Sikkim is a state in north-eastern and capital of Gangtok. Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers.
Beautiful and warm-hearted, it is too easy to fall in love with this place. Lush-green meadows, plunging superthick valleys rhododendron groves and the white top peak of the Himalayas- Sikkim is a maze of beauty.
Sikkim is aptly called a window to the Himalayas because of the sight it offers of a great peak. Sikkim is two-third covered in snow-clapped mountains dominated by Kanchenjunga.
The temperature in Sikkim is varied all year long to tropical conditions in the south to cold temperatures in the north. The temperatures in winter are usually below zero degrees and in the warmest month that is August, the temperature is around 28 degrees Celcius. The heavy rains and snows often trigger destructive landslides and avalanches.
The two-fifths of the Sikkim is covered in forests. Sal, pandanus, bamboos, palm, ferns, and orchids are common in the sub-tropical forests. Sikkim also has rich and varied wildlife, including black bears, yaks, pandas, numerous species of deers, tigers, leopards, and blue sheep. The species of the birds are also quite diverse namely pheasants, partridges, quail, eagles, barbets, Himalayan cuckoos, Tibetian black crows, and minivets. To preserve the flora and fauna Sikkim also has several national parks and sanctuaries.
The best time to visit Sikkim is either between March and May or October and mid-December. The best season to visit to see the blooming flowers in Spring and Autumn brings a clear view of the Himalayas.
1. Tsomgo Lake
38 kilometers from Sikkim and at a height of 12,400 this beautiful lake makes must in the trip itinerary. A panorama of snow-capped trees makes a sheer view to behold. It is a superb and must-visit tourist spot in Sikkim, amazing scenic beauty, picturesque views and everything that the heavens look like. Calm and serene all around, yak rides and vast alluring lake makes it a perfect view.
Many myths and legends are associated with the lake and are regarded as sacred by Sikkimese people. This is one of the few and high altitude lakes of India. The reflection of the around mountain ranges in the lake creates a breath-taking view which is cherished by all the tourist.
From around 10 km from the lake, there is Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary which is home to many rare animals essentially red panda, Himalayan black bear, and birds like Blood Pheasants. One can easily spot many yaks around and there are many medicinal plants as well.
The literal meaning Yuksom is the meeting place of three lamas. It is the old capital of Sikkim and the primarily famous because it is the gateway to Kangchenzongha. The town is the home to many monasteries and Buddhist culture.
It is very rich in culture and heritage and is one of the best hill stations in Sikkim. It is famous for the snow-capped mountains and a must tourist spot in every tour itinerary.
Best places to visit in Yuksom-
1. Khangchendzonga National Park
It is one of the most important national parks in India and is home to all kinds of flora and fauna. The park is at a very altitude and in not much intervened by humans so the beauty and vegetation of the park remain unblemished. The park is home to animals like snow leopard, the sloth bear, red panda, and many other Himalayan animals.
The lake is around 28km from the state of Pelling. It is one of the largest lakes in the state of Sikkim and attracts many tourists all around the year. The lake is also considered sacred and many devotees come and offer prayers.
The monastery is a very important place for Buddhists because according to legends, the place was visited by the Buddhist master Guru Padmasambhava. The beautiful building has many dazzling colors and very great architecture.
4. Dubdi Monastery
The Dubdi Monastery interprets into ‘the retreat’. The monastery is situated on the beautiful green land. The interiors have been beautifully designed and carved by Buddhist culture. It is a must-visit place when in Yuksom.
3. Nathula Pass
The Nathula Pass height is 4310m and is located on the eastern side of Gangtok. The roads are very adventurous and can be reached in sturdy cars such as Innova or any other SUVs. The roads are steep and slippery and must ride very cautiously. To get away from the monotonous city life this is the best place to escape and have fun in the lap of nature.
Only people with a valid permit can visit. The Nathula Pass permit costs around 200 rupees. One can visit the Nathula Pass on Wednesday to Sunday and the best season to visit is either April-June or October-November.
The Mandakini Waterfalls is a very beautiful halt in the Nathula Pass. The sweet sound of rushing water bestows the calmness of mind and soul.
4. Teesta River
Teesta river flows through the Indian state of West Bengal and Sikkim. The river is 314 km long and spans across the Eastern Himalayas. It arises from Brahmaputra River and many believe it from the Teesta Khangse glacier as well.
At high altitudes, the river bed has cushion plants, mosses, lichens, and grasses. The big white boulders in the river make it a perfect place for white water rafting and many other sports as well.
Gangtok is the mountainous capital of Sikkim. It is a very prepossessing town with a perfect blend of modernity and traditions. To spend some days away from the hustle and chaos of the town, it is a perfect escape. There are many stupas and monasteries for the spiritual side of the mind and scenic beauty to relax the eyes and the mind.
The sweet and warm-hearted people make it memorable to stay for all the tourists.
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