The natural grace of Sikkim has turned the place into an enchanting state for visitors. The 5 seasons are witnessed distinctively in this place away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The region provides enough ground for orchids and rhododendrons to grow during the summer season.
I was always eager to take this opportunity of joining a trekking team between April and June. But the opportunity came at a price when our entire group found time to visit Sikkim in December last year.
Our Visit to East Sikkim
I was bound to fall in love with the warmth and affection that I received in Sikkim. Tourism is the only flourishing industry in this state. However, a section of their population has moved to agriculture. Our visit to the eastern part of Sikkim included a few points of attractions. Gangtok is a major tourist attraction over here, and I don’t find words to describe the awesomeness of this place. We had visited numerous tourist spots around the capital city. I’ll show you the directions to various other tourist spots from Gangtok as it’s more convenient due to the small area of the eastern district.
For all nature lovers, the Orchid Sanctuary near the Institute of Tibetology is a reason for delight. The sanctuary holds a rare collection of about 454 orchid species that is found in Sikkim.
The eastern portion of Sikkim accommodates another graceful lake called the Menmecho Lake, which is some 20 kms away from the Tsomgo Lake. A notable tributary of the Teesta, the Rangpo-Chu creates the Menmecho Lake by filling the area between mountains.
The smooth and plain road over the Gangtok town gets extended to form the ridge. While in Gangtok, you’ll need to walk past the main market for a period of 15 minutes to reach the Ridge Garden amid its spectacular beauty.
Water Garden is a place of attraction for Gangtok residents as it proves a nice picnic spot for them. Situated on the National highway, the Water Garden can be visited at a place called Martam Khola, which is some 16 kilometers away from the town.
White Hall Besides classic architecture of the British era, the historical value of the White House is worth mentioning. The White Hall has its own distinct way of gracing two storeys on the ridge. Named after the first political officer Claude White, the White Hall was constructed in 1932.
Our Visit to North Sikkim
North Sikkim reminds you of wild animals, frozen lakes, stupas, wild orchids, high mountains and pastures. The beautiful Green Lake rising to a height of 16,500 feet provides enough ground for trekking in Sikkim. The state keeps you engaged in its celestial beauty by way of small tours within the hillocks.
North Sikkim has the following destinations for tourists:
Tso Lhamu Lake
Situated on a plateau that covers a big area, the Tso Lhamu Lake is about 192 kms away from the capital city. Created by the Teesta groundwork, this lake rises to a height of 18000 feet. The multiple fold beauty of this lake is truly eye-catching.
Tumlong Palace Ruins
The historical records of Sikkim show Tumelong to be a place of great importance. Tumelong used to be the capital of Sikkim during the 19th century. This place used to be the fourth capital of the state. It remained the state capital for 90 long years.
The northern portion of Sikkim has one of the picturesque places in Thangu, which stands about 30 kms away from Lachen. The alpine meadows of Thangu look graceful amid army camp and wooden houses.
Driving to about 17 kms from northern Gangtok, you’ll come to this small town called Kabi Longstock. This place marks the beginning of the 13th century historical records of Sikkim and rises to some 4800 feet in altitude.
The Best Time to Visit Sikkim
The state of Sikkim shows you through some varying shades of vegetation and climate due to the intense altitude of this region. The state has recorded regular snowfall, which is not prevalent in other states. The roads and rivers pose a tough challenge for the tourists to visit the state of Sikkim during the monsoon season. You’ll find it difficult to visit this state between the months of July and September as it witnesses a number of landslides every year. I won’t advice you to visit this state during the monsoon although you may come across a few cheap boarding packages. You must wait and let the flowers to bloom again by the time the month of August ends.
Sikkim invites tourists to its marvelous landscapes once the skies are cleared with the arrival of autumn. The real pleasure of checking the scenic beauties of Sikkim lies in its fine weather between the months of September and December. We were lucky to have observed perpetual snowfall during December as it was quite cold outside our hotel rooms. An envelope of snow was created over the mountains and roads to make it a treat for our eyes.
In my opinion, the best times for visiting Sikkim are the periods between March and June and between September and December.