Main Tourist Attractions of Sikkim and Gangtok
Located atop a hill overlooking Gangtok, Rumtek Monastery is a significant and expansive monastery that has become one of the largest in Sikkim. The monastery was originally established in the 16th century by Wangchuk Dorje, the 9th Karmapa Lama, and was known as the Dharma Chakra Centre. The aim of the shrine was to spread the teachings of the Buddha to people around the world. Inside the monastery, visitors can find a stunning shrine temple and a residence for the monks. Among the preserved artefacts are a golden stupa and various sculptures that belong to the 16th Karmapa. The monastery now holds many unique religious art objects, including some of the world’s rarest and most extraordinary religious scriptures.
Yuksom holds great historic significance as it was the first capital of Sikkim. The town is a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. It is an ideal place for a peaceful and scenic retreat, and including it in your Sikkim tour plan would be a wise decision. The nearby Khangchendzonga National Park offers spectacular views of the Himalayas and adds to the town’s appeal. Nestled amidst the stunning mountains of Sikkim, Yuksom is a serene town that offers a perfect retreat for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. Yuksom is also home to mesmerising monasteries, ancient monuments, picturesque waterfalls, and vibrant gardens, which add to its charm and allure.
Located at an elevation of 6,800 feet, the charming town of Pelling was once shrouded in dense forests, home to a variety of indigenous wildlife. Situated between two ancient Buddhist monasteries, Pemayangtse and Sangacholing, Pelling has evolved into a vibrant village that is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sikkim. What makes Pelling even more attractive is its strategic location that allows visitors to easily explore the breathtaking tourist spots of West Sikkim, making it the perfect base for a memorable holiday! Pelling can be visited at all times of the year, however, it is best to avoid a trip in the monsoon season.
Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake, is a glacial lake located in the East Sikkim district of Sikkim, India. At an elevation of 12,310 feet (3,753 metres), it’s a must-visit destination for tourists in Sikkim. The lake’s crystal-clear blue waters are surrounded by snow-capped mountains, making for a stunningly picturesque view. The lake is considered sacred by the local Sikkimese people, and many visitors come to offer prayers at the nearby temple. In addition to its religious significance, Tsomgo Lake is also a popular spot for adventure activities such as yak and pony rides. Visitors can also take a stroll around the lake or enjoy a picnic in the nearby scenic areas.
Yumthang Valley, also known as the Sikkim Valley of Flowers sanctuary, is a nature sanctuary surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains in the North Sikkim district of Sikkim state in India. It features a river, hot springs, yaks, and grazing pastures on Rolling Meadows. The valley is home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, which has over twenty-four species of rhododendron, the state flower. The valley is known as the ‘Valley of Flowers’ due to the countless flowers that bloom there from late February to mid-June, carpeting the valley in a rainbow of colours. Yumthang is closed between December and March due to heavy snowfall, and it is located 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the state capital Gangtok.
Lachung, a picturesque town and hill station located in northeast Sikkim, India, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Nestled near the border with Tibet, Lachung is situated at an elevation of approximately 9,600 feet (2,900 m) at the confluence of the Lachen and Lachung Rivers, both tributaries of the River Teesta. The town’s name, Lachung, translates to “small pass”. The beauty of snow-capped mountains, crystal streams, numerous waterfalls, and pristine valleys, combined with a serene atmosphere, makes Lachung an ideal destination for a peaceful and rejuvenating getaway. Visitors can also explore local markets offering beautiful handicrafts, adding to the town’s charm. So, take a break and immerse yourself in the breathtaking sights and sounds of Lachung!
Located in the western district of the Indian state of Sikkim, Legship is a charming town that serves as the gateway to West Sikkim. Situated on the banks of the picturesque River Rangit, Legship is easily accessible via the main road connecting West Sikkim to the rest of the state. Despite its small size, Legship offers several exciting tourism opportunities for visitors. The town is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with the River Rangit offering excellent opportunities for river rafting and kayaking. Visitors can also explore nearby trekking trails, such as the one leading to the scenic Khecheopalri Lake.
The Tashi Viewpoint is an essential destination for anyone visiting Sikkim. Located at a distance of 8 km from the town, it is renowned for offering breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset. The serene and tranquil surroundings of the Tashi Viewpoint provide an ideal setting for relaxation and introspection. Watching the sunrise or sunset from this location is a truly unforgettable experience that will stay with visitors long after they leave. The Tashi Viewpoint is undoubtedly one of the most scenic spots in Sikkim and is an excellent place to begin your journey into the natural beauty and cultural richness of the region.
Nestled at an altitude of 7000 ft., Ravangla is a small but picturesque town that offers visitors an unmatched view of the Greater Himalayan Range. Surrounded by verdant forests and cascading waterfalls, this charming destination has become a must-visit place in Sikkim for those looking for a peaceful retreat in nature. In addition to its breathtaking natural beauty, Ravangla is also famous for its religious significance. The town is home to several ancient monasteries, including the Ralang Monastery and the Doling Gompa, which are revered by locals and tourists alike. Visitors can also explore the nearby Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to rare and exotic species of flora and fauna.
Visiting Gurudongmar Lake is an experience of a lifetime that promises to leave an everlasting impression on one’s mind and soul. Situated close to the Tibetan and Chinese border in the north, is undoubtedly one of the most stunning and serene lakes in Sikkim. Located at a height of 5,183 metres, the alpine lake is surrounded by the majestic mountains and is considered as one of the major sources of the river Teesta. Gurudongmar Lake is named after the revered guru Padmasambhava, who is believed to have travelled through this region during his journey to Tibet.
Zuluk, nestled in the picturesque East Sikkim, is a hidden gem that is quickly gaining traction among travellers. Once an important silk route between Tibet and India, Zuluk now allures visitors with its stunning vistas of the eastern Himalayan mountain range, including the iconic Kanchenjunga. The pristine forests that surround the area are home to a variety of exotic wildlife such as the Himalayan Bear, Red Panda, Deer, Wild Dog, and even the elusive tiger. Additionally, Zuluk is a haven for birdwatchers, with a variety of avian species like the Blood Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, and Snow Pheasant, among others. In the summer months, the hills are awash with the vibrant hues of blooming rhododendrons, making Zuluk a riot of colours.
Namgyal Institue of Tibetology
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a highly esteemed institution that is committed to promoting and funding research on various aspects of the Tibetan cultural area, such as religion, history, language, art, and culture, including Sikkim. Additionally, the institute features a museum dedicated to Tibetan iconography and religious art that provides a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage. Serving as a bustling center of intellectual activity, the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a valuable resource for anyone who has a fascination for the dynamic and diverse culture of the Tibetan people. Through its unwavering efforts to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the region, the institute has emerged as an indispensable institution for scholars and enthusiasts alike who are interested in Tibetan history, language, art, and culture.
Phodong Monastery, one of the six most significant monasteries in Sikkim, was constructed in the 18th century around 1740 by Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal, the then-ruler of Sikkim. It is a vital place of worship for the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism and boasts stunning paintings and murals that are truly awe-inspiring. Visitors to Phodong Monastery will be struck by its rich history, intricate artwork, and peaceful ambiance. The monastery is a testament to the resilience and devotion of the monks who have dedicated their lives to preserving its legacy. A trip to this sacred site is a must for anyone exploring the spiritual and cultural heritage of Sikkim.
Namchi’s breathtaking views and pleasant weather make it a popular destination for tourists looking to experience the natural beauty and cultural richness of Sikkim. Namchi, also known as Namtse, is a scenic town located in the South Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim. The town’s name, “Namchi,” translates to “Sky High” in Sikkimese, and it is aptly situated at an altitude of 1,675 m (5500 feet) above sea level. To witness the vibrant display of Himalayan flowers in full bloom, plan a visit to Namchi during the month of February and attend the Flower Show Festival. This festival showcases a stunning variety of flowers in vibrant hues and is a delight for nature enthusiasts. For those interested in experiencing the local culture, cuisine, and tourism offerings of Sikkim, the annual Tourism, Culture and Food Festival is the perfect event to attend. Held in the month of October, this festival features a range of activities.
Ranipool has a lot to offer to visitors, from historical landmarks to cultural attractions. Whether you are a history buff or someone who loves exploring new cultures, you will find plenty of exciting things to do in Ranipool. Take a stroll around the town to discover its hidden gems, or visit some of the popular tourist attractions to soak up its unique charm. Whether you’re looking to discover new places to see or unique activities to experience, Ranipool has something for everyone. Come and explore this beautiful town, and discover why it is a must-visit destination in Sikkim. Situated just 12 km away from the bustling city of Gangtok, it is a peaceful haven that offers respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. The town is well-connected with three roads leading to Singtam, Pakyong, and Gangtok, respectively.
Geyzing, also known as Gyalshing, is a charming city located in the West Sikkim District. Situated at an altitude of 6,500 feet above sea level, it offers breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayan Mountains that surround it. The city is also blessed with the gushing River Rangeet that flows through its western part. One of the major draws of Geyzing is its many monasteries, which are a significant attraction for tourists and Buddhist pilgrims alike. Apart from its scenic beauty, Geyzing is renowned for its spiritual significance, and visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture by exploring the intricate architecture and religious practices of the monasteries.
Sikkim Tour Packages From Cities
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When is the best time to visit Sikkim?
Answer: Generally, the best time to visit Sikkim is between March and May or September and November, when the weather is mild and pleasant, and the region is at its peak beauty. However, if you’re interested in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, then the best time to visit is from December to February. During this time, the region is covered in snow, creating a winter abode perfect for winter sports.
Q: What is the cheapest way to travel to Sikkim?
Answer: The cheapest way to travel to Sikkim would be to take a bus or train to the nearest major city, which is usually Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, and then take a shared taxi or bus to Sikkim. From Siliguri or NJP, you can hop in a shared taxi or on a bus to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, which is about 120 – 125 km away. Shared taxis are readily available from Siliguri, and the fare is usually around INR 200-300 per person. Buses are also available, but they may be slower and less comfortable.
Q: What is the fastest way to get to Sikkim?
Answer: The fastest way to get to Sikkim is by taking a flight to Bagdogra Airport, which is the nearest airport to Sikkim, and then hiring a private taxi or taking a shared taxi to Sikkim. Private taxis are readily available at the airport, and the fare is usually around INR 2500-3000 for a one-way trip to Gangtok. Shared taxis are also available and are a more economical option, with fares ranging from INR 200-500 per person depending on the distance.
Q: How many days are enough to travel the entire Sikkim?
Answer: The number of days required to explore Sikkim depends on your travel preferences and the places you want to visit. However, it’s recommended that you spend at least 7 to 10 days fully exploring the beauty and culture of Sikkim.
Q: Are there direct flights to Sikkim from all the major cities in India?
Answer: Yes, there are both direct and connecting flights available for travelling to Sikkim. The newly functional Pakyong Airport (PYK) now offers non-stop flights operated by airlines such as SpiceJet and Go Indigo from major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata.
Alternatively, Bagdogra Airport (IXB) is also a convenient option for travellers, as it serves as a connecting point for several airlines operating regular flights between major cities and Bagdogra. From there, travellers can easily reach Sikkim via various transportation options.
Q: What is Sikkim most famous for?
Answer: Sikkim, a state located in the north-eastern region of India, is most famous for its breathtaking natural beauty, including stunning landscapes of snow-capped mountains, scenic valleys, and serene lakes. It is also known for its rich cultural heritage, with a unique blend of Buddhist, Hindu, and indigenous traditions. Sikkim is home to several monasteries and pilgrimage sites, making it a popular destination for spiritual seekers. It is also home to Kanchenjunga – the highest mountain peak in India and the third highest in the world.
Q: What is the best month to visit Sikkim?
Answer: The months between March and May are the best months to visit Sikkim.
Q: When to visit Sikkim to see the snowfall?
Answer: If you want to see snowfall in Sikkim, the best time to visit would be between the months of December to February, which is the winter season. During this time, Sikkim experiences heavy snowfall, especially in the high-altitude areas like Nathula Pass, Yumthang Valley, and Tsomgo Lake.
While the snowfall can be a mesmerising sight, it can also lead to road closures and other disruptions, so it is advisable to plan your trip accordingly and carry suitable warm clothing and footwear. It’s also essential to check weather forecasts and road conditions before planning your trip, especially if you’re planning to visit remote areas.
Q: Do we require special permits to visit certain places in Sikkim?
Answer: Yes, visitors require special permits to visit certain restricted areas in Sikkim. These permits are issued by the Sikkim government and are necessary to ensure the safety and security of visitors as well as to protect the local culture and environment.
Foreign nationals are required to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit most places in Sikkim, while Indian nationals from outside Sikkim need to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit certain restricted areas like North Sikkim, Nathula Pass, and other border areas.
These permits can be obtained through the Sikkim Tourism Office in Kolkata, Siliguri, Rangpo, or Gangtok, as well as through registered travel agents. It is advisable to apply for the permits in advance to avoid any last-minute delays or issues. Additionally, it is important to carry the permit and other necessary identification documents at all times while travelling in Sikkim.
Q: Which airlines companies provide direct flights to Sikkim?
Answer: Several airlines such as Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir, IndiGo, and Vistara operate regular flights to major cities in India like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Bangalore, among others.
Q: What adventurous activities can we carry out in Sikkim?
Answer: Sikkim offers a range of adventurous activities that are perfect for adrenaline junkies and nature enthusiasts. Here are some popular adventurous activities you can carry out in Sikkim:
- River Rafting
- Mountain Biking
- Yak Safari
Q: What are some Sikkim Tourist Places that one should add in their itinerary?
Answer: Sikkim is a beautiful state in north eastern India, filled with stunning locales, rich culture, and fascinating history. Here are some must-visit tourist places in Sikkim that you should add to your itinerary:
- Nathula Pass
- Yumthang Valley
- Lachung and Lachen
Q: Is the winter season too extreme to handle in Sikkim for tourists?
Answer: The winter season in Sikkim, which lasts from December to February, can be quite cold, with temperatures dropping to freezing levels in some areas. However, it is still possible for tourists to visit and enjoy the winter season in Sikkim, provided they are well prepared for the cold weather. The high-altitude regions may become inaccessible due to heavy snowfall and road closures. It is essential to check weather conditions and road conditions before planning your trip and to carry appropriate winter clothing and gear.
The winter season in Sikkim may be too extreme for some tourists who are not used to cold weather. However, for those who enjoy winter activities and are prepared for the cold, it can be a magical time to visit Sikkim and enjoy its unique winter landscapes and experiences.
Q: What are some of the most affordable Sikkim Tour packages available?
Answer: The following are some of the most popular and affordable Sikkim tour packages are as follows:
- 3 Nights / 4 Days Gangtok Tour at Rs. 6200 only
- 4 Nights / 5 Days Gangtok Darjeeling Tour Package at Rs. 9200 only
- 4 Nights / 5 Days Gangtok Lachung Tour at Rs. 8800 only
- 7 Nights / 8 Days Gangtok Pelling Darjeeling Tour at Rs. 14500 only
Q: What is/are the nearest railway stations from Sikkim?
Answer: Sikkim does not have a railway station of its own. The nearest railway stations to Sikkim are:
New Jalpaiguri Railway Station: It is the nearest railway station to Sikkim, located in Siliguri, West Bengal. It is well-connected to major cities in India like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Bangalore.
Siliguri Junction Railway Station: It is another railway station located in Siliguri, West Bengal, which is well-connected to major cities in India.
From these railway stations, tourists can take taxis or buses to reach Sikkim. Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri are the most commonly used railway stations by tourists visiting Sikkim as they are well-connected to major cities in India and are easily accessible by road from Sikkim.
Popular Sikkim Tour Packages