Sikkim is a small Indian State, however, the state is famous for its natural beauty and rich culture. Bounded by Himalayan mountain ranges, you can find gorgeous mountain peaks, beautiful waterfalls, rolling green slopes, and lush green forests here in this state.
Sikkim is divided into four states, north, south, east and west. Here is a guide to West and South Sikkim tour.
Let’s start with West Sikkim.
West Sikkim, located at the foothills of Mount Kanchenjunga is famous for spectacular views of the surroundings. The calm and quiet environment of the town Pelling, the rich culture and religious history of the famous Pemayansgtse monastery and Kchehepalri Lake make this place one of the finest tourist destinations of the country.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Sikkim is from October to June. From July to September you may enjoy the scenic beauty of this place but the poor road condition and landslides may disrupt your tour plan. So it is better to avoid monsoon while traveling in Sikkim.
How to Reach
Sikkim is well connected by train or air to the rest of India.
By air, you can reach directly to Pakyong airport and from their take a cab to reach your desired location in Sikkim. You can book your ticket to Pakyong by simply clicking here.
A local taxi will charge around Rs 200 for this trip. The fare may vary according to the season and the condition of the road.
By train, first, reach New Jalpaiguri railway station from any part of the country. From there take either a reserved car or a shared car to reach Sikkim. The reserve car will charge between Rs 3200 to Rs 3500 depending on the season.
Road to Sikkim
The road that leads you to Sikkim from New Jalpaiguri needs special mention.
After half an hour of the journey, you will be exposed to the fresh greeneries of the Himalayan mountain ranges.
It is better to stop at a certain point between this journey to enjoy the beauty of the river Teesta.
After crossing the bridge the over Teesta river, you will enter into the state Sikkim through the Melli check post. Here, you have to show any of your identity proof to the respective person in order to enter into Sikkim.
Places to Visit On the way to Pelling
This is a calm and quiet hilly town where you can see a small local market. If you wish you can buy some local products here.
This is a quiet town of Sikkim and is known as the gateway to West Sikkim. The place is famous for the beautiful view of the Rangit River. As per legend Lord Shiva had appeared in front of Arjuna and blessed him success in the epic war of Mahabharata at this place.
Geyzing is the district headquarter of West Sikkim and the place is surrounded by the majestic Himalayan mountain range.
Crossing Gayzing you will enter into the prime destination of West Sikkim, Pelling. The town Pelling has three parts, lower Pelling, Middle Pelling, and Upper Pelling.
Among them, Upper Pelling has the most spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Top Places to Visit around Pelling
Start your day taking a morning walk through the mist of Pelling.
Helipad of Pelling
It is a beautiful tourist spot and is famous for its stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Singshore Bridge is a 198-meter suspension bridge located 5 km away from the town of Pelling. The bridge is the highest bridge in Sikkim and is the second-highest gorge bridge in Asia. Enjoy the fresh green mountains and gushing hilly rivers from the top of this bridge. Only light vehicles are allowed on the bridge.
Changey falls is at the close proximity of Singshore Bridge. The waterfalls are situated at a height of about 300 meters. While descending, it appears like a great white line in the backdrop of a lush green mountain range. There is a staircase at one side of the falls, through which we went to the topmost viewpoint and enjoyed the stunning beauty of these waterfalls from the top.
The road that leads us to Pemayangtse Monastery needs a special mention because of its beauty. We witnessed rolling green mountain ranges everywhere in this route and needless to say it is quite refreshing. In front of the entrance of the Pemayangtse Monastery, there is a car parking place where we parked our car. The entry fee here is Rs 20 per person.
It is one of the oldest monasteries of the state, it stands tall on a hilltop overlooking the historical Rabdentse ruins, the former capital of the Kingdom of Sikkim. The monastery is dedicated to Padmasambhava. You can see a beautiful statue of Guru Padmasambhava inside this monastery. Pemayangtse Monastery serves as the starting point of the popular Dzongri trek route. Enjoy the pretty surroundings of the place from the entrance of the monastery.
Rabdentse Ruins and Bird Sanctuary
This bird park is a big area enclosed by nets. Enjoy a walk around this park and saw some rare mountain birds like Golden pheasant, White pheasant and many more.
From the entrance of Bird Park, we started our walk towards Rabdentse ruins. A 30-40 minutes’ walk is required to reach Rabdentse ruins. The path moves through the dense forest and it was one of the finest walks for me on this entire trip. The picturesque view of the rocks with tiny shrubs around it makes it a treat for our eyes.
Rabdentse was the second capital of Sikkim from 1670 to 1814 AD. The old palace and the monastery are in complete ruins now and the Archeological Survey of India is currently maintaining and undertaking work for its restoration.
Enjoy a walk around the old palace here.
On the right side of the palace, there are the three Chortens where the Royal family used to offer prayers to their deities at Rabdentse palace
The view of the entire valley below and Kanchenjunga peak from the Rabdentse Ruins are absolutely spectacular.
The road to the Pelling Skywalk has six sharp turns and we enjoyed climbing this path. In front of the main entrance of the skywalk, there is a car parking space and we parked our car there.
The entry fee to the premises is Rs 100 per person.
At the center of the main complex, there is a big courtyard. On the left-hand side of this courtyard, stands the 137feet tall statue of Chenrezig- a manifestation of all the Buddha’s compassion.
On the right-hand side of the central courtyard, there is the Glass Skywalk. We had to open our shoes to enter into that glass area. Walking through this glass panel is quite adventurous as you can clearly see the road several feet below your foot.
This place is currently one of the most famous tourist attractions near Pelling. Any time you can see a small crowd walking around this glass path and taking pictures.
Rimbi Waterfalls is approximately 12 km away from Pelling. It is situated on the banks of Rimbi River. The view of the gushing waterfalls coming down through the fresh green mountains was a treat for our eyes.
Kanchenjunga Waterfalls is yet another beautiful waterfall in west Sikkim. At the side of this waterfalls, we saw some small local food stalls selling snacks and titbits. You can purchase tickets with Rs 20 and go to the inner side of the falls climbing up the boulders. There are also some adventure sports activities available for tourists. Overall, a beautiful place to visit.
Yuksom village is of very high historical importance to the Sikkimese. The first Chogyal crowned here in 1642. We first went to the coronation throne of the first Chogyal. The place is now maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. During day time many local women come here to offer their homage to the Buddhist deities. The place is clean and well-maintained to date.
Besides the coronation throne ground, there is a big complex where you can see a statue of the first Chogyal of Sikkim.
It is a holy lake situated 34 km away from Pelling. We parked our car outside the Lake area. A short walk is required to reach the banks of the lake. Since this is a holy lake we observed many prayer flags fluttering all over the place. There was also a big prayer Bell. The lake is infested with fish. Visitors enjoy feeding the fish here. Fishing is prohibited at this place. This is a place where you can enjoy a calm and quiet nature.
Next, go to visit South Sikkim from Pelling. The journey from Pelling to South Sikkim is quite fascinating. A major portion of this route passes through green mountain forests.
You can also see some small Sikkimese hamlets on the roadside. We experienced local lives while traveling through this road. And that is a cherished memory for us.
Places to Visit in South Sikkim
Ravangla, a small town located in South Sikkim at an altitude of 7000 ft. The town is situated on the edge, between Maenam and Tendong Hill. With a remarkable view of Mount Kanchenjungha along with its sister peaks of Pandim, Kabru, Sinialchu, and many others. It is an ideal destination for tourists.
It is one of the prime attractions of Rabongla. The entry fee to the park is Rs 50 per person. The Park is open from 9 Am to 5 Pm.
Buddha Park is also known as Tathagata Tsal. At the entrance of the Park, you can see many Prayer wheels.
After entering through the main entrance you will be exposed to a big open area. There are many sitting arrangements at this point where you can spend some quality time in peace. On the side of the sitting area, there are some small cafes selling snacks and one small souvenir stall.
Climbing down the stairs you will reach the main area. At the center of the main area, there is a clear path through which you can go to the main statue of Lord Buddha.
This park features a striking 130 feet high statue of Lord Buddha as its centerpiece. The park is a part of the Rabong Gompa which is a 100-year-old religious complex. Inside the park, there is a huge prayer hall and a Museum meditation center which is open for meditation to everyone. The museum depicts the life and journey of Lord Buddha.
At the base of the statue, there were some sitting arrangements from where you can enjoy the spectacular surroundings. The road which encompasses the statue is also very clean and well-maintained.
On a regular day, you can see a large crowd roaming around this place.
Located around 10 km away from Buddha Park, it is the New Ralang Monastery which is the home of around 500 monks.
The architecture of the main building of the New Ralang Monastery is very beautiful. The view of the Golden peaks of the monastery shining brightly was breathtaking.
Temi Tea Garden
Temi tea garden is one of the most beautiful tea estates in the world. The tea garden uses only organic fertilizers in the production of tea. 100 metric ton of organic tea is produced here annually. In the morning you will see many workers plucking tea leaves from the garden.
This tea garden is famous for its natural beauty. The paths that pass through the tea plants are very neat and clean.
Namchi is the district headquarter of South Sikkim. Fresh green mountain forests and cool weather are two specialties of this place. And for this reason, the place attracts numerous tourists every year.
It is a recent addition to the list of tourist attractions in South Sikkim. This place houses replicas of four Dhams Badrinath, Jagannath, Dwarka, and Rameshwaram in one place. It is located in Solophok hilltop in Namchi.
The entry fee to the temple main area is Rs 50 per person.
After entering through the main temple area we first saw a statue of Kirateshwar Mahadev.
At the center of the main area, there is the famous108 ft tall statue of Lord Shiva. Surrounding this statue you can see four main temples which are replicas of four Dhams. This place also houses replicas of 12 jyotirlingas.
On a normal day, you can find numerous devotees here who came to offer their homage to God. Recently, a temple of Sai Baba has also been built here.
This is a beautiful temple dedicated to the Shirdi Sai Baba. The architecture of this two-storied temple is literally stunning. The garden surrounding the temple was well-maintained. On a clear day, you can see Kanchenjunga peaks from this place.
The entry fee to the area is Rs 20 per person. A 5-7 minutes’ walk is required to reach the park where stands the famous 118 ft tall statue of Guru Rinpoche. The bronze color painted Statue of Guru Rinpoche shining brightly in sun was really a treat for our eyes.
The basement of the statue is very clean. There were also some sitting arrangements there. We enjoyed the beautiful view of the surrounding hills sitting here.