Planning to take a vacation this summer? For most people, the first choice to escape the heat is a trip to the chilly mountains. But if you are one of those who would like to unwind in an uncrowded hill station then Sikkim is the answer for you. Located in the foothills of Himalayas, Sikkim is a host of multiple travel destinations which offers serenity to all who seeks solace from chaotic city life. Also known as Nye-mal -el which roughly means Paradise in Lepcha language, Sikkim is sure to mesmerize you with its dreamy landscape. Also present is the eye-soothing Teesta river which with its ravines and gorges follows you with all its abundance when you start your journey towards the foothills of Kanchenjunga. A wonderful blend of mountains and rivers Sikkim indeed lives up to its name.
Let’s glance at a few off-beat destinations in Sikkim.
- Rawangla – Situated at an elevation of 7000ft in Sikkim, this small town offers an amazing view of orchids and rhododendrons covering the valley and also houses a small tea garden. It also serves as a bird watcher’s paradise as it attracts a lot of birds including hill partridges in its neighbouring forests. Ralang Monastery, one of Sikkim’s significant monastery is also located here. The golden statue of lord buddha in the monastery and the tranquil greens are to remain in one’s mind forever.
- Barsey – Well known for its colourful and flamboyant rhododendron sanctuary, Barsey is located in West Sikkim. This is an ideal destination for trekkers. Trekking through the sanctuary is an exhilarating experience. Apart from various Rhododendrons in the sanctuary this is also a hub for red pandas as well as black bears. For those who loves adventure amidst spectacular location, Barsey is a spot not to be missed.
- Yumthang Valley – Roughly about 150 km from state capital Gangtok, lies the Yumthang valley of flowers. Nature’s beauty at its best is showcased via a wonderful array of hot springs, green pastures, rivers surrounded by the mighty Himalayan mountain. Rainbows seem to come down on earth as the whole valley is covered by various vibrant colourful flowers. February till mid-June is the flowering season and thus the best time to visit.
- Tsomgo Lake– Also known as Changu Lake, it is some 40 kilometers from Gangtok and considered very sacred among the Buddhists. The melting snow of the surrounding mountains is the source of water for this lake. In spring time, the lake comes alive with colourful flowers surrounding its vicinity. The enigmatic lightly snow sprinkled mountains and the clear reflective water captures every tourist’s heart forever. Besides a yak ride around the lake is an added bonus. Since it is located in a restricted region special permit is required to visit Changu lake.
Well connected via roadways to Siliguri, Sikkim is known to attract Indian as well as foreign tourists because of its ethereal beauty for years. It offers a perfect mixture of adventure and relaxation and the local people welcomes everyone with open heart and mind. Not to forget, it wows everyone with its utter respect for the environment. You will not miss noticing how clean and organized this tourist spot is given the fact that landslide is very frequent in these areas. Whether you are riding along the steep mountains at one side and river Teesta on the other or simply sitting at your hotel room, viewing the Himalayan beauty with a simple spread of hot tea and momo, this place should be in the bucket-list for every admirer of nature’s beauty. So, what are you waiting for? Get a hold of your travel agent and pack your bags, please!
Featured Photo by Abh!shek Paul (Vivid visions)