Are you Planning a trip to Sikkim? and cant figure it out what you should do during your visit? Well, RLT will show you 10 things that you must do when you visit the land of twenty-eight mountain peaks, twenty-one glaciers, 227 high altitude lakes, five hot springs, and over 100 rivers and streams. SIKKIM.
Feel the crisp and clean mountain air. Escape into the least populated state of India to get a view of The world’s third highest peak, Kanchenjunga.
Sikkim, the second smallest state of India, inhabited by India’s most friendly people, with a charming and slightly shy nature. Plunge into a world full of snow capped mountains with breath taking views, green mountain valleys, interspersed occasionally with rice terraces and groves of flowering rhododendrons.
10) EAT, DRINK, TRAVEL, REPEAT!
Bid adieu to your monotonous routine. Given above is your brand new and enthralling routine when you are visiting Sikkim.
- To really savour some true Sikkimese atmosphere, visit a village tongba-bar for some local millet beer which has a strong ritual importance among the tribes, strong enough to give the drinker a mild kick.
- dishes to savour are : Thukpa/ Gya-Thuk( noodle soup with vegetables), Kinema (traditional fermented soybean food, Chhurpi (cottage cheese), MOMOS, Mesu, Tama, Masauyra.
9) VISIT MONASTERIES
Sikkim has more than two hundred monasteries, temples, churches, mosques and gurudwaras. Some of the famous monasteries are :
- RUMTEK MONASTERY : demonstrates the best of Tibetan architecture, houses some of the rarest Buddhist religious art objects, the priceless Black Hat (Vajra Mukut) studded with rubies, diamonds, gold and other precious stone, etc.
- ENCHEY MONASTERY : Its sacredness is attributed to the belief that Khangchendzonga and Yabdean – the protecting deities – reside in this monastery and these powerful deities always fulfil the wishes of the devotees.
- DUBDI MONASTERY: One of the three oldest monasteries built in 1701, Dubdi means ‘the retreat’. It is located near Yuksum on a hill top and One has to travel by foot to reach it.
- For more information on monasteries, click here.
8) ADVENTUROUS ACTIVITIES
- MOUNTAINEERING : situated in the very lap of Mount Kanchendzonga, third highest peak. Sikkim naturally offers a unique opportunity to explore the mount.
- TREKKING : with the help of the adventure division of Sikkim Tourism, trek can be hatched. The best period for trek is between March to May or somewhere between October to December.
- RIVER RAFTING : two rivers: the Teesta and Rangit gush through the paradisic country, proving it to be a heavenly abode for river rafting.
- Others include yak ride, mountain biking.
7) EPITOME OF NATURAL BEAUTY : LAKES
Most of the lakes in Sikkim are considered sacred and they depict flawless natural beauty.
- Tsomgo lake : situated 38 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft, lake derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake and, home of brahminy ducks, remains frozen in winters, special permits are required by the tourists
- Gurudongmar Lake : one of the highest lakes in the world, located at an altitude of 17,100 ft n remains completely frozen in the winter, believed to have miraculous properties and lake itself has many legends behind it and you will be short of words to appreciate the beauty it offers.
- Other famous lakes are : Khecheopalri lake (west sikkim), Lampokari Lake (east sikkim), Menmecho Lake.
6) VISIT THE VALLEY OF FLOWERS
Yumthang, is popularly known as ‘Valley of Flowers’ , a home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, has over twenty-four species of the rhododendron, the state flower. Located at a distance of 148 kms from Gangtok.,it is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating blend of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenic beauty.
5) GET A DIP IN HOT WATER SPRINGS
- There are many hotsprings, the most important being Phur Cha-chu at Reshi, about 12-km from Jorethang. Other hotsprings are Borong Cha-chu, 7-km from Rabongla, Ralang Cha-chu, one hour trek from Ralang monastery.
- sulphur baths in Sikkim’s natural hotsprings in the months of February and March
- these natural spas are said to have strong curative powers,which drais away physical and mental aches.
4) FLORA AND FAUNA
- A paradise, with recorded 552 species of birds and 690 species of butterflies.
- is home to around 5,000 species of flowering plants, 515 rare orchids, 60 primula species, 36 rhododendron species, 11 oak varieties, 23 bamboo varieties, 16 conifer species, 362 types of ferns and ferns allies, 8 tree ferns, and over 424 medicinal plants.
- Nowhere in the world in such a small area can one find flora and fauna of all varieties : Blood Pheasant , Red Panda, Blue Sheep,rare Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Orchids, Rhododendrons
3) SACRED CAVES
Spread in 4 directions , are the Four Sacred Caves – Sarchog Bephug in the east, Khandro Sangphug in the south, Dechenphug in the west and Lhari Nyingphug in the north.
Buddhist texts suggest that it was after a series of meditations in these caves that Padmasambhava was known to have blessed the sites of some of Sikkim’s future monasteries and stupas.
2) PASSES OF SIKKIM
- Located at 14, 400-ft, Nathu-La, links India with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China
- one of the highest motorable roads in the world and is richly surrounded by alpine flora
- located at 13,999 ft in East Sikkim District of Sikkim, The famous Menmecho Lake lies below the Jelep La Pass.
- The route is scenic with forests of rhododendrons blooming in spring.
Other passes are Dongkia Pass (North Sikkim), Chiwab.hanjang Pass (West Sikkim)
1) BUY YOURSELF A SOUVENIR
- Thangka painting is a unique Sikkimese art which consists of hand painted religious scrolls in brilliant colours drawn on fabric.
- not a mere decorative piece but a powerful aid to tantric meditation
- bring auspiciousness, peace or drive away evils, depending on the deity painted on the scrolls.
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