One among the eight sisters of Northeast India, Sikkim is breathtakingly gorgeous, which makes it a popular tourist destination for an unforgettable hill station experience. Nestled amidst the mountain ranges of Eastern Himalayas, where you can easily spot the mighty Kanchenjunga, it's a paradise for trekkers as well as adventure junkies who can sign up for river rafting, paragliding and mountain biking. But it's also for family vacations, where the group can explore Tibetan culture or take day trips to stunning places near about. Being the first organic state in India, health enthusiasts are sure to find many interesting ingredients to take back home. And how can we miss out on the food? Evenings are best spent in a cosy cafe, savouring piping hot momos and thukpas to the heart's content.
Sikkim has so much to offer to its visitors! If you are planning a summer trip to this paradise on earth, here's a list of 10 things to do to help you plan better:
Visit Tibetan Monasteries
The best way to get to know about Tibetan culture is to visit one of the many beautiful monasteries in Sikkim that have stood strong for centuries. There are three most prominent monasteries that include Rumtek, Tsuk La Khang and Pemayangtse. You can get a glimpse of a wide collection of Buddhist scriptures as well as marvel at wooden sculptures and ancient paintings that adorn the monasteries. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology also makes for an insightful visit to learn more about the local culture.
A trip to Tsomgo or Changku Lake
Located on a high altitude (and very close to Nathula Pass), Changku Lake is a popular pick for its breathtaking landscape - clear blue water, snow capped mountains and chilly mountain air. You can even opt for a yak ride to explore the terrain. The glacial lake is about 40 km away from Gangtok.
Also drive up to Nathu La Pass
If you have plans to visit Changku lake, you could also go further up to Nathula Pass that will treat you will spectacular views of the Himalayan range. Nathula Pass is touted to be one of the highest mountain passes in the world (located at an altitude of 14,150 feet), which was a part of the ancient Silk Route. The Indo-Chinese border lies close by, and you can see the border guards of the two countries. However, you need a permit to visit this place, along with necessary documents.
Trek to Goecha La or Kanchenjunga Base Camp
With such gorgeous sights, it's no wonder that Sikkim is a popular pick for trekkers. There are many popular trekking routes such as Goecha La, Kanchenjunga Base Camp, Singalia, Dzongri, among others.
Springtime at Yumthang Valley of Flowers
More commonly known as the Valley of Flowers, a trip here during spring will let you witness the national flower in full bloom -Rhododendron. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is also located here, which houses over 40 species of the flower. The best time to visit is March to mid June.
Explore Khangchendzonga National Park
Declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park makes for a memorable visit with its gorgeous views and glaciers. You can spot snow leopard, musk deer, Himalayan tahr and black bear, among others.
Do you know the paradise of naturalists? It’s the Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim, India! All the way in the Himalayan mountains lays this amazing sustainable national park which is also an UNENSCO World Heritage Site. The park is a top 100 sustainable destination by our partner Green Destinations! The park works actively on nature and landscape protection and made strict rules visitors need to follow. Make sure you read their rules before entering! Worth visiting is the Tholung Monastery, which is one of the most sacred monastaries in Sikkim. Make sure you start your adventure at bookdifferent.com! #bookdifferent #greendestinations #sikkim #india #khangchendzonga #unesco #khangchendzonganationalpark #travel #sustainable #ecofriendly #travelgreen #sustainabledestination
Sign up for adventure activities
There are many adventure camps that organise all sorts of outdoor activities for thrill seekers. You can opt for trekking, river rafting in Teesta river, paragliding, bungee jumping at Singshore bridge or cycling through the silk route in Zuluk.
Savour the local food
If you are a food lover, then you will enjoy exploring the local cuisine of Sikkim which has tibetan as well as Nepalese influences. The food here is prepared with locally grown produce, and some of the most popular dishes include momo, thukpa (noodle soup), sha phaley (bread stuffed with minced beef and cabbage), phagshapa (a stew made with pork fat and radish) and dal bhat among others.
Shop at Mahatma Gandhi Marg or Laal Bazaar
While MG Marg is more popular with tourists, Laal Bazaar (Kanchenjunga Shopping Complex) has much to offer to those looking for unique local artefacts. There are many souvenir shops in both the locations, where you can pick Tibetan prayer wheels, wind chimes, showpieces, ceramic ware, woolens etc.
Pick organic products, yak cheese, tea and whisky
Being the only organic state in India, you definitely can't leave without picking organic ingredients to take back home. Some of the most sought after items include yak cheese, local tea, and Sikkim Old Gold Single Malt Khukri (whisky in a dagger-shaped bottle).
Chhurpi, hard yak cheese, is the best gift you can take back to your friends and family members from Ilam, Fikkal and Pashupatinagar towns along with tea produced in the nearby tea gardens and lollipops, locally made sweets. Though hard to chew, chhurpi is tasty and nutritious. No wonder, a handful of Nepali entrepreneurs have started exporting the chhurpi as dog chew to the US and some European countries! ------------------------------------------------------- #chhurpi #hardyakcheese #fikkal #ilam #pashupatinagar #easternnepal #visitnepal #localdelicacy #foodlover #foodporn #foodie #instablogger #travelgram #instatravel #instapic #instalike #EverydayNepalComments
Escape the scorching summer heat and make a trip to the gorgeous Himalayan abode.