If you are somebody who enjoys travelling to faraway places, experiencing new cultures and languages, tasting exotic and delicious food and immersing yourself in the spiritual presence of nature, then read about Best places to visit in Sikkim. This northeastern gem of India is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers and those seeking peace in the lap of the Himalayas. Enjoy this virtual tour of some of the best places I have visited and activities I enjoyed in Sikkim.

Gangtok: The Enchanting Capital

Our adventure begins in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The moment you step foot in this charming city, you will be greeted by the crisp mountain air and many friendly faces. The colourful markets and delicious street food are a delight for your senses. Don’t forget to visit the Enchey Monastery, a serene place where you can witness the spiritual side of Sikkim.

For panoramic views, head to the Tashi View Point, which offers breathtaking vistas of the Kanchenjunga mountain range. It is especially magical during sunrise. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a must-visit to explore Tibetan culture and heritage. And if you’re up for some adventure, try paragliding in the nearby village of Saramsa.

Tsomgo Lake: A Jewel in the Mountains

A short drive from Gangtok takes you to the mesmerising Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake. This high-altitude lake is a sparkling jewel nestled amidst the mountains, ideal for photography and meditation. The lake is often frozen during the winter, creating an ethereal landscape. You can also visit the nearby Baba Mandir, a shrine dedicated to an Indian soldier.

Nathula Pass: A Gateway to Tibet

A little further up, you will be face to face with Nathula Pass, a gateway to Tibet. This is one of the highest motorable roads in the world. The breathtaking drive to Nathula Pass was an adventure in itself. You will need to obtain a permit to visit this area due to its proximity to the international border. The view of snow-clad peaks, clear blue skies and the iconic “You are at the roof of the world” sign is something I will never forget.

Lachung and Lachen: The Hidden Gems

Now, let us head north to explore two hidden gems of Sikkim: Lachung and Lachen. These villages offer a true escape from the bustling city life. Surrounded by lush meadows and snow-capped peaks, they are perfect for those seeking tranquillity and solitude.

In Lachung, make sure to visit the Yumthang Valley, often referred to as the Valley of Flowers. During spring, the valley is adorned with a riot of colours, with countless alpine flowers in full bloom. Yumesamdong, also known as Zero Point, is another attraction for those craving a snowy landscape.

Lachen serves as the base camp for the challenging trek to Gurudongmar Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world. The pristine beauty of this lake is a sight to behold, and, therefore, totally worth the tiring trek. Remember to acclimatise first and consult local authorities before attempting this trek, as it involves high altitudes.

Pelling: A Glimpse of the Past

Next on the itinerary is Pelling, a small town in West Sikkim. Pelling is famous for its historical ruins and monasteries. The Pemayangtse Monastery is a must-visit for its ancient artefacts and the stunning view of the Kanchenjunga peak. The Rabdentse Ruins, once the capital of Sikkim, offer a glimpse into the region’s history.

But what interested me most was the Khecheopalri Lake, believed to be a wish-fulfilling lake. Surrounded by lush green forests, it’s a peaceful place to take a leisurely walk (and make a wish or two!)..

Yuksom: The Trailhead to Treks

Yuksom, the historic town, is the starting point for many of Sikkim’s famous treks, including the Goecha La trek. If you are an adventure enthusiast, consider embarking on a multi-day trek, which will reward you with stunning views of the Himalayan peaks and pristine alpine landscapes. What makes this even more fun if you trek in a group, swapping stories and making new friendships.

Ravangla: A Birdwatcher’s Paradise

For nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers, Ravangla is a hidden paradise. The Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for wildlife and bird species. The Rayong Sunrise Viewpoint offers panoramic views of the white peaks and the Teesta River meandering through the valley. The Tathagata Tsal, also known as the Buddha Park, is home to a colossal statue of Buddha and is an oasis of peace and serenity. Visiting the Buddha made me feel peaceful and worry-free, and I highly recommend this tourist stop. 

Namchi: The Land of Pilgrimage

For those on a spiritual journey, it is best to visit Namchi, the capital of South Sikkim. Namchi is a land of pilgrimage and cultural significance. The Char Dham, a complex with replicas of four revered Indian pilgrimage destinations, is a spiritual site. The Samdruptse Monastery houses a gigantic statue of Guru Padmasambhava, and the Siddheshwar Dham offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills. Whether you are travelling for a religious pilgrimage or simply looking for spiritual upliftment, Namchi offers something soothing for the soul.

Adventure Activities in Sikkim

If you crave recreational activities and adventure, Sikkim has you covered. White-water rafting in the Teesta River, yak safaris in high-altitude meadows, mountain biking through the rugged terrain, and rock climbing in various locations will get your adrenaline pumping. The Teesta River is famous for its challenging rapids and stunning riverbanks, guaranteeing a thrilling ride. Experienced guides will ensure your safety while you navigate the rapids.

Indulge in Sikkimese Cuisine

Beyond the best places to visit in Sikkim, you can not have a  full travel experience is complete without savoring the local cuisine. In Sikkim, you must try momos (steamed dumplings) and thukpa (noodle soup). These Tibetan-influenced dishes are not only delicious but also widely available, not to mention delicious and fulfilling. And if you feel experimental, try Chang, a local millet-based alcoholic beverage. It’s part of the rich Sikkimese culture and adds a unique flavor to your meals.

Practical Tips for Travelling in Sikkim

Travelling to any new destination requires some research about its rules and customs. The same goes for Sikkim. Here are some travel tips to keep in mind when you are planning your visit to Sikkim. 

  • Permits: Certain areas in Sikkim require permits for Indian and foreign nationals. Make sure to check and obtain the necessary permits in advance.
  • Weather: Sikkim experiences various weather conditions throughout the year. Spring and autumn are generally the best times to visit. Winter can be extremely cold, while monsoon season may bring heavy rains.
  • Altitude Sickness: Many places in Sikkim are at high altitudes. Take your time to acclimatize and drink plenty of water.
  • Respect the Local Culture: Sikkim has a rich and diverse culture, but some places require conservative clothing and behaviors. Be respectful of local customs and traditions.
  • Transport: Roads in Sikkim can be steep and winding. Hire a local driver who is familiar with the terrain.

Sikkim is a land of breathtaking landscapes, diverse cultures, and incredible adventures. I hope my travel guide helps you plan your journey and experience the magic of this Himalayan wonderland, just as I did. So pack your bags, embrace the mountains, and create memories that will last a lifetime in the beautiful state of Sikkim. 


Which part of Sikkim is most beautiful?

One of the most beautiful tourist destinations in north Sikkim is Yumthang Valley, known for its beautiful blooms. The carpet of colorful flowers also lends to its other name, which is the ‘Valley of Flowers’, especially because the valley is above the altitude line.

Is Sikkim costly?

The cost of traveling to Sikkim is based on the time of year you choose, accommodation preferences, airline fare, and, of course, your travel itinerary. You can most certainly travel to Sikkim on a shoestring budget if that is what you prefer. In this case, it would be best to make bookings and plans in advance, so that you can benefit from discounts and off-season pricing. 

What to wear in Sikkim?

If you are planning to visit Sikkim, you can expect cold weather almost all year round. Along with higher altitude tourist spots, cold weather could be new for you, if you come from warmer countries and lower altitudes. So when you are packing for your trip, ensure you add warm clothing such as thermals, scarves, jackets, gloves, caps and enough socks.

What is the most famous dress of Sikkim?

Sikkim’s traditional costume worn by both men and women is called the ‘Bakhu’. These dresses are made of solid woollen fabric and are loosely wrapped around the body, encasing it in a comfortable warm shield from the cold weather. The bakhu is also considered the popular choice for traditional weddings in Sikkim. 

What is the festival of Sikkim?

While the people of Sikkim celebrate many country-wide festivals in the year, one festival that is exclusively experienced in Sikkim is Pang Lhabsol, paying homage to the highly revered guardian deities of Sikkim, including the famous Mount Khangchendzonga.

Harsh Sonawala

About Harsh Sonawala

Harsh Sonawala is the co founder of India Someday and since his childhood, he has travelled to different parts of India and the world. The thrill of travelling and sharing his experiences with others was the reason behind starting India Someday. Other than the office where he is conjuring up marketing ideas, he can be found scuba diving in the Andamans or relaxing in a chalet in the Himalayas.

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