Life is not all about exploring the world. Feel the mystical essence of Buddhism around you, visit places in Sikkim and its host of monasteries. And if you happen to like them, maybe, volunteer with the monks and master the art of giving at one of the best places in India !
Best time to visit : March to June and September to December
How to reach :
Attractions : Nathu La, Hanuman Tok, Rumtek Monastery, Khecheopalri Lake, Tsomgo Lake, Phodong Monastery, & Teesta River in Gangtok, Yumthang Valley, Buddha Park of Ravangla, Kanchenjunga Falls, Lingdum Monastery, and Singshore Bridge
Average Temperature:18 degree celsius
With the spectacular view of the Mt. Kanchenjunga in the backdrop and the alluring clouds covering the peaks, Gangtok appears to be an intact painted picture. This beautiful hill station is located amidst the mountains and clouds. And alongside that it is also a base for many trekkers who hike up to the Himalayan ranges. It is one of the most beautiful hill stations which has a blend of traditions and urbanisation.
Extremely alluring, pleasantly boisterous and wreathed in clouds - Gangtok, the capital city of the Sikkim can also give you a spectacular view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, at a distant skyline. The pristine hill station nestled in mountains and clouds is also a base for a whole lot of trekkers to the Himalayan mountain ranges. The mesmerising prismatic beauty and the beautiful winding hill roads are even more breathtaking if seen from a bird’s eye view in a cable car.
The name meaning hill-top, Gangtok can be safely said to be one of the most beautiful hill stations in the country. With everything in just the right amount from a blend of cultural identities to urbanisation, Gangtok is a breathing and dynamic bit of paradise of the northeast. It has an amazing view of mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world. Also like everything around it, Gangtok is abundant in natural beauty and has various natural attractions such as the Tsomgo Lake, Ban Jhakri falls, Tashi viewpoint and more. Other places to visit include the Enchey Monastery, Ganesh Tok, Do drul Chorten Rumtek Monastery, etc. Also, river Teesta is one of the best spots for white water rafting in North East India.
Best time to visit : Late September to November and March to June
How to reach :
Attractions : Nathu La Pass, Rumtek Monastery, MG Road
Nathula, one of the highest motorable roads in the world, is a mountain pass in the Himalayan peaks that co-joins Sikkim and China situated on the Indo- Tibetan border 14450 ft. above sea level, Nathu La is one of the most important Himalayan passes in the country. Nathu means 'listening ears', and La means 'pass'. Nathula is one of the three open trading border posts between India and China and is famous for its picturesque beauty and beautiful environment. The temperature here remains low for most parts of the year, and it becomes a hotspot for tourists during summer.
Nathula Pass Weather and Best Time to Visit
Nathula Pass experiences heavy snowfall during winter. The temperature of this area may drop down to -25 degrees Celcius. If you really love snow, you can visit Nathula Pass in winter with thick woollen garments. May to mid-November is the summer season when the temperature ranges around 10 degrees Celcius.
MG Road is the heart of Gangtok and its most happening place. It is the central shopping hub of this beautiful state capital with various shops, restaurants, and hotels lined up along both sides. MG Road is an open mall or boulevard square which is widely regarded to be the town centre and is the best shopping destination for tourists. This is a great place to take a leisurely stroll or just sit on the benches and revel in the eclectic ambience.
The first thing one notices when on this approximately 1 km stretch of road is the cleanliness. There are boards everywhere which say "Welcome to M.G. Marg, Spit, and Litter Free Zone". The entire area is free of smoke, litter, and vehicular traffic. It's a pedestrian-only zone, and vehicles are not allowed. The buildings on both sides of MG Road in Gangtok are painted green in line with the government's green initiative. This place is also famous for the Gangtok Food and Culture Festival which is an extravaganza held in December every year and thronged by connoisseurs from all over.
The Statue of Unity overlooks MG Road which comprises of the figures of Bhutia Chieftain Khye Bumsa, the Lepcha leader Thetong Tek and his wife Ngo Kong ngol. This statue promotes peace, love, and harmony. About midway is an imposing statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Other eye-catching additions are the Victorian lamps and various benches along the path. Gangtok's MG Road looks stunning after dark when the lights are lit making it a much-thronged place in this quaint hill town.
Perched between the mountains at a dizzying height of 12400 ft above sea level, the Tsomgo Lake is one of the few high-altitude lakes in India situated on the Gangtok- Nathu La highway. Also popularly known as Changu Lake, it is a part of every tourist's itinerary and for a good reason - the overwhelming scenic beauty. Enveloped by steep snow-capped mountains and resting between a bright green carpet of alpine forests, the charming beauty of Tsogmo Lake is bound to leave you in awe. The lake's mesmerising scenic allure combined with its legendary significance to the locals definitely makes it a must visit attraction of Sikkim.
Tsomgo Lake is a glacial lake that derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains around it. This glacial lake is famous for its colour changing waters. Monsoons see a bright aquamarine lake whereas, in the winters, it freezes into a translucent cover of ice. As the summer approaches in mid-May, the periphery of this lake is dotted with a thousand blossoming flowers that lend the waters a riot of vibrant colours.
In the Bhutia language, 'Tso' means lake and 'Mgo' mean head and essentially means 'source of the water', holding immense religious and cultural significance to the Bhutia people. Considered as a sacred lake by the Sikkimese, Changu Lake is associated with many myths and legends. They say the Buddhist monks used to analyse the colour of the lake to forecast the future !
Average temperature : 22 degree celsius
Restaurants : OSM Restro & Lounge, Taste Of Tibet