10 BEST Things to do in Sikkim

Winters are approaching and it is time to plan your next family vacation. If you are looking out for tourist destinations that are in full bloom during winter, you must consider Sikkim. Sikkim during winter is no less than a wonderland, with picturesque attractions, snow clad mountains, and acres of wilderness. This is a great place to drench yourself in pretty snowflakes and weave some beautiful memories with your loved ones.

From being a mountain kingdom in 1975 to one of the most beautiful states of India – Sikkim is a gateway to the heavenly Himalayas. Conglomerating the living style of the Tibetans, Buddhists, and Hindus, this state breathes a seamlessly beautiful culture. Known for the latter-day mega sculptures, traditional monasteries, Himalayan Mountain, and countryside views – Sikkim is profound in beauty.

Travelers from around the world head over to Sikkim to visit the stunning places like Rohtang La Pass, Tsongmo Lake, serene hills and towns, and the revering organic life that Sikkim is highly known for. Divided into two regions – South Sikkim and North Sikkim, the itinerary for the state has to be chosen as per one's inclination of travel choices.

For nature lovers, South Sikkim is a paradise in disguise. The lush greenery, rich wildlife, and charming locals bring one close to the goodness of Mother Earth. Here are some places to visit in Sikkim and things to do if you are nature's fan!

Magnificent Sikkim with the majestic mountain ranges, picturesque locations and rugged terrain offer a plethora of Natural Mountain trekking options. The misty mountains and cool slopes, beauty of conifers and elusive greenery are regarded as essential ingredients for happy trekking expeditions.

Sikkim has got in its avenue some of the most hair-raising expeditions for the most adventurous of trekkers. These treks give you an opportunity to praise the unexplored ranges of Himalayas. Bare your bones to the divinely trekking expeditions of Sikkim. Booking Sikkim Tour Packages beforehand is a good choice if you want comfortable and hassle-free vacation.

places to visit in Sikkim

Here is a long list of delightful adventure activities in Sikkim that can be planned while on a getaway.

1. White Water River rafting in Melli

Teesta is the lifeline of Sikkim and adds majorly to the charm and beauty of this tourist favourite destination. Teesta also offers the tourists the chance to experience some great rapids that can be maneuvered only by ace and avid rafters with experience. The rafting course holds enough of thrill to entice the most brave and adventurous of rafters.

There is enough pull and current in the river to set your heart racing. One can attempt grade 2 and 4 rapids according to their expertise. Teesta offers the bumpy thrill of experiencing the rapids across the gushing river currents. Teesta has rapids ranging from Grade One to Grade Five and thus forms an international attraction for river rafting.

The rapids of these waters are an international site for rafting ranging from Grade I to V. The river course forms one of the most fascinating routes across the thrilling gorges and deep valleys. Rafting on the river is the ultimate adventure activity to get to Sikkim, and the Teesta River offers some world-class opportunities.

The main route is Makha-Sirwani-Bardang-Rongpo. The Rangeet River, with its more turbulent waters, also offers advanced opportunities for rafting from Sikip-Jorethang-Majitar-Melli.

2. Mountain Biking to Rangpo

Mountain biking is a thrill for adventure lovers. Gangtok-Rangpo is an mountain biking route for ace and passionate bikers who dream of riding across rough and rugged nature. The enchanting landscape, the magnificent flora and fauna can be thoroughly experienced while motorbiking through the lush green hills. Group Mountain biking in Sikkim and, solo biking both are popular in Sikkim.

Some other biking routes are Rangpo to Yungthum and Temi, Gangtok, Melli route.

3. Dzongri Trek from Yuksom

The classic trip to Dzongri peak (13,123 feet) in west Sikkim passes through magnificent rhododendron forests and culminates with the magnificent views of the snow-covered peaks in Dzongri. The emotion of Dzongri, the meeting place of man and the gods of the mountains, is undoubtedly a source of attention.

The trek starts from the Khangchendzonga National Park in Yuksom. The trek to Dzongri is ideally five days, with a day of acclimatization in the Tshoka village. The trek to Tshokha passes through dense tropical forests of the Khangchendzonga National Park, with magnificent views of the mountain peaks and the mystic music of the river that flows down into the Valley.

The first five or six miles of the hike are quite easy, with picturesque waterfalls, some suspension bridges and magnificent red and white flowers of rhododendron. The last kilometers are particularly exhausting. The walk has a continuous ascent with a gradient of 45 to 60 degrees to Tshokha.

The best time to visit Dzongri is from mid-March to April, and then from September to mid-October, to avoid snowfall and monsoon rains. However, due to the high altitude, there is a definite possibility that the climate will take unexpected turns at any time of the year.

4. Goecha La Trek to Khangchendzonga National Park

When you want to experience tough and arduous trekking in the Himalayas, then go for Goecha La. Nestled between the imposing peaks of Sikkim, Nepal, China and Bhutan, lies a land of incomparable beauty that invites hikers and adventurers. Embarking on the daring Goecha trek The one that passes through the picturesque Yuksom-Dzongri pass and great views of Mt. Kanchenjunga.

Feel close to nature as you pass through rhododendron forests to valleys swathed in lichen and moss. This makes for a memorable trek as it offers fresh chilling breeze and silent wild vales and the magic of Kanchenjunga.

5. Singalila Pass Trek via Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary

This one has access to the majestic razor sharp snow clad mountains slopes. The route leads via Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and offers open views of the pristine forests of Eastern Himalayas.

Sikkim is a bird watcher's paradise. Sikkim is rich in bird species and offers approximately 550 species of birds. The marked distinction of various zones with differing humidity, rainfall and climate create typical pockets of astounding variety of bird species. You can watch several bird species that are completely indigenous to Sikkim.

Rare species of birds along with exotic and indigenous ones include Satyr Tragopan, Fire-tailed Myzornis Sultan Tit, Puff-throated Babbler, Streaked Spiderhunter Scaly Laughingthrush, Rusty Cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Red Faced Liochichla, Scarlet Finch, Cutia, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler and more.

Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, the areas around Khecheopalri Lake, the enchanting Yuksom Valley, the interesting Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and Dzongri are some of the popular destinations booked exclusively for bird watching in Sikkim. Nature and wildlife photographers, simple nature lovers and ornithologists all flock regularly at these locations.

6. Leisure Walk in Rinchenpong

When we think of a trip to North Sikkim, our choice revolves around Gurudongmar lake and Yumthang valley. Though recently Dzongu has become partially successful to make it's place into the destination list of some people who always search for a offbeat destination, yet some other beautiful places still remain in oblivion. People residing in Sikkim has the love for fashion and one can witness them dolled up all the times.

North Sikkim is considered as a paradise for nature lover as it is covered with scenic natural beauty right from valleys,mountains and beautiful natural lakes. As these places are very less exploited by people and is pollution free. Main highlights of North Sikkim has always been Gurudongmar lake and Yumthang valley but apart from these places there are multiple places you can explore in Northern part of Sikkim.

Let’s start from the highlighted points only. Gurudongmar lake is one of the highest lakes in the world and in India, located at an altitude of 5,425 m, in a place called Lachen of North Sikkim. It is considered sacred by Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus. This lake mostly remains frozen in winters (starts from November to mid March).

Kalapatthar meaning Black rock is a beautiful landmark in North Sikkim. As this place is also very less explored by people is also called as hidden gem of Sikkim. This place is covered with snowfall in almost all times of a year.

7. Yumthang

This stunning spot in Sikkim is also known as the 'Valley of Flowers' and can be visited only during a certain time of the year between April and November. Seated at a height of 3,564 m above sea level, Yumthang Valley is guarded by the majestic Himalayas. While you are here, be sure to stop at the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary - a wonderful place for botanists, ecologists and nature lovers.

Although it is located about 150 km from Gangtok, you need to travel for nearly two days to reach this pretty valley because visibility drops from early evening due to heavy fog.

Visit the flower sanctuary in Yumthang. It is located in North Sikkim, with an altitude of 11,693 ft. You can see at least 24 types of rhododendron flowers. Your journey to Yumthang will be followed by the River Teesta, where the whole area will be covered by flowers due to rainfall.

Yumthang is located at an altitude of almost 11,800 feet. On the way back you can visit the famous hot spring which is known for its healing properties. Yumthang is a valley near the Lachung Chu River surrounded by mountains where the tree line ends.

In spring the valley erupts in riot of colors with flowers like Primulae, Rhododendrons and many other flowers in full bloom along with snow covered valley. Yumthang has snow all around and the snow clad mountains add to the beauty. Wander up to Lachung monastery and the of Lepcha village.

Wrapped in a blanket of snow, Zero Point, also known as Yumesamdong, is the last outpost in Sikkim. Situated roughly 15,300 ft above sea level, this is a place that takes your breath away and makes you forget all your worries. Only Indian nationals are allowed to visit Zero Point, and only after obtaining a Protected Area Permit from the District Administrative Center at the Gangtok Tourism Office, Sub-Divisional Magistrate Office, or Mangan.

8. Chungthang

Chungthang Valley is between Lachung and the Yumthang Valley, famous for Yumesamdong (Zero Point) and Mathilda pass. This point is 15,300 feet in altitude and the stretch of road that brings you here stops abruptly. That's why this place is called Zero Point. Here you will find some members of the army, since the Chinese border is a few kilometers from here.

Chungthang is 96 kilometers from Gangtok. Lachen is 35 kilometers from Chungthang with snow-capped peaks. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, located in the Singalila range in the southwest corner of West Sikkim, Gurudongmar Lake, Chopta Valley, Thangu are the biggest attractions. It is a valley surrounded by giant snow peak mountains and is the starting point of the Green Lake Trek.

In fact the village is cradled between stern, high standing rocks as protectors. This village is almost hidden from the outside world like a Shangri-La. Visit the Lepcha village.

9. Kaluk

In Kaluk there are some night resorts and from there you can walk the distance (3 km) to Rinchenpong to see the monastery and get trapped by the tranquility of this area.

10. Leisure Walk in Rinchenpong

Leisure walk across the pretty villages of Sikkim are a treat to eyes. The very green forests and hills, the tranquil environment all around, the all-pervading serenity of a village walk of Sikkim is undoubtedly remarkable. The crimson glow of the setting and the rising sun, the snow-laden peaks of Himalayas, the misty valleys, the fresh air all do wonders to your health and mind or if you are on honeymoon.

Sikkim presents a vibrant face of traditional India which has the perfect blend of modernity and ethnicity. The ancient monasteries and pilgrimage places will fan the spirituality while the thrill of adventure activities will flare up the adrenaline rush and the captivating vistas and breath-taking mountain ranges, meadows and valleys will keep you overwhelmed.
Kalyan Panja