8 Thrilling Adventure Sports in Sikkim
Bordered by Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet, Sikkim is a northeastern wonderland in the Himalayas. These mighty snow-clad mountains, meandering roads, exotic wildlife, and thick forests are all venues for adventure activities in Sikkim.
This mountain state also boasts of clean towns, quaint villages, sumptuous food varieties, verdant surroundings, several tourist attractions, exquisite culture, fresh cool breeze and much more. It also gives you a chance to partake in adventure sports in India. If you are planning a visit to this state, do not miss out on these 8 adventurous things to do in Sikkim:
Tighten up your jacket, wear the helmet, and set your grip on the oars as you settle in your raft for facing the challenges of river rafting in Sikkim. The experience of rafting in the demanding icy cold waters of River Teesta and River Rangit is unrivaled. Offering you a high adrenaline rush, it is one of the best adventure activities in Sikkim. Both beginners and experienced rafters can go for this activity here.
River Teesta and its tributary River Rangit have grades from 2 to 4 and are popular on an international level for its rapids and intensity. The banks of these rivers are dotted with lush jungles, small mountain hamlets, and spots with terrace farming. One can also enjoy camping on the river banks. These well-equipped camps are set-up on clean white sands.
While in River Teesta, rafting starts from Makha going down towards Sirwani including Rangpo, during rafting in River Rangit, the raft starts from Sikip going to Nayabazar and ending at Malli. The best time is from May to November.
The rugged terrain of this state has vast stretches for mountain biking, a fairly new adventure activity. As you embark on mountain biking in Sikkim, savor breathtaking views of snow-clad mountains, admire the peaceful ambiance and gain more knowledge about the Sikkimese culture. This exciting outdoor activity is a combination of sightseeing, trekking and other memorable experiences. The best time for this activity is from April to May and from mid-September to October.
Popular mountain biking trails in Sikkim are:
- Gangtok- Rumtek- Sangh- Sirwani- Temi- Namchi- Jorethang- Melli
- Gangtok- Rumtek- Sang- Sirwani- Temi- Damthang- Rabong- Kewzing- Tashiding- Yusum- Pelling– Dentam- Rinchenpong- Soreng- Sombaria- Jorthang- Namchi- Rangpo.
- Gangtok- Rumtek- Sang- Sirwani- Temi- Namchi- Namthang- Rangpo
- Gangtok- Phodong- Rangrang- Dikchu Makha- Sirwani- Temi.
- Rangpo- Rhenock- Rongli- Barapathing- Pakyong- Ranipool-Gangtok-Rumtek-Sang- Temi-Ravang-Tashiding-Pelling-Khechopalri Lake-Yuksom-Rabong-Dikchu-Mangan-Lachung-Yumthang and back.
How do you like the idea of flying like a free bird in the sky? If this excites you, go for paragliding in Sikkim. The views of the majestic Himalayas and the green surroundings are going to be matchless. Tandem flights are offered by operators and no training is required for the same. One is accompanied by a certified paragliding expert who lets you enjoy a ride safely, navigating the flight himself. You just need to contribute in takeoff and landing. There is just one pre-requisite that the weight limit is 90 km.
There are two types of paragliding- Medium Fly and High Fly. While in the first one the altitude of around 1300- 1400 meters with flying time of 5-10 minutes, in the second one, the take-off site is 2200 meters with flying time of around half an hour. Paragliding is better enjoyed in the months of March to June and September to November. It is highly popular in Gangtok city, making it the best place to visit in June in India. There are a number of operators on the site of activity.
If you are physically as well as mentally strong, Rock climbing in Sikkim is just the perfect activity for you. It is all about agility, capacity and balance of the climber. All the gear for the activity is available at the operators but yes training is required for this activity. Bulbulay Dara in Gangtok is a popular site for this activity. This activity offers a huge adrenaline rush but requires one to have prior experience.
There are various climbing routes with varied features by IHCAE (institute for rock climbing) for climbers with varied levels of caliber. The institute has various rock climbing programs from 20 feet to 80 feet. The best time for this activity is from March to May and mid- September to mid- November.
There is Natural Rock Climbing and Artificial Rock Climbing. In artificial rock climbing, one climbs on a rocky wall indoors and the session is of around 2 hours. Basic Rock climbing is done at Chemchey in South Sikkim, with age limit of 10 to 60 years. And, in Advance Rock Climbing, the age group is between 16 to 50 years.
The northeastern state of Sikkim offers one of the best experiences in trekking. Every trek in Sikkim is different from the other but offers memorable experience because of its undulating landscape, untouched scenery, snow-clad peaks, verdant hayfields, gushing waterfalls, sleepy hamlets, friendly locals, exotic wildlife, old monasteries, variety of flora and much more. It is an ideal activity for adventure junkies, whether the trek is easy or challenging.
Some of the popular trekking routes in Sikkim are Sandakphu Trek, Goecha La Trek, Kanchenjunga Trek, Singalia Trek, Dzongri Trek, Rhododendron Trek, Monastic Trek, Lhaba Tarum Tsachu Trek, Tosar Lake Trek (North Sikkim), Himalayan Trek (South Sikkim) and Green Lake Trek. Before you check out for winter trekking in India, make sure you are physically and mentally fit, and have arrangements for guide, clothing, food, trekking equipment etc. The best time is from April to May and October to November.
Cable Car Ride
Cable car ride in Gangtok is surely one of the top things to do in Sikkim. This is an exciting ride which offers you a chance to savor the panoramic views of the town of Gangtok, Deorali bazaar, and snow-capped peaks. The Gangtok Ropeway is operational since December month in 2003 and has made the city popular as the winter holiday destination in India. 24 people can adjust on one cable car, enjoying a bird’s eye view as you take a ride for 1 km (one-way) in around 7 minutes. There are no seats in these cable cars.
There are three stations with the lowest station being at Deorali near Institute of Tibetology. The ticket counter is also present here. Wait for your turn, then take an elevator to the cable car station, which is 100 feet above. Namnang is the nest station and top one is Tashiling, which is just next to the Secretariat. Do not forget taking wonderful photographs. The cable car runs between 09:30 AM to 04:30 PM, on a daily basis.
Mountaineering in Sikkim is a relatively new activity but it is now one of the most popular adventure sports in Sikkim. Prior permission is required from Indian Mountaineering Institute if you wish to embark on this adventure. The best time is from mid-April to June, and from September to November or first week of December as the temperature is salubrious at this time.
Some of the most famous mountaineering trails in Sikkim are Mt Khangchedzonga (27,803 feet), Mt. Kabru (24,005 feet), Mt Siniolchu (22,610 feet), Mt. Thingchinkhang (6010 meters) and Mt. Jopunu (5936 meters), Mt. Pandim (22,010 feet), and Mt Rathong (21,911 feet). The views are magnificent. Mountaineers encounter high-altitude lakes, alpine meadows, lush fields, wildlife and much more. It is a wonderful experience for nature lovers too.
Yak Safari is one of the best things to do in Sikkim. Yak ride at Tsomgo Lake (35 km from Gangtok) is quite popular amid tourists. The lake lies at an altitude of 12,310 feet. Hop onto a yak’s back, and enjoy a ride through the hilly rugged terrain of the state, savoring the wonderful weather and breathtaking views of verdant valleys, snow-covered mountains and floral meadows.
The yaks are colorfully decorated with woolen knitwear on their forehead and horns. Bells are tied around their neck. Yak ride is also organized at Dzongri, in West Sikkim, a popular trekking point.
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