Heavenly Himalayan Escapade - Exploring Sikkim in October
The tiny jewel of a state of Sikkim is truly a slice of paradise. Blessed with soaring snow-capped mountains, gushing rivers, ancient monasteries, virgin forests and colourful orchids, Sikkim has emerged as a popular tourist destination in India. The months of September and October are considered the best time to visit Sikkim to enjoy pleasant weather, spectacular mountain views and lively festivals.
The Sikkim Weather in October is marked by clear blue skies, moderate daytime temperatures and cooler nights. As the southwest monsoon completely withdraws, rainfall becomes negligible. Days are sunny perfect for sightseeing and outdoor explorations. The average high temperatures range between 18°C to 22°C and nights are cooler.
With the rains receding, humidity levels also drop making the weather pleasant overall. The sparkling mountain peaks of Kanchenjunga become visible in their full glory. The wildflowers like primulas, poppies and rhododendrons as well as orchid species burst into full bloom adding a riot of colors everywhere.
The pleasant October weather draws tourists for the excellent trekking and hiking opportunities it offers across Sikkim’s many trails. Birdwatching, camping, mountain biking and rock climbing can also be enjoyed comfortably this month. It is an ideal time to explore Sikkim’s many attractions before the colder winter sets in November onwards.
October is a month of lively festivals and events showcasing the rich culture and traditions of Sikkim. Some of the major festivals celebrated are:
The nine days of the Hindu festival of Navratri are celebrated across Sikkim with great fervor. It is the perfect time to enjoy the Sikkim Weather in October when people dress up in traditional attire and fast during this period. Intricately decorated Durga idols are installed and elaborate pujas are performed at temples. Cultural programs like Garba and Dandiya Raas are organized. The festival culminates with the immersion of Durga idols on Vijayadashami marking the victory of good over evil.
This festival held across Sikkim in October commemorates Mount Kanchenjunga, worshipped as the presiding deity of the state. Buddhist monks perform elaborate rituals with masked dances, incense offerings and processions of holy scriptures on mountain tops. Locals also celebrate by organizing feasts and serving local alcohol.
Tihar or Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated in Sikkim with much fanfare and gaiety marking the victory of good over evil. Houses are cleaned and decorated intricately with lamps, candles and rangolis. Elaborate firecracker displays light up the streets on Laxmi Puja. Bhai Dooj signifies the bond between brothers and sisters. Local sweets and delicacies are prepared during the 5 days of celebrations.
Held annually at the Trishakti Vishwakarma Temple in Arithang near Gangtok, this fair cum festival features a procession decorated with colorful masks of Hindu deities. Cultural performances, food stalls offering local cuisine and handicraft exhibitions by local artisans are key highlights.
Celebrated by the Lepcha community near Dzongu valley, this festival marks the harvest season and has traditional dances like Lossong chaam depicting agricultural activities. Prayers are offered for the coming agricultural year along with lighting butter lamps and enjoying a feast.
This grand Buddhist festival takes place at the Tibetan monastery at Ravangla and you can make the most out of Sikkim Weather in October here. Elaborate masked dances are performed by the monks along with chanting of mantras, prayers and lighting hundreds of butter lamps. Locals also participate in the festivities.
Sikkim Flower Show
A horticultural show displaying exotic flowering plants like orchids is organized by the Forest Department. Flower arrangement competitions, cultural programs and stalls selling organic products and handicrafts are also put up.
Red Panda Winter Carnival
Initiated by the Forest Department near Pelling, this festival spreading conservation awareness about the endangered red panda has cultural shows, wildlife tours, photo exhibitions etc as part of the carnival.
Celebrated across Sikkim, it marks the birth of Lord Ganesha, the God of wisdom and prosperity. Intricately decorated idols of Ganesha are installed and cultural events organized. The festivities culminate with the idols being carried in processions and immersed in water bodies.
A small hamlet located at an altitude of 9500 feet close to the historic Old Silk Route in East Sikkim, Zuluk offers mesmerizing views of Himalayan peaks like Kanchenjunga where it gives you the best experience of Sikkim Weather in October.
Thambi View Point- Located at 11,200 feet, it offers incredible vistas of surrounding peaks like Kanchenjunga and valleys near Lungthung village.
Nag Temple- Dedicated to Snake God, this unique temple is located amidst pristine forests and visited for offering milk on Nag Panchami.
Zuluk Loops- The zigzagging road leading to Zuluk has around 32 hairpin bends offering spectacular valley views.
Kupup Lake- Considered holy by the locals, this beautiful lake remains frozen in winter. The emerald green waters against mountain backdrop create picture perfect scenery.
Memencho Lake- Located near the Tibet border, this glittering high altitude lake remains frozen between November to March. The crystal clear waters reflect the mountains and forests.
Silk Route- Take a historical walk along this ancient trade route used to ferry silk from India to Tibet and China. Remnants of old mule shelters used are still seen.
Phigam Village- An offbeat village near Zuluk known for its purebred yak herds that graze on the meadows. Interact with locals herding yaks.
Dhaneshwari Temple- This revered temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is built in the midst of deodar forests and visited by devotees for blessings.
A quaint town located at an altitude of 9000 feet, Lachen serves as a base for Gurudongmar Lake tours and treks to Green Lake.
Chopta Valley- Offering fantastic views of the mighty Mt. Shrundi range, Chopta Valley is perfect for nature walks amidst rich flora like rhododendrons.
Lachen Monastery- Constructed in 1858, this monastery belonging to the Nyingmapa order has ancient religious artifacts, wall murals and scriptures.
Gurudongmar Lake- One of the highest lakes at 17100 feet, the crystal clear waters are considered holy. Snow clad mountains provide a scenic backdrop to get the best of Sikkim Weather in October.
Thangu Valley- Home to hamlets showcasing rich local heritage and culture, dense forests and meadows, Thangu Valley mesmerizes with its untouched beauty.
Green Lake- Appearing emerald green from a distance, this tranquil high altitude lake remains frozen in winter and requires trekking through rhododendron forests to reach it.
Lachung Chu- The sparkling stream originating from Lachung Chu range is famous for trout fishing owing to its crystal clear waters.
Yumthang Valley- At an elevation of 11,800 feet, this valley with the gushing Yumthang river is covered in colorful flowers and hot springs.
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary- Home to nearly 40 species of rhododendrons, it makes for an enchanting visit during spring when the flowers are in full bloom.
An offbeat destination located between West and South Sikkim, Kaluk boasts scenic views, religious sites, treks and organic farms.
Samdruptse Hill- The revered wish fulfilling hill has a towering 135 feet statue of Guru Padmasambhava installed in it which can be reached via a 3 kms trek.
Rock Garden- Intricately carved figures crafted out of serene rock faces make this a unique destination for art and nature lovers.
Mahadevthan Temple- Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this revered temple built in a natural cave sees huge crowds during Shivratri festival.
Reb Monastery- Surrounded by forested hills, this beautiful monastery follows the Nyingmapa Buddhism sect and provides meditation courses.
Ralong Monastery- Dating from the 17th century, this serene monastery has a central assembly hall showcasing Buddhist murals and statues.
Martham Village- Offering homestays and organic farm tours, this village near Kaluk gives a peek into rural life and culture of Sikkim.
Changey Falls- Located 5 kms from Kaluk, this towering waterfall cascading down in multiple tiers amidst verdant forests is a delight.
Jhandi Dara- Located at 6500 feet, it offers sweeping views of Kaluk town, Eagles Nest peak and forms the starting point for treks to Samdruptse hill.
Vishwa Vinayak Temple- A unique temple complex with idols of Ganesha representing different cultures like Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar etc built within a natural cave. If you can visit here to get an experience, Sikkim Weather in October is the best thing.
Mangbrue Gompa- This serene monastery is frequented by Buddhist pilgrims and has ancient wall murals, thankas and prayer wheels inside.
A scenic village located in the picturesque Rangit valley in South Sikkim, Borong is paradise for nature lovers with its lush forests, orchid gardens and tranquil lakes.
Tarey Bhir- A 4 kms trek from Borong village takes you to this beautiful lake with emerald green waters surrounded by dense rhododendron and oak forests.
Rayong Sunrise View Point- Ideal for catching magical sunrises, this vantage point offers sweeping views of Kanchenjunga range and surrounding hills.
Temi Tea Garden- Take a tour of Asia’s only 100% organic tea estate spread over 440 acres with guided walks through its aromatic tea bushes.
Samsing Foliage- Take nature trails admiring the fabulous fall foliage amidst the oak, magnolia and rhododendron trees that change into vibrant colors.
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary- Home to endangered red pandas and Himalayan black bears, the sanctuary has diverse flora like orchids and rhododendrons.
Sillery Gaon- The picturesque village has traditionally built houses showcasing Sikkimese architecture and intimate interactions with locals.
Menmecho Lake- The stunning high altitude frozen lake near the Tibet border framed by snow clad mountains offers picture perfect vistas.
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary- Home to endangered fauna like red pandas and snow leopards, it offers scenic hiking trails through dense forests.
Green Valley View Point- Located near Borong, it offers an unhindered view of the sprawling valley covered in emerald green forests.
Bhusuk Waterfalls- Plunging from a height of 100 feet, this wispy waterfall surrounded by verdant forests is perfect for picnics.
Located near Gangtok, Rumtek is famous as the seat of Karmapa Lama, the third highest monk in Tibetan Buddhism. Key sites are:
Rumtek Monastery- The striking monastery established in 1960s houses rare Buddha artifacts and sacred relics brought from Tibet.
Nalanda Institute- This institute within the monastery complex imparts Buddhist philosophy teachings to monks and also has a museum displaying religious arts.
Karma Shri Nalanda Institute- Established in 1980s, the institute offers five year courses in Buddhist studies and conducts retreats.
Enchey House- Built by Sir Tashi Namgyal in the early 1900s, this heritage building near the monastery served as his country estate.
Deorali Orchid Sanctuary- Home to over 200 rare orchid species, it offers guided tours to see these exotic flowers up close amidst serene forests.
Rumtek View Point- Located near the monastery, this vantage point offers splendid panoramic vistas of Gangtok town in the valley below.
Golden Stupa- Containing relics of 16th Karmapa, the glittering golden stupa set amidst lush greens draws pilgrims.
Kanchenjunga Falls- Located 28 kms from Rumtek, seeing the water plunge from a great height is an incredible experience.
Ranka Monastery- Constructed in the 17th century, this historic monastery belonging to the Karma Kagyu sect has ancient murals and window paintings.
Lingdum Monastery- Surrounded by forested hills, this monastery dating back to the 19th century has a prayer wheel and houses many rare Thankas.
Activities in October
With clear skies and moderate temperatures, Sikkim Weather in October is ideal for mountaineering expeditions. Peaks like Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Kabru can be conquered by taking routes starting from Yuksom, Dzongri etc. Permits and guides are mandatory.
Take walking tours of Sikkim villages like Sillery Gaon, Martham, Borong etc to experience authentic local lifestyle amidst cardamom and spice plantations along with interactions with villagers. Enjoy home cooked food and the warm hospitality.
Cable Car Rides
Take a thrilling ride across the lush green valleys of Sikkim in cable cars at Namchi, Gangtok and Pelling offering sweeping views of the landscape. Perfect for enjoying the fall foliage splendor all around. Take rides both during the day as well as night to see the valley lights.
Embark on early morning walks in places like Borong, Ravangla, Namchi etc and witness local customs like milkmen delivering fresh milk, shopkeepers opening their shops, morning pujas and more. It offers an intimate peek into traditions.
Spice Garden Tours
Sikkim Weather in October is known for its high quality spices like cardamom, ginger, turmeric etc. Visit spice gardens in places like Namthang, Temi etc and learn about how spices are grown organically. You can also buy spices and teas as souvenirs.
What to Pack for Sikkim in October
To enjoy the Sikkim Weather in October, the follow things must be in your bags when you visit here:
Light woolens like sweaters, fleece jackets, thermals, mufflers, woolen caps and gloves as the mercury dips. Keep windproof/waterproof jackets handy.
Comfortable shirts, t-shirts and jeans or trek pants along with cotton socks. Pack smart casuals too for visiting monasteries and restaurants.
Sturdy and anti-skid shoes like sports shoes or trekking/hiking boots suitable for sightseeing involving walking through hilly terrain.
Scarves, woolen caps and shawls to protect from cold winds especially at high altitudes.
Sunscreen lotions, sunglasses and hats as sun can still be harsh at higher altitudes despite temperatures being lower.
Flashlights, power banks and extra batteries as electricity supply can be erratic in rural areas.
Basic medicines, first aid kit including tablets for nausea, headaches, allergies, upset stomach, body aches and ointments for cuts, bruises, sprains. Also pack Band-Aids.
Mosquito repellents like creams, sprays, patches; also carry anti-leech socks if trekking through forests.
Camera with extra memory cards and batteries to capture the stunning landscapes and festivals. Backpack or small bag for carrying daily essentials. Rucksack is ideal for treks.
1. Is October an ideal time to visit Sikkim?
Yes, October is one of the best times to visit Sikkim owing to the pleasant day time temperatures between 18°C to 22°C. Skies are clear and rainfall is negligible making it perfect for outdoor explorations.
2. What kind of clothes should you wear in Sikkim in October?
Light woolens and warm clothes like sweaters, fleece jackets, thermals are required as the temperatures can get cold especially after sunset and at high altitudes. Carry windproof jackets and gloves too.
3. What are the major festivals celebrated in Sikkim Weather in October?
Navratri, Phang Lhabsol, Lossong Festival, Tendong Lho Rum Faat, Tihar and Red Panda Winter Carnival are the popular festivals celebrated across Sikkim in October.
4. What are the top places to visit in Sikkim in October?
Zuluk, Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake, Kaluk, Borong, Rumtek, Pelling, Yuksom are some of the top places to visit in October to enjoy pleasant weather amidst stunning mountain scenery.
5. Which activities can be enjoyed in Sikkim in October?
Trekking, camping, monastery tours, mountaineering, rock climbing, village tours, wildlife spotting, cable car rides, mountain biking are some top activities to enjoy.
With its breathtaking Himalayan beauty and vibrant festivals, Sikkim in October offers an unforgettable experience. Plan a trip to explore this mystical paradise!
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