May 12, 2020
Planning a holiday is always exciting, and especially with a hectic lifestyle, a holiday is often more therapeutic than just a little pause button in life. Right in the lap of the Himalayas, in the north-eastern part of India lies the Sikkim – a seemingly small but breath-taking tiny state which offers you a bountiful of little spots for you to relax and unwind. But in order to maximize your stay, you need to know the best time to visit Sikkim and the places to visit in Sikkim and this is where we come to help.
Although Sikkim is one of the smallest states of India, the list of places to visit in Sikkim is rather long, and each of those places needs particular attention. To give an idea, Sikkim has as much as 40 places to visit.
For obvious reasons, you cannot cover them all in a single trip or on two trips for that matter.
Following is a list of places to visit in Sikkim for you to drop by and enjoy the essence of the state.
This is not a comprehensive list. However, if you manage to visit at least these places, rest assured – you have known the heart of the state.
Also Read: 5 Things You Didn't Know About Sikkim
To enjoy Sikkim to the fullest, one must know its people.There are three ethnic groups of the state – The Nepali, the Bhutia, and the Lepcha. However, all these different communities teach us how beautiful a peaceful and harmonious co-existence can be. Here you can find a Hindu temple peacefully co-existing with Buddhist monasteries.The diverse cultures have, on the one hand, managed to preserve their real identity and, on the other hand, beautifully developed a conglomeration of these to produce a culture that is unique to Sikkim itself.
What makes a trip to Sikkimindeed a memorable one is that nature has not shied away from pouring its heart out. The glory of Sikkim lies in its bountiful of flowers. Studies show that there are more than 5000 species of flowers in Sikkim – all thanks to its geographical diversity. From orchids to poppies and camellias, their arrangements are bountiful. And who can forget the rhododendrons – setting Sikkim on fire with its riot of colours? Since a large part of Sikkim is covered in dense forest, a wide variety of animals have also made the place their home. From the Musk Deer to the Himalayan Black Bear and from Red Panda to the Yak – keep your eyes open, for they are abundant.
Sikkim is dotted with many beautiful and pristine lakes. Of them, the Gurudongmar and the ChhoLamo lakes are the most famous. The latter is, in fact, the source of the river Teesta. The Khecheopalrilake in west Sikkim is considered to be one of the sacred ones, and Tsomgo lake in east Sikkim perhaps attracts the most tourists.Apart from the lakes, there are hot springs. The water of these springs is said to have high medicinal values, and therefore, tourists flock over there. There is a Yumthang Hot Spring near Yumthang and also Reshi Hot Spring on the banks of the Rangitriver – these two are perhaps the most popular ones.
To determine the best time to visit Sikkim, one must understand that there are primarily three types of weather conditions out there.
Summer – From April to June, you have summer in Sikkim, with temperatures likely within 15 degrees.
Winter – The harsh winters are between October and March. You can expect a temperature as low as 6 degrees.
Monsoon – This is not a very pleasant time to visit with the rain and roadsides. The temperature stays around 10 degrees around this time – from July to September.
As per the Sikkim tourism, there are two phases in the year which are ideal for travelers. It is either between March to May or between October to mid-December.If you want to have a clear view of Himalayas spread across you just like in postcards – winter is the best time for you. And if the greeneries excite you, then it is spring. Especially, visit Gangtok, which will enthrall you with its blooming beauty from March to May.Festivals of Sikkim are a different attraction altogether. You can plan your holidays around these festivals too. There are ManiramBhanjyang Tourism Festival, Red Panda Winter Festival as well as theCherry Tea Festival.
Now that you are mentally mapping your next trip to Sikkim – the next thing you should be curious about is – how to reach Sikkim? You can reach Sikkim by road, by train and even by flight.For the flight, you have two options. You have the Gangtok Airport, also known as the Pekyong Airport. However, it is not much well connected and well serviced by different airlines. Your best option would be the Bagdogra Airport. It is well connected to almost all the major cities in India. Major airline companies are available, and it is only a 4-hour drive to the major cities of Sikkim.If you are traveling by train, then you can get down at New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri station as per your convenience. These train stations are well connected and are quite busy with almost dozens of trains passing by. Out there, both taxis and buses are available for hire, which will take you to your favorite tourist spot.National Highway 31A is the most sought after road in Sikkim. From Darjeeling to NJP orBagdogra, you can hire a taxi that will take you through the most picturesque route to Sikkim.
To those of you smitten by natures galore in Sikkim, you are bound to have a good time. But if you love a little adrenaline or some high-on-rush adventure sports – Sikkim will not disappoint you either. So, if you are wondering about the things to do in Sikkim, let us assure you that the fantastic and diverse landscape of Sikkim is ideal for many adventure sports.To begin with, you can hike. The mountain train, luscious green somewhere, and rugged in the next curve are full of surprises. All through the trail, the fiercely flowing river bodies are going to be your companion.And there is mountain biking. There is perhaps nothing more thrilling to riding up the mountains while fierce cold wind cut through you while you speed up the brazen roads.And then, partaking! As you flow above the luscious green landscape, you have found your perfect antidote to city life.And who can dodge the most exciting river-rafting? The beautiful Teestariver is sometimes gentle and sometimes rough and rugged. Along the banks, you have the mountain and the forest spread across like a postcard. It is highly recommended for the adventure lovers out there!Then there is also the yak riding, bird watching. You might argue what the rush is in that? But won't you get a flutter in your heart when you can spot the most beautiful of birds through your binoculars?
Now Sikkim is not just for nature lovers or the adrenaline junkies. There are various other things to do in Sikkim that are specially curated for different types of tourists.For example, you can try the Pilgrimage Tourism. There is a temple on the bank of the Rangitriver - KirateshwarMahadev temple, where devotees assemble for blessings.There is also a pilgrimage cum cultural center in Solophok. The main attraction of this place is the 87 feet high pristine statue to Shiva against the picaresque backdrop of the Solophok Hills.In Samdrupste, you have the world's most giant statue of Guru Padmasambhava. Hailed as the patron saint of the state, this place is an international meditation center with a message of love, harmony, and peace.Sikkim also is bestowed with four Holy Caves. These caves form a part of the sacred Panch-Dham of Sikkim. The favorable time to visit these caves should be during February and March or during October and November. The Sikkim travel guide can help you with a detailed itinerary of the various places to visit in Sikkim.If you love a bit of heritage tourism, then you can start by visiting the Dubdi Monastery. It is one of the first monasteries of the state. Surrounded by a luscious green forest, this monastery can be approached only through trekking.The Rabdenste ruins are also a sight to behold. Situated close to Peiling, this is the site of the old capital of Sikkim. The trail goes through a mystical path, but once you are atop the site, the scenic beauty of the Khang-Chen-Dzonga range is surely going to be etched in your mind forever.If you would like some village tourism among the places to visit in Sikkim, Sikkim tourism is there to help you out with their varied home stay options.
For tourists and honeymooners alike, Sikkim does not disappoint, not only with its gorgeous landscape but with beautiful Sikkim resorts to stay put. And the Club Mahindra Chain of resorts are there to cater to you with an impressive stay.
For example, you have the Club Mahindra Royal Demazong Gangtok resort overlooking the mighty Chola Range. Here you get the warm hospitality unique to the Sikkimese tradition along with all the modern day amenities. The resort is a five hour drive from the Bagdogra Airport and promises you with a royal stay. After all time does fly when you have the most picturesque balcony view or when you can indulge in games and magic tricks inside the resort premises.
And there is the Club Mahindra Baiguney Resort as well – a 3 km ride from Jorethang in West Sikkim. This lavish resort is spread across 6.5 acres of land on the banks of the river Rangit. The resort seamlessly accentuates the natural beauty of its surroundings. Equipped with all high-end facilities like game room, spa, swimming pool, gym, library – there will never be a dull moment inside the resort. Moreover, the lip-smacking cuisine which includes both local and international is sure to etch a forever memory in your hearts.
Sikkim is a food lovers' paradise as well. To begin with, you have momos. Now, who doesn't love momos? Believed originally to have invented in Tibet, the momos of Sikkim are largely modeled by its Nepalese inhabitants. Initially made with ground meat, momos these days are available in a variety of options keeping both vegetarians and non-vegetarians in mind.Next, you have the thukpa or the GyaThuk. The warm noodle soup is one of the most loved dishes you can find in Sikkim. Made with a bunch of locally grown vegetables and a protein of your choice, one bowl of thukpa is enough meal for an individual.Gundruk soup is also a specialty. Especially if you are visiting during the winters, do try a bowlful of this delicacy made with fermented vegetables, onions, garlic, and tomatoes.Also, why don’t you try the Yak Cheese! It is denser and creamier than cheese made of cow milk, and therefore, it is more delicious too. The yak cheese has a very distinct flavor – smokey and slightly rubbery in texture. You can find it in local stores where they serve it as cheese candies.
If you love non-vegetarian dishes you must try your hand at Phagshapa. Made with pork fat and delicious fiery red chilies, this dish is nothing short of a firecracker in your mouth.
Restaurants in Sikkim are here to offer you with eclectic tastes of the region. From Thakali in Gangtok to Tatopani Bar and Restaurant in Pelling – the list is endless. You just need to keep your eyes open and your taste buds ready.
Do’s and Donts while in Sikkim
It is always more fun to be a responsible tourist while travelling through different places to visit in Sikkim. And while in Sikkim you must abide by these set of do’s and don’ts that is particularly formulated by the Sikkim Tourism. Somethings to always keep in mind while traveling would be
1) Do not litter the mountains; there are designated garbage disposal facilities.
2) If you are hiking, take a Sikkim travel guide, and since the vegetation fluctuates rapidly, it is always safer to follow the designated trail.
3) Use your camera responsibly. Please do not use them where you have been asked not to, and for taking photographs of the locals, please ask for permission.
4) Do not be too loud in monasteries or places of worship.
5) And finally do not disturb the wildlife. Do not try to tease or feed them. We need to respect their space if we want them to respect ours.
So, we have tried to give you a detailed picture along with the best time to visit Sikkim, and hope that you are as excited as we are to plan your next trip. Have you packed your bags yet?
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.