Sikkim: General Information
Location: Northeast India
Best time to visit Sikkim: The best time to visit Sikkim is from March to June and September to December.
Major cities: Gangtok, Jorethang, Namchi, Rangpo, Pelling, Lachen, Lachung
Tourist Attractions: Wildlife, religious places, Monasteries, white-water rafting, paragliding, mountain biking, trekking, Hot Springs
Summer (March to September): 13 °C- 28 °C
Winter (October to February): 0°C- 13°C
Interesting Facts That You must Know about Sikkim
- Every year in the month of summer from March to May, Sikkim organizes an International Flower Festival which is a rare show of 600 species of orchids, 240 species of trees and ferns, 150 varieties of gladioli, 46 types of rhododendrons along with a variety of magnolias and many other foliage plants.
- The tiny state of Sikkim has around Seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa, head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage, demonstrates the best of Tibetan architecture and is an almost replica of Tsurphu monastery. It houses some of the rarest Buddhist religious art objects, the priceless Black Hat (Vajra Mukut) studded with rubies, diamonds, gold and other precious stone, etc.
- Sikkim is a paradise for all the bird-watchers with the recorded 552 species including the magnificent Himalayan Griffon or the bearded vulture.
- Singshore Bridge in West Sikkim is considered the second highest suspension bridge in Asia.
- Kangchenjunga in Sikkim is the third highest mountain in the world, with an elevation of 8,586 m (28,169 ft) and located along the India-Nepal border in the Himalayas.
- Sikkim has more than 200 monasteries, temples, churches, mosques and gurudwaras and the State's unique Ecclesiastical Department caters to the functioning of these religious institutions.
- In 2012-13 the Union Ministry of Tourism had declared Sikkim the best State in the implementation of rural tourism projects.
Sikkim Tourism: An Overview
Ivy mountains decorated with green alpine trees, magnificent monasteries soaked up in rich cultural history, hues of flowers, verdant paddy valley, Sikkim has it all. This charming state is encircled by snow-capped mountains and beautiful scenery at every step. The state is a synthesis of beautiful sights and monasteries. Embark on a journey to Sikkim, and witness a wonderland where the beauty of nature is at its best.
Considered as the second smallest state in India, Sikkim is home to the world's third highest mountain peak, Kanchenjunga-acknowledged as Sikkim's guardian spirit. Kanchenjunga is the crowning glory of Sikkim. The mountain peaks of Sikkim rejuvenate one's soul, and bewilder spectators by the extravaganza of its natural beauty. Other then the mountains, the shimmering lakes also add to the beauty of the State. Gurudongmar lake in west Sikkim is located at an altitude of 17,100 ft. The state is known by different names to different people viz. The Lepchas, the original inhabitants of the land called it Nye-mae-el which means `paradise'. The Limbus named it Su Khim or new house' while to the Bhutias it was Beymul Demazong the hidden valley of rice'. The slopes of Sikkim are the perfect site for farming of ginger, fruit, tea and cardamom, which are produced in abundance. Sikkim is situated in the Shivalik hills of the eastern Himalayas at an altitude of 1,700 meters.
Sikkim is not only famous for its enchanting beauty, but for its alluring art and craft as well. People from India and abroad come to Sikkim and shop for eye catching handicraft and handlooms like carpets, wood carved furniture, Thangkas, canvas wall hangings, etc. Religious practices followed here are embraced from those followed in the neighbouring Nations. A tourist can see the influence of neighbourhood regions like Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal in the cuisines and culture of Sikkim.
Fairs and Festivals in Sikkim The people of Sikkim celebrate most of the festivals with zeal and enthusiasm. Buddhism is the religion which most of the Sikkim population follows, though they also celebrate many Hindu festivals like Dasain/ Dusshera, Tihar/ Diwali, Saraswati Puja, Maghe Sakranti, Janmastami, Vishwa Karma Puja, Holi and Ramnavami. Since most of the population follow Buddhism, they celebrate festivals like Saga Dawa, Lhabab Dhuechen, Drukpa Tsheshi, Phang Lhabsol, Losoong, Losar, Bumchu, Trungkar Tshechu, Kalchakra Puja and Kayged Dance with great fervour.
With over 5000 flowers found here, Sikkim hosts the International Flower Festival every year in the months of summer (March to May). This carnival is hosted to celebrate the region's ecology and put India on an international platform. The tiny state of Sikkim has around 600 species of orchids, 240 tree species and ferns, 150 varieties of gladioli, 46 types of rhododendrons along with a variety of magnolias and many other foliage plants. The main flowers on display are orchids, gladioli, roses, cacti, alpine plants, creepers, climbers, ferns, herbs, etc. The festival is worth a visit for all the nature lovers who want to get enveloped in the fragrance of the newly bloomed flowers.
Discover Adventure Sikkim is an ideal destination for all the travelers who want to quench their thirst for adventure. White water rafting, trekking, yak safari, mountaineering, mountain biking- name it and experience it in Sikkim. Adventure sports in Sikkim are a treat for all the voyage junkies. Whether a tourist wants to trek on old silk routes or wish to experience white water rafting in the Teesta River, adventure sports in Sikkim have something for everyone. A wonderland of adventure, Sikkim offers a wide array of adventure sports. Other famous sports which are practiced in Sikkim are archery, paragliding and hang gliding.
Serene Monasteries and Religious Sights The enchanting beauty of Sikkim is always mesmerizing and bewitching. Since the culture of Sikkim is inherited from Tibet Buddhist, monasteries form an integral part of the state. At present, Sikkim is home to more than 200 monasteries. Famous monasteries in Sikkim are Rumtek (overlooking Gangtok), Pemayangtse (Pelling, West Sikkim), and Tashiding (West Sikkim). Other than these monasteries, the list also includes Karma Kagyu monastery with its 200 year old murals (North Sikkim), Enchey monastery (Gangtok), and Sangachoeling Monastery (Pelling). These monasteries are adorned with beautiful sculpture and frescos. Monasteries in Sikkim are a storehouse of Tibetan manuscripts, exquisitely carved wood work and icons of silver and gold.
ther then monastery, Sikkim is a home town of many religious temples as well. Imagine a 108 ft long statue of Shiva, enclosed with 12 Jyotirlinga (temples) amidst the mountains! One can see the models of sacred Chardham and an 18-feet statue of Kirateshwar (reincarnation of Lord Shiv) at Siddheswar Dham.
Flora and Fauna in Sikkim: Charming mountains, historical monasteries, lush green valley, Sikkim is an ideal retreat for every tourist. Other than its beauty, Sikkim offers a perfect getaway in the midst of memorable sunrises. Despite being the second smallest state in India, wildlife in Sikkim covers a huge variety of animals. The alpine forest of Sikkim is an ideal habitat for most of the extant species like the Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Red panda, Musk Deer and Blue Sheep. If a tourist wants to catch a glimpse of colorful birds, then Sikkim is home to many extinct and endangered birds as well. Sikkim holds the status of being the best state in India in terms of rural tourism. The state is renowned for its astounding variety of 450 bird species, 400 species of butterflies, 450 types of orchids, and 40 species of rhododendron.
Come and explore much more about this blessed state, as holidaying here can be an unbeatable experience!