This month marks the beginning of winter and you are going to see a remarkable change in the Sikkim weather in November. With the monsoons withdrawing by the end of October, the weather becomes cooler and drier in November. The average temperatures range between 10°C to 15°C accompanied by cold winds. While the days are pleasant, the nights can get quite chilly dipping to 5°C at times.
The skies are clear and sunny in November with very less rainfall occurring during this month. The humidity levels also start dropping making the climate quite comfortable. This is in fact one of the best times to visit Sikkim to explore its beauty without the congested tourist crowds and under pleasant weather conditions.
Sikkim weather in November sees moderate tourist footfalls. So, you can enjoy the serenity of the state without much hustle. The lush green valleys and meadows sparkle with snow-capped mountain views making it a great time for nature lovers and trekkers.
Some key highlights of Sikkim weather in November:
Average Temperatures – 10°C to 15°C (days), 5°C (nights)
Rainfall – Very light rainfall of 13 mm
Humidity Levels – Dropping around 65%
Sunny days and clear skies
Chilly winds especially in the evenings and nights
Pleasant climate, quite comfortable for sightseeing
Moderate tourist crowds
Festivals and Events in Sikkim in November
The month of November hosts some unique festivals and events that allow travelers to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Sikkim. The pleasant weather during this time coupled with festive celebrations make it a great time to visit the state.
1. Wangala Festival
One of the most popular festivals celebrated in Sikkim weather in November is the lively Wangala Festival. Mainly observed by the Garo tribe inhabiting the Garo Hills of Sikkim, this festival marks the end of the harvest season.
The week-long festival culminates on the full moon night of November with vibrant music, feasting and dancing continuing all night long. Men and women dressed in traditional costumes like colorful dokmanas and galpadas perform the mesmerizing Wangala dance together in circles to the beating of drums.
It is an absolute treat to watch the synchronized footwork accompanied by melodious tunes played on instruments like bamboo flutes, gongs and cymbals. The dancers whirl and sway depicting the Garos’ joy and gratitude for a bountiful harvest.
The highlight is the ‘100 drums ensemble’ where up to 100 drums are played together symbolizing the coming together of the entire community. People also barbecue meat, bake cakes with freshly harvested rice and make local rice beer served in bamboo cups to celebrate the festival.
Visitors can join in the feasting and dancing to become a part of this unforgettable harvest festival. The villages of Ranka and Reshi in South Sikkim are the main centers of celebration.
An important festival for Buddhists, Lhabab Duchen falls on the 22nd day of the 9th lunar month according to the Tibetan calendar. The festival commemorates Lord Buddha’s descent to earth from Trayastrimsa, the Heaven where his mother had been reborn making it perfect for Sikkim weather in November.
As per legend, Buddha spent the 3 months of monsoon rains preaching ‘dharma’ to benefit his mother who had been reborn in the Heaven as an ashuras or demi-god. Lhabab Duchen thus celebrates Buddha’s love, compassion and filial piety towards his mother.
On Lhabab Duchen, devotees visit monasteries, offer prayers, light lamps and participate in other rituals. People also undertake fasts and follow moral discipline on this day. The festival is marked as a public holiday in Sikkim where prayers are held in monasteries like Rumtek and Phodong.
Giant decorative gates known as kangyur are a special feature of this festival. Monks exhibit religious relics and holy manuscripts to the public including the Kangyur texts. The revered Kagyu lineage of Mahayana Buddhism is also highlighted on this day.
Though celebrated with gusto primarily in Thailand, the Loy Krathong festival also finds its way to parts of Sikkim bordering West Bengal owing to cultural overlaps. Known as the ‘Festival of Lights’, Loy Krathong is celebrated on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month.
People float decorative banana leaf cups or Krathongs with flowers, incense sticks and candles in rivers, lakes and streams. This offering symbolizes letting go of anger, grudges and negative emotions to foster peaceful coexistence.
Krathongs are also believed to thank and appease the Goddess of Water. In Sikkim, you can witness locals releasing Krathongs at Namchi Lake against the breathtaking backdrop of the Kanchenjunga range.
A similar festival of Yi Peng is marked in South Sikkim where people release sky lanterns known as khom loi instead of Krathongs. Hundreds of lanterns illuminate the night sky presenting a mesmerizing spectacle.
The International Flower Festival is Sikkim’s premier event held every year in the month of November. Organized by the State Government, this festival aims to showcase Sikkim’s abundant variety of exotic flora. This is why you must enjoy this in the Sikkim weather in November.
Each year the carnival is hosted across famous tourist venues like Gangtok, Pelling, Namchi or Yuksom boasting colorful flower exhibitions, garden shows, floral decorations and more. The festival grounds are bedecked with thousands of multi-hued seasonal flowers arranged into fascinating patterns and sculptures.
There are flower shows with competitions for the best specimens including orchids, roses, gladioli and more. Gardening workshops, flower arrangement classes and guided botanical tours are also held during the festival. Cultural events showcasing Sikkim’s diversity and food stalls dishing out delicious local cuisine add to the festive celebrations drawing huge crowds.
5. Food Festivals
November is marked by a number of amazing food festivals across Sikkim celebrating the state’s delectable cuisine. Food lovers can tantalize their taste buds with authentic Sikkim delicacies at these events.
The Zest Food Festival held in Gangtok offers a mix of ethnic Sikkimese snacks like momos, wontons, gyathuk and traditional Nepali fare. You can also relish fusion food and continental dishes at various restaurants and stalls that participate.
Similarly, the Sikkim Food Safari introduces guests to rare recipes and secret family treasures of the locals. Learn how Sikkim’s diverse tribal cuisines like Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepali influence each other at this carnival.
Other foodie events like the Northeast Food Festival, Hornbill Festival etc makes the Sikkim weather in November even more enjoyable. give you a taste of the entire North East region showcasing their indigenous produce and unique flavors. These festivals truly offer a delightful gastronomical experience for visitors.
The vibrant festivals and events celebrated in November provide a memorable way to soak in Sikkim’s culture, cuisine and natural sights. Time your visit to coincide with any of these carnivals that beautifully showcase the heritage and bounties of Sikkim against a gorgeous winter backdrop.
Here are some of the top places to visit in Sikkim in November to make the most of the pleasant weather:
1. Yumthang Valley:
This picturesque valley blooms with exotic flowers like primulas, poppies and rhododendrons along with breathtaking Himalayan views. You can also see the famous Shiv Mandir here.
2. Tsomgo Lake:
The scenic Tsomgo Lake transforms into a magical frozen spectacle in winters. Visit it in November to see the beginning of its frozen charm at an elevation of 12,400 ft.
Experience the tranquil ambience amidst cloud-covered hills in this offbeat hamlet near Nathang Valley. Go on short hikes to witness the sunrise and snow-clad peaks.
Known as the ‘Queen of Hills’, Darjeeling is perfect to visit in Sikkim weather in November before the extreme cold sets in. Enjoy scenic views of Kanchenjunga and indulge in lip-smacking local cuisine.
Explore the pristine beauty of North Sikkim in Lachung which serves as a base for many exotic treks. Visit Yumthang Valley and check out attractions like Lachung Monastery, Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary etc.
Check out the iconic attractions of Namchi like Samdruptse Hill, Namchi Rock Garden, Tendong Hill etc. The pleasant weather makes sightseeing enjoyable.
Marvel at the mighty Kanchenjunga up close from Pelling which is also famous for ancient monasteries like Pemayangtse and Sangachoeling. The town looks gorgeous covered in an autumn hue.
Ravangla provides unmatched views of mountains and landscapes. Enjoy activities like short nature trails, bird watching, Buddhist pilgrimage tours etc amidst the chilling weather.
Nestled in verdant forests, this offbeat hamlet near West Sikkim is dotted with monasteries, orchid nurseries and lush trails perfect for a laid-back vacation. You will have some memorable moments here in the Sikkim weather in November.
10. Chopta Valley:
Still a hidden gem, Chopta Valley is an untouched paradise with diverse flora and fauna, especially exotic birds. Treks through dense forests and sparkling streams transport you to a fairytale world.
Top Activities to Enjoy in Sikkim in November
The pleasant November weather opens up many activity options to explore Sikkim:
With clear skies and no rain, treks like Goechala Trek and Dzongri Trek can be enjoyed fully in moderate temperatures. You may even spot snowfall at high altitudes.
2. Mountain Biking:
Zip through the snaking roads of North Sikkim on a mountain bike admiring scenic views along Lachen, Lachung, Gurudongmar etc. November is ideal for this adrenaline-pumping activity.
Pitch a tent under a starlit sky at breath-taking spots like Yumthang, Lachung, Ravangla etc. to soak in the winter chill in Sikkim highlands.
4. Wildlife Tours:
Visit wildlife sanctuaries like Maenam, Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary to spot exotic fauna including red pandas, Himalayan black bears, blue sheep and more.
5. Monastery Tours:
Explore the ancient monasteries of Sikkim like Enchey, Rumtek, Pemayangtse etc. which look even more magical surrounded by cold misty hills. In the Sikkim weather in November, this is the best and most relaxing activity that you can do.
6. Village Tours:
Experience local culture by exploring traditional villages of North Sikkim like Lachen, Lachung, Dzongu etc. Interact with locals and try local cuisine.
Spot over 550 exotic bird species in Sikkim’s forests and sanctuaries including Blood pheasants, Laughing thrushes, Great hornbills etc. during this ideal birdwatching season.
8. River Rafting:
Enjoy an adrenaline rush rafting down frothy rivers like Teesta and Rangit which have Grade II and III rapids perfect for beginners.
Get a bird’s eye view of Sikkim’s landscapes from a height of 3000m by taking a thrilling paragliding flight.
10. Cable Car Ride:
Take a cable car ride from Deorali to reach Tashi Viewpoint in Gangtok and marvel at the Himalayas.
What to Pack for Sikkim in November
Here are some essential things to pack for your Sikkim weather in November:
Warm clothes like sweaters, hoodies, thermal wear, jackets, woolens etc. Nights can get very cold.
Windcheaters and raincoats – the weather can quickly change in the hills
Cozy gloves, woolen caps, ear muffs etc. to protect from the cold
Comfortable shoes and trekking shoes if planning outdoor activities
Sunscreen and sunglasses even though sunny days are pleasant
Medicines for cold, cough, nausea etc. in case of sudden weather change
Basic first aid kit with band-aids, pain relief spray etc.
Hot water bags and heat packs provide much needed warmth
Lip balms and moisturizers to prevent chapping of skin
Trekking poles, camping gear like sleeping bags if doing outdoor activities
Flashlight, power bank and extra batteries as electricity supply can be erratic
Energy bars, dry fruits and ready to eat food items for outdoor trips
By packing right, you can enjoy the Sikkim weather in November in a safe and prepared manner.
FAQs about Visiting Sikkim in November
1. Is November a good time to visit Sikkim?
Yes, November is one of the best times to visit Sikkim before the peak of winters. The Sikkim weather in November is pleasant and perfect for sightseeing and activities without the monsoon wetness.
2. What is the temperature in November?
Temperatures range from 10°C to 15°C during the day and can dip to 5°C at night. Days are sunny while the mornings and evenings can be quite windy and chilly.
3. What should I pack for Sikkim in November?
Pack warm woolen clothes, jackets, accessories like caps and gloves along with weather-proof jackets and trekking gear if planning activities. Also carry medicines, first-aid, sunscreen etc.
4. Is North Sikkim accessible in November?
Yes, North Sikkim opens up completely in November allowing access to destinations like Lachen, Lachung, Yumthang etc. However, expect chilly weather and some blocked routes at very high altitudes.
5. What are the places to visit in November?
Some top places to visit are Yumthang Valley, Gurudongmar Lake, Namchi, Pelling, Darjeeling, Lachung, Lachung etc. Many beautiful treks can also be done.
6. What festivals can I experience?
The main festivals in November are Wangala Festival, Lhabab Duchen and the International Flower Festival along with local food festivals. You may also catch Loy Krathong celebrations.
7. Is it safe to travel in November?
Yes, November sees hardly any rainfall with moderate tourist crowds. However, always check weather forecasts and plan your trip avoiding remote destinations to ensure maximum safety.
November is a beautiful time to experience the lovely Sikkim weather and festive vibes in the state. Follow the packing tips and make the most of the pleasant climate to create everlasting memories.
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