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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.

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.

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!

places to visit in Sikkim

Adventure Activities in Sikkim

There is a long list of delightful adventurous things that can be planned while on a Sikkim getaway. 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.

1. White Water River rafting on Teesta

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. Summers in Gangtok are ideal for enjoying . 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.

2. Thrill of Cable Car Ride in Gangtok

Sitting on the high-altitude cable car of Gangtok makes it to the list of top things to do in Sikkim. This ride is extremely joyful for both young and old. The view from above is stunning and one can look down upon the busy city life going about with their everyday life and enjoy the sensation of being suspended in air.

3. Tsomgo Lake Yak Ride

The ecotourism division of Sikkim tourism greatly encourages the idea of exploring the vicinity of the picturesque Tsomgo Lake even while riding a yak. Tsomgo Lake is located at a height of 12,400 feet and is surrounded by spellbinding views of the mighty snow clad Himalayan peaks.

The changing beauty of lake with frozen water in winters and myriad coloured flowers and greenery in spring make yak rides a wonderful delight. The yaks on rent are decorated with bells and strings which makes them look adorable.

4. Mountain Biking from Gangtok 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.

5. Paragliding in Sikkim

While you are in a travelling spree to Gangtok, watch out for the delightful paragliding opportunities. The 15 to 20 minutes of paragliding venture at Gangtok offers a brilliant chance to catch bird’s eye view of the valleys and the mountains carrying in its folds such mystery and beauty. Summer time is ideal to plan for a paragliding adventure.

6. Trekking in Sikkim

Dzongri Trek

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.

Goecha La Trek

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.

Sandakphu Phalut Trek

It is an exotically divine trek with interesting twists and turns and thrilling terrains. Its magnetism arises from the spellbinding views of four of the world’s five highest peaks of Mount Everest (8,850 metres), Mount Kanchenjunga (8,586 metres), Mount Lhotse (8,501 metres) and Mount Makalu (8,475 metres).

Singalila Pass Trek

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

Ravangla Trek

Oaks, hemlocks and rhododendrons are his companions in this walk. The dense forests pass right next to almost all the trekking. You can reach the start of the trek in Ravangla by taking a taxi from the New Jalpaiguri train station or from the Bagdogra airport. You can spend a night in Ravangla and see the Ralanag Monastery there. If you start early the next morning from the base camp, you will be at the top at sunset.

The walk is quite easy and straight and you will find a clearly marked path to choose from. One of the best parts of this hike is that there are some hikers in this.

7. Birding in Sikkim

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.

8. 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.

Summer Festivals in Sikkim

While you are planning on a vacation to Sikkim try coinciding the dates with the celebration of the various unique festivals throughout the states. Some of the festivals that carry a lot of enigma and glamour should be considered before freezing the travel dates and time.

The sizzling summer festivals offer a vibrant show of Sikkim culture and tradition that can easily mesmerise tourists. The tourist enjoy in awe the spirited dancing, mellifluous songs, glitzy costume and the grandeur of the show. Tashiding monastery is famous for the Bhumchu festival.

9. Flower Exhibition at White Hall

White Hall in Gangtok is famous for hosting a majestic flower show where they exhibit a grand variety of various different seasonal flowers. This flower show along with others in Sikkim is nature lover’s delight.

To add to the glamour, there are also orchids exhibited of so many rare and gorgeous varieties. Generally, the exhibition is hosted during the months of April and May when Sikkim meadows in general throw a splurge of colour everywhere. The exhibitions even attract international recognition.

10. International Summer Festival in Sikkim

Sikkim has gorgeous and stupendous variety of flora and fauna on account of the geographical diversity and uniqueness. Keep a watch out of the finest exhibitions of the glorious orchids and rhododendrons that adorn the vales and hills of Sikkim during the warm summer months. In the month of April after the rain showers, the Sikkim hills get covered with an exquisitely colourful and gorgeous shroud of wild flowers of variegated colours.

Saga Dawa – The Festival Of Gratitude

This a brilliant and glittering festivals mainly for the Buddhists belonging to the Mayan Sect. This festival gives the curious tourists a chance to experience the diversity of Sikkim’s culture. It is a sacred religious festival where the Mayan Buddhists gather in temples and pay their homage to their Lord for being blessed with the gift of life.

A bright and gorgeous procession of monks travel along the streets of Gangtok chanting hymns and prayers. To add vibrancy to the festivities, brilliant masked dances are performed. This festival opens up a whole new world of tradition and culture for the tourists.

Hee Bermiok Heritage And Tourism Festival

Similarly, there is the Hee Bermiok Heritage and Tourism Festival which is hosted in a small village by the same name. This village is located around 120 kilometres west of Gangtok. Hee Bermiok Festival, celebrated in Summer, also offers a chance to get familiar with the culture and lifestyle of Sikkim. Taste the various different varieties of rice wine and local delicacies.

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.
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