“Planning a trip to Sikkim? Thinking about best things to see and do during your trip to this little gem of North East India? Here is an extensive travel guide that tells you about Sikkim’s main tourist attractions, activities, food and shopping.”
Sikkim is a tiny hill state tucked in North Eastern part of India. Known for its lofty mountains, quaint villages, pristine scenery, holy lakes and vibrant Buddhist Monasteries, a holiday in Sikkim is sure to bring you close to nature providing you ample peace and solitude. Sikkim is also a paradise for adventure freaks, trekkers and mountaineers owing to its myriad adventure activities. Whether you are looking for a laid back break, taking in the extravaganza of nature’s beauty or seeking a fun-filled adventurous holiday, Sikkim will not leave you disappointed. Listed below are some of Sikkim’s main attractions, adventure activities and carnivals that you would like to be part of during your vacations in Sikkim.
Entry to Sikkim is only through the state of West Bengal. Sikkim State buses regularly ply between Siliguri and Gangtok.
Nearest railway station is at New Jalpaiguri in the state of West Bengal. From Delhi and Kolkata, trains can be booked upto New Jalpaiguri; from where, buses, jeeps and taxis can be hired till Gangtok.
If you are planning a trip by plane, then the nearest airport is at Bagdogra from where you can take a taxi to Gangtok. Several flights from Delhi and Kolkata fly regularly to Bagdogra.
Gangtok – The most beautiful small town | Land of Monasteries | Capital of Sikkim.
Also known as the ‘Land of Monasteries’, Gangtok is the beautiful capital of Sikkim. Mesmerizing views of the soaring peaks of Mt. Kanchenjunga, fresh mountain air, picture postcard beauty and salubrious climate; makes it one of the best places to spend relaxing and peaceful vacations in the lap of Mother Nature. Here are some of the must-see tourist attractions in Gangtok.
Nathu La Drrah- Located at a distance of around 55 km. from Gangtok and at an altitude of 14,500 ft. Nathu La is an important trade link between India and China. Spectacular views of the snow-capped peaks of the Eastern Himalayas from Nathu La, lures thousands of tourists every year to this scenic place. Being an important military post of the Indian Army, special permissions need to be taken 24 hours in advance from the Army authorities in Gangtok. Also, the pass remains open only for few specific days of the week, that too only for Indian nationals. Make sure you study the weather forecast well before heading towards Nathu La as the roads to the pass are prone to landslides and avalanches. Also, the visit to Nathu La is not recommended for children and adults who are prone to asthma or other breathing problems.
Tsomgo Lake- Enroute to Nathu La, you will come across the enchanting Tsomgo or Changu Lake. Crystal clear waters of the lake with stunning backdrop of the snowy summits of the Himalayan peaks, offer great panoramic vistas. The lake gets completely frozen in winters, giving it an additional touch of artistic splendour. One of the favourite stopovers for tourists heading to the Nathu La, Tsomgo Lake is an ideal place to indulge your taste buds in piping hot tea made of special Yak milk and butter, accompanied with Maggi or delicious momos. The trip to Tsomgo Lake is incomplete without taking a memorable Yak ride in its vicinity. An inner line permit needs to be obtained by all tourists from the Army authorities before visiting the lake.
Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial – The memorial is located at a distance of around 18 km. from the Tsomgo Lake towards the Nathu La. Popularly known as the ‘Baba Mandir’, the memorial is dedicated to the brave Sepoy of Indian Army who lost his life around 30 years back in this region. It is believed that the soul of Baba Harbhajan Singh is still guarding the international boundary of India and China; he is believed to warn about dangers on the border through dreams of fellow army men. Even the soldiers on the other side of border share stories of a human figure patrolling the area during night. The memorial is visited by many locals, families of the Army men and tourists who come here to pay their hearty respect to baba.
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary and Water Falls – Located around the Tsomgo Lake area is another interesting tourist attraction, the ‘Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary’, which is one of the best high altitude scenic wildlife sanctuaries in India. Apart from being the home to some endemic species of Himalayan alpine flowers that include colourful primulas, magnolias, poppies and irises, the sanctuary is also famous for its Red Pandas and Snow Leopards. The breath-taking ‘Kyongnosla Waterfalls’ in the sanctuary, with the water gushing down from the height of 10, 400 ft., is also a sight to behold.
Rumtek Monastery – Largest monastery in Sikkim, the ‘Rumtek Monastery’ is a must visit place during your holidays in Sikkim. Located at a distance of 23 km. from Gangtok and perched at a height of 5000 ft., the monastery is surrounded with lush green landscapes and small flowing streams. Built in a traditional Tibetan style of architecture and decorated with colourful murals, the monastery houses the Golden Stupa that contains relics and ashes of the sixteenth Karmapa. Tranquil settings of the monastery combined with sounds of enchantments of mantras by the monks, reverberates your souls with inner peace and solace during your visit to this divine place.
Enchey Monastery – Another significant Buddhist Monastery and one of the most famous tourist attractions of Gangtok, the Enchey Monastery lies at a distance of just 3 km. from the main city centre. Sights of the spinning prayer wheels, vibrant prayer flags and echoing chants of the monks, all this combined with peaceful surroundings is sure to fill your heart with divinity and spirituality.
Ganesh Tok – Located at a distance of 6 km. from Gangtok, Ganesh Tok is perched on a hill top and is home to a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Besides the temple, the place is also considered to be one of the finest points in Gangtok from where you can get best views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, other Eastern Himalayan peaks and the city of Gangtok.
Hanuman Tok – This is the best point in Gangtok to get surreal vistas of the Himalayan peaks and can be reached through a steep ascent of 4 km. further up the Ganesh Tok. A beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, maintained by the Indian Army is the major attraction of this place. You will be amazed to see the pujari of the temple dressed in the uniform of the Indian Army.
Ban Jhakri Falls – Situated amidst a lush green valley at a distance of around 4 km. from Gangtok, the Ban Jhakri Falls are an enchanting scenic site visited by many tourists. Enclosed within a beautifully landscaped park based on the Shamnistic theme and dotted with sculptures depicting the Jhakri (local Sikkimese) culture, these falls provide a perfect ambience to have a fun-filled day with family.
Gangtok Ropeway – The Gangtok Ropeway is another interesting tourist attraction in Gangtok. The cable ride starts from the Deorali Market and takes you to highest point of Gangtok, Tashiling. Providing you with the bird’s eye view of the Gangtok city and the surrounding Himalayan peaks, this ride is a must when you are in Sikkim.
We wish you will Visit soon. Waiting for to do your grand welcome in Gangtok.