Welcome to the mystical land of North Sikkim, nestled in the northeastern part of India. With its breathtaking landscapes, remote villages, and serene lakes, North Sikkim offers a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. In this blog, we will take you on a journey through the best time to visit, must-visit places, and essential dos and don’ts to ensure an unforgettable experience.
North Sikkim is a popular tourist destination in the northeastern part of India. It is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, serene landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. Here are some key points about North Sikkim tourism:
- Pristine Beauty: North Sikkim is renowned for its untouched beauty and picturesque landscapes. The region is home to snow-capped mountains, alpine meadows, dense forests, and glistening lakes. The views of the Himalayas from North Sikkim are awe-inspiring, attracting nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
- Remote Villages: North Sikkim offers the opportunity to visit remote villages and experience the unique local culture and traditions. Villages like Lachen, Lachung, and Chungthang provide a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the Sikkimese people. Homestays are available in some villages, allowing tourists to immerse themselves in the local way of life.
- High-Altitude Lakes: The region is home to several stunning high-altitude lakes that add to its charm. The famous Gurudongmar Lake, Tso Lhamu Lake, and Chopta Valley are some of the must-visit lakes in North Sikkim. These lakes are known for their pristine blue waters, surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
- Adventure Activities: North Sikkim offers a range of adventure activities for thrill-seekers. Trekking is a popular activity, with options like the Dzongri-Goechala Trek and the Green Lake Trek. White-water rafting in the Teesta River and mountain biking are also available for those seeking an adrenaline rush.
- Monasteries and Culture: The region is dotted with monasteries that are important cultural and religious landmarks. The Phodong Monastery, Lachen Monastery, and Lachung Monastery are notable ones worth exploring. These monasteries provide a glimpse into the Buddhist heritage of the region.
- Flowering Season: North Sikkim is famous for its vibrant flowering season, particularly in the Yumthang Valley. During spring (March to May), the valley blooms with a variety of alpine flowers, including numerous species of rhododendrons, creating a breathtaking carpet of colors.
- Restricted Area: It’s important to note that certain areas of North Sikkim require permits and are restricted to tourists. Permits can be obtained from the authorities in Gangtok or through authorised tour operators.
When planning a visit to North Sikkim, it is advisable to check the weather conditions and road accessibility, as the region experiences harsh winters and the roads may be affected during heavy rainfall. Hiring a local guide or tour operator is recommended to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.
North Sikkim 3 Days 2 Nights Tour:
A 3-day sharing tour of North Sikkim from Gangtok offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the pristine beauty of the region. North Sikkim is known for its breathtaking landscapes, remote villages, high-altitude lakes, and stunning mountain views. Here’s a highlights and overview of the tour:
Day 1: Gangtok to Lachen
- The tour begins in Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim.
- You’ll start early in the morning and drive towards Lachen, a scenic mountain village located at an altitude of 2,750 meters.
- En route, you’ll pass through beautiful landscapes, including cascading waterfalls, dense forests, and charming villages.
- On the way, you can visit the Seven Sisters Waterfall, Singhik viewpoint, and the Naga Waterfall.
- In the evening, you’ll reach Lachen and stay overnight at a hotel.
Day 2: Lachen to Gurudongmar Lake and Lachung
- After an early breakfast, you’ll drive towards Gurudongmar Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world situated at an altitude of 5,183 meters.
- The lake is known for its serene beauty and breathtaking surroundings. You’ll have the opportunity to take in the mesmerizing views of the snow-capped mountains and the crystal-clear waters of the lake.
- After spending some time at Gurudongmar Lake, you’ll head back to Lachen for lunch.
- Later, you’ll continue your journey towards Lachung, another picturesque village located at an altitude of 2,750 meters.
- Overnight stay will be arranged at a hotel in Lachung.
Day 3: Yumthang Valley and Return to Gangtok
- On the third day, you’ll visit the famous Yumthang Valley, also known as the “Valley of Flowers.”
- Yumthang Valley is renowned for its enchanting meadows, colorful alpine flowers, and hot springs.
- During the spring season (March to May), the valley blooms with various species of rhododendrons, creating a vibrant and picturesque landscape.
- After exploring the valley, you’ll return to Lachung for lunch and then head back to Gangtok.
- The tour concludes in Gangtok, where you’ll be dropped off at your respective hotel.
Please note that the itinerary may vary depending on weather conditions, road conditions, and other factors. It’s always advisable to check with your tour operator or guide for the most up-to-date information before embarking on the tour.
Places to Visit in North Sikkim:
Situated at an elevation of 5,183 meters, Gurudongmar Lake is a breathtaking marvel. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, this sacred lake offers awe-inspiring views and is a must-visit destination for its ethereal beauty.
Known as the “Valley of Flowers,” Yumthang Valley is a picturesque paradise with its meandering rivers, vibrant blooms, and hot springs. Visit during spring for a mesmerizing carpet of rhododendrons and other alpine flowers.
Lachen and Lachung:
These quaint mountain villages serve as gateways to many of North Sikkim’s attractions. Immerse yourself in the local culture, explore monasteries, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the villagers.
Nestled amidst towering mountains, Chopta Valley is a hidden gem with its pristine beauty. With cascading waterfalls, alpine meadows, and a peaceful ambiance, this valley is a treat for nature enthusiasts.
Kalapathar, also known as Kala Patthar, is a mesmerizing vantage point located near Gurudongmar Lake. Situated at an elevation of approximately 5,540 meters, it offers a panoramic view of the surrounding snow-capped peaks, including the majestic Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. The name “Kalapathar” translates to “black rock” in the local language, and it derives from the dark, rocky terrain found at this high-altitude location. The dramatic landscapes and the awe-inspiring mountain vistas make Kalapathar a must-visit destination for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers seeking an unforgettable experience.
Yumasandong (Zero Point):
Yumasandong, commonly known as Zero Point, is a place of extraordinary natural beauty located at the end of the Yumthang Valley in North Sikkim. As you venture into this high-altitude region, you’ll be surrounded by snow-capped mountains, pristine meadows, and the enchanting Yumthang River. The area is named Zero Point because it marks the point where the road ends and the vast expanse of snow-covered landscapes begins. Yumasandong offers a surreal experience, especially during the winter months, when the entire area is blanketed in snow. Visitors can soak in the breathtaking views, play in the snow, and relish the serenity of this untouched paradise.
Visiting these destinations in North Sikkim is an opportunity to connect with nature in its purest form. Whether you seek awe-inspiring mountain views, serene meadows, or thrilling winter adventures, Gurudongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley, Lachen, Lachung, Kalapathar, Yumasandong, and Katao will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories. Remember to plan your visit according to the weather conditions and obtain the necessary permits for restricted areas, ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey in this pristine Himalayan region.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit North Sikkim is during the months of March to May and October to December when the weather is pleasant and the region is accessible. During spring (March to May), the valleys come alive with vibrant rhododendrons and other alpine flowers. Autumn (October to December) showcases clear skies, ideal for mountain views and trekking expeditions.
Dos and Don’ts in North Sikkim:
Do obtain the necessary permits:
Some areas of North Sikkim require permits. Ensure you obtain the required permits from the authorities in Gangtok or through authorized tour operators before venturing into restricted regions.
Do pack appropriately:
North Sikkim experiences varying temperatures, so pack warm clothing, including jackets, gloves, and hats. Also, carry essential items like sunscreen, sunglasses, and comfortable trekking shoes.
Do respect local customs and traditions:
Sikkim has a rich cultural heritage, and it is important to respect local customs and traditions. Seek permission before entering monasteries, dress modestly, and be mindful of local beliefs and practices.
Preserve the pristine beauty of North Sikkim by being responsible travelers. Carry a reusable water bottle and avoid leaving any trash behind. Help maintain the natural environment for generations to come.
Don’t disturb wildlife:
North Sikkim is home to diverse flora and fauna. While exploring the region, maintain a respectful distance from wildlife and refrain from disturbing their natural habitats.