Sikkim Vacations- Travel to the Sikkim to explore the mystical beauty of its landscape and distinctly different lifestyle of the people. The place will leave you spellbound.
Explore Sikkim - The Picturesque Destination of North East India
Overlooked by the worlds third largest peak, Mt. Kanchanjunga, Sikkim is the second smallest state of India. This tiny Himalayan state draws its name from the Tsong word Sukkum which means new or happy house. Lepchas, the original inhabitants of Sikkim call it Nyeme-el (paradise) while the Bhutias who came in later call it Beymul Denzong (the hidden valley of rice). Once a kingdom ruled by the Chogyal king, Sikkim merged with the democratic India after the people revolted against the 12th Chogyal king.
Spread over an area of 7096 sq km, the people of this divinely beautiful land are divided into three ethnic groups-Lepchas(the original inhabitants), Bhutias(who came from eastern Tibet) and Nepalese(who came from Nepal and today form the majority population of Sikkim).
From tourism point of view, Sikkim promises her visitors an amazing and truly unique destination to explore. The perfect time to visit is from March to June. To reach Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, the nearest railhead is at Jalpaiguri (125 kms). Nearest airport is 124 kms away at Bagdogra in Siliguri in West Bengal where scheduled flights operate from Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. The Bagdodra airport is also connected to Gangtok by daily helicopter service which takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Gangtok. The main road link between Gangtok and the rest of the country is through Siliguri(110kms). Tourists can also reach Gangtok from Darjeeling(90 km) and Kalimpong(70 km) by road.
Major Tourist attraction
Dharma Chakra Centre : Located at an altitude of 5800 feet, the Dharma Chakra Centre or the Rumtek monastery is the main exile seat of Kagyu lineage. The main seat of the Kagyu lineage is in Tibet and was established in the 12th century. However, in 1959 when China invaded Tibet, his Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa came to India and established the Rumtek Monastery near the 300 year old Kagyu monastery. The building is a reflection of the old elegant Tibetan monastic architecture. The monastery is worth visiting not only because of its historical relevance and beautiful structure but also because of its colourful festivals like Losar or the Tibetan new year the festivity of which is carried on for 8 days.The summer and winter Drupchens or the grand sadhana practice are also major events during which tourist can enjoy the sacred dances.
Enchey Monastery : Founded in 1849 during the reign of Thutob Namgyal, the Enchey monastery is the place of solitude. The monastery is built on a site sanctified by a renowned tantrik known for his flying powers. Buddha, Loki Sharia, and Guru Padamasambhava are worshipped by people in this monastery which is also a house to numerous images of gods, goddess and religious objects. The major attraction of the Enchey monastery is the annual puja celebration held on the 18th and the 19th of th twelfth month of the Tibetan calendar. Since the monastery is located on a hill top above Gangtok, tourists can have a complete view of the beauty of the capital city of Sikkim. located on a hilltop above Gangtok.
Tashi View Point :From a few kilometers from the Sikkim capital is the Tashi view point. Built by the late king of Sikkim Tashi Namgyal, this point provides an awe-inspiring view of Mt. Kanchanjunga (Khang-chen-Dzonga) and Mt.Sinilochu. An early morning visit is the perfect time to enjoy the splendour, tranquility, and beauty of the surrounding area. A resting shed and a small cafeteria ensures that the tourist do not face any problem. An ultimate picnic spot, Tashi view point is must see for all visitors.
Tsomgo Lake :The beautiful lake located at an unbelievable altitude of more than 12000 feet on the Gangtok Nathu La highway literally means source of the lake. This one kilometre long and fifteen metres deep oval lake comes within the restricted area zone and hence an Indian tourist cannot enter it without an inner line permit. Special permission is required for foreign tourists wanting to enjoy the idyllic beauty of the lake and its surrounding area. The lake which is considered holy by the localites also has a small temple of lord Shiva on one side. Visitors find this place calm and soothing and a perfect place to relax . However, for a more adventurous tourist Yak Safari is also a possibility.
Adventure Tourism in Sikkim
Sikkim has immense opportunities for travellers who enjoy venturesome and a happening vacation instead of just a sight seeing trip. The landscape of Sikkim is suitable for many type of adventure sports including trekking, mountain biking, mountaineering, river rafting, kayaking and even Yak Safari.
Trekking :Trekking in Sikkim provides tourists an opportunity to explore the far reaching areas. Most of the trekking destination, being under 14000 feet, prior experience of climbing is not a necessity. Trekkers, during their expedition come across beautiful places and magical views of the Kancanjunga mountain. The base camp for trekking is usually Yuksom.
Mountaineering :Mountaineering in the beautiful mountain ranges of the Himalayas provide tourists with an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. May to October is the perfect time for a tourist to undertake a mountaineering expedition. A well laid out plan is essential before setting out on actual expedition as a clearance needs to be obtained from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation.
River Rafting :River rafting can be enjoyed on Teesta and Rangit rivers (Rangit river is the tributary of the Teesta river). Rafting in the Rangit river is more challenging experience and the rafters need an experience to cope with the difficulties posed by the turbulent waters.
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