Experience Sikkim – the Jewel of the Eastern Himalayas

Posted on 21-Nov-2014 by Administrator

Small albeit spectacular, Sikkim is an offbeat, unknown and unforgettable destination, perched imperially in the Eastern Himalayas, spreading across 7,096 sq kms. The magnificent snow-capped Kanchendzonga (8,586 m), the third highest peak in the world and the jewel in Sikkim's crown, overlooks the state and is even revered by Sikkimese people as their protective deity in a series of amazing autumn festivals.

Well-preserved and pristine Sikkim, often referred to as the last Himalayan Shangri-la, with the aesthetic grandeur of its lush moist valleys, mystical hill top monasteries, snow clad holy lakes, soaring peaks, ancient handicrafts, thriving bazaars, cascading waterfalls, terraced fields and friendly people with deep belief in their Buddhist religion and culture, enthrals and captivates its discerning travellers. With scenic natural beauty, a rich cultural heritage and an excellent climate, Sikkim is undoubtedly the jewel of the Eastern Himalayas.

Sikkim was formerly an independent Buddhist kingdom ruled by the Chogyal dynasty that descended from the Tibetan Royal family. At the end of nineteenth century, it came under Britain’s protection and at that time foreigners’ entry was completely banned. In 1950, India became Sikkim’s protector and in 1975 it became the 22nd state of India.

Today, Sikkim shares its border with Bhutan in the east, Tibet in the north, West Bengal in the south and Nepal in the west, which is why Nepalese, Bhutias and Lepchas form the majority of Sikkim population. This amazing ethnic mix of simple, cheerful, polite, docile and beautiful people have formed a unique sub- culture of their own and have made Sikkim an oasis of tranquillity, peace and communal harmony.

Sikkim, being blessed with perfect geographical conditions - unspoiled nature, diversity of flora and fauna, spectacular and jagged terrains ranging from higher alpine surroundings in the centre, excessively farmed lowland valleys in the south to soaring Himalayan peaks in the western and northern region, is every adventure enthusiast’s, naturalist’s and trekker’s paradise. Sikkim offers numerous enthralling experiences like trekking, mountaineering, hiking, bird -watching, mountain biking, safari, white water rafting in the Rangit and Teesta Rivers, angling and excursions to some of the popular sites.

So, plan your trip to this amazing state of tranquillity and get pleasantly surprised.

Best Time to Visit
Sikkim with its beautiful hill stations, lakes and wildlife is a year around travel destination. However to enjoy Sikkim at its best, you can visit it during the summer season between March to June or just before beginning of the winters from September to December. The peak season of Sikkim is during Durga Puja holidays. 

How to Get There
Sikkim is an easily accessible destination via air, rail and road. By air, you can reach the nearest airport in Bagdogra and then drive to Gangtok, which is about 124 kms away. Regular flights by Jet Airways and Air India connect Bagdogra with all the major cities of India, Bhutan and Nepal. By rail, you can reach the nearest railhead at New Jalpaiguri about 125 kms from Gangtok and then drive into Sikkim. Trains from all major cites of India are linked with New Jalpaiguri. And if you prefer to travel by road, then there are numerous regular bus services available from Siliguri, Kalimpong and Darjeeling. Regular private cabs also ply on these routes.

Foreign tourists need a special permit to stay in Sikkim for upto 15 days which easily available from all Indian missions abroad.
Must-See Places in Sikkim

The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok, situated at an altitude of 1767m in the shadow of the Chola Range, is a city with rich cultural heritage, exotic handicrafts, bustling modern bazaar and jovial people. Before it became a part of India in 1975, it resembled a Raj-era hill station, with its humble collection of bazaars and buildings cascading down a ridge and the Chogyal's palace along with its Tibetan-style Tsuklakhang gompha.

When here, stroll along its tiered streets linked by a labyrinth of stairways and switchback roads. Visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, home to numerous Buddhist scriptures, icons, rare manuscripts, religious paintings and other works of history and art. Witness the marvellous cultural heritage of Sikkim, preserved and kept alive at the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms that showcases thangka paintings, handlooms, carpets, painted and wooden carved items, wooden masks, and bamboo and cane works.

Not far from Gangtok is the Sikkim’s biggest monastery, the Rumtek Monastery built in 1960, one of the four major Tibetan Buddhist Centres; do visit the place and behold its gilded chorten, exquisite paintings, traditional architecture, intricate woodwork and treasures of icons and manuscripts. Make a one-day trip to the Buddhist monasteries at Phodong and Labrang; do drive up to the holy Tsomgo Lake, and en route get mesmerized by the rugged snow clad peaks and scenic valley view; and finally visit the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary situated about 31 km from Gangtok.


Calm, scenic, laid back but rapidly swelling, Pelling is a quaint hamlet situated in West Sikkim at an altitude of 6,100 ft. Home to the far-famed Pemayangtse Monastery, the second oldest monastery in Sikkim; Pelling has now become a bustling tourist destination after Gangtok.  When here, catch the breathtaking view of the snow-clad peaks of Khangchendzonga, Siniolchu, Pandim and other ranges; visit the Rimbi Falls and the Khecheopalri Lake, one of the sacred Buddhist mountain lakes, renowned as the wishing lake; and trek to the 1697 built beautiful Sanga Choling Monastery .


Positioned at approximately 9000 ft in North Sikkim, the most spectacular and rugged district of Sikkim, Lachung is a quaint Sikkimese village, embraced by breathtaking waterfalls, snow capped mountain peaks, apple orchards and sparkling streams, making it the perfect holiday destination. Renowned for its apricots, apples and peaches, Lachung is a Bhutia village that sprawls across the banks of the Lachung River and which has retained its unique tradition and culture.
When here, visit the 1880 built Lachung Monastery situated on the opposite slope to the highway amidst apple orchards and catch sight of the religious functions performed on auspicious occasions, it being the centre of all religious functions of the local inhabitants. Do trout fishing in the lake, stroll around the village and visit the handicraft centre that houses exquisitely woven blankets and rugs, to understand the distinctive traditions and culture of the local people and to see Sikkim at its best. Don’t forget to visit the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, home to profusion of Rhododendron shrubs and trees.


Located about 24 km from Lachung, Yumthang – the Valley of Flowers, positioned at an elevation of 11,800 ft, is truly a nature lovers’ paradise having breathtaking scenic grandeur and bewitching blend of flora and fauna. In April and May, the valley is carpeted with blossoms of vivid colours and variety of chimals, Rhododendrons and blue poppies. The drive from Lachung to Yumthang is simply exquisite as the landscape is lined with numerous types of Orchids and Rhododendrons that bloom in different colours. In winters, the same landscape is clad entirely with snow.

When here in spring season, visit the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, home to more than 24 species of Rhododendron flowers. Take bath in the Yumthang Tsachu (Hot Springs) located on Yumthang River’s right side, renowned for its healing power and curative properties. Do drive to the spectacular Yumesamdong / Zero Point positioned at an altitude of almost 16,000 ft, here the road ends and there is nothing except surreal beauty to behold all around.

Recommended Itinerary
Tour Duration: 9 days

Arrive at Bagdogra Airport and then drive to Pelling, a 5 hours picturesque journey along the Teesta Valley, Sikkim border at Melli and the Rangit Valley. On arrival, check into to your hotel. Evening is at your leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.

After breakfast, go for sightseeing. Visit the Pemayangtse Monastery, Sangachholing Monastery, Palace ruins of Rabdentse, Changey waterfall, Kanchendzonga waterfall and Kecheopari Lake. Overnight stay at the hotel.

After breakfast drive to Gangtok via Temi Tea garden and Guru Padmasava statue in Namchi (largest in Asia). On arrival in Gangtok, check into your hotel. Evening is at your leisure.  Overnight stay at the hotel.

After breakfast, depart for sightseeing. Visit Enchey monastery, Flower show at White hall, Research Institute of Tibetology, Government Institute of Cottage Industry, Rumtek Monastery, Do-Drul Chorten, Buddhist Monastery, Garden Sanctuary and Deer Park. Drive through the colourful bazaar. Later tour the Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary. Overnight stay at the hotel.

After breakfast, drive to Lachung. On arrival, check into your hotel. Rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.

After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Yumthang and the Phodong Monastery. Rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.

After breakfast depart for Gangtok. On arrival, check into your hotel. Rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight stay at the hotel.

After breakfast, proceed for a day trip to Tsangu Lake. Enjoy the scenic beauty and take Yak rides at the lake site. Return to Gangtok in the evening. Overnight stay at the hotel.

After breakfast, bid farewell to Gangtok and proceed to the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station to board your homeward train. 

About Odyssey Travels
Odyssey Travels is a leading IATA accredited Travel Company, established in 1992. We specialize in planning customized holidays in India and abroad for our clients which includes air ticketing, worldwide hotel reservations, inclusive tours, sightseeing activities, visa assistance & travel insurance services. For further information or to make a booking contact 020-66442929 or visit http://www.odysseytravels.net/

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