Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Sikkim lies adjacent to Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal in the far north-east of India. It encompasses subtropical forests, alpine meadows and spectacular glaciers, as well as the third-highest peak on Earth, Kangchenjunga. Sikkim centres around its bustling capital, Gangtok, and much of its area is protected within Khangchendzonga National Park.
Things to do in Sikkim
Home to majestic landscapes, Buddhist monasteries and colourful towns, Sikkim is one of India’s most unique destinations.
Sightsee in Gangtok. Serving as the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok was established as a Buddhist pilgrimage site in the mid-19th century. Admire the statue of Gandhi in the pedestrianised Mahatma Gandhi Marg and enjoy elevated views across the city from the Gangtok Ropeway. Traditional tapestries and religious statues are exhibited at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, which preserves the Tibetan language and culture. On the outskirts of Gangtok is Sikkim's largest monastery at the Dharma Chakra Centre.
Ride the gondola to Changu Lake. Also known as Tsomgo Lake and considered sacred by the Sikkimese people, this glistening turquoise lake lies at an elevation of 3,753 metres. Ride the gondola up the snow-covered slopes to hike through the area’s alpine forests, which ignite with colourful rhododendrons in late spring. In addition to red pandas, the area is home to a variety of birds, including the bright orange-coloured Brahminy duck.
Visit the Buddha Park of Ravangla. Dominated by a 40-metre-high statue of Buddha, this landscaped park was established to mark the 2,550th anniversary of Gautama Buddha’s birth. It lies near the forested shores of Cho Djo Lake and the Ralang Monastery, which is renowned for its collection of Tibetan Buddhist paintings and thangkas. You can stroll along the tranquil paths or learn about the life of Buddha at the on-site museum.
Getting around Sikkim
Pakyong Airport is around an hour’s drive from Gangtok and has regular flights to Delhi. The closest railway station is at New Jalpaiguri Junction, which is connected to major cities across India by train. Buses and jeeps are the main means of getting around Sikkim.