Travel To The Heart Of Sikkim- East Sikkim
Why you should visit East Sikkim? East Sikkim…
Head to Sikkim if you can’t find tranquility where you are. It’s here that you’ll fully believe in nature’s and humanity’s goodness. Relive your intriguing dreams amid spectacular mountains, breathtaking scenery, and icy temperatures. Enjoy the morning serenity and the dewdrops flowing from the leaves while taking some sun-kissed photos. After the lockdown, this is the greatest state to travel to, for the simple reason that such beauty cannot be overlooked.
What is the purpose of a trip to Sikkim?
This northeastern state is home to a vast range of flora and animals, as well as stunning landscapes, natural wonders, and historic sites. Sikkim is bordered on the north and northeast by Tibet, the east by Bhutan, the west by Nepal, and the south by West Bengal. Sikkim is unquestionably the greatest place to visit if you’re looking for a combination of natural beauty, adventure, and history. The region is a great delight for anyone seeking a private and lonely journey, as it is the least inhabited and second smallest Indian state. Sikkim is the finest pick for your romantic excursion if you are planning a Honeymoon trip.
A holiday in Sikkim, which is known for its steep mountains, tiny towns, beautiful landscape, holy lakes, and vibrant Buddhist monasteries, will undoubtedly bring you closer to nature and provide you with plenty of quiet and calmness. Because of its numerous adventure activities, Sikkim is also a haven for thrill-seekers, trekkers, and mountaineers. It will not disappoint you, whether you are searching for a relaxing vacation, an extravaganza of natural beauty, or a fun-filled adventure vacation.
Culture of Sikkim
Try making friends with the friendly residents of Sikkim and learn everything there is to know about Tibetan culture. There are many prominent attractions in this area, but the allure of its culture and customs is unrivaled. Sikkim would be one of the best places to visit if you want to see cultural sites rather than go on an adventure. The Sikkim Festivals complement the ancient temple, which is reached through a steep and almost-unused route with picture-perfect mountain views and panoramic views. Take a look at Tibetan culture and Buddhism from a different perspective. The strange ceremonies involving thangkas and Tantric items, as well as thigh-bone trumpets, human skulls, and old texts, will undoubtedly transport you back in time. In addition, if you visit Sikkim in May or June, you will have the opportunity to participate in events such as Saga Dawa, Tharpu Monsoon Festival, Gangtok Winter Festival, Losar Festival, and others.
The geographic location of Sikkim
Sikkim is a magnificent state in the eastern Himalayas, with unfathomable mountains and sharp valleys. It is India’s second-smallest state and is bordered on the west by Nepal, on the east by Bhutan, on the north by China, and on the south by West Bengal. It shares its Indian border exclusively with the state of West Bengal.
Sikkim is oblong, stretching around 100 kilometers north to south and 60 kilometers east to west. It is 7,096 square kilometers in size and derives its water from rivers like the Teesta and Rangeet, which are dominated by steep terrain. It encircles the east and west for almost three-quarters of its circumference, including the entire northern frontier. The only emancipated edge of Sikkim that is open to West Bengal is the southern border.
Kanchenjunga is the state’s crown jewel. The terrain is too rough for farming and agriculture. In the west and south of Sikkim, several snow-fed streams have resulted in river valleys. Forests cover one-third of Sikkim’s area. Sikkim has 28 mountain peaks, 21 glaciers, and 227 lakes.
How to reach Sikkim
The nearest airport to Gangtok is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, which is around 124 kilometers away. The most common flight carriers operating from Bagdogra to major cities in India are Jet Airways, Go Air, Air India, AirAsia, and Indigo. When you arrive at Bagdogra Airport, you can book a private vehicle or take a shared cab to Gangtok for a 4-hour drive. Providing previously stated, the drive through these roads is truly stunning, with the majestic Himalayas and the Teesta as the backdrop for the majority of the drive.
The first airport in Sikkim is Pakyong Airport, which is located in Pakyong Town, 35 kilometres from the state capital Gangtok.
However, because the airport was just recently opened, it is not well connected to major Indian cities, although direct flights will soon connect the state to the rest of the country.
Sikkim is well connected to the rest of the country not just by road but also by rail. The New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in Siliguri district, located around 148 kilometres from the capital city of Gangtok, is well connected by rail to major cities such as Kolkata and New Delhi. To go to Gangtok, take a state roads bus or hire a taxi from the railway station.
Everything is available to get you to the lovely Himalayan destination, from government-run buses to private taxis. Siliguri Bus Station, also known as Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus, provides local bus service. In normal conditions, the drive from NJP to Gangtok takes about 5-6 hours.
For an explorer or a road trip junkie, a road trip to Sikkim on a bike or in a car is the best alternative. The reason for this is that this path incorporates the best of the Himalayas, and the sights along the way are breathtaking. Except for a few areas, NH 31A is well-kept for the majority of its length.
The length and enjoyment of a road trip are determined by the location from which you are departing. As a result, the majority of people travel to Sikkim from West Bengal, which necessitates taking the highway via Siliguri, Bagdogra, or NJP. From Siliguri, shared jeeps and private taxis are available to most of the significant parts of Sikkim, particularly in South and West Sikkim.
A road trip from these locations can take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours, depending on the season. Because Sikkim receives a lot of snow in the winter, driving by road becomes much more challenging.
Best time to visit Sikkim
Because this Northeastern state is at the top of many travellers’ wish lists, knowing the optimal time to visit Sikkim is critical. This is due to the fact that states in India’s north-east is famed for their breathtaking natural beauty and abundant options for adventure sports. And Sikkim is one of Northeast India’s most well-known tourist attractions.
The best time to visit Sikkim is between March and May or October and mid-December.
The greatest time to visit Gangtok to see the flowering natural beauty is in the spring, between March and May.
Autumn, on the other hand, brings with it a spectacular vista of the Himalayan Mountains. The best time to visit Sikkim is from October to December if you want to see the Himalayan Range in all its glory. Various events, such as the Maniram Bhanjyang Tourism Festival, where you can enjoy local homestays and other activities, are held around this time. The Cherry Tea Festival and the Red Panda Winter Festival are both worth attending. These events feature a variety of artists.
Places to see in Sikkim
The Lachung Gompa (monastery) is a serene spot to spend some time observing the gorgeous wall murals and old statues while allowing the peaceful atmosphere to nurture your spirit.
Gurudongmar Lake is significant because it is named after the well-known Guru Padmasambhava. Hindus, Sikhs, and Buddhists consider the lake to be sacred. The greatest time to visit Gurudongmar Lake if one wishes to experience the snow is during the winter months, which run from November to February.
Lachen is a mountain community with scenery to die for; it’s a little village with tourism as its main source of income. There are hotels all across the area, as well as little businesses selling biscuits and winter clothing such as gloves and caps.
The beauty of Cholamu Lake (North Sikkim) has its unique charm and tranquil atmosphere that will delight you to the core. You have a lot of reasons to be here on this peaceful escapade. Your weekend scene isn’t complete without a breathtaking view of the magnificent lake.
The best time to visit however is in the wintertime to experience its beauty.
Mount Katao is an impressive site to visit that will transport you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse you in the natural beauty of the waterfall and the pleasant weather. The breathtaking view of a snowy location where you may relax and enjoy the sensations of the white snow
6.Yume Samdong or zero point
Also known as Yumesamdong, Zero point Sikkim, the journey from Yumthang Valley to Zero Point takes you through the bending mountainous terrain of the geographic region, and it could be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Zero point sikkim is where the three rivers meet, with nearby snow-capped mountains providing breathtaking vistas.
The Pemayangtse Monastery in Sikkim is a must-see for anyone seeking inner tranquility and a scenic pleasure. It was built and planned by Lama Lhatsun Campo in 1705 and is one of the oldest monasteries in this section of the nation. The best time is to visit between March to June.
Natural captivating lakes abound in Sikkim. But there’s something special about Khecheopalri Lake: it’s one of the most sacred of them all. The purity of this lake has made it a pilgrimage destination for the people of this region. This lake is currently part of a famous Buddhist religious pilgrimage that includes the Yuksom city. Khecheopalri Lake is referred to as a “wishfulling lake” in this area. It is stated that if you make a wish in front of this tranquil lake, your request will be granted. Best time to visit is after May
Between the stunning view of Kanchenjunga peak and the gushing river flowing through the foothills, the area is a must-see for history buffs who want to delve into the state’s past. The ruins of Rabdentse Palace are just a short walk through the deep woodland on the route to Pelling from the Pemayangtse Monastery. Between March and May is the best time to come.
Chenrezig statue and India’s first skywalk.
The Sikkim Skywalk is the country’s first glass skywalk. It was constructed to provide a spectacular perspective of the Chenrezig monument and the stairs leading up to it, with golden prayer wheels on either side.
Visitors can look down thousands of feet on this monstrosity of a walk. You get to see everything from the top of the mountain to the bottom. This path is not for the faint of heart or those who suffer from vertigo.
Singshore Bridge is the highest bridge in Sikkim and the second highest bridge in Asia, with a height of over 100 metres and a length of 240 metres. It is a true man-made wonder, with a breathtaking baseview of enormous greenery that makes distinguishing between the lowlands and the mountains impossible. When you’re standing in the centre of the bridge and the wind picks up, it’s thrilling. Along with the gushing sound of the waterfalls, the river running through the uneven rocks appears spectacular. It is one of the oldest bridges in the world, connecting two hills and reducing the trekker’s trip time and distance.
Goecha la trek.
Goecha la trek is amagnificent walk in Sikkim at an altitude of 4600 metres, with views of the world’s third highest peak, Mt. Kanchenjunga, from the pass. Goecha La, located in the bustling Kanchenjunga National Park at the foothills of Mt. Kanchenjunga, offers breathtaking views of 14 other summits.
The Goecha La trip is highlighted by a vista from where you can see Kanchenjunga, the world’s third tallest mountain.
Kanchenjunga National Park.
Khangchendzonga means the “abode of the Gods.
The 40th World Assets Committee recognised Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim, India, commonly known as Kanchenjunga National Park, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on Mixed criteria in 2016, noting its rich natural and cultural heritage.
This park, tucked in the heart of the Himalayan Range, is home to a diverse range of wildlife and over 19 mountain peaks, including the spectacular Mt. Khangchendzonga (commonly known as Kanchenjunga), which stands at 8,586 metres and is the world’s third highest peak. Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is a biosphere reserve adjacent to Kanchenjunga National Park. The mountain Khangchendzonga, which has a religious significance and is consequently widely cherished by the local people, is the name of Sikkim’s national park. The best time however to visit is between April to May.
Tsomgo lake and Baba Mandir.
Baba Mandir is the popular name for the Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple. When visiting Nathula Pass and Tsongmo Lake, Baba Mandir is generally on the itinerary. Many people are moved by the tale behind the shrine. Harbhajan Singh served as a Sentry in the Punjab Regiment. As part of the border patrol team, he was stationed at the China border. He is alleged to have vanished without a trace in October 1968. Many people have pondered, and many stories have circulated. The most widely held belief is that he drowned.
Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake, is a glacial lake in eastern Sikkim that is located at an elevation of 12,400 feet. Tsomgo is a Bhutia word that means “water source.” It’s around 40 kilometres from Gangtok, and the route is full of beautiful natural scenery.
The Nathula Pass, which is 58 kilometres from Gangtok, is a renowned tourist destination not just for its surreal natural beauty, but also for its rich historical significance. The pass connects Sikkim and the Tibetan Autonomous Region, and is a branch of the Old Silk Route. As a crossroads between India and China, this pass is significant. It runs via Tsomgo Lake and was a vital commercial route between Tibet and India until 1962.
The path to Ganesh tok is almost like a rainbow, with multicoloured prayer patakas (flags) hoisted and tied across the roads.There is a viewing room and a circular balcony around the temple to take in the panoramic view of large green plains, the Raj Bhavan complex, and the entire town. Despite the fact that the temple is so little that it can barely fit one person, it remains a key draw for all tourists visiting Gangtok.Ganesh Tok, around 4 kilometres from the temple and frequently visited by visitors while visiting Hanuman Tok, is a must-see for anyone considering a trip to Gangtok.
The Rumtek Monastery in Gangtok is a visually and culturally magnificent shrine. The goal and desire of Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the Sixteenth Karmapa (head of the Monastery), to build up his seat in exile to help disseminate the teachings and lighten the earth with Buddha’s knowledge all over the world is encapsulated in a temple for religious communities for priests.
If you want to see the Old Silk Route and the spectacular Kanchenjunga range close by, Zuluk is one of the places to stay in. When you gaze down from the top of Zuluk Hill, you’ll find a never-ending road with various pins and turns, making it even more enchanting to see.
Zuluk was once renowned as a major trading crossroads between Tibet and India, and it was heavily used for cargo transportation.
Temi tea garden.
Temi Tea Garden is one of North-Eastern India’s most attractive gardens. It is regarded as the best tea estate in the world since the tea is grown only with organic fertilisers and the quality is unsurpassed, attracting a large number of tourists throughout the year. The pathway leading to this tea field is lined with gorgeous cherry blossom trees, and going along the road into the fields is a genuinely delightful experience. The lush green tranquillity and the scent of many sorts of tea leaves will undoubtedly capture your heart.
Buddha Park, Ravangla.
This is a great place for meditation and power. The massive Buddha Park, with a 130-foot (40-meter) statue of Buddha seated in his profound grandeur and staring over the city, is the main attraction. It was opened by the Dalai Lama in March 2013 and has since become a key destination on the Himalayan Buddist Circuit.
The park, also known as Tathagata Tsal, is beautifully built, with plenty of walkways, gardens, and open space for tourists to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.
Siddheswar Dham, Namchi.
This freshly established Pilgrimage-cum-Cultural Centre is built on top of the Solophok Hill in South-Sikkim to boost Religious Tourism in Sikkim. The 2612 m high statue of Lord Shiva in sitting posture, which marks the location of the main temple, can be seen from kilometres. Apart from this massive statue, the compound also has replicas of the twelve Jyotirlingas as well as the four Dhams of Badrinath, Jagannath, Dwarka, and Rameshwaram (7 acres approx). This gorgeous chardham in the pleasant atmosphere of Sikkim has become one of the most popular tourist spots in the state, particularly among Lord Shiva believers.
This is the quietest and most serene portion of Sikkim’s southern region. Tendong used to be the site of Buddhist Lamas’ meditations. If you want to observe the sights from the top of Tendong Hill, you will be struck by the place’s magnificent elegance. Ravngla, a renowned tourist destination, is 13 kilometres away.
Statue of Guru Rinpoche.
Samdruptse Hill, popularly known as the ‘wish-fulfilling hill,’ is located 5 kilometres from Namchi and features a 45-meter-tall statue of Sikkim’s patron saint, Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). The hill also provides spectacular views of Mt. Kangchenjunga. A vast collection of historical images of Sikkim can be discovered within the statue’s grounds. A renowned Shiva Mandir with a large statue of Lord Shiva is also located in the area. In Sikkim, there are many areas to visit for trekking and adventure activities.
Festivals in Sikkim
Sikkim’s new year festival is known as Losoong. The Losoong Festival ushers in a new year and new beginnings. It is a four-day holiday that begins on the 18th day of the 10th lunar month, which often falls in December. Various Sikkim monasteries, including Rumtek and Tsuklakhang Palace, host cultural events that include traditional ceremonies and folk dances. The event reaches a new level of fun and merrymaking when residents and guests participate in numerous activities and feast on Sikkim’s wonderful cuisine. Losoong is a must-visit destination.
Losar is Sikkim’s most famous festival. Tibetan Buddhists and local people in the northeastern state hold the Losar Festival in high regard. Losar is a festival that commemorates the start of a new harvest season and a new year. During this Sikkim holiday, lamas at monasteries conduct Cham mask dances, and buckets of Tsampa (a mixture prepared with roasted barley flour and butter) are offered at household altars to bring wealth through a bountiful harvest the next year. People travel from all over the world to Sikkim in February to witness the festival’s cultural vibrancy, which includes exquisite decorations on every corner of the street.
Losar Festival highlights include Yak dance performances and rituals.
Bhumchu Festival is celebrated with uttermost faith and great passion at Tashiding Monastery in Sikkim on the 14th and 15th days of the first month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, which falls in February or March.
The Vase Opening Ceremony, which is the key feature of the Bhumchu festival, takes place at Tashiding Monastery, which is one of the most important destinations to visit in Sikkim. The lamas use the water level in the sacred pot to prophesy the coming year’s future. It’s a two-day event that attracts a big number of tourists interested in learning more about the state’s cultural diversity.
Bhumchu’s high points include the sacred pot ceremony.
Saga Dawa Festival
Saga Dawa Festival is one of Sikkim’s most well-known festivals, providing a unique opportunity to learn about Buddhist teachings. Various religious rites and street processions are held during this festival, which is no less than a visual delight, and as a result, many people from all over the world attend this amazing Sikkim event. Lord Buddha’s birthday is commemorated during this insightful holiday, and Mahayana Buddhist monks light butter lamps to pay homage to Lord Buddha, who is revered as the supreme master who enlightened their paths in life.
Highlights of the Saga Dawa Festival include Lord Buddha’s philosophies and monks’ butter lamps.
Lhabab Duchen Festival
Lhabab Duchen Festival, one of the four major Buddhist holidays, honors one of Lord Buddha’s four life experiences. The Tibetan calendar places November on the 22nd day of the ninth lunar month. According to mythology, Lord Buddha descended from heaven on this auspicious day using a unique ladder made by Viswakarma, the God of Machines, to teach the world life teachings. Every year, the people of Sikkim decorate their homes and temples with paint to welcome Lord Buddha. To represent his return, people paint ladders on rocks near several monasteries. During this event, thousands of pilgrims flock to Lhasa.
Lhabab’s Biggest Hits includes Spiritual enhancement.
Hee Bermiok Festival
The Hee Bermiok Festival, held in a small hamlet in West Sikkim during the summer season, is all about feasting and merriment. Hee Bermiok is an annual festival that began in 2005 and has been held every year in the month of May since then. Visitors are greeted with regional specialties such as rice wine and exquisite dishes throughout the event. It’s a four-day event that combines a captivating tour of the rich nature of this small paradise near Gangtok with the spectacle of vivid customs and traditions.
Highlights of the Hee Bermiok Festival include sampling local cuisine and admiring Hee Bermiok’s virgin beauty.
7. International Flower Festival
The International Flower Festival, hosted by the Department of Sikkim Tourism in the White Hall in Gangtok, runs throughout the entire month of May. The magnificent flower festival, which attracts nature lovers from all over the world, features a diverse range of species, including up to 240 different varieties of trees and ferns, as well as roughly 600 distinct types of orchids.
A variety of herbal remedies, garden products, plants, and other items are on show, and visitors can take home some beautiful gardening supplies from this part of the state. Not only that, but visitors may sample local cuisines at numerous food stalls and participate in adventurous activities such as yak safaris and river rafting on the Teesta.
The best floral landscaping and a little adventure are among the highlights of the International Flower Festival.
Mangan Music Festival
Fairs and festivals are an important part of Sikkim culture, and the Mangam Music Festival is another exciting event that brings live music from diverse bands and a lot of fun to the entire state. The Mangam Music Festival, which takes place in December, is a three-day event that celebrates the state’s cultural legacy.
Each year, an exhibition is held where visitors can purchase local handicrafts and sample wonderful foods. The environment of the music festival, which attracts a huge number of tourists, is enlivened by music, chilly weather, and hills.
Mangan Music Festival Highlights – Cultural vibrancy and uplifting music vibrations.
Tendong Lho Rum Faat festival
Tendong Lho Rum Faat is an ancient and significant Sikkim festival celebrated by the Lepcha community. It takes place over three days in July or August. The trekking expedition that begins at Ravangla and concludes at Tendong Hill is the festival’s main attraction. Trekkers, bird watchers, animal enthusiasts, and, of course, the Lepchas who go on an adrenaline-pumping trip through thick forests and gurgling rivulets will enjoy this festival. Tendong Lho Rum Faat, held in Namchi, provides a look into the cultural and mythological essence of Sikkim’s native tribe, which attracts visitors from all over the world.
Tendong Lho Rum Faat Festival highlights include trekking through lush forests and glittering streams.
Annual Sikkim Paragliding Festival
The Annual Sikkim Paragliding Festival is one of Sikkim’s most popular events, attracting adventure seekers from all over the world. This paragliding festival, held in Gangtok throughout October and November, provides the most exhilarating paragliding experience due to the pleasant weather and tranquil atmosphere. This event, which is hosted by Sikkim Tourism in collaboration with the Paragliding Association of India (PAI) and the Sikkim Paragliding Adventure Sports Society, attracts both Indian and international pilots. Cultural activities, free-flying, tandem flights, spot landing, acro display, and other events are among the festival’s highlights.
Mesmerizing Vistas and Paragliding are among the highlights of the annual Sikkim Paragliding Festival.
Best Time To Visit Sikkim?
The best time to visit Sikkim is from March to June and September to December. Sikkim experiences snowfall in January and February, and it is best to avoid visiting during the monsoon months (July to August) because there is a risk of landslides. Summers are still hot and humid. During the winter months, there is snowfall (Late December to February).
Do We Need Permit To Enter Sikkim?
Sikkim shares its borders with China, Bhutan and Nepal therefore it is a restricted place for foreign national. So all foreigners (except Bhutanese)e, require a permit to enter Sikkim. However Indians don’t need ILP (Permit).
What Is Special About Sikkim?
Sikkim, which is part of the Eastern Himalaya, is known for its biodiversity, which includes alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being home to Kangchenjunga, India’s highest mountain and the world’s third highest peak. It is also known as land of monasteries as the place has a lot of monasteries in very district.
What Is Famous Food In Sikkim?
Meat is consumed by the majority of Sikkimese people. Almost every meal includes a variety of fresh and processed meats such as mutton, beef, pork, chicken, and fish. Sikkimese cuisine is complemented with locally fermented beverages such as Arra (Homemade Whiskey) and Chaang / Tongba (Fermented Millet).