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Sikkim Attractions



sikkim Attractions

Zemu Glacier

The Zemu Glacier is the Eastern Himalaya’s greatest glacier. It is approximately 26 kilometers (16 miles) long and is located at the foot of Kanchenjunga in the Himalayan region of Sikkim, India. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third tallest peak, is drained by the Zemu Glacier on its east side.

To begin with, Zemu Glacier is not on a typical list of Sikkim tourist attractions. This is due to the moderate to challenging nature of the trip that goes up to this magnificent glacier at the base of the great Kanchenjunga. Having said that, the drive to Zemu Glacier looks like something out of a picture. A trip unlike any other in the region is set against a backdrop of gushing waterfalls, glittering rivulets, and exquisite landscapes.

Why should I visit this?:

To begin with, Zemu Glacier is not on a typical list of Sikkim tourist attractions. This is due to the moderate to challenging nature of the trip that goes up to this magnificent glacier at the base of the great Kanchenjunga. Having said that, the drive to Zemu Glacier looks like something out of a picture. A trip unlike any other in the region is set against a backdrop of gushing waterfalls, glittering rivulets, and exquisite landscapes.

The vegetation and creatures that live in this icy region will wow you as you journey through dense woodland sections. Blue poppies in bloom dot the path, and you’ll quickly lose track of the rhododendron kinds.

The path reaches approximately 5,000m in elevation, making this a difficult trek yet an adventure of a lifetime. The mountain-scape can be seen from practically every tourist location in Sikkim; Zemu Glacier, located at the foot of the world’s third-highest peak, is at the heart of nature and a bucket-list-worthy experience.

How should I visit?

You must go to Lachen, the beginning location for your hike to Zemu Glacier. This town in northern Sikkim is around 120 kilometers from Gangtok. You’ll pass through a number of notable landmarks along the journey, including Tashi View Point, Kabi Longstok Village, and Phodong Monastery, among others.

After an overnight stay in Lachen, you’ll be ready for a quick jeep journey to Zema. This is where your true trip to Talem begins, traveling alongside the Zemu River at a height of 3,240m. As you approach Jakthang from Talem, the terrain becomes easier. The rhododendron woods here are a bright flash of color against the clear blue sky.

The walk will now take you through a series of ascents and descents until you reach the snout of the Zemu Glacier at Yabuk. On your trip to Green Lake, you will see Mt. SIniolchu as you leave Yabuk. This is where you will be able to appreciate the grandeur of Zemu Glacier.

It goes without saying that the walk to Zemu Glacier takes a few days.

When should I visit?

The best time to see Zemu Glacier is between the months of March and June. The weather during these months allows for a bright sky, easy walking, and breathtaking vistas as far as the eye can reach.

If you truly want to challenge yourself, October through mid-December is the time to do it. Whether you do decide to go on a winter trip, make sure you find out if permits are required and if porters are available.

Tips for smooth travel

Because this is a high altitude hike, spend a day or two in Gangtok to enable your body to adjust to the shift in conditions. Even if you’re traveling in the summer, bring woolens with you. Expect temps to decrease because you’ll be camping beneath the stars. Because the Zemu Glacier is an eco-friendly zone, please do not trash in the surrounding region. Follow your local guide’s advice to ensure a safe and pleasant tour.

Rabdentse Ruins

Rabdentse Ruins is an ancient monument that portrays the narrative of Sikkim’s greatness. It was the second capital of Sikkim, created by Chogyal II, until 1814 A.D. Following the Nepalese invasion in the 18th century, the palace and monastery complex was demolished and transformed into ruins. The location is a must-see for history buffs who wish to delve into the state’s past while admiring the beautiful vista of Kanchenjunga peak and the rushing river that flows through the foothills. The Rabdentse Palace remains are simply a short walk through the deep woodland on the route to Pelling from the Pemayangtse Monastery.

As one approaches the gate, the chestnut trees greet visitors by falling mosses on them and lead to the stone throne, which consists of three standing stones known as ‘Namphogang,’ where the judges used to proclaim the ultimate verdict. Walking a little farther, one will come to the remains of the ‘Taphap Chorten,’ which served as the palace’s entrance, while the ruins are located in the center of the fourth courtyard, which provides a breathtaking perspective over Sikkim’s southwestern area. This is next to ‘Dab Lhagang,’ where the royal family used to pray to their deities. A white marble slab can be seen nearby, which was formerly the location of the monastery known as “Risum Gompa.”

Why should I visit this?:

The greatest time to visit Pelling is during the warm months of March through May. The weather is lovely, and the days are clear and sunny. Winters, or the months between December and February, convert Pelling into an entirely other personas, with temperatures ranging from minus zero to 14 °C. The upper mountains are snow-covered, providing a spectacular perspective of the Himalayas, including the colossal Kanchendzonga, India’s highest peak.

How should I visit?

Rabdentse’s nearest town is Pelling, which is around 100 kilometers from Gangtok in West Sikkim. To get here, you may take a cab. A stroll from Pelling town to Rabdentse is the best way to get there. If you walk at a reasonable pace, it will take you roughly an hour to get here. On the way, stop at the Pemyangste Monastery, which is well worth a visit. If you don’t want to walk, you may take a cab to Pemayangste, where the ruins are only a fifteen-minute walk away.

When should I visit?

Exploring the remains of Rabdentse, the medieval capital of the ancient kingdom of Sikkim, is like peering through a looking glass into this Himalayan state’s interesting history. Endless power struggles, scheming members of the royal family, hostile neighbors, and exiled rulers all contribute to a colorful past.

Rabdentse’s history dates back to the 17th century, when the second Chogyal (king), Tenstuk Namgyal, decided to relocate his capital from Yuksom in West Sikkim to Rabdentse. Rabdantse, however, was brutally destroyed by the invading Gurkha army in the late 18th century, leaving it in ruins.

In the 1600s, amidst the lush forests that blanket the hills near Pelling, came the kingdom of the Namgyal dynasty, which governed Sikkim for the following 333 years.

The Rabdentse ruins are located in a valley southwest of the Pemayangtse Monastery, one of Sikkim’s oldest and most significant monasteries.

Tips for smooth travel

As you pass through an elegant gate to the ruins of Rabdentse on the Pelling-Geyzing road, a magnificent walk through a forest of chestnut trees, via an exquisite lake, leads you to the remnants of the fortress wall that once encompassed this medieval city. A little higher up, you’ll come to the Namphogang—three massive chortens standing sentinels on an elevated stone platform, overlooking the surrounding mountains. From here, the Chogyal and his courtiers carried out their daily duties as monarch and spiritual leader, making key decisions and passing judgments. Next to the Namphogang is the king’s austere stone throne, which is still in place.

The remains of the royal enclosure to the north have an open square that housed the now-defunct Dab Lhagang. This was the royal family’s prayer room, apart from the southern wing, which was available to the public. The ASI was also able to identify remains of significant sections like the king’s personal apartments, a room for guards, an assembly room, the royal kitchen, and the public courtyard after another phase of excavation.

There was also a religious space for commoners on the property. Many carved relief figures were discovered here and are currently housed in the adjoining sculpture shed.

Khangchendzonga National park

Khangchendzonga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans 1784 square kilometers. This high-altitude national park in Yuksom is famed for its beautiful fauna, including Red Pandas, Snow Leopards, Great Tibetan Sheep, Bharal, and Musk Deer. There are also several bird species in the park, including the Black-necked Crane, Grus nigricollis, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Tibetan Snow Cock, and Himalayan Snow Cock.

Khangchendzonga National Park is home to around 18 glaciers, including the famed Zemu Glacier. Aside from that, the national park offers about 17 alpine lakes and a view of over 19 Himalayan mountain summits, including the famed Mount Khangchendzonga. In the national park’s buffer zone, there is also a sacred site known as Tholung Monastery.

Why should I visit this? there?

This park, also known as the Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve, is the pinnacle of natural beauty. KNP, which was recently entered into UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, is one of the country’s few high-altitude national parks. Aside from Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak, which towers over the park and its environs, the area is home to magical glaciers, pure lakes, verdant valleys, and diversity of endangered flora and wildlife.

Explore Lake Menmecho, where coniferous trees surround the waterbody, adding to its magical allure; gaze in awe at the sharp crevices of Mt. Rathong; wait patiently for the fog to lift and encounter the 26km-long Zemu Glacier, one of the continent’s largest; the Famrong Waterfall tumbles with otherworldly graceful intensity; and the park’s guardian, Mt. Kanchenjunga, sits silently surveying her children.

The above-mentioned geographical features are only a handful of KNP’s natural wonders.

Keep a lookout for Himalayan blue sheep, Asiatic wild dogs, red pandas, and musk deer when walking in the region. A snow leopard sighting would undoubtedly brighten your day. With the recently found Himalayan Forest Thrush and a multitude of indigenous avifauna such as the Tibetan snow cock, Himalayan griffon, satyr tragopan, and bearded vulture, among others, KNP is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

How should I visit?

Bagdogra Airport is your sole choice if you’re flying in. Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital, is a four-hour journey away.

Trains arrive at the New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station from Kolkata, Guwahati, New Delhi, and other important Indian cities. A four-hour trip from NJP will take you to Gangtok.

Kanchenjunga National Park is around 50 kilometers from Gangtok.

The trip to KNP is all about taking ‘the route less traveled.’ While the trip is rocky, the park’s natural splendor makes it all worthwhile.

Yuksom (145 kilometers from Gangtok) is famous hiking starting place. Treks from here might vary depending on where you want to travel in KNP. Yuksom to Dzongri is a popular hiking route, and you may go up the Rathong-Khangerteng trail from Dzongri Base Camp.

When should I visit?

The majority of visitors plan their vacation to KNP during the summer, between the months of March and May. The average temperature is approximately 10°C, which allows for a beautiful sky, excellent mountain vistas, and enjoyable hikes

However, seeing the Kanchenjunga, its surrounding mountains, and the ice lakes in winter is spectacular. From October to February, the Kanchenjunga National Park is transformed into a winter paradise by a layer of snow and sub-zero temperatures. Carry strong woolens to protect yourself from the biting cold. Heavy rain makes walking impracticable between June and September, and you should avoid visiting KNP during these months.

Tips for smooth travel

  • If you are a foreign visitor, you must apply for a permit if you wish to walk all the way up to Zemu Glacier and other nearby places. To accomplish the same, Indian Nationals must get an Inner Line Permit.
  • Stick to the designated nature routes when trekking.
  • Do not leave litter or contaminate the ecology. Non-biodegradable objects should be transported back after your journey and properly disposed of.
  • Please do not pick any flowers or saplings along the road. Also, if you happen to see an animal, keep your mouth shut and avoid bothering the animals.

Kanchenjunga National Park is a Himalayan global diversity hotspot. The lakes, mountains, and glaciers are culturally and spiritually significant to the indigenous Sikkimese people, in addition to being home to several endangered animals, birds, and plants. As a guest, you should take in the natural splendor of the area.

Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary

The Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is located in the district of West Sikkim’s south-west corner. The Singalila Range, which forms the natural international boundary with Nepal, has an area of 104 square kilometers. There are three entrances to this sanctuary: Hilley, Dentam, and Soreng. Tourists enjoy Hilley because it is easily accessible by road. The bridle trail from Hilley to Barsey is a popular tourist attraction, especially during the Rhododendron blooming season. The wildlife of Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary includes the Leopard cat, Himalayan Yellow Throated Marten, Himalayan Palm Civet, Himalayan Langur, Crimson Horned Pheasant, Monal Pheasant, Kaleej, and several bird species.

The Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary stretches over the jagged Singalila Range. The environment is moist and chilly, allowing the dominating genus Rhododendron to spread. July is the wettest month, with annual precipitation of more than 250 cm. In the winter, snowfall is common at elevations over 2500m. Clear sky is only available from November through May.

At 10,000 feet, a charming Tourist Trekker’s cabin stands in Barsey, surrounded by Rhododendron trees and offering a magnificent view of the Singalila Range. There are boarding and lodging options available.

Why should I visit this? there?

In the spring, a walk through the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is like walking through a bit of paradise. Entire hills painted bright pink and deep scarlet against sapphire-blue spring skies and the snow-capped peaks of Kanchendzonga are a magnificent delight. Hundreds of bird sounds may be heard echoing across the aromatic highlands.

The sanctuary—a protected region—stretches across an area of roughly 104 square kilometers in the Singalila range of the Eastern Himalayas in West Sikkim, nestled between the Kanchendzonga Biosphere Reserve to the north and the Singalila National Park to the south.

When the famed British botanist, Joseph Dalton Hooker, visited the Singalila range in the 1800s, he attributed these blossoming rhododendrons sole credit for the splendor of the whole Singalila range. The sanctuary’s flora spans from broadleaf and coniferous woods to alpine meadows and ranges in elevation from 7000 to 14000 feet.

When should I visit?

The months of April and May are ideal for visiting the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary since the iconic rhododendron trees are in full bloom. However, hiking from September to October is just as wonderful, if not better. The rhododendrons may not be in full bloom, but the beautiful blue sky and unbroken vistas of the Kanchendzonga make the journey worthwhile.

How should I visit?

Dentang, Soreng, and Hilley are only a few examples. The little village of Hilley in West Sikkim, on the other hand, is favored above the others due to its closeness to a motorable road. Taxis are accessible from Gangtok to Hilley, which is approximately 130 kilometers distant. If not, you might take a cab to Uttarey and walk from there. The trip begins at the Hilley gate and continues for 4 kilometers from Sombaria to the first campsite, Barsey.

Though most visitors conclude their trip at Barsey, those who want to continue must engage a local guide who is familiar with the area and arrange for camping supplies as well as porters. The following section includes a combination of uphill and downhill walks. You’ll travel through several vast open meadows with expansive vistas of the surrounding mountains, as well as countless little mountain streams.

Tips for smooth travel

Individuals must pay a small admission fee. Cameras are subject to additional fees. In Sikkim, you will need to get a permit from the Wildlife Division of the Forest Department. Don’t bother the wildlife, and carry your waste back with you. Kerosene and other harmful fuels should be avoided. Carry enough cash because there will be no ATMs along the way. Follow the behavior rules established by the sanctuary authorities.

Carry additional clothing, socks, sunglasses, and high-SPF sunscreen. Remember to bring a raincoat because the hills around this area are prone to unexpected rains.

Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple

Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple, located between Nathula and Jelepla passes at an elevation of 13,123 feet and approximately 52 kilometers from Gangtok, is a one-of-a-kind site due to the heritage associated with it. His soul is said to protect every soldier in the harsh high-altitude environment of the Eastern Himalayas. Baba’s mythology began 35 years ago when Sepoy Harbhajan Singh of the 23rd Punjab Regiment went missing. A manhunt was initiated, and it took three days for the soldiers to locate his body. He is thought to have guided the soldiers to the location. The troops erected a Samadhi in his honor, and residents in the region still think that Baba’s spirit protects the soldier stationed here.

Why should I visit this? there?

Soldiers stationed near the Nathula Pass on the Indo-China border appear to be guided by faith. This belief derives from the Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple, which is located at an elevation of almost 13,000 feet. Fact and mythology merge to form a story that provides hope to the soldiers stationed there while also providing a fascinating story for visitors.

Harbhajan Singh’s amazing deeds have earned mythic status, and you should visit this location to enjoy the picturesque splendor and hear the legends that surround it. The best travel experiences are those that leave you with life-affirming stories, and Baba Mandir, as the locals call it, is one such site.

When should I visit?

The wonderful part about Baba Mandir is that no matter when you arrive, you’ll be greeted with breathtaking vistas.

The rain makes the surrounding forests sparkle during the monsoon, and the land is entirely changed into a sparkling vision of trees, beyond which soar the huge mountains. The optimum time to visit the temple is from April through November. The summer months are the most pleasant, and simply meandering around this region may be enjoyable. Because the Nathu La Pass is blocked during the winter, accessing Baba Mandir may be impossible.

How should I visit?

On the approach to the famed Nathu La Pass, Baba Temple might be a pit break. The shrine is around 55-60 kilometers from Gangtok. There is a split in the road where your automobile will take you to the temple when the road bends towards Kupup Valley towards Tukia. Before visiting this region, which is vitally important to Indo-China ties, a Protected Area Permit is required.

Because this shrine is so popular with visitors, obtaining a local vehicle to transport you there will be no trouble.

Tips for smooth travel

This Samadhi is less frequented by tourists. Visitors must climb 50 stairs to reach the bunker, where the Samadhi was created. This was where Baba was stationed while serving in the Indian Army. However, for the convenience of visitors, the Samadhi of Baba Harbajan Sing has been reconstructed near the intersection of the Kupup Gnathang road and the path leading to Memencho Lake, and the shrine is known as the new Baba Mandir.

Tso Lhamo Lake

It is a beautiful lake in North Sikkim known by several names, including Tso Lhamo Lake, Chho Lhamo, Cholamu Lake, and Cholamoo Lake. It is one of the highest lakes in the world, located at an elevation of 5,330 meters, and it experiences harsh temperatures, making it inaccessible to the majority of travelers. Tso Lhamo Lake is one of the sources of the River Teesta and is fed by the snow-covered mountains that surround it. This tranquil lake, resting in the lap of mother nature’s isolated area, is gifted with lovely views that create an amazing ambiance and provide the few visitors with a sense of tranquility.

Why should I visit this? there?

Tso Lhamo Lake is nature’s barrier, located 4 kilometers from the Chinese border. Because this body of water is off the usual road, most visitors bypass it in favor of other sights. Tso Lhamo, on the other hand, should be on your list if you wish to walk around a lake that feeds the great Teesta.

Tso Lhamo, India’s highest lake, is located at an elevation of over 17,500 feet. To say the least, the surroundings are breathtaking. Tso Lhamo is the place to go if you want to see nature at its most natural and unspoiled by modernity. This crystal-blue waterbody in north Sikkim is surrounded by snow-capped mountains speckled with lichen. The reflection of the sky in the lake on a clear day can captivate you for hours.

When should I visit?

The months of October and November are thought to be the ideal for getting clear views of the surrounding mountain-scape. The clouds part, and the gorgeous sky makes the difficult journey there worthwhile.

Tso Lhamo Lake is totally frozen over and the place appears like a snow chamber if you can endure the winters. Summer is the best time to go on a hike. The months of May, June, and October are ideal for visiting this enchanted lake.

How should I visit?

Lachen, a northern town, is a 6-hour driving trip from Gangtok. If you’re travelling alone, using a shared jeep is your best bet. Tso Lhamo Lake is 75 kilometres away from there. This is an excellent place for a first-time trekker to get experience in Sikkim’s tough terrain. If hiking isn’t your style, tour firms provide tours to and from Tso Lhamo along the Gangtok-Chungthang Road.

Because of the lake’s closeness to the Chinese border, landing here requires an Army authorization. If you don’t want to get turned back at a checkpoint, make sure you have all the necessary permits.

Tips for smooth travel

Tso Lhamo photographs, while stunning, do not convey the soul of this waterbody. Because this place is a little more difficult to reach, pushing yourself to finish the walk will bring you wonderful benefits in the shape of enchanting beauty.

Don’t get fooled if the local guides refer to this lake by different names. Other names for this remarkable place are Cholamoo and Cholamu.

You may visit a lot of freshwater lakes in Sikkim, but the tallest one, Tso Lhamo, will give you something to brag about.

Thangu

Thangu sits at an elevation of 13000 ft. Thangu is located around 30 kilometres north of Lachen. Because it is located at a high altitude, the area is usually blanketed with snow. The area is enveloped in a white covering of snow, especially from October to March. However, once the flowering season begins in May, this whiteness transforms into a kaleidoscope of colours. Thangu’s alpine greenery is renowned for its natural beauty granted by God’s hand.

Thangu is a little town where many travellers stop to acclimate before continuing on to Gurudongmar Lake or Muguthang. Its alpine meadows are peppered with wooden cottages and army bases. The tranquil water of the Teesta running across the valley is a stunning contrast. The valley of Thangu is mostly populated by Nomadic tribes and is crisscrossed by a multitude of streams and rivulets, the most prominent of which are Chopta Chu, Thangu Chu, and Lassur Chu.

Visitors who want to walk and explore the region can take the paths from Thangu to Chopta Valley and Muguthang.

Why should I visit this?

Thangu Valley is not only beautiful, but it is also a great place for short hikes. Trekking in this area brings you along mountain trails and into the heart of the mountains and valleys. Chopta Valley, Green Lake, and Muguthang are famous trekking destinations. It is crucial to remember that hikers must have their own trekking equipment because there are no shops in Thangu.

Permissions are necessary for access to Thangu, and it is essential to check with your travel agency about any permits required for hiking routes before going on the adventure.

When should I visit?

Tangu Valley may be visited in two seasons: winter and summer. The rich nature of this location is best enjoyed during the summer season, which lasts from May to September. It turns into a white winter wonderland in the winter. Summers in this valley are mild, and the annual yak race, “Thangu,” takes place at this period. From November through June is the finest season to visit Thangu Valley. It should be avoided at all costs during the monsoon season. During the winter, this area is quite cold, and even in June and July, the daytime temperature in Thangu valley fluctuates between 4 and 12 degrees Celsius.

How should I visit?

Thangu Valley rises 3,900 metres above sea level. It is just a few kilometres away from Lachen. However, due to frequent landslides and the road’s steep incline, you would need more than an hour to travel this distance. Many visitors opt to spend the night in Lachen before exploring the valley.

The nearest train station to Thangu Valley is New Jalpaiguri, which is 147 kilometres away and may be reached by private vehicle or bus.

Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport to Sikkim. Once there, there are various buses or shared jeeps that will transport you to the valley.

Tips for smooth travel

Keep these Thangu Valley travel recommendations in mind if you don’t want to get into any unneeded difficulty. Skimming over these hints can save you a lot of time and effort.

Because of the high altitude of Thangu valley in Lachen, please take the required precautions if you want to remain there, especially during the winter, as significant snowfall is possible.

Because the Valley’s options are limited, make sure to include all of the essentials, especially if you’re going with children.

To visit North Sikkim, make sure you have an Inner Line Permit.

AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) is frequent here, so acclimate well and keep cheap medications on hand.

Prepare for unexpected rainstorms by being prepared and well-equipped.

Thakurbari Temple Gangtok

Thakurbari is a Hindu temple located on MG Marg in Gangtok, Sikkim, 500 kilometres from Gangtok SNT Bus Station. It is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Gangtok and one of the oldest Hindu temples in Sikkim, and it is located in the centre of the city.

It was established in 1935 as a tiny temple on land granted by the former Chogyal of Sikkim. Following that, between 1945 and 1947, the temple was developed to a significant temple complex. The temple has practically all of the major deities and has developed as an important point of convergence for Gangtok’s Hindu population. The temple complex was expanded in 2011 to incorporate a multipurpose hall and a library.

On a huge scale, the temple arranges several festivals and social gatherings. These festivities attract a great number of visitors and tourists from all over the world. Visitors gather here to worship the Lord and to accept his blessings.

Why should I visit this?

The Thakurbari Temple in the centre of Gangtok provides proof that the Chogyals, the emperors of the erstwhile country of Sikkim, were religiously tolerant. The site for the temple was granted by a Namgyal dynasty prince in 1935, and it is one of the region’s oldest Hindu temples.

The Thakurbari Temple draws people from all around the country. This temple is a must-see for visitors who come to Sikkim to see the religious monuments and constructions. Thakurbari Temple is home to all of Hinduism’s most prominent deities. The building is unremarkable, yet the peacefulness of the inner sanctuary contrasts with the clamour and bustle of the city.

When should I visit?

Visitors can visit the temple from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The ideal time to visit this temple is early in the morning, when the priests perform their rites and you can get a peek of Sikkim’s Hindu population.

How should I visit?

Take a taxi from MG Marg Market and proceed south-east to Tibet Road. Take a left into Bhanu Path Road, then a quick left onto NH10. MG Marg is a 10-minute drive from Thakurbari Temple.

Take a trip down to this temple if you want to get a feel for Gangtok. While it may take a little longer to get there, you will come across a lot of kind locals who will lead you to this sacred centre.

Following are the modes to reach the temple:

  • In a taxi
  • By using a taxi
  • Renting a bicycle

Tips for smooth travel

If you visit this temple during October and November, your visit may overlap with Chhath Puja. Thakurbari Temple celebrates this old Hindu Vedic festival with zeal. It is said to be the most environmentally friendly of all Hindu festivals, and it is centred on Surya, the Sun God, the god of energy.

Aside from Chhath Puja, Thakurbari Temple celebrates a number of Hindu festivals throughout the year. If you’re lucky, you’ll be there when a light and sound performance is put on for travellers and pilgrims.

Temi Tea Garden

Temi tea plants were established in 1969 by the Government of Sikkim and grow along the steep slopes of the hills coming from the Tendong Hills, ranging from 120o to 1800 m. Temi’s 177-hectare-spread gardens provide premium-quality tea leaves with international demand. The path to the processing factory is characterised by well-trimmed cherry blossom trees amidst meadows filled with ferns and grazing grasses along reach Tendong Hill.

Once you get in the garden, the breathtaking views of Khangchendzonga wrapped in snow utterly enthral guests and leave them speechless. Temi Tea Estate is Sikkim’s sole tea garden, producing around 1 lakh kg of tea per year using an organic approach in accordance with the requirements of Switzerland’s Institute of Marketecology (IMO).

Why should I visit this? there?

A magnificent 440-acre tract of land covered with emerald-hued tea plants is nestled among the towering snow-capped mountains of South Sikkim. Despite tough competition from its rivals in neighbouring Darjeeling, Temi Tea Garden, Sikkim’s lone tea growing district, has established itself as one of the world’s greatest tea producers in several auction houses. The Chogyal (King) established the plantation in 1969 to offer work to Tibetan refugees who fled to Sikkim following the Chinese invasion.

The vintage home inside the tea garden is a great location to relax during your stay. The cottage, built by Scottish missionaries in the early 1900s, transports you back in time with its colonial architecture, functioning fireplace, and wooden furnishings.

During your stay, you will learn the subtleties of tea production, from picking to culturing. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go paragliding to see some breathtaking views of the area.

When should I visit?

The greatest time to visit this gorgeous place is from March to May, when Temi Tea Garden is decked with lush fields of eye-catching rhododendrons and orchids. During the winter, the calm and clear air makes it ideal for touring and spending some pleasant minutes amidst this wonderful scenery. If you wish to visit in the winter, November is the best month to explore this exquisite sanctuary, which is adorned with lush green ferns and flowering cherry blossom trees.

How should I visit?

By Air – Bagdogra Airport is the closest airport to the state of Sikkim, and it is roughly 124 kilometres from Gangtok, the capital city. This airport has great access to a number of key cities, including Guwahati, Delhi, and Kolkata. You may also take use of the helicopter service provided at Bagdogra Airport, and then use cabs and taxis to get about the city.

By Road — Sikkim is well connected to major cities by a well-maintained road network, and it is easily accessible via prime road routes from West Bengal’s Kalimpong and Siliguri. You may also use the Sikkim Nationalized Transport Facilities, which provides frequent bus service along these important routes. Taxis and cabs may be hired to get to many important regions of the city.

By Rail – The New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri Railway Stations in West Bengal are 126 kilometres and 114 km apart, respectively. To get from Namchi to Temi Tea Garden in South Sikkim, you can hire a vehicle.

Tips for smooth travel

Just go  on with simple and loose attire if you are seeking to enjoy the garden to the fullest. While trees such as Nepalese Alder, beech, and cherry dominate the region’s vegetation, the area is also home to a variety of birds such as rusty-bellied shortwing, crimson-horned pheasant, kalij, and others, as well as snakes such as cobra, krait, and viper.

Tarey Bhir

Tarey Bhir is a fantastic attraction for those who enjoy natural thrills. It is located in a picturesque setting in the rural hamlet of Sadam, which is about 18 kilometres from Namchi. The word ‘Bhir’ means cliff in Nepali, and the length is around 10,000 feet, with a breathtaking viewpoint at the edge from which people can get spectacular views of the river valleys below, the lush green forest coverage, and a panoramic view of the confluence of the two rivers of Sikkim, Teesta and Rangit.

Tarey Bhir also provides a thorough view of the tea garden, which is splayed on a sloppy hill of Peshok and is lined by a train of residences that runs along the route to Darjeeling.

Why should I visit this? there?

While trees such as Nepalese Alder, beech, and cherry dominate the region’s vegetation, the area is also home to a variety of birds such as rusty-bellied shortwing, crimson-horned pheasant, kalij, and others, as well as snakes such as cobra, krait, and viper.

When should I visit?

You may visit Sikkim during the months of March and May, or September and November. During these months, the weather is generally beautiful, with bright and sunny days that are excellent for admiring the grandeur of the hills. The months of December through February are often fairly chilly. Despite this, many tourists prefer winter. Monsoon season, which lasts from May to August, brings torrential rain, making the perilous stroll down Tarey Bhir slightly risky.

How should I visit?

A hike down Tarey Bhir provides for an exciting day excursion from Namchi, South Sikkim’s main town. To reach here, take a taxi from Namchi that travels to Sadam. The road splits in two along the way, and you must follow the route to the right. Tarey Bhir is located around 16 kilometres from Namchi, near the little settlement of Sukhbarey. The route begins with a shabby state tourist board.

Tips for smooth travel

Do not leave litter in the area, and bring your waste with you. Wear adequate walking shoes and avoid plucking any plants. If you have a phobia of heights or vertigo, this trek might not be the ideal option for you.

The trek begins with a downward paved pathway. The perilous yet attractive path is erected on top of a mountain and is surrounded on one side by bottle green pines and on the other by a lighter green carpet of grass, moss, and small bushes. The walkway, which is reminiscent of bridges and paths erected in China’s hilly regions, goes to the brink of a cliff with expansive views of the neighbouring Himalayan peaks. You can also view the Darjeeling and Kalimpong hills from here, which are at a lower elevation. It also provides stunning views of the confluence of two rivers, the Teesta and Rangit, which meander through the valley below.

Saramsa Garden

Saramsa Garden, popularly known as Ipecac Garden, is located 14 kilometres from Gangtok and is truly a sensory delight. The stunning array of different coloured flowers, together with the surrounding lush vegetation, will capture your attention. There is also a big greenhouse in the garden that houses a variety of orchids. The enthralling garden is also well-developed, allowing you to participate in leisure sports like as volleyball and football. Aside from these amenities, it also includes a conference centre adjacent to the nursery where all gatherings and meetings are held.

The Forest Department of the government of Sikkim established this garden in 1922 with the primary goal of catering to the requirements of British officials as well as the Namgyal royal family. After the Forest Department introduced a medicinal plant known as ‘Cephaelis Ipecacuanha’ in 1940, the garden was given the name ‘Ipecac.’ Previously, the garden had a variety of fruit trees such as orange, pineapple, guava, and banana. A variety of orchids were also planted in the area, and the garden eventually became a picnic place.

Why should I visit this? there?

Saramsa is a great place to visit if you appreciate exploring gardens and their blooms. The Sikkim government has permitted the development of a variety of orchids and other flora in this recreation area, converting it into a beautiful garden.

Saramsa Garden is an ideal picnic area for visitors visiting Sikkim with their family. This beautiful park is ideal for long, unhurried strolls. Pass by charming footbridges, faux-Victorian lampposts, and evergreen bushes of varied heights. Saramsa Garden draws both residents and tourists on a clear day. From this area, one can also see the rushing waters of the Rani River.

When should I visit?

Saramsa Park is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week. You may avoid the crowds by arriving early on a weekday. When you can explore the vegetation in peace, the park is at its best. An admission fee of ten dollars is required.

How should I visit?

Saramsa Garden is 14.1 kilometres from Gangtok. A 45-minute cab trip along Indira Bypass Road will get you to the garden, and you’ll know you’re close when you pass the Shiva Panchayatan Temple on the way.

The garden is 2 kilometres from Ranipool, a lovely east Sikkim village, and is positioned between the hill slopes of Pakyong and Gangtok.

Tips for smooth travel

Don’t miss the vast nursery inside, which serves as a display of Sikkim’s rich floriculture. Saramsa Garden, in fact, is an excellent starting point for botany enthusiasts visiting Sikkim due to its diverse flora. The bushes and small trees that surround Samsara Garden are trimmed into various forms, adding to the park’s attractiveness.

The park is separated into blocks, and one of the most attractive areas is near the entrance gate, to the north-west. A high canopy of trees has grown, shutting off the sunshine and providing a natural shelter where one may relax and spend some quiet time surrounded by nature.

Sanga Choeling Monastery

This monastery’s monks adhere to the Nyingma lineage, the oldest ancient school of Tibetan Buddhism. Lamas recite hymns and sing prayers in the monastery’s inner sanctuary on the 10th day of every month (according to the Tibetan calendar).

The unpretentious form of Tibetan architecture may be seen from the exterior. The Sanga Choeling Monastery houses 17th century clay idols. There are also statues of Padmasambhava, Sakyamuni, and Vajrasattava, and the walls are decorated with colourful images of Buddhist deities. At this old sacred edifice, an exquisite painting of a bhavachakra, or Wheel of Life, is a remarkable addition.

It should be mentioned that only the Bhutia and Lepcha groups are permitted to visit the gompa’s inner sanctuary.

Sanga Choeling, like many monasteries in Sikkim, was built with the natural surroundings in mind. When you look at the mountain backdrop, the gompa fits perfectly into the frame that only nature could have created.

Why should I visit this? there?

Sanga Choeling Gompa is located on a ridge directly across from Pemayangtse Monastery. From a distance, the monastery appears to be balanced on a hill, while the mountains in the background provide a lovely backdrop. This monastery, built in the 17th century, is one of the oldest in Sikkim and attracts worshippers and visitors from all over the world.

Sanga Choeling, also known as the “place of mysterious magic,” is reached by strolling through a dense forest of deciduous trees. The temple’s groomed courtyard is reached after a 4km trek through a tunnel of forest. This monastery is a must-see for anybody interested in traditional Tibetan architecture.

When should I visit?

Because the monastery is situated on a ridge, it provides a spectacular view of the Himalayan Range. The finest aspect of a winter visit is seeing Pelling blanketed in snow and the mountains rising out of the mist like white towers.

The Pemayangtse Monastery on the adjacent hill is more visible during the summer months. The panoramic vista of the mountains is far superior to any postcard you’ve ever received.

The beauty of Sikkim changes depending on when you visit. Because of their ease of access, summer months attract the greatest number of visitors. If you’re looking for a true experience, schedule your vacation between November and February.

The monastery is available to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Make sure you arrive before the sun goes down to enjoy the scenic surrounds.

How should I visit?

If you’re doing the Sikkim history trail, Sanga Choeling Gompa should come after Pemayangtse. Both of these monasteries are in Pelling, a western town roughly 135 kilometres from Gangtok. If you’re travelling in a group, the best choice is to take a cab. Solo travellers, on the other hand, should try to find a shared cab to save money on transportation.

The entrance to this gompa is about a 2-kilometer walk from the Upper Pelling football field.

Tips for smooth travel

Please make an inquiry before to your visit.

Rayong sunrise viewpoint

Prepare to savour every minute spent at Rayong Sunrise View Point, as this location offers stunning views. Ravangla, located in the southern area of Sikkim, attracts numerous visitors from all over the world. This is a major tourist attraction because it vividly exhibits the awe-inspiring views of the Singalila and Chola ranges. Many people go to the vantage point before the sun rises to take in the breathtaking beauty of the golden sunrise. And when the sun rises above Bhutan’s Chola Range, the light illuminates breathtaking views of peaks such as Mt. Narsing, Kabur, Jopuno, Rathong, and Pandim.

Rayong is well-known for its stunning vistas of the Himalayan Mountains, but its appeal extends beyond that. If you’re feeling adventurous, Rayong can also serve as the starting point for a trip to the quiet settlement of Tinkitam. Tinkitam is well-known for its unique orchid species and rhododendron meadows, and locals will tell you about a dormant volcano that you can see from here. Temi Tea Gardens, Sikkim’s lone tea estate, is not far from this town.

The Rayong Sunrise View Point is more than simply a lovely high-elevation site. For first-time hikers, Rayong can serve as a jumping-off place for exploring the Sikkimese landscape.

Why should I visit this? there?

Tourists visit Ravangla for the Buddha Park and the Temi Tea Gardens, but the Rayong Sunrise View Point is far and away the most popular among both visitors and residents. It’s an excellent vantage point from which to observe nature’s dramatic start to the day. The mountain ranges are bathed in natural light as the sunrays pass through the sky, and the scene is nothing short of breathtaking.

The sun rises above Bhutan’s Dongkya (Chola) Range, and parts of the Singalila Ridge are illuminated by the sun’s flaming rays. Rayong, at about 7000 feet above sea level, provides visitors with breathtaking views of the Himalayan ranges of Jopuno, Pandim, Rathong, Narsing, and Kabur. If you’re seeking for the ideal way to begin, here is the place to be.

When should I visit?

Check the dawn times the night before so you can plan accordingly.

Rayong Sunrise View Point is best visited in the spring and summer. That’s when you’ll have the greatest views and the dawn will be at its most spectacular. If you’re in Sikkim in September, make a trek here because the monsoon is waning and the vistas are considerably clearer.

If you visit Rayong towards the end of August or beginning of September, you will be able to see the Pang Lhabsol festival in Ravangla. This traditional celebration is held to honour Mount Kanchenjunga, Sikkim’s primary protector. The region’s Bhutias believe that Lhatsun Chenpo was guided by the mountain deity through visions to Demajong, the ‘hidden valley of rice,’ a fabled local name for Sikkim. This is the ideal opportunity to enjoy delectable Sikkimese cuisine, soak in local culture, and return home with pleasant recollections of a beautiful Buddhist celebration.

How should I visit?

If you’re visiting Rayong to see the dawn from Gangtok, you’ll need to get up early because the vantage point is about 70 kilometres from the city.

Because Ravangla is a tourist destination, there are a variety of lodging alternatives, and you’d be better suited staying the night here and starting your day with the dawn at Rayong. The vantage point is fewer than 10 kilometres (through the Ravangla-Damthang Road) from the Ravangla Bus Stand, from whence you may take a shared cab or jeep.

Tips for smooth travel

Don’t take too much luggage while going to the elevation.

Wear comfortable shoes and clothing to make the trip more enjoyable.

Phensang Monastery

At Phensang Sangag Choling Monastery, explore the spiritual side of Sikkim’s premier monastery. Phensang Monastery, which is situated on a hill, is one of Sikkim’s largest monasteries, with the most monks. In 1721 A.D., on his route to the Northern Zone, the 3rd Lhatsun Jigmed Pawo erected this monastery.

The monastery was renovated in 1840 and can now accommodate a considerable number of monks. Unfortunately, the monastery was destroyed by fire in 1947, but it was rebuilt the following year. The monastery was devastated again in 1983 due to excessive rain, but it was reconstructed with the help of government aid and cooperation.

Why should I visit?

The Phensang Monastery is on a short incline that runs from the tiny hamlet of Kabi to the terrace-farming town of Phodong. This religious building belongs to the Nyingma Order of Buddhism and is one of Sikkim’s six largest gompas.

Phensang, like the slopes that control Sikkim’s geography, has seen its fair share of ups and downs. The monastery was founded in 1721 by the 3rd Lhatsun Tragthung Jigmed Pawo and enlarged in 1850 to accommodate the expanding number of monks. The gompa was destroyed by fire in 1947, and though it was quickly rebuilt the following year, the severe rains of 1983 caused irreversible damage. The Lamas, with the help of the government, were able to rebuild the edifice by 1996.

When Should I visit?

Summer and spring are the finest times to see the magnificent vistas from surrounding the monastery. Between March and June, beautiful panoramas overlooking distant mountains, clean blue skies, and religious significance make this a popular tourist destination.

If you travel in December, Phensang Monastery conducts an annual event that takes place on the 28th and 29th days of the Tibetan calendar’s 10th month. Plan your vacation around this period if you want to see the snow-covered mountains, participate in a Buddhist celebration, and learn about Sikkimese culture. The monks perform sacred dances as part of this event, which normally takes place a few days before the Tibetan New Year.

The Phensang Monastery gates open at 8 a.m. If you want to avoid the crowds, come here between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.

How should I visit?

Phensang Monastery is about 40 kilometres from Gangtok and is located along the north Sikkim highway. If you take a jeep from MG Marg, you’ll pass through the famed Tashi View Point ridge on your way to Phodong. From here, a trail leads uphill for about 6 kilometres until you reach the Phensang Monastery’s entrance.

Tips for smooth travel

While exploring the inner sanctum of the Phensang Monastery, refrain from making loud noises or using cell phones.

Make careful to walk around the monastery in a clockwise direction, as this is the religious tradition.

In the monastery, do not touch the idols, statues, paintings, or other sacred items.

The Phensang Sangag Chodding Monastery has survived natural disasters and serves as a symbol of faith’s healing power in the region. If you’re visiting Sikkim for the gompas, be sure to include this one on your itinerary. While exploring the inner sanctum of the Phensang Monastery, refrain from making loud noises or using cell phones.

Make careful to walk around the monastery in a clockwise direction, as this is the religious tradition.

In the monastery, do not touch the idols, statues, paintings, or other sacred items.

The Phensang Sangag Chodding Monastery has survived natural disasters and serves as a symbol of faith’s healing power in the region. If you’re visiting Sikkim for the gompas, be sure to include this one on your itinerary.

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology has funded and encouraged study on the religion, history, language, art, and culture of the Tibetan cultural region, which includes Sikkim, since its inception in 1958. The NIT library houses one of the world’s greatest collections of Tibetan books outside of Tibet, as well as a museum of Tibetan iconography and religious art. Since 1964, it has produced the Bulletin of Tibetology as well as several publications.

Tashi Namgyal, the 11th Chogyal (king) of Sikkim, donated the land on which the institute was built, giving rise to the institute’s name.

The large silver Manjushri picture, carried all the way from Tibet, is one of the first artefacts that strikes your sight. Manjushri is the ‘Gentle-Glory’ Bodhisattva of knowledge and understanding.

Ancient thangkas (traditional Buddhist scroll paintings), coins, trumpets made of human bones, ceremonial artefacts, currencies, amulets, and idols are shown in glass cases. A palm leaf book from the 11th century and a Chinese text from the 12th century from South Korea are also on show. Kasyapagotra and Madhyama were two Asoka-era Buddhist missionaries whose remains are housed in finely crafted caskets at NIT.

Why should I visit this?

A visit to Sikkim would be incomplete without attending a live history lecture at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT). A visit here will provide you with a greater knowledge of Buddhism and Tibetan socio-religious values as a traveller. This institute, in addition to housing a substantial collection of Tibetan/Buddhist artefacts, is one of the major repositories of Tibetan literature outside of Tibet. As a result, NIT is a must-see for anybody interested in religious art and iconography. The main structure embodies the beauties of Sikkimese architecture perfectly.

The current Dalai Lama lay the foundation stone for Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in 1957, and the museum was officially opened the following year by Jawaharlal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India.

When should I visit?

The museum and library are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The admission cost is only ten dollars. Keep in mind that the institute is closed on national holidays.

How should I visit?

NIT is a little more than 2 kilometres from Gangtok town, and you can take a cab directly to the gate. If you are staying in downtown Gangtok, request that the driver transport you to Deorali in the south.

The Do-Drul Chorten Stupa is a short walk away, and you may take a leisurely journey to this popular hilltop building.

Tips for smooth travel

  1. Before entering the museum, remove your shoes.
  2. Photography is absolutely banned within the museum.
  3. A cosy café beside the Namgyal Institute building 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 break after the tour to sit and relax and talk about the overall experience.

Lingdum Monastery

Lingdum Monastery, also known as Ranka Monastery and Pal Zurmang Kagyud Monastery, is located in Ranka, about 20 kilometres from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The monastery, which was inaugurated in 1999, is built in a large and attractive location. Lingdum Monastery is ideal for individuals seeking serenity as well as those seeking visual beauty.

Lingdum Monastery, surrounded by greenery, is regarded as one of East Sikkim’s most beautiful monasteries. The monastery is about an hour’s journey from the city. Lingdum Monastery, erected in the late 1990s, does not have much historical and mythical significance to emphasise or discuss, unlike those built in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Lingdum Monastery, also known as Ranka Monastery, was built in the Tibetan architectural style and is an important site of prayer. The monastery also serves as a training facility for new and novice monks. Lingdum Monastery adheres to the Zurmang Kagyud tradition of Buddhism, which is led by the lineage’s 12th heir, Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche.

Why should I visit this?

Though Lingdum or Ranka Monastery is a relatively new addition to Sikkim’s extensive repertory of Buddhist monasteries, it easily wins the title for most scenic. The Lingdum monastery, located in the same mountain range as Rumtek, was built by Zurmang Gharwang Rinpoche, the 12th incarnation of Zurmang Gharwang of the Kagyu Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Despite the fact that work began in 1992, it was not completed until 1999.

This magnificent monastic complex is built across 21 acres of lushly wooded mountain side and gives a spectacular perspective of the gorgeous mountains that surround it.

As you go in, you’ll be met with a slew of intricately carved prayer wheels. A huge courtyard in the centre of the compound has an impressive main temple. Inside the main prayer hall, a 5-metre-tall gilded figure of Buddha stands alongside a smaller statue of Guru Padmasambhava. It also has a significant collection of Buddhist texts. The walls are adorned with beautiful thangka paintings and colourful hand-stitched wall hangings.

In addition to the vehicle lot, the monastery complex offers a café and a small souvenir shop for guests.

When should I visit?

The ideal months to visit, like with all other sites in Sikkim, are March to May and September to October. If you are a cultural lover who wants to explore monasteries, you should go during Lhosar, which is the Tibetan New Year. The majority of monasteries commemorate it with tremendous fanfare and delight. Another event named Gutor is observed at the Lingdum Monastery just two days before Lhosar, which normally falls between the months of January and February. Incredible masked dances are done to depict good triumphing over evil. It is unquestionably a visual feast!

How should I visit?

The Lingdum Monastery is located in Ranka, a little town around 16 kilometres from Gangtok’s main metropolis. On the same path, there is another well-known site named Banjhakri Falls. The road to the monastery is in poor condition, therefore it is best to rent a bigger vehicle to transport you there from Gangtok.

Tips for smooth travel

Unlike other monasteries, the full Lingdum Monastery grounds are available to tourists. Take care not to disturb the monks and obtain permission before taking images.

Lake Menmecho

At an elevation of 12,500 feet, Menmecho Lake is one of Sikkim’s most picturesque lakes. Menmecho Lake, surrounded by virgin pine trees and steep hills, is reported to change colours every minute. From January to August, the lake is nourished by the waters of the adjacent mountains of Jelep La Pass and remains frozen. Menmecho Lake is reached through a small 4 km twisting road next to Baba Mandir.

Cars cannot access Menmecho Lake, but you may walk the 4 kilometres to the lake. There is a lookout on the lake’s banks where hikers may pause and admire the beauty of the lake unfolding before them. Menmecho Lake is well-known for its trout population in addition to its mystical beauty. The lake is one of Sikkim’s greatest trout cultivation areas, and the Fisheries Department even has a hut there.

Why should I visit this? there?

It’s no surprise that the incredibly gorgeous region of Sikkim contains a lake that changes colour every few minutes. Lake Menmecho shimmers with varied colours depending on the time of day, whether owing to minerals in the lakebed or a trick of light. This lake, located at an elevation of 12,500 feet, offers sandy shoreline and crystal blue waters.

Most visitors see this lake from the road as they go towards Nathu La. However, if you want to see a little lake with a vista unlike any other in Sikkim, make this a priority on your itinerary.

When should I visit?

Lake Menmecho freezes very swiftly as winter approaches. The lake progressively thaws over the summer, so your best chance is to visit in the late summer months. You’ll be able to see the tranquil waters of Lake Menmecho this way.

How should I visit?

To begin with, a jeep cannot transport you all the way to the shores of Lake Menmecho. This lake is located around 60 kilometres from Gangtok and is equidistant (23 kilometres) from Changu Lake and Tsomgo Lake on each side.

There is a dirt path that twists downwards to the right if you are visiting Baba Mandir. Follow this trail for about 4 kilometres until you reach Lake Menmecho at the end of your tour. While the forest route going down to the waterbody is steep, the banks are rarely crowded, and you may enjoy Menmecho Lake’s peacefulness.

Tips for smooth travel

As you approach Lake Menmecho, the first thing you notice are the tall pine trees that encircle the beaches and climb higher, acting as nature’s sentinels. The high mountain slopes against a beautiful blue sky are so captivating that you will find it difficult to leave.

The grandeur of Lake Menmecho is a nice break after the 4km journey along the forest path with scraggly shrubs and limbs jutting out like hands. At some time, big clouds will sweep across the sun, casting lengthy shadows on the trees, and as the lake changes colour, you will understand that nothing beats Mother Nature’s magnificence.

Kanchenjunga Falls

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

Kanchenjunga Falls is a perennial waterfall located about an hour’s drive from Pelling in the direction of Yuksom. The magnificent waterfall is thought to have its origins in the glaciers of Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain. It cascades down from a height of 100 feet into a swimming pool. Kanchenjunga Falls was unknown to the general public until the 1990s. It only became famous after a local tour operator named Topjor Bhutia found it by mistake. Today, this location is one of the most popular tourist destinations in West Sikkim.

The waterfalls, known for their magnificent beauty and splendour, are an ideal setting for a picnic with family and friends. Tourists must climb roughly 50 steps from the road to reach the falls, which are located at a steep curve on the road side. Rope sliding is an alternative for adrenaline enthusiasts. On the steps, there are also a number of little food vendors serving chat, tea, and Maggie.

Kanchenjunga Fall may be viewed at any time of year because it is a perpetual waterfall. The greatest time to visit in the fall, though, is after the rainy season.

Why should I visit this? there?

A waterfall that gushes continuously throughout the year has a wonderful quality to it. Kanchenjunga Falls, which pours down from a height of around 100 feet, is a famous tourist and local site. The permanent, two-pronged waterfall twists its way among black stones and jutting-out branches, creating little pools of freshwater.

Travelers come here for the panoramic splendour, which makes it a perfect picnic place. If you’re visiting Sikkim with your family, this waterfall is ideal because it’s open all year.

When should I visit?

The best time to see Kanchenjunga Falls is immediately following the rainy season. This is when the waterfall is at its most spectacular, and the foliage shines out against the stony surface.

The waterfall’s everlasting nature means that you will never be disappointed by this tourist attraction. In the summer, beams of sunlight illuminate the waterfall, giving the impression that you are travelling through the forests of a wonderful place.

The Falls are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Try to arrive as soon as it opens or as close to closing time as possible. This way, you can avoid the throng and enjoy a tranquil walk in nature.

How should I visit?

Kanchenjunga Falls is around a 5-hour drive from Gangtok. This waterfall is about 7-8 kilometres away if you visit Yuksom, as most Sikkim trips do. There is a steep curve in the road, and a few of shanties have been erected up to offer food and beverages. The waterfall is reached through a stone stairway (about 50 steps).

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

A small admission charge of ₹20 is required.

Tips for smooth travel

Locals will tell you an intriguing storey of how this waterfall was concealed for so long. As hundreds of visitors passed by on their way to other sights, Kanchenjunga Falls flowed gently. Topjor Bhutia, a local tour guide, is reported to have found this hidden gem by mistake in the 1990s. Whether or not that storey is accurate, this waterfall should be on your bucket list.

Time has no meaning here since you are surrounded by the gentle murmur of water dashing against rocks and bird tweeting. Kanchenjunga Falls is a great place to discover quiet in nature without having to work too hard.

Jawaharlal Nehru Botnical Garden

The Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is a beautiful green stretch of land that captivates tourists with its tranquil beauty. The Garden, located near Rumtek Monastery on the highway, has uncommon plants, trees, and several flower species, including Himalayan Orchids. The Forest Department of the Government of Sikkim, through its Parks and Gardens branch, looks after this luscious green stretch of land.

Jawaharlal Nehru Plant Garden, was opened in 1987, is home to a wide range of botanical species. The Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden also has rich temperate oak woodlands. It is home to at least 50 distinct tree species. The diverse diversity of flora and flowers is sometimes attributed to the height range of 1800 to 2200 metres. The Garden has a well-kept collection of tropical and temperate plants.

In the yard, a massive greenhouse has been built to cultivate several species of Orchids. A modest recreational area with a merry-go-round, swings, and a see-saw has been created with the goal of providing entertainment for children. Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden, located in the Himalayan area of Sikkim, is a delectable treat for plant enthusiasts. In general, the garden has maintained its status as an outstanding picnic location.

Why should I visit this? there?

The Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is stunning, and its wave-like height further adds to its natural beauty. This garden is Sikkim’s version of the Garden of Eden for individuals who appreciate being surrounded by nature.

The Sikkimese Forest Department’s Parks and Gardens unit has done an excellent job of preserving all of the trees, blooming plants, and bushes. Time stops as you walk about the garden, inspecting the unusual flower species and simply taking in the natural grandeur of the location. The garden is believed to include over 50 distinct tree species, including thick temperate clusters of big oaks.

When should I visit?

The greatest time to visit this garden to appreciate its beauty is during the spring and summer, when the flowers are in bloom. Anytime between March and late May is a fantastic time to visit.

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

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

The park opens at 8 a.m. seven days a week and closes at 6.30 p.m. To experience the natural tranquillity, one should arrive as early as possible, as is the case with all botanical gardens. Two hours of walking along the authorised trail is more than enough time to see this vast botanical park.

How should I visit?

If you’re visiting Rumtek Monastery, the Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is only a 5-minute walk away.

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

There is a ten-rupee admission charge.

Tips for smooth travel

Make sure to stay off the grass and on the well marked walkways.

Because the conservatory is not a park, please refrain from picking 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 floriculture. Respect the natural beauty of the area by avoiding polluting it.

Hanuman Tok

Hanuman Tok, an immaculate and holy spot in Gangtok’s highest reaches, is devoted to Lord Hanuman, the Hindu monkey God. It’s a temple complex that attracts visitors from all across the country. This Sikkim shrine lies 11 kilometres from Gangtok, on the way to another well-known site, Nathula. A visit to this location will leave you feeling spiritual; as you ascend the stairs, you will see a distant prayer and hear holy music. The best part of it all is the view, which includes a little section of Gangtok town as well as the appealing nearby hills and valleys.

According to mythology, Hanuman swooped down to this area to rest while flying from the Himalayas to Lanka with Sanjeevani (herb) Mountain to save Lord Rama’s brother, Lakshman. Near the Hanuman Shrine, there is also a little Saibaba temple. Several stupas and chortens can also be seen here, as well as a cremation site for the Namgyal Royal dynasty of Sikkim, which is located just before the stairway’s entrance. This sacred site in Gangtok is surrounded by lush flora and has a view of Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak. The Indian Army is currently in charge of Hanuman Tok.

Why should I visit this? there?

Sikkim is a land of monasteries, and Buddhism is deeply ingrained in its culture. The Hanuman Tok (temple) can, nevertheless, provide a pleasant respite from gompa exploration. The vantage location of this temple is one of the key reasons why it attracts visitors. You reach a viewing gallery with a breath-taking view of the Kanchenjunga as you travel up the stairway lined with bells hanging from the ceiling. The bizarre mountains in the distance covered in mist, situated at a height of almost 7000ft, are a sight that will linger long after you’ve left Sikkim. The temple itself boasts Tibetan-style architecture and appears like something out of a fairy tale.

 When should I visit?

The summer months (March-June) are ideal for viewing the Kanchenjunga and neighbouring mountains since they provide crystal-clear views. The temple is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the optimal time to arrive is after a few hours. You’ll have a 360-degree view of the hilly environment and the town below this way. A one-hour visit should suffice, and there is no admission fee.

How should I visit?

Hanuman Tok is located on the way to Nathula, which is a renowned tourist destination. It is not a terrible idea to hire a taxi for this excursion because it is 11 kilometres from Gangtok town.

Tips for smooth travel

It is forbidden to smoke or consume alcohol on the temple grounds. Visitors are also advised not to damage any wildlife that may be seen on the property.

There will be no loud sounds on the temple grounds. It creates a loud environment.

Keep a Temple’s calm and tranquillity.

Use the garbage containers instead of cluttering the area.

Gonjang Monastery

Gonjang Monastery is located at Fatak Bojhogari near Tashi Viewpoint in Gangtok, Sikkim, around 8 kilometres from Gangtok SNT Bus Station. It is one of Gangtok’s most famous monasteries and one of the top Gangtok attractions, with an elevation of 6066 feet.

H.E. Tingkye Gonjang Rimpoche founded Gonjang Monastery in 1981. Yolmo Terton Ngakchang Shakya Zangpo, a 15th century Nyingmapa Terton, was acknowledged as his manifestation. The monastery adheres to the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism’s Jangter tradition. The monk pupils are taught monastic education as well as Tibetan language and English. The monastery disseminates knowledge about Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy based on moral principles through close and comparative study.

Gonjang Monastery is located in Gangtok, Sikkim, in Fatak Bojhogari near Tashi Viewpoint, about 8 kilometres from Gangtok SNT Bus Station. With an elevation of 6066 feet, it is one of Gangtok’s most famous monasteries and one of the top Gangtok attractions.

Gonjang Monastery was created in 1981 by H.E. Tingkye Gonjang Rimpoche. Yolmo Terton Ngakchang Shakya Zangpo, a Nyingmapa Terton from the 15th century, was recognised as his manifestation. The monastery follows the Tibetan Buddhist Jangter tradition of the Nyingmapa school. Monastic education, as well as Tibetan and English, are taught to the monk students. Through close and comparative study, the monastery disseminates knowledge about Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy founded on moral ideals.

Why should I visit this? there?

The Gonjang Monastery will be the perfect finale to a rewarding day for those who have climbed the slopes, visited the points, and basked in the natural splendour of Sikkim. The Dalai Lama blessed the monastery, and its proximity to Gangtok makes it a popular destination for visitors looking to visit a monastery close to town.

Gonjang Gompa, established in 1981 at an altitude of 6066ft, is home to some of the most remarkable religious artefacts you’ll discover in a Nyingma Order of Buddhism monastery.

When should I visit?

The panoramic valley and mountains in the background can be seen from this monastery because it is situated at a high altitude. On a clear day in the summer, a visit to Gonjang will be truly unforgettable.

Winter is a game-changer in Sikkim, as it is in a lot of magnificent monasteries. When you visit during the cold months, visiting the inner sanctum of the gompa, stepping out of the searing wind, is a completely different experience than when you visit during the summer.

It is best to visit Gonjang Monastery after 9 a.m. and before it gets dark.

How should I visit?

The shortest distance between Gangtok’s downtown and Gonjang Monastery is less than 8 kilometres. From the local taxi station, take a shared or private vehicle to Sichey and exit onto Lower Burtuk Road, then onto NH10 towards the monastery.

Because Gonjang and Tashi View Point are only 600 metres apart, stopping on the way back from Tashi is an excellent idea.

Tips for smooth travel

While you are permitted to take photographs of the monastery’s façade, you are not permitted to do so in the inner sanctum. Respect the sanctity of the gompa by following this guideline.

While touring the monastery’s inside, be careful not to touch the idols or other holy artefacts.

Gonjang Gompa is religiously significant, and if you’re interested in Sikkim’s Buddhist history, you should visit this monastery.

Gangtok Zoo

In Sikkim, the Himalayan Zoological Park is a must-see for wildlife enthusiasts. The park was created in order to protect wildlife by not bothering them and allowing them to remain in their natural habitat. Himalayan Zoological Park is located at Bulbuley, 3 kilometres from Gangtok. The Zoological Park, which is located at an elevation of 1,780 metres, also offers a spectacular view of Mt. Khangchendzonga. This park covers a total area of 205 hectares and is located in a rugged landscape. The Park is home to a wide range of Himalayan wildlife species. Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Himalayan Red Panda, Snow Leopard Cat, Goral, Himalayan Palm Civet, Himalayan Black Bear, and Crimson-Horned Pheasant are only a few of the Himalayan species.

Why should I visit this? there?

The Himalayan Zoological Park in Sikkim is your best bet if you’re a wildlife fan but don’t have the time to explore the state’s diverse fauna. The zoo in Gangtok, which covers a large 205 hectares of land, is packed with a broad range of animals that is typically difficult to spot in the wild. The fact that the zoo officials allow these creatures to remain in a semi-natural habitat despite being built at elevations varying from 6500 feet to 8000 feet is worth recognising. The Forests, Environment & Wildlife Management Department of the Government of Sikkim looks after the zoo.

The zoo houses a diverse collection of animals, including several endangered species. Some of the creatures at the zoo include Himalayan Black Bears, Clouded Leopards, Common Leopards, Leopard Cats, Tibetan Wolves, Himalayan Palm Civets, Large Indian Civets, Gorals, Barking Deer, Serow, Himalayan Tahr, Yaks, and Porcupines. Other birds seen at the zoo include the Satyr Tragopan, Golden Pheasant, Lady Amherst Pheasant, Kalij, and Silver Pheasant.

When should I visit?

Except on Thursdays, the zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. At the entry, there is a little cost. The months of February to May and mid-September to December are the finest times to visit

How should I visit?

The zoo is around 6 kilometres from Gangtok city and is within walking distance of Ganesh Tok, a renowned vantage point in the city. To reach here, take a cab or a leisurely walk from town.

Tips for smooth travel

Animals’ privacy should be respected. Make no attempt to feed the animals. Talking or laughing too loudly will annoy the animals. Avoid trash and stick to the approved visiting trails.

Ganesh Tok

From Ganesh Tok, take in the scenic view of Kanchenjunga, Gangtok’s breadth, and the majestic splendour of the snow-capped mountains. The temple, which is located at a height of 6500 metres, is legendary for fulfilling devotees’ wishes. Explore the beauty of the small temple and its surroundings.

Ganesh Tok is a small temple at a height of 6500 metres. Visitors are known to go to the temple to pray to Lord Ganesh. Despite the fact that the temple is relatively small and can only accommodate one person at a time, it is nonetheless popular due to the stunning views of snowcapped mountains and lush flora that can be seen from the summit. There is a lounge and balcony to make the tourist area more pleasant; on a clear day, one may enjoy the magnificent view of Kanchenjunga hill.

Ganesh Tok, located at Tashi View Point, is noted for its religious significance, and it is claimed that worshipping at the temple will grant one’s wishes. There are also gift shops and cafes where tourists can shop or eat momos while admiring the beauty of the landscape. that Sterling resort organises a tour to Ganesh Tok, which is ideal for nature lovers and photographers.

Why should I visit this? there?

Ganesh Tok offers some of the most beautiful views in the region, and Sikkim is a large canvas for any budding photographer. The circular observation platforms, which are located at a height of 6,500 feet, can get crowded on clear days. If you wait long enough, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic panorama that looks like something out of a painting. Tall pine trees, snow-capped mountains, swirling mists, and Gangtok town’s tiny roofs encompass a large area, so it’s no surprise that Ganesk Tok is a popular tourist destination.

The Himalayan Zoological Park is close by and can provide a fun change of pace for the youngsters.

The modest Ganesh temple, claimed to be one of Eastern Sikkim’s oldest Hindu shrines, attracts a large number of pilgrims who make their offerings and then gaze out at the snow-capped mountains.

When should I visit?

The temple gates open at 6 a.m., and for the greatest views, you should arrive around 9 a.m. Ganesh Tok is a watchtower in the heavens that displays Sikkim in an entirely new light from March to June, spring through summer. Only Hanuman Tok has a better bird’s-eye perspective of the region. As you stand on the viewing platform, wishing you could spend more time in Sikkim’s magnificent land, time passes.

Ganesh Tok, the area of monasteries, has something for both pilgrims and travellers. This temple is a good place to visit if you wish to go for a short morning ride from Gangtok town.

How should I visit?

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

Travel tips

  1. No shoes are permitted within the temple.
  2. Inside the temple, photography and filming are permitted.
  3. Bargain the costs at the gift store and get estimates from locals ahead of time.

Flower Exhibition Center – Ridge Park

The Flower Exhibition Centre in Gangtok brings flowers from all around Sikkim together under one roof, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. It is a short walk from the MG Marg and is located directly across the White Memorial Hall and below the Ridge Park. Though flowers are presented throughout the year, the annual flower show, which takes place from April to May, is not to be missed because it is at this time that the management gathers and displays several varieties of orchids, as well as other flowers from around the state.

The middle of this medium-sized tropical greenhouse is filled with rare plant species, including various fresh orchid species such as Anthurium and Lilium. The presence of so many different types of colourful flowers, as well as their lovely scent, fills the entire centre, making it a highly relaxing destination for visitors. This gorgeous location is ideal for spending time simply admiring the flowers and taking photographs. Aside from that, there is an artificial water pond with a bridge built across it where travellers may take a short stroll while taking in the pleasant surroundings. Among the colourful and vivid bushes and flowers, one is likely to take stunning images.

Why should I visit this? there?

Ridge Park is a flower lover’s paradise. The latter is a flat stretch of road just above Gangtok Town that will go past in the blink of an eye if you’re into floriculture. The temperature in Sikkim is ideal for orchid growing, and you’ll lose track of how many varieties you see at Ridge Park. For those simply seeking to get a sense for Gangtok, a gazebo for passengers to rest while strolling this stretch is a fantastic addition.

The Flower Exhibition Centre, located beneath Ridge Park, hosts the Annual Orchid Show (FEC). While the greenhouse appears to be little, once inside, you are surrounded by a rainbow of colours.

When should I visit?

Spring is the best time to see these two attractions because they are all about flowers. Not only are the orchids in bloom, but there are a plethora of flower varieties in the park and exhibition centre vying for your attention.

The Ridge Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. every day of the week. The event is free to attend.

The Flower Exhibition Centre charges a small entry fee of $10-20, and gates open at 9 a.m. and visitors must go by 5.15 p.m.

How should I visit?

If you’re visiting Gangtok’s major market, the FEC is a quick 20-minute stroll away. If you’d rather postpone the walking for when you arrive, a local cab from your hotel should take you to Ridge Park and the FEC in 12 to 15 minutes.

Tips for smooth travel

The Ridge Park is a relaxing spot for visitors and locals alike; please respect the tranquilly of this natural setting.

It is very forbidden to pluck flowers or leaves.

In the park and in the flower centre, smoking and public drinking are prohibited. Make sure you don’t leave any garbage behind.

If you’ve travelled around Sikkim, you’ve probably seen some spectacular flower vistas. The Sikkimese government’s attempt to conserve the state’s floriculture is Ridge Park and FEC. If you only have an hour or two in Gangtok, make a point of stopping by here. You’ll have a nice time whether you’re alone or with friends and family.

Enchey Monastery

Enchey Monastery is a 200-year-old monastery located 3 kilometres northeast of Gangtok. Lama Drupthob Karpo, a prominent exponent of tantric art skilled in Buddhism with flying powers, blessed the place. He is said to have first built a small Gompa, after which he flew from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim to this location. ‘Enchey Monastery’ literally means ‘the solitary temple.’ The Monk is also claimed to have established a tiny hermitage on the monastery grounds after flying here from Maenam Hill in South Sikkim.

The current monastery structure was constructed under the reign of Sidkeong Tulku (1909 1910). The Nyingma sect has roughly 90 monks living at Enchey Monastery presently. It houses a multitude of religious artefacts and images of Gods and Goddesses. The three main deities worshipped in the monastery are the Buddha, Loketeswara, and Guru Padmasambhava. Every year, on the 18th and 19th days of the Tibetan calendar’s 12th lunar month, corresponding to the months of January and February, special prayers are offered at the monastery. The brilliant and colourful “Chaam,” or holy masked dance, occurs at the Monastery in January.

Why should I visit this? there?

The Enchey (meaning alone) Monastery, set on a magnificent ridge north of Gangtok, lives up to its name. On a clear day, the monastery overlooks Gangtok and provides a stunning view of the Kanchendzonga’s snow-capped peaks. Enchey is one of the most prominent seats of the Nyingma order, the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and was built in 1840. The building of the monastery, which is highly venerated by the inhabitants, can be credited in part to the evolution of Gangtok from a hamlet to a large town over the previous century.

During the reign of the 10th Chogyal of Sikkim, it was restored in 1908 to resemble a Chinese pagoda. The enormous prayer hall is supported by intricately carved pillars, and its walls are decorated with magnificent murals depicting the pantheon of Mahayana deities. The monastery also has a magnificent collection of masks, which are frequently utilised in Cham dances at festivals. Unfortunately, during the 2011 earthquake, certain parts of the monastery were severely damaged.

When should I visit?

Enchey’s legendary Detor Cham ceremonial dance is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The festival, which takes place between January and February, features exciting performances by resident monks dressed in elaborate costumes and hideous masks.

 Around August/September, the monastery hosts PANG LHABSOL, a celebration commemorating the blood oath between the local Bhutia and Lepcha communities, with Kanchendzonga as the witness.

The months of March to June and September to October are generally regarded as the ideal times to visit Sikkim.

The monastery is open to tourists from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

How should I visit?

Enchey is located on the road that connects Gangtok and Nathula. If you don’t mind walking, the best way to get there is on foot, as the route offers some spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Taxis are, however, available for hiring from Gangtok.

Tips for smooth travel

Before taking images, obtain permission from monastery officials, and refrain from engaging in any behaviour that would jeopardise the monastery’s sanctity, such as talking loudly.

Dongkha la

Dongkha la, also known as Donkia Pass, is a high mountain pass in the Himalaya that connects Sikkim, India, and Tibet, China. The Tibetan Plateau may be seen from the pass. North Sikkim is home to the pass. Tso Lhamo Lake is 6.5 kilometres (4.0 miles) long and 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) wide and is located near the pass. Tso Lhamo Lake is said to be the source of the Teesta River. Teesta is also fed by the Gurudongmar Lake, which is 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) to the west-northwest. Joseph Dalton Hooker, who crossed the pass on September 7, 1849, made the first observation in western literature.

 Why should I visit this? there?

During his excursions in the East Himalayas, the great botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker rated the Dongkha La as the most hazardous pass he had ever travelled. As a result, it should come as no surprise that few tourists visit it. This pass sits high up in the East Himalayas in Sikkim, at a steep height of more than 18,000 feet. It opens on the other end to view the world’s roof, the Tibetan plateau. Dongkha La may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for dedicated trekkers, the breathtaking scenery surrounding the Dongkha La is enough to make the long route worthwhile.

When should I visit?

For obvious reasons, the pass is closed throughout the winter (November to February) and monsoon season (June to September). The months of March through May and October are the most secure for trekking to the Dongkha La Pass.

How should I visit?

Though it has been known for competent drivers to drive up to the pass, this is uncommon, therefore the only way to get here is on foot. The Dongkha La is located halfway between Yumesamdong and Tso Lhamo Lake in Yumthang. The 8-9 kilometre trek should only be attempted by experienced trekkers. A trek along the thin Dongkiachu river begins the ascent to Dongkha La. The climb is very easy until you get close to the pass, which is approximately 100 metres away, when it becomes steeper and virtually vertical. The thin air in the region is also a result of the high altitude, making breathing harder.As a result, an average walker will need at least 5-6 hours to reach Dongkha La. After reaching the pass, a steep drop of about an hour and a half will lead you to the huge expanse of the spectacular Tso Lhamo, one of the world’s highest lakes. Gurudongmar, another of Sikkim’s picturesque lakes, may be reached by heading west for about 5 kilometres.

Tips for smooth travel

Because of its proximity to the Indo-Tibetan border, the pass is under the supervision of the Indian army, and access to the region requires the acquisition of appropriate permits.

Wear warm clothing, including thermals, as the location is extremely cold, even in the summer. Make sure you’re in good physical shape because the walk can be challenging. Because there will be no human habitation along the journey, bring plenty of water and snacks, as well as altitude sickness medications. To get the most out of the beautiful scenery, bring a pair of binoculars with you.

Do Drul Chorten Stupa

The Do-Drul Chorten or Stupa was built in 1945 by Trullshi Rimpoche, the leader of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism. It is one of Gangtok’s most majestic monasteries. A complete set of Dorjee phurba (Vajra Kilaya), ‘Zung’ (mantras), a set of Kang Gyur relics (Holy Book), and other sacred artefacts can be found inside this stupa.

The Do-Drul Chorten or Stupa was built in 1945 by Trullshi Rimpoche, the leader of the Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism. It is one of Gangtok’s most magnificient stupa. A complete set of Dorjee phurba (Vajra Kilaya), ‘Zung’ (mantras), a set of Kang Gyur relics (Holy Book), and other sacred artefacts can be found inside this stupa.

Around the Chorten, there are 108 Mani Lhakor (Prayer Wheels) that devoted Buddhists revolve while singing ‘Om Mane Padme Hum’ (O Jewel in the Lotus) to invoke the Bodhisattva.

The following are some key pieces of information for visitors:

In Gangtok, the Stupa is near the Tibetology Institute and Gangtok Centre.

It is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week.

For nirvana seekers, history fans, and photographers, Do-Drul Chorten is a must-see.

Why should I visit this? there?

Trulshik Rinpoche, a tutor of the 14th Dalai Lama, built the Do Drul Chorten, a massive stupa near Gangtok, in 1946. The stupa’s pearly white dome and gleaming golden spire are dedicated to Vajrakilaya or Dorjee Rinpoche, an important deity in Tibetan Buddhism’s Nyigma Order.

A cluster of 108 prayer wheels with sacred mantras inscribed on them surrounds the stupa. It houses several important religious Kangyur manuscripts and relics related with Dorje Phurba. These comprise a complete set of Dorjee Rinpoche and Zurma mantra mandala sets. Jang Jhap Chorten, attributed to the Trulshik Rinpoche, is one of the lesser stupas in the complex.

When should I visit?

The weather in Gangtok is ideal in the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) (September to October). Clear, sunny, and breezy days are the norm.

Despite this, mountain enthusiasts flock to Sikkim practically all year, save during the monsoon season. Though relatively chilly, the winter months of November and December bring out a new kind of beauty in the hills.

How should I visit?

The Do Drul Chorten is located in the Deorali region of Gangtok. It is a short distance from the major town. If you don’t feel like walking, there are several cabs in town that will take you there. The stupa is within walking distance to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, which was founded by another respected lama, Dodhrubchen Rinpoche.

Tips for smooth travel

Please don’t leave your garbage there. It’s a stupa where people celebrate holiness, thus, a peaceful environment is the only ask.

Make sure you make no noise and click pictures if allowed.

Bakhtang Waterfall

Bakthang is a minor waterfall in Gangtok, located on the North Sikkim Highway. It is one of the best places to visit in Gangtok and one of the most well-known cascades. It is located near Tashi View Point. The falls start from Ratey Chu, the main water source for the Gangtok region. It cascades down from the stone, forming a small pool beneath it. Despite the fact that the fall isn’t very tall, it is a beautiful scene to photograph.

There is a Rope Sliding for movement junkies, where one may obtain a better view of the district. However, it is only a brief slide with only a few moments, but it is quite exhilarating. The beginning of this waterfall is located on Ratey Chu, Gangtok’s main water source. This is a great area to chill and enjoy some extra time while snapping a few great photos of the fall foliage and the beautiful vistas all around.

When should I go there?

The greatest time to visit Bakthang Waterfall is during the monsoon or directly after the rainy season, as any local taxi driver will tell you (August September). That is when the waterfall is at its most powerful, cascading down from above and filling the region with a cool mist.

To get the most out of Bakthang Waterfall, arrive as the sun begins to rise.

 Why should I visit this?

Sikkim is the kind of place where you go out with one goal in mind but end up visiting three or four others along the road. The Bakthang Waterfall is located on the way to the famed Tashi View Point, and while the latter gets tens of thousands of visitors, the former is equally captivating.

Bakthang Waterfall isn’t particularly tall. Its vast horizontal flow, on the other hand, is what makes it so lovely. This waterfall, which is fed by the Ratey Chu (river), originates at an astounding 12,500 feet, is the ideal pit stop whether you’re travelling alone or with the family.

The words ‘bak’ and ‘thang’ in Sikkimese imply jungle and meadow, respectively. You’ll be drawn in by the stones covered in creepers that protrude out from beneath as the water cascades down from above. At the bottom, the water forms a shallow pool. It’s the ideal spot for a little rest, a couple of photos, and a cup of tea in the cafeteria.

How should I visit?

If you have a few hours to spare in Gangtok, take a local taxi to Bakthang Falls in Swastik, near the army cantonment camp, via Indira Bypass Road and NH10. The tourist attraction is about 7 kilometres away, and getting there should take no more than 25 minutes.

Ask your driver to stop by here if you’re returning from Tashi View Point or Hanuman Tok.

Tips for smooth travel

The trek to Zero Point is not recommended for persons who have breathing problems because it may cause altitude sickness.

Valid permissions are necessary to visit Zero Point because it is located in a protected area. They are available at the Gangtok Tourism Office, the Mangan District Administrative Center, and the Chungthang Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s Office. Wear enough clothing to keep you warm. You will, however, require the rental of snow boots, gloves, and overcoats. All of these items can be rented at Yumthang Market, which is located on the road to Zero Point. Because there are no ATMs in this area, bring plenty of cash. Make sure you have medicines on hand in case you get altitude sickness.

Zero point

The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary and the magnificent Yumthang Valley are generally included in a journey to Zero Point in Sikkim. To see all of these locations, you must be stationed in Lachung. When leaving Lachung, you’ll first pass through the Shinghba Rhododendron Sanctuary, then Yumthang, and finally the Zero Point. It’s advisable to go to Zero Point first and then visit Yumthang Valley on your way back. Reaching Zero Point, civilisation’s final outpost, is a journey in and of itself.

Soaring snow-capped peaks with chimal trees in green, red, and yellow colours surround the road. As you approach the enthralling Zero Point, you’ll notice carpets of scarlet moss adorning the highway.

Why should I visit this? there?

Yumesamdong, which is located at a height of 15,300 feet, is worth visiting solely for the beauty of its terrain. Because it is here that the road comes to a halt, it has acquired the moniker Zero Point. Yumesamdong is only a short distance from the Indo-Chinese border, and tourists are not permitted to travel any further.

Most travellers skip Yumesamdong to avoid the difficult road that leads to this site, unaware of its abundant natural beauty. If you’re a snow junkie, however, you’ve come to the right place. Yumsesamdong is perpetually covered in snow due to its high height.

When should I visit?

Take a taxi from Lachung to Zero Point early in the morning, when vision is better at such high heights. The ideal months to visit are April and May, when the rhododendrons are in full bloom and the entire route up to Zero Point resembles a Money painting in motion. The months of December and January should be avoided because the region receives a lot of snow during that time of year.

How should I visit?

Yumsesamdong is frequently covered as part of a three-point tour that includes Lachung, Yumthang Valley, and Yumesamdong/Zero Point in North Sikkim. In this section of Sikkim, only government-registered automobiles are permitted. The best option is to stay overnight in Lachung and travel to Yumsesamdong the next morning.

Tips for smooth travel

The trek to Zero Point is not recommended for persons who have breathing problems because it may cause altitude sickness.

Valid permissions are necessary to visit Zero Point because it is located in a protected area. They are available at the Gangtok Tourism Office, the Mangan District Administrative Center, and the Chungthang Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s Office. Wear enough clothing to keep you warm. You will, however, require the rental of snow boots, gloves, and overcoats. All of these items can be rented at Yumthang Market, which is located on the road to Zero Point. Because there are no ATMs in this area, bring plenty of cash. Make sure you have medicines on hand in case you get altitude sickness.

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