Sikkim is a paradise for nature lovers and also tourist destination for all seasons, It situated on the Himalayan hills. The landscape of Sikkim features rolling mountainous terrain, Temperate forests, alpine pastures and glacial lakes, vertiginous cliffs, deep gorges, and picturesque waterfalls, a Cold Mountain desert on its northern end forms its borders with Tibet. A compelling combination of magnificence and soberness can be experienced in the most dramatic convergence of its topographical features, foot hills, steep mountains and snow clad peaks of the Himalayas blend into each other to represent the finest examples of ever transforming images portrayed by its landscape and jaw dropping range of variations in elevation.
About 45 minutes drive from Gangtok, 24 kms. away, is the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center, the seat of the Kagyu order, one of the 4 major Tibetan Buddhist sects. Since the late 1960's, after the arrival of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the center houses some of the world's most unique religious scriptures and religious art objects. Traditional in design, it is almost a replica of the original Kagyu headquarters in Tibet.
Tashi View Point
Situated along the North Sikkim highway it is only 8 kms. from Gangtok. From this point you get a breathtaking view of Mount Khangchendzonga and Mt. Siniolchu, one of the most graceful peaks in the world.
Yumthang, at an elevation of 11,800 ft. & 140 kms. from Gangtok, is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating blend of flora & fauna and breathtaking scenic grandeur. Yumthang "Tsa-Chu" or the hot spring on the left bank of Lachung Chu is immensely popular for its curative and healing power. Covered with rhododendron shrubs and trees, the entire valley erupts into a riot of colors in May. Lachung, a quaint village which has its own unique beauty and lifestyle. On the way to Lachung is Singhik where one can see the magnificient Kanchendzonga range in its splendour./p>
Lachung (2,684 m/ 8,610 ft.) is a beautiful remote Bhutia Village with a unique self - governing body called the Dzumsa, which substitutes the modern Gram Panchayat. Lachung has emerged as a tourist destination with the soaring popularity of Yumthang Valley, which is just 24 kms away from Lachung..
At the base of Maenam Hill is Ravangla, a small township and transit to various tourist destinations in South Sikkim and West Sikkim . It is also an upcoming tourist spot, and transit point for trekkers to Maenam Hill and Borong. There are accommodation facilities and numerous short nature trails. A trek down to the sacred cave "Shar Chok Bephu", one of the holiest caves in Sikkim.
Pelling is fast growing to be an urban settlement due to tourist influx. Situated at an altitude of 6,800 ft, it offers a good view of entire mountain ranges and due to this locational advantages, many hotels and lodges have mushroomed in and around Pelling offering various categories of accommodation facilities. There is a bus service which links Pelling to west district headquarter town of Gyalshing , situated at a distance of 10 kms. from Pelling.
It is literally known as "source of the lake " in Bhutia language. Just about 40 kms. away from Gangtok, the capital of the state, this serene lake is situated at an altitude of 12,000 ft on the Gangtok Nathu La highway. It falls in the restricted area and hence an inner line permit is required by Indians to visit this place. Foreign nationals are not permitted to visit this lake without special permission. The lake is about 1 km. Long, oval in shape, 15 meters deep and is considered sacred by the local people.
It connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass, at 4,310 m (14,140 ft) above mean sea level, forms a part of an offshoot of the ancient Silk Road. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan. On the Indian side, the pass is 54 km (34 mi) east of Gangtok, the capital of Indian state of Sikkim on JN Marg and only citizens of India can visit the pass, that too after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.
Ropeway in Sikkim
If you are at Gangtok you must visit ropeways or cable car located at Deorali market. This cable care journey is not included any local tour packages and this place can be easily reached by taking a local cab from any hotel. This rope way of about 1 km long has three entry points or stops. The lowest point is at Deorali market and the highest point is at Tashiling ( below the state secretariat ). There is a mid point stop at Nam-Nang. One can enter from any point and return to same point after touching other two points.
River rafting is relatively new in Sikkim. Graded on the international scale at Grade IV, the icy cold waters of the Teesta, with a series of rapids with varying intensity and character is one of the finest rafting stretches in the world. Ask us for an overnight camp by the river Teesta.
Sikkim Paragliding Association (SPA) a body formed to promote Aero sport and Tourism in Sikkim is an initiative of the professional paragliding pilots and educated unemployed youths and also fully supported by TAAS, Tourism and Sports & Youth Affairs Dept.
Gangtok MG Market
An important transit point on the busy trade route with Tibet at one time, Gangtok - is the hub of all administrative activity of Sikkim & a charming peaceful laid back town (elevation, 1,780 m/ 5500 ft.) − the present capital of Sikkim- today has become the base from which tourists can plan their exploration of Sikkim. This district is the most commonly visited area in Sikkim. Sikkim has emerged into the mainstream of the Tourism Industry with more & more national as well as International tourists visiting this peaceful Himalayan state every year. All modern facilities in terms of accommodation / transport & communications are available here.
It is situated on a ridge & is only 07 kms away from Gangtok. From this spot one can get a bird's eye view of sprawling Gangtok town down below. Adjacent to it is a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Adjoining the temple is a beautiful Pine tree forest reserve.
Scrupulously & appropriately maintained by resident units of the Indian Army this is a hindu temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman which is situated about 09 km uphill from Gangtok at an altitude of 7,200 ft. Popular belief has it that wishes made here are fulfilled.
Flower Exhibition Centre
The Pride & joy of Sikkim where the world famous Orchids are on exhibition along with seasonal flowers & bonsai. Flower exhibitions are organized around the year at the Flower Show Venue near White Memorial Hall Complex, Gangtok. Orchid shows held during the spring season is one of the most popular shows organized in the state.
Namgyal Institute Of Tibetology
Just another one minute walking distance from the Chorten lies the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology built amidst a small forest of oak, magnolia & birch trees. This Institute treasures a rare collection of antiques, manuscripts, ritual objects, thanka paintings, rare statues, over 200 Buddhist icons & precious objects of arts. It is also a worldwide centre for study of Buddhist Philosophy & Religion. The foundation stone of this Institiute was laid in February 1957 by his holiness the Dalai Lama & was inaugurated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in October 1958. The Institute also has a retail outlet where related books & commercially produced religious art & craft of Tibet can be bought.
Do - Drul Chorten
One of the most important stupas in Sikkim built by Trulsi Rimpochee, head of the Nyingmapa order containing rare mandalas of Dorjee Phurba (Bare Kilaya) Holy Mantra Books, & encircled by 108 prayer wheels. Chorten Lhakhang & Guru Lhakhang surrounds the chorten, where there are two huge statues of Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rimpochee, the patron saint of Sikkim.
This monastery is nearby to Pelling situated at an altitude of about 6840 ft. / 2072 m. It is the most important monastery of the Nyingmapa order & was built in the late seventeenth century by Lama Lhatsum Chenpo one of the revered Lamas to have performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal (religious monarch) of Sikkim & has been considered as one of the premier monasteries in the State, having been entrusted with the task to perform all religious functions of the erstwhile monarch. The monastery houses numerous religious idols & other objects of worship, most of which are priceless because of their antiquity.
Barsey / Hilley
Barsey is situated at an altitude of about 10000 ft. & is 70 kms from Pelling, is known as the garden of Rhododendrons. This place is accessible from Hilley through a 4 km bridle footpath, which takes one up to the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary (1600 m − 3600 m).
Gurudongmar Lake is a high altitude sacred Lake with an exotic view surrounded by snow peaked mountains. Gurudongmar Lake − the desert mountains, is another 40 km / 2 hrs drive ahead of Thangu Valley / Chopta Valley.