Understanding Sikkim: History People & Culture

By | 2018-01-08T21:10:04+00:00 January 6th, 2018|state-guide|0 Comments

The breathtaking view and the amazing ambiance are what make your stay beautiful at Sikkim. Whether you are planning a thrill-filled trip with your group of friends or you are in the mood for a relaxing vacation with your family, Sikkim has everything in store for you.

THE WARM & FRIENDLY PEOPLE

One of the fascinating facts about Sikkim is its warm people and culture. While exploring Sikkim, you will get to interact with the local people, who are mainly Bhutias, Nepalis, and Lepchas. The warm and friendly nature of the locals makes you feel absolutely at home. In fact, I enjoyed my stay at Sikkim mostly because of the local people I got to interact with. Right from knowing about their religious faith and festivals to tasting their homemade delicacies – it was a fabulous experience that I would love to cherish for the rest of my life.

Quite interestingly, you can witness a perfect coexistence of Buddhist monasteries and Hindu temples in Sikkim. In fact, I was simply amazed to see how people from different religions have managed to preserve their individuality with absolute peace.

SIKKIM: HOW ABOUT SAFETY & RULES

I experienced quite a smooth and comfortable stay in Sikkim as the state is well organized and supervised by the state government. Just one thing to keep in mind is you can’t violate the basic rules like smoking or consuming alcohol in sacred places or disturbing the wildlife or its habitat. But then, these are some basic rules that we have to follow at any tourist place, right? Well, you can rest assured of complete security and safety during your stay at Sikkim.

HOW MUCH TO BUDGET TO VISIT SIKKIM

All the different parts of Sikkim offer a wide range of accommodations and other facilities. The budget that you require entirely depends on how lavishly you want to stay. Right from the budget hotels to the luxury boutiques – you can choose anything according to your preference and quite obviously, the budget varies accordingly.

However, if you are planning a moderate trip, you can set a budget of around INR 1500/- that will cover your stay as well as food and miscellaneous costs. Make sure you over-budget to a certain extent as it will help you avoid any kind of cost crunch.

HOW LONG TO VISIT SIKKIM: 5-7 DAYS

Sikkim is a beautiful state with multiple things to see and do. I personally believe at least 5-7 days (excluding travel days) are required to explore the four different parts of Sikkim (East, South, West & North), but if you are planning a longer trip, you won’t regret it for sure!

Lesson days? no worries, you can still get the best of Sikkim that includes Gangtok and nearby sights in 2-3 days. I suggest you keep your stay in Gangtok and hire a local taxi with a driver who can guide you for the sightseeing.

WHEN TO VISIT SIKKIM: RIGHT SEASON?

The answer to this question depends on the type of traveler or tourist you are? or if you are coming to visit the state solo, couple, with kids or taking your parents. I tried my best to explain the question however, I strongly suggest you to

SUMMERS– If you are looking for a lovely and pleasant stay, visit Sikkim during the summers, i.e. from April to June. The temperature varies between 5 and 25 degrees. However, the nights are quite chilling and hence, you need to pack in sufficient woolen clothes. During this time, it’s ideal to visit Yumthang valley, Gurudongmar lake, and Rumtek monastery.

MONSOONS – Since Sikkim faces moderate to heavy rainfall, the temperature falls to quite a great extent. With a temperature range of 4-15 degree Celsius, Sikkim is quite chilling and pleasant between July and September. Though there is a slight risk of landslides, you can grab some great deals on the hotels. On top of that, the destinations are also less crowded – what else do you need!

WINTERS – If you are looking for an extremely chilly vacation with snowfalls, definitely plan your trip during the winters, i.e. from October to March. Usually, the temperature stays between -5 degrees and 7 degrees during this season.

GOING SIKKIM IN WINTERS? HERE ARE SOME TIPS

  1. The route to Gurudongmar from Lachen might be frozen making the lake inaccessible. There’s might be a thick sheet of ice on the road resembling an ice-skating field. It’s slippery and too risky to be driving on. Check out the local weather condition & rely on expert local advice.
  2. Average temp in Lachung/Lachen remain between -5 to -12 deg Celsius during peak winter season.
  3. If Gurudongmar isn’t happening due to frozen route, your driver/guide might offer to take you (at an extra cost) to Kalapatthar, which offers views of snow-laden landscapes. The place actually resembles a stone quarry and is occupied by army cantonments with restricted civilian access. You may find some snowfall there. However, we think if you really want to go there.
  4. While in Gangtok, skip the local sightseeing package and rather explore the town on foot. The flower exhibition center and city’s football stadium are popular attractions.
  5. The drive to Nathula-Baba Mandir-Tsomgo lake is a one-time must do, but expect these spots to be crowded with tourists.
  6. A rather off-beat trip would be a drive to Lathang valley from Gangtok and night stay at Zuluk village for splendid vistas of the valley during the day and a glittering night sky overlooking a dazzling Gangtok visible from a distance.
  7. In case you’re game for some trekking, head to Yuksom from Gangtok (4-hr drive) and trek to either Dzongri top (4 days) or all the way to Goecha La pass (7 days) for splendid views of the eastern Himalayas.
  8. A road trip through South and West Sikkim comes recommended.
  9. Lastly, you may visit the Sikkim Himalayan Academy and volunteer to teach young children from nearby villages. Your stay there would be free and you may donate to the academy any material you think would help in educating the kids.

SOME COMMON FAQs ABOUT SIKKIM TRIP

  • Yes, Sikkim is the safest place for solo female traveler

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