One of the most enchanting and mesmerizing locations of the country, located at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga, unparalleled in beauty and splendor, Sikkim promises you an intense experience that you can never forget. The snow clad peaks, the mighty mountains, the emerald slopes, rushing brooks, sparkling orchids, the tall Rhododendrons, the hill-top monasteries and the rugged terrains are some of the infinite things which will make you fall in love with this state. People who visit Sikkim are left spellbound by its magnificence and they gaze in wonder at the marvelous beauty that Sikkim is truly blessed with. The most popular places in Sikkim are listed below.
Sharing its boundary with Nepal and China, North Sikkim is extremely beautiful and mesmerizing but is also one of the most uninhabited areas of the country.
If you are looking for a retreat or an escape or want to get away from that hustling-bustling city life then you can surely come over to South Sikkim. It is surrounded by majestic hills and dense forests. A perfect vacation spot for the tourists, come over for some relaxation and start afresh.
Offering one of the best views of the Southeast face of Mt. Kanchenjunga, West Sikkim is lovely and attractive. It is located at the foothills of Mt. Kanchenjunga.
If you visit Gangtok you would be speechless and awestruck by the landscape as well as the hospitality of the people. The gorgeous silver-fir trees and the never ending trails will surely seem magical to your eyes. It is the capital city of Sikkim.
This place is for the adventure seekers, a place which will give you some adrenaline rush. It is a round trek passing Goecha la pass and the picturesque panoramic mountain views it offers are just incredible. The trek goes up to Goecha la starting from Yuksom. You can see stunning and extraordinary sights of Talung Glacier and Mt. Kanchenjunga which is a definite must-see.
Kanchenjunga National Park
Included recently in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, this park is a rare high altitude national park and the first "Mixed- Heritage Site." It is named after Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world and located in the lap of the mighty Himalayas in North of Sikkim.
Among the most popular tourist attractions in Sikkim, the Tsomgo Lake is located just 38 km away from Gangtok. A road meandering through the rocky mountain topography, the glacial lake remains frozen during the winter season. The most striking feature of this lake us the fact that the lake changes colours with change of seasons. This place should definitely be on your bucket list when you visit Sikkim.
With its lush forests and a variety of wildlife, Pelling gets the second most attention after Gangtok. This is a small town and hence people can explore it on foot. There are plenty of sightseeing options here which will really prove to be delightful.
One of the largest and most important monasteries of the state, originally called as the Dharma Chakra Centre, this monastery belongs to the Kargyu sect of Buddhists who originated in Tibet in the 12th century. It is perched on top of a hill 23 km away from Gangtok.
One of the most beautiful places ever, Nathula Pass connects India with Tibet and is located in the Himalayas. The pass is at 4310 m above sea level and is a side-shoot of the prehistoric Silk Route. You should definitely check it out.
At a whopping elevation of 17,100 ft, this lake is a beauty. The second highest lake in Sikkim and one of the fifteen highest lakes in the world, this lake is just absolutely magnificent.
Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley
Lachung is a high altitude village of Bhutia and Tibetan people in North Sikkim. Lachen, a winter home for Tibetan nomadic tribes, is a distant village in North Sikkim. Yumthang, bounded by snow-clad mountains, is a beautiful valley. If you want to experience snowfall in Sikkim, You must definitely visit Lachung.
Ravangla assures one of the most attractive mountain glimpses. Drawing many nature lovers every year, Ravangla is furrowed by dense forests and it is balanced on a ridge superintending an extensive swish of Western Sikkim.
At a high altitude and a rich history owing to its connection with the Silk Route, Zuluk is an offbeat village which is definitely small but promises great opportunities to have glimpses of the snowcapped mountain ranges specially during winter and people who want to enjoy snowfall can also plan your trip to Zuluk.
With the fragrance of flora and the aroma of freshness and purity, Namchi is blessed with beautiful sights of snowcapped mountains and the woodland valleys. These add to the scenery and freshness of the place making it a very popular tourist spot in Sikkim.
When frozen during winters, Teesta River gives you the best views. It stuns the onlookers with its charm and beauty. During spring too, the river idisplays blooming flowers and it looks resplendent with the rays of the sun upon its clear waters, making it a must-see for those who visit Sikkim.
Singhalila National Park
Offering wonderful views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest, it is a place you should definitely not miss. It is among those places that even someone who is not too keen to visit national parks will not be keen to miss it.
located some 28 km away from Gangtok, in the Phodong village, this 18th century monastery has it al. From ancient murals to beautiful paintings, this place offers deep insight to Sikkim's spectacular past. One of the premier places to visit in Sikkim, do not miss out on this one.
At an altitude of 4200 m, this trek is a boon for adventure lovers. One of the highest treks in the state, this trek offers spectacular sights and picturesque landscapes. The trail is fascinating and comprises of various terrains. Do try and complete it, visit it and conquer it.
Also famous as Chuchen and Mangalbaray, Bikhsthang is a small farmhouse in the Pelling district of Sikkim. Having a beautiful environment and panoramic views of the Himalayas makes it a popular tourist destination.
Also situated in the Pelling district of Sikkim, this monastery is a much revered Buddhist monastery in the state. Also one of the oldest monasteries in the state, it stands tall upon a hilltop overlooking the historical Rabdentse ruins, the former capital of the kingdom of Sikkim.
At a height of 4940 m, it is a high mountain pass and acts as the base camp for the Southeast face of Kanchenjunga. The only access this place has is a trek from Yuksom and it takes 7-8 days to return to Yuksom. So all of you adventure seekers, it's time to gear up.
Aritar is engulfed by lush green forests and clear streams and it is known for its beauty, temples and monasteries.
Also known as Gyalshing, it is the capital of West Sikkim district. Located at an height of 6500 ft with majestic and lofty mountains of the Himalayan range, this place is a definition of beauty itself. The river Rangeet flows in the western part of the city.
Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary
At a whopping elevation of 10000 ft, this place is a the 'Garden of Eden' for nature lovers. The sanctuary is part of West Sikkim and is quite easily accessible by road via Hilley, Dentam/Soreng from Geyzing.
Offering you unbelievable glimpses of valleys, situated at an altitude of 8530 ft, this hill is a very famous destination in the Southern part of Sikkim.
Due to eco-tourism and village-tourism, this place has recently gained quite a popularity. A small beautiful and quaint village near Ravangla in South Sikkim, with Himalayan mountains as its background, Borong is a perfect place for those looking for some tranquility in the environment and peace of the mind.
Do Drul Chorten
Nestled in the stunning valleys of Gangtok, it is one of the most prominent stupas in Sikkim. It was built in 1945 under the supervision of Late Truslshi and Rimpoche and it has around 108 Mani Lhakor or prayer wheels.
Bestowed with unparalleled natural beauty and uninterrupted trails for trekkers, this old historic town is considered one of the most beautiful of all places in Sikkim. If you love adventure and looking for some quiet time in the lap of nature you should definitely visit here.
The capital of the Northern part of Sikkim, the town of Mangan is a major tourist attraction as people make it their base station from where they commence treks and tours to various other places. This town is sparsely populated and hence is quiet and beautiful.
At an altitude of 3900 m, this valley is about 2 hrs drive from Lachen. Here you can make yourself comfortable and relax in the lap of nature and then proceed to trek to Muguthang, Gurudongmar lake or Cholamu lake.
The highest lake in India and the 14th lighest lake in the world, at an altitude of 18000 ft, this lake is a wonder in itself. You ought to feel the majesty and marvel at the beauty of the place. It wil shake you from the core and provide you with lifetime of memories.
Known for its varying colours, famous as the 'Valley of Flowers' this multi-hued valley is one of the tourist hotspots in the state. During the summer this place feels like a paradise. This valley is pure and untainted and hence the freshness and fragrance will freshen you for sure.
A small village in Sikip Tehsil in South district of Sikkim, the backdrop of this town is Mt. Kanchenjunga itself. This makes the village a beauty for the eyes. Due to its natural habitat, rare species of orchid, Paphiopedilum Faireanum or lady's slipper abounds here.
Festivals of Sikkim
Celebrated in the Tibetan Lunar month, This festival is one of the prominent Buddhist festivals in Sikkim. The full moon that falls in the middle of the lunar month is called Saga Dawa and considered as an auspicious day by the Buddhists. Celebrated between May and June it is also called the 'Month of Merits.'' The festival commemorates the life, birth and death of the enlightened Buddha. On this occasion, people participate in the circumambulation of the Gompas and chant mantras, carry the religious text and turn the prayer wheels. Also people gather at the monasteries and offer incense, water and dhog.
Celebrated every year in the month of December, Losoong is the Sikkimese New Year. It is also that time of the year when farmers celebrate their harvest and hence this festival is celebrated with great zeal and vigour. Although the festival is a traditional festival of the Bhutia tribe, the Lepchas also celebrate it with equal enthusiasm. Dances like the Cham Dance and Black Hat Dance are performed at the monasteries and Chaang, the locally brewed wine, is drunk. Competitions, like archery, are organized to further enhance the ethos of the people.