up in the eastern Himalayas, the picturesque state of Sikkim sprawls below
the mighty ranges of Mount Kanchendzonga (8,534 m), the third highest in the
world. And this is not all. There are forested valleys, rambling rivers and
verdant hills that remain skirting this exotic land. The interesting
culture, varied scenes, adventure options and some moments of quiet render
Sikkim one of the most preferred destinations to make a trip to.
From March to May, you can soak up the abundant sunshine. During this
period, the maximum temperature records 28 degrees centigrade. November to
February is the winter time, with temperature dropping down to a minimum of
4 degrees centigrade. Monsoons extend from June till August and the average
rainfall shows 325 cm.
Important Cities & Towns
Boasting a wonderful location, Gangtok is the capital of the state. It is
positioned on the western side of ridge that flanks the Ranipool River.
There are a number of other significant places one can make a trip to. Most
important of these include Upper Tadong, Singtam, Rangpo, Jorethang, Mangan,
Namchi, Naya Bazar and Gezing.
People & Culture
The population of Sikkim comprises three ethnic groups Lepchas,
Bhutias and Nepalese. Each of these communities maintains its own identity
and you can easily distinguish them. Lepchas, however, are considered to be
the original inhabitant of the state. These people can be seen residing in
the northern part of the state. Bhutias have arrived here from the eastern
Tibet. Nepalese, who form the third ethnic group, form the majority of
state's population. All the major Hindu and Buddhist festivals are
celebrated in the state. Nepali and English are chief languages spoken here.
Others include regional dialects like Tibetan, Bhutia, Lepcha etc.
Famous Travel Attractions
capital city of Gangtok itself is an assimilation of numerous sights and
sounds. The photogenic pagoda-roofed houses, perfectly in contrast with the
red-attired lamas, along with the stunning backdrop of the Himalayas, make a
sight of a lifetime. At a distance of 24 km from the capital, you would be
visiting the renowned Rumtek Monastery, exhibiting ancient religious
scriptures and other antiquities. Driving 40 km from Gangtok will get you to
Tsomgo Lake, ringed by snowy hillsides. One of the most ancient monasteries
in Sikkim is the Pemyangtse Monastery, a must-see for tourists and pilgrims
alike. Another site that needs to be mentioned is the Khechepalri Lake. For
adventurers, there are options of trekking and mountaineering. For tougher
souls are excellent river rafting options long the Teesta and the Rangit
Air/ Rail/ Road Links
Sikkim has no airports and is served by the nearest airport of Bagdogra
(125 km from Gangtok) in West Bengal. The airport has regular flight to the
cities of Delhi and Kolkata. New Jalpaiguri (Near Siliguri, West Bengal) is
the closest railway station. Owing to a good road network, Gangtok is easily
accessible through the northern areas of the state of West Bengal.