Sikkim is one of the smallest Indian states but don’t be fooled by the size of it. The place has some amazing and cheap holiday destination that will take your breath away. This state is surrounded by Himalayan Mountains and its stellar beauty will definitely make you say WOW!
Sikkim offers much more than your average hill station. Here is a list of the best and cheap holiday destinations in Sikkim. Let the scrolling begin!
It is almost impossible to resist the charm of this city. Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim and the first Indian city which is completely litter and spit free. Nathula Pass and Tsogmo lake are two of the most popular destinations in Gangtok. If you want to stay near the hustle-bustle of the city, MC Marg is a good choice. Aside from MG Marg, all other places in Gangtok are on the peaceful side. If you are planning to visit Nathula Pass, take necessary precautions as the air is pretty thin there. It is one of the cheap holiday destination.
Trekking enthusiast must visit Yuksom as you will find some of the most amazing trekking trails into the Himalayas and Kanchenjunga. Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain peak in the world (8,586 meters). This place is not yet popular among tourists so you will find low to moderate crowd here. The weather here remains pleasantly cool throughout the year. Dubdi Monastery is the first monastery established in Sikkim and so it is a worth paying a visit.
NATHULA PASS –
Nathula Pass was a part of the historic Silk Route. The pass is at a staggering height of 4,310 meters. Indian nationals can visit this pass but they have to take permission from the tourism department. Foreign tourists are not allowed to visit this pass. This pass connects Sikkim with Tibet. The place receives heavy snowfall during winters so it is advisable not to travel during that time of the year.
This is a charming and cheap holiday destination in Sikkim. It is located at an altitude of 8610 feet. Lachung is actually the name of the river that flows here. During monsoon and winters, the place is shut down completely. It is an unexplored gem in the northern part of Sikkim. People come here to see tall dark mountains, waterfalls, fruit orchards, and glacial rivers.
RUMTEK MONASTERY –
It is one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Sikkim. Perfect for mental peace, this place is an ode to Buddhism. The monastery opens at 9 AM and closes at 6 PM. The taxi drop off location is pretty far from the monastery so wear comfortable shoes to cover the distance.
Namchi is around 90 kilometers from Gangtok and is counted as one of the most beautiful cities in Sikkim. Most of the terrain here is covered with tea plantations. Namchi Mahotsav is held every year in the month of October. You will find the best traditional food during this time. Also, Namchi is the home to the world’s largest Buddha statue; Buddhist Padmasambhava.
JAWAHARLAL NEHRU BOTANICAL GARDEN –
This place is close to Rumtek Monastery and features a large variety of exotic flowers, plants, and trees. Some of the species are found only in this part of the world and have high medicinal and commercial value. The entry fee is INR 10 and the garden is open throughout the week from 8 AM to 6.30 PM.
TSOMGO LAKE –
Tsomgo Lake is also called Changu Lake. It’s 38 kilometers out of Gangtok and stands at an altitude of 12,400 feet. The lake freezes during the winter season. To visit here, you need a permit from the tourism department at MG Marg. The color of the water changes here according to the changing seasons. Locals believe that the water in the lake has medicinal values.
Zuluk is located on the sidelines of the silk route. This destination has started receiving tourists recently. Mount Kanchenjunga is clearly visible from Thambi View Point. Also, you will get plenty of photo opportunities here. However, to reach here, you will have to go through 32 hairpin bends and you might end up feeling a bit sick. Elephant Lake is a must-visit destination in Zuluk.
This picturesque location is situated at a height of 17,800 feet. Gurudongmar Lake is the prime attraction here as it is one of the very few freshwater lakes over an altitude of 15,000 feet. Tso Lhsmo Lake is what locals call this lake. A portion of the lake is blessed by Guru Padmasambhava and it doesn’t freeze even in the chilliest of weathers. April is perhaps the best time to visit this place as flowers bloom around this time and the place looks absolutely surreal. However, since it is near the Indo-China border, you will need a special permit to visit here.
Honorable mentions: Yumthang Valley, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Do-Drul Chorten, Ravangla, and Pelling.