A hidden gem of the incredible India, Sikkim for long has waited to be explored. It’s a place with beauty personified. With luscious greenery, awe inspiring valleys, Himalaya Mountains and breathtaking views all around Sikkim has stood out for India in the North East tourism sector for a long time now. Sikkim is also known for its fine culture, food and ever friendly locals. From its steaming dumplings and sel roti Sikkim has lot to offer as far as food is concerned. Apart from many top attractions like Baba Mandir, Pelling Skywalk, Yumthang Valley, Gurudongmar Lake etc this place also offers activities like river rafting, trekking, paragliding etc.
Best Time To Visit
October to December and March to June is the best time to visit Sikkim – Darjeeling.
How To Reach
To reach Gangtok, capital of Sikkim, one has to reach either the nearest airport from it in Bagdogra (Bagdogra Airport or IXB) or the nearest railway station (NJP) or the Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand or Sikkim National Transport (SNT).
From Kolkata one can either take a flight from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) or book a train ticket from Howrah Junction (HWH) to New Jalpaiguri (NJP). Normally, the one way flight ticket will cost 2500 Rupees and train ticket will cost around 355 Rupees for a person.
Baba Harbhajan Mandir
Revered as the “Hero of Nathula”, Captain Harbhajan Singh was an Indian Army soldier who was martyred at a young age of 22 near the India- Chinese border in Nathu la, Sikkim. His death has become part of lores and a religious believe ever since where people believe that his spirit protects the Indian army soldiers near Nathu La. And to honor him people have fondly build a shrine in his name and refer to him as Baba Harbhajan Singh.
Also known as the Changu Lake, it’s a glacial lake on the Jawarharlal Nehru road which leads all the way to Baba Harbhajan Mandir and Nathu La. It’s located approximately 40 kilometres from Gangtok and the place has snow around it. The place has a ropeway which provides distinctly amazing view of the location in and around it.
Mahatma Gandhi Marg
No visit to Sikkim, especially the capital city Gangtok, can ever be complete without a visit to Mahatma Gandhi Marg otherwise popularly known as the MG Marg. Over the years, Sikkim has earned a reputation of being very clean and this road and place in Gangtok can be attributed as a testament to it. Located in the center of the city, this place acts as a hub for all the tourists and locals alike. Sprawling cafes, bar, restaurants, karaoke place, shopping markets, ATMs on either sides of it makes this place completely impossible to give it a miss.
Japanese Buddhist Temple
This place is otherwise known as the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple. It’s dedicated to the Lord Buddha. It is two storey structure elegantly built in Japanese style amidst the peaceful and serene environment and offers wonderful view of the lush green Darjeeling hills. The place has wooden staircases and is popular for meditation.
Because of the splendid sunrise and amazing panoramic view of Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga this place is a major attraction of the Sikkim- Darjeeling. Missing the sunrise view here can be termed as a sin. One will have to reach Tiger Hill as early as 5:00 AM in the Morning and quickly look for a spot there, as it gets crowded soon, to not miss the Sunrise there. It’s advisable to carry a binocular and a camera for one would definitely want to have a photograph with the rising sun against their face.
- Day 1 (Arrival at Bagdogra Airport/ NJP/ Bus Stand to Gangtok): Our local representative will greet and receive you at one of these places. From there it will be a 4-5 hour driving till your booked hotel in Gangtok along the NH31A and the green looking and beautiful Teesta river. One can also see some amazing views, Temples, Teesta Market along the way and can feel the cool and calm wind blowing against their face. There will be a stoppage for either lunch or snack. Evening can be used to either taking a stroll in the neighbourhood or a quick visit to famous MG Marg.
- Day 2 (Changu lake- Baba mandir): After breakfast at 9:00 AM. Our local representative will pick you up at around 10:00 AM for a visit to marvelous Changu Lake and historical Baba Harbhajan Mandir. One can do Yak rides, cable car ride, play in snow and click pictures there. By 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM you will return back to hotel. Dinner will be served from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
- Day 3 (Gangtok Local Sightseeing): Again after breakfast at the same time our local representative will take you on the local sightseeing tour. One can visit 6-10 local places including Zoo, Bootanical Garden, Bhanjakri fall etc depending on the usage of time. By 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM you will have to return back to hotel. Dinner will be served later as usual on time.
- Day 4 (Gangtok – Darjeeling): After breakfast you will start for Darjeeling which will take around 5 hours. After being checked in the hotel one can use the evening time to shop around in the neighbourhood.
- Day 5 (Darjeeling Sightseeing): Early in the morning at 5:00 AM you will have a visit to Tiger Hill where one can witness one of the best Sunrise in India. After which you’ll be brought back to hotel for freshening up and breakfast. After breakfast, our local representative will take you on a local sightseeing which includes Peace Pagoda, Darjeeling ropeway, Ghum Monastery, Japanese Buddhist Temple, Tea Garden etc.
- Day 6 (Darjeeling – Bagdogra Airport/ NJP/ Bus Stand to SIliguri): After breakfast if there is time one can take a ride of the heritage Darjeeling toy train and will have a drop to either the airport or the railway station or the bus stand. Our local representative will thank you for the visit and will wish you a safe and happy journey to back home with all those wonderful memories of the trip.
In Gangtok, one can use the evening time by visiting MG Marg which is the most happening place in the city. Usually, one can share a cab ride till there from their hotels for 20-50 Rupees or book the whole cab for 250-300 Rupees.