Located in the lap of the beautiful Himalayas, Sikkim is one of the most magical places in India. Although, it is the smallest state in the country, you will be surprised at how much this charming place has to offer to travelers, explorers and those willing to travel that extra mile just to discover something memorable.
If you too are planning to travel to the gateway to the North Eastern States of India; here are 15 places that are most engrossing and a must-see in Sikkim:
Gangtok has an alluring charm that is hard for anyone to resist. It is the capital city of Sikkim and is famous for the most breathtaking landscape. You can simply enjoy the serene outdoors and walk through the forests with gurgling streams flowing through them. If you love adventure, you have several activities including river rafting, mountain biking and cable car rides that will give you that adrenaline rush.
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Some of the best treks to the Himalayas, including the one to Kanchenjunga originate in Yuksom. The untouched natural beauty of this town is sure to make you feel completely at peace with yourself. That’s not all, it is certainly a calming town being home to one of the oldest and breathtakingly beautiful monasteries in Sikkim.
3. Tsomgo Lake
Also known as the Changu lake, this is among the highest lakes in India. It is only 38 kilometers from Gangtok and must not be missed if you are in the state. The lake is frozen all year long but during the warmer months, ice melts to reveal the pristine, turquoise waters forming a picturesque vision; complete with the azure sky and the mountains in the background.
4. Nathula Pass
You can drive down some 50 plus kilometers from Gangtok to this pass, which was part of the historic Silk Route. Situated at 14400 ft. above sea level, it is the highest motorable pass in the world. You will however, need a permit from the Department of Tourism to enjoy this piece of history. It connects Sikkim to Tibet and surely is one of the most interesting tourist areas.
If all you want is to enjoy the Himalayas, then you cannot rule out Pelling from your list of places to visit when in Sikkim. It provides the best view of the Himalayas including the Kanchenjuga pass. There are several activities that will get your adrenaline rushing. From trekking, to rafting, and even kayaking you are sure to enjoy them all and more at Pelling.
This mountainous village will surely make you fall in love with nature and its many surprises. If you love snow, this is the place to be. The city is adorned with pristine rivers like the Lachung Chu River. It is no wonder that this village is one of the most visited ones in the region and yet never ceases to amaze.
Located amidst the Tendong Hills and Maenam, this is the most beautiful town in the Southern part of Sikkim. Not only does this town serve as the base for several camps in the Himalayas, it is also paradise for birdwatchers. Ravangla is frequented by birds like the Verditre Flycatchers, Blue Whistling Trush and Cuckoos. Do not forget your cameras and binoculars when you head out.
8. Rumtek Monastery
This is the largest and oldest monastery in Sikkim. You can see the best of Buddhist traditions and culture in this monastery which is also called the Dharma Chakra Centre.
This town is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists, besides being one of the most sought after tourist destinations. You can visit the Namchi Monastery, Ralong Monastery or head to see the popular statue of Lord Shiva that measures a jaw-dropping 108 ft.
10. Do-Drul Chorten
In 1945, Trushlshi Rimpoche built the largest stupa in the state called the Do Drul Chorten. This serene stupa is laced with 108 Mani lhakor prayer wheels and offers the perfect spot to introspect and just connect with your inner self.
11. Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden
Located close to the Rumket Monastery, this botanical garden features some of the most exotic trees and plants. There are several species of flowers and medicinal plants that are indigenous to this area.
Located at a height of 10,000 ft, Zuluk is one destination that is least touched by tourism in Sikkim. It was part of the Silk Route and is a beautiful village that is a vantage point to Mt.Kanchenjunga. If you love road trips, you will be thrilled to know that the drive to this place comes with 32 hair pin bends; simply picturesque!
13. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
This institute is one of the best places to learn all about Buddhist culture and tradition. The institute is home to some relics that belong to the 11th and 12th century and has the largest collection of Tibetian preachings outside Tibet.
14. Yumthang Valley
This is a gorgeous valley that has a carpet of wild and rare flowers in bloom during the monsoons. This colorful spread of alluring flowers will surely captivate you.
One of the highest freshwater lakes in the world, Gurudongmar Lake is beautiful with its panoramic view of snow-capped mountains. Also known as the Tso Lhsmo Lake, this is a religious site as well. Legend has it that one portion of the lake that was blessed by Guru Padmasambhava never freezes, no matter how harsh the weather conditions are. Visit to find out for yourself!