Sikkim

Discover Sikkim

Travel to East Sikkim, North Sikkim, South Sikkim and West Sikkim

It is one of the smallest states in India. Sikkim is bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north and northeast, by Bhutan to the southeast, by the Indian state of West Bengal to the south, and by Nepal to the west. The capital is Gangtok, in the southeastern part of the state.

Long a sovereign political entity, Sikkim became a protectorate of India in 1950 and an Indian state in 1975. Its small size notwithstanding, Sikkim is of great political and strategic importance for India because of its location along several international boundaries. Area 2,740 square miles (7,096 square km). Pop. (2011) 607,688.

Districts of Sikkim: East Sikkim, North Sikkim, South Sikkim and West Sikkim.

West Sikkim: West Sikkim is replete with history and religion. This is where the first Chogyal of Sikkim was consecrated at Yuksum in 1642 and this is where some of the holiest and most important monasteries of Sikkim were established, including Dubdi and Sanga Choling, the first monasteries to be built in Sikkim. West Sikkim is beautiful terrain abounding in lakes and waterfalls and also has great trekking routes. Gyalshing is the head quarter and town of the West District.

 

 

Famous Places in West Sikkim: Pelling, Geyzing, Pemayangste Monastery, Yuksom, Darap Village, Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Yangtey, Goecha La, Kanchenjunga National Park, Biksthang, Rabdentse Ruins, Legship, Dubdi Monastery, Tashiding Monastery, Sangachoeling Monastery, Dzongri Trek, Khecheolpalri Lake, Kasturi Trek, Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Rinchenpong, Glass Skywalk.

Pelling: Pelling, a beautiful town in the West district of Sikkim, is becoming the second biggest tourist destination in Sikkim after Gangtok adorned by breath-taking views of the Khangchendzonga and the neighbouring peaks.

Geyzing: Located in the western part of Sikkim, Geyzing is a hill station famous for its natural beauty and serene and unexplored environment. Geyzing is the most ideal destination for tourists looking for a peaceful place to relax and unwind.

Pemayangste Monastery: This 3-storied Pemayangste Monastery is the oldest and one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in Sikkim. It houses a lot of ancient wall paintings and sculptures.

Yuksom: Known for its picturesque landscape, Yuksom is an ideal tourist destination for people seeking a quite retreat in the hills. The place is surrounded by dense green vegetation and majestic mountains.

Darap village: One of the few unexplored villages in Sikkim, Darap has retained the pristine nature of its flora and fauna over the years. It is situated at an altitude of 1600 m and the temperature here ranges from -5 to 28 degrees.

Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary: Perched at an altitude of 10,000 ft, Barsey is best known for the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, a paradise for nature lovers. The sanctuary itself is a part of the West Sikkim and quite easy to access through road via Hilley, Dentam/Soreng from Geyzing. However, if you are planning a nice trekking trip, the idea is simply spectacular. The trail is enriched with varied flora and raw nature and proceeds from Hilley up the hill.

Yangtey: At an altitude of 6000 ft, Yangtey is a small village and an instance of paradise by monsoons, lying very close to the town of Pelling in Sikkim, famous for the amazing views of Mt. Kanchenjungha that it offers. The sceneries here are marked by magnificent peaks of the Eastern Himalayas, under an occasional cover of clouds.

Goecha La: This is a high mountain pass located at a height of 4,940 m and acts as the base camp for southeast face of Kanchenjunga. This place can only be accessed by trekking from Yuksom and it roughly takes 7-8 days for a person to reach Goecha La and come back to Yuksom.

Kanchenjunga National Park: Named after the third highest mountain peak in the world, and nestled in the lap of the mighty Himalayas in North of Sikkim is the Kanchenjunga National Park. Included recently in UNESCO’s world heritage sites, it is a rare high altitude national park and the first “Mixed-Heritage” site of the country.

Biksthang: Biksthang, also famous as Mangalbaray and Chuchen, is a small farmhouse in the Pelling district of Sikkim. It is popular for having a beautiful environment, including the picturesque view of the Himalayas. Being situated at a great height, Biksthang Heritage Farmhouse provides an amazing glimpse of the majestic Himalayas.

Rabdentse Ruins: On the lower hillock, South-East of Pemayangtse Monastery in Pelling, Sikkim, lies the old ruins of the Old Rabdentse Palace. Rabdentse was the second capital of Sikkim till 1814 AD . The old palace and the monastery are in complete ruins now and the Archeological survey of India is currently maintaining and undertaking work for its restoration. This archaeological site should be visited by all history-enthusiasts.

Legship: Legship is a quaint town in Sikkim, serving as the gateway to West Sikkim. In the Lepcha language, “Legship” means a fern which tastes like chilli, and the monastery has been named so because the area was formerly a dense jungle of these chilli ferns. Located on the main road connecting West Sikkim to the rest of the states, the picturesque Legship town offers many astounding views. This place is famous for its Rangit Dam built on River Ranjit.

 

Dubdi Monastery: Also called the Yuksom Monastery, the Dubdi Monastery is a Buddhist monastery of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Located in the Yuksom Valley, in the Geyzing subdivision of West Sikkim, it was established in the year 1701 and hence is one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim.

Tashiding Monastery: Located 40 km from Geyzing in the west of Sikkim, Tashiding Monastery is one of the oldest and holiest Buddhist temples in Sikkim. It was built in the year 1717 and is beautifully nestled on the top of a hill between Ranjit and Rathong Rivers.

Sangachoeling Monastery: Located at the top of a ridge in the town of Pelling, Sikkim, Sangachoeling Monastery was established in the 17th century by Lama Gyalwa Lhatsun Chempo. The literal meaning of the word Sanga Choeling is ‘Idea of Guhya Mantra Teachings’ that relates to the faith of Buddhism. Also spelt as Sange Choeling Monastery, this is one of the oldest monasteries in Northeastern Sikkim.

Dzongri Trek: Nestled at an altitude of 4,200 m, Dzongri Trek serves as one of the most popular high altitude trek destination in Sikkim that can be completed in a short time. The trek offers some enchanting sights while hiking through the fascinating trail comprising of varied terrains, from patches of land streaked with green and gold and lush green meadows to dense forest and mighty peaks covered in snow.

Khecheopalri Lake: Located at an altitude of 1700 m above sea level, Khecheopalri Lake is a sacred place for both Buddhists and Hindus which is a part of the famous Buddhist pilgrimage circuit. It is situated in the Khecheopalri Village in the West Sikkim district. The name of the lake, Khecheopalri, was originally known as, ‘Kha-Chot-Palri’, which refers to the heaven of Lord Padmasambhava.

Kasturi Trek: Kasturi trek is a round trek passing Goecha la pass and offers extraordinary panaromic mountain views. The Trek starts from Yuksom and goes up to Goecha La, the highest point of this trek. From here, you can see the stunning view of Talung Glacier and Mt Kanchenjunga. The views are simply amazing and captivating. From green meadows to shiny glaciers, the Kasturi Trek is a trekker’s haven.

Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary: Perched at an altitude of 10,000 ft, Barsey is best known for the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, a paradise for nature lovers. The sanctuary itself is a part of the West Sikkim and quite easy to access through road via Hilley, Dentam/Soreng from Geyzing. However, if you are planning a nice trekking trip, the idea is simply spectacular. The trail is enriched with varied flora and raw nature and proceeds from Hilley up the hill.

Rinchenpong: Rinchenpong is a gorgeous village in West Sikkim, 40 kms away from Gangtok. The place is a perfect place for a leisure vacation amidst lush greenery and snow clad mountains. A walk down the resplendent meadows is one of the best things to do in Sikkim. Besides relishing a cup of tea enveloped in bounteous nature, you can also enjoy a beauteous view of the mountains outside the window.

Glass Skywalk:  The Glass Skywalk is India’s first ever skywalk, set in the picturesque town of Pelling in Northeast Sikkim. Built at an astounding height of 7200 feet, this colossal structure allows tourists to look down several thousand feet in the air, from the peak to the very bottom of mountains. The Glass Skywalk is not for the fainthearted, or for people with vertigo as walking on transparent glass at such heights can be spine-chilling.

  1. South Sikkim : South Sikkim, the smallest district belies its size with its variety of tourist attractions. With stupendous view of the Khangchendzonga range, the south of Sikkim is a fairy tale land of picturesque villages and high hills. Near Namchi, the district headquarters is Samdruptse Hill, the site of the 135 feet tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava. In the south too are Tendong Hill and Maenam Hill, of mythical importance to the Lepchas and Bhutias, as well as the tourist destination of Ravangla which hosts the annual Pang Lhabsol festival with great pageantry. Namchi is the district headquarter of South Sikkim which is 78 kms from Gangtok.

Famous Places in South Sikkim: Namchi, Ravangla, Borong, Statue of Guru Rinpoche, Siddheshwara Dham, Tendong Hill, Temi Tea Garden, Ralang Monastery, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary.

Namchi: Namchi, the district headquarters of the South District, is a prosperous market town which has quickly developed into a tourist hotspot. Namchi literally means “Top of the Sky” and the main tourist attractions of Namchi are the two gigantic statues. These two gigantic statues are facing off from opposite hillsides across Namchi and attract several tourists every year.

Ravangla: Situated at an altitude of 2133 m, Ravangla is a breathtakingly beautiful town in Sikkim offering admiring views of the snow clad mountains ahead. It has recently become popular amongst tourists for the same reason and is an ideal location for bird watching, hiking and trekking.

Borong: Borong is a small beautiful village near Ravangla in South Sikkim which has recently gained fame due to increasing popularity of village tourism and eco-tourism activities. With Himalayan Mountains sited at the backdrop, Borong is an ideal place for those looking for some peace and tranquility.

Statue of Guru Rinpoche: This giant statue of Guru Rinpoche is located in Namchi and is 118 ft. in height. Guru Rinpoche’s actual name was Padmasambhava and is also known as Second Buddha. He is said to have transmitted Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet, Bhutan and surrounding area in the 8th century AD. He is also considered to be the emanation of Buddha Amitaha, Shakyamuni Buddha and Kuan Yin Bodhisattva.

Siddheshwara Dham: This place was recently developed by the Sikkim Government to promote tourism in South Sikkim. It houses replicas of four Dhams (Badrinath, Jagannath, Dwarka and Rameshwaram) at one place at Solophok hilltop in Namchi. It also has a 108 ft statue of Lord Shiva. There are replicas of the 12 jyotirlingas as well in this area.

Tendong Hill: Situated at an altitude of 8530 ft above Damthang, Tendong Hill is a very famous tourist attraction in the southern part of Sikkim offering some of the best views of the state.

Temi Tea Garden: This is the only tea estate in Sikkim and is located in Ravangla town. It covers an area of 177 hectares and produces export quality tea. This plantation provides a beautiful scenic getaway for the tourists.

Ralang Monastery: Located just 6 km from Ravangla, this is a Buddhist monastery of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Legend has it that when the 9th Karmapa performed the Rabney, he threw grains from his residence in Tiber and the site where the grains fell became the location for Ralang Monastery.

Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary: Established back in the year 1987, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary is a small wildlife sanctuary spanning an area of just 35 sq. km. This sanctuary is famous for its variety of flora, especially for the medicinal plants.

  1. East Sikkim: The east district is the most populated with Gangtok being the main administrative and business centre. Apart from the modern attractions of the capital town, in the east you will also find the beautiful Tsomgo Lake, the historically important Nathula pass, as well as many monasteries and temples. Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim and heart of all the business hubs.

Famous Places in East Sikkim: Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake, Nathu La Pass, Jelep La, Tashi View Points, Zuluk, Nathang Valley.

Gangtok: The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok has a lot of amazing places to visit. You will leave agape in amazement by going on never-ending walking trails, thrill helicopter rides and most importantly parasailing the Lower Himalayas in Gangtok. Ensure you mark Gangtok in the list of places to visit in Sikkim. Gangtok is an astonishing hill town blessed with plenty of tourist spots in its vicinity that will keep the average tourist occupied for at least 2 to 3 days.

Tsomgo Lake: Tsomgo Lake is one of the most dazzling spots to visit in East Sikkim. Situated at a negligible distance of 38 km from the principle town of Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake, locally known as Changu Lake. Roosted at a bewildering height of 12,400 ft., Tsomgo Lake, offers a winding passage that slices through rough mountains and restricted cliffs. Check-in some of the most entrancing hotels in Sikkim with picturesque scenes and incredible panoramas.

Nathu La Pass: Tsomgo Lake is one of the most dazzling spots to visit in East Sikkim. Situated at a negligible distance of 38 km from the principle town of Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake, locally known as Changu Lake. Roosted at a bewildering height of 12,400 ft., Tsomgo Lake, offers a winding passage that slices through rough mountains and restricted cliffs. Check-in some of the most entrancing hotels in Sikkim with picturesque scenes and incredible panoramas.

Jelep La: Nathu La Pass (height 13,123 feet) remains on the intersection of the Indo Chinese fringe. It is a branch of the old silk path. Once the place was used mainly by the traders and merchants. This spot unites Sikkim to China claimed Tibet Autonomous locale.

Tashi View Points: Jelep La is one more wonderful extraordinary mountain pass that rules at a height of 14,000 ft., extending from East Sikkim to parts of Tibet. The name ‘Jelep’ means an ‘exquisite level pass’, that is an immediate reference to the landscape of the pass. The pass likewise connects India and Lhasa, while neglecting the entrancing Menmecho Lake.

Tashi View Points: Settled in Gangtok’s Tashi region, the Tashi View Point is a most loved among travellers and locals. It standout to be one of the 7 best places to visit in East Sikkim. A lovely vantage point to the panoramas on the glorious Kanchenjunga Range, the spot is most popular for the predawn perspectives on the snow-topped pinnacles. Ensure you reach here before 05:00 AM, you can see the supernatural, albeit flitting, marvel that happens when the primary beams of daylight break on the gigantic pinnacles, covering them in a dreamlike brilliant tint.

Zuluk: Zuluk, a whimsical little village held up close to the lower Himalayas of East Sikkim. Notwithstanding the goliath excellence that graces Zuluk, it is one of the most unique spots to visit in East Sikkim. Moreover, it is one of the most ideal places to visit in East Sikkim. The street less voyaged, Zuluk offers a calm and tranquil ambience, bringing explorers and trekkers into its region consistently.

Nathang Valley: Nathang Valley is the trick of the trade of East Sikkim! Sitting at a height of 13,500 ft., locals call this valley as Ladakh of East Sikkim. It is one of the 7 best places to visit in East Sikkim. Nathang is a flawless little town, offering a secluded and off the beat experience. The town falls on the Old Silk Route, which joins India and China by means of an exchange passage.

  1. North Sikkim: Perhaps the most beautiful of the districts, the North offers an exquisite experience for the lover of Nature and alpine scenery. Yumthang alone is enough to satiate the most demanding, with its panoramic Valley of Flowers. During springtime the lush meadows abound with delicate wildflowers that carpet the Valley floor in a rich riot of colors. A must-see here are the Hot Springs and the vibrant Sikkimese tribal culture and customs. 67 kms from Gangtok is the Mangan District Headquarter of North District. A three day music festival is held at Mangan in December every year.

Famous Places in North Sikkim: Gurudongmar Lake, Lachung, Yumthang Valley, Lachen, Cholamu Lake, Thangu Valley, Crow’s Lake, Chopta Valley, Mt Katao, Chungthang.

Gurudongmar Lake: The Gurudongmar Lake is situated at a height of 5,210 m and is considered sacred by Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus alike. Every year during the peak season, devotees and tourists flock to this place.

Lachung: Situated at an altitude of 3000 m, Lachung is a quaint little town in the Northern side of Sikkim. Lachen is situated where two tributaries of Teesta River-Lachen and Lachung converge.

Yumthang Valley: Yumthang Valley (3564 m) is popular among tourists for its beautiful landscape and the spell bounding views of the mountains beyond. The river Teesta flows through the valley, making this a grazing ground for the animals during the summers.

Lachen: Situated at an altitude of 8838 feet in the northern part of Sikkim, Lachen is one of the most beautiful places in the whole of Sikkim. It is famous for its stunning landscape and its splendid viewpoints of the mountains and lush green surroundings.

Cholamu Lake: World’s 14th highest and India’s highest lake, the Cholamu Lake in North Sikkim is situated at an altitude of 18000 feet from the sea level.

Thangu Valley: The small town of Thangu is situated at an altitude of 13000 feet and usually serves as a base destination for tourists visiting to spots like the Gurudongmar Lake, Cho Lhamu (source of Teesta River) etc.

Crow’s Lake: It is another beautiful lake on the way to Gurudongmar Lake.

Chopta Valley: Chopta Valley is located in the northern part of Sikkim and is known for its natural beauty. This place is not very famous amongst tourists owing to its isolated location, but the valley has some beautiful views of the mountains beyond and a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Mt Katao: Nestled in the northern part of Sikkim at a distance of 144 km from Gangtok and 28 km from Lachung, Mount Katao is one of the most stunning sights imaginable. Perfect for adventure lovers who like skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding, and grinding during the winter season, the surreal mountain provides a splendid view to its onlookers.

Chungthang: A town in North Sikkim, this place is situated at the confluence of Lachen River and Lachung River. A legend has it that Guru Padmasambhabwa visited this town before visiting Tibet in 8th century and left his footprint on a rock where he once rested.