Sikkim is one of the most beautiful places in India’s northeastern region and is also one of the country’s favorite tourist destinations. In one extreme corner of India’s map, this beautiful state is tucked away, surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Sikkim sightseeing is nothing less than calming to your eyes and mind. Although we are facing a difficult situation now as a result of a global pandemic, it is also crucial that we do everything to stay calm. And when all this gets over, what’s better than arranging a holiday with your near and dear ones. Depending on the time of your trip, one can also witness snowfall in this picturesque location. So let’s start with some of the most famous places to visit in Sikkim.
In this quaint state of Sikkim, the Tsongmo Lake is an unmissable attraction. If you’re staying in Gangtok, you’ll need to drive around 38 km away from the city to get to this nearby lake. When you’ll be driving to the place, you’re going to have to cross snaky and rocky roads along the snow-clad mountains. It is serene as well as exciting. The Brahmini ducks, pretty flowers like pink, and blue poppies, and Primulus are the major attractions of this location. You may also take a ride in pony or yak. One thing you need to take care of is not to travel around this region after the evening. The main reason is that it’s going to be dark and you might lose track.
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MG Marg in Gangtok
MG Marg is unquestionably Sikkim’s ‘happening place.’ It might sound cheesy, but when you step on MG Marg you get the feeling that you are at the center of the universe. Perhaps that’s because its too convenient to be completely present here with the moment. MG Marg is the ideal place to enjoy the fresh air and a coffee or beer. It is the shopping (and simply hanging out) epicenter and is lined with pubs, cafes, travel agencies, and restaurants. The best restaurants in Gangtok can be found here. Take a table overlooking the side of the street, and enjoy the scene. You may think the place is crowded with people and cars but luckily MG Marg is a pedestrian-only vehicle-free zone. Littering and smoking on MG Marg is also illegal making it a safe, chilled out place to hang out. Any visit to Gangtok without a visit to its town center is incomplete.
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The Sikkim monasteries are amongst the world’s most prominent and majestic. No doubt the Rumtek Monastery (also known as the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center) is high on the list. About 22 km away from Gangtok, it sits high on a hill across the river. Souvenir shops and snack shacks dot the steep road leading up to Rumtek. Then, behold the sanctuary, surrounded by living quarters of the monks on all sides. Stepping into this building, the noise seems to vanish and you get entranced by the area’s calm and serenity. The best time to visit is during the time of prayer, when the monks join in singing, blowing the Tibetan horn, and hitting their two-sided drums rhythmically. Seeing and hearing this is amazing once in a lifetime experience! Go to the café afterward for a cup of coffee or a plate of veg momos. It is an all-inclusive venue, with a monastic college, a retreat center, rare and prized books, and the Golden Stupa, which is 500 years old.
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The high altitude mountain pass, perhaps the most scenic place in Sikkim, connects Sikkim and Tibet. The highly political region was closed for about 40 years until Wednesday – Sunday 2006 was opened to visitors. It is also for this purpose that to visit Nathula Pass, tourists need a special pass from the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation. Only Indians may visit this site and December is the best time to visit this snow-clad area.
Zuluk is one of those places that you should visit, while it is untouched, unadulterated, and slightly offbeat until it comes under the umbrella of tourism. Zuluk can satisfy your cravings if you are a mountain person; with views over vast eastern Himalayan ranges like the Kanchenjunga. Trek all you want and soak up the beautiful views without blinking, just by going around with the locals. It can’t get any better than spending an evening at this place with a hot cup of Temi tea.
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