South Sikkim is the famous religious and cultural hub of Sikkim, which is also renowned for its natural wonders. Sikkim is the northeast state of India, which is divided into 4 districts - East, West, North, and South. All of the districts have their own headquarters and so does the South Sikkim, which is Namchi. The religious and cultural essence of Sikkim is best observed in South Sikkim due to the presence of centuries-old monasteries or Gompas. Other than its peaceful and religious aura, there are many winning things about South Sikkim. Here tourists can explore the cluster of natural beauty in the form of lush green forests, pristine waterfalls, unique flora and fauna, and snow-wrapped mountains.
The availability of thrilling adventure sports like river rafting, camping, and trekking makes South Sikkim a paradise for adventure enthusiasts. South Sikkim is the smallest district in Sikkim but not in terms of experiences. It is nestled at an elevation of 400 m to 2000 m (approx.), which gives commanding views of the snow-capped Himalayas and vast stretches of valleys.
Ready to manifest the best experiences of South Sikkim on your holidays? Bookmark our meticulously crafted South Sikkim travel guide 2021.
Why visit South Sikkim?
The reasons to visit South Sikkim are nowhere different from the usual reasons to visit the entire Sikkim. But there is one distinction in South Sikkim which is unique. South Sikkim is the only place in this state where the first and only tea garden is located. “The Organic Temi Tea Estate” tea is considered top-notch and thus, widely served in the international markets. Tea lovers can savor the famous tea and learn about the plantations. Another special thing about South Sikkim is it has replicas of 12 Jyotirlingas and features a giant statue of Lord Shiva, a must-visit for the Mahadev’s devotees.
South Sikkim is less explored and a paradise for offbeat travelers who wish to spend some time amidst the unexplored natural beauty. The crowd is less and tourists can make a hassle-free escape from their reality along with indulging in adventure sports like boating, rafting, and forest walks. There are many tourist attractions in South Sikkim, which boasts stunning views of the Kanchenjunga peak.
How to reach South Sikkim?
Travelers can reach South Sikkim via three ways - air, train, and road. However, the best way to reach South Sikkim depends on the distance tourists are coming from. If someone is coming from a long distance like metro towns, it is best to reach the nearest airport to Sikkim, in Siliguri- Bagdogra Airport. The distance from South Sikkim to Bagdogra Airport is around 130 kilometers and it takes around 6 hours (approx.). Outside the airport the shared taxis, jeeps are operational. If someone is coming from the nearby Sikkim villages, it is best to arrive at the closest railway station - New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, 125 kilometers and it takes around 6 hours (approx.). From the outside of the rail junction, the taxis are operational. Road travel is convenient and suggested from Sikkim's other districts, including East, West, and North.
How to Get Around South Sikkim
The best way to get around South Sikkim is by hiring a private taxi, self-drive car, or bike. Travelers with family must select the private taxi exploration option for comfort. While the backpackers can enjoy the thrill of mountain biking.
Best Time to Visit South Sikkim
The best time to visit South Sikkim is from April to June and September to February. These months mark the summers and winters respectively and the roads get clear for vehicular commute within the South Sikkim trails. Any time of the year is a good time to visit South Sikkim except monsoon as in this season the region experiences landslides. Other than the monsoon factor, the temperature and weather fluctuate significantly and go below zero in the winter months. Summers are balmy and salubrious, which makes the sightseeing tour comfortable.
Places to Visit in South Sikkim
For a vacation of a lifetime, there are many beautiful places to visit in South Sikkim. This region of Sikkim is known for jaw-dropping locales and panoramic views. Shutterbugs would be spoiled with landscape beauty because of the pictures of Buddhist monasteries, lush green valleys, snow-capped peaks, and unique flora and fauna. The charming locals of Ravangla, Naamchi, Skip, Jorethang, Borong, and Rabong are welcoming for tourists. Aside from the mainstream tourist attractions in South Sikkim, it has several hidden trails for trekking and greenery loads for camping fun with your loved ones.
Things to Do in South Sikkim
Even though the spectacular views of Mount Kanchenjunga come to mind when thinking of South Sikkim, you will be delighted to know that South Sikkim has an unending list of things to do in South Sikkim. This district of Sikkim has emerged as the hub of the best outdoor activities in which you can participate to test your adrenaline. Witness the glorious sunrise at Ravangla over the snow-capped peaks. Take your binoculars to Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary to spot Marbled Cat, Barking Deer, and Red Panda. Come across the 87 feet (approx.) statue of Lord Shiva at solophok. Get amazed with the replicas of the 12 Jyotirlingas at the same place. Enjoy rafting the rapids of Rangeet River at Sikip. Add any of these adventure activities in your sojourn to South Sikkim.
How Many Days Are Enough to Visit South Sikkim?
3-5 days (approx.) are sufficient to visit South Sikkim and enjoy relaxing sightseeing of the best tourist attractions in South Sikkim.
Average South Sikkim Trip Cost
14,000 INR - 55,000 INR (approx.) per person is the average budget for visiting South Sikkim. The trip cost also depends on several factors including the type of accommodations, mode of transport, sightseeing places, and duration of the trip.
Note: *Prices are subject to change according to your style of travel and number of days.
Accommodation in South Sikkim
The best views of the Himalayas and the green valleys right outside your room window type accommodations in South Sikkim are in plenty. Ravangla has a budget, medium, and luxury hotels for tourists. A handful of them includes Hotel Meanamla, The Barfung Retreat, and Club Mahindra Baiguney. The same accommodation type you will find in all the places to visit in South Sikkim. The very best hotels in Namchi include Sobralia Casino Resort and Spa for a rejuvenating experience with your special one.
Where to Eat in South Sikkim
Not only South Sikkim, but the entire Sikkim is well famous for its culinary delights. This district of Sikkim is surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet and has a huge influence on food. The Tibetan delicacy - Momos, in South Sikkim, is a treat to your taste buds. Dhindo is yet another dish to relish when you are in South Sikkim. The dish has its origin in Nepal and has been fondly eaten and prepared by the locals in the valley. You must savor Kinema Curry, which is a favorite amongst the locals of Sikkim. You could locate the dining options in South Sikkim at almost all the tourist attractions. The best restaurants in South Sikkim are Unique Veg Restaurant in Namchi, Black Cat Dosa Point at Bardang, and Kookay Restaurants in Ravangla.
Shopping in South Sikkim
Take back the finest tea in India from the Temi Tea Garden. Shop the Tibetan woolen carpets and canvas paintings. South Sikkim is just like every other shopping place in Sikkim so, you can buy fluttering flags and handcrafted and handwoven souvenirs from Naamchi, Ravangla, and Borong.
Useful Travel Tips to South Sikkim
- Foreigners need restricted area permit for South Sikkim travel
- Know how to deal with Acute Mountain Sickness at Ravangla’s altitude of 7,000 ft (approx.)
- Monsoon is not the ideal time to plan due to landslides
- Early summers and early winters are the best time to visit South Sikkim