Lepcha are the original inhabitants of the land. Over time, the Lepcha people lost much of their cultural identity. However, in recent times there has been an attempt to revive the culture and tradition of the Lepcha people. The Dzongu area of Sikkim has been declared as a Lepcha reserve.
The cultural of Sikkim is also heavily influenced by Tibetan traditions. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Gangtok has one of the largest collections of Tibetan books in the world. Many Buddhist monasteries are repositories of artistic treasures, including wall paintings, Thankas, and bronze images. Travel and Tourism and agriculture is the basis of the local economy.
Sikkim is India's major producers of cardamom. The local forests have great economic value in timber and wood pulp. The states cotton and wool weaving, carpets, rugs, blankets, and bamboo work are also well known. Although it was historically a Buddhist kingdom, the Hindus currently represent the majority.
Sikkim has close links with Tibet and it's the home of over monasteries of mostly the Nyingma-pa sect. Buddhism is an integral part of the people and their culture, and many of the recommended trips around Gangtok have a monastery as their ultimate destination. The monasteries that are closest to Gangtok are Enchey, Rumtek, and Phodong. Click here to see a list of monasteries of Sikkim.
Nepali is spoken by the vast majority of the population, Tibetan and Lepcha languages are spoken by specific communities. Hindi is understood and spoken throughout Sikkim, English, and Bengali is spoken in tourist centers. The annual rainfall varies from inches mostly during June - September , and perennial snow in the upper levels often accumulates to a thickness of a few meters.
Temperature varies with altitude. The lower altitude South Sikkim is relatively hotter. In the North district, the temperature is much lower and may remain below freezing point for most of the year. Package Tour - naturebeyond organizes regular package tours to Sikkim. All our tours are customized according to guest preferences. You can check our Holiday Ideas section for ideas about package tour options. Hotels in Sikkim - The best hotel options are available at Gangtok.
But other major destinations also have good accommodations. Check our list of hotels in Gangtok and other destinations of Sikkim. Adventure Tours - Whether you want to go for a trek to Dzongri - Goechala or a biking tour through east and west, we have unmatched expertise in this region. Gangtok Gangtok the capital of Sikkim, is a unique hill resort of northeast India and undoubtedly one of the oft-visited ones. Perched on the ridge of a hill at an altitude of mt, the town is famous for its scenic beauty and spectacular Pelling The pleasant little town of Pelling is famous for magnificent views of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga range, the third highest peak in the world.
Pelling is about km away from Siliguri and km from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, North Sikkim A land - where heaven touches the earth, the ambiance creates mystery, a landscape dominated by elements, silence can be heard, vision tends to travel beyond the horizon, soul starts meditating- unknowingly, the mind gets rejuvenated; Below freezing point in Winter and in the night. Wonders never cease in North Sikkim. Chungthang Chungthang is a small town at the confluence of Lachen and Lachung rivers. Here the river Teesta, the lifeline of Sikkim is formed.
The two most picturesque and common tourist destinations of North Sikkim, Lachen, and Lachung, can Dzongri At an altitude of 4, m, Dzongri is among the best trekking destinations not only in Sikkim but also in India. The sights of the milky white peaks all around Dzongri are bound to keep you gazing with awe. The view from this place It is the land of Yaks, blue ships and other high altitude animals of Sikkim and Tibet.
The snow-fed milky water of the lake is one of the major sources Kabi Lungchok Kabi Lungchok is a place of religious and historical significance in Sikkim. The place is located about 18 km away from Gangtok close to Phodong town. The place that saw the historic swearing of blood brotherhood between the Khecheopalri Lake Khecheoplari Tsho is a large lake located 27 km from Pelling and is a common tourist sightseeing point. The lake is considered to be one of the sacred lakes of Sikkim. The lake remains hidden in the rich forest cover.
It is Lachen Lachen is the sister village of Lachung in North Sikkim and is the base for tours to Gurudongmar lake and Chopta valley. Situated at an altitude of ft, the small town is a good 6 to 8 hours drive from Gangtok depending on road Lachung Basic Information Altitude - ft Latitude - Lachung is one of the most exquisite villages in the Monasteries in Sikkim With a total of about monasteries, the culture of Sikkim is closely linked to Tibetan Buddhism.
Monasteries form an integral part of Sikkim. Most monasteries belong to the Nyingmapa Sect or the Kargyupa Sect. Namchi The district headquarters of South Sikkim has come into tourist prominence only during the last few years. Previously Namchi used to be considered just a large town with little or no attraction for the tourists. However, under the aegis The place is 56 kilometers from Gangtok and passes through Tsongmo Lake.
The place is covered with snow for the most part of the year. The pass was traditionally Phodong From Gangtok, as you drive further North towards Mangan, The district capital of North Sikkim, you will soon come across Kabi Langchuk, a place of significant historical value. After you have crossed Kabi, Before you have even caught Ravangla This is a relatively new tourist spot in South Sikkim. Situated at an elevation of ft the small picturesque semi town on the Gangtok-Gaysiling highway, Ravangla is becoming a hot destination for its breathtaking landscape and Rinchenpong and Kaluk At an altitude of about ft, Rinchenpong and Kaluk are a recent addition to the tourist map of West Sikkim.
The place is famous for the beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga range of mountains. The Kaluk - Rinchenpong Singhik Singhik is a small village close to Mangan town. You can get the most glorious views of Kanchenjunga from here. Situated at an altitude of over ft, Singhik offers the desired break to the travelers on the way to Lachen or Lachung. The state is divided into four districts based on the four geographical directions of North, East, West, and South.
The North district comprises of high altitude Thangu 30kms beyond Lachen lies Thangu at an altitude of ft. Months of May and June see this valley carpeted of alpine flowers which are replaced by snow from October up to March. The small picturesque hamlet with scanty population Thangu No overnight Uttarey Uttarey is a small village close to Nepal border in West Sikkim.
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The place is about 30 km from the popular tourist destination of Pelling. Uttarey is popular among tourists for the serene environment of the place and many tourist attractions Hilley and Varsey The Hilley - Varsey hike is a no sweat trek which can be completed within a day or two. Varsey is called the valley of rhododendrons — they are available in all shades and shapes here. The Hilley - Varsey trail is ablaze There are a number of smaller offbeat destinations in the area. Yumesamdong Yumesamdong is a valley on the Lachung river about 15Kms ahead of Yumthang.
The place is close to the Chinese border. Yumesamdong is an hour drive beyond Yumthang through the rugged mountain road ft , an area where the sweet Lachung provides the base for exploration of Yumthang, the valley of flowers. The coexistence of Buddhism and Hinduism makes a peaceful environment. And of course re-energize with some momos and phaley! Yes totally. And also visit the holy caves of Sikkim too. I am presently covering it… will definitely let you know about it.
What a great guide of things to see and do in Sikkim. A permit is easily available. Unakriti has already covered on the permits. As for Sikkim you can get it here too. Thanks for the detailed review! A visit to the North East is definitely on our bucket list and it looks like Sikkim would be a great place to start. The Goechala Trek sounds like a great way to experience the mighty peaks of the Himalayas. If you are not that sure you can opt for the Dzongri trek too, thats halfway of Goechala but with beautiful scenario.
Sikkim is a jewel of the North East and such a pristine place. We enjoyed a week in Sikkim when we primarily explored East Sikkim. But there is so much to go back for. Yes, we found that the best way to explore the state is by making Gangtok the base from where it is so easy to get around. We explored Nathula Pass and Tsomgo Lake from here. Yes I was in Ravangla, so for my first tour as I was new there I started off from Ravangla and the cost was huge. So in the next journey I opted for a shared transport, went to Gangtok and therefrom visited Nathula and trust me, the expenditure was so minimal, I regretted not doing the research for the previous one.
However it taught me the importance of doing research before visiting a place.
I would have to say that India is one of the under explored destinations in Asia by foreign tourist. We got so used to Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hongkong and had been missing out on these beautiful provinces. I loved your feature of Sikkim. You had definitely gotten our attention to visit this wonderful place. And most of the time I found people visiting North India namely Mumbai, Varanasi and going back, since Delhi airport is the main connection therein. If possible, if one could travel the whole of India in one go provided the time permits, one should cover the North East too, definitely in addition to the North and South.
North East India is idyllic. Great interview and it brings out the essence of Sikkim. Sikkim has been on my bucket list for a while.
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This guide is perfect for first-time travelers like me. Nice to know that Sikkim respects women and is ranked as one of the safest places to visit as a solo traveler. I would love to visit Rinchenpong for views of Mount Kanchendzonga as it looks stunning. Thanks for sharing! If North Sikkim is on your mind, please visit in the end of April as the rhododendrons are a lovely sight to see. Great to see a guide from a local who really knows the place. Thanks for such a detailed post.
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So much of this world to see and posts like yours just keep adding to what is becoming an impossibly long list. Not a bad problem to have of course. Sikkim sounds divine.. But I would have to opt for experiencing the rhododendron sanctuaries! I would also recommend to trek the Varsey rhododendron sanctuary if possible. That is in West Sikkim though. Here I have referred to the one from North Sikkim which is recommended to be traversed in the car only. I am yet to visit the NE as I commented earlier on one of your posts.
The more I read these interview series and a glimpse at those captivating photos, my interest to explore this beautiful region of India is piqued. Glad to know that the cab drivers tech-savvy and are quite reliable. Some are not though. However since you will be visiting Gangtok first, at the very entrance you will be notified the rates through a blue rate board at the stands.
So no worries. Northeast India and specifically Sikkim sounds like a beautiful place to visit. I would love to try the Phaley…you cannot go wrong with fried bread! Zero gender bias and one of the safest places for solo travel? Is it common for people to swim in them in the warmer spring and summer months? I love the style of this post. The interview gives you a unique perspective and a deeper connection with an authentic experience.
I just wish I could taste those momos! Well I did start solo but I made friends on the way.
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I met three other solo and we became a group and we did enjoy a lot. However most of the times my partner accompanies me, and hence the name DoiBedouin two bedouins. Sikkim looks like an interesting place to visit. I think I would prefer to visit in April, during the flowering season.
Good tip about trying the momos. Sikkim is like a hidden paradise and a place which almost all of my friends have been to but me. This is a perfect guide which will help me plan my travel. The landscape is amazing and it is perfect for adventure-seekers like me and my husband! Great interview, lots of helpful tips.
Sounds like life in Sikkim is far from pollution — of everything. The nature looks fresh and beautiful, and the people are just the happiest on earth. I would like to cross that root bridges, too and try some momos and Thukpa. Sikkim sounds and looks like an incredible place to visit. Given its close proximity to its bordering countries, it looks more like Tibet, especially with the monks! Sikkim is an amazing place with interesting culture and beautiful nature.
The food also caught my attention too. A bowl of Thukpa will warm me up. I absolutely enjoyed exploring this state but the permits were a real nuisance. There were several places where I had to be paired with another foreigner just to get a permit and this was very frustrating since I was traveling solo.
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Nevertheless, I had a great time. Especially in the border areas like Nathula and Gurudongmar. Its indeed such an opportunity to work for a period of time in NE India that she got to explore the whole region one at a time! Its a luxury indeed. What a lovely post on a very interesting region. What policies, people, or practices make this region different in that way? Well I have gone through the reviews of visiting India on world platforms like Reddit and even Facebook and people especially Women Solo travelers are much worried about visiting India.
Sikkim is one of the safest destinations in India. In fact the whole of North East is. One of the biggest example of gender equality lies in the everyday chores of the locals. And the male and female members of the family like to discuss things and take decisions together.