Travel Guide: Sikkim

Are you planning on travelling to the beautiful state of Sikkim? Rich in culture, this place has to offer so much to anyone who visits. From festivals to temples, this place covers it all. You won’t feel bored, even for a second. All the foodies should be ready for their taste buds to explode. The peace and quiet will be welcoming so what is there to wait now?

Here is a travel guide that might help you on your journey:

1) Gangtok

The capital city offers a breathtaking view of the Khangchendzonga. This place acts as a cosmopolitan town, which provides tourists with all possible amenities, at the ready. Hotels, eateries, shopping complexes, cyber cafes, night clubs and pool parlorsare easily found, for all price ranges. MG Marg is the country’s first litter and spit free zone, where no vehicles are allowed. Itis also the venue for the annual Gangtok Food and Culture festival, held in December each year. You can sit at the Titanic Park, for a quiet evening. For a bird’s eye view of Gangtok, take a ride on the bi-cable Zig-back ropeway. It is a one-kilometer ride, that offers a great view of the Khangchendzonga range and the valley below. Hanuman Tok, a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, is situated at a distance ofabout nine kilometers, uphill from Gangtok. Adjacent to this area is Lukshyama, the royal cremation ground. Here, the mortal remains of the erstwhile royal family members of Sikkim are cremated.

2) Pelling

Pemayangste monastery, Pelling

It is the second most popular tourist destination in the state, after Gangtok. It offers a breathtaking view of the Khangchendzonga and the surrounding ranges, as well as provides easy access to other tourist spots around the area. You can also visit the Pemayangste monastery, which is only a kilometer away. The serene environment and picturesque setting are perfect for evening nature walks with your partner. This is a destination for all seasons. Every year, the Khangchendzonga Festival takes places here. It offers a lot of fun activities like white-water rafting, kayaking, trekking, mountain biking, sightseeing, traditional sports and bird- watching.The festival includes beautifulflower exhibitions, traditional crafts and ethnic food and costume stalls. Dance and music bring life to this festival. Let’s plan your holiday trip to Sikkim and keep your camera ready to capture the scenic beauties of the panoramic landscapes in Sikkim.

3) Tsomgo Lake

The mesmerizing lake should be a must on every visitor’s itinerary. The lake derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake. The fun aspect about this lake is that it looks completely different in all the seasons. For example, in winters, the lake remains frozen and the area around it is covered in snow, while in the spring season, flowers bloom around the lake, enhancing its beauty even more. This place is said to be sacred, as it is believed that in olden times, Buddhist monks would predict the future, by studying the colour of the lake. You can take rides on beautifully decorated yaks and mules.

4) Namchi

Dichen Choeling Monastery, Namchi

Set in a picturesque location, Namchi offers an unmatched view of the Khangchendzonga range and the Rangit valley. You can visit both, the Sherdup Choeling Monastery and the Dichen Choeling Monastery at the same time. Around two kms from Namchi, you can visit the NgadakMonastery which is being renovated. The Rock Garden above this Monastery, is a beautiful sight to see. It is full of rare flowers and plants. Namchi Mahotsav, a tourism, culture and food festival, is hosted here, every year in October. Experience their everyday life for yourself.

5) Lachung

This mountain village, surrounded by snowcapped mountain peaks, breathtaking waterfalls, sparkling streams and apple orchards is the perfect holiday destination for anyone. This place is known for its apples, peaches and apricots. Here, you can also visit the Lachung Gompa, a monastery situated amidst apple orchards. Visit the handicraft centre, where you can buy exquisitely woven rugs and blankets.The place continues to preserve its distinctive culture and tradition. This is the perfect overnight stop for travelers from all over the place.

6) Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden

Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden

Established in 1987, Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is a scenically blessed lush green expanse of land which is maintained by the Forest Department of the Government of Sikkim. Surrounded by lofty mountains, the garden has a collection of about 1.5 lakh plants, making it a paradise for botany enthusiasts. The botanical garden has something to offer to each age group. For the amusement of small children, a small recreational area has been made in the company of merry-go-round, swings and see-saw. The enchanting water fall adds up to the beauty of the garden. The garden is ideal picnic spot, for lovers, friends and families alike. A quaint lake resides at the edge of the garden, which the tourists can explore through boats. You can spend as much alone time as you need, in this calm environment, away from everything else.

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