Sikkim is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India due to its natural beauty, culture, and biodiversity. Your trip to the Himalayas will be complete when you come to this beautiful and geographically diverse state.
Located in the Himalayas, Sikkim is a landlocked state in India. The state is known in many names such as Mayel Lyang (Lepcha), Yuksom (Limbu), Denzong and bras ljongs (Standard Tibetan), Demojongs (Nepali), and the Goodly Region, or Shikimpati, Shikim.
The meaning of the word "Sikkim" is one of the bastioned places. It is one of the most scarcely populated states in India and the smallest state following Goa.
Sikkim is bounded by The Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China to the east and north, Nepal to the west, and Bhutan to the southeast. The state of West Bengal bounds Sikkim to the south. The weather of the state features a blend of high alpine and subtropical climates. The third tallest peak in the world, Kangchenjungha, is situated on the boundary of Sikkim and Nepal. The capital and biggest town of Sikkim is Gangtok. The state has a thriving economy, which is dependent on tourism and farming.
In spite of its small area, the state is geologically diverse because of its situation in the Himalayan mountain ranges.
Tourist attractions in Sikkim
Sikkim is home to many tourist attractions. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Sikkim include the following:
Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim. It is a big urban area. Picturesque monasteries and charming pagoda-roofed homes are attractive features of this city. Prominent tourist attractions of Gangtok include the Himalayan Zoological Park, Enchey Monastery, Hanuman Tok, Ganesh Tok, and the Do-Drul Chorten Stupa.
The Rumtek Monastery
The Rumtek Monastery is just 24 km from Gangtok. This wonderful monastery is one of the top tourist attractions in the state. It serves as the residence of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. Rumtek Monastery features some of the rarest works of art. The Golden Stupa is the most important portion of the compound.
Tsomgo Lake is a serene lake, bordered by ice-covered hillsides. An extra drive up the hill will bring you to the Nathula Pass, which offers a panoramic view of the border of India and China. Also known as Changu Lake, it is just 35 km from Gangtok. Tsomgo Lake is a sacred lake, revered by the people of the state.
Located in the western district of the state, Pelling is a very popular tourist destination. The place offers a spectacular sight of the Mount Kangchenjungha. Pelling houses a variety of tourist attractions that draw significant numbers of people round the year.
Orchid Sanctuary is located within the campus of the Research Institute of Tibetology. It is the most famous orchid sanctuary in the state, featuring almost 500 varieties of indigenous orchids put on display.
It is an attractive water body in the middle of the dense forests of the western part of the state. You can reach the lake from Geyzing via Pemayangtse. The lake is also named as the Wishing Lake.
Flora and fauna of Sikkim
The diverse flora and fauna of the state is also a major tourist draw. It makes the state a popular ecotourism spot and can be categorized into the following:Flora
- Musk deer
- Snow leopard
- Red panda
- Himalayan Tahr
- Himalayan marmot
- Barking deer
- Goral Himalayan Black Bear
- Common langur,
- Marbled cat
- Clouded leopard
- Wild dog
- Leopard cat
- Hog badger
- Tibetan wolf
- Jungle cat
- Civet cat
Birds - the crimson horned pheasant, Impeyan pheasant, snow cock, snow partridge, golden eagles, lammergeyer and griffon vultures, plovers, quail, sandpipers, woodcock, Old World flycatchers, pigeons, robins, and babblers.