi delivers plenty of rain and cool temperatures. The winter months in Namchi include October, November, December, January, and February. These months may be extremely cool, so bringing along some woollen clothes is essential.

 

How To Reach

Namchi does not have an airport of its own. The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, which is 100 kilometres away from town. To go to Namchi, you’ll need to take a bus or a cab from here.

 

Rail: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri, which is around 90 kilometres from Namchi and is connected to most of India’s main cities.

 

Road: Buses go from Namchi to the nearest train station or airport. Namchi is well connected to the rest of Sikkim by road.

Things to see in  Namchi

 Namchi Garden is a Japanese word that means “garden

Sri Pawan Chamling established the Namchi Rock Garden at the base of Samdruptse Hill in 2005. (Chief Minister of Sikkim). The natural park, one of the most stunning tourist attractions in Namchi, Sikkim, boasts a diverse range of trees, blooms, and plants. A few stunning overlooks, water bodies, and lush foliage may be seen on the way to Namchi Rock Garden.

Take a stroll around this garden and marvel at the beauty of the flowering petals. The Samdruptse Cable Car is another attraction of this landscape. In this garden, you may see a variety of plants, blossoming blooms, and trees. As you wander through this magnificent garden in Namchi, Sikkim, make the most of nature’s splendour. This is one of Namchi’s many tourist attractions that will captivate you with its all-encompassing beauty. The venue has a minimal admission fee of INR 30 per person and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Solophok Rose Garden

Rose Garden Solophok is one of the most natural linking spots on your Sikkim holiday that you should not miss. When compared to other rose gardens in Sikkim, Rose Garden Solophok is a unique location. Many different rose varieties may be found here, distributed across 23 different parts of the land. You may also purchase plants and souvenirs from this location. If you’re searching for an out-of-the-ordinary Sikkim experience, this rose garden should be on your list. You may also stop by any of the cafés and enjoy a delicious meal.

Temi Tea Garden is located in Temi, Japan.

Imagine a vast zone surrounded by vegetation wherever you look! Isn’t it going to be a wonderful sight to relieve your eyes? If you want to see such areas, go to Temi Tea Garden in Namchi, which has been maintained by the Government of Sikkim since 1969. The tea garden covers 440 acres and employs 400 people who work long days and nights to maintain it. For the ultimate picturesque experience in Namchi, make sure to include this tea garden on your Sikkim itinerary.

Legend of  Namchi

Buddha Park

Another exquisite spot is n Sikkim, Buddha Park in Ravangla (otherwise known as Ravangla) otherwise called Tathagata Tsal, 30kms from Namchi town. Spread more than 23 sections of land, this parkland has a transcending sitting sculpture of Buddha which is 137ft 22inch tall. The essence of the sculpture is covered with 3.5kgs of gold. It is the tallest metal sculpture of Buddha on the planet. The sculpture is situated on a hillock. The park has clear pathways that are encompassed by mountains and woods.

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  1. Tashi Viewpoint

This beautiful tiny Tashi View Point is an ideal spot to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and Gangtok itself. This popular tourist destination is around 8 kilometres from town and is noted for having some of the best sunrise and sunset views. As the sun slowly moves away from this vantage position, one can see the Kanchenjunga and Siniolchu Peaks change colour, as well as the famed monasteries of Gangtok, Phodong, and Labrang. Tourists may relax and enjoy refreshing refreshments while taking in the breathtaking scenery, as well as purchase gifts from the shops set up here.

Tashi View Point is a popular spot for nature enthusiasts since it allows them to spend some quiet time away from the crowds, surrounded by the sound of birds and breeze. The best thing is that admission is free; however, if you want to use the binoculars or telescope to get a closer look at the captivating surroundings of Sikkim’s capital, you will be charged a minimum of Rs 10/-.

Tashi View Point’s Attractions

Tashi View Point is known for its scenic views and tranquil surroundings. At the top of the Point, there is a park. It is a lovely park that attracts a large number of local and out-of-town visitors. It’s a popular picnic site as well as a place to rest and unwind. The best time to visit Tashi View Point in Sikkim is at dawn.

The Phodong Monastery and the Labrang Monastery, which are located on the opposite hill, are also worth seeing. The Kanchenjunga Peak is beautifully framed by the brilliant morning sky.

From this vantage point, the forests in the neighbouring mountains appear to be close. Through the binoculars, one might be able to spot some wild animals if one is lucky. From here, you can see the other hills in the area. One of the mountains in the area is Mt. Sinilochu.

Things to do

Tashi View Point offers a variety of activities.

Here are some activities to do in Gangtok at Tashi View Point.

Take in the breathtaking scenery.

From here, you can see Mount Kanchenjunga and Sinioluchu.

Obtain binoculars and hunt for the monasteries of Phodong and Labrang. There are also unusual birds to be seen.

Enjoy snacks and tea while admiring the scenery from Tashi’s cafeteria.

Location: It is located in Tashi, about 8 kilometres from Gangtok. On a clear day, it provides a panoramic picture of Kanchenjunga’s snow-capped peaks. In reality, the morning vista from here is unforgettably beautiful, with the peaks gleaming with changing colour.

Weather: 19°C

Timings : 5:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Tim Required: 1-2 hours

Things to see

The location is well-known for its breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. The nicest views of Mt Kanchenjunga, Mt Siniolchu, Phodong Monastery, and Labrang Monastery can be seen from here. You can’t help but take pictures of the magnificent sights that Tashi View Point has to offer during your visit.

 

Precautions not need not need to pay a charge to enter. Pay INR 10 to access a spot where you can use a binocular or a telescope to see even more magnificent vistas.

Isn’t it tempting to go to Tashi View Point because of the gorgeous valleys that surround it? Visiting this location is something you will never regret doing in your entire life. It is a must-see destination for all nature enthusiasts and should be at the top of your bucket list.

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33. Kanchenjunga Falls

Kanchenjunga Waterfalls is a gorgeous waterfall in the lovely hill town of Pelling, Sikkim, located 10 kilometres from Yuksom and 24 kilometres from Pelling. It is one of Sikkim’s greatest waterfalls and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pelling.

Kanchenjunga Falls is a year-round waterfall about an hour’s drive from Pelling in the direction of Yuksom. The immaculate waterfall is thought to spring high in the glaciers of Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak. It cascades into a pool from a height of 100 feet. Kanchenjunga Falls was unknown to the general public and remained so until the 1990s. It was until accidently found by a local tour operator named Topjor Bhutia that it became famous.

Key attractions:

A waterfall that gushes continuously throughout the year has a certain allure & is the biggest attraction. Kanchenjunga Falls, which fall down from a height of around 100 feet, is a major tourist and local attraction. The perpetual, double-pronged waterfall twists its way among black stones and jutting-out branches, forming little freshwater pools.

The beautiful splendor of the area attracts visitors, making it a great picnic destination. If you’re visiting Sikkim with your family, this waterfall is ideal because it’s accessible all year.

Location: It is 25  kilometres from Pelling and takes around half an hour to travel there.

Timing: It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Fee: The waterfall is open to the public and is free to see.

How to reach

Gangtok is a 5-hour drive from Kanchenjunga Falls. This waterfall is about 7-8 kilometres away if you’re visiting Yuksom, as most Sikkim trips do. There is a steep bend in the road where a few shanties selling food and drinks have set up shop. The waterfall is reached through a stone staircase (about 50 steps).

Kanchenjunga Falls is located in the western town of Pelling, and it takes an hour to get there through the Pelling-Rimbi Road.

There is a little cost of ₹20 to enter.

Best time to reach

The best time to visit Kanchenjunga Falls is right after the rainy season has ended. The waterfall gushes in all its splendour at this point, and the vegetation shines out against the granite surface.

The waterfall’s perpetual nature ensures that you will never be disappointed when visiting this tourist destination. During the summer, beams of sunlight illuminate the waterfall, giving the impression of travelling through the forests of a mythical country.

The Falls are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Try to get there as soon as it opens or immediately before it closes. You’ll avoid the crowds and be able to enjoy a calm walk in the woods.

Precautions

These waterfalls are best visited during the day.

To get to the waterfall’s foothills, you’ll have to climb a bit.

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34. Rabdentse Ruins

 

The historic ruins of the Old Rabdentse Palace may be found on the lower hillside to the south-east of Pemayangtse Monastery in Pelling, Sikkim. Rabdentse was Sikkim’s second capital until 1814 AD. The former palace and monastery are now completely destroyed, and the Archeological Survey of India is in charge of maintaining and restoring them. All history buffs should pay a visit to this archaeological site. The view from the Rabdentse Ruins of the entire valley below and Kanchenjunga summit is incredibly breathtaking and should not be missed.

Surrounded by deep trees and a river pond, one can reminisce their souls while listening to the calming melodies provided by birds chirping. The gorgeous view of the rocks, which are surrounded by little plants, makes it a perfect spot for families to gather for picnics. Rabdentse Ruins is undoubtedly for anyone who like to delve into the state’s past and learn from it, thanks to its rich history. Simultaneously, it allows travellers to participate in numerous celebrations taking place in the area, making it one of the must-see destinations.

 

History of Rabdentse Ruins

Tensung Namgyal, the son of Phuntsog Namgyal, founded Rabdentse as the capital of the Sikkim Kingdom. In 1670, he became the second Chogyal, or King of Sikkim. In 1642, the capital was relocated from Yuksom. Tensung Namgyal had three wives, one each from Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkimese. The king’s offspring from each of his wives were not friendly and frequently fought over who would be the heir to the throne. As a result, several skirmishes arose between the three districts, with armies headed by the king’s progeny, resulting in various bloodshed and property destruction over the years. The Sikkimese force was defeated in the end, and the conflict between the Nepali and Bhutanese armies continued. The Nepali army, who won the fight, entirely destroyed Rabdentse’s palace as a result of the conflict.

 

Key Attractions

You can explore adjacent sights once you’ve finished enjoying the splendour of Rabdentse ruins. Pelling, Sangha Choeling Monastery, Kanchenjunga Falls, and Pemayangtse Monastery, which dates back to the early 18th century and is one of Sikkim’s most notable and oldest monasteries, are among the tourist attractions near Rabdentse.

 

Location: Geyzing, Sikkim 737111

The ruins are located about 125 kilometres from Gangtok’s main town.

Timing: The ruins are open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day of the week.

Fees: Visitors are not charged an entrance fee.

 

Best time to visit

The weather is particularly good during the summer months of March to May. Sikkim’s temperature is moderate and tempered by a pleasant breeze. As a result, visiting Rabdentse Ruins during the aforementioned months is recommended.

How to reach

By Air: The nearest airport to Rabdentse is Siliguri, which is around 137 kilometres away. After arriving in Siliguri, you may either rent a straight cab or use public transportation to Pelling, where you must then hike up the hill to visit the Rabdentse Ruins. Pelling and Rabdentse are 9 kilometres apart.

By Rail: The best way to get to Rabdentse by rail is to take a train to New Jalpaiguri and then take a bus or public transportation to Pelling from there. New Jalpaiguri and Pelling are 135 kilometres apart.

By Road: The remains are located on a hill, and you must hike up the hill to access them.

 

Things to do at Rabdentse

The Rabdentse Ruins, which may be viewed after surfing through Sikkim’s royal history, are just a short walk from Pemayangtse Monastery. Birders can enjoy themselves along the route by observing some of the rare Himalayan birds as they move through the beautiful green forest. The Singshore Bridge, which is close to the ruins, is another interesting sight to see. Khecheopalri Lake, nestled in the sacred Khecheopalri Hill, is only 26 kilometres distant and may be visited for spiritual enlightenment. The gorgeous Kanchenjunga Waterfalls, about a 38-minute (16-kilometer) drive away, are another nearby and relaxing excursion.

 

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35.  Singshore Bridge

 

Singshore Bridge is the highest bridge in Sikkim and the second highest bridge in Asia, with a height of over 100 metres and a length of 240 metres. It is a true man-made wonder, with a breathtaking baseview of enormous greenery that makes distinguishing between the lowlands and the mountains impossible. When you’re standing in the centre of the bridge and the wind picks up, it’s thrilling. Along with the gushing sound of the waterfalls, the river running through the uneven rocks appears spectacular. It is one of the oldest bridges in the world, connecting two hills and reducing travel time and distance for hikers.

 

Location: Singshore Bridge is located in Uttarey Village, 5 kilometres from Pelling, West Sikkim, 737113.

Timing: Visitors are welcome to tour the bridge from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Fee: Visitors are not charged an entrance fee.

Things to do

After crossing the Singshore Bridge, continue trekking to the Alpine cheese plant, where you may purchase some famous gouda cheese. Then there’s Uttarey Village, about 10 kilometres distant, which is home to one of the oldest Uttarey societies on the Indo-Nepal border. The Singshore Bridge is just 5 kilometres from Pelling, making it possible to explore some of Pelling’s most famous tourist attractions as well as the Singshore Bridge, such as the Pemayangtse Monastery, which is only 25 kilometres away. Then take in the spectacular Khangchendzonga Waterfalls and Rabdentse Ruins, a must-see for history buffs. Sangachoeling Monastery, another well-known monastery, is also located in Pelling. There are a few additional spots in Pelling worth visiting, such as the Khecheopalri Lake.

Best time to visit

Except for the monsoon months of June to August, the rest of the year is considered the finest time to visit the Singshore Bridge. The Bridge is free to enter and open every day of the week from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 

How to reach

Singshore Bridge is around 5 kilometres from Pelling. From Gangtok, take an SSRTC bus or shared jeep to Pelling (133 km) and then either trek to the bridge or hire a private taxi to travel to the Singshore Bridge directly.

 

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36. Khecheopalri Lake

Khecheopalri Lake, at an elevation of 1700 metres above sea level, is a sacred site for both Buddhists and Hindus, and is part of the well-known Buddhist pilgrimage circuit. It is located in the West Sikkim district, in the Khecheopalri Village. The lake’s name, Khecheopalri, was originally spelled ‘Kha-Chot-Palri,’ which refers to Lord Padmasambhava’s heaven. Many people go from all over the world to visit this ‘wish fulfilment lake’ in the hopes of having their desires granted.

The Khecheopalri Lake has grown in popularity as a result of the fact that leaves are not permitted to float on the lake since they are quickly picked up by birds when they spot one. As a result, a large crowd gathers near the lake to see the wonderful moment unfolding in front of their eyes. The celebration of numerous Buddhist festivals has also drawn a large number of Lord Buddha worshippers, who spend the majority of their time in the temples near the lake. Buddhist monasteries are built around the beautiful Khecheopalri Lake. It is very important in terms of eco-tourism and pilgrimage because of its great biodiversity. The lake’s holiness and purity have been preserved to this day.

The lake is also linked to another mythology. Goddess Tara Jetsun Dolma, it is said, was once resting in front of a monk when she ordered him to get water in a vessel from a lake. The Goddess told him where he could get water. The monk followed the directions and travelled from the Khecheopalri Hills to a shallow lake. The monk prayed before pouring water from the lake into the vessel.

Location: Khecheopalri Lake is located in West Sikkim (737113). It is 27 kilometres away from Pelling.

Timing: The lake is open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day.

Fee: Visitors are not charged an entrance fee.

Geography & climate

Khecheopalri Lake’s water depth ranges from 3.2-11.2 metres, with an average of 7.2 metres. The water spread of the lake is around 3.4-7 hectares. The lake receives its water from two perennial and five non-perennial streams, with just one exit. During the monsoon, two streams are temporarily redirected into the lake to help supplement its storage capacity.

 

The scooping action of the glacier created the dip where the lake is located. The Lethang Valley’s southern bank is formed by it. The lake is surrounded by a thicket of temperate flora. The lake’s edge is home to 72 houses and approximately 440 people. The Khecheopalri Lake region has a monsoonal climate.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Khecheopalri Lake is between February and March when the temperature is mild.

Things to do

A jetty connects to the lake’s front, where prayers and incense are presented. Prayer wheels, prayer flags, and Tibetan inscriptions are placed along the jetty, adding to the beauty of the area. Annual Buddhist ceremonies are sung around the lake, based on readings from the Naysul Prayer Book, which chronicle Sikkim’s origins and various tantric secrets.

Aside from that, one can travel through a lovely forest that leads to Khecheopalri Lake via the main gate. It’s a short walk of about 10-15 minutes, and you’ll pass by some lovely local businesses along the route.

 

How to reach

The lake is 34 kilometres from Pelling and 147 kilometres from Gangtok. As a result, it is recommended that you use a taxi to get to the Lake.

Legend

The tradition that the shape of Khecheopalri Lake is in the shape of a foot that depicts Lord Buddha’s foot, which can be seen from the surrounding hills, adds to the lake’s sacredness.

 

 

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37. Pemayangtse Monastery

 

Pemayangtse Monastery is a prominent Buddhist monastery located in Pemayangtse, Sikkim’s Pelling district. It sits tall on a mountaintop above the historical Rabdentse ruins, the former capital of the Kingdom of Sikkim, and is one of the state’s oldest monasteries. Pemayangtse means ‘perfect, sublime lotus,’ and is thought to represent one of the human body’s four nerve networks (vessels). The statues of Padmasambhava (the Guru Rinpoche who resurrected Buddhism in Tibet) and his consorts are the most outstanding feature of this monastery.

 

Since its completion in 1705, the Pemayangtse Monastery, one of the state’s oldest monasteries, has been a component of the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit in Sikkim for centuries. The monastery is affiliated with Tibetan Buddhism’s Nyingma Order (the oldest of the four schools). The monks here are distinguished by their red headgear and are picked from among Sikkim’s Bhutias! The old monastery is located at an elevation of 2085 metres (6840 feet) above sea level, providing a distinctive and eye-pleasing location. Pemayangtse Monastery is also the starting point for the well-known Dzongri hike. The monastery offers beautiful views of the Kangchenjunga massif, which contains five eight-thousander peaks known as the “Five Treasures of Snow.”

 

History

Designed and built as a Lhakhang (primary temple hall with shrine) by Lama Lhatsun Chempo in the 17th century, the structure was later expanded and added to during the reign of Sikkim’s third king, Chakdor Namgyal (1700-1717). He commanded that every three sons of a Bhutia family ordain as monks at the Pemayangtse Monastery in order to safeguard Buddhist faith in Sikkim. Since then, the regal monastery has been home to 108 monks who are typically selected from a society of Tibetan ancestors known as Bhutias. Several earthquakes struck the area between 1913 and 1960, destroying its foundations in the process. It has undergone numerous renovations and reconstructions.

 

Location: Near Pelling, Sikkim 737111, 110 km west of Gangtok.

Fees: The cost per individual is INR 20.

Timing: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Best time to visit

The Pemayangtse Monastery can be visited at any time of year, however, the monsoon months should be avoided because they can get rather wet. Summers are excellent for taking in the natural beauty that the area has to offer, though winters may be rather frigid from October to February. The splendour with which Tibetan festivities are performed here is a great sight to behold. So, if you want to learn more about Tibetan culture, make sure to organise your vacation accordingly!

How to reach

Pemayangtse Monastery is located roughly 120-130 kilometres from Gangtok, the state capital. Pelling and Geyzing, respectively, are only 10 and 5 kilometres from the monastery. Darjeeling is only 70 kilometres away and offers a breathtakingly beautiful route. There are various ways from Gangtok to this location, so plan your journey accordingly.

Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri is the closest airport to Pelling, which is a four-hour drive away. From here, you can take a taxi or a bus to Pelling. To visit the Pemayangtse monastery, taxis are available in Pelling.

Railway: The nearest railway station to Pelling is Jalpaiguri Railway Station, which is 170 kilometres away. Guwahati Express, Ndls Bgp Express, Mas Njp Express, and Dbrt Rajdhani connect it to major cities such as Chennai, New Delhi, Howrah, Alipur, and Darjeeling. To visit the Pemayangtse monastery, taxis are available in Pelling.

Road: The Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation (SSRTC) and certain private travel services connect Pelling to the rest of Sikkim’s cities. To go to Pelling, you can use a bus. To visit the Pemayangtse monastery, taxis are available in Pelling.

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38.  Tashiding Monastery

 

Tashiding Monastery is one of Sikkim’s oldest and holiest Buddhist temples, located 40 kilometres west of Geyzing. It was built in 1717 and is ideally situated on a hill between the Ranjit and Rathong Rivers.

 

Manis or stone plates etched with sacred Buddhist mantras, are housed in the Monastery, which has a spectacular view of Mount Kanchenjunga.

Location: 737101, Gangtok, Western Sikkim, near Yuksom

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., every day.

Fees: Visitors are not charged an entrance fee.

 

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39.  Banjhakri Falls and Energy Park

On the route to Ranka, Ban Jhakri Falls is around 10-12 kilometres from Gangtok. Ban Jhakri Falls is a new tourist attraction with a compound that spans over two acres of land. The park’s major feature is the waterfall, which drops from a rocky height of about 40 feet and plunges with great force. Gardens have been tastefully manicured around the waterfalls, and the area is further ornamented with statues of Ban Jhakri, Lyam Lymay, Mangpas, and Lepcha ancestors. At the park’s entrance, there are also other leisure activities and refreshment stands. All guests must pay an entrance charge.

 

Location: Banjhakri Waterfall is located in Gangtok, Sikkim 737101.

Timings: The park is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Fees: There is a Rs 50 entry fee for each individual. You must pay an additional fee for the camera.

 

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40.  Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple

Baba Mandir is a shrine established at the Samadhi of Harbhajan Singh and is located on the route between NathuLa and Jelepla Pass, at a distance of 64 kilometres and a height of 4000 metres. Every visitor to the Nathang Valley who passes through this enchantingly gorgeous area is expected to pay their respects to Baba Harbhajan Singh, according to local belief. You’d be incorrect if you thought it was just another temple! You’ll be rewarded with the most ineffable samadhi you’ve ever experienced when you climb the stairs to the concrete structure bordered on both sides by bells.

History

According to legend, Sepoy Harbhajan Singh went lost 35 years ago while driving a herd of mules from his division in Tukla to Deng Dhukla in East Sikkim. After a three-day search, his body was located by the army after a three-day search. He’s also said to be the one who led the soldiers to his body. Following that, numerous troops in the troop stated that Baba had appeared to them in their dreams, requesting that they construct a shrine in his honour. In his honour, a samadhi was built and named the ‘Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple.’ Many people believe Harbhajan Singh visits the temple every night after putting on his uniform and performing his rounds.

Location: Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir is located in East Sikkim, Sikkim 737131.

Timing: The temple is open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every day.

Fee: Visitors are not charged an entrance fee.

Best time to visit

During the summer, the best time to visit Baba Mandir is from April through June. During this time, the weather is excellent, and the mix of warm sunshine and a slight wind is ideal for touring.

Baba Harbhajan Mandir Permit

Because Baba Mandir is in a protected area, you must obtain a Protected Area Permit through a registered travel operator in Sikkim. The tour operator must apply for the permit one day before the trip, and you must submit a picture Id proof and two passport-size photographs.

 

How to reach

Taking a cab will get you to the temple. In a fully reserved car like a Scorpio, a roundtrip from Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple will cost roughly INR 3,800. The journey from Gangtok to the temple takes about 3 hours, so get started early.

Legend

Harbhajan Singh has earned the nickname “Baba” and is considered by the Indian Army a soldier who has never died. Despite the fact that he is no longer alive, the troops think his spirit protects and guards them. Soldiers across the border in China have reported seeing a turbaned sentry on patrol multiple times at night. His bedsheet is crumpled every morning, and his spotless shoes have turned dirty, leading the sentinels to believe he visits his samadhi every night. Isn’t it creepy?!

Every year on September 11th, his personal items are transported by jeep to the New Jalpaiguri station, where they are loaded and transported by rail to his hometown of Kuka, a small village in Punjab’s Kapurthala district.

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41.  Casino Mahjong

The excitement and enthusiasm are at an all-time high as the gaming and entertainment take place at Casino Mayfair in Gangtok, Sikkim. The most prestigious and sought-after Casino Mayfair is India’s first and largest full-fledged live onshore casino. The casino is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offers great and attractive meals as well as a diverse selection of beverages. The excitement never stops at Casino Mayfair, where you may play a variety of engaging casino games while taking in the spectacular entertainment and opulent ambience.

Games

Roulette

Roulette is a casino game whose name comes from the French word “roulette,” which means “small wheel.” You can wager on a single number or a range of numbers, the colour red or black, whether the number is odd or even, and whether the numbers are high or low in this game. There are a total of 37 numbers. The dealer spins a ball on a wheel with red and black slots, and the number or colour on which the ball falls determines the outcome.

Blackjack, often known as twenty-one, is a game of uncertain origin.

The goal of this game is to draw cards that sum up to 21 or as near to 21 as possible in contrast to the House’s cards. If your first two cards are an Ace and a 10-point card as as a 10, Jack, Queen, or King, the game is known as ‘Black Jack,’ and the house pays you 3 to 2.

Baccarat

One of James Bond’s favourite games is baccarat. The fictitious spy from Ian Fleming’s bestselling novel. This card game pits two hands against each other, the “player” and the “banker.” A tie between the two, a greater score for the ‘Banker,’ or a higher score for the ‘Player’ are the three potential results.

Flush is an entertaining three-card game that may be played with a conventional 52-card deck. It is a game in which the players compete against each other rather than against the house. The greatest hand is three aces, while the lowest hand is two, three, or five cards.

Texas Hold’em Poker is a type of poker in which players compete against each other

One of the most popular variations of the card game poker is Texas hold’em. The contending players each pay a certain amount to the ‘Pot,’ which is a collective fund. Each player is handed two hole cards, which are dealt face down, and then five community cards, which can be utilised by any of the players, are dealt face up. Each player compares the cards and gets the best five potential combinations.

Kitty is a card game in which you play against the house using a deck of nine cards. Players must arrange their cards in different sets while maintaining their cards in order of rank face down. The dealer’s cards are then compared to the player’s cards.

Marriage

Marriage, sometimes known as ‘Paplu,’ is a fun card game in which the participants play amongst themselves using a deck of 21 cards.

Machines a sous

You can try your luck at one of the numerous slot machines available by inserting one or two coins or tokens into a slot, pulling the handle, or pressing the button to activate one to three or more reels divided into horizontal segments by various symbols.

Flush Mini

Mini Flush is a game where you play against the house. Three cards are dealt face up to the player, while three cards are dealt face down to the dealer. After that, the cards are compared, and the dealer must have a queen or higher card to qualify.

Location: Mayfair Spa, Resort and Casino, Lower Samdur Block, Ranipool, Sikkim 737135; National Highway 31A, Lower Samdur Block, Ranipool, Sikkim 737135; Mayfair Spa, Resort and Casino, Lower Samdur Block, Ranipool, Sikkim 73.

Timing: The casino is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Admittance Fee: The casino costs INR 1500 per person for entry, which includes supper and beverages.

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42.  Ridge Park

 

The Ridge Park is a scenic flatland that stretches just over the town of Gangtok and is bordered by the White Hall and a lovely Pagoda top. The park is home to a diverse collection of plants, flowers, and shrubs, as well as an annual Orchid Show! The rich flowery perfume welcomes you as soon as you enter, and the brilliant colours of the blooms soothe your senses.

 

The Ridge Park, a botanist’s dream and a haven for nature lovers, is one of Sikkim’s must-see tourist attractions.

 

Location: Ridge Park is located at Ridge Rd in Sungakilometresk, Sikkim 737101.

Timing: The park is open from 10:00 a.m. until 05:30 p.m. every day.

Fees: Visitors are not charged an entrance fee, although the Flower Exhibition Centre does levy a small fee of INR 10 per person.

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43.  Khangchendzonga National Park

Khangchendzonga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans 1784 square kilometres. Exotic animal species such as the Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Great Tibetan Sheep, Bharal, Musk deer, and others can be spotted in this high altitude national park near Yuksom. Birds such as the Black-necked Crane, Grus nigricollis, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Tibetan Snow Cock, and Himalayan Snow Cock can be seen in the park. There are roughly 18 glaciers in Khangchendzonga National Park, including Zemu Glacier, which is famed for its vast size. In addition, the national park contains about 17 alpine lakes and offers views of approximately 19 Himalayan mountain summits.

How to reach

Taxis are available from all major towns in Sikkim to access this national park.

Best time to visit

Between April and May is the finest time to visit Kanchenjunga National Park.

Things to do

Tholung Monastery, located in the buffer zone of Khangchendzonga National Park, is one of Sikkim’s most sacred monasteries. There are a variety of trekking excursions available, with the majority of the most popular treks departing from Yuksom. Green Lake Trek with Lachen is another option for trekking.

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  1. Teesta river

The Teesta River is a 309-kilometre-long river that flows through West Bengal and Sikkim, India, and Bangladesh before draining into the Bay of Bengal. It defines the border between Sikkim and West Bengal, carving out temperate and tropical river valleys from the green Himalayas and Singalila. It passes through Rangpo, Jalpaiguri, and Kalimpong on its way to Bangladesh, where it joins the Jamuna (Brahmaputra). It drains 12,540 km2 of land.

The Teesta River rises at 7,068 metres on the Pahunri glacier and flows south via gorges and rapids in the Sikkim Himalaya. Since 1500 CE, great changes have occurred in the course of some of the rivers in Bengal and the surrounding territories.

The Teesta River provides a lifeline for many fishermen, farmers, and boatmen, despite the fact that the river has dried up significantly due to excessive groundwater use. The overall hydroelectric power potential of this river is estimated to be 84GW for electricity generation. In the Teesta river basin in the Sikkim-Darjeeling catchment area, several hydropower dams have already been erected. This will most certainly create over 6,000MW of power in the near future. To prevent floods, the Teesta-V-dam was built across the river in 2007. The Teesta River, with its lovely route, is a marvel of nature. It’s a dream come true to catch a sight of it while visiting the Darjeeling district.

Location: Sikkim and portions of West Bengal are the locations.

Timing: The best time to visit is any time of year.

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  1. Green lake

The North-Sikkim region is the least explored in Sikkim, and as a result, it is rich in natural wonders that are mostly undisturbed. Green Lake is one of these hidden gems, located at an elevation of 1437 metres and affording breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga and other gorgeous peaks. The winding walk through the rocky terrains that leads many adventure enthusiasts to this brilliant lake is blessed with life’s best view of the dense forest surrounded by beautiful meadows of blue poppies, primulas, and a variety of rhododendrons. The soothing mountain breeze enthrals you and revitalises you from the exhausting city life once you reach the top.

Things to do

Visitors to Green Lake can also explore the Chopta Valley, Thangu Valley, and Gurudongmar Lake, which have religious importance as well. The Lachen Monastery, located just 4 kilometres from Lachen Village, the starting point for the trip to Green Lake, is a must-see for peace seekers. Then, just 22 kilometres from Lachen Village, visit the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, which is home to forty different varieties of rhododendron trees.

Best time to visit

The summer season, which runs from March to May, provides a lovely atmosphere for visiting the high-altitude Green Lake, and rhododendrons are in full bloom along the trail.

Location: Green lake is in Zemu Glacier.

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46. Goechala (51 Km from Gangtok)

Goecha La is a high mountain pass located at a height of 4,940 m and acts as the base camp for the southeast face of Kanchenjunga. This place can only be accessed by trekking from Yuksom and it roughly takes 7-8 days for a person to reach Goecha La and come back to Yuksom.

Key Attractions

 The Kanchenjunga Range at Sunrise

The dawn above the Kanchenjunga range is one of the most spectacular sights on the Goechala trip. Although hikers are not permitted to travel all the way to the Goecha Pass, the view from View Point 1 and Dzongri is well worth the effort!

Rhododendrons in March and April

Rhododendron woods abound on the path to Goechala. They bloom with pink and scarlet blooms throughout the spring months of March and April! It’s a wonderful experience to wander through these rainforests’ wooden-log pathways!

The Samiti Lake is a body of water located in the Samiti

The Goechala trip also includes a visit to Samiti Lake. The vista of the quiet waters and Mt Pandim’s reflection in the lake, especially early in the morning, is a visual feast.

On the Goechala trip, there are a lot of foreigners.

Foreigners must arrive in Yuksom, the base camp, one day before the batch’s usual reporting date. This is essential to receive a Gangtok foreigner trek permit. This is a requirement of the Sikkim government. The fee for the permission is Rs.2,000. This money should be sent to the Indiahikes agent in Yuksom, who will arrange for the permission to be issued.

Foreigners must register in groups of two or more for the journey.

Goechala Permit

The area is accessible only after proper permits are granted. When flying from Siliguri, an Inner Line Permit may be obtained at the Bagdogra Airport or the check-post located at the Sikkim border.

History of Goechala

 Kanchenjunga translates to ‘five jewels of the big snow’ in Tibetan, referring to the range’s five summits. Three of the peaks in this range are on the boundary between India and Nepal, while the other two are wholly in Nepal. Kanchenjunga may be reached from India via the North Eastern state of Sikkim, and the walk to Goechala leads to the base of this massive peak. Goechala is named from the vantage point from where you can observe the mountain’s northeast face. Kanchenjunga is India’s tallest mountain, standing at 8506 metres. It is considered one of the holiest summits, with Buddhists and the Lepcha tribe placing the most value on it.

No one is thought to have ever stood on Kanchenjunga’s peak. On May 25, 1955, Joe Brown and George Band became the first to summit the peak. But, as promised to the then Chogyal monarch, the two came to a halt a few feet below the summit. The Chogyal monarch agreed to let the two go on their quest to climb Kanchenjunga if they promised not to ascend the peak and instead halt a few feet below it because the mountain is said to be the home of heavenly energies.

Since then, every climber has followed the established guidelines, and no one has ever reached the peak. Because of religious views, climbing the Kanchenjunga summit has long been fraught with controversy, resulting in a full prohibition from Sikkim. There are several legends around the summit.

The Lepcha tribe of Sikkim’s Kanchenjunga foothills claims to be the ‘people of snow,’ believing that they were created out of Kanchenjunga’s snow. They see it as a very holy summit. They also think that the first two people were born on this summit, making it an important part of humanity’s beginnings.

Geography and Climate

Location: Goechala is a mountain pass in West Sikkim that rises to 16,207 feet. It is around 60 kilometres from Jorethang, which is on the West Bengal-Sikkim border. The trail winds its way through Kanchenjunga National Park.

Weather: The days are bright and beautiful throughout the summer season, but the nights are bitterly chilly. Summertime Average Temperature: During the summer, the average temperature in GoechaLa varies from 11 to 19 degrees Celsius during the day and 2 to 10 degrees Celsius at night.

Best Time to Visit

When planning a trip to Goechala, all you want to do is have the best time possible. All you need to begin the classic adventure is the ideal season to enjoy the trek while remaining safe. There are two primary reasons for the Goechala trek, as with most high-altitude hikes.

The season of spring

Autumn is a beautiful season.

One cannot select a certain season because doing so allows one to visualize only a portion of it. Early winters are brilliant with lots of sharp hues, whereas spring is more romantic. As a result, it is up to you to choose the finest Goechala Trek time for you. Heavy storms make it safer to avoid travel from late June to early September.

How To Reach

Rail: The nearest railway station to Yuksom is New Jalpaiguri, which is around 150 kilometers distant.

Road: Yuksom, the Goecha La base camp, is easily reached by road from many large cities, including Siliguri. It’s around 140 kilometres away and serves as the gateway to Sikkim’s capital, Gangtok.

Things to Do in Goechala

If you embark on a hike to Goechala, you will get quite close to seeing Mt. Kanchenjunga. Goechala is the starting point for the Kanchenjunga Trek. Glaciers, rocky landscape, flora and animals, and the beautiful Samiti Lake all invite you to have a breathtaking and unforgettable experience.

  1. Interact with the Yuksom locals

Yuksom, a picturesque village in West Sikkim, is lush green and unspoiled, and it is a must-see on the Goechala Trek. Aside from the natural beauty, the warm reception and kindness of the residents, who always welcome passers-by with smiles, will astound you.

  1. Be enchanted by nature’s beauty Bakhim is a city in Bakhim.

Bakhim, surrounded by rich woods of magnolia, rhododendron, orchids, and ferns, is nothing short of a paradise where hikers may relax and take in the scenery. The spectacular views of the valleys, hills and Prekchu River are the icing on the cake!

  1. Indulge your soul in the breathtaking views from Dzongri’s summit.

The Dzongri Summit is the most spectacular point of the Goechala trip, offering passengers breathtaking 360-degree vistas of the highlands and their snow-capped summits. The peak is located at an elevation of 4,250 metres on top of a hill amid the Himalayan Range’s magnificent background.

4. Witness The Morning Glory At Tshoka

Tsokha, a little refugee village in the Kanchenjunga National Park at an elevation of 3,400 metres, is an ideal overnight stop for hikers. It is well-known for offering visitors the most stunning sunrise views over Mt. Pandim.

  1. Stay the night under the stars Thangsing is a locality in Thangsing.

Thangsing is a delightful overnight stop for hikers, with expansive meadows and a small little river. Apart from being a beautiful stopover, Thangsing is also a paradise for night photographers who may set up camp and snap breathtaking views of the Milky Way Galaxy above.

Precautions:

  • The climatic conditions at high elevations differ from those on the plains; allow enough time to acclimate.
  • To have a safe and enjoyable trekking experience, pay attention to the trip leader or teacher.
  • During the walk, do not consume any alcohol or other intoxicants.
  • Trekking at night is not recommended.
  • Consult a doctor before embarking on the journey.
  • During the hike, bring along some basic medicines and a first-aid kit.
  • Avoid wandering late at night.
  • The journey passes through an environmentally friendly zone; trash at local sites or campsites is not encouraged.
  • The camp does not provide lockers and has no responsibility for them.
  • Because internet access may be sluggish or non-existent, please notify your parents or friends ahead of time.
  • Foreigners can get an ILP (Inner line Permit or Sikkim permit) at the checkpoint before entering Sikkim from Siliguri or outside the Bagdogra airport. The trekkers will need to get this.
  • All walkers must get a trekking permit from the forest checkpoint at Yuksom. Students (id card required), normal Indian citizens (id proof required), and foreigners pay different fees.
  • For international trekkers, a special permit is required: To trek in Sikkim, foreigners must first get a special authorization in Gangtok. This permission may be obtained with the assistance of Indiahikes. Please arrive in Yuksom a day before the hike batch begins. The fee for acquiring the permission is Rs. 2,000 per person, which must be paid to our agent when you arrive in Yuksom.

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  1. Do drul chorten

Do Drul Chorten is one of Sikkim’s most prominent stupas, located amid the beautiful Gangtok lowlands. The Stupa, which was built in 1945 under the direction of late Truslshi and Rimpoche, features 108 Mani Lhakor or prayer wheels. These wheels have essential mantras etched on them that may be repeated by revolving them. Do Drul Chorten’s modest peacefulness and tranquillity have drawn visitors and worshippers for years.

The Korten Stupa was long thought to be plagued by evil spirits until Lama Trulshig Rinpoche arrived in the area in 1946 and erected a stupa. Vajra Kilaya, who is believed to be one of Sikkim’s most important chortens, is the deity inscribed on the stupa’s summit. The monastery houses the whole Dorjee Phurba collection, as well as holy Buddhist books and other religious relics. Dodhrubchen Rinpoche created a dharma preaching centre on the premises of Do Drul Chorten. Chorten Lakhang, which houses two massive sculptures of Guru Padmasambhava, surrounds the stupa. This is a charming little hideaway for anyone seeking peace in the hill town.

Location: 38 km from Gangtok.

Weather: 18 degree

Best Time to Visit

Gangtok’s Summer Season

Gangtok’s temperature maintains at 30°C during the summer season, from March to June, which is ideal for tourist visits.

Gangtok’s Monsoon Season

The months of July through September are when Gangtok receives the most rain. Rainfall in Gangtok ranges from mild to heavy, making visiting the city during the monsoon season difficult and uncomfortable.

Gangtok’s Winter Season

In the winter, Gangtok receives a lot of snow. The temperature drops to 0°C or even lower between November and March, accompanied by significant snowfall. Winter is the greatest season to visit Gangtok if you appreciate snow.

How To Reach

Do Drul Chorten, located in Gangtok’s Deorali district, is usually included in trip packages. Confirm with your travel operator if you have chosen one. Alternatively, you may rent a private or shared cab to get to the monastery, which is around 2 kilometres from Gangtok and takes about 10-15 minutes.

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  1. Singalila National Park (123 Km from Gangtok)

The Singalila National Park is West Bengal’s highest national park, rising more than 7000 feet above sea level in the Singalila range. Originally a wildlife refuge, the national park now comprises 78.60 square kilometres of virgin rhododendron forests, alpine valleys, and uncommon animal and orchid species. It is most known for presenting a magnificently mind-blowing perspective of the Himalayan peak, which provides a panoramic vista of the massive Himalayas from Nepal through Sikkim and up to Bhutan. The Red panda and the Himalayan black bear can both be found in Singalila.

 

Because the territory is tightly designated for the protection of biodiversity, activities such as developmental forestry, poaching, hunting, and grazing on agriculture are not authorised, this wonderful Singalila National Park is a haven for all the creatures that call it home. The national park is also part of a trekking route, making it a trekker’s an adventurer’s dream come true. Singalila National Park gets its name from the Singalila spur, which runs through the park and descends from Mount Kanchenjunga in the north to the Gangetic Plains in the south.

Singalila Permit:

Before entering the core region of the Singalila National Park, you must obtain a permit from the forest department. The permission can be obtained at the Forest Department office in Manebhanjan or at the national park’s entrance, which is about 1km away.

 

History of Singalila National Park(upto 250 words)

The British Government bought the Singalila forest on lease from the erstwhile King of Sikkim in 1882. After independence, the forest area became a wildlife sanctuary in Darjeeling District, and in 1992, it was transformed into a National Park. The unique Singalila National Park is located in a protected forest that has long served as a trekking path connecting Manebhanjang, Sandakphu, and Phalut. The first known mountaineering team, commanded by Jules Jacot-Guillarmod, and the famed occultist Aleister Crowley, both used this trekking path. In 1905, a party attempted but failed to ascend Mount Kanchenjunga. The park and its ridge are also included in George Thengummoottil’s film “Singalila in the Himalaya.”

Geography and Climate

Best Time to Visit

The location has extreme climatic conditions throughout the winter season due to its high height. As a result, the best time to visit the Singalila National Park is in the spring and summer, from March to May. Also, because the park is closed to tourists from June 16 to September 15 each year due to severe rain, you can visit during the post-monsoon months of mid-September to early December.

How To Reach

The roads at Singalila Park are fairly well connected. To go to Manibhanjan, take a bus from Darjeeling city bus station or hire a private taxi. To get to the park, you can either trek through the forest or take a jeep safari.

Things to Do Singalila

Camping: Camping in Singalila National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it requires prior permission, which may be obtained for a cost at the Manebhanjan Check Post. The cost is determined by the number of camping tents, the location of the camping space, and the amount of stuff carried by the campers. On the approach to Phalut, people walking from Sandakphu will find plenty of locations to camp.

Bird Watching: Singalila National Park is home to a diverse range of uncommon and unusual birds, and visitors will leave no stone unturned in their quest to see the stunning flock. Around 200 species can be found in the national park.

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  1. Zemu Glacier

The eastern base for climbing Kanchenjunga, the world’s third tallest peak, is Zemu Glacier. It’s a 26-kilometre-long glacier that supplies the Himalayan Teesta River with water. Starting in Gangtok, you go by vehicle to Lachen in North Sikkim, then by foot to Jakthang.

Green Lake, at around 16,000 feet above sea level, is a prominent landmark where most people halt their walk and return, but if you go on beyond Yabuk and Rimbik, you will reach the snow-covered Zemu Glacier at an elevation of 18,648 feet. Standing at such a high height, you can see Mount Siniolchu and other Himalayan peaks in all their glory.

Location: Zemu Glacier is located at Pincode of 737116.

Best to time visit

March to May and September to December are the best months to visit.

Cost: Between INR 65,000 and 68,000; varies depending on the operator.

Timing:

The trip will take 11 to 12 days to complete, beginning in Gangtok.

Opening Hours: Closed during severe snowfalls, but generally open all year.

 

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  1. Bakhtang Waterfall

The Bakthang Falls are one of nature’s most beautiful sights, with a backdrop of the gorgeous Himalayas. The location, which is only a half-hour drive from Gangtok, is a photographer’s dream. This is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers alike.

The gushing falls, which flow from Ratey Chu’s main water source, provide a soothing symphony for visitors. Bakthang Falls, one of the most beautiful sites to visit in Sikkim, should surely be at the top of your list

Bakthang Falls is located in Gangtok, Sikkim 737103.

The waterfall is available every day from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Visitors are not charged an entrance fee.

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