Far away, nestled in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, Sikkim is a wonderful state bestowed with profound natural beauty. Once a remote Himalayan mountain kingdom, this politically stable state is today opening up to be the most endearing places for hill tourism. Gorgeously landlocked with amiable natural wonders, Sikkim offers a soothing reverence to the soul through its picturesque valleys, harmonious mountain views, and the serene monasteries. Apart from this, the state`s unmatched aspects of the rich heritage and docile people also substantially attribute to its authenticity.
Sikkim weather in January :
Extreme winter in Sikkim is probably experienced during the months of December till late March. However, the amazing icy landscapes, grey forests and frozen lakes are totally worth the contentment. Though most of the high-altitude passes, valleys and lakes experience snowfall but the chilling effect can be experienced in other low altitude places too. Besides the entire area turning white with the winter theme, another fascinating aspect of Sikkim in January is the delightful and inviting religious festivals like the Christmas, Maghay Sakranti, Lossar, and Mangan Music festivals.
Bestowed with amazing natural vistas and uninterrupted trekking trails leading to Kanchenjunga, the historic town of Yuksom is the perfect getaway for people who are looking forward to spending peaceful moments in the lap of nature.
Interesting Facts: Yuksom was the first capital of Sikkim established in the year 1642 AD by Phuntsog Namgyal, the first temporal king of Sikkim.
- Hotels: Yuksum Residency, Hotel Red Palace, Hotel Tashigang and TG Stays Yuksom.
- Photography: Landscape, birds, rhododendrons and religious monuments.
2. Tsomgo Lake:
Tsomgo, one of the most popular Sikkim sightseeing places is undeniably a dream destination for every ardent traveler. The meandering mountain routes camouflaged with white snow and crystal clear waters of the lake is the first thing that crosses our mind.
- Earlier monks used to study the color of the lake to forecast the future.
- Restricted area permit is required to visit Tsomgo.
- The lake has installations of prayer wheels marking it as a sacred place.
Hotels: Central Shangrila Resort & Spa, Gangtok, Hotel Sonam Delek, Hotel Crystal Palace, and Denzong Shangrila Resort.
Photography: A delightful paradise for photo fanatics to capture the mesmerizing landscape of the glacial lake being surrounded by snow-clad mountains.
Zuluk is a tiny beautiful settlement in East Sikkim which is a less explored yet most attractive and rewarding places in the state. The backdrop of gorgeous snow-covered peaks, spellbinding panorama and the serene ambiance of Zuluk thus makes it a must-see destination.
- Zuluk is a lesser known destination of East Sikkim.
- It is compulsory to obtain permits for visiting the place.
- It used to be the transit point to historic Silk Route from Tibet to India.
Hotels: Zuluk Sojourn Homestay, Gnathang Residency, Silent Wood Retreat, and Golden Trout Residency.
Photography: Capture the spectacular sunrise moment and impressive 32-hairpin bend routes of Zuluk.
Gangtok, the first ever litter and spit-free zone of India is also a town famous for its upgraded fashion trends and astounding natural allure. Camouflaged with immense authentic glory and serenity, this most happening town of Sikkim proves to be more than a paradise for its visitors.
- Gangtok town is the capital of the North-Eastern Himalayan state Sikkim.
- MG Marg is the most happening area of Gangtok.
Hotels: Hotel Tibet, Hotel Potala, Tamarind Residency, and Hotel Royal Residency.
Photography: MG Marg and nearby places like Banjhakri Falls, Flower Exhibition Centre, and monasteries.
Tucked in the Himalayas, Nathula Pass also forms a part of the side-shoot of the famous prehistoric Silk Route. Its winding routes, yak safaris, and the world`s highest points makes Nathula a definitely must-see destination of Sikkim.
- A place called Sherathang in Nathula homes the nation`s highest altitude internet cafe.
- Another place called Kupup nests the second highest “golf course” in the world.
Hotels: Gnathang Residency, Golden Trout Residency, Econest Home Stay, and Palzor Home Stay.
Photography: Silk Route and the natural landscapes.
Pelling is rather a place famous for the unparalleled views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, historic monasteries, and the very popular Rabdentse ruins. Do not forget to include the attractive Pelling, Sikkim sightseeing places in your tour itinerary. Some of them are Pemayangtse Monastery, Sanga Choeling Monastery, Singshore Bridge, Chhange Waterfalls, the sacred Khecheopalri Lake.
- Pelling was the original capital of Sikkim from 1670 to 1814.
- Pelling has a helipad ground.
- It is the home to Asia`s second-highest suspension bridge Singshore Bridge.
Hotels: Hotel Sikkim Aurora, Floret Hotels & Resorts, Yangthang Szimkha Resort, and Summit Newa Regency.
Photography: Apart from nature, one can capture the magnificent views of the valley below Singshore Bridge and Rabdentse Ruins as well.
7. Gurudongmar Lake:
The holy lake of Gurudongmar is an exceptional piece of wonder that draws the attention of numerous tourists all year. Named after Guru Padmasambhava, the lake is considered to be holy by the local residents.
- Gurudongmar Lake is located at an elevated height of 17,100 ft.
- It is among the highest freshwater lakes in the world.
Hotels: Magellan`s Apple Valle Inn, Apple Orchard Resort, Delight Hotels Royal Lachen, and Hotel Snow Retreat.
Photography: Scenic picture of the glacial-fed lake and prayer flags installed all over.
8. Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley:
Lachung, Lachen, and Yumthang are the extremely beautiful places in Sikkim which draw many nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts and photo fanatics every year. Winter is probably the best time to discover entire Lachung covered in deep snow with the bright colors of huts, cottages and bare trees popping out of the soft mounds of white.
- Lachung is the base camp for Rhododendron Valley Trek.
- It is the home to the largest Buddhist shrine (Lachung Gompa).
Hotels: Yarlam Resort Lachung, Modern Residency, Hotel Tenzing Retreat, and Himalayan Residency Lachung.
Photography: Nature landscape, flora, cottages and winter snow.
Graven with dense forests and impressive mountainous surroundings, Ravangla is no less attractive destination of Sikkim. The 130 ft towering golden Buddha statue nestled amidst the beautifully manicured garden is something Ravangla is notable for.
- There are a number of historic monasteries to visit in Ravangla.
- Notably famous for the giant Buddha statue at Buddha Park.
- The sought destination for hikers and trekkers.
Hotels: Hotel Blue Spring Residency, LookBoong Hotel Ravangla, Hotel Rabtenling, and Hotel Zumthang.
Photography: Landscape, monasteries, and Buddha Park.
Namchi, Sikkim is the home to two magnificent statues in the nation; one which is credited with introducing Buddhism in the region i.e. the Buddhist statue of Guru Padmasambhava, and the other impressive white statue of Lord Shiva at Solophuk Hill.
- Namchi has the average literacy rate even higher (78%) than the national average rate.
- The world`s highest statue of Guru Padmasambhava located on the Samdruptse hill is on the opposite to Namchi.
Hotels: Hotel Hangkhim, Hotel Kesang, Hotel Tareeba Namchi, and Hotel Dhondup Khangsar.
Photography: Char Dham and the gigantic statue of Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rimpoche.
The bustling town of Jorethang is an important transportation hub for the West Sikkim. Probably not a famous tourist site but Sikkim sightseeing packages can take you Rinchenpong, where one can indulge in the village life, hot spring baths, and holy caves.
Interesting Facts: Jorethang is an important transportation for its South region and most parts of Sikkim.
Hotels: River Side Retreat, Hotel Rangeet Valley, and Hotel Namgyel.
Photography: Hots springs, and caves.
So, if you dare the chilling cold weather, then embark on Sikkim sightseeing tours this holiday season because guys, winter is almost here.