Experiencing Heaven on Earth: Charming Sikkim
Tourism in Sikkim is important and not surprising with it’s pristine natural beauty including majestic mountains, sweeping glaciers and lush green forests. It’s nature-walks are a breath of fresh air for any who have been blessed to tread her soil.
An increase in tourism in Sikkim has led to their tourism board promoting the state as ‘Small but beautiful’. Which is very apt, as the smallness of the geographical area (Sikkim is only 7100 sq. km) belies the fact it has such enormous diversity in terms of people, flora and fauna.
Unraveling Tourism in Sikkim:
A predominantly Buddhist and Hindu population, Sikkim’s culture and practices revolve around the simple teachings of two of the oldest religions of the world, adapting to survive in a region with both alpine and sub-tropical attributes and yet smiling at every step of the way.
Friendly people, great food, an incredible amount of bio diversity that includes more than 5000 species of flowering plants, more than 500 types of orchids and several varieties of rhododendron, ferns, conifers and of course to top it all off, the majestic Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world;
It has more in store more than you could absorb in just a few days. No wonder it was rated as the world’s top destination to visit in 2014 by Lonely Planet magazine. With or without this rating, Sikkim has been and still is one of the best places to visit in the world and one of the top five tourist destinations in India.
Political Background of Sikkim:
Sikkim was always a separate monarchy. The tiny Himalayan nation fought bitter battles for survival with its neighbor Nepal. It was however protected by the British India government and after India became sovereign it acceded to India. Today, it is an integral part of the nation.
Best time to go:
Sikkim’s penchant to wow you at every turn is what makes it a fantastic place to visit. Tourism in Sikkim has lots to offer no matter what season you visit, though it is best to avoid the monsoons, which starts late may / early June and continues well into September. The nature of the soil which is particularly susceptible to erosion does not help its cause either and the state experiences quite a few landslides which blocks roads for days.
Travelling within Sikkim:
For less than $100 a day you can book an all-wheel drive vehicle that will drive you to any place and any location you wish to and have a permit to. Foreign nationals travelling to Sikkim will require an inner line permit. For backpackers and those who want to spend less than $50 a day, local taxis are available at almost all places. Shared taxis running on fixed routes are far cheaper and will cost you less than 1/10th if you rent a car for your sole use for the same distance.
Some even cycle..
Stay in Sikkim:
Having one of the smallest GDPs among Indian states, with few industries, the majority of the people live on the income that is generated through tourism in Sikkim. In recent years efforts by the ministry of tourism in Sikkim and various local bodies have helped communities in rural areas to open up their homes to tourists.
Humble accommodations, home cooked food and a chance to meet and mix with the people drives tourists, mainly those who love to stay away from the hum-dim of noisy towns to stay in these village home-stays. One such lovely accommodation is the Dhungay Homestay which is situated at 15th mile Martam between the villages of Hee and Bermiok on the road leading from Jorethang to Pelling. I highly recommend this place, but there are many and more and more every year.
Places to visit:
Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim
Have you considered backpacking India?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Tourism in Sikkim:
1. Where is Sikkim located?
Sikkim is a northeastern state in India, bordered by Nepal to the west, Bhutan to the east, Tibet (China) to the north, and the Indian state of West Bengal to the south.
2. How do I reach Sikkim?
The nearest airport to Sikkim is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, and the closest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). From there, you can hire a taxi or take a shared jeep to reach various destinations in Sikkim.
3. What is the best time to visit Sikkim?
The best time to visit Sikkim is during the spring and autumn seasons, from March to June and September to November, when the weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear.
4. Do I need a permit to visit Sikkim?
Indian tourists require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit certain restricted areas in Sikkim, including North Sikkim and East Sikkim. Foreign nationals need to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit these regions.
5. What are the top places to visit in Sikkim?
Sikkim offers a range of attractions, including Gangtok (the capital city), Tsomgo Lake, Nathula Pass, Yumthang Valley, Pelling, and Rumtek Monastery, among others.
6. Are there trekking opportunities in Sikkim?
Yes, Sikkim is a popular destination for trekking. Treks like the Goechala Trek, Dzongri Trek, and Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek offer stunning views of the Himalayas and the chance to explore pristine landscapes.
7. How safe is Sikkim for tourists?
Sikkim is considered safe for tourists. The locals are friendly and hospitable, and the crime rate is relatively low. However, travelers should exercise normal precautions and be mindful of local customs and traditions.
8. What is the local cuisine of Sikkim like?
Sikkim offers a delightful variety of cuisine, including traditional dishes like momos, thukpa, gundruk soup, and Sikkimese-style rice and curries. Don’t miss trying local beverages like chaang (a fermented millet drink) and tongba.
9. Are there budget-friendly accommodations in Sikkim?
Yes, Sikkim provides a range of accommodations to suit different budgets, from luxury hotels and resorts to budget guesthouses and homestays.
10. What are the major festivals celebrated in Sikkim?
Sikkim celebrates various vibrant festivals, including Losar (Tibetan New Year), Saga Dawa, Bumchu, and the International Flower Festival. These festivals offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region.
In this FAQ section, the focus is on providing valuable information for tourists planning a trip to Sikkim. It covers topics such as location, transportation, best time to visit, permits, top attractions, trekking opportunities, safety, local cuisine, accommodations, and major festivals, ensuring a comprehensive guide for travelers exploring this captivating state in northeastern India.
Tourism in Sikkim – Conclusion:
Sikkim is a gem nestled in the majestic Himalayas, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and adventurous experiences. The state’s enchanting landscapes, from snow-capped mountains to lush valleys and serene lakes, leave travelers in awe of its picturesque charm.
As a diverse and welcoming destination, Sikkim invites visitors to immerse themselves in its vibrant culture, savor local delicacies, and witness colorful festivals that showcase the region’s traditional heritage.
From trekking enthusiasts to spiritual seekers, Sikkim caters to a wide range of interests, making it an ideal destination for every kind of traveler. Moreover, the warm hospitality of its people and the sense of tranquility that permeates the air make Sikkim an unforgettable and soul-stirring experience.
As travelers explore this captivating state, they not only create cherished memories but also develop a profound appreciation for the harmony of nature and culture that defines Sikkim.
Jaipur: The Golden Triangle
Traveling to Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, is like stepping into a kaleidoscope of colors and traditions. Known as the “Pink City” for its rose-hued buildings, Jaipur boasts a rich history and an opulent cultural heritage. The city’s magnificent palaces, such as the Hawa Mahal and Amber Fort, transport visitors to the royal era of maharajas and queens.
The Marshall Islands: 5 Unforgettable Places Get ready to embark on a journey to the Marshall Islands, a Pacific paradise that’s as off-the-beaten-path as it gets. These pristine atolls and turquoise waters offer not just a getaway but an adventure of a lifetime. Let’s dive into the five best places to visit in the Marshall…
Exploring the Wonders of Bangladesh: A Traveler’s Paradise Welcome to Bangladesh, a land of natural wonders, cultural richness, and warm hospitality. From bustling cities to serene landscapes, this South Asian gem offers an array of captivating destinations waiting to be discovered. Join us as we embark on a virtual journey to explore some of the…
Exploring the Enchanting Diversity of Azerbaijan: Welcome, wanderers, to a land of captivating contrasts and hidden treasures – Azerbaijan! Nestled at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, this diverse country beckons with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and a unique blend of modernity and tradition. In this travel blog post, we’ll embark on a journey…
Myanmar: A Journey Through Time and Culture Myanmar, (formerly known as Burma) a land of timeless beauty and enchanting mysteries, left me awe-inspired during my recent adventure. The land of golden temples and serene landscapes unfolded before me like pages of a forgotten storybook. As I reminisce about my journey, I can’t help but share…
Bhutan: The Enchanting Land of the Thunder Dragon Nestled amidst the Himalayas, Bhutan stands as a land of enchantment, where tradition blends seamlessly with natural beauty. From ancient monasteries to pristine valleys, this kingdom offers a tapestry of experiences. Let’s delve into the top five must-visit places in Bhutan, each with its own unique charm….
Treasures of Tunisia: A Journey of History and Beauty If you’re ready for a thrilling journey through history, culture, and stunning landscapes, Tunisia is calling your name. I recently had the chance to explore this incredible North African gem, and let me tell you, it’s a place that’s perfect for young adventurers like us. Here…
Would you like to find Cheap Business Class Flights? – Here are 5 things you can do
These are our Top 10 Best Travel Destinations Worldwide
California Dreaming: Best Places to Visit in California
Our Best 10 Affordable Vacation Destinations if you are on a tight budget
Check out our 5 top beaches in the Philippines
Our Absolute Best Free Places to Visit in New York That are FREE!
Exploring the Wonders of Australia – A Traveler’s Paradise – 7 of Our All Time Favourites
Backpacking in Australia – An Absolute Must for the Young and Carefree
More photos from Sikkim
Tourism in Sikkim: by Rajib Mukherjee
Was our Tourism in Sikkim info helpful to you?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below..
And if you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below..