Peacefully tucked away in the north east, Sikkim is one of the most beautiful states in India. The beauty and serenity encapsulated in its natural landscape can be a perfect retreat for you, away from the worries of daily life. Moreover, if you’re a nature lover and a travel enthusiast, then Sikkim should most certainly find a destination on your list of places to travel. To make the most of your trip, and to see the best of Sikkim, you should choose to explore it by road. The breathtaking views along the way and the misty blanket of air will make you feel refreshed as you set out to see all these places to visit in Sikkim.
Sikkim is well connected to Siliguri, which is the gateway to North-east India when one is driving through National Highway 31. A 4-hour drive through this route will take you through dense greenery and carpeted hills. Sikkim can also be reached through other picturesque ways, from places like Darjeeling (126km), Bagdogra (153km) and Kalimpong (104km). However, irrespective of the route you take, you will witness the beauty of the river Teesta on one side and majestic peaks along the other side. This is why a journey through the state becomes one of the most memorable road trips in India.
Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, is also the starting point for most travelers as here you’ll be able to book your hotels and cab/taxi very easily. When in Gangtok, make sure that you keep enough time to explore the MG-road, which is a European style street, and a major attraction in Sikkim. Stay a while and enjoy yourself before you embark on the most fascinating journey – one that takes you to the best of places to see in Sikkim.
Places to visit in Sikkim
One of the most popular tourist sites in Sikkim, this beautiful lake is 38 km away from Gangtok. Driving through the snaky roads and mountainous terrains leading to this enchanting water body is an adventure in itself. Here, you will witness migratory ducks like Brahminy ducks, along with flowers like Primulas and Blue and Yellow Poppies. Moreover, pulling your car along the sides, you can also enjoy yak and pony rides for some fun. However, start early so that you do not face challenges driving on the meandering roads when it gets dark.
Nathula pass is another must-see place in Sikkim. Located in the Himalayas, it connects India with Tibet. The pass, at 4,310 m above sea level also shares some link to a part of a side-shoot of the prehistoric Silk Road. Here at this pass, you can enjoy yak safari with your family or friends and can witness border gates of India and China.
There are also places like a beautiful war memorial and Exhibition Centre of the Indian army just close to Nathula pass, which you may include in your itinerary of Sikkim sightseeing places. You can also view Mt Chomolhari here, which offers spectacular views to travelers.
Incidentally, the other place that you can enjoy the magnificent views of the Bride of Kanchenjunga – Mt. Chomolhari is when you head to the placid Haa Valley in Bhutan. As you cross the highest pass of Bhutan – Chelela Pass, on a bright and clear day, you will see this peak lording over its snowy neighbors. Discover what that feels like and how you can experience it through this post on Haa Valley.
River Teesta – one of the places to see in Sikkim
When in Sikkim, there is no escape from soaking in the beauty of River Teesta that flows through the state into West Bengal. During spring, the scene of the shimmering river and the colorful flowers blooming around are a treat to the eyes. While in winters, the lake turns into frozen white sheets that look both stunning and serene.
During summer and spring, you can enjoy river rafting, kayaking and bird spotting here. You can even witness the confluence of River Teesta with its tributary, River Rangeet.
Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley
Lachen and Lachung are both distant villages located at high altitudes, preserving the great natural beauty and local culture. You can also take the journey from Lachen to Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim, which is one journey that will make you feel heavenly. Also, if you love the idea of visiting monasteries, buying handicrafts and seeing snow fall, then you must visit Lachung. You should also see the largest Buddhist monastery by the name Lachung Gompa here.
Yumthang, on the other hand, is a beautiful valley locked within snowcapped mountains – that makes it absolutely unmissable for nature lovers. You can also see ranges like Mt. Pandim, Mt Simvo, Mt Jopuno along with Gangtok’s Rhododendron Sanctuary here.
Zuluk – an offbeat Sikkim Attraction
An offbeat destination in Sikkim, Zuluk is a pretty village located at a high altitude. Having connections with the Silk Route, this village has a fascinating history. As you drive up the mountainous roads, great views of the snowcapped mountain ranges will embrace you in their beauty.
Zuluk is a great place to visit if you’re looking for snowfall in Sikkim. It also has many attractions like the Nag temple, the Thambi View Point, and the Mt. Kanchenjunga.
A few other must-see tourist places in Sikkim include Yuksom, an old historic town in West Sikkim and a gateway to Kanchenjunga National Park, Rumtek Monastery – the oldest one in Sikkim, Ravangla, a place furrowed by dense forests and beautiful mountain views and the small town of Pelling that is rich in flora and fauna both.
So, if the sweltering summer heat or hectic daily routine is getting too much to handle, plan a trip to this beautiful place soon. However, avoid traveling during monsoon season as the place experiences frequent landslides and floods during rains. This may not be ideal for you and your vehicle, both. Even otherwise, when traveling through road, and that too through your car, it is vital that you have the right motor insurance policy. This policy will cover for any loss to the vehicle insured, any third-party liability that may arise or against personal accident. Moreover, Tata AIG also offers 13 add-on covers which can provide your vehicle with enhanced coverage, taking many financial worries off your back.
So, before you get your vehicle’s tanker full and set out for the journey, always make sure that you have an active motor insurance policy. This cover will have your back and will ensure that you enjoy your trip in a carefree manner. With this, you are now well prepped to head to your must-visit places in Sikkim. Just pin this up as a ready reckoner and get, set and go!
This post has been written by Anisha Arora. She is an aspiring writer, literature geek and author. She has several journals, articles, and papers to her name. Writing is her passion. She writes about mostly all genres.