Ideal duration: 4-5 Days Major Airports: Bagdogra Airport Best time: October to May
If you want to witness the saying that ‘Good things come in small packages’ you must visit Sikkim. Even though Sikkim is one of the smallest states in India, it is a popular tourist destination. It is a calm and serene place away from the modern busy city life. This state is full of natural beauty and is surrounded by snow-clad mountains, deep valleys, rivers and forests. It is a fairyland with lots of mesmerizing meadows and a great holiday destination for family and friends. It is among fast developing North Eastern state and is a major exporter of spices. Sikkim is definitely a mystical land engulfed by the majestic Himalayas. It is also known for its monasteries and flora and fauna. There are plenty of picturesque sights in Sikkim which will take you months to explore. So if you are looking forward to discover the beauty of Sikkim, here is a list of top 20 places to visit in Sikkim.
Gangtok is one of the top places to visit in Sikkim. Devouring the beautiful tranquillity and passion of the grazing clouds, with the magnificent matches of the heavenly clouds, the picturesque aura is what Gangtok stands for. The city nestles itself amidst the bewitching mountain ranges of the Kanchenjunga. It is the capital of Sikkim and covers the most extensive area compared to any other city in Sikkim. The elegance and tranquillity is what lures the visitors into visiting the city.
The magnificent beauty of the green emeralds, the pristine waters of the glacial lakes, the imposing yet bewitching sites of the grand Himalayas, and the holy and serene places of the Buddhist monasteries with exquisite architecture, the enchanting hill resort is what defines this small hill station of Sikkim. Aritar is a natural scenic beauty often being referred to as the most serene place in the country.
The distinctive elegance grazing the foothills of the mountains, the beautiful and mesmerizing hill station of Pelling is known for its beckoning aura and its enchanting beauty. It is indeed a gem decorated the calm state of Sikkim. The town is adorned with the snow-capped mountains and is a dazzling beauty in its own way. A visit to Pelling is full of enthrallment and calmness.
Located amidst the beautiful planes of the daunting and majestic Kanchenjunga ranges, the picturesque site of the mingling mountains playing with the snowy clouds, there lies a marvel created by nature in form this breathtakingly beautiful city of Geyzing. Not only this, the thrill that the town is around 6500 feet above the sea level makes it more exciting to visit. Situated in the tranquil state of Sikkim, is the city of Geyzing having many holy abodes to cleanse your soul.
The bewitching, marvelous and charming city of Yuksom, is breathtaking beauty in its own way. According to folklore, the elegant and enticing town of Yuksom is said to be the first capital of the serene and quiescent city of Sikkim, before its capital was shifted to Gangtok. The city has its roots penetrated deep into the history and culture of the state.
This charming and splendid little village is said to be the most picturesque village of Sikkim owing to its magnificence and natural scenic beauty. It is no doubt the most intricate and exquisite beauty of Sikkim. The town is located only 125 km from the capital of Sikkim; Gangtok. The peace and relaxation offered by forests, mountains, and the surroundings are lovely and marvelous. A visit to this bewitching little village will lift your spirits with fresh energy.
The beautiful sites of the panoramic vistas, the stunning and mind-blowing landscapes, the snow decorated peaks of the mountain ranges and the daunting and enticing beauty of the hill station is what clearly illustrates the town of Lachen as. The small hill station in Sikkim is dripping its essence of natural beauty and offers you a great destination from replenishing your lost and tired souls.
The serene, tranquil and quaint town of Legship borders the gushing blue and pristine waters of the River Rangit. This mythological and mystic beauty of Legship is popularly known as the corridor to the magnificent and bewitching West Sikkim. The small town serves as a gateway for many other charming cities of Sikkim.
Popularly known as the ‘Valley of Flowers,’ this area is both exotic and magnificent. The tree line ends at this place with the snow covered mountainous paths beginning thereafter. Nature has been abundant here bestowing an amazing beauty that includes tall coniferous trees and spectacular flowers in every hue flush upon the grassy meadows. A lone Shiv Mandir is the destination of many trekkers who find spiritual peace amongst the bountiful nature.
The Singalila Mountain Range stretches from the Northern Part of West Bengal to Nepal with Sikkim remaining in between the ridge. However, it is the Singalila National Park that draws in the crowds. The park is situated in West Bengal and covers almost 78.60 sq km of land that includes forests of Rhododendron and many rare aimal and plant species. An Alpine Valley is enclosed within the Park as well.
Tsomgo or Changu Lake is located very near the Nathula Pass. The tourists are enthralled a the spectacular beauty of the place and its crystal clear water sourced from the melting of the snow in the mountains make a wonderful picture of lush green settings and a profusion of colorful wild flowers in the Spring. It is a sacred place for the Sikkimese people.
Thangu Valley is a tranquil location set in a picturesque area of spellbinding natural beauty. Situated at a height of 13,000 feet, this valley remains under a blanket of snow almost throughout the year. However, the summer months sees the beautiful alpine flowers emerging out bestowing amazing colors on it. The tiny, eponymous village serves as a halting place for the tourists while its proximity to the International border commands a heavy military presence here.
The Rumtek Monastery located 23 km from Gangtok is considered to be one of the most important monasteries spreading the message of love and peace via the teachings of Lord Buddha. It is set atop a hill and offers a breathtaking view of the lush green surrounding including a panoramic view of the Capital City of Sikkim. The Architecture of the monastery is spectacular with the Dharma Chakra Centre serving as a significant spiritual sanctuary for disturbed souls.
Another top places to visit in Sikkim is Nathula Pass. Nathula Pass lies at the crossroads of the ancient Silk Route that had been used by the India and Chinese traders in the past. It now lies on the border between the two countries and is located at a height of 14,140 feet above the sea level. The area sees a lot of tourist activity with most of them preferring to take a day’s tour from Gangtok.
It is a quaint but beautiful waterfall located at the side of the North Sikkim Highway and en route to the Tashi View Point. Unfortunately, it is little known and most of the tourists miss it completely. Yet the waterfall is certainly worth seeing on account of its scenic beauty. It is also an ideal spot for resting awhile during a hectic tour.
The Dzongri Trek from Yuksom is a very short trek on a high altitude (4,200 meters) trail that interests a lot of people from across the world. It is a part of the more expansive Goecha La Trek that can be completed within a short span of 5 days. The trekkers are amazed to find the path going through the picturesque locations with the enchanting views of snow covered majestic peaks and green valleys all around them.
Goecha La is a mountain pass located at a high altitude of 4940 meters that can only be reached by trekking from Yuksom in Sikkim. It is best for the enthusiastic travelers to carry their own supplies and sleeping bags as there is accommodation available at this height. However, the hardship is worth the trouble as the view from this part of the world is truly breathtaking.
Ravangla happens to be a highly popular tourist spot in South Sikkim. It is situated in between a ridge flanked by Tendong & Maenam hills and offers a spectacular view of the breathtaking mountain peaks of the Greater Himalayas along with astonishing green meadows as well as a quaint village nestling among them. Its proximity to the other tourist destinations makes it an ideal place for stop offers that allows the visitors to relax in the lap of nature.
This is an exceedingly popular spot for tourists traveling to Sikkim. The colors of blooming flowers amidst the greenery topped by the snow clad mountains make it a picture perfect location for nature lovers. The place remains unpolluted and unspoilt making it a ‘must visit’ area for visitors keen on exploring the valley by hiking and trekking. The wild life enthusiastic and photographers are delighted to discover several rare species of birds and animals.
A high altitude lake situated at a height of 17,100 feet, Gurudongmar happens to be one of the highest lakes in the world. The view of its surroundings is truly magnificent making tourists keen to spend some time relaxing amidst nature. Named for Guru Padmasambhava, the Lake is also considered to be a sacred place for both the Buddhists as well as the Sikhs. The waters are believed t have curative powers and never freeze totally even in the middle of the winter.
Located close to the splendorous city of Pelling, Sikkim, the Khanchendzongna or Kanchenjunga waterfall is considered to be one of the most beautiful falls across Sikkim. Tourists traveling to Yuksam find it at a distance of 28 km from Darap. It is a perennial waterfall that is in spate throughout the year. It is believed to have originated from the glaciers of Mount Kanchenjunga.
The Pemayangtse Monastery can be translated into an abode for ‘perfect sublime lotus.’ The tranquil atmosphere and the spirituality of this place invoke a feeling of peace and calm that is hard to come by elsewhere. No wonder, this monastery located at atop a hill draws tourists from all over the world. The remnants of Rabdentse, the erstwhile capital of Sikkim can be clearly seen from the monastery as well as the beautiful peaks of Mt. Kangchenjunga.