Sikkim is a state in the Himalayan mountain range, wedged between Nepal and Bhutan. It’s the smallest state of India, with just over 607,000 people. The temperature ranges from 10 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius during the year (50-85 Fahrenheit). The best time to visit Sikkim in summer is from April to June!
This article will serve as an introduction to Sikkim, including all there is to see and do in this hidden gem of the east. Let’s start our journey!
Sikkim at a glance:
6th smallest Indian State by population size. The fifth least populous independent country in Asia. With a population under 4 million, it is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Asia. Population density is about 300 people per square kilometer. The capital, Gangtok, is a compact city at 800 meters (2,600 feet) above sea level and has a pleasant climate.
The State has an area of 36,850 sq km and borders Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north and northeast; Nepal and Bhutan to the east; Arunachal Pradesh to the south; Odisha, West Bengal to the west; Assam to the northwest. Its easternmost point touches Bangladesh.
Things to do in Sikkim
The state has many lakes, and if you’re keen on kayaking (especially in May, June, and September) you can explore the pristine Hitechon, Thongmee, Namshinggo, Pancheng, and Lachung Lakes.
There are also panoramic views at the Tsomgo Lake (60 m above sea level), Lingchong Lake (32m), Taseko Lake (25m), Lepcha-Tenzam grasslands (23m), Phuktse Lake (22m), and Sikkim bazaar.
Secretary of the Sikkim chapter of Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage. The splendid Pelling Palace, located at a height of 2080m above sea level, is one of the few royal palaces still maintained in the world. Its other name is The Sikkimese hill station and represents the richness of the hills and their beauty.
Reaching Pelling requires walking through pitch-black corridors, steep staircases, and narrow corridors, with sparse lighting to fight off pathogenic insects such as black flies during early monsoons when temperatures can rise to 45° c (113°F) plus. It takes between 4-6 hours round trip to reach Pelling in a day. Rest houses and mountaineering base camps are available near Pelling if you want to overnight. The beautiful Pelling Palace, owned by the royal family of Sikkim, is a fortress-like complex with temples, courtyards, and grand gardens. The main attraction is the elaborately carved royal throne room known as Sera Mahal. The intricate floral designs on the ceilings are inlaid with semi-precious stones and semi-precious woods. The best time to visit Sikkim in monsoon is July to September!
The sight of two protecting deities—the elephant Yaksha and the lion Garuda—on pillars outside the main hall call for close observation. Inside, you’ll find impressive wooden carvings on columns and ceiling beams depicting scenes from Hindu mythology, epic legends like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Buddha’s life story, and others. The interiors are like the palaces in neighboring Bhutan.
“Do You Have a Passport?”
To enter any of these buildings, you must first take permission from the palace authorities. A no-objection letter can be obtained by providing your name, address, and profession to any of the locals or hoteliers, who in turn will request permission on your behalf through their contacts at the palace. The palace authorities will then call you when they are ready to give you a tour. The royal family lives elsewhere now, but they still come here occasionally. They have given the building and some of their private belongings to the government for preservation and maintenance.
Things to consider before visiting Sikkim
Getting a Sikkim Tourist permit and Visa
It is mandatory to carry a valid passport, visa, and travel insurance while visiting Sikkim. The government of India offers e-visa (14 days visa) for all nationalities except Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. However, the citizens of these three countries can apply for a regular visa through any Indian Mission/Post in their home country. It takes one day to arrange the visa from any of the Indian Missions/Posts. How to get the Visa on arrival:
Indian Missions/Posts abroad are the nominated Indian Missions/Posts abroad are the nominated Indian missions/consulates source of issuance of visas on arrival.
Multi-entry: Rs. 3,000/- (single entry) and Rs. 6,000/- (multiple entries) will be charged for applying for multiple entries in case it is required for a longer period of stay in Sikkim. You can apply for an e-Visa or visa on Arrival through these government websites that charge a service fee to apply for it as per their policy: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india and https://www.ecindia.org/.
Conclusion- The Sikkim Tourism Department can be reached easily. You can get a copy of the Sikkim Tourist permit and Visa there. You can visit the subject matter here. Before planning your visit, you should keep insight the best time to visit Sikkim so that you make the most out of your trip!