The beautiful hill state of
Sikkim lies on the eatern tip of the Himalayas bordered by
Bhutan, Nepal an Tibet.
Sikkim is famous for Kanch-Endzonga, at 598 mtrs, which is
third highest mountain in the world. Being second smallest
state in India, Sikkim covers 7,096 sq kms and measures 110
kms from north to south and 64 kms from east to west. It
encompasses the upper valley of Teesta river, a tributary of
the Brahmaputra. The watershed form the borders with Tibet
and Nepal. Rangit and Rangpo rivers form the border with
West Bengal. Sikkim is separated from Nepal in the west by
the Singalila range while Donngkya range is the border to
the north & north-east.
Sikkim is broadly divided into four districts. The east
district with capital city of Gangtok is the hub of all
administrative activity. The famous Rumtek Monastery, the
Dharma Chakra Centre and the seat of his Holliness Gyalwa
Karmapa, all are located here. Other places of interest
include the Tsomgo Lake and the Nathula Pass.
A most beautiful district, the North District is an
abundance of the natural splendour and Alpine scenery.
During spring time, the meadows are alive with exotic wild
flowers that cover the valley in charming hues. The hot
springs and tribal customs & culture here are very
The west district offers the ultimate in adventure. From
white water rafting on the foaming Teesta and Rangit, to
trekking through thick Rhododendron forests- the district
offers it all. A breathtaking view of Mt Kanch-Endzonga can
be had from Pelling that has developed as a major tourist
attraction. The sacred lake of Khechiperi also lies close to
Pelling. The Osuth District is home to some of the oldest
monasteries in the state. Adventure treks to Maenam and
Tengdong Hill originate from Rawangla. The region is also
just-right for mountain biking and nature watching.
Area : 7300 sq. kms.
Population : 4,21,500
Climate : Summer: Max. 20.7°C; Min. 13.1°C Winter :
Max. 14.9°C; Min. 7.7°C
Best Season : March to late May/October to December
Clothing : Summer: Light Woollens Winter: Heavy
Language : Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, Spoken
From Kathmandu, fly to Bhadrapur in the east Nepal (1 hour),
then drive to Kakarbhitta (Nepal-India border, 34 km), to
Siliguri (36 km) and to Gangtok (110 km, 3 hours 30
minutes). Gangtok is also connected by road with Darjeeling
(5 hours) and Bhutan (7 hours). The closest Indian airport
is at Bagdogra, 124 km from Gangtok, where scheduled flights
operate from Kolkata, new Delhi and Guwahati. Taxis for
Gangtok (4 hours) are available at the airport. Grand Sikkim
Tourism development Corporation also operates daily
helicopter flights from Bagdogra airport to Gangtok (20
minutes).The closest railway stations are Siliguri and New
Jalpaiguri (121 km) which are connected to Kolkata,New delhi,
Guwahati and other major Indian cities. Taxis and buses for
Gangtok are available at Siliguri.
March-May and October-December are the best times to visit.
Bring light woolen clothing during summer ( maximum
temperature 20.7 degrees Celsius) and heavy woolen during
winter (minimum 7.7 degrees).
Trekking, mountaineering, rafting and yak safari.
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There are modern hotels and restaurants in Gangtok.
Comfortable resort lodges are available in the outlying
How To Reach Sikkim
Air : The nearest airport is Bagdogra in North
Bengal, 124 km from Gangtok, Sikkim's capital. Indian
Airlines operates flights from Calcutta, Delhi, Patna,
Imphal and Guwahati.
Rail : The nearest railheads are Siliguri and New
Jalpaiguri, 114 km and 126 km respectively, from Gangtok.
Road : Gangtok is well connected by road with
Calcutta (721 km), Darjeeling (139 km), Guwahati (589 km)
and Patna (584 km).
The saying 'Small is beautiful', is amply demonstrated by
the tiny mountain state of Sikkim. With the grandeur of her
mountain peaks, verdant valleys, fast flowing rivers,
terraced hills and floral wealth, a visit to Sikkim is a
rare and unique experience. Situated on the eastern
Himalayas, in the shadow of the towering Mount Kanchenjunga,
which is worshipped as the principal deity, Sikkim measures
approximately 100 kms from north to south, and 60 kms from
east to west.
Foreigners must obtain an Inner Line permit from the Home
Ministry, New Delhi, four weeks in advance. They should
apply to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India,
New Delhi through the Indian Diplomatic Missions in their
respective countries. A copy should be endorsed to Grand
Sikkim Tourism, Room No. 10, Hotel Janpath, New Delhi to
expedite matters. This permit will allow them to stay for
seven days in case of sightseeing, and ten days for
group-trekkers, not exceeding twenty.
Places of Interest in
One of the six major monasteries in Sikkim, Phodong
monastery is located in the North approximately 38 kms from
Gangtok, 4 kms beyond Phodong is the recently renovated
Labrang Monastery unique in it architectural design.
This monastery is situated on the gentle slope stretching
from Kabi to Phodong with perhaps one of the best landscapes
in the region. The Phensang Monastery, under the Nyingmapa
Buddhist Order, was built in 1721 during the time of Jigme
Pawo. It was gutted by fire in 1947 and rebuilt in 1948
hrough the efforts of the lamas. The annual festival of
Chaam is performed on the 29th and 29th days of the tenth
month of the Lunar calendar (Tibetan Calendar).
The place offers one of the most spectacular and closest
views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and its ranges. A well located
Tourist Lodge provides accomodation for visitors. The area
also has a number of interesting short nature trails for 1
to 3 days along the higher ridges of the higher ridges of
the surrounding hills. One can also savour the most graceful
peak in the world, Mt. Siniolchu.
Chungtnahg, on the confluence of Lachen and Lachung Chu and
the starting point of River Teesta, has emerged as a major
sub-division settlement in North Sikkim. It is the nodal
junction for the two passes, Lachen and Lachung. The valley
is believed to have been blessed by Guru Rimpoche and one
can visit the Holy Guru Lhedo to see the foot and palm
prints left behind by the Patron Saint. The place is rich in
bio diversity with a large variety of orchids, plants and
wildlife, is 95 kms from Gangtok, 23 kms from Lachung, 29
kms from Lachen and is predominantly a Lepcha region.
A Bhutia village with a unique loacl self-governing body
called the Zumsa which substitutes the Panchayat. Lachung
has emerged as a tourist destination with the soaring
popularity of Yumthang Valley which is just 25 kms from
Lachung. The village, spreads out on either side of Lachung
Chu, has managed to retain its unique culture and tradition.
The Lachung Monsatery on the slope opposite to the highway
is a focal point of all religious function of the local
inhabitants. To get a glimpse of the religious functions
performed on auspicious occasion a visit to the Monastery
should form part of the tour itinerary.
Yumthang, at an elevation of 11,800 ft and 140 kms from
gangtok is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating
blend of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenic granddeur.
The valley is also the home of Singbha Rhododendron Sanctary
with 24 species of Rhododendrons. Yumthang 'Tsa-Chu' or the
hot spring of the left bank of Lachung Chu is immensely
popular for its curative properties and healing power.
Lachen is situated at an altitude of 2750 mtrs. and about 6
hrs. drive from Gangtok. The Lachen Monastery Located on top
of the village commands a panoramic view of the surrounding
hills and country side. Resorts, hotels and lodges are
available for accomodation.
Guru-dongmar lake is considered as one of the sacred lakes
of this State both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. The lake
remains milky in color throughout and it is believed the
Guru Padmasambhava had touched the lake whilst he visited
Tibet from this area.
Namchi, meaning 'Sky High', nestled among the hills at an
elevation of 5,500 ft commands panoramic view of the
snow-capped mountains and vast stretches of valley. Atop
Samdruptse hilltop near Namchi, recently erected is the
worlds tallest statue of Guru Padmasambhava, the patron
saint of both Hindus and the Buddhist.
Temi Tea Garden:
The one and only tea garden existing in the State produces
one of the top quality teas in the international market. The
tea garden is spread out on a gently hill slope originating
from the Tendong Hill and provides a magnificent view for
the surrounding villages. The visit to the factory could be
an eye opener for those wanting to know more about tea
At the base of Menam Hill is Ravangla, a small township and
transit to various tourist destinations in South and West
Sikkim. It is also an upcoming tourist spot, and transit
point for trekkers to Menam hill and Borong. There are
accomodation facilities and numerous short nature trails. A
trek down to the sacred cave 'Sher Chok Bephu', one of the
four holiest caves in Sikkim, would be a memorable
Menam Hill towers above Tendong Hill on the other side over
looking the ravangla Bazar settlement. Situated at an
altitude of 10,300 ft the scenic view from this height is,
perhaps, unmatched in this part of the world. Mt.
Khangchendzonga and its surrounding ranges looms above the
dwarf the richly forested and rugged hill. On a clear sunny
day, it is possible to see the plains of Bengal spanning
across Kalimpong and Darjeeling Hills in the South, right
across the Indo-China border towards the North. A short
distance away is the legendary Bhaley Bhunga, a kind of
rocky spur which juts out from the ridge top and remains
suspended in the air above Yangang village.
Facing the snow-capped mountains is Borong, motorable from
Ravangla or a trek via Menam. A picturesque village, its
beautiful landscape and magnificent view is also host to the
hot spring, Borong TsaChu'. The trek trail, originating from
Namchi or Damthang to Tendong - Ravangla - Menam - Borong
(5-6 days) is one of the most interesting trails scaling all
the hill tops along the route. The trek can continue to
Tashiding or terminate at Borong and drive back to Ravangla.
The Four Jewels of
The capital city Gangtok is located here and it is the hub
of all government activities. The world famous Rumtek
Monastery, the Dharma Chakra center and the seat of His
Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa is located here in addition to
the alpine Tsomgo lake and Nathula Pass.
The West District offers all adventure activities. river
rafting, trekking, mountaineering etc begin here. The rivers
Teesta and Rangeet attract white water rafting revelers in
The famous Shingbha Rhododendron sanctuary as well as the
Khangchendzonga National Park is located here. During spring
time, the meadows of Yumthang abound with wildflowers, which
carpet the valley in a riot of colours. The Hot Springs and
rich tribal culture and customs are other attractions.
Most famous monasteries are located here. A 108 ft high
image of the patron saint of Sikkim, Guru Padmashambhava is
situated near the district headquarters at Namchi. Ravangla
Base Camp offers trekking upto Maenam and Tendong Hill here.
Varsey Rhododendrons Sanctuary is also located here.