"The land of serenity", "the land of orchids", "the naturalist's paradise" Sikkim can be introduced in so many ways. However, it is the richness of the nature in Sikkim which attracts the tourists from different parts of the world. Tranquil lakes, snow covered mountains, flowing rivers, wide range of flora and fauna are the main attraction of this state. Sikkim has also been regarded as a popular eco-tourist destination due to the bio diversity that this place showcases.
Sikkim is a beautiful state situated in the eastern Himalayas. In between two international countries Nepal form the west and Bhutan in the east. This region is positioned between longitudes of 87° 59' E to 88° 56' E and latitudes of 27° 5' N to 20° 9' N.
Sikkim hosts a number of remarkable tourist places and options to explore this state while enjoying a vacation with family or friends. Nature's pride 'Sikkim' is not only affluent in its natural beauty and magnetism but also a treasure house of numerous magnificent tourist destinations.
Gangtok: Gangtok is the capital city which is situated at an altitude of 1,780 meters above the sea level. Located at the footsteps of the Himalayan ranges, Gangtok is the perfect place to enjoy some quality time far away from the hustle bustles of daily life. Other places of interest located at a nearer distance from Gangtok are Tsango Lake, Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary etc.
Nathula Pass: Nathula is positioned at a distance of 56 kms from Gangtok city. Nathula Pass is situated on the Indo-Chinese border region which is the lifeline of trade between India and China. This pass gives us an opportunity to have a glimpse of the Indo-China frontier, though entries of foreign nationalists are strictly prohibited.
Rumtek Monastery: The Buddhist pilgrim place Rumtel Monastery is sited 24 kms away from the state capital. The picturesque beauty and tranquility of the hill with cascading waterfalls creates a soothing atmosphere all around. This monastery was the abode of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. Worldâ€™s some of the rarest scriptures can be found inside this monastery.
Phodong Monastery: The Phodong Monastery is located around 1km ahead of Phodong on the top of a hill. This is one of the six significant monasteries of Sikkim. This is believed to be the 1st Kagyupa sect monastery built in Sikkim.
Tsomgo Lake: This Lake is situated at a distance of 40 km from Gangtok and located at a peaceful place surrounded by snow capped mountains which provides enough opportunity to the tourists to enjoy their solitude in the heart of nature.
Pelling: Pelling is situated in the western district of Sikkim which is famous for its pictorial beauty. A perfect view of Kanchenzonga, the 3rd highest peak of the Himalayan ranges can be enjoyed from this place.
Sikkim is not only an exotic land of fog clad high mountains and lakes; but it is also rich in its collection of flora and fauna. Though this place acquires only a small part of the entire Indian domain but this hilly region boasts with numerous varieties of animals and plants. The climate of Sikkim is very favorable and this is the reason why this north eastern regional state possesses a large variety of plants.
Nearly 5000 variety of different plants, 515 special orchids, 36 species of rhododendron, 23 types of bamboos along with 60 primula species, 16 conifer species, and more than 420 medical plants can be found in the Valleys of Sikkim. Orchids, bananas, figs, laurel and sal trees grow in the comparatively lower altitudes which observe the sub tropical climate.
Animals like Musk Deer, Himalayan Tahr, Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Serow, Barking Deer, Langur, Clouded Leopard, Leopard Cat, Himalayan Black Deer, Wild Dog, Hog Badger, Binturong, Tibeta Wolf, Jungle Cat, Goral, Bhoral Himalayan Marmot, Civet Cat and Yak can be seen in the forest areas of Sikkim. Approximately 550 different species of birds along with some rare species have been recognized in Sikkim till date. Sikkim fauna comprises of birds like Woodcock, Pigeons, Golden Eagles, Quail, Plovers, Griffon Vultures, Snow Cock, Horned Pheasant, Impeyan Pheasant, Sandpipers, Snow Cock, and Old World Fly Catchers etc. According to the national record almost 1438 species of butterflies have also been found in this state.
The state Government has restricted some animal populated areas and rapidly converting them into wildlife sanctuaries in order to protect their wildlife beauties.
Situated on the foothills of the Himalayan ranges this small state of north east is also known as the Switzerland of East. The chirping of birds, gurgling sound of the flowing rivers, fog clad mountains, lush green mysterious valleys have always been a matter of great interest for tourists.
By Air: The nearest airport from Sikkim is Bagdogra which is located in Siliguri of West Bengal. Bagdogra is situated 125 km away from Gangtok . Services of various airline carriers are available from Bagdogra airport which connects this city to the other major cities like Delhi and Kolkata.
By Rail: Sikkim has not yet found a place in the Indian Railway Map; the nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri. One can board a train from all major cities of India and come down to Jalpaiguri which is well connected with Gangtok by road.
By Road: Sikkim is directly accessible from Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and even from other cities of India. But landslides often create problem during monsoon as roads get temporarily blocked due to this.
Those who dream for a holiday full of activities and adventures, Sikkim can be the right place for them. May it be mountaineering or a yak safari; Sikkim adventure sports have something in its kitty for everyone. River rafting in the icy cold waters of Sikkim is undoubtedly a never forgettable experience for many sportsmen. Trekking through the green valleys and lush green mountains of Sikkim is another attraction of this place. One may even get a glimpse of different wild animals and rare bird species while trekking through the deep forest routes of this state. Archery is a traditional adventure sport of this state and also being enjoyed by the tourists. The comparatively young blood can take pleasure in a breathtaking crazy drive on the valleys and mountains of Sikkim. Mountaineering has always been very exciting in this place and people enjoy it with great splendor and utter satisfaction. A comfortable yak safari on the back of a yak will take you to amidst the adorable natural beauty of Sikkim.
Sikkim is one of the most captivating and graceful states of India which is full of natural beauty and elegance. Summer is a time for some orchids and rhododendrons to bloom which adds beauty to nature. Along with this summer is the perfect time to enjoy trekking in Sikkim. The climate varies with altitude, therefore; Sikkim is also an ideal place to watch the divergence of weather.
It is not advisable to plan a trip of Sikkim during monsoon because most of the roads get blocked during rains. This region is prone to landslides so, it is risky to travel around the state during rains. Autumn is the perfect period to enjoy a vacation in Sikkim as the weather remains very clear and offers a marvelous view of this hilly land. People who love to see snowfall from a very close distance, this north eastern state can be the ideal place for them during September to December.
Chang, Mon and Naong are the three tribes which once inhabited Sikkim but later on it was the Lepcha or Rong community who captured this tiny little state of North Eastern India.
A convention was signed between Britain and China in 1835 in order to distinguish Sikkim and Tibet boundary. Indian government took over the administrative responsibilities of this region in the year 1950. It was the year 1974 when Sikkim became a full-fledged state in India.
Sikkim observes five seasons summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. Spreading over an approximate area of 7,096 sq km this small hilly region lengthens from an altitude of 280 m (920 ft) to 8,585 m (28,000 ft). Due to such variations in altitude this hill station experiences tropical climate and freezing weather at different parts of the region. The maximum temperature observed here is 28°C in summers which falls below 0Â°C during inters. The annual average temperature recorded here is roughly 18Â°C. Blue sky and bright shining sun can be seen during March to May.
Due to its proximity to the Bay of Bengal Sikkim observes heavy shower during monsoon. Monsoon appears in the last part of June or latest by September and the climate remains cold and humid during this season. Being nestled on a hilly region Sikkim is extremely prone to landslides. This state is probably one of the rarest places of India which observes regular snowfall. Winter arrives at the last part of December and remains till February. During winter the temperature often drops below -40Â°C in the high altitude areas of the northern region of this state.