General Information

Sikkim is one of the smallest state of India came into existence from 1975. It was an independent country ruled by the Chogyal Monarchs until it was merger with India as an independent state in 1975. The state is Legendary for its peaceful nature and simplicity. Sikkim shares boarder with Nepal in the West, Tibet in the North, Bhutan in the East and the rest with the state of West Bengal in India. Situated in the Himalayan ranges it is known for its diversified flora and fauna.

Sikkim is situated in the Eastern Himalaya boast of its rich bio-diversity and high mountain ranges. Kanchanjungha, the third highest peak in the world is located in West Sikkim. Tourism in Sikkim is gaining popularity day by day because of its natural beauty. Now it is one of the hottest and preferred tourist destination in eastern himalaya. Sikkim is also famous for various Monastery. Gangtok is the capital of the state. It's a very clean city and the centre of commercial activity. Gangtok is the home of Orchids and butterflies. In last few decades it become the hotspot of tourist and travelers.

Pelling is another tourist spot in West Sikkim. Its become the hub of tourism activities in West Sikkim. Pelling is about 133 km away from Siliguri (West Bengal) and 125 km from Gangtok. Pelling attracts most of the visitors for its glorious history, nature and culture of the state and the magnificent view of the snow-capped mountains of Kanchanjungha. Pelling is an ideal gateway for tourists as its vicinity has numerous waterfalls, soft trek routes, villages and soothing atmosphere for all discerning. Scenic of Pelling is beautiful and it attracts so many tourists every year and gradually its increasing. One can visit Sikkim any time except the Monsoon i.e. June to August.

The Places of Tourist Interest in Sikkim
Gangtok, Pelling, Ravangla, Namchi, Chayatal, Lachung, Lachen, Tsongo Lake, Baba Mandir, Nathu La Pass, Yuksom, Yungthang, Gurudongmar Lake.

The Tourist Places in and around Gangtok:
Rumtek Monastery, Fifty Mile view point, Tibetology Institute, Do-Drul Chorten, Govt. Cottege Industry, Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, Phodong Monastery, Tashi view point, Botanical Garden, Yumthang, Lachung, Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake, Tsongo Lake, Nathu La Pass, Baba Mandir.

The Tourist Places in and around Pelling: Khechepalri Lake, Sangay Waterfall, Pemayangtse Monastery, Singshore Bridge, Rimbifalls, Dubdi Monastery, Yuksom, Rock Garden, Ravangla, Kanchanjungha Waterfall, Fambrong waterfall.

Gangtok

Gangtok is located at 27.3325°N 88.6140°E (coordinates of Gangtok head post office). It is situated in the lower Himalayas at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The town lies on one side of a hill, with "The Ridge", a promenade housing the Raj Bhawan, the governor's residence, at one end and the palace, situated at an altitude of about 1,800 m (5,900 ft), at the other. The city is flanked on east and west by two streams, namely Roro Chu and Ranikhola, respectively. These two rivers divide the natural drainage into two parts, the eastern and western parts. Both the streams meet the Ranipul and flow south as the main Ranikhola before it joins the Teesta at Singtam. Most of the roads are steep, with the buildings built on compacted ground alongside them.

The Tourist Places in and around Gangtok
Rumtek Monastery, Fifty Mile view point, Tibetology Institute, Do-Drul Chorten, Govt. Cottege Industry, Ganesh Tok, Hanuman Tok, Phodong Monastery, Tashi view point, Botanical Garden, Yumthang, Lachung, Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake, Tsongo Lake, Nathu La Pass, Baba Mandir.

Pelling

Pelling is a town in the district of West Sikkim, India. Pelling is nestled at an altitude of 2,150 m (7,200 feet). The town is located at a distance of 10 km from the district headquarters of Geyzing. A regular bus service connects the two towns. However with the influx of tourists, the region is undergoing a metamorphosis, with the roads being repaired and hotels being set up.

The Himalayas and the Kanchenjanga may be viewed at close quarters from Pelling. Pelling also forms the base from where trekkers and other peripatetic adventurers undertake the strenuous and arduous treks in West Sikkim. The land around Pelling is still a virgin territory and is bathed with alpine vegetation, with numerous waterfalls lining the hillside. In the months of winter, Pelling is sometimes covered with a blanket of snow.

Pelling is 115 km from the state capital Gangtok and about 135 km from Siliguri, the nearest railhead and airport. Regular jeeps connect Pelling to the towns of Jorethang, Kalimpong and Namchi. The nearest airport is Bagdogra airport.

Most of the people of Pelling are Buddhists and speak the Sikkimese language. Other languages spoken are Nepali, Hindi, and English.

The Tourist Places in and around Pelling
Khechepalri Lake, Sangay Waterfall, Pemayangtse Monastery, Singshore Bridge, Rimbifalls, Dubdi Monastery, Yuksom, Rock Garden, Ravangla, Kanchanjungha Waterfall, Fambrong waterfall.

Ravangla

Ravangla or Ravongla is a small tourist town situated at an elevation of 7000 ft in South Sikkim district of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is connected by state highway to other major towns in the state and lies between Pelling and Gangtok. It acts as the starting point for the trek to maenam la wildlife sanctuary.

Ravangla attracts a lot of Himalayan birds and is a bird watcher's paradise. Birds like verditer flycatchers, blue-fronted redstarts, grey bushchats, dark-throated thrush, blue whistling-thrush, green-backed tit and white-browed fantails can be easily spotted.

The forests around Ravangla have other birds like laughingthrushes, babblers, cuckoos and hill partridges. The rare satyr tragopan can also be spotted in Ravangla.

Lachung

Lachung is a town in northeast Sikkim, India. It is located in the North Sikkim district and is near the border with Tibet. Lachung is at an elevation of about 9,600 ft or 3,000 m and at the confluence of the Lachen River and Lachung Rivers, tributaries of the River Teesta. The word Lachung means "small pass". The town is approximately 125 km from the capital Gangtok.

Lachen

Lachen is a town in North Sikkim district in the Indian state of Sikkim. It is located at an elevation of 2,750 metres. The name Lachen means "big pass". The town is being promoted as a tourist destination by the Sikkimese government. The town forms the base to the Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake. An annual yak race, the Thangu is held here in summer.

Lachen is about 129 km from Gangtok, and can be reached via a six-hour road journey. A short two-day-long trekking route also connects Yumthang Valley to Lachen. It has a population of around 1000. Lachen has its own system of rules and regulationscalled Dzumsa. The heads of the Dzumsa are known as Pipon & Gyenbos.

To the north there is the old town of Thangu. In Thangu the daytime temperature varies from 4 to 12 degrees Celsius (40 to 55 °F) even in the months of June and July.

Gurudongmar Lake can be reached from Lachen, a sacred lake in the Great Himalayas Region.

The best time to visit Lachen is from November to June.

Nathu La

Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayas. 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. Only citizens of India can visit the pass, and then only after obtaining a permit in Gangtok.

Yuksom

Yuksom is a historical town in Geyzing subdivision of West Sikkim district in the Northeast Indian state of Sikkim. It was the first capital of Sikkim established in 1642 AD by Phuntsog Namgyal who was the first Chogyal (temporal and religious king) of Sikkim. The coronation site of the first monarch of Sikkim is known as the "Throne of Norbugang". Yuksom is where there is the Norbugang Chorten near the Norbugang throne, the place Namgyal was crowned and several monasteries and a lake. The dynastic rule of the Chogyals lasted for 333 years.

Yumthang Valley

Yumthang Valley is a grazing pasture surrounded by the Himalayan mountains in the North Sikkim district of Sikkim, India. It is at an elevation of 3,564 metres (11,800) above msl at a distance of 150 km from the state capital Gangtok.

It is popularly known as 'Valley of Flowers'.[4] It is also home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, and has over twenty-four species of the rhododendron, the state flower. A tributary of the river Teesta flows past the valley and the town of Lachung, the nearest inhabited centre. Yumthang is closed between December and March due to heavy snowfall.

The rugged Himalayan range at Yumthang

A forest rest house is the only permanent residence in the valley. During the spring months, the area blooms with rhododendrons, primulas, poppies, iris and other flora. During the summer months, villagers take their cattle to these heights to graze (a practice known as yaylag pastoralism). In view of increasing number of tourists, there is possibility of environmental degradation in near future.[5] Skiing is conducted in the valley.

Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake or Gurudogmar Lake is one of the highest lakes in the world, located at an altitude of 17,800 ft (5,430 m). It lies in the district of North Sikkim in the state of Sikkim in India, only some 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Chinese border. The lake can be reached by road from Lachen via Thangu.

This fresh-water lake is located northeast of the kanchenjunga range in a high plateau area connected with the Tibetan Plateau. Gurudongmar lake provides one of the source streams of the Teesta River. The source of Teesta, the Tso Lhamo Lake, lies some 5 km (3.1 mi) to the east. One can seek permission from the army to trek from Gurudongmar Lake to Tso Lhsmo Lake.The lake remains completely frozen in the winter months from November to Mid-May.

Entry Rules in Sikkim

Indian tourist can visit Sikkim without obtaining any permission. To visit Sikkim all foreign nationals are required to obtain special permit. Foreigners are allowed for 15 days to visit Sikkim. It can be extended another 30 days in two parts i.e. 15 days and then 15 days. Permit can be obtained from different places like Siliguri, Darjeeling, Rongpo etc. Permit can also be obtained from Indian Embassy at different places. Foreigners are need to carry 02 nos. photograph and copy of passport.

Foreign Nationals are strictly restricted to visit Nathu La Pass, Gurudongmar Lake and few some other places in Sikkim. Indian tourists are required to take special permission to visit Tsongo Lake and Nathu La Pass. Active Tourism will help to get the permission. All permits can be collected from the Indian Embassy in different Countries. It can also be collected from Foreigners' Regional Registration Office in Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or the Office of the Assistant Resident Commissioner, Govt. of Sikkim, Kolkata or The Office of the Deputy Director-Tourism, Govt. of Sikkim, New Delhi. Visitors/Tourists from Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar can be given Inner Line permits only after approval from Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India at New Delhi. Any Foreign Diplomats, Members of International Organization and United Nations Officials are required to take their permit from the Office of the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi.