site logo Gurudongmar Lake

Sikkim Tour Ideas

North Sikkim in 9 Days
Darjeeling Sikkim in 7 Days
More Tour Ideas


More Destinations
Sikkim
» Gangtok
» Pelling
» Chopta Valley
» Chungthang
» Dzongri
» Gurudongmar
» Kabi Langchuk
» Khechepalri
» Lachen
» Lachung
» Nathula
» North Sikkim
» Phodong
» Ravangla
» Rinchenpong
» Singhik
» South Sikkim
» Thangu
» Tsongmo Lake
» Uttare
» Varsey
» West Sikkim
» Yuksom
» Yumthang
» Yumesamdong
» Zuluk
Darjeeling
» Darjeeling
» Kalimpong
» Lava
» lolegaon
» Siliguri
» Mirik
Dooars
Assam
Arunachal
Bhutan

Hotels
in Sikkim
in Darjeeling
in Dooars
in Bhutan
in Arunachal
in Assam

Package Tours
Leisure Packages
Honeymoon Ideas
Adventure Tours
Off the Beaten Track
» Tea tour
» Jeep-safari
» Jungle Tours

Tour Ideas
On Jeep
Jungle Trips
Birding
Tea Tourism
Heritage Tours
Monastry visits

Adventure Ideas
Mountain Biking
Trekking
Rafting
Camping

Our Services
Hotel Booking
Car Rental
Package Tours
Inbound Tours

Destinations | Hotels | Packages | Adventure | Offbeat tours

Sikkim

Sikkim is an Indian state in the North East of the country. The Himalayan state boarders Chinese Tibet in the North, Nepal in the West, Indian state of West Bengal in the south and Bhutan in the East. It is one of the smallest states of India and has a population just over 6,00,000. Tourism is the main industry in the state. In fact the annual tourist inflow in the state has surpassed the population of the state.

The state is legendary for its peaceful nature and simplicity. Famous for Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world at 8586m, the mountain state offers tremendous variety of plant and wildlife besides a diverse ethnic mix of people with rich cultural tradition.

Like us on Facebook
A snow capped mountain in North Sikkim

Tourism in the state

Tourism in Sikkim gained popularity during the last decade with increasing number of tourists visiting this hilly region for its natural beauty. Till the early 90’s few tourists would visit this landlocked state. Even those who visited hardly went beyond Gangtok, the state capital. During the last two decades tourism has seen major boost in the state with close to a million tourists visiting Sikkim every year.

Getting There

Bagdogra (120 km from Gangtok) is the major airport of the region. Regular flights connects Bagdogra to major airports in the country. New Jalpaiguri Rail Station (115 km from Gangtok) also known as NJP is the major rail head. All trains travelling to the North East passes through NJP. Siliguri (110 km from Gangtok) is the main junction where Road, Air and Rail traveller gets down before travelling to Sikkim.

There are two main entry points. Tourists visiting East and North districts including capital Gangtok, enter into Sikkim through Rangpo. The other major entry point is through Malli which is the entry point for West and South districts.

A monk playing with footballPermits and entry rules

Indian tourists do not require any permit to enter the state. However some of the tourist destinations are known as ‘Restricted Area’ and Indian tourists also require permit to visit these 'restricted' places. These places include Nathula - Tsongo Lake – Zuluk – Memenchu area in East, entire North district, Dzongri – Goechala area in West district etc.

Foreign visitors must first get tourist permit before entering into Sikkim. This Inner Line Permit (ILP) is issued at a number of places but most tourists collect it on arrival at Siliguri or at entry check post. Double check your ILP details with our executive if you are travelling during a holiday or arriving late in the evening as the issuing offices does not remain open 24 hours.
Further details about entry rules can be found here


Tourist Destinations

Gangtok is the most important town and the capital of the state. It lies on a ridge with fine views of the Kanchenjunga. This is the most common tourist destination in the state. You can easily spend 2 to 3 days sightseeing around Gangtok. If you intend to travel to North Sikkim, you must spend two nights in Gangtok on your way and back.

View of Gangtok town with hills in the backgroundPelling is the second most popular tourist destination. It is the original capital of Sikkim and ruins of the erstwhile capital is still well preserved. Pelling also offers excellent views of the Kanchenjunga range of mountain.

North Sikkim offers natural beauty at its best. Lachen and Lachung are the two main tourist towns; Lachen acting as a base for trip to Gurudongmar and Lachung as the base for visiting the Yumthang valley area.

To really see this Himalayan state, it is necessary to leave the hamlets and travel to the remote areas. It is impossible not to be awed by Sikkim's sharp, lush hills, leaping waterfalls, thundering rivers, and placid lakes.

The people, sculpted by lives of low-tech farming and mountainous travel, have behind them generations of communal intermixing.
Sikkim is divided into 4 districts, South, North, East and West. The South District has lower altitude and Namchi is the district capital. The Samdruptse monastery and Char Dham have brought Namchi into the tourism landscape. The other important tourist destination here is Ravangla. Gangtok is located in the East District. West District offers destinations such as Pelling and Yuksom as well as beautiful treks such as the one to Dzongri. The North district bordering China offers excellent high altitude destinations such as Yumthang Valley and Gurudongmar.

Tour Packages

Most tourists visit the common tourist destinations on a leisure tour. These packages are often combined with Darjeeling. If you are interested in Leisure tours, please visit our leisure tours section for Darjeeling and Sikkim.

There is substantial interest to combine adventure with your tour. In Sikkim we offer Mountain Biking, Rafting and Trekking as part of your tour. Special interest tours include village tours, monastic tours and others.

Tourists with yak at Tsongo LakeForests and nature based tourism

The mountain state is rich with wide variety of flora and fauna. About 450 varieties of orchids, over 600 species of butterflies, 500 species of birds along with red pandas, snow leopards and other animals can be seen in Sikkim. The largest collection can be seen at the Kanchenjunga National Park which covers an area of 850 square kilometres. As a result ornithology tourism is also gaining in prominence in Sikkim.

The National Parks in Sikkim include Kyongnosia Alpine Sanctuary in East district. You will pass through these forests on your visit to Tsongo lake or Nathula from Gangtok. Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary in South Sikkim can be visited based in Ravangla. Small treks in the area are also organised. Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary in North Sikkim is located near Yumthang valley and can be visited during North Sikkim tour. Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary in West can be accessed either from Rinchenpong Kaluk area or from Hilley area. There are nice treks inside the Sanctuary where trekkers huts are also available.

History

Sikkim was an independent state till very recently. It was annexed into India only in 1975. Till now people from the state enjoy a host of special privileges due to this reason. The original capital of the state was at Rabdantse near Pelling. The ruins of the erstwhile capital is well preserved and can be visited by tourists during their tour to Pelling.

Rabdantse Ruins near PellingPeople and Culture

The cultural life of the people is related to Tibetan traditions. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Gangtok has one of the largest collections of Tibetan books in the world. Many Buddhist monasteries are repositories of artistic treasures, including wall paintings, tankas, and bronze images.

Travel and Tourism and agriculture is the basis of the local economy. Sikkim is India's major producers of cardamom. The local forests have great economic value in timber and wood pulp. The states cotton and wool weaving, carpets, rugs, blankets, and bamboo work is also well known.

Although it was historically a Buddhist kingdom, the Hindus currently represent the majority. Sikkim has close links with Tibet and it's the home of over 250 monasteries of mostly the Nyingma-pa sect.
Buddhism is an integral part of the people and their culture, and many of the recommended trips around Gangtok have a monastery as their ultimate destination. The monasteries that are closest to Gangtok are Enchey, Rumtek and Phodong. Click here to see a list of monasteries of Sikkim.

Nepali is spoken by vast majority of the population, Tibetan and Lepcha languages are spoken by specific communities. Hindi is understood and spoken throughout Sikkim, English and Bengali is spoken in tourist centers.

Weather

The annual rainfall varies from 50-200 inches (mostly during June - September), and perennial snow in the upper levels often accumulates to a thickness of few meters. The best times to see orchids in bloom are April - May, July - August, and November.
Temperature varies with altitude. The lower altitude South Sikkim is relatively hotter. In North district the temperature is much lower and may remain below freezing point for most of the year.

Map of Sikkim

Services that we offer

Package Tour - naturebeyond organises regular package tours to Sikkim. All our tours are customized according to guest preferences. You can check our Leisure tours section for ideas about package tour options.

Hotels in Sikkim - The best hotel options are available at Gangtok. But other major destinations also have good accommodations. Check our list of hotels in Gangtok and other destinations of Sikkim.

Adventure Tours - Whether you want to go for a trek to Dzongri - Goechala or a biking tour through east and west, we have unmatched expertise in this region.

Car Rental - naturebeyond owns its own transport car and lends them on hire.

Travel Enquiry form
(Please fill the form completely so that we can provide you with exact service.
* Marked fields are compulsory)
  Phone No                     
Expected date of arrival Expected date of departure
Grown ups (above 13 years) Requirements:
Children (6-12 years)           
Infants (less than 6 years)      
How important is service to you      
*  I agree to the user agreement.
Image Verification
Captcha Image for verification Please enter the text from the image
[ Refresh Image ] [ What's This?]