North Sikkim’s a fascinating destination that attracts tourists from all over the world. It is known for its clean, untouched natural beauty and rich cultural heritage located in the northeastern part of India. North Sikkim offers beautiful scenery, gushing waterfalls, beautiful valleys, and peaceful lakes that leave visitors with a sense of wonder.
North Sikkim is a paradise for nature and adventure lovers. Many outdoor activities like trekking, and camping are available in North Sikkim. In addition, the region has several shrines and monasteries that reflect its spiritual importance and cultural diversity.
In this article we’ll take you for a virtual tour of North Sikkim, highlighting 10 places that deserve to be seen and visited in order to highlight its beauty. Please take a look at the best North Sikkim tourist spots below.
Gurudongmar Lake, situated at an altitude of 5,210 meters. It is a breathtaking natural wonder in North Sikkim. This picturesque lake holds significant religious value for Buddhists, Sikhs, and Hindus, attracting devotees and tourists.Perched at such a height, Gurudongmar Lake offers a mesmerizing view, with its crystal clear waters covered by snow-capped mountains. Its pristine beauty captivates the senses of all who visit.
During the peak season, when it’s the best time to explore the lake, devotees and tourists alike gather at this sacred site to seek blessings and admire the majestic scenery. The annual pilgrimage to this Lake is a major event, where believers pay their respects and offer prayers. The lake holds a special place in the hearts of the locals, evoking a sense of peace and awe with its spiritual ambiance.Beyond its religious significance, Lake Gurudongmar also provides opportunities for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. The surrounding area offers ample chances for hiking, camping, and exploring the scenic wonders of the Himalayan region. The journey to the lake itself is an adventurous one, with breathtaking views and rugged terrain.
For those visiting Gurudongmar Lake, nearby attractions include the charming town of Lachen, the Tangu Valley, and Cho Lhamu—the source of the Teesta River. These places offer glimpses of the natural wonders and cultural richness of North Sikkim.
Its magnificent location and religious significance make it a popular tourist spot in North Sikkim. Whether you seek spiritual solace or wish to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature, Gurudongmar Lake promises an unforgettable experience.
Yumthang is one of the most popular tourist spots in North Sikkim. Discover the captivating Yumthang Valley in North Sikkim, situated 140 km north of Gangtok. Renowned as the “Valley of Flowers,” this extraordinary location boasts hot springs, meandering rivers, majestic yaks, and picturesque green meadows. Perched at an elevation of 3564 meters, this breathtaking valley is a haven for nature enthusiasts. It is home to the enchanting Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, where you can witness the blooming of over 24 species of Rhododendron flowers (the state flower) from late February to mid-June.
Yumthang Valley remains closed to tourists from December to March due to heavy snowfall. This mesmerizing valley is famous for hot springs. The water of this hot spring has healing properties. The valley is covered with lush green trees and dense forests filled with Pine and silver fir trees. As you journey toward Yumthang Valley, you’ll be treated to the sight of cascading waterfalls, meandering streams, and majestic peaks, including Pauhunri and Shundu Tsenpa.
Lachen, situated in the northern district of Sikkim, captivates visitors with its breathtaking beauty and serves as an alluring tourist destination. Renowned for the revered Lachung Monastery, this town boasts natural wonders and tranquil greenery, attracting both Buddhist pilgrims and tourists alike. Lachen, with its sparse population, is a picturesque holiday spot and serves as the gateway to the sacred Gurudongmar and Tso Lhamu lakes.
At the heart of Lachen lies the Nyingma order of Himalayan Buddhism, embodied by the Lachen Monastery, Lachen Chu, and the surrounding alpine terrain. This quaint town in Sikkim is characterized by its lush vegetation, adorned with vast grasslands, shrubs, and enchanting apple orchards. The verdant valleys blanketed with pine trees and the majestic snow-capped cliffs of the Eastern Himalayas commence their journey from Lachen, establishing it as a prime starting point for various treks in the North Sikkim region. Noteworthy among these treks are the famed Green Lake and Kanchenjunga National Park trails. Moreover, Lachen offers captivating expeditions to Chopta Valley, Green Lake, Cho-Lamu, Gurudongmar Lake, and the enchanting Shinghba Rhododendron Sanctuary.
Related Article: Places to visit in Lachen
Located at an impressive altitude of 18,000 feet, Cholamu Lake in North Sikkim proudly claims the title of being the 14th-highest lake globally and the highest in India. As you descend the slope, approximately 300 feet from Donkiala Pass (at 18,300 feet), a breathtaking sight awaits you—the moderately sized, nearly frozen Cholamu Lake. Due to its proximity to the Tibet border, access to this remarkable lake is restricted to those with special permits issued by the Army and Sikkim police/administration.
Also known as Tso Lhamo Lake, it is important to note that obtaining permission to visit this lake can be challenging. It is advisable to avoid visiting during the monsoon or winter seasons. For family trips, it is recommended to explore Gurudongmar Lake as an alternative. However, if weather conditions are favorable and you are able to acquire the necessary permits, embarking on a journey to Cholamu Lake is a remarkable choice. Since most travel agencies avoid risking their vehicles and drivers in this treacherous terrain, reaching the lake often entails a rewarding trek. Few places in the world possess a more serene allure than this placid expanse of water, situated 17,000 feet above sea level, with majestic mountains measuring between 22,000 to 24,000 feet casting their magnificent shadows upon its surface
The Thangu Village is situated at an altitude of 3900 m, offering magnificent beauty and serenity to its inhabitants. This beautiful village, only a 2-hour journey from Lachen, is an excellent resting place for tourists before they embark on adventurous walks to Guruggang Lake, Mughangut, or Cho Lhamu Lake. There are charming rows of trees waiting to greet you when you reach Thangu Valley, with each step revealing a fascinating view of the Tibetan plateau. The great gateway for nature lovers will be Thangu, which offers an enjoyable escape from the busy world.
Plan a trip in May and June to enjoy the stunning Thangu Valley at its best. In this period, the valley is painted with vivid alpine flowers that make it appear as a stunning landscape. But these delicate flowers are gracefully covered with a blanket of snow in the colder months from October to March. The sight of stunning hiking trails leading to the valley of Chopta as well as Muguthang and some truly thrilling experiences has further enhanced the village’s attraction.
Chopta Valley is one of the most popular tourist spots in North Sikkim. The Chopta Valley has been known as “the valley of flowers” during the summer months, and it is popular for its vivid colors. This valley is unexplored and untouched, as very few tourists travel to this destination despite its popularity. This beautiful valley is a perfect place for nature lovers and birders to discover many rare animal, plant, or bird species.
Mount Katao is one of the most popular tourist spots in North Sikkim, lying at a distance of 144 Km from Gangtok and 28 Km from Lachung. The fantastical mountain offers a breathtaking perspective to its observers and is ideal for adventure seekers who like skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding, and grinding in the winter. However, because Mt. Katao is situated on a military base, a permit from the army is necessary to reach this region.
The base of Mount Katao is home to a variety of adventure sports activities and is covered with natural plants including poppy, rhododendron, and primula. This incredible location is 15000 feet above sea level and is nearly entirely covered with snow. Nearby, there is a zero point that offers some breathtaking views.
Lachung is one of the most popular tourist spots in North Sikkim, sheltered with a splendid view over the Himalayas. Lachung should appear on every traveler’s wish list in the North Sikkim area, filled with a number of beautiful mountains, magnificent waterfalls, and colorful orchards.
There is a very good celebration of Christmas among other festivals. Gompa is a further important source of extraction. If you’re here, you need to visit this Gompa. It has colorful architecture, and it leads to Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. The name Lachung means a little pass because this place is on the border of Tibet. For exotic hand-woven blankets and shawls, you must also visit the Weavers’ Society.
Related Article: Places to visit in Lachung
In Yume Samdong, a charming destination in North Sikkim, you can discover the magical beauty of this place. The height of Zero Point is 15,300 feet above sea level. Let’s get there in 1 hour and a half from Yumthang for an exciting ride through narrow roads and rough terrain to Yume Samdong.
With special permission in hand, take in the stunning views of lush valleys that are filled with the exquisite scent of azaleas. Yume Samdong, also known as Zero Point, shows all of its splendor during the months of March and April. Enjoy this wonderful opportunity to see nature’s beauties up close.
Chungthang, located in North Sikkim, is a stunning town known for its abundant biodiversity. Nestled at the merging point of two rivers, Lachung Chu and Lachen Chu, this enchanting town holds great religious significance among the locals. A prevalent legend surrounding Chungthang is that it received blessings from the revered Buddhist guru Padmasambhava.
Demaong, a place where Guru Nanak Dev once stopped. The place is known as ‘The Hidden Valley of Rice’. This region in Sikkim holds a fascinating marvel: a stone imprinted with Guru Padmasambhava’s footprints and a small opening that constantly seeps water. The locals find it miraculous that paddy cultivation thrives in the harsh winter climate for which the region is renowned.
North Sikkim is a favorite destination all year round. March to June are the best time to visit North Sikkim. The weather is fine and the temperature varies from 16 to 26 °C. So it’s a pleasure to stay outside and explore the destination. The roads are in good condition and almost all places, even remote ones, are accessible during this season. This time is also good for activities such as trekking, rock climbing, and camping.May to September is also a good time for visiting North Sikkim. The temperature is moderate 28-30°C During this time. In the months of July and September, it does suffer from moderate to heavy rainfall. It is not recommended to visit Northern Sikkim during the winter season of October to February due to a very harsh climate and temperatures falling below 0C.
Sikkim’s north region is known for its mix of Nepalese, Tibetan, and Northern Sikkimese cuisine.
The food in Sikkim is largely based on rice and culinary vegetables from the jungle, such as fern, wild lilies, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and more. Here are some of the popular dishes in Sikkim that you can try.
Most of the ingredients used in Sikkimese cuisine are found locally, and the food is known for its unique taste combinations that are not typically used in Indian cuisine. You can try out the many local cafes, restaurants, and street kiosks to make the best of the many culinary delights offered in this beautiful state.
Sikkim is a stunning part of India in the northeast. It’s full of natural beauty, a mix of cultures, and many friendly people. Here are a few things to bear in mind if you are planning to visit north Sikkim.
Timing: The best time to travel to Northern Sikkim is in the summer months (April to June) or in the fall months (September to November).
Packing: Make sure to pack warm clothes, as the temperature can drop significantly at night. Also, carry comfortable shoes, as you may have to walk on uneven terrain.
Permits: You will need permits to visit certain areas in North Sikkim, such as Gurudongmar Lake and Nathula Pass. Make sure to obtain the necessary permits in advance.
Transportation: If you are going to travel around a few times in the region, it is advisable to book the package that includes transport, lodging, and meals. Non-AC xylo is the most common form of transportation in north Sikkim.
Environment: Sikkim is a plastic-free state, and people are environmentally conscious. As a tourist, it is important to be mindful of the environment and avoid littering.
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