About Sikkim Tourism

Despite being the smallest state in North East India, Sikkim is one of the most popular places for tourism in India. Its marvelous landscape is dotted with high-altitude lakes, rolling green mountains, colorful rhododendron groves, crystal-clear rivers, milky waterfalls, beautiful monasteries, and the unparalleled views of the third highest mountain in the world, Mount Khangchendzonga.

Sikkim shares its borders with the neighboring countries of Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan and is divided into 4 districts namely East Sikkim, West Sikkim, North Sikkim, and South Sikkim. Each of these districts has something unique to offer to the tourists. Sikkim’s culture is a reflection of its neighboring countries as well, being in such close proximity they share common traits.

Read along to find out more about Sikkim tourism and what you can expect as we at Tour My India bring you a complete guide on Sikkim tourism to help you plan your trip better.

East Sikkim: Icy lakes, monasteries & Gangtok!

District headquarters: Gangtok

Starting with East Sikkim, as most tourists to Sikkim do, one is sure to be mesmerized by this land. Its lush forests, icy lakes, and monasteries make it a wonderful place to visit. Gangtok, the state’s capital, also serves as the district headquarters of East Sikkim.

The capital city of Gangtok lies in the East Sikkim district of the state. It is the most popular destination of Sikkim and attracts a number of tourists every year. Elevated at a height of 5,500 ft. Gangtok is a popular hill station and is a preferred destination for couples on their honeymoon.

Nestled in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, the city makes for an ideal trekking spot with its terrains and weather that remains cool throughout the year. Gangtok loves its quiet and serene monasteries as much as its vibrant nightlife. It has something for everyone.

Tsomgo Lake is another destination that should be on your East Sikkim itinerary. It is a glacial lake and is situated at a height of 12,313 ft. The lake is a beautiful sight to behold as it sits amidst the snow clad mountains which are reflected back in the lake’s water. Depending on the seasons, the lake changes colors from blue to a dark green. Tsomgo Lake remains frozen throughout the winter in complete contrast with the spring when the valley is covered in colorful rhododendron flowers.

One of the highest motorable passes of India, Nathu La is situated at a height of 14,450 ft. among the snow clad mountains of Sikkim. Earlier a part of the ancient silk road, the pass now functions as an open trading border post between India and China and is a major participant in the Sino-Indian trade. En route to the pass, you can also view some beautiful waterfalls and mighty mountains of Sikkim all around.

East Sikkim also has the Baba Mandir, a shrine-cum-memorial built in honor of Harbhajan Singh, a soldier of the Indian Army who went missing one day during his patrol. According to a legend, he appeared in a dream to his colleagues and informed them about his death and that he wished for a Samadhi. The Old Baba Mandir is built at the site where he was posted during his service. Since it is difficult to climb the site, a New Baba Mandir has been constructed as the samadhi for tourists to visit at Kupup.

If you are looking for an offbeat destination in East Sikkim, then Zuluk is the place for you. Roughly at a distance of 100 kilometers from the city of Gangtok is the small village of Zuluk, sitting at a height of 10,000 ft. Zuluk used to be part of the ancient silk route connecting to Tibet but is now an emerging point of interest among tourists who tend to visit the place to get a perfect view of the mighty Khangchendzonga.

West Sikkim: The embodiment of Sikkim’s beauty!

District headquarters: Gyalshing

The small hill town of Pelling is a popular tourist attraction of Sikkim after Gangtok. Situated at a height of 6,800 ft. the town is at a distance of 10 kilometers from the district headquarters of Gyalshing. The landscape of Pelling is dotted with monasteries, lakes and waterfalls along with mesmerizing views of Mount Khangchendzonga.

The Pemayangtse Monastery and the Sanga Choeling Monastery are popular among tourists in West Sikkim. The Sanga Choeling Monastery was built in the 17th century and is an important site for the devotees of Buddhism.

Close to the monastery is the Chenrezig Statue with India’s first ever Skywalk. With a height of 100 ft. and the transparent bridge, you will feel you are actually walking in the sky. Other places to explore in Pelling are the holy lake of Khecheopalri, Khangchendzonga Falls, and the Singshore Bridge, Asia’s second highest suspension bridge.

The villages of Kaluk & Rinchenpong became popular tourist attractions of West Sikkim recently, both drawing visitors for their dreamy beauty. At a height of 5,600 ft. the quiet and picturesque village of Kaluk provides magnificent views of Mount Khangchendzonga.

Rinchenpong is just 3 kilometers away from Kaluk and is popular for its monasteries, the Gurung Monastery and the Rinchenpong Monastery which houses a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha.

Yuksom is an important town for the people of Sikkim, since this is where the first Chogyal, or the monarch of Sikkim was crowned by Buddhist Lamas. The Dubdi Monastery of Yuksom is the oldest monastery in Sikkim and is a place you must visit. The town of Yuksom serves as the base for Dzongri & Goecha La treks.

North Sikkim: Sightseeing overloaded!

District headquarters: Mangan

You could visit Lachung, a scenic village situated by the side of River Lachung, popular for its apples, peaches, and apricots, and the Lachung Monastery. North Sikkim is also popular for its Zero Point, located near Lachung. It is the final destination civilians can travel before reaching the country’s border with China.

Yumthang Valley is another tourist spot you must visit when you venture into North Sikkim. The valley is known for its hot springs and the beautiful rhododendron flowers during spring.

North Sikkim receives heavy snowfall during December and is a good time to visit if you want to enjoy the snowfall. The temperature often falls below zero and the entire landscape gets covered in snow. Everything turns white!

One of the highest lakes in the world, Gurudongmar Lake sits at almost 17.800 ft. and is a mesmerizing site during the winters when it decides to freeze completely. The Khangchendzonga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also located in this district of Sikkim.

It functions as a national park as well as a biosphere reserve. At the park you may get to see rare Himalayan wildlife species like Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan Blue Sheep, Himalayan Black Bear, Tibetan Wild Ass and the Red Panda.

South Sikkim: Culture, nature and adventure!

District headquarters: Namchi

A Sikkim tour is incomplete without visiting South Sikkim. Its surreal beauty ensures that it’s included in any Sikkim travel guide. It is home to Namchi, famously known as the cultural & religious hub of Sikkim. Two famous tourist sites are the 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva at the Siddheshwar Dham and the 118 feet tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava at Samdruptse Hill. The 17th century Ngadak Monastery is also a destination that you must visit to experience the serenity and peace of South Sikkim.

The Temi Tea Garden at Ravangla is a matter of pride for the district and the state. It is Sikkim’s only tea garden and is known for its great quality tea. If you visit the garden during the month of November you can enjoy the beautiful cherry blossom trees that adorn the area.

Ornithologists and bird watchers definitely should visit the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary at Ravangla. This sanctuary of South Sikkim has a number of bird species such as the Dark-throated Thrush, Babblers, Blood Pheasant, and Cuckoos. Not just birds, the sanctuary also has native animals like the Red Panda, Goral, Barking Deer, Civet cat, and the Leopard cat.

The terrains of South Sikkim allow for treks that you will surely enjoy. The lush green forests, the cool weather, the view of the beautiful Teesta River along with the mighty Khangchendzonga. What’s not to love here!

There’s also Sikip, along the banks of the Rangeet River which offers amazing opportunities for river rafting and angling. And if you just want to relax among the captivating mountains of Sikkim, try out the hot springs at Borong and Ralong. These are natural hot springs and are rich in sulfur content, which means they are healing for your skin. Relax in the hot waters amidst the mighty Himalayas.

Sikkim: Name any adventure activity, Sikkim has it!

Even though Sikkim is known for its quiet monasteries and mighty mountains, it is equally known for its adventure tourism.

There are so many activities in Sikkim for adventure enthusiasts such as climbing the rough and tough mountains like Mount Frey and Mount Thinchenkhan, paragliding through the city of Gangtok, river rafting through the River Rangeet and Teesta, Bungee jumping at the Singshore Bridge, riding a Yak at the Tsomgo Lake, cycling and mountain biking on the Silk Route, and trekking.

Some of the popular treks in Sikkim are Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, Yuksom Goecha La Trek, Dzongri Trek, Green Lake Trek and the Darjeeling Sandakphu Singalila Ridge Trek. You can also try camping along the Teesta river bank and experience the beauty of Sikkim and its mountains much closer.

Best Selling Sikkim Tour Packages

Best Time to Visit Sikkim

Summer Season in Sikkim

Summer Season in Sikkim

Summers in Sikkim last from March to June. Temperature ranges between 5°C to 25°C.

Monsoon Season in Sikkim

Monsoon Season in Sikkim

Monsoon arrives in July and lasts till August. Temperature ranges between 4°C to 15°C.

Winter Season in Sikkim

Winter Season in Sikkim

Winters start from November and last till February. It can be extremely cold. The temperature ranges between 4°C to 7°C.

Best Places to Visit in Sikkim

Gangtok, sikkim


It offers a little of everything: culture, nature, entertainment & Tibetan food. Visit monasteries & views of Mt. Khangchendzonga from Tashi View Point

Pelling, Sikkim


Views of Mt. Khangchendzonga will leave you captivated. Waterfalls, breathtaking views and plenty of adventure opportunities.

Ravangla, Sikkim


It is a haven for bird watchers and ornithologists. Spot birds like dark-throated thrush, babblers & cuckoos. You can also go on several treks

Namchi, Sikkim


Visit Namchi, because it looks like a portrait. Attend the Namchi Mahotsav in October. It’s also home to the 108 feet statue of Lord Shiva & 118 feet statue of Guru Padmasambhava

Yuksom, Sikkim


It's the origin of several treks & is blessed with exceptional beauty. You will find the oldest monastery here.

Lachung, Sikkim


Mountains, waterfalls, orchards, rivers: this is Lachung’s landscape! Visit it for adventure, honeymoon vacation, natural beauty & Saga Dawa festival (in June).

Aritar, Sikkim


A small town in East Sikkim, Aritar is blessed with lush forests, glacial lakes, snow covered mountains, and quaint monasteries. The place is perfect for trekking and other adventure activities.

Legship, Sikkim


The gateway to West Sikkim, Legship is situated on the bank of Rangit River. It is abundant in natural beauty, adventure sports, treks, and has immense religious significance

Geyzing, Sikkim


The district headquarters of West Sikkim, Geyzing is primarily a Buddhist centre but is a delightful destination for nature lovers as well.

Mangan, Sikkim


The district headquarters of North Sikkim, Mangan is also called the Cardamom Capital of India. It is a quiet place and is ideal for adventure activities like paragliding, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

Lachen, Sikkim


A small village which is called the twin sister of Lachung, Lachen is situated in North Sikkim. It is the base for Gurudongmar Lake, Chopta Valley and numerous treks.

Yumthang Valley, Sikkim

Yumthang Valley

You should visit Yumtnang Valley for its exotic, wild and rare flowers. But visit it during the monsoons to see it in its fullest glory.

Zero Point, Sikkim

Zero Point

Located at 15,300 feet, Zero Point’e real name is Yumesamdong. It’s called Zero Point because the road ends here. The Indo Chinese border is quite close.

Top Things to Do in Sikkim

River Rafting Sikkim


Seekers of adventure can try paragliding in Gangtok, white water rafting in Teesta, yak ride in Tsomgo Lake, besides several trekking opportunities.

Monastery in sikkim


See the Buddhist art & culture at famous monasteries like Pemayangtse, Rumtek, Enchey, Phodang and Lacheng.

Lakes in sikkim


Visit Sikkim’s lively, sacred & pristine lakes which are Gurudongmar, Cholamu, Khecheopalri & Tsomgo.

Shopping in sikkim


Go shopping in Sikkim for prayer flags, Tibetan woollen carpets, scrolls, Tibetan paintings, prayer wheels, incense sticks, Yak Cheese and Chang.

Wildlife in sikkim


Spot Sikkim’s rich Himalayan wildlife at Khangchendzonga National Park, Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary & Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary

sikkim cuisine


Try the famous dishes in Sikkim like phagshapa, thukpa, thenthuk, momo, sel roti and the local drink called chang.

village tourism sikkim

Village Tour

Enjoy homestays with the locals. Take a peek into their daily lifestyle. Visit traditional village healers. Attend cultural programs. Cross cane & bamboo bridges.

Top Tourist Attractions in Sikkim

Nathula Pass, Sikkim

Nathula Pass

One of the highest motorable passes in the world, Nathu La Pass is the top attraction in Sikkim.

Gurudongmar Lake sikkim

Gurudongmar Lake

One of the highest lakes in the world, Gurudongmar Lake is considered sacred by Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus.

Siddheswara Dham Sikkim

Siddheswara Dham

Perched on Solophok Hills, Siddheswara Dham is the top Hindu pilgrimage in Sikkim.

Budda Park Ravangla sikkim

Budda Park

Also known as Tathagata Tsal, Buddha Park is situated near Ravangla and is the top Buddhist attraction in Sikkim.

zuluk sikkim


A small town in East Sikkim, Zuluk is known for offering incredible views of the Himalayas including Mt. Kanchenjunga.

tsomgo lake sikkim

Tsomgo Lake

A beautiful glacial lake in East Sikkim, Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is a must-see place near Gangtok.

Khangchendzonga National Park sikkim

Khangchendzonga National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khangchendzonga National Park is a high-altitude national park that is home to several alpine animals.

Temi Tea Garden sikkim

Temi Tea Garden

The one and only tea estate in Sikkim, Temi Tea Garden in Ravangla is quite a popular place to visit in Sikkim.

Khecheopalri Lake sikkim

Khecheopalri Lake

A sacred lake in Sikkim, Khecheopalri Lake is an important part of Buddhist pilgrimage Circuit in the state.

Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple sikkim

Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple

Named after Sepoy Harbhajan Singh, the temple near Gangtok attracts tourists for its unique legend.

samdruptse hill sikkim


Adorned with a 45m tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava, Samdruptse is a popular Buddhist place in Sikkim.

How to Reach Sikkim

By Air

By Air

The nearest airport to Sikkim is the Bagdogra Airport, at 124 kilometers. From there, it’s a 2 hours ride via taxi/private vehicle.

By Train

By Train

The nearest railway station, NJP, is almost 148 kilometers away. Taxis/private vehicles can be hired outside the station.

By Road

By Road

Travelling to Sikkim by road is an adventure in itself. Sikkim is connected to Siliguri via NH 31A. You can also reach Sikkim from Darjeeling, Kolkata, Kalimpong and Bagdogra.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How to get to Sikkim?

Sikkim is well-connected by airways and roadways. Pakyong Airport connects Sikkim with some major cities in India.

You can fly to Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri (WB), then take a taxi to Gangtok. Alternatively, you can take a train to New Jalpaiguri (WB) then take a taxi to Gangtok.

Q. Can I obtain a permit for Nathula Pass online?

There might be some update regarding online permits in the future, but currently permits are not issued online. You can obtain a permit when you reach Gangtok.

Q. Is alcohol allowed in Sikkim?

Yes, alcohol is available almost everywhere in Sikkim. Liquors like whiskey, brandy, rum etc are cheap in price in Sikkim as compared to other parts of India. The bars in the state remain open till 11pm.

Q. In which month does it snow in Sikkim?

Sikkim receives snowfall in winters (October to March), while some places in the state remain covered in snow throughout the year. Winter is the best season to visit Sikkim to see snowfall.

Q. Is smoking allowed in Sikkim?

Smoking in public places is banned in Sikkim. If you are caught, you will be fined between INR 200 and 500.

Q. Where can I find snow in Sikkim?

The best places to visit to witness the Snowfall in Sikkim are:

  • Thangu Valley
  • Zero Point
  • Yumthang Valley
  • Gurudongmar Lake
  • Lachen Village
  • Chopta valley in North Sikkim

Q. What is the famous dish of Sikkim?

Sikkim is a place with few but delicious dishes. Some of the famous dishes of Sikkim include momos, thukpa and gundruk.

Q. What can I buy in Sikkim?

The best things to buy in Sikkim are:

  • Prayer Flags
  • Canvas Wall Hangings
  • Thangkas
  • Woollen Carpets
  • Chosees (Traditional Folding Tables)
  • Tea
  • Sikkimese Traditional Dress
  • Fruit Juice

Q. Which permit is required to visit Sikkim?

Sikkim is under a restricted area regime due to close proximity to countries like China. Thus, permits are required to enter Sikkim. There are two kinds of permits required - Restricted Area Permit (RAP) or Inner Line Permit (ILP) or Protected Area Permit (PAP). RAP is required by every international tourist and PAP is required by both domestic and foreign tourists to enter certain parts of the state like North Sikkim.

Q. Which are the neighbouring states and countries to Sikkim?

Nestled in the Himalayas, Sikkim has Tibet to its north, West Bengal to its south, Bhutan to its east, and Nepal to its west.

Q. What is the best time to plan a holiday to Sikkim?

The best time to plan a holiday to Sikkim is between March to May (summer) and October to December (winter). Monsoon months of June to September aren’t ideal to plan a holiday to Sikkim because heavy rains can lead to road blocks and landslides.

Q. Are any special permits required to visit Sikkim by international travellers?

Yes, to visit Sikkim foreigners must obtain a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) previously known as Inner Line Permit. Those international tourists coming for the purpose of trekking also require to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP).

Q. Is any permission/permit required for the Indian nationals to visit Sikkim?

Yes, a Protected Area Permit (PAP) is required by Indian nationals to visit the entire North Sikkim district and some areas of East Sikkim district.

Q. For which areas in Sikkim permits are required?

International tourists require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to enter Sikkim. Domestic travellers require a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to enter North Sikkim and few areas of East Sikkim.

Q. What are the best family holiday destinations in Sikkim?

The best family holiday destinations in Sikkim are:

  • Gangtok
  • Pelling
  • Namchi
  • Ravangla

Q. What are the top places for a honeymoon in Sikkim?

The best places for a honeymoon in Sikkim are:

  • Gangtok
  • Lachung
  • Pelling
  • Ravangla

Q. What are the must-see popular cultural festivals in Sikkim?

The must-see popular cultural festivals in Sikkim are:

  • Losar
  • Saga Dawa
  • Pang Lhabsol
  • Losoong or the Sonam Losar
  • International Flower Festival

Q. What are the best winter holiday destinations in Sikkim?

The best winter holiday destinations in Sikkim are:

  • Gangtok
  • Ravangla
  • Pelling
  • Yumthang
  • Kaluk
  • Zuluk
  • Namchi

Q. Which places are good in Sikkim for summer vacation?

The best places for summer vacation in Sikkim are:

  • Gangtok
  • Yumthang
  • Lachung
  • Pelling
  • Ravangla
  • Namchi

Why Choose TMI for Sikkim?

  • Experienced


    An experienced Sikkim tour operator, with a team of an experienced travel enthusiast ensure to give our clients well-designed Sikkim Gangtok tour packages

  • Certified


    We are certified by major tour and travel associations in India and world like IATA, IATO, TAAI, IMF & MOT (Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India).

  • Happy Customers

    Happy Customers

    TMI has received numerous accolades from its happy customers for its excellent services and best Sikkim holidays.

  • Local Offices

    Local Offices

    We have local office in Sikkim for our customers to find assistance anytime and anywhere

Where to Stay in Sikkim?

You will find a variety of accommodation options in Sikkim. While Gangtok offers a variety of staying options including hotels and resorts ranging from budget to luxury, other destinations have hotels in budget and mid range categories, and offer basic accommodation facilities. The picturesque locations of the hotels, delicious Sikkimese cuisine & traditional architecture will win your heart.

Major Activities for Tourists in Sikkim

The northeast part of India is blessed by nature’s bounty. Sikkim bears testimony to that. The lakes, snow capped peaks, rivers, monasteries, orchids, waterfalls: it’s the way nature writes her poetry! Sikkim will fill every kind of tourist with beautiful memories. It will leave adventure seekers thrilled & spiritual seekers satisfied. It will be the perfect host to your romantic getaway. The monasteries will bring a smile as much as the positivity of the people. You will come across rare Himalayan wildlife & meditative lakes. Visit it once, and you will have many reasons for visiting it again.

A Few Important Travel Tips Before Visiting Sikkim

  • Prepare your trip after acquainting yourself thoroughly with its weather. While the summers can be pleasant, winters are quite harsh.
  • Carry antibacterial creams, sunscreen lotions, woolen garments and a first aid kit.
  • Foreigners require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP), previously known as Inner Line Permit, to visit Sikkim. International tourists who want to enjoy trekking are required to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP).
  • Indians too need to obtain a Protected Area Permit to visit the entire North Sikkim district as well as some areas in East Sikkim district.
  • Carry your identity proof with you at all times. You will be required to produce them at different checkposts.
  • It is advisable to read about Sikkim’s policy about birds and animals, visiting sacred places, eco-tourism and interacting with tribals.

Sikkim Visa Information

No separate visa is required to visit Sikkim. Foreign tourists are required to obtain a visa (e-visa or regular visa) to visit India. However, foreigners do require an Inner Line Permit or Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to enter Sikkim. The permits can be obtained and issued from all Indian Missions, Tourism Office located at New Delhi, Sikkim Tourism Office, Kolkata, and Siliguri on the strength of an Indian Visa.

Sikkim Restricted Area

Due to the fact that Sikkim is a border state that shares its boundaries with Tibet (China), and thus requires an Inner Line Permit to be entered by the foreigners. The Inner Line Permit is also called Restricted Area Permit.

There are regions like North Sikkim and some parts of West Sikkim that can only be visited with a Protected Area Permit (PAP). Even Indian nationals require the permit to enter the protected area in Sikkim.

Documents Required for Restricted Area and Protected Area Permits

  • Passport (photocopies with original)
  • Passport-size photo in addition, you can also carry
  • Voter's ID card (photocopies with original)

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