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Friday, June 26, 2009

Sikkim in North East India

Sikkim is a little paradise enclosing prettiest of landscapes and natural attractions. It sits on the lap of the mighty Himalayas, and houses ethnic Buddhist Gompas, frothy lakes maneuvering through the valleys, opulent forests, an assortment of tribes and wide variety of wildlife species is all that your soul would have demanded for an ultimate sojourn.


Location: Located in the north eastern part of India, Sikkim is a small state curled between the international borders of Nepal, Bhutan and China.

Climate: Winters are generally chilly, with temperature dipping to minus 4 degree Celsius, summers are pleasant and monsoon months receive heavy rainfall. Sometimes it rains non-stop for several days.

Best Time To Visit: March to June and September to December

Languages: Nepali, Bhutia (Sikkimese and Tibetan), Hindi, English.

Main Festivals: The main festivals celebrated in Sikkim include Losar, Saga Dawa, Bumchu, Phang Lhabsol, Kalcharka Puja, Namsoong, Sakewa, apart from the the famous Hindu festivals like Dussehra, Diwali, Janmashtmi, Sankranti, Holi, etc.


Gangtok: Being the capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok, provides you with a glance of what all this beautiful state has to offer travelers. One will be mesmerized by the greenery, cloud draped peaks, orchids, monasteries, lakes, parks and winding roads. The main attractions of the place are Do Drul Chorten, Enchey Monastery, Tsongmo Lake, Lal Bazaar, Ganesh Tok and Hanuman Tok.

Yumthang Valley: The deserted valley of Yamthung is located in North Sikkim. It is the place of hot springs that have healing properties. The valley is covered with beautiful and colorful flowers, specially Rhododendron and Primula. The best time to visit here is during February/March, when the valley seems to be a flowerbed.

Rumtek Monastery: Rumtek Monastery is the largest monastery in Sikkim. It is located in eastern Sikkim. It is a sacred pilgrimage site for the Buddhists, which is also known as the Dharma Chakra Centre. It remained an important seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage for several years.

Tsomgo Lake: Also known as Changu Lake, it is a place of worship for the Sikkimese, due to the presence of a Shiva temple located close to the lake. The color of the water here was used in earlier times, to predict future, by the Buddhist saints. The lake and its nearby areas offer a very pleasant sight for the travelers, to spend a quiet evening.

Pelling: For an overwhelming sight of the Kanchenjunga peak, there cannot be any other place than Pelling. From the comforts of the resorts and hotels here, you can have a glimpse of the great Himalayan peak. Apart from the mountain peaks, other attractions of the place are Pemayangtse Monastery, Kechepalri Lake and Sangay Waterfall.

Tedong Hill: Tedong Hill is a famous attraction of Sikkim, known for its scenic views of the green hills and valleys and calm atmosphere. Located in south Sikkim, Tedong Hill is mostly visited by Buddhist monks, who come here to meditate in the peaceful surroundings.

There are a numerous options available for adventure sports in Sikkim. It would definitely be a thrilling though a back breaking experience to try out mountaineering here on the Himalayan peak of Kanchenjunga, for the trained climbers. Other less severe areas for rock climbing would include Kabru and Sinolchu. One can also try out other sports activities like mountain biking, river rafting, hang gliding, kayaking and other less dangerous activities like fishing, yak safari,etc. These enthralling sports will definitely satiate your thirst for adventure.


The tribal population of Sikkim, creates a magical spell on this island, not with their mantras but with their vibrant and colorful culture, art and rituals. People belonging to the tribes are very humble and kind. They believe in celebrating life and wearing elaborate accessories. The main tribes belonging to Sikkim are the first comers, Lepchas, who mainly follow Buddhism or Christianity, the Bhutias and the Nepalese. They are the largest contributors to the Sikkim's cultural heritage. Other tribes of Sikkim include Limbu, Thakurs, Chettris, Gurangs and Tamangs.


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