Places to Visit in Sikkim

Sikkim is a small tiny state of India in the lap of Himalaya. There are many amazing places to visit in Sikkim such as high rise mountains, meandering streams, lush green tea gardens and forests. It has four districts each is having its uniqueness in term of its offerings to the tourists. Sikkim is most peaceful & politically stable state. Almost 40% of Sikkim is covered with forest which makes it a paradise for nature lovers.  Here are the 10 best Sikkim tourist places.

 

10 Amazing Tourist Places to Visit in Sikkim

List of Places

  • Tsomgo Lake – Gangtok
  • Nathula Pass – Gangtok
  • Gurudongmar Lake – North Sikkim
  • Yumthang Valley – North Sikkim
  • Buddha Park – Ravangla
  • Memeyantse Monastery – Pelling
  • Kechipelri Lake – Pelling
  • Rumtek Monastery – Gangtok
  • Namgayal Institute of Tibetology – Gangtok
  • Char Dham (Siddheswar Dham) – Namchi

 

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Tsomgo Lake – Gangtok

Tsomgo Lake- Gangtok Sikkim

Tsomgo Lake- Gangtok Sikkim

Changu Lake is approx 40 Km away from Gangtok on the way to Nathula Pass. It is among the most important places to visit in Sikkim. In Bhutaia Lacguage the word Tsomgo means the ‘Source on Lakes’. At an altitude of approx 12,000 ft above the sea level it is the most important place to visit in Sikkim. the  Lake is oval in shape and approximately 1km long. It has an average depth of about 50 ft.  Snow melted water from the mountains around created the lake & the lake created a river namely Lungtze Chu. The lake further falls into Rangpo-chu.

According to the myth the spirituals gurus of Sikkim used to study the colour of the water of Tsomgo Lake to forecast the future of the state. So the local people considered the lake as sacred.

Changu Lake is a paradise for the ornithologists. The migratory birds takes a break near the lake while flying long way from Syberia to the Indian plains. Brahminy Ducks  is a one of the spices.

Tsomgo Lake permit
Tsomgo Lake – 2 copies passport size recent colour photographs & Photo ID proof (Passport/ Voter ID) for each & every guests. Minor may carry school/college ID along with photographs.

Foreigners need a Protected Area Permit to visit Tsomgo Lake. Permit can be obtained in Gangtok. All the guests must carry 2 copies passport size recent colour photographs, Passport & copy of Restricted Area Permit (RAP). 

Best time to Visit Tsomgo Lake:
October to December for clear weather & Best view of the lake.
January to mid April for snowfall & frozen lake.

 

Sikkim tour packages

Gangtok tour package

3 nights – 4 daysRs.6,500/-

Gangtok Darjeeling tour

5 nights – 6 daysRs.9,500/-

 

Nathula Pass – Gangtok

 

Nathula Pass - Gangtok

Nathula Pass – Gangtok

 It is one of the major attractions in Sikkim. Nathula Pass is a trade route which connect Sikkim with Tibet.It is situated just 56 km away (3 hrs drive) from Gangtok. The road passes through Tsomgo Lake (Changu Lake) another major tourist attraction in Sikkim. Nathula Pass height is above 14,000 ft (4,200 mtr) and Gangtok to Nathu la is one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The road connects Sikkim with Chumbi Vally (Tibet) on the other side of the border. You can have an ATM, which is the highest ATM available in the world.

A road travel from Gangtok to Nathu La Pass is one of the most charming travel experience. On the way one can visit Tsomgo Lake (Changu Lake) & Baba Mandir is also just 5 km drive. At Nathu La there is an Exhibition Centre on Indian National Army. You can also have a magnificent view of My. Chmolhari (in Bhutan) subject to clear weather.

Nathula Permit

Only Indian nationals are allowed to go to the Pass. Foreign nationals are not allowed to travel to the same. They can travel up to Tsomgo Lake (Changu) accompanied by a local guide.

Indian nationals also need a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit the Pass. Tourist need to submit a photo copy of any of the photo ID proofs (Voter ID, Passport or any other id card issued by the Government of India / State Government) along with passport size recent colour photographs.  

Permit Cost for Nathula Pass : It needs an additional cost ranging around Rs.3,000/-  to  Rs.6,000/- depending of the no of tourist, category of car & season.
Nathula Pass Visiting days : It is open for 5 days in a week (except Monday & Tuesday)
Nathula Pass height : 14,150 ft (4,200 mtr). 

Best time to visit Nthula Pass:
October to December for clear weather & Best view of the surrounding hills.
January to mid April for snowfall.

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Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake- North Sikkim

Gurudongmar Lake- North Sikkim

Being a fascinating lake & important tourist place of North Sikkim Gurudongmar Lake is surrounded by snow capped peaks at an altitude of 17,150 ft. It is at 58km north from Lachen & approx 173km from the Sikkim capital city of Gangtok. You can witness magnificent view of frozen lake during winter (January to mid April).

Gurudongmar lake from Ggangtok – 173 km
Gurudongmar lake height –  5400 meter or 17,800 feet.

Permit
Only Indian nationals are allowed to go to Gurudongmar Lake. Foreign nationals can travel up to Chopta Valley & Thangu accompanied by a local guide.

Indian nationals also need a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit the lake. Tourist need to submit a photo copy of any of the photo ID proofs (Voter ID, Passport or any other id card issued by the Government of India / State Government) along with passport size recent colour photographs.  

Access:
Gurudongmar Lake is 58km away from Lachen. approximately 58 kilometers from Lachen. It’s a landslide pron area & the road condition is very poor. Oxygen level is very low. So you need to start at approx 5 am in the morning & take a halt at Thangu for acclimatization and move further to the Lake.

Best time to visit-
October to Mid December for best view
Mid March to April for Orchid & rhododendron
gurudongmar lake temperature – Winter -250 C to -100C (January) Summer -60 C to 60C

 

Yumthang Valley 

At a height of 11,800 ft. the valley is about 140 kms away from Gangtok. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sikkim. The valley has Shingbha Rhododendron Sanstuary 24 verities of rhododendrons. There is a hot spring and just 24 kms away Katao offers a panoramic view of snow capped peaks.

Best time to visit-
October to Mid December for best view
Mid March to April for Orchid & rhododendron
Yumthang Valley Temperature – Winter -10oC to 2oC (January) Summer 00C to 120C

 

 North Sikkim Tour Packages

Yumthang Gurudongmar Tour

3 nights 4 daysRs.9,750/-

Lachung Yumthang Tour

2 nights 3 daysRs.6,500/-

Yumthang Valley Tour

1 night 2 daysRs.4,800/-

 

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Buddha Park -Ravangla 

Buddha Park -Ravangla

Buddha Park -Ravangla PC Ms. Stena

Being one of the most well maintained parks in South Sikkim, Buddha Park is a major tourist attraction in Ravangla. Constructed in the year 2006, the park is a government venture to boost pilgrimage tourism. A 130 ft. high a statue of the lord Buddha was installed here to commemorate the event of 2550th birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha. The park is also known as Tathagata Tsal among the locals. Being home to a Buddhist circuit, this park also has a great spiritual significance.

Best time to visit-   October to Mid December for best view
Timing: 09.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs

 

Pemayangtse Monastery -Pelling 

Pemeyantse Monastery- Pelling

Pemeyantse Monastery- Pelling

Pemayangtse monastery is a popular Buddhist monastery, situated at a distance of 2 km from Pelling. Lama Lhatsum Chempo Built the monastery in 1705. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. The word Pemayangtse means ‘sublime lotus’ and it is considered to represent one of the four plexus of human body. With its beautiful collection of Buddhist idols, scriptures, sculptures, carvings and paintings, this three storied building is a heavenly place surrounded by magnificent Himalayan ranges of snow-capped mountains. Outside the monastery, there is also a very beautiful picturesque garden well maintained by the monks. Undoubtedly this monastery is one of the must see places when one is in Pelling.

Best time to visit-   October to Mid December for best view
Timing: 08.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs

 

 

Kecheopalri Lake -Pelling

At the north-west of Pelling, Kecheopalri Lake is a sacred pilgrimage site in Pelling sightseeing for both Hindus and Buddhists. Believed to be a wish-fulfilling lake, this place is heaven for nature lovers and travellers. Many interesting legends revolve around the origin and history of the lake. The shape of the lake looks like a footprint if viewed from the top. Hindus consider this as the footprint of god Shiva while Buddhists believe it to be the footprint of goddess Tara. Another interesting fact about this lake is that in spite of being situated amidst so mush of greenery, no fallen leaves can be seen floating on its surface. It is said that the birds keep the lake clean all the time. Emerging as a popular tourist attraction in Sikkim, Kecheopalri Lake is visited by pilgrims from all around the world.

Best time to visit-  October to Mid December for best view

 

 

Rumtek Monastery - Gangtok

Rumtek Monastery – Gangtok

Rumtek Monastery – Gangtok

Rumten Monastery is 24km away from the city. After Tsomgo Lake it is the most important tourist spot. It also works as the Buddhist head quarter of India. Gyalwa Karmapa constructed the monastery in the year 1960. He was the 16th Karmapa & settled in Sikkim in late fifties. Rumtek is the largest monastery of Sikkim. Just beside the monastery there is Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies with huge collection Buddhist text, art & paintings.    Read More…

Best time to visit-   Throughout the year
Timing: 08.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs

 

 

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Namgyal Institute of Tibetology – Gangtok

About one kilometer away from the Gangtok main market there is Namgyal Institute of Tibetology surrounded by magnolia, oak & brich trees. The institute building is a perfect example of Tibetan style of architecture & a major sightseeing point. It is one of the renowned institutes of the world with rare collection of books, documents & manuscripts on Buddhism. There is a huge volume of xylographs (printed wooden documents), translation of original teachings of the Lord Buddha & Buddhist scholars around the world. The institute also conducts research on Buddhism along with Tibetan culture & language. The adjoin museum has a rare collection of antiques like Thankas, coins & Buddhist sculpture. Dalai Lama laid the foundation stone of the institute in 1957 & Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the same in 1958.       

Best time to visit-   Throughout the year
Timing: 10.00 hrs to 16.00 hrs

 

Char Dham – Namchi

Char Dham is a temple complex built by Government of Sikkim to promote religious tourism. Another name is Siddheswar Dham. Char Dham is on Solophok Hill at a driving distance of just 5 km from Nanchi in South Sikkim. The main temple is 108 feet high with a large 87 feet high statue of Lord Siva. Along with the Siva statue the comples has replicas of 12 Jyatirlingas. You can also find the replicas of four Hindu religious Dhams namely Badrinath, Rameswaram, Dwarka & Jagannath. It a among popular tourist places to visit in Sikkim.

Best time to visit-  October to Mid December for best view
Timing: 08.00 hrs to 19.00 hrs

Siddheswar Dham - Ravangla

Siddheswar Dham – Ravangla PC Sikkim tourism

 

Sikkim Tour Packages

Sikkim Delight Tour

9 nights 10 daysRs.23,800/-

Darjeeling Sikkim Tour

6 nights 7 daysRs.11,000/-

Gangtok Pelling Tour

5 night 6 daysRs.10,000/-

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Best time to visit Sikkim | Weather 

You can plan your travel to Sikkim at any time of the year. Every season will offer you a different flavor. Weather in varies from sub-tropical in the south to tundra in the north. It mainly has five seasons.

Spring (March to April)

It is a very good season with moderate temperature. This is the time for rhododendrons, orchids & various flowers. You can also have snowfall in some parts of the state in March.

Summer (May to June)

Summer is not very hot in Sikkim. It draws the maximum no of tourist. Most of the regions of the state experience a temperature clime & it ranges from 18C (64F) to 25C (78F).

Monsoon (July to Mid September)

This is the time when the state gets maximum rainfall. Sikkim is an ideal place to enjoy Indian monsoon with lush green valleys, hills along with beautiful clouds & fog. But heavy rain increases the risk of landslide during monsoon.    

Autumn (Mid September to Novvember)

Just after monsoon this is probably the best time to travel with clear sky & moderate temperature.  It is also a good time for photography.

Winter (December to February)

These are the coolest months & some part of state receives a good volume of snowfall. One can have snow in North district & part of East district. Sikkim is a place with some of the highest snow capped peaks of the world.

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How to Reach Sikkim

Air Connectivity

The only airport in Sikkim is Pakyong (30 km from Gangtok). Pakyong directly connects Kolkata & Guwahati. Another operational airport is Bagdogra (IXB) located in West Bengal. Bagdogra to Gangtok is 125km, Pelling 145km & Namchi is approx 110km. Bagdogra is directly connected with Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai. Guwahati & Bangkok & it is indirect connection all major cities in India.

By Rail

Due to the geographic nature Sikkim does not have any railway connectivity. The nearest railway station is New Jalpauguri (NJP) located in neighboring state West Bengal. NJP hsa good railwat connection with all major cities in India. NJP to Gangtok is 120km, Pelling 135km & Namchi is 98km.   

By Road

National Highway 31A connects Sikkim with Siliguri/Bagdogra/NJP. It connects West & South district through Melli & Gangtok (East) through Rongpo. Sikkim National Transport (SNT) operates regular busses from Siliguri to various destinations in Sikkim. Private buses are also available from Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus.

Distance :
Siliguri (NJP) to Gangtok – 120 km (4.30 hrs)
Bagdogra to Gangtok – 125 km (4.30 hrs)
Gangtok to Pelling  –  125 km (5 hrs)
Gangtok to Pelling via Namchi  –   155 km (6 hrs)
Bagdogra to Pelling  –  140 km (7 hrs)
Gangtok to Ravangla  –  68 km (3 hrs)
Gangtok to Namchi  –  80 km (3 hrs)
Darjeeling to Gangtok – 98 km (4 hrs)
Gangtok to Lachung/Lachen  –  105 km (5 hrs)

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