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Introduction

Are you a flower enthusiast or have a budding aspiration to be a horticulture expert? If the answer is yes to any of these, then the International Flower Festival in Sikkim is something that you should know about. Sikkim, a state noted for its rich biodiversity and subtropical climate is also the host of the annual International Flower Festival. Held every year in the capital Gangtok, in the month of May when the weather is cool at about 23 degrees Celsius, this festival of Sikkim attracts travellers from around the world.

In this blog, let us explore a little more why this festival is so popular, what makes Sikkim a great travel destination every year and where you can stay to make your trip comfortable.

About the Festival

Although Sikkim covers just a paltry 0.2% of India’s geographical area, it has been recognised as a major zone owing to its invaluable flora and fauna. It comes under the Himalayan region and is home to more than 4500 types of flowering plants including 550 orchids, 362 ferns, 36 rhododendrons, 28 bamboo, 16 conifers, 11 oaks and 424+ medicinal plants. Given the inherent diversity of this state, it is only natural that the International Flower Festival of Sikkim would be considered the most famous festival in Sikkim.

The international flower festival in Sikkim is an awaited one, which displays more than hundreds of species of flowers. A celebration of nature’s gift to Gangtok, you can spend the entire day at the flower festival in Sikkim, browsing through different and rare species of flowers, followed by a finger-licking food festival upholding the culture and cuisine of Sikkim.

Related Article: Witness Losar Festival in Sikkim - The Tibetan New Year

About Sikkim Festival Festival of Flowers

Key Highlights of this Annual Festival:

  • This festival of Sikkim showcases more than 500 types of orchids, 30 types of rhododendrons, 240 kinds of trees, and an impressive array of ferns, magnolias, roses, gladioli, cacti, alpine plants, climbers, herbs and more. This flower festival in Sikkim is a riot of colours that will not only soothe your eyes but also relax your mind and soul.
  • Presents a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the flora of the alpine region, especially in the magnificent Himalayas.
  • The flower festival is accompanied by a fun food festival.
  • Bamboo is a very important tree that grows in Sikkim and plays a major role in their lifestyle starting from its addition to dishes, making ladders, mats, baskets, toys and so on. At the flower festival in Sikkim, you can check out the variety of bamboo on display.
  • At the festival in Sikkim, you can also participate in lectures and seminars held by eminent personalities who will share their knowledge of flora with all the visitors.
  • The flower festival in Sikkim also presents a grand opportunity to familiarise yourself with the local dances, arts and crafts.

Not Just a Flower Exhibition

One other thing that makes the International Flower Festival in Sikkim such a great attraction every year is that it is not only just a horticulture festival but also a food festival. Sikkim is characterised by its tribal culture, which has contributed immensely to giving shape to the cuisine of this North-eastern state. The food here is also heavily influenced by the surrounding states of India and the neighbouring countries of Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet.

Noodles, bamboo shoots, fermented rice, soups and momos play a pivotal role in the daily meals of this state. Being close to the mountains, the weather is pleasant and can get extreme during the winter months, meaning that the food has to be warm, hearty and protein-based to give that kick of energy.

At the flower festival in Sikkim, you are likely to come across these dishes:

  • Thukpa: A delicious noodle soup made with seasonal vegetables, egg and meat
  • Momos: One of the most beloved foods of the northeast, momos are a kind of dumpling made with a filling of meat, cheese or veggies.
  • Gundruk: It is a preparation of cauliflower leaves, sinki and radish along with a seasoning of mustard oil and tomato
  • Kinema Curry: It is a fermented soya bean curry made with red chillies.
  • Phagshapa: This is a pork preparation made with radish and chillies and one can have it with rice
  • Chaang: A preparation made from fermented cereals and sipped through a straw from a bamboo vessel
  • Chhurpi: Fermented dairy product available in the form of cubes and made into a soup to have along with rice

Apart from the dishes mentioned above, some other items that you may find adorning the stalls at the food event during the International Flower Festival in Sikkim are thenthuk, khapse, wachipa, bamboo shoot curry, sha phaley gya kho, dhido and masauyra curry.

Festival attraction - food Things to do in Sikkim

Other Things to Do in Sikkim

Once you are done exploring the famous flower festival of Sikkim, there are a ton of other things to do in Sikkim, which will further make your stay memorable and delightful.

If you love nature and sightseeing, you will love visiting the following places:

  • Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake — where you can enjoy the famous yak ride for INR 40- INR 100.
  • Visit the serene Ravangla Park in the mountains where you can make a prayer or two and attempt to attain spiritual enlightenment or nirvana.
  • You can make a trip to Lachung and Lachen and get to know the locals a little better.
  • You can trek to the Khecheopalri Lake, which is hailed as a holy site by both Hindus and Buddhists and is also believed to be a wishing lake.
  • If you like to visit holy sites you should not miss going on a pilgrimage to the Char Dham in Namchi, Ravangla.
  • Soak in the beauty of the Bakthang Waterfalls in Gangtok.

If thrill and adventure are what keeps your blood thumping, you can indulge yourself in the following activities:

  • Take a helicopter ride in Gangtok and get a bird’s eye view of the entire valley.
  • Go for a Goechala Trek or a Dzongri Trek either by yourself or your loved ones up to the Base camp in Yuksom.
  • If a helicopter ride is out of your budget but still want to get a breathtaking view of the valley, you can try a Gondola ride, which is basically a cable car ride.
  • Daredevils love to take their love for adventure up a notch and participate in hand gliding at
  • If the biting cold doesn’t affect your spirits then you can explore some adventure activities at the Zero Point in Yumthang Valley and end the day with a bowl of hot soupy noodles and fresh momos sold by the locals living in that region.

Conclusion

Sikkim has a lot to offer when it comes to cultural activities, sightseeing and even adventure sports. While the international flower festival in Sikkim surely deserves a visit at least once in your life, you should not also miss out on extending your stay and exploring the various facts of Sikkimese culture and history. To make your stay comfortable, safe and a bit luxurious, Club Mahindra has resorts in Sikkim such as Club Mahindra Baiguney, and Club Mahindra Gangtok that you can choose for a memorable holiday.

Related Article: A Glimpse into Sikkim’s Spectacular Saga Dawa Festival

About Mahindra Holidays

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Membership Reviews and Club Mahindra Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, other brands offered by the company are – Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As of Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at https://www.clubmahindra.com/

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