UTOPIA ON EARTH:SIKKIM
Surrounded by sky high mountains, green valleys, unspoiled forests, Sikkim is an exotic place to visit. The topography adds to the sense of adventure of the state. Friendly people and mouthwatering dishes, and the tranquility makes the place a traveler’s dream.
Travelling is revitalizing, travelling is exciting and travelling is considered as a respite from the dull and hectic life. For all the travelling enthusiasts who love exploring new places, and absolutely love a place which offers peace and adventure at the same time, also known as Nye-mae-el (literally meaning “paradise”), Sikkim is the place for you.
Perhaps the loveliest destination in India, Sikkim is a hilly state with plunging mountain ranges and valleys, and lush green forests. Its remoteness makes it difficult to access, but at the same time one of the most peaceful holiday destinations in India.
The second smallest state in terms of area, the state of Sikkim is landlocked by the Himalayas on one side, Nepal, China’s Tibet Autonomous Region and Bhutan. The world’s third highest peak, Kangchenjunga is situated on the Sikkim-Nepal border.
The annual average temperature of Sikkim is 18°C, and it has a sub-tropical climate in the south and tundra climate in the north. It is also one of the very few stated of India to receive regular snowfall.
Exceptionally blessed by nature, Sikkim houses a wide variety of flora and fauna. Bamboos, Oak, Conifer, Orchids and many flowering plants are among the few varieties of plants present in the region. Among the wildlife, one can find the Red Panda, Asian black bear, Leopard, Musk Deer and many other.
Sikkim is a blend of people from different ethnicities coming together and living in the region. A considerable number of Nepalese population because of the shared border with Nepal. One can also find the Lepchas, Bhutias, and Tibetans living together with migrants from other communities such as Bengalis, Marwaris and Biharis.
Majority of the population of Sikkim are followers of Hinduism, and the state houses many Hindu temples as well. Buddhism is also a major religion in the state. The Kirateshwar Mahadev Temple is also a very popular pilgrimage center. Most Hindu festivals including Diwali and Dussehra are celebrated, Maghe Sanskriti, Bhimsen Puja, Losar, Loosong and Bhumchu are among the other festivals celebrated in the state.
In Love with Momos and Thukpas…
A blend of Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine, the food habits in Sikkim are very diverse. Momos (stuffed steam dumplings) are the most famous dish of Sikkim.
Another very popular dish widely available in the state is Thukpa, a Tibetan style noodle based soup.
Other famous dishes include, Kinema, Gundruk and Sinki. Sishnu is the most exotic local dish of Sikkim, prepared from leaves of edible wild varieties of nettle.
Sikkim is also popular for its Temi Tea, which mainly consists of pure tea golden flowery orange pekoe. The chilly weather makes the tea drinking experience enjoyable.
the untouched Heaven on Earth
Sikkim is a traveler’s paradise, something about the state is very soothing to the soul. When in Sikkim, it is a must to visit some of the below mentioned places:
The fact that Sikkim houses over 200 monasteries and the breathtaking scenic beauty makes it one of the best places to meditate. These monasteries are the perfect place to attain some peace and quiet and move away from the commotion of city life. Festivals are held in these monasteries which make them a fun place to be in. Rumtek, Pemayangtse and Tashiding are among the famous monasteries in Sikkim.
If you love adventure sports, Teesta River is the place for you. River rafting is the latest adventure activity to arrive in Sikkim. The topography of the area and the interesting course of the area makes it an interesting and thrilling activity. The best time for rafting is March to May and October to December.
Yuksom and the Dzongri Trail
The magnificent valleys, dense forests, magnificent gardens and rivers makes Sikkim a trekker’s paradise. The trek from Yuksom to Dzongri Peak, is the most famous trek in Sikkim.
An astounding variety of flora and fauna- over 450 species of birds, 400 species of butterflies and 450 varieties of orchids- makes the state a just visit for nature enthusiasts. Deorali Orchid Sanctuary in South Gangtok and Kyongnosia Alpine Sanctuary are two of the most famous sanctuaries in Sikkim.
Nathu La Pass and the Old Silk Route
three hours from Gangtok, the old Silk Route and the Nathu La Pass is situated on the Chinese border. With Chinese soldiers stationed on the other side of the border, the height and the snowcapped pass adds a thrill to the journey. Although only Indians are allowed to travel to the pass after obtaining the proper permit.