Sikkim

Sikkim is a state blessed by Natures Marvels. One can find this mountainous region blooming with flowers in the spring and frozen lakes in winter. Gangtok, the capital city is a modern hill station with all amenities. The weather is pleasing most of the year and its Buddhist past has a tremendous appeal. The Institute of Tibetology, Do-Drul Chorten, Enchey Monastery, Rumtek Monastery and monasteries at Pemayangtse and Tashiding are visit worthy places. Among other places are the sacred and serene Changu Lake, Khecheopalri Lake, the quaint hamlet of Pelling, the traditional “Lepcha” village at Chungthang, the view of the magnificent Kanchenjunga peak at Singhik and the remote and flower-bedecked valley at Yumthang. There are numerous activities attracting adventure tourism enthusiasts like trekking in Tendong Hill, the Versey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Menam Hill and Dzongri Trail. Hang-gliding at Jorethan, Kayaking and River Rafting on the river Teesta, Mountaineering and Mountain biking can be thrilling experiences.
Sikkim being mountainous terrain does not have an airport or railway network. The nearest airport is Bagdogra in West Bengal and nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri. Gangtok can be reached by road from Siliguri, Darjeeling, Bagdogra and New Jalpaiguri.
Best Time to visit: March to May and then October to mid-December
Languages Spoken: Nepali, Sikkimese
Climate: Temperate climate with pleasant summers, heavy rainfall during monsoon and cold winters
Holy Places: Do-Drul Chorten, Enchey Monastery, Rumtek Monastery, monasteries at Pemayangtse and Tashiding
Places to visit: Institute of Tibetology, Pelling Hamlet
Natural Wonders: Changu Lake, Khecheopalri Lake, Singhik
Adventure tourism: Hang-gliding at Jorethan, Kayaking and River Rafting on the river Teesta, Trekking in Tendong Hill, the Versey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Menam Hill and Dzongri Trail and Mountain biking
Mountaineering Peaks: Freys Peak, Jopuno, Tinchenkhang, Byrmkhangse and Lamo Angden

Yuksom – a peaceful abode in the laps of Eastern Himalayas

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Yuksom is still regarded as the base camp of Kanchenjungha, although ascent from Sikkim side has stopped over a decade ago. The mountains are revered as God by localites and stepping foot on the sacred slopes amounts to desecration of the divine forces. Kanchenjungha is abode of the Gods. We came across camps of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Their basic and advanced mountaineering courses are conducted at Rathong Glacier, the starting point of which also happens to be Yuksom.

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नाथुला पास का यात्रा वृत्तांत

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ऐसी विषम परिस्थितियों में भी सीमा के प्रहरियों को मुस्तैदी से डंटा देख उन्हें सलाम करने का मन हुआ  और हमारी खुशकिस्मती थी कि उनके प्रति आभार और सम्मान व्यक्त करने का अवसर भी मिला। हमारे जाँबाज़ सिपाही जान पे खेल के ना सिर्फ सीमा की सुरक्षा करते हैं, बल्कि हम जैसे यात्रियों की सुविधा का भी ख्याल रखते हैं।

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Queen of The Himalayas: Darjeeling

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I couldn’t pen down my trips since 4 year in ghumakkar but remain a silo reader & virtual traveller nonetheless. Coming up with few for places & few more memories to take you guys for a virtual tour… North East was on the list from a long time & finally got a chance to execute it, in summer breaks of 2016. Took almost one month in finalising the itineraries & enquiry with tour operators about weather & Road conditions. Just after flight booking I came to know that Monsoons strikes early in North east & bridge is broken after Mangan. Tourist got stuck in b/w who headed for Northern zone ( Lachun & Lachen etc.) .As gurudongmar lake was not possible in that case, so excluded North Sikkim from the plan & decided for remaining Sikkim within one week.

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Enchanting Sikkim

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Sikkim is a state in East India in the Himalayan foot hills. We started our journey from Delhi, where we took Deccan Air flight to Bagdogra, which is the nearest airport to Gangtok and is around 4 hours drive. At the airport, we took a local cab service (that we had booked in advance), the driver was waiting for us at the airport and thus began our tour of the exasperating Himalayan abode.

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Trek to Goecha La – Yuksom to Dzongri

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We gathered in small groups in the tents to chat and while away the time. Dinner was served at around 8 p.m. at the one- room camp house which was occupied by cook Sumit Rai and his men. When I had ventured out of my tent around mid-night to go to the toilet-tent, I was awestruck on seeing small silvery snowflakes dropping from a clear sky. The moon shone in its silvery best.

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Summer in Sikkim-way to Pelling

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We crossed the border to enter Sikkim. Smooth good road replaced the bumpy and potholed road, air became cooler, traffic lighter and River Rangit replaced Teesta. Soon there was no traffic at all. We were the only one on the road and River Rangit was there, revealing its beauty to prove Aaroop right. Yes!!! Rangit was dancing, flirting and romancing with us. I have traveled along rivers in Uttaranchal, Himachal but nothing like this.

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The road less travelled – Kolkata to Kaluk

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At about 1 p.m. Tara took his first halt at Teesta Valley. Very near to this place is the point of White Water River Rafting on Teesta. The area is dotted with a few small eateries run by the local villagers. Tara took us to one named Tashi Restaurant. All the eateries here, as this one, are very basic. I am a bit apprehensive about eating at small joints as the hygiene factor is low, but had no other alternative here. However, the good food coupled with the beautiful Teesta flowing beside the eatery made me set all thoughts aside for a few moments. Had it been some other place, such a beautiful locale would surely have been commercialized and turned into a Mc Donald’s or KFC with the wealth again going to the rich hands.

Our car moved on towards Jorethang. Tara was true. The stretch from Malli to Jorethang was in really poor condition. Although it was for wider and better roads in coming days, the ride was extremely stressful for us. Clouds of dust engulfed us at short intervals. We are much more impatient than our counterparts residing at higher altitudes.

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Enchanting Sikkim, Disappointing Darjeeling

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The next day, we visited the main market of Gangtok, M.G. Road. The market is pedestrian friendly, as no vehicles are allowed to ply on this road. Being at this place gave us a feeling of being somewhere in Singapore or Malaysia. The best of brands, right from Bata to Adidas and Lee Cooper to Louis Vitton dominated the signboards. The shops displayed not only the brands, but also the local stuff, especially, trendy woolens and shoes. The locals are well and fashionably dressed to the extent that the tourists from the metros appear to have outdated knowledge of fashion.

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Gangtok-Namchi-Pelling-Darjeeling tour- part 2

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Pelling is a small place, which offers an exceptional view of snow-covered Kanchenjunga mountain range from almost everywhere, from your hotel room to the small street you are walking on. After having breakfast, we started our journey from pelling to Darjeeling, as our night halt for that day was in Darjeeling, but we were to cover good places in between.

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Gangtok-Namchi-Pelling-Darjeeling tour- part 1

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We walked down to MG Road, and found it is such a nice open place with no-vehicle movement and lots of good eating and shopping options. Such large area for pedestrian and kids were just so happy in running here and there. We should also have something like this in Delhi NCR too; all we have here are malls or congested markets with no place to walk. I found Gangtok a very safe place for girls too.

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