Sikkim is an Indian state located in northeastern India near the Himalayas. It is the 2nd smallest state after Goa. And, the least populated state in India with a population of only 6.13000 (2012 census). Thanks to its unique position near the Himalaya, Sikkim is geographically diverse and the climate varies from subtropical to high alpine offering a lot of places to visit. The state is popular for its diverse cultural and natural resources. It has a border between India and China, which is the only open land border between the two countries. Moreover, Sikkim is rich in cultural heritage and is home to a multitude of different flora and fauna.
Gateway to the north-east corridor of India, Sikkim not only boasts of its enchanting beauty but also offers a captivating list of places to visit. If you are planning to visit this charismatic state, here is a list of the 15 best places to visit in Sikkim that makes perfect for a wonderful vacation.
Extremely beautiful, pleasantly animated, and weathered in clouds is Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The city offers a spectacular view of the mountain Kanchenjunga, at a distinct skyline. Along with the pristine hill station nestled between the mountains and clouds, it is also a base for many treks in the Himalaya mountain ranges. The fascinating prismatic beauty and the magnificent winding paths of the hills are all the more impressive from a bird’s eye view on a cable car.
Gangtok can be considered one of the most beautiful hill stations in the country. With everything in the right amount, from a mixture of cultural identities to urbanization, Gangtok is a dynamic and breathtaking northeastern paradise. It has an incredible view of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third-highest peak in the world. Gangtok is full of natural beauty and has various natural attractions such as Ban Jhakri waterfalls, Tsomgo lake, Tashi Lookout, and more. Other places to visit include Ganesh Tok, Enchey Monastery, Rumtek monastery, Do Drul Chorten, etc. Additionally, the Teesta River is one of the best rafting spots in northeastern India. Gangtok is one of the popular places to visit in Sikkim.
Yuksom is a beautiful place located in the western region of Sikkim and the city is known for its natural beauty. The village of Yuksom is located near the Kanchenjunga national park, in the heart of the mountains covered with lush vegetation. It is an attractive tourist spot and a base camp for some of Sikkim’s most adventurous treks. There are several interesting tourist attractions in Yuksom and the local cuisines are the must-try.
The village of Yuksom is of great historical importance for Sikkimese with the first Chogyal crowned here in 1642. There are several places of religious and historical Importance in Yuksom such as the Dubdi and Sangachoeling monasteries, the first to be built in Sikkim. Another major tourist attraction is the splendid Khecheopalri lake, considered sacred by Sikkimese. The beautiful city of Yuksom is historic and fascinating and is the main trail of Khangchendzonga trekking, but does not offer a very clear view of the high mountains.
3. Tsomgo lake
Rested in the mountains at a dizzying height of 12,400 feet above sea level, Tsomgo Lake is one of the few high altitude lakes in India. It located on the Gangtok – Nathu La road. Also known as the name of Lake Changu, it is part of the itinerary of every tourist and for good reason: the beauty of the landscapes. Surrounded by steep snowy mountains and immersed in an intense green carpet of alpine forests. This enchanting beauty of Lake Tsogmo will surely surprise you. Moreover, the charming picturesque charm of the lake combined with its legendary importance for the locals certainly makes it an attraction not to be missed for visiting Sikkim.
Lake Tsomgo is a glacial lake that draws its waters from the melting snow of the surrounding mountains. It is famous for its color-changing waters. Monsoons see a sparkling water lake as it freezes in a translucent layer of ice in winter. As summer approaches in mid-May, the periphery of this lake is dotted with thousands of flowers that bloom and give the waters a riot of bright colors.
In the Bhuti language, “Tso” means lake and “Mgo” means head and essentially means “water source”, now of immense religious and cultural importance for the Bhuti people. Considered a sacred lake by Sikkimese, Lake Changu is associated with many myths and legends. They say Buddhist monks analyzed the color of the lake to predict the future! The charms of the places conclude so well that it includes among the places to visit in Sikkim.
4. Nathu La Pass
Nathu la pass is one of the highest highways in the world. It is a mountain pass on the Himalayan peaks that connects India and China. It is located on the Indo-Tibetan border at 14,450 feet above sea level. Nathu La pass is one of the most important Himalayan passes of India. The word Nathu means “to listen to the ears” and it means “to pass”. Nathula is one of the three commercial border crossings opened between India and China and is famous for its picturesque beauty and magnificent surroundings. The temperature remains low there for most of the year and becomes an access point for tourists during the summer.
The Nathula pass suffers heavy snow during the winter. The temperature in this area can drop to -25 degrees Celsius. If you like snow, you can visit the Nathula Pass in winter in thick woolen clothes. From May to mid-November it is the summer season when the temperature hovers around 10 degrees Celsius.
Pelling, a beautiful city in western Sikkim. It is the 2nd largest tourist destination in Sikkim after Gangtok. Located 10 km from Geyzing and 130 km from Gangtok, the main attraction of the place is the impressive view of Khangchendzonga and the nearby peaks. The famous Pemayangste monastery is less than a kilometer from here and is an important tourist spot. Pelling also has sites for rock climbing, village trips, mountain biking, meditations. It is also the base for a variety of excursions in the region. The picturesque town of Pelling is an ideal holiday destination for all nature lovers and adventure seekers.
Pelling, a beautiful town at an altitude of 6,800 feet, was initially covered by a dense wild forest that was home to many native wild animals of this period, including Wildman. The ridge located between two ancient Buddhist monasteries (Pemayangtse and Sangacholing) has become a stand-alone village called Pelling. Today, Pelling is one of the most chosen tourist sites in Sikkim. Besides that, Pelling is the heart where you can visit all the impressive places of West Sikkim.
Lachung, a tourist resort located in northern Sikkim, is a magnificent destination that lies at the meeting of two tributaries Lachung and Lachen. This city is a popular tourist attraction because of the numerous waterfalls that grow in this region. Glimpses of snow-capped mountains can also be seen from this location and offer spectacular views. Lachung is also a base for visiting the famous Yumthang Valley.
Lachung is a small town in Sikkim which has several snow-capped mountains, peaks, sparkling streams, incredible waterfalls, and much more. It is the perfect tourist place that guarantees you a pleasant holiday in the middle of the apple, peach, and apricot orchards. Lachung market is full of handicrafts such as deliciously woven rugs and blankets that make this city an ideal place for shopping. Lachung means “small mountain” and bears this name because it is described by majestic mountains.
Ravangla offers breathtaking views of Kanchenjungha . And, its twin peaks of Pandim, Kabru, Sinialchu, and many others. Along with rich natural diversity and majestic snow-capped mountains, it offers exotic flora and fauna in the dense forest, waterfalls, peaceful villages, picturesque tea gardens, ethnic culture, ancient monasteries, and a cool atmosphere.
Ravangla is also a great place to visit in Sikkim. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in southern Sikkim. At an altitude of 7,000 feet, located on the border of Maenam and Tendong Hill, Ravangla offers a clear and breathtaking view of the Great Himalaya. The beauty of its landscape and its position as a travel point for nearby tourist attractions have made Ravangla a destination to be seen. Ravangla organizes the Pang Lhabsol festival exceptionally every year between August and September. 8 km on the road to Damthang there is the Rayong Sunrise Lookout which offers a splendid view of the first rays of the sun falling on the snowy peaks. The nearby villages of Lepcha and Bhutia of Yangang, Kewzing, Tinkitam, Bakhim, and Barfung are perfect for short visits to the village. Some ancient monasteries around Ravangla, in particular the Bonn monastery, the Rayong monastery, the ancient historical market of Kewzing, and mysterious caves are the main tourist attractions of this city.
8. Rumtek monastery
Rumtek monastery is one of the largest and most important monasteries in Sikkim. It is located on the top of a hill, 23 km from Gangtok. Originally called the Dharma Chakra Center, this monastery belongs to the Kargyu Buddhist sect originally from Tibet in the 12th century. Green and green mountains surround the monastery and therefore serve both as a visual gift and as a focal point for spiritual comfort. If you go up to the Rumtek monastery, you can have a breathtaking view of the whole city of Gangtok, just in front of the hill. Also, the architecture of the magnificent monastery is one of the best in the world.
The glorious Rumtek monastery houses a magnificent temple and monastery for monks who have established themselves to spread Buddhist teachings around the world. The sublime structure has a walkway around which monks, pilgrims, and visitors run Kora (a circuit around the monastery). The splendid monastery of Rumtek has preserved a golden stupa and several other sculptures belonging to the XVI Karmapa. It also serves as a store for many unique items as well as preserving some of the unique religious scriptures in the world. The huge prayer hall inside the imposing monastery is a must-see place that is decorated with magnificent murals, statues, and thangka.
Namchi, the seat of the southern district, is a thriving city that has quickly become a tourist landmark. It means “Top of the Sky” and the main tourist attractions are the two giant statues. These 2 gigantic statues collide on opposite slopes across Namchi and attract several tourists. Located in a picturesque setting. It offers great views of the Khangchendzonga mountain range and the Rangit valley. When you are here you can also visit Dichen Choeling monastery and Sherdup Choeling monastery. It is a well-known place to visit in Sikkim.
It is the capital of the southern district of Sikkim, which quickly becomes a tourist spot thanks to its pilgrimage centers. The largest statue in the world is also found here and is worth a visit. Several luxury hotels in Namchi are being installed and the existing hotels have good facilities to ensure you have a comfortable stay. The spas and bars in this city are very relaxing for tourists. About two kilometers from Namchi is the ancient Ngadak monastery. Located on a hill just above the Ngadak monastery is the imposing Rock Garden, which is a major tourist attraction due to the various unique flowers and plants that bloom every spring.
10. Drought Chorten
Do Drul Chorten is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim, located in the imposing valleys of Gangtok. It was built in 1945 under the supervision of the last Truslshi and Rinpoche. The Stupa has approximately 108 Mani Lhakor or prayer wheels. These wheels are engraved with important mantras that can be sung by turning them. The picturesque serenity and tranquility of Do Drul Chorten have attracted tourists and enthusiasts for years.
It is believed that the stupa of Korten was haunted by evil spirits until Lama Trulshig Rinpoche came to this place and built a stupa in 1946. The regime engraved on this stupa is Vajra Kilaya, which is considered one of the most important chorten of Sikkim. Inside the monastery is the complete set of Dorjee Phurba, sacred Buddhist texts, and other religious accessories. Do Drul Chorten has a Dharma preaching center in its home which was founded by Dodhrubchen Rinpoche. The stupa is surrounded by Chorten Lakhang which houses two immense statues of Guru Padmasambhava. This is a quaint place for people seeking comfort in the hill town.
Perched at a height of 10,000 feet above the average sea level, Zuluk (also called Dzuluk or Jhuluk or Juluk) is a delicate village located on the lap of the eastern Himalayas in Sikkim. The area offers panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, deep gorges, dense forests, and sparkling waterways.
Zuluk is proudly called an unspoiled destination as it is rarely crowded with seasonal tourists. To get a better experience of the fascinating places and the beautiful landscape, it is recommended to stay in host families proposed by the locals instead of in commercial hotels. You can also see army jawans, jeeps, and tents as you advance along some of these paths. Overall, visiting Zuluk will surely be an unforgettable experience for you and leave a lingering feeling in your heart.
12. Yumthang Valley
The famous Yumthang valley in northern Sikkim is located 140 km north of Gangtok. Famous as the “Valley of flowers”, it is a rare and exotic place with thermal springs, rivers, yaks, and green meadows. Located at an altitude of 3,564 meters, this imposing valley is a paradise for nature lovers because it houses the Shingba rhododendron sanctuary which has more than 24 species of rhododendron flowers (the state flower) in bloom from the end From February to mid-June.
Due to heavy snow in the region, the Yumthang valley is closed to tourists between December and March. Some hot springs are located in the Yumthang Valley, which is believed to have miraculous healing power. In addition to a cosmic green meadow, the lush green forest full of pine and silver fir trees fills the region. On the way to the Yumthang Valley, you can see gushing waterfalls and streams and a great view of the peaks with Pauhunri and Shundu Tsenpa.
13. Gurudongmar lake
Perched at 17,100 feet above sea level, Lake Gurudongmar is one of the fifteen highest lakes in the world. It is also the second-highest lake in Sikkim, after Cholamu Lake, which is located at a height of 18,000 feet. The splendid and picturesque beauty of the place is impressive and attracts tourists from all over the world. Lake Gurudongmar also has great religious significance and the splendid view of Mount Siniolchu and Kanchenjunga from the lake is a sight to behold and enjoyed. The water of Lake Gurudongmar is said to have healing powers and many tourists take the water with them on the way back. Gurudongmar Lake includes the best places to visit in Sikkim.
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and crystal clear ice water, people consider Gurudongmar is a very sacred lake. It is one of the sources of the Teesta River, which crosses Sikkim, West Bengal, and Bangladesh, to finally merge with the Gulf of Bengal. There is a “Sarva Dharma Sthal” nearby, which is also a popular place of worship for all religions. Lake Gurudongmar is located in Lachen, a beautiful town in northern Sikkim. And, we recommend spending a night in this city before visiting the imposing lake. The fascinating strategic position of Lake Gurudongmar and its proximity to other famous attractions further attract tourists and make it one of the most popular attractions in Sikkim.
14. Cholamu lake
The 14th highest lake in the world and the highest lake in India is Lake Cholamu, in northern Sikkim. It is located at an altitude of 18,000 feet above sea level, descending the slope to about 300 feet from the Pass. Donald (18,300 feet), it is possible to see this medium-sized lake, almost frozen for the first time. Lake Cholamu is located a few kilometers from the Tibetan border and is out of the reach of ordinary tourists. Special permits from the police / military administration and Sikkim are mandatory to visit Lake Cholamu. Lake Cholamu is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim.
Cholamu lake is also known as Tso Lhamo Lake. It is very difficult to obtain permission to visit this lake. Further, it is advisable not to visit this place during monsoons or winters. If you travel with your family, avoid visiting Cholamu Lake and visiting Gurudongmar Lake. However, if time permits and you can obtain the permit, choose Lake Cholamu. Since most travel agents do not risk their vehicles and drivers on this risky terrain. It is possible to walk to this impressive lake. The world does not have too many places with more sublime associations of this layer of calm waters, at 17,000 feet above the sea, with the shadows of the mountains 22k to 24k feet high, resting on its surface.
The capital of the West Sikkim district, Geyzing, is also known as Gyalshing. It is located at an altitude of 6,500 feet above sea level. Along with the tall and majestic Himalayan mountains surrounding the city. The Rangeet River has its source in the western part of the city. Leaving aside the picturesque beauty of nature that can be seen in Geyzing; The numerous monasteries located here make it a major tourist attraction.
Geyzing is one of the main cities in the West Sikkim district, as well as the district headquarters. The city is located at a distance of 10 km from Pelling. With the increase in the number of tourists who travel here every year. Geyzing has become a tourist resort. Moreover, it is also the main commercial and commercial city of this region. Yancey, a hill a few kilometers from here, is located on the top of a cliff. It offers a splendid panoramic view. And, directly below is the Rangeet River further on you can see the magnificent Kanchenjunga mountains. In addition to its picturesque natural beauty, this is among the best places to visit in Sikkim.