One of the Indian states sharing an international boundary with 3 countries that is Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and China, Sikkim has some extremely beautiful places to visit that hold the attention of global tourists. There are stunning hill-stations, rich wildlife sanctuaries, clean hamlets, and much more to explore. Rich culture and heritage coupled with some of the best places to visit in Sikkim attract visitors from all over the world. It would be silly to say that Sikkim is famous for which things. There are many attractions and things to do in Sikkim, which are always buzzing with activities. People from different countries, cultures, and states come here to experience its best.
Once you visit this heavenly place, all other things seem trivial. Most of the popular places in India are left out in comparison 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. Here are some of the top tourist places in Sikkim with photos, that must be a part of your travel plan.
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 in this beautiful land, getting to know the details about the best places 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, touirst places to visit 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. Best tourist places in East Sikkim are a must-visit for those who want to soak in the calmness and beauty offered here. 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, the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is a wonderful 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 the 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 Valley
Joining India with Tibet and remaining a part of the historic ‘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. 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 along with 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 wonderful places to explore. To enjoy a peaceful vacation away from the hustle and bustle of city life visit the popular places in North Sikkim. It is marked with 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 sumptuous 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.
- Kanchenjunga or Khangchendzonga National Park lies in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites 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 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. 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.
- 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 north Himalaya. 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 hospitality of the people can be experienced first-hand.
4. Yumthang Valley of Flowers - Untouched Natural Beauty
One of the hidden treasures in North Sikkim, Yumthang Valley of Flowers is the place for those who admire the beauty of nature. It is one of the popular tourist places to visit North Sikkim during summers. The valley boasts a wide variety of colorful and exotic Himalayan flowers. Surrounded by lush green mountains, 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. 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.
- There are 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 high-altitude peaceful 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 wondrous appeal to this mountain village. Resting at an altitude of about 8,858 feet, the place is known for its beautiful surroundings. Surrounded by the snow-capped mountain peaks, beautiful 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, then 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 among 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 special spot in the list of the best of Sikkim's sightseeing places. The word Namchi is translated into the native Tibetan language means the ‘top of the sky’. Namchi is located at an elevation of about 1,675 m above sea level, the place is considered a pilgrimage core for the 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 one among the places 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, which is a tourism, culture, and food festival. Namchi also hosts a flower festival representing the 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 also 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 that was started in the year 1969. Temi tea garden is placed under a blissful environment overlooking the mountain-side valley. This scenic park also attracts photo enthusiasts to capture astonishing frames. 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, which was 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 town 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 huge golden Buddha statue, which is built over a temple. Apart from that, if you are a nature lover then 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. 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, beautiful temples, Legship gives an experience that tends to cherish forever. This town is also known for its best trekking trails and other adventure sports. Moreover, the town holds an eminent religious significance. 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 as 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 the ideal places to visit in Sikkim if you are expecting natural luster. The town 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 the town 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 cool 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 interesting things to notice here is that no leaves are left floating on the surface of the lake because they are picked up by the birds in the area.
3. Yuksom - Dig Into Sikkim’s History
Yuksom is a small historic town and one of the most beautiful tourist places in Sikkim, 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 leads to Mt. Khangchendzonga. The woodlands of Yuksom in slopes consist of trees like wide leafed Oak, Birch, Maple, Chestnut, Magnolia, Rhododendron, Silver, Fir, Ash, and Alder. A peaceful and serene ambiance with a picturesque landscape, rich culture, and abundand fauna will make your visit to Yuksom a memorable one.
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 all the way from Tibet. The coronation day was marked by establishing a stupa in Yuksom near the solemn spot.