Are you a nature enthusiast and searching for a tranquil getaway? Or did you want to enjoy a European honeymoon on a short budget? If so, don’t wait anymore and give an eye to India’s northeast side, a haven on earth for you. In this article, we are going to explore North Sikkim. So, tighten your belt, take a deep breath, read this tourist guide, and imagine yourself visiting this canvas on earth painted by the divine’s hands. Every turn toward this breathtaking place will be an unforgettable moment for you. Let’s explore the top 10 things to do in North Sikkim to make your trip memorable.
What is the Speciality of North Sikkim?
North Sikkim is a district town of Sikkim state, India, located at 3950, just 65 km from the Gangtok capital. It’s a land of rivers and mountains with stunning natural beauty.
North Sikkim is unique for its boundless natural beauty, as it’s a place to get lost in nature and forget about worldly depression. Khangchendzonga Mountain’s view, the attractive flora and fauna, and the captivating landscapes of this place make it prominent among other tourist destinations.
The enchanting beauty of the Teesta River, snow-covered mountains, and gleaming waterfalls are the attractive features of the town. The crystal-clear water of running lakes presents a picturesque view of the surrounding mountains, which is captivating to any photographer’s camera.
North Sikkim offers a blend of stunning scenery and thrilling adventures for tourists. This hidden treasure is located in the Himalayas and is the best option to escape from India’s sweltering areas.
Which part of North Sikkim is most beautiful?
The famous slogan about North Sikkim is “It’s small but beautiful,” because every corner of town has its own significance and is worth visiting. Nonetheless, Yumthang Valley is the most beautiful part of North Sikkim. This valley is like a dream destination for having alluring natural beauty.
The wildflowers of the valley are a delightful source of entertainment in this place, and in consequence, the valley earned its nickname, “Flower’s Valley.” The world’s third highest peak, Kanchenjunga, also towers in North Sikkim, and the view of this snow-capped mountain backdrops countless other high mountains of the Himalayan range. The town has a variety of interests for couples, adventure seekers, and nature lovers.
How do you plan the North Sikkim tour?
Using a travel app is the best and most effective way to organize a successful tour of North Sikkim. Through the travel app, you can get access to trusted travel agencies. But before choosing a travel agency, make sure it is worth booking a tour with them.
You can check their customer reviews online. You can also physically visit their offices. Review their plans and the included facilities in each plan, such as accommodation, food, etc. If you haven’t visited the site before, make sure the pre-arrangement of a guide to guide you thoroughly about the history, culture, trends, famous occasions, and amazing attractions.
You should also seek information about how many famous tourist attractions you can visit on a 3, 5, or 10-day tour and how many days are enough for a memorable and satisfying trip.
Make a checklist of your planning and tasks that you want to experience during this incredible journey, since it will be helpful to ignore unnecessary things and prioritize the most important adventures in the plan.
What should you pack for North Sikkim?
Sikkim State has chilly weather. Even the summer months also have pleasant weather. Therefore:
- Packing warm clothes is a must for a North Sikkim tour.
- Jackets, socks, mufflers, and other thermal accessories are a must when visiting the high-elevated areas of town.
- In addition, keep your identity documents, such as a passport or ID card, in your backpack, which is required for hotel reservations and other inspection purposes.
- Pack a comfortable pair of shoes to experience trekking and hiking in the steep mountains of town. The weather at this destination is so unpredictable.
- Hence, keeping a raincoat or umbrella will save you from severe weather.
Top 10 activities to do in North Sikkim
1. Helicopter Ride: Over the Majestic Mountains and Hills
Taking a helicopter ride is a great attraction to enjoy the beauty of town. A bird’s eye view will fascinate you with its picturesque landscapes, covered with snow and wild green plants. This helicopter journey will take the tourists up in the air, where mountains are perched in touching distance.
Experience the beauty of the Teesta River from the air. The helicopter tour is available daily, and during the North Sikkim tour, STDC also provides official participation certificates as a memorial.
Except for the joyride, helicopters are also used in Sikkim for evacuation in case of any medical emergency. Charges for helicopter rides start from INR 20,000 per booking.
2. Mountain Biking – Gangtok – Ranka – Martam
If you want to add more excitement to your tour, Mountain Biking is another exhilarating activity in North Sikkim. As a result of the town’s location, the Himalayas treks are rugged and steep enough to drive a bike. The town also has dirt roads, dense forest areas, and mountain slopes, making mountain biking best for tourists.
However, for beginners, easy and simple tracks are also available. This activity has variable charges depending on the length and type of trails. Generally, it starts from INR 100 and goes up to a fee of INR 1000 per person.
3. Camping: Lamuney Campsite, Teesta Riverside, and Camp Baliman Campsite
North Sikkim offers an opulent camping site to try this exciting adventure. In the cold weather of Yumthang Valley, arrange a bonfire close to your camp and enjoy an open-air barbecue party. Everything will be outstanding on this camping adventure, especially for individuals who want to spend romantic and peaceful moments with their partners.
Blankets of snow on high mountains and alpine forests in the surroundings present a picturesque background for photography. Keep your essentials, such as a tent, sleeping bag, and warm clothes, to make your camping hassle-free. Before setting up your tent, remember to check the weather updates.
Charges for camping in North Sikkim start at INR 1500 and can be variable according to the season and camping point.
4. Nature Tours: Rich Flora and Fauna, Warm-hearted People
Explore the pristine charisma of the town by taking a walking tour. Meet with locals to learn about their cultural values and traditions. The inhabitants of North Sikkim are very heartwarming. They treat the tourists as their guests and offer the food cooked in their homes. Learn about the traditional recipes of their foods. There is no charge to take a leisure stroll in the valleys of North Sikkim. Appreciate the town’s natural beauty and click some memorable pictures with locals. Walking tours are also best to enjoy the flora and fauna of Sikkim. The most mesmerizing and highly famous natural attractions are:
- Yumthang Valley: The Valley of Flowers
- Chopta Valley: The Valley of Alpine Flowers
- Seven Sisters Waterfall: A cascade of seven waterfalls
- Cholamu Lake: The highest lake in India
5. Rock Climbing: Yumthang Valley
If you are passionate about conquering the new peak hills, rock climbing should be at the top of your adventure list in North Sikkim. The town’s mountains are ideal for mountaineering in the Himalayan hill range.
This activity builds physical and mental health and improves problem-solving skills. But before trying, proper training is necessary. Yumthang Valley is ideal for rock climbing, with an altitude of 3500m.
Carry your helmet, rope, and climbing shoes as your essentials. Height can cause dehydration, so drink access water to hydrate your body during rock climbing.
6. Stargazing: In the Spring and Autumn
North Sikkim is the least populated area, and its unpolluted sky makes it perfect for stargazing. Spring and autumn are considered the best times to experience the full beauty of dazzling stars.
As the weather stays pleasant, the chances of rain or clouds at night are minor. Zero Point, the last spot in North Sikkim with 15,500 altitudes, is regarded as a preeminent spot for stargazing.
On a clear night, this point offers a spectacular view of stars and Milky Way galaxies with the naked eye. Carry a torchlight for navigation purposes in darkness, and keep binoculars to see the stars from closer. Avoid the artificial lights that can faint the shine of stars.
7. Trekking: Over Goecha, La Trek
North Sikkim has the best treks for trekking enthusiasts. Most of the visitors choose Goecha La Trek for this adventure. This trek has moderate difficulty at an altitude of 4939m. This 90km trek required ten days for completion.
Through this trek, I experienced the charming beauty of the mountains. The base camp for this trekking is Yuksom, easily accessible by hiring a taxi or bus from Gangtok. Experience the wildlife of North Sikkim by taking a trail through alpine forests.
8. River Rafting: Teesta River
The rocky obstacles of the Teesta River with erratic tides of crystal-clear water will give you a high-end rafting excursion in North Sikkim.
Keep an extra pair of clothes and a towel, as there are rich chances of getting wet by river water splashing. Follow the instructions of the raft guide to keep safe in this thrilling activity.
Remember to wear a life jacket and prepare to rush down in the fast flow of the Teesta River. River Rafting starts at INR 900 per person.
9. Monastery Visits: Lachung Monastery
Spend some religious time with monks from old aged monasteries. This visit will enhance your knowledge, and you will learn about the culture of Sikkim because the monks have enough knowledge to answer all your history-related questions.
Entry into monasteries is completely free of charge. Lachung monastery, located on the Indo-Chinese boundary, is the finest option for this spiritual journey and for observing the architectural marvels of history. Yearly dance performances are also organized in this monastery for tourists.
10. Bird Watching: Zero Point, Yumthang Valley, and Lachen
Visit the North Sikkim district, which is a heaven for bird lovers. This splendid town covers more than 200 bird species. Zero Point, Yumthang Valley, Lachen, and Gurudongmar are the most famous points to witness the unique birds. These spots have a huge collection of birds to capture their beauty with cameras.
The most common species of birds are puff-throated, streaked spider-hunter Sultan tit, and fire-tailed migratory birds from various regions of Nepal and China, which also take shelter in North Sikkim.
Listen to the sweet sounds of these chirping birds and look at them from a certain distance.
How many days are enough for North Sikkim?
North Sikkim is considered the most captivating part of Sikkim’s state, and its beauty cannot be explored on a one-day tour. You can plan your trip duration according to your budget and preferences.
Generally, 6 to 7 days are enough to plan an amazing itinerary for this appealing town. These days, you can cover the most attractive spots in town.
On day one, take your flight to Bagdogra Airport. From this airport, Gangtok is just a 4-hour drive. Check in at your hotel and explore the beauty of Gangtok. Onwards, spend another five days in North Sikkim by indulging in various tourist attractions.
Which month is good for North Sikkim?
You can plan your North Sikkim tour throughout the year, but the suggested months by the Sikkim Tourism Department are March to May. These are the spring months, and tourists can witness the beauty of blooming flowers. Water sports can be enjoyed in a full, pleasant environment.
Moreover, October to mid-December is also the best time to visit Sikkim. In these autumn months, the vista of the Himalayan hills can be enjoyed thoroughly. Snowfall is also an attractive point in these months.
Is Sikkim cheap to visit?
Sikkim tour expenses depend on the type of flight, hotel room price, culinary experience, and the vehicle you choose for roaming in the town.
Generally, a single couple’s week’s tour can be covered within INR 35,000. In this budget, you can get the finest hotel stay with complimentary breakfast and a taxi and try the various activities.
The budget could be increased to add more enjoyment and get a wonderful experience from your journey. However, good planning and budget optimization can decrease many tour expenditures. As compared to international trips, Sikkim is cheap to visit.
Which month is snowfall in North Sikkim?
Snowfall in North Sikkim starts in late November and continues until February. In these months, the town’s temperature fluctuates between 5°C and 7°C.
The famous points for experiencing fresh snowfall are Gangtok, Yumthang Valley, Lachung, and Pelling. Sikkim is covered with a snow blanket, making its beauty more attractive and charming. By visiting in these months of snowfall, you can try snow games with your partner and make a snowman in the verdant surroundings of town.
Which is better, Sikkim or Darjeeling?
Darjeeling has its own significance for tourists in West Bengal. There is no need for a permit to visit Darjeeling, but Sikkim tourists require a special permit to visit the highly protected areas.
In terms of weather, the climate of Darjeeling is quite pleasant, but the humidity level is higher than in Sikkim.
Moreover, Sikkim offers a plethora of adventurous sports, more than Darjeeling.
Though Darjeeling is also a scenic destination, the beauty of sparkling waterfalls, the Teesta River, and snow-covered mountains with green landscapes is incomparable. Sikkim offers a variety of handicrafts to buy as souvenirs for the family.
Do you need a permit to visit Sikkim?
Due to its shared borders with different international countries, visitors need a special permit. Foreigners must get a RAP “restricted area permit” or an ILP “inner line permit” to enter North Sikkim.
However, in these districts, the Indian army strictly protects some areas, and Indian citizens also need to get RAP to visit these areas. Foreigners must submit a valid passport copy, two passport-size photographs, and a valid visa to get these permits.
One RAP is issued for only one area during the mentioned visiting hour. For example, the permit for Yumthang Valley cannot be used for Lachen.
All these permits can easily be obtained from Indian Missions, the Sikkim Tourism Department office in New Delhi, Kolkata, or the District Magistrate’s office in Siliguri or Darjeeling.
In this guide, we tried our best to explore the top 10 things to do in North Sikkim and everything else that a reader must be aware of before planning a visit to this charming district of Sikkim state with a beauty that cannot be expressed in words. Be prepared to witness various weather conditions at one destination. Basking under the sun, rain, snowfall, and chilly weather will make your trip memorable. This memorable trip will be a lifetime experience for you. Discover the stunning landscapes of this destination, where you will be lost in serene beauty. Pack all your essential accessories and get ready by grabbing your partner’s hand to meet the land of mountains and waterfalls.
Stay tuned for more adventure guides from Salam Travellers.