Posted 07 November 2022

Here’s why you should travel to Sikkim right now

Sikkim, India's second-smallest state, has a colourful history to match its ethereal scenery. It is bordered on the north by Tibet, the east by Bhutan, the south by West Bengal, and the west by Nepal. There are numerous tourist attractions in Sikkim that you must see. If you believe Sikkim is controlled solely by monasteries, you are mistaken. Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok, and ViewPoint are just a few of the temples you can visit. You can also go to MG Marg, which is the city's main market, to sample the local cuisine and cafes. There is a Changu river that is well-known for yak riding. Apart from that, there's a dessert created from yak's milk called Churpi that's incredibly tasty.

Now let us hop right into the top reasons why you should plan a visit to beautiful Sikkim:

1. Momo and Aloo chura

Sikkim is one of those states where momos may be found all over the place. Momo is a kind of dish which is relished by the locals as well as by tourists all across the place. It is momos in soup. Tourists must try this unique dish. Aloo chura is another popular dish in Gangtok.

2. Do Drul Chorten monastery

Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is a tiny city with many interesting locations to visit. The Baker's Café has different types of bakery dishes. When it comes to tourism, there are numerous locations to see, such as the Do Drul Chorten Monastery and White Hall, where the state's flowers, Sikkim Orchids, are displayed. The Sikkim Zoo also houses the Red Panda, the state animal of Sikkim. The Nathu-La Pass is a well-known crossroads where Tibet, China, and India meet.

3. Rinchenpong

Rinchenpong is in west Sikkim, approximately 123 km west of Gangtok and 47 km south of Gyalshing, near Kaluk village. It is situated at a height of 5576 ft. The Reesum Monastery and its walking routes are well-known.

A historic fight took place between the army of the then Chogyal (King) of Sikkim and the British forces. The Lepcha tribesmen poisoned the only source of water, a lake, with a combination of unknown herbs (local term - pokhari). As a result, over half of the British forces were killed, putting an end to the invasion and leading to an agreement. Even now, the lake is poisoned, and the locals call it bikh-pokhri (poisoned lake). It is also home to Reesum Monastery and Rinchenpong Monastery, two of Sikkim's oldest monasteries. Both were constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries. Rinchenpong Monastery is Sikkim's third oldest monastery, dating back to approximately 98 lamas. Nepali, Lepcha, Bhutia, Hindi, and English are the regional languages.

4. Gamble away

Many individuals are aware of the fact that Sikkim has Mayfair Resorts with casinos and that it is among three other states in the country where gambling is legal. The Mahjong Casino is often known as India's Las Vegas. Sikkim was the first Indian state to legalise gambling to boost tourism. In 2009, it made gambling legal.

5. Peace and serenity

Sikkim is recognized for having the smallest population in India, with small families. It's also regarded as being the best area to meditate. Tourists flock to Rumtek Monastery in large numbers. The monastery includes a school where anyone interested in learning traditional Tibetian-Buddhist teachings can enrol.

6. Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake, with an elevation of 5,425 m, is one of the world's and Asia's largest lakes. It is sacred to Buddhists, Sikhs, and Hindus. Because of the lake's height and the surrounding environment, one must be aware of a few things before going on a trip to Gurudongmar. The most intriguing feature of this lake is that it is never completely frozen and serves as a primary source of water for the locals.

However, because of the height, it is a difficult journey, and many tourists never make it to the stage. One should be careful while travelling as it is a landslide-prone area. Also, people suffering from breathing problems should avoid going to the lake as the oxygen level is low, which can lead to respiratory problems.

7. For the love of adventure

Sikkim's lush environment and steep rocky terrain make it an ideal destination for thrill-seekers. People with an adrenaline rush will have a blast in Sikkim, with activities ranging from trekking and mountain biking to mountaineering and vehicle safaris. Those interested in river rafting can do so on the Teesta. White water rafting is very popular among adventure enthusiasts in Sikkim. Mountain bikers riding across Sikkim's mountainous terrain are a regular sight, and cycling tourism is becoming increasingly popular in the state. Another amazing adventure sport available in Sikkim is paragliding and hang gliding, which you'll see a lot of people doing.

8. Try out Tongba

Tongba is a Sikkimese alcoholic beverage produced from fermented millets. It can be found in Nepal's eastern region as well as in Sikkim. It is quite significant in local and cultural celebrations; therefore, you should not skip out on trying it.

9. Tea trails in Sikkim

Tea is well-known in India's North-Eastern states. Temi in Sikkim is home to the state's tea growing region. If you are visiting Temi for a holiday, you must try Temi tea, which is a globally recognized brand. One should visit Temi tea gardens and should try the tea at least once.

Travelling tips for Sikkim

  • As a hilly region, tourists should plan the trip accordingly
  • It is wise to book packages to experience a hassle-free trip. One can plan a trip from March to May as Sikkim hosts the International Flower Festival.
  • Do not litter the roads, public spaces, or historical monuments to avoid heavy fines

How to reach Sikkim?

  • Travelling by rail: The nearest railway station is in New Jalpaiguri, 117 km from Gangtok. The train station has excellent connections to both big and minor cities throughout the country. The majority of tourists prefer to travel to Gangtok via train.
  • Travelling by road: Gangtok is connected by road to Siliguri, Darjeeling, and Kalimpong, with National Highway 31A providing access to the region. There are multiple frequent Sikkim state transit buses between Gangtok and Siliguri. From Siliguri and Bagdogra, private buses, jeeps, and taxis are available for hire.
  • Travelling by air: If you want to travel to Gangtok by air, the closest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal. Bagdogra and Gangtok are approximately 124 km apart. This major airport is well connected with all the major cities in India via direct IndiGo flights to Sikkim.

The best time to visit Sikkim and its weather conditions

The best time to visit Sikkim is from March to May (maximum temperature of 15°C), or between October and mid-December. One can also visit Gangtok in the spring, from March to May, when the city's natural beauty is at its peak. Autumn, additionally, provides a breathtaking view of the Himalayan range. If you want to view the Himalayan Range in all its beauty, the best time to visit Sikkim is from October to December. Several events are held around this time too. The Cherry Tea Festival and the Red Panda Winter Festival are both worth attending. These events highlight a different aspect of Sikkim.

November is the ideal month for a visitor who wants to see the lake in all of its glory. Snowstorms start in November, making the place chilly and cold, though the clouds remain bright. The temperature remains around -2°C all month. If you enjoy bright and sunny weather and want to see wildflowers in bloom, from April to May is the best time to explore the lake and nearby surroundings. Temperatures range from -2°C to 0°C during this time of year.

Conclusion

A beautiful hill station enriched with divine culture and lively people; Sikkim is truly the perfect getaway from your busy schedules. Adorned with ancient landmarks, local cuisine, and hills, and keeping in touch with their heritage, plan a trip to this hill station with your loved ones.

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