Travel to Sikkim

Tourist Map of Sikkim

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Football Uniting SikkimGanesh Tok TempleHimalayan Zoological Park
Khecheopalri Monastery VillageLal BazaarRumtek Monastery

Sikkim Tourism

Straddling the majestic Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim is a picture perfect travel destination. What more does the heart of a traveller desire than vistas of alpine forests, snow-clad Himalayan summits and craggy terrain peppered with offbeat villages trussed up with vibrant Tibetan culture. This small-scale state offers wide-ranging delights for any visitor looking for a welcome distraction from all the garden-variety getaways in India.

Travel to Sikkim to see the interplay of clouds and mountain peaks in the sapphire sky, to watch the morning sun lighting up the great flanks of Kanchenjunga, to sample the freshly brewed tea straight from a plantation, to bow before Buddha at a highly revered monastery, to listen to white waters of the Teesta as she rushes down to the plains. This is the land of quaint little hamlets peeping out from the towering junipers and rhododendrons. Listen to the clang of prayer bells as the prayer flags flutter in the wind. Here legends and natural splendour lie entwined like newly-wed couples.

Sikkim Demographics

Location Eastern part on IndiaTibet in the North Nepal on the West Bhutan in the East West Bengal on the south.
Latitude Between 27 ° 30' and 28 °30' North
Longitude Between 80 ° and 88 °30' East
Area 7096 sq km
Climate Summer - Warm Winter - Cold sometimes freezing
Max Temperature 28 °C
Min Temperature 0 °C
Average Annual Rainfall 325 cm
Capital Gangtok
Population 5,40,493
Languages Lepcha, Bhutia, Nepali, Limbu
Religion Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam
Best Time to Visit March to August
Clothing Summer - Cottons Winter - Heavy Woolens

Best Time to Visit Sikkim

Trekking season is at peak between late September to early December. As the winter approaches, most of the towns and the hubbub of Gangtok begin to fall into slumber sleep, only to rise again in the months of April and May with the full bloom of orchids and rhododendrons. Monsoon hits the North-East India early, so travel might be tricky between June and August.

How to Reach Sikkim

By Air
The state of Sikkim does not have a commercial airport. The nearest Airport is Bagdogra Airport (IXB) near Siliguri in West Bengal, which lies about 125 km from the state capital Gangtok. Bagdogra is connected to cities like Delhi and Kolkata by regular flights.

By Road
The state is accessible from northern areas of West Bengal. Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Siliguri are directly connected to Gangtok and other cities of the state. But during the monsoon, landslides and avalanches create temporary blocks in road transport.

By Rail
Sikkim does not have any rail network. The nearest Railways Station is New Jalpaiguri (near Siliguri), which is three hours away from Gangtok by road. New Jalpaiguri station is connected with major cities in India including Kolkata and Delhi. Shared taxis or local buses ply between Gangtok and New Jalpaiguri.

Shopping in Sikkim

Shopping is not the first thing that comes to mind when you're in Sikkim. However, the state has its fair share of traditional arts and crafts. Sikkim's claim to fame lies in woven woolen carpets and blankets embellished in unique designs and traditional Sikkimese motifs. These articles are durable plush and are dyed not with synthetic dyes but traditional vegetable dyes.

Sikkim is also known for its traditional Buddhist paintings called Thangkas on cotton canvas and often framed with silk. Along with that wood-carved artefacts are also interesting knick-knacks to take back home. Exquisite Choksee table designed in Tibetan style is also a must buy for avid shoppers. Many Government Emporia and private run shops in Gangtok are located in the main market area on Mahatma Gandhi Marg.

Places to Visit in Sikkim

The state has four major divisions: North Sikkim, East Sikkim, South Sikkim, and West Sikkim. Here are some of the prominent tourist attractions in Sikkim -
  • Gangtok
  • Yuksom
  • Pelling
  • Tsomgo Lake
  • Nathu La
  • Rumtek Monastery
  • Do-Drul Chorten
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden
  • Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology
  • The Monastery Loop
  • Ravangla
  • Namchi
  • Zuluk
  • Pemayangtse Gompa
  • Rabdentse
  • Jorethang
  • Chungthang
  • Lachung
  • Yumthang Valley
  • Lachen
  • Temi
  • Tashiding

What to Eat in Sikkim