9 Brilliant Travel Experiences to Have in Sikkim ...

Neecey

If you’ve never heard of this place, you won’t be aware of the great experiences to have in Sikkim. It wouldn’t be surprising that you won’t know of Sikkim. It is the second smallest of the Indian states, ahead of Goa as the smallest, and it certainly has never attracted the tourist spotlight in the way Goa has. Sikkim is a landlocked state, located in the Himalayas and even though so small, it shares borders with India’s West Bengal, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. Unsurprisingly, the features that characterize its neighbors are heavy influences in Sikkim – particularly for the majority of the population, which is of Nepalese ancestry. Consequently, many of the travel experiences in Sikkim echo those of the bordering states.

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1

Base Yourself in Gangtok and Pelling

Base Yourself in Gangtok and Pelling Gangtok, or ‘hill-top’ as it is translated, is Sikkim's capital. It is safe, easygoing and is the ideal base for your experiences in Sikkim, with lots of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, shops as well as tours, trekking and activities that can be organized here. Pelling in West Sikkim is a ‘village,’ but caters specifically for the tourist trade and you get a fantastic view of Mount Khangchendzonga. Regular buses run between Gangtok and Pelling.

2

Visit the Monasteries

Visit the Monasteries The peaceful and calm mountainous environment of Sikkim means that there are monasteries galore, with almost 200 dotted around the hillsides. It’s the perfect environment for dedicated meditation as part of your experiences in Sikkim. Rumtek Monastery, established in the 16th century, is now a centre of for the Kagyu school of Buddhism. Pemayangtse and Tashiding are also worth a visit, as well as Karma Kagyu monastery, which boasts 200 year old wall paintings.

3

See Tsomgo Lake

Tsomgo Lake is about 40kms from Gangtok and sits at an altitude of around 3,770m. It’s a glacier lake, frozen until May with the Tibetan Plateau as its backdrop. An ideal time to go is early spring and late autumn, when parts of the lake are frozen over and the stalls by the lake serve hot chai and momos. Take your woollies as it’s always cold no matter what time of year. You can even ride a yak there.

4

Take a Hike

A must to add to your things to do in Sikkim list is going on a trek. The most popular trek is the one-week Yuksom to Dzongri Peak trail; you can go further to Goecha Peak but only if you want to be challenged. The trek is mainly through Kanchenjunga National Park, so you’ll see amazing forest, flowers and waterways. It’s considered the best for viewing the world’s third highest summit, Mount Khangchendzonga. The mountainous terrain of Sikkim hosts a plethora of trails made by both tourist trekkers and the locals who have been walking these paths for hundreds of years from village to village. For experienced trekkers, walking the Old Silk Route to Nathu La is one of the experiences in Sikkim. Nathu La is 4,404m and still remains a strong Indian-Chinese trading post.

5

View Flora, Fauna and Beasts

View Flora, Fauna and Beasts You will be amazed at the number and variety of birds, butterflies, orchids, and rhododendron in Sikkim’s mountainous environment. Varsey and Singba forests are the best places to see colorful rhododendrons between March and May. Also Deorali Orchid Sanctuary and Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary have a fantastic array of flowers and fauna. Meanwhile the Himalayan Zoological Park, about 3km from Gangtok, is where you might see the red panda, Himalayan bear or snow leopard if you’re lucky.

6

Ride the River Rapids

River rafting is gaining in popularity in India among young adventure-seekers. The Teesta River rushes from snowy high peaks down through Makha, Sirwani, Bardang and Rangpo. There are calm stretches for those who don’t want to thrill-seek, but if you want more than a challenge you can get it here – either by raft or kayak. The Rangeet River is for more advanced kayakers or rafters.

7

Feed Your Food Fetish

Momos – need we say more? Momos are the Tibetan fast food that can be found all over Asia. Small parcel like dumplings filled with meat or veggie options are steamed and served hot. They’re great eats on the run, but are so popular now they’re available throughout much of India.

8

Time for Tea

Time for Tea Of course, if you’re going to eat, you need to drink. One of the places to go in Sikkim for a cup of tea is Temi. Temi is located in South Sikkim, in the state’s only tea growing area. The tea grown here is deliciously aromatic and is best drunk in one of Temi’s picturesque gardens with magnificent views of the mountains.

9

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

Namgyal Institute of Tibetology Want to know a little more about culture rather than all this physical exertion? The Namgyal Institute is a research centre documenting the history and development of Sikkim. The museum houses Buddhist texts, ancient painted religious scrolls and religious objects amongst other historical items. It’ll definitely be a learning curve to add to your experiences in Sikkim.

You started off reading this post maybe never even having heard of Sikkim, but now you know what a wonderful place it sounds. Do any of these travel experiences in Sikkim light your fire for a Himalayan adventure or two?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

My hometown!!!!

I went to all these places. Pelling was the best coz i met a really burning hot guy there and it made everything better

Tsomgo lake felt like heaven

Sikkim is an amaaaazinggggg place to visitt. I went there last year with my friends when i was just 14. Imagine how fun could it have been?

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