Tucked away in the eastern Himalayas, is the second smallest state of India, Sikkim. A land of scenic landscapes, rich culture and limitless activities to do, Sikkim is a place one must definitely visit once in a lifetime. With its lush emerald valleys, glistening lakes and snowcapped mountains, Sikkim makes you fall in love with itself at first sight. One of the best summer retreats, Sikkim is especially popular for its nature walks, pilgrimage sites and adventure activities.
Here are 5 reasons why you should visit Sikkim in the summer:
- Soothing Weather
While the rest of the country looks for relief from the wrath of the scorching sun, sheltered by the Himalayas, Sikkim enjoys very pleasant summers. Temperatures that range from 2 – 12 degree Celsius encourage outdoor activities like trekking, river rafting and bird watching. In the months of April and May, Sikkim turns into a paradise on earth as the frozen lakes and rivers come back to life. The landscape is decorated with Rhododendrons, Orchids, Azaleas and other flowers in their full bloom. June marks the start of summer in Sikkim, which morphs into monsoon by the end of August.
Many of the Sikkimese festivals fall between the months of March and August. A riot of colors greets you as the locals celebrate flower festival which starts in the month of March and goes on till May. Exotic flowers of myriad varieties are exhibited in Gangtok and south Sikkim and attract tourists from all over the world. Another major festival Saga Dawa, is celebrated on a full moon day in the month of May or June. The day marks the birth of Lord Buddha and is one of the most holy festivals in Sikkim. Sikkim also has started celebrating many tourism related festivals. Most famous among them are Hee Bermiock and tourism festival and Tendong Lho Rum Faat. Visiting Sikkim during the festive season adds on the whole experience. It is a great time to enjoy sumptuous Sikkimese delicacies and go on thrilling Yak safaris.
One of the most striking things about Sikkim is the unobstructed view of the highest peak of India, Mount Kanchenjunga. Apart from the mountains, the landscape is adorned with vivacious valleys, lakes and rivers during the summer season. Some places like the high altitude lakes; Gurudongmar and lake Tsomgo, as well as a meadow called Valley of Flowers are a must visit. The landscape of Sikkim is further embellished with the mesmerizing rivers like Teesta and Rangit. To make it more inviting, the state also has hot springs like the Yumtang and the Ralong as well as gushing milky waterfalls like the seven sisters.
Honestly, that’s enough reason to go to Sikkim already! But for the people who are still looking for more, Sikkim HAS more to offer.
4.Rich history and cultural experience
If the charming state of Sikkim hasn’t enthralled you with its natural beauty, it would definitely leave you spellbound with its cultural richness. A kingdom of its own till 1975, Sikkim boasts a very distinctive identity and a unique culture. People from different ethnicities like Lepchas, Bhutias, Nepalies Inhabit the state. The diversity of people influences the festivals, the food and the monuments. Also significant for its pilgrimage sites, Sikkim is home to about 200 monasteries. Some of the most popular monasteries to visit in Sikkim are Pemayangste, Rumtake, Enchey, Phensang, Ralong, Phodang, Tolung, and Labrang Palden Phuntsok Monasteries among others. Along with the monasteries, Sikkim’s landscape is dotted with many prominent Hindu temples like Kiretshwar Mahadev Temple and Sai Mandir. These religious spots are the ultimate destination for those seeking to experience the meditative land of Sikkim.
And if you are amongst those who need an element of thrill in your vacation, Sikkim has something in store for you too. During summers, the land transforms into a trekking haven, giving you the opportunity to walk through Rhododendron grooves, magnolia forests, and high altitude mountain passes. The most popular trekking routes being Goecha La trek, the Green Lake trek, Dzongri trek and Barsey Rhododendron trek. There is something for the water sport enthusiasts as well, who can quench their need for adrenaline rush by river rafting on the Teesta and Rangit river. Wildlife lovers can find their way to the famous Khangchendzonga National Park or one among many sanctuaries like Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary, Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary to get up close to the numerous endemic species of animals.
Whether you are planning a trip with your family or just by yourself, Sikkim has something for everyone.