AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
Sikkim is the second-smallest state in India, located in the Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim is a pint-sized paradise. It is known for its rich culture, abundance of Flora and Fauna, and the peace you can find in its valleys. The state has many beautiful ancient Buddhist monasteries, some of which date back to 1700s.
Image by @merosikkim, Instagram
Oldest Monastery in Sikkim – Dubdi Monastery.
Sikkim is also well known for its adventure tourism. Some common Himalayan adventure sports in Sikkim are River Rafting, Mountain Biking, Trekking, Paragliding, and Kayaking. Other than this, you can also go on a Yak Safari in Sikkim.
Image by pickyourtrail.com
The geographical barriers that come while travelling to the north-east India, makes it inconvenient to reach there. This also means that Sikkim is lesser exploited by tourists.
If you visit Sikkim in the month of December or January, it would be too cold, but you will definitely find snow.
In order to visit Sikkim, if you are going via airways, you can either take a flight to Bagdogra, West Bengal or Pakyong, Sikkim. From there you have to commute via road. The way to any district or town is via the north-eastern Himalayan range, so on the way to your hotel (or tourist spots), you get to see beautiful mountains and valleys. The breath-taking natural beauty that you witness will totally make you forget everything else, and help you enjoy the long car drive.
Image by bruisedpassports.com
Driving through the Himalayas.
Sikkim is home to Lepcha, Bhutia, and Nepalese communities. The state is now receiving global attention as it is India’s first and only Organic State (with a completely organic farming model). Talking about unique things in Sikkim, it is home to India’s first Skywalk which is located in Pelling and is also a host to Mount Kanchenjunga. The mixed bag of adventure, scenic beauty, and challenges in form of experience is a heart-warming package for a vacation that you can look forward to.
While visiting Sikkim, you should focus on the main attractions and natural beauties: Monasteries, Lakes, Trekking areas, Waterfalls, Kanchenjunga, Ropeways, Skywalk, and old palaces.
Buddhist culture thrives in Sikkim and it’s evident among the peace-loving locals. Rumtek Monastery and Pemyangtse Monastery are must visit places. They are evidently famous for their cultural artwork, and history. If you visit any monastery in Sikkim, you will achieve a new-found dimension of serenity and peace.
Image by @crorestoexplore, Instagram
Golden Bells at Rumtek Monastery.
The second capital of Kingdom of Sikkim, Rabdentse Palace is now in ruins, but these ruins still carry the magnificent beauty it used to have as a palace. Near these ruins, lies another place where the Royal family of Sikkim used to live, Elgin Mount Pandim.
Another activity that takes from six to ten days, is the Sandkphu trek. This trek takes a lot of effort and time, but when you get a glimpse from the top of Sandkphu, during the sunset, all of it is worth it.
Image by thrillophilia.com
The Gantok Ropeway starts from Deorali. You get to see the city of Gangtok and an amazing view of Kanchenjunga from the ropeway. In Sikkim you can also visit waterbodies like Kanchenjunga waterfalls and Tsomgo Chho Lake. Kanchenjunga waterfalls is located in the ice glaciers of the majestic Mount Kanchenjunga and it falls from a height of 100ft. Tsomgo Chho is a glacial lake which reflects different colours.
Image by @ujwal.balan, Instagram
One can see a reflection in Lake Tsomgo.
Sikkim is a beautiful state which should be visited with enthusiasm, and probably a planned itinerary!