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Places to Visit in Sikkim

Sikkim is one of the most appealing states in the northeast that attracts visitors worldwide. This beautiful state shares its boundary with three countries; Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and China.The combination of natural charm and pleasant climate make it a charming state of India. Tourist attractions in Sikkim have immense beauty that will win your heart. And these tourist places have the potential to hold the attention of global tourists. There are stunning hill stations, rich wildlife sanctuaries, clean hamlets, and more to explore. Rich culture and heritage, coupled with some of the best places to visit in Sikkim, attract visitors worldwide. It would be silly to say that Sikkim is famous for which things. There are many attractions and things to do in Sikkim, which is always buzzing with activities. People from different countries, cultures, and states come here to experience their best.

Once you visit this heavenly place, all other things seem trivial. But unfortunately, most of the famous places in India are left out compared to Sikkim in terms of beauty and tranquility. Apt for long or short vacations, tourists can plan a visit to Sikkim with their family, friends, and married couples and can experience its best. Pick up the best Sikkim tour packages from Indian Holiday and make your tour appealing and memorable. Here are some of the top tourist places in Sikkim with photos that must be a part of your travel plan.

List of the Best Tourist Places to Visit in Sikkim

The attractiveness of places in Sikkim can not be expressed in words. Visit Sikkim to get a better understanding of what the place is about. However, you might be thinking about where to tour this beautiful land, so getting to know the details about the best sites will be helpful before visiting. So, scroll down to know about the best places to visit in Sikkim and what all expect you in this fascinating state. For your convenience, tourist places in Sikkim are subdivided in terms of direction. The impact of hill stations, monasteries, passes, and lakes will simply astound you:

Places to visit in East Sikkim

Filled with natural wonders and striking beauty, the attractions in East Sikkim are never-ending. The regions of East Sikkim are beautiful and fascinating. The best tourist places in East Sikkim are a must-visit for those who want to soak in the calmness and beauty offered here. In addition, East Sikkim is one of the best regions to visit with family and friends.

1. Gangtok - A Must-Visit Place

Abode to magnificent Buddhist monasteries, a hub of serenity and peace, and the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is a beautiful hill station and one of the best places to tour in entire India. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, this scenic city allows you to breathe in a salubrious environment while enjoying its stunning landscapes. Apart from its scenic vistas, it is also a great place for shopaholics and adrenaline junkies.

Interesting Facts -

  • MG Marg in Gangtok is India’s first litter-free and spit zone.
  • Before 1975, Sikkim remained a foreign country to India, with Gangtok as its capital.
  • The rare and endangered species of the panda, Red Panda can be occasionally seen in Gangtok.

2. Nathula Pass - Get Scenic Views of the Valley

Joining India with Tibet and remaining a part of the historical 'Silk Road,' Nathula pass is one of the must-visit attractions in Sikkim. Located in the Himalayas, about 4,310 m above sea level, the Nathula pass is one of the highest motorable passes in the world. Hence, it attracts many bike riders to conquer its road. En route, you can also visit Changu Lake and Baba Mandir.

Interesting Facts -

  • Nathula Pass allows tourists to enjoy marvelous views of the Chumbi valley, Tibet, and snow-capped mountains.
  • Visitors can buy a certificate of your Nathula visit as proof from the army canteen Nathula.

Notes: Nathula Pass remains closed on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.

Places to visit in North Sikkim

North Sikkim has several beautiful places to explore. To enjoy a peaceful vacation away from the hustle and bustle of city life, visit the famous places in North Sikkim. It is marked by several breathtaking landscapes, stunning waterfalls, unspoiled lakes, and sparkling rivers.

1. Kanchenjunga National Park - Perfect Nature Retreat

Covering an area of about 1784 sq km, Kanchenjunga National Park is a high-altitude national park located in Yuksom. It is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim with kids; the park is known for its incredible wildlife. Rare wild animals such as Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Great Tibetan Sheep, Bharal, and Musk deer can be spotted here. Nature and wildlife lovers around the globe visit here to admire its beauty. Apart from its flora and fauna, this national park is blessed with a unique variation of plains, dense valleys, tranquil lakes, gleaming glaciers, and striking, snow-capped mountains covered with ancient forests. Kanchenjunga National Park is also one of the best places to visit in Sikkim during winters.

Interesting Facts-

  • Kanchenjunga or Khangchendzonga National Park lies on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list and displays a unique range of sub-tropical to alpine ecosystems.
  • Kanchenjunga National Park is home to almost half of India's bird diversity, wild trees, orchids and rhododendrons, and one-third of the country's flowering plants.

2. Chungthang - Surreal and Enchanting

A small town located at the confluence of the Lachen and Lachung rivers. It is the place where the lifeline of Sikkim, the river Teesta is formed. Chungthang is a gateway to the popular tourist places Lachen and Lachung. Moreover, it is one of the sacred sites for the locals and Buddhists. The town of Chungthang is stuffed with a wide range of exotic flora and fauna. According to the legends, it is believed that the town is blessed by the well-known patron saint of Sikkim – Guru Padmasambhava.

Interesting Facts:

  • It is said that Guru Nanak Dev Ji stopped at Chungthang during his trip to Tibet and China., and hence, Chungthang is believed to have been obtained from the two Punjabi words 'Chunga Sthan', detonating 'A good place.'
  • It is said that the sacred rock where Guru Padmasambhava relaxed has a continuous stream of mineral water flows.

3. Lachen - Best for Adventure Lovers

Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas at an elevation of about 8838 ft, Lachen is considered the sister town of Lachung. Lachen has several wooden houses, narrow crawling roads, pasturing cattle, and stunning sights of the hills. Lachen is the gateway to several trekking trails in the northern Himalayas. The town is located close to attractions like Gurudongmar Lake and Chopta Valley. To visit Lachen a permit is required, as it is located close to the China border.

Interesting Facts -

  • Most of the inhabitants in Lachen are Bhutias or Tibetan Buddhists, but they understand Hindi.
  • Most of the hotels in Lachen are homestays, and the people's hospitality can be experienced first-hand.

4. Yumthang Valley of Flowers - Untouched Natural Beauty 

One of the hidden treasures in North Sikkim, the Yumthang Valley of Flowers, is the place for those who admire the beauty of nature. It is one popular tourist place to visit in North Sikkim during summers. The valley boasts a wide variety of colorful and exotic Himalayan flowers. Surrounded by lush green mountains and crawling rivers, it attracts peace-loving travelers but is considered one of the most photogenic places in Sikkim.

If you are looking for the best places to visit in North Sikkim, then you must explore this place on your Sikkim trip. Although Yumthang Valley of Flowers is an army-protected area, a permit is required to explore this place, which you grant from the Gangtok Tourism office. It is also known as Zero Point because it is the last point of all Civilian roads.

Interesting Facts -

  • A rare species of flower - Shingba Rhododendron, blooms between February to June.
  • Some hot springs nestled in the Yumthang Valley which is believed to have supernatural healing power.

Notes: Yumthang Valley of Flower remains closed for visitors between December and March due to the heavy snowfall in the region.

5. Lachung - Haven For Nature Lovers

The list of tourist places in Sikkim cannot overlook Lachung. It is a peaceful high-altitude village and one of the best places to visit in North Sikkim during winters. Lachung is an abode to the Tibetan and Bhutia community. The magnificent Lachung Chu River, also known as Lachung Gompa, adds a great appeal to this mountain village. Resting at an altitude of about 8,858 feet, the place is known for its beautiful surroundings. It is surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks, stunning waterfalls, meandering glacial rivers, and fruit orchards. Lachung is a must-visit place in Sikkim to experience a serene escape. If you are a fan of snow, the winter months are the best time to visit Lachung.

Inserting Facts -

Did you know? A famous British botanist and Charles Darwin's closest friend, Joseph Dalton Hooker, marked Lachung as the 'most scenic village of Sikkim' in his book 'The Himalayan Journal.

Places to visit in South Sikkim

South Sikkim is an excellent destination for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. The beautiful places in South Sikkim offer a magnificent escape away from hectic city life and also take you to a soothing heartland. You can take back home a serene experience after exploring the places of South Sikkim.

1. Namchi - Top of the Sky

Namchi holds a particular spot in the best of Sikkim's sightseeing places. The word Namchi, translated into the native Tibetan language, means the 'top of the sky. Although Namchi is located at an elevation of about 1,675 m above sea level, the place is considered a pilgrimage core for Buddhists.

Namchi Monastery, Tendong Hill, and Ralong Monasteries are some of the renowned monasteries dwelled here. Apart from that, Namchi is also popular among Hindu pilgrims. The 108 feet tall Lord Shiva statue at Siddeshwar Dham is the center of attraction and one of the important monuments of Sikkim. The tempting views of snow-capped mountains, enclosed by the dense valley, and the clean environment make it an outstanding place to see in Sikkim.

Interesting Facts -

  • Namchi has the world's biggest statue of the holy saint of Sikkim, Padmasambhava, which is about 118 feet tall.
  • Tourists from every corner of the globe visit Namchi to be a part of the Namchi Mahotsav tourism, culture, and food festival. Namchi also hosts a flower festival representing delicate flowers.

2. Temi Tea Garden - Satiate Your Tea Desire

Your trip to Sikkim will be half-done without touring Sikkim's only tea estate, Temi Tea Garden. It is a hidden gem in South Sikkim and has high recognition in the international markets for its best quality of tea. Sprawling over an area of about 440 acres, the tea garden is a Government-run estate started in 1969. Temi tea garden is placed in a blissful environment overlooking the mountainside valley. This scenic park also attracts photo enthusiasts to capture astonishing frames. So make sure to visit this place and have a ball of a time with your friends and family.

Interesting Facts - Tei tea garden is one of the largest tea-producing estates. It produces about 1 lakh kg of tea every year.

There is a heritage bungalow inside the tea garden built by Scottish missionaries in the early 1900s. Visiting the bungalow will take you back to ancient times.

3. Ravangla - Haven For Bird Watchers

A very popular one among towns in Sikkim, Ravangla is one the best places to visit Sikkim during summers. The city is positioned between Pelling and Gangtok at an elevation of about 7000 feet above sea level and is one of the popular destinations in South Sikkim. Surrounded by dense forests, it offers some of the best treks in Sikkim. Moreover, it also offers magnificent mountain views.

Ravangla is also a prime center for Buddhist pilgrims. The prime attraction here is a giant golden Buddha statue built over a temple. Apart from that, if you are a nature lover, Ravangla is the place to be. Visitors from various regions of the world visit here to enjoy stunning views of the mountains like Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, and Mt. Sinialchu. Ravangla is undoubtedly one of the famous tourist spots in Sikkim, perfect for treks, nature walks, and bird watching.

Interesting Facts -

Rare species of Himalayan birds such as Verditer flycatchers, blue-fronted redstarts, grey bushchats, dark-throated thrush, blue whistling-thrush, green-backed tit, and white-browed fantails can be spotted here.

Places to visit in West Sikkim

Offering enchanting views of beautiful scenery, west Sikkim is a refined ethos that speaks of vibrant existence amidst nature and harmony. Tourists can always look forward to having a great time in this surreal land. In addition, South Sikkim is one of the best districts to visit with family and kids.

1. Legship - Picturesque Landscapes

This picturesque, quaint town sitting in the foothills of majestic Himalayas is one of the most stunning places to visit in Sikkim. Located on the banks of the Rangit river, Legship is blessed with never-ending natural beauty. Surrounded by various natural springs, ancient monasteries, and beautiful temples, Legship gives an experience that one tends to cherish forever. This town is also known for its best trekking trails and other adventure sports. Moreover, the city holds an eminent religious significance. However, it only gives reason to visit this place as words can not define the beauty of Legship.

Interesting Facts -

Known as the Gateway to West Sikkim, Legship has Sikkim's first dam built for its hydroelectric purposes called Rangit Dam, which is also a beauty to behold.

The Phu Cha Chu Sulphurous hot spring is known for its medicinal properties. According to the legend, Guru Padmasambhava meditated at the same spot.

2. Pelling - A Culturally Rich Town

Pelling is a beautiful town and one of Sikkim's ideal places to visit if you are expecting natural luster. The city is located at an altitude of about 6800 feet, lying in the foothills of mighty Mount Khangchendzonga. The town is culturally rich and best known for its breathtaking views of the Kanchenjunga peak and the Himalayas. This is where one can witness a unique cultural harmony between many tribes residing in this town. Bhutias, Lepchas, Limboos, Chhetris, and Nepalis are some of the other people who live in and around Pelling.

Pelling is one of the most visited places in West Sikkim. Featuring rolling hills, monasteries, waterfalls, temples, and lakes, it draws the attention of peace-loving tourists. It is also considered one of the most photogenic places in Sikkim. Pelling is also among the list of the best destinations to enjoy a fantastic summer vacation with family and friends.

Interesting Facts -

There is a sacred lake in the town known as Khecheopalri, meaning "heaven of Padmasambhava." It is believed that the lake fulfills the wishes of the people. And one of the most exciting things to notice here is that no leaves are left floating on the lake's surface because the birds pick them up in the area.

3. Yuksom - Dig Into Sikkim’s History

Yuksom is a small historic town and one of Sikkim's most beautiful tourist places; this town allows you to experience and relax amidst the natural boundaries of spectacular beauty. This town was the principal capital of Sikkim, set up in 1642 AD by Phuntsog Namgya. Yuksom is also renowned for its best trekking trails, which lead to Mt. Khangchendzonga. The woodlands of Yuksom in slopes consist of trees like broad-leafed Oak, Birch, Maple, Chestnut, Magnolia, Rhododendron, Silver, Fir, Ash, and Alder. A peaceful and serene ambiance with a picturesque landscape, rich culture, and abundant fauna will make your visit to Yuksom memorable.

Interesting Facts -

A historic event took place in the year 1641 in Yuksom, where the first religious king of Sikkim was crowned in the town by the three monks who traveled from Tibet. The coronation day was marked by establishing a stupa in Yuksom near the solemn spot.