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Destination Sikkim

Sikkim: Where Nature Smiles


Sikkim is a small and peaceful state in the Northeast of India. Visitors embarking on a journey to Sikkim discover a mystical wonderland of spectacular natural beauty. The panoramic perfection of the snow-capped Himalayas, the heady scent of flower-bedecked meadows, the vibrant culture and joyous festivals, the infinite variety of its flora and fauna, makes Sikkim, a holiday that is fascinating and challenging at the same time. The crowning glory of Sikkim is the Mt. Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world. With magnificent snow and ice scenery, it is often regarded as the undisputed monarch among the peaks of the world. The sacred mountain can be viewed from every nook and corner of Sikkim and remains an intrinsic part of the consciousness of the people.


Sikkim shares its border with Nepal in the west, Bhutan in the east and the Tibetan plateau rising on its north and the Indian state of West Bengal in the south. It was once a Himalayan monarchy and part of the fabled Silk Route to China. Its merger with India in 1975 has offered a window to the world to discover the treasures of this hidden land. Sikkim,although tiny, offers profound diversity. The state has the steepest rise in altitude over the shortest distance. Within its 7,096 sq. kms it has the entire climatic range, from tropical to temperate to alpine, bestowing on the land an intense natural heritage. Lush and thick forests, flush with blooms of exotic flora, hilly expanses embellished by Sikkim's two main rivers, the Teesta and the Rangeet, the picturesque villages, hot springs and waterfalls have a compelling appeal. The mountain sides are dotted with many caves which are considered holy by the people and revered as places of pilgrimage.


From popular home stays where one can get a firsthand experience of rural Sikkim to endless possibilities for adventure sports. From ancient monasteries and flamboyant festivals, to the amenities of the modern world, Sikkim has it all. The State is naturally gifted having all sorts of destinations and circuits required for the tourists. The mighty and majestic mountains, green valleys, wilderness & sense of adventure, delightful cuisines, peaceful and crime free state, hot-spot of biodiversity and a mixture of things that would make any place on the earth a delight to visit, has made Sikkim the hot destination for Tourism that it should be. Virtually unexplored, it offers unique opportunities in almost all the major aspects of Tourism. Add to this the different communities, each with their own distinctive festivals and traditions, the dances and the music, it has all the elements that go into making a holiday an unforgettable experience.


Places of Interest


 Samdruptse, Namchi

Samdruptse Hill situated at an altitude of 7000 ft is 5 km away from Namchi. This epic hill is ornamented with a giant statue of the Guru Padmasambhava the patron saint of Sikkim who has been showering its blessings since more than 1,200 years. It is a 45 m tall statue, overlooking the whole city, and is gilded with gold that glitters when the sunlight falls over it. The Statue stands tall against the backdrop of the magnificent Mount Kanchenjunga. The repository within the premises of the statue, has a profound collection of historical photographs of Sikkim, including the fading photos of Mahatma Gandhi. It took around seven years to construct the statue. The foundation stone for the statue was laid by Dalai Lama in the year 1997.

 Chaar Dham, Namchi

Chaardhaam Temple Complex spreads across 29 hectares of area on top of a hill known as the Solophok hill which is 5 km away from Namchi town. The main Shiva temple is 108-ft in height and atop that sits the gigantic statue of Lord Shiva which is another 87-ft tall. The Structure faces east and is clearly visible from the surrounding areas. It is believed that a visit to the place is enough to wash away one’s sins. The 108 feet statue of Lord Shiva is encircled and supported by a girdle of twelve Jyotirlingams.

 Temi Tea Garden

The Temi Tea Garden in Temi, South Sikkim, was established in 1969 by the Government of Sikkim. It is the only tea garden in Sikkim and is considered one of the best not only in India but around the globe. The garden is laid over a gradually sloping hill. The tea produced in this garden is also partly marketed under the trade name "Temi Tea"

 Lake Gurudongmar

At an altitude of 17800 ft, the sacred Lake Gurudongmar is one of the highest lakes in the world. The name Gurudongmar is derived from the name of the Guru Padmasambhava who is thought to have visited and blessed this area on his way to Tibet. The lake has an area of 118 hectares and its peripheral length is 5.34 kilometres. It is located 190 kms away from Gangtok in North Sikkim, and about 5 kms south of the Tibetan (Chinese) border. The terrain of the way to this lake is quite rugged but has beautiful alpine pastures and lovely rhododendrons which add to the scenic delight. The lake, fed by glaciers, provides one of the source streams which joins the Tso Lahmu Lake and then form the source of the Teesta River. Lake Gurudongmar freezes during the winters except at one spot, which the devout believe, has been especially blessed.

 Gangtok

Gangtok is the capital city of Sikkim. It is the most visited place in entirety of Sikkim. There are numerous attractions in the vicinity of Gangtok which can be covered in a day or two depending on the number of places visited. Few of them are MG Marg,Gangtok Ropeway, Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, Tashi view Point, Banjhakri Falls, Bakthang Falls, Sikkim Himalayan Zoological Park, Flower Exibition in Whitehall, Enchey Monastry, Namgyal Institute of tibetology, Chorten Monastry, Namnang View Point, Saramsa Garden, and lots more.

 Singshore Bridge

Connecting two gorges in the west of Sikkim, the Singshore suspension bridge is believed to be the highest bridge in the state and the second-highest in Asia(as far as altitude is concerned) with a height of over 100 m. This architectural marvel, with a length of approximately 200 m, is located 25 km away from Pelling. The bridge offers a spectacular view of picturesque surroundings. Dotted with gushing waterfalls and crisscrossed by a winding stream, the landscape enthralls one with its beauty and serenity. Apart from the months of July and August, the bridge is open for visitors all year round from 6 am to 6 pm. A short walk from the bridge lies the Alpine cheese factory where one can sample excellent Gouda cheese.

 Khecheopalri Lake

Khecheopalri Lake which is located at about 27 kms from Pelling is estimated to be 3,500 years old and is situated at an altitude of 5,600ft. The name Khecheopalri literally translates to ‘heavenly abode of Padmasambhava’, the guardian saint of Sikkim. Even though the lake is surrounded by thick vegetation, there are no leaves on the surface of the water body. This is because the local birds swoop down and keep the lake clear of leaves. Prayer wheels along the wooden jetty lead you to the bank of Khecheopalri Lake. Numerous Tibetan prayer flags flutter in the wind and you feel as if you’ve walked into a magical kingdom. Khecheopalri Lake is also a pilgrimage site for both Buddhists and Hindus. Broad-leaved temperate trees and bamboo form a cluster around this lake making it a perfect recreational spot for travellers along the Buddhist religious circuit.

 Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir

Baba Harbhajan Singh was an Indian army soldier. He is revered as the "Hero of Nathula" by soldiers of the Indian army, who built a shrine in his honour. It has come to believe that his spirit protects every soldier in the inhospitable high-altitude terrain of the Eastern Himalayas. As with most saints, Baba is believed to grant favours to those who revere and worship him. He is said to be protecting the country even after death.

 Tsongmo Lake

Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake, is a glacial lake in Sikkim about 40 km from the capital Gangtok. It is located at an elevation 12,313 ft. It remains frozen during the winter season. The lake surface reflects different colours with change of seasons and is held in great reverence by the local Sikkimese people.

 Dzuluk

Dzuluk or Zuluk village located at a height of around 10,000 feet on the rugged terrain of the lower Himalayas in East Sikkim. This place is fast emerging as a new tourist destination. It derives its tourism importance due to the excellent view of the eastern Himalayan mountain range including the Kanchenjunga as one ascends through its 32 Hairpin Bends to Thambi view Point that lies at 11000 ft. It was once a transit point to the historic Silk Route from Tibet to India. It was commonly used by traders traveling to Tibet through Jelep-la as an overnight base.

 Rabdentse Ruins

Rabdentse was the second capital of Sikkim till 1814 AD. The old ruins of the Rabdentse Palace is located on the lower hillock, South-East of Pemayangtse Monastery, in Pelling, Sikkim. 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. The view of the entire valley below and Kanchenjunga peak from the Rabdentse Ruins are absolutely spectacular. The picturesque view of the rocks with tiny shrubs around it makes it an ideal place for families to come and arrange picnics.

 Yumthang Valley

Yumthang is situated at a height of 11800ft and 148 kms away from Gangtok. It is popularly known as 'Valley of Flowers'. Yumthang Valley is extremely picturesque, rare and exotic location with hot springs, lush green meadows with green slopes covered with Silver oak trees, yaks grazing in the flower-spangled grassy plains below, and a river flowing right through the valley. It is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating blend of flora, fauna and breathtaking scenic beauty. It is a home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, which has over twenty-four species of the rhododendron, the state flower.Situated further up at a distance of 16 kms, at an altitude of about 16,000 feet is Yumesamdong. The rugged vegetation-ice capped free mountains.

 Rumtek Monastry

The Rumtek Monastery or the Dharma Chakra Centre, one of the largest and most significant monasteries in Sikkim is located on a hilltop 23 km away from Gangtok. The monastery is surrounded by green, calm and serene hills, which serve as a visual treat besides being a focal point for spiritual solace. Half a km of walk to the location and you can have a breathtaking view of the whole Gangtok town situated right at the opposite the hill. Besides this, the architecture of the striking monastery is one of the finest in the world. It was built to establish the seat of 16th Century Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, while in exile and to help spread teachings of Buddha throughout the world. The Sanctum Sanctorum situated inside it displays the Golden Stupa along with pictures and statues of Lord Buddha.

 Buddha Park, Ravangla

The Buddha Park of Ravangla, also known as Tathagata Tsal, is situated near Rabong (Ravangla) in South Sikkim. It was constructed between 2006 and 2013 and features a 130-foot (40 m) high statue of the Buddha as its centerpiece. The site was chosen within the larger religious complex of the Rabong Gompa (Monastery), itself a centuries-old place of pilgrimage. The statue was consecrated on 25 March 2013 by the 14th Dalai Lama, and became a stop on the 'Himalayan Buddhist Circuit'. The statue of the Buddha marks the occasion of the 2550th birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha.

 Nathula Pass

Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas in East Sikkim. It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass, at 14,140 ft above mean sea level, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan. On the Indian side, the pass is 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok. Only citizens of India can visit the pass after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.

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