The Best of Sikkim

The Best of Sikkim
Photo Credit: Prashant Panjiar

From one of the world's highest lakes to breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayas, Sikkim is a nature-lover's paradise.

Our Team
June 20 , 2016
02 Min Read

One of the highest lakes in the world, located at an altitude of 17,800ft on an extension of the Tibetan Plateau, this lake holds great religious significance for the Bud­dhists of Sikkim. The lake remains fro­zen during the winter and foreign tour­ists require a special permit to visit it. Located a mere five kilometres away from the Tibetan border, the magnifi­cent lake stands under the shadow of the sacred peak of Khangchen Gyao. Fed by glaciers and snow-melt from the plateau, it is renowned for its stark rug­gedness and unparalleled beauty. The lake region also has an abundance of high-altitude wildlife such as yaks and blue sheep. The best time to visit is be­tween March and June. Gurdongmar Lake is a 4–5 hour drive from Sikkim’s cap­ital, Gangtok.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden near Gangtok is a paradise for those with a bug for flora. With its different species of rare flowers, plants and trees, ‘pretty’ would be an understatement for this park. A perfect destination for travel­lers looking for Sikkim’s endemic trees and plants like orchids, the garden also attracts tourists from around the country for its picturesque layout and its proximity to the Rumtek Monas­tery. The garden houses numerous species of orchids and over 50 differ­ent species of trees including a num­ber of oaks. Foreigners need a permit to enter, which can be taken from Sili­guri. The Botanical Garden is located 24km from Gangtok and you can hire a taxi for a day-trip that also includes a visit to the Rumtek Monastery.

While travelling around North Sikkim, stop­ping for a few days at Yumthang and Lachung is an absolute no-brainer. La­chung is an exquisite little riverside town often described as the ‘most pic­turesque village in Sikkim’, while the Yumthang Valley is renowned for its stunning variety of wildflowers, locat­ed on meadows beyond the treeline. Picturesque valleys, waterfalls, rivers, authentic little villages and a breath­taking view of the snowcapped Hima­laya make Yumthang and Lachung unique destinations in Sikkim, perfect for travellers looking for a short get­away from civilisation. Bagdogra airport in West Bengal is about 128km away from Lachung while the nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri, about 127km away.

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