Sikkim… One of the seven states situated at north eastern part of India. Quite different from other parts of India this side of other country is full of natural beauties, unexplored or under explored landscapes reminds the beauty of Switzerland.
One of the most beautiful place in India that I have visited during June 2014. The memories still young in mind and every time I hear someone planning to visit the state, I can’t stop to tell the places they should visit. As if It is a place close to my heart. Why not this place is having all the magical touch of life…What you want; Adventure, Photography, Peace of Mind or away from the crowded cities to relax??? Sikkim gives you everything…
If you are a philosopher go around the monasteries and walk through the valleys… if you are an adventure enthusiast go towards the North & West Sikkim and enjoy the journey of life, go for a long trek… if you are a poet just be yourself and look around the people and the places… if you are a photographer, I am sure you cannot stop yourself since each place is its own identity.. Capture the soul of Sikkim
Before you visit, decide what your need are since it will take a month if you want to consume everything. Therefore it is an ideal proposition to first decide the purpose of the vacation and then plan the entire trip to the state.
Brief about the tourist spots;
Mostly whoever visit Sikkim, they have the capital Gangtok in mind. Gangtok is a beautiful hill city ; neat, clean, cool weather and off course a complete different experience you will get the moment you enter this capital city.
Keeping Gangtok as a Centre place or base for your travel, the geography of the state can be divided as ; East Sikkim, West Sikkim, North Sikkim & South Sikkim. In terms of geographical placement Gangtok city fall under East Sikkim. It is the commercial and administrative hub of the state.
GANGTOK/ EAST SIKKIM:
Ideally to cover Gangtok and east Sikkim it will take three days ; one day in the Gangtok city and the two days for the other places. The places worth to visit are: MG Market in Gangtok, Rope way, Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctury, Zoological Park(this park is a home for red pandas, snow leopards, snow deer and other high altitude animals), Tashi view point (you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Khangchendzonga. Best time to go there is early morning during Sunrise), Ganesh Tok ( it provides a birds eye view of Gangtok town), Hanuman Tok (provode a majestic view of the city and mountains), Bakthang Waterfalls, Banjhakri Falls, Rumtek Dharma Chakra, Nathula Pass(situated at an altitude of 14450 feet, 56 km from Gangtok, it is the outpost through which Indo-China trade is conducted), Tsongmo Lake(the lake remain frozen during winter months),Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial Temple (Temple built in honour of Harbhajan Singh a Soldier in Indian Army. The beautiful story of believes can be found from Google search). Though the details about all these places can be searched from Google, each place is having its own identity and will make you mesmerized with its own beauty. Don’t miss the delicious Momos and local food at Gangtok.
When we travelled to North Sikkim during June 2014, the road conditions were very bad but the journey was awesome and you can feel the thrill while crossing the road under a waterfall, while looking straight down at the Tista river on your right , while two vehicle from opposite side crossing each other in a narrow track at an altitude of around 8000 feet 🙂 🙂 🙂 . A slight mistake by the driver may end your journey there, a change in weather condition (rain) may turn the track in to a waterfall, if there is a landslide you are stuck 🙂 🙂 . Imagine the journey towards this Heaven called Yumthang valley at North Sikkim.
There are two major spot at North Sikkim; Yumthang valley via Lachung, Thangu Valley via Lachen. It required minimum for days to cover both the places. Since we didn’t have much time with us , we covered only Yumthang valley . It took almost an entire day to reach Lachung, the place normally covered with snow during winter till March-April. Since we were there during June hardly any snow was there but we could see the snow beautiful snow peaks. We stayed the night at Lachung and unfortunately there was no electricity that day and we were shivering with cold. The Sound of Tista River making it a rocking musical night without any reflections around. Next day morning we left for Yumthang valley and with a desire to experience snow, we further travelled till Point Zero. Wow the journey was amazing. It was like Switzerland of India. As if we got our ROI of the trip.
With limited time in hand, we decided to visit Namchi a beautifully maintained place in South Sikkim and quite developed interms of infrastructure. The place we visited was Samdruptse, Ralang Monastery, Siddeshwar Dham( situated on Solophok Hill, this place has a special religious significance, there are replication of four major pilgrimage destinations of Hinduism, also on display are twelve replica of Jyoti Linga, the gigantic statue of the Hindu God, Siva also attracts the devotees )
We couldn’t many other parts of Sikkim due to few days in hand but off course we are planning to have another trip some other time to cover other places and this time atleast 15 days 🙂
How to Reach Gangtok :
Nearest Airport : Bagdogra in Westbengal
From Bagdogra it was around 5 hour drive due to bad road conditions during that time
Note: You should carry your identity proof like passport, driving licence and also passport size photographs. These are required for taking permission to visit East & North Sikkim. It is always advisable to make your tour arrangement by talking to a local tour guide or travel agent. There are many outsiders, who too run these shows of tourism and there are chances of getting cheated by some. Always does your home work in advance like; what are the weather conditions, information on whether the route to Nathula and North Sikkim is open or not by talking to different people, also the trip fare for each day and for each route.
Tour Guide : Though there was no proper plan for us before the trip, we could find a local guy named Dipen , who made our entire itinerary for the 5 days and guided us for an wonderful experience. He is an honest guy with a small tourist guide setup. But with his network , he (on my left ) along with his friend made our journey memorable. He can be contacted at +91-9733306845