Sikkim truly is a great thing sent by Gods in a small package. It is the 2nd smallest state in India and is not that populous either but the state has much more to offer than you can take. It is bordered by China, Bhutan, Nepal and West Bengal in its South and is groomed by its filthy rich biodiversity. It proudly flaunts its interesting mix of flora and fauna which has over 450 species of birds, around 144 species of animals, over 450 kinds of orchids, over 40 varieties of rhododendrons, over 4000 flowering plants and 300 types of ferns. It hosts the epitome of beauty the Mt. Kanchenjunga. No wonder the state has earned quite a number of awards and titles few of which are, "Best Tourism Performing State in the North East", "Today's Traveler Platinum Award "and" Best Performing State".
You may trek or hike around the state. You could also go for cycling, mountain biking to explore every inch of the state. It provides you with a lot of places for you to enjoy and adventure activities as well. You deserve to be in this pollution-free state at least once a year as it will refresh your senses.
Sikkim is a multiethnic, multilingual state with people of different caste, culture and tradition forming up a population of 644660. The original inhabitants of Sikkim were the Lepchas, from Tibet who were later joined by other groups, the Nepalese from Nepal and the Bhutias from Tibet. Nevertheless, Nepalese are the most people filling up the state today. It has 10 official languages spoken among different races of people but the most common language spoken here is Nepali. The state celebrates all the festivals starting with Saga Dawa in the month of May. Drukpa Tseshi and Tendong Lho Rum Phaat in the month of August. Indra Jatra and Pang Labsol in the month of September. Then Lakshmi Puja in the month of October, Lhahbab Duchen in November. With December come the festivals of Barahimizong Kagyat Dance Losoong Sikkimese Tamu Lhochhar Nyenpa Guzom. Maghi Sankranti Sanhamole in January.
Losar Tibetan in February. Sikkim State Day in May and Guru Rinpoche's birthday in the month of August. The state lights up with equal warmth and happiness during all the festivals. You will find plenty of natural places like lakes or hills or caves that are considered holy because majority of Sikkimese used to be animist. Those places are worshipped even today. Their folk songs and folk dances can be witnessed during festivals and other special occasions. The cuisine here is more or less similar to that of Darjeeling’s with “Bhaat” as their staple food accompanied with dal, curry and achar. Other common foods are momos and thukpas. The traditional foods are taba, kinema, gundruk, churpi, etc.
JEWELS OF SIKKIM
Namchi, is a small Switzerland. It is blessed with serene nature with warm friendly people. It is also famous for tall statues. There are two of them at the moment at Solophuk Hill which is five kilometers from Namchi town. One is of Guru Padmasambhava and other one is of Lord Shiva.
Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim and is equally beautiful in fact more clean and organized. Its Kanchenjunga National Park was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016. It houses plenty of monasteries and temples which date back to years old.
Lachung, Lachen and Yumthang Valley
These are small towns in North Sikkim, brimming with breath taking beauty. Other attractions of this place are Lachung monastery, and the Gurudongmar Lake.
Nathu La and Tsomgo Lake
Nathu La is three hours drive from Gangtok. This was a major passageway on the Old Silk Route between India and Tibet. Foreigners can go up to Tsomgo Lake, also called Changu Lake, 27 kilometers short of Nathu La, after taking permission.
Buddha Park is the main attraction of Ravangla because of the 130 foot golden statue of Buddha. The well managed garden around the park adds to its beauty.
Yuksom and the Dzongri Trail
This provides gateway for trekking towards Mt. Kanchenjunga. The route starts from Yuksom to Dzongri Peak and Rathong Glacier, and further on to Goecha Peak. This is the most popular trek in Sikkim.
Trekking at Mt. Kanchenjunga
Trekking to Mt. Kanchendzonga is one of the most challenging treks in the world and is the truly the trekkers paradise.