Updated: Jun 13, 2021
Sikkim is like wonders in a small package with bewitching meadows, snow capped and sky-piercing Himalayas, and the mesmeric charm of its vibrant culture. You can reach Sikkim from any part of India via air, railways, or by hitting the road.
Guidelines for Tourists for visiting Sikkim
· All tourists visiting the state, irrespective of their vaccination status, will need to produce mandatory RT-PCR negative report within 72 hours of testing. Those travelling without a negative report will be made to take RAT test before entering Sikkim.
· The government has also urged tourists to book only those hotels that are following COVID 19 protocols and are registered on Sikkim Tourism‘s web portal.
COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.
HOW TO REACH
The closest airport to Sikkim is Bagdogra Airport located in West Bengal and it is about 124 Kms away from Gangtok. From here, shared or private taxis are easily available to reach Sikkim. It’s not more than a 5-hour drive.
In addition, Sikkim Helicopter Services are also available for on and off services from Gangtok to Bagdogra Airport.
Besides, Sikkim has come up with its own airport as well called the Pakyong Airport, which was opened recently in May 2018. The airport is not fully functional.
The nearest railway station to Sikkim is New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri Railway Station. These stations are located about 125 kilometre and 114 Km respectively from Gangtok. A number of trains run on the route connecting the destination with rest of the country. Regular trains are available from prime Indian cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kochi. Cabs and buses for Gangtok are easily available from outside the railway station.
The capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok enjoys amazing road connectivity with neighbouring and nearby cities including Darjeeling (96 km), Siliguri (118 km) and Kalimpong (75 km), to name mention a few. One can easily get luxury and roadways and state run buses from Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong for Gangtok. Though buses take a little long time but you won’t regret the journey because the roads are absolutely scenic and pretty. Moreover, buses are economical too.
Another good, less time taking but a little pricey option would be cabs from New Jalpaiguri NJP which will take around 4 to 5 hours. The roads are quite well maintained and the sight of gorgeous hills and lush fields on the way look won’t leave your eyes anytime soon.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
SIKKIM HAS FOUR DISTINCT SEASONS
The best time to visit Sikkim is either between March and May or October and mid-December. If you want to witness the blooming natural beauty in Gangtok best season to visit would be in spring, from March to May. Autumn, on the other hand, brings the clear view of Himalayan Range.
THINGS TO DO IN SIKKIM
YAAK RIDE - CHANGU LAKE KNOWN AS TSOMGO LAKE
HELICOPTER RIDE - GANGTOK VALLEY
PRAYERS AT BRAVANGLAA BUDDHA PARK KNOWN AS SPIRITUAL HUB
GOECHALA TREK – BASE CAMP YUKSOM
GONDOLA RIDE- GANGTOK
HAND GLIDING- YUMTHANG
MOUNTAIN BIKING TOUR
SANDAKPHU TREK – BASE CAMP MANE BHANJANG
CAVING IN THE NORTH LHA-RI-NYING PHU
RAFTING ACTIVITY-IN TEESTA RIVER
PARAGLIDING ACTIVITY GANGTOK
TOP TOURIST DESTINATION IN SIKKIM
One of northeastern gems, Sikkim is a beautiful state oozing charm, colour, culture, lifestyle with its unmatched destinations and attractions.
Gangtok is the capital city of Sikkim and the beauty of this city justify it being one of the prominent cities in the state. Incredibly beautiful, exuberant, and garlanded with clouds all over. Sikkim is blessed with the kind of cultural and historical significance Gangtok adds to the pride of this state. To catch majestic glimpses of mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga, you must land to Gangtok whilst exploring Sikkim. If you are coming to Gangtok in the months of March to Mid-May then you’ll be received with the fragrance of Rhododendrons spread throughout the city. Gangtok is considered as one of the beautiful hill stations in India. This city is a perfect amalgamation of cultural, scenic beauty and modernization. If you want to visit some religious sites, you must visit Enchey Monastery, Ganesh Tok, Do Drul Chorten Rumtek Monastery, etc. If looking for a place to catch an aerial view of the city, visit Ganeshtok and Tashi viewpoint, etc.
Every year in the month of May, Gangtok hosts the International Flower Festival which displays a wide variety of roses, orchids, alpine creepers and seasonal flowers.
BEST TIME TO VISIT The best time to visit Gangtok is between March to April and October to November.
Located in the Western parts of Sikkim, Yuksom is the origin of several enthralling treks into the Himalayas or the magical Kanchenjunga. The once a capital of Sikkim, this hamlet is more known for its pristine beauty and rustic appeal. Also known as the ‘Meeting place of Three Lamas’, this Sikkimese village has recently started gaining tourism attention. Well, this is also the reason, you can expect pristine beauty and untouched nature in Yuksom. Home to the oldest monastery in Sikkim, this pictorial hamlet is one amongst the most peaceful and serene places to visit in Sikkim.
The main highlight of the town includes historical monuments, ancient monasteries, tranquil waterfalls and serene lakes.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Being located at a moderate altitude, the weather in Yuksom remains pleasant throughout the year. The best time to visit Yuksom is from March to June and September to October.
Tsomgo Lake is nestled around 40 km away from the main city of Gangtok. This immensely beautiful glacier lake is one of the top tourist destinations of Sikkim. Tsogmo literally means ‘Source of Water’. This mesmerizing lake is one of India’s highest altitude lakes which make Sikkim even more beautiful. Tsomgo Lake reflects the gigantic views of snow-clad mountains around it, making your journey to Sikkim even more memorable. The flora and fauna family found at this location include Primulas, yellow and blue poppies, Irish, Yaks and Ponies, and migratory ducks – Brahmini. It is advised to plan your trip to Tsogmo Lake in early hours as it gets dark and roads are not laid out properly. The best time to see snow is Jan to Mar and for Rhododendrons and Orchids is April to May. It is just 2 hours away from the Gangtok so that you can enjoy an exciting experience around the lake.
You will need a special area permit to visit the lake which can be obtained from the Sikkim tourism department at MG Marg Gangtok or you can ask your travel agent to arrange for the same. You will need your photo identity proof and two passport size photos to get the permit.
BEST TIME TO VISIT During the winter season, travellers enjoy trekking along the lake coast, ice skating on the thick sheet of ice and yak ride on the frozen lake.
During the summer and autumn season, the sight of Primula flowers and other alpine vegetation growing near the lake is a key attraction.
Bird watchers flock here during October to catch a sight of the native birds waddling in the lake’s water.
Nathula Pass is around 53 km away from the main city of Gangtok. This place apart from being one of the best tourist places in Sikkim and is a politically very important point of Sikkim. Nathula Pass connects India to Tibet which creates an amalgamation of Indian and Tibetan culture around this place. There is a famous border trade market called – Sherathang from where you can buy a sovereign for yourself and friends. You can even shop for Tibetan items from this vibrant market. There is a place called Kupup nearby to Nathula Pass which is always under the cloud and visiting it might be a unique experience for your trip to Sikkim. The pass is open to Indians; however, one has to obtain permission from the tourism department in order to visit this pass. And for the foreign national, they cannot make it to Nathu La.
· Nathula Pass remains closed on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
· The pass remains inaccessible during winters due to heavy snowfall as the temperature drops down to as low as -250 C.
· Photography isn’t allowed at the Nathula Pass.
If you are an ardent fan of the captivating Himalayan Range, Pelling is the destination for you! It is from this Sikkimese town, one can have the best views of the Himalayas and the Kanchenjunga Peak.
Pelling is the second most favorite spot in Sikkim after Gangtok. It coaxes thousands of travelers who seek peace in the lap of nature and to be surrounded by gigantic views. This town is the paradise of trekkers and peace lovers. You can easily reach Pelling from other main attractions in Sikkim like Gangtok and Darjeeling as it is around 131 km and 73 km from them respectively. You can enjoy winter, spring, and summer if you come to this enticing town during this time. Never miss the chance to enjoy lip-smacking North-Eastern food in Pelling.
There are many amazing trekking trails that start from Pelling.
The main highlight of the place includes a view of the Kanchenjunga Mountains, many gorgeous waterfalls, bridges, ancient monasteries and so on. The must-visit places in Pelling include Pemayangtse Monastery, Khecheopalri Lake, Rabdentse Ruins, Sanga Choeling Monastery and Kanchenjunga Falls.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Whenever you plan to visit Pelling, always choose to come here between December and May as it is the best time to visit Pelling.
KANCHANJANGHA BASE CAMP
Traveling is the Best way of cultural exchange. The way it teaches you about the new culture, it can’t be taught by any book, video, or any other way. Kanchenjunga Base Camp is one of the ways to relish the trues essence of Sikkim culture. It is like experience the entire state through a journey that will lead you to around a height of 14,000 ft. above sea level.
The Kanchenjunga Base camp is one of the best Sikkim tourist places and a heaven for all the adventurers. Together forming one of the most beautiful parts of the Himalayas, the Kanchenjunga range is one of the most picturesque regions of Sikkim, and all that can be seen in utmost clarity and mightiness from the base camp.
The real adventure for people is to see the third highest mountain in the world up close to here, and that is why this place is worth the visit at least once in a lifetime.
Best time to visit April to June and Mid September to October.
Zuluk is one of the best offbeat locations in Sikkim which holds the power to mesmerize its visitor with enthralling views of mountains all around it. There is a pristine and unique temple named Nag Temple which is dedicated to Nag Devta (Snake God). It has an idol of King Cobra and is shaped like a den or cave which feels like entering into a snake hole. Other major attractions of Zuluk are magnetic views of snow-clad Mt. Kanchenjunga and Thambi View Point which are visited by most travelers landing in Zuluk. Make sure this really beautiful and scenic town comes on your list of places to visit in Sikkim while coming to this bewildering state.
best time to visit
Zuluk is between the months of August and September to experience a flowery summer or between the months of January and April to experience the freezing snow.
There are no hotels in Zuluk. Homestays is the only option to stay in the village.
Gurudongmar Lake looks much similar to Pangong Tso Lake which is located in Leh. The bright turquoise tint of this tranquil lake along with the vibrant culture of North-East around it makes it one of the best places in Sikkim to visit. This alluring lake is situated at an altitude of 17,800 ft above sea level. The most attractive specialty of Gurudongmar Lake is that it is considered holy not just by one religion but three- Hindu, Sikhs, and Buddhists. Yaks and Blue Sheeps are some rare fauna that can be found in this particular place of Sikkim.
BEST TIME TO VISIT If you visit between November to march. The lake will be frozen state.
· The wildlife found around the lake – yaks and blue sheep.
· Snow-covered mountain views
· Do not forget to take the permit before visiting the lake
YUMTHANG VALLEY OF FLOWERS
The Yumthang Valley or Sikkim Valley of Flowers sanctuary, is a nature sanctuary with river, hot springs, yaks and grazing pasture on rolling meadows surrounded by the Himalayan mountains in the North Sikkim district of Sikkim state in India.
The undulating meadows, the grazing yaks by the banks of wild Teesta river and the many hot springs amid the towering mountain peaks position Yumthang valley among the top places to visit in Sikkim. The valley of flowers is carpeted at a height of more than 11,000 feet above sea level at around 128 kilometres from Gangtok. You can book one of our Gangtok Tours from a vivid choice of packages we have for you so that you don't miss out the best of Gangtok.
Come to visit the valley in late February to march when the Losar festival is celebrated by the locals. During the month of April and June, the Rhododendrons bloom and envelop the valley in full glory.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best season for visiting Yumthang valley starts in late February and continues up to mid June, when thousands of colourful flowers are in full bloom. However, to enjoy a clear sky and brilliant view of snow-capped mountains, the September - December season would be ideal
Teesta River is like a magical delight for its visitors who get mesmerized by its shiny wilderness with which it flows tirelessly. You can come to visit the Teesta River in winter when the river appears in the frozen state and enhance the beauty of the season with its view or you can visit the Teesta River in summer to relish the blooming flowers and shiny water of this river. River rafting and kayaking are some most loved activities in Teesta River by its visitors. You can catch the glimpse of the Sangam of Teesta River along with its tributary the Rangeet River whenever you travel to the majestic place. Another major attraction of Teesta River is Dikchu Bridge which you can check out on your way to Lachung.
BEST TIME TO VISIT Throughtout the year.
Lachung has multiple reasons to make you fall in love with it! While its location at an enthralling height of 8,610ft makes it a popular snow-destination in Sikkim, its untouched and surreal beauty makes it one of the scenic as well as charming tourist places in Sikkim.
Located in the northern part of Sikkim, this quaint mountain village is adorned by the immaculate beauty of the Lachung Chu River and is also known for the Lachung Gompa. Though this village is one of the mostly visited regions in Sikkim, it still holds an alluring charm that can hardly be found in any other destinations.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
This place is in between the month of october and june as during this time, weather is a lot pleasing at lauchung.
Lachung becomes absolutely inaccessible in the monsoon season because of heavy rainfall and in the winter season due to heavy snow closing down significant routes.
Lachung has innumerable fruit orchards and glacial rivers that add to its already existing charm. It is popular for its tall dark mountains, meandering glacial rivers, gushing waterfalls and striking fruit orchards.
We saved the best for last so that you cannot take the chance to miss this place even after reading about the rest of the places to visit in Sikkim. Goechala is a mountain pass that is forever a favorite place for adventure lovers and trekkers. This is famous for hiking and skiing which satisfies the soul of a traveler who lands in Sikkim for some adrenaline rush experiences. If you are not many fans of trekking and hiking, you can still count on this enticing place as you can relish the majestic views of the Mt. Kanchenjunga.
So, now you are familiar with really interesting and amazing places to visit in Sikkim which you can explore with your travel buddies.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The Autumn season, from the months of September to November, is the best time for the Goechala trek. Most trekkers start their treks during this time, mostly because these months offer the most panoramic scenes of the stunning mountains and ice-capped peaks.
Ravangla is famous for its temples, monasteries, picturesque tea gardens, exotic flora and fauna, sightseeing spots, ethnic culture, snowy mountains, gushing waterfalls and adventure sports.
More popular as a paradise for the bird watchers, it is home to some of the most rare and endangered birds in the world. On a usual visit to Ravangla, you can spot dark-throated thrush, verditre flycatchers, blue whistling thrush, babblers, cuckoos and several others
BEST TIME TO VISIT
· During the months from April and May, lots of the flowers are in full blossom in Ravangla.
· Tourists come here to see the various species of migratory birds and for the breathtaking views of the peaks like Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim and Mt. Sinialchu.
One of Sikkim’s most beautiful sights is Ravangla’s gigantic golden Buddha.