“Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder”… But some beauties are appreciated by all eyes… one such beauty is the smallest state of India – Sikkim.
Sikkim is explored by thousands of visitors every season as it offers something for every traveller. It has abundance of scenic beauty: which include the sky touching snow covered Himalayas, snow frozen lakes – Gurudormar, diverse culture , heaven for trekkers -Sandakhpu , clear skies (occasionally) and a lot more to be explored than described in words. In addition to the scenic beauty Sikkim does offer adventure activities, amazing cultural and night life.
My trip to Sikkim was a week long getaway with my friends to experience a mix of all. Gangtok was therefore the best destination one could ask for to experience the scenic beauty with adventure, culture and night life.
Since this is my first attempt for a travel blog let me first tell about my travel rules. I believe in travelling for fun n leisure so my trips are generally not early mornings (after all its vacation) and I prefer seeing the sunrise before I sleep. 😉
Coming back to the much awaited Gangtok trip we packed our bags and headed towards Gangtok in our own self driven car from Bagdogra International Airport. For other readers, reaching Sikkim is a mix of air and road travel. Nearest airport is Bagdogra International Airport comfortably connected with all flying agencies from Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. You can also reach by train till Siliguri which is the nearest railway station for Sikkim. From Bagdogra/ Silliguri, Gangtok one can choose to enjoy a chopper ride (approx. travel time 30mins cost approx. ₹ 3000-3500/-) or can hire a taxi (travel time approx. 4 hrs cost 4000/- approx.) and enjoy the scenic beauty throughout the travel.
We started at 3 pm from Bagdogra enjoying the natural waterfalls and greenery. One can enjoy adventures like river rafting on the way on banks of river Teesta. Being a group of five girls we didn’t miss even a single chance to get ourselves clicked at every location. Midway we stopped at Rangpo to have midway munching. We reached Gangtok at 7:30 and headed straight to the famous MG road. This 300 meters offers various north east delicacies, famous rolls, momos, noodles, bakeries and restaurants.
This place is something different in evening with live music bands performing at various restaurants one can enjoy the melodious music with good food. Our dinner was followed by a small stroll on the MG road exploring the various shopping options available there. After all this what we all needed was a soft cozy bed thus we checked into our guest house and dropped to sleep.
My day 2 started at 10 am after a good breakfast. We visited all the tourist attractions in and around Sikkim. The various tourist attractions include Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, Gangtok zoo (I saw red panda for the first time there), Flower garden, Takshee view point, waterfalls. We were back to our guest house by 5 pm to rest for a while and rock the evening.
After the rejuvenation we started pub hopping. Gangtok offers a great night life with live band performances, DJ nights and musical evenings. We checked various clubs/pubs and finally settled for Live and loud Cafe. A must visit for all who love music and party. This place has an excellent ambience with good food and music. Day 2 ended for us with the morning light of Day 3.
As we saw the sunrise before we slept therefore we landed up for a brunch in a small cafe beautifully decorated like a fairy tale. After the brunch we headed towards Rumtek monastery which is one of the oldest monastery and a tourist attraction. This is a one n half hour drive from the main city. Evening of Day III was booked for trying our lucks on dice. Our car landed up in the only Casino in India The Casino Mahajong at the Mayfair spa and resorts Gangtok. This is a must visit place for all to experience your luck,intuition and gut.
Day 3 too witnessed the dawn of Day 4.
Today was the day to see our neighbors with our naked eye. Day 4 was planned for Nathu La pass and Changu Lake. Tip for travel : requires a permit to visit, hire a Sikkim cab only as West Bengal cabs are not allowed and do carry warm clothing even if they were not required at Gangtok. Nathu La pass is located at height of 14100 feet and was a part of earlier silk route. It has a breathtaking view as the oxygen levels are low at that height and otherwise also a scenic view one would never forget.
What excites the tourist more is the next fence Chinese soldiers and the Indian Flag. A big salute to our Indian army for protecting us even at such heights. A famous baba Harbhajan singh mandir is a tourist attraction which has history of its own. On your way to Nathu La one would also witness the Changu Lake which is frozen in winters. The locals said it looked like the shape of India when viewed from top. The place generally packs up with clouds by afternoon therefore tourists are not allowed after afternoon.
Travel back to bagdogra as the work calls back with amazing memories of the sweet short n crisp visit to Gangtok.
Best time to visit:
March to May
Mid Sept to mid Nov