Experience six days of the beauty and greenery of Sikkim. Visit the monastic city of Gangtok and the perfumed city of Pelling which is spread with beautiful Rhododendrons.
Sikkim, the landlocked state in North Eastern India, is the antidote that can soothe your strenuous nerves with its fresh air, forested mountain valleys and long stretches of snow-clad mountain peaks. One of the best holiday destinations in North East India, Sikkim encompasses some of the best treks of the country where the strains of walking on the arduous mountain trails are seized by the vistas of adjacent forest. Where clouds play hide and seek with the beautiful silver-fir trees, and cherry red Rhododendron willingly get united with snow white Magnolia to adorn the walking trails.
- Day 1: Gangtok: We start our journey with driving in to Gangtok. Witness the extravagant nightlife.
- Day 2: Gangtok: Today we do some monastic sightseeing in Gangtok.
- Day 3: West Sikkim: Today we drive to West Sikkim via Temi tea gardens.
- Day 4: West Sikkim: Today we do a short trek to the Rhododendron Sanctuary.
- Day 5: West Sikkim: Today do local sightseeing at Pelling.
- Day 6: Departure: Drive to Bagdogra and Departure.
- 2 nights in Gangtok
- 3 nights in West Sikkim
Room with Breakfast in all places
A mix of SUV and Wagon R
Day 1: Arrive at Gangtok
Arrive at Gangtok via Taxi from Bagdogra International Airport. You could also take a short chopper ride and fly into Gangtok.
Settle into the homestay, with hosts who are warm and friendly. If time permits you could visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, and witness the night life of Gangtok.
Namgyal Institute Of Tibetology :
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a Tibet museum in Gangtok. The NIT library holds one of the largest collections of Tibetan works in the world outside Tibet and a museum of Tibetan iconography and religious art.
Nightlife of Gangtok :
Gangtok is the Las Vegas of Sikkim. This capital city has every luxury you could wish for. It has a number of Casinos, Nightclubs and Pubs. The city also has a number of beautiful restaurants and eateries where you could enjoy all kinds of cuisines.
Day 2: Gangtok Sightseeing
You may visit the following places of tourist interest today.
Tashi View Point :
Constructed by the erstwhile King of Sikkim, Tashi Namgyal, panoramic Tashi Viewpoint is set in the midst of beautiful scenic views, and is the perfect place to look at the abundant natural panoramic bounty of Sikkim. On clear days, Kanchenjunga is clearly visible and visitors can also see the Labrang Monastery and Phodong Monastery on the opposite hill. A small shed and café serves the visitors and over a period of time, has become a popular picnic spot.
Ganesh Tok :
A small Ganesh temple just next to the television tower on the hill is popularly known as Ganesh Tok. It is just 7 km from the heart of the Gangtok city at an altitude of 6,500mt. The temple can only accommodate one person at a time but is well known throughout the state. It is also the best place to get a view of Raj Bhawan, Kanchenjunga and the surrounding valley.
The monastery is currently the largest in Sikkim. It is home to the community of monks and where they perform the rituals and practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage. A Golden Stupa contains the relics of the 16th Karmapa. Opposite that building is a college, Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies. Originally built by the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje in 16th century, Rumtek served as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage in Sikkim for some time. But when the 16th Karmapa arrived in Sikkim in 1959, after fleeing Tibet, the monastery was in ruins. Despite being offered other sites, the Karmapa decided to rebuild Rumtek.
Nehru Botanical Garden :
Just ahead of the Rumtek Monastery is the Nehru Botanical Garden which has a mix of tropical and temperate plants and trees as well as a big greenhouse of exotic orchids.
If you are at Gangtok you must visit ropeways or cable car located at Deorali market. This ropeway of about 1 km long has three entry points or stops. The lowest point is at Deorali market and the highest point is at Tashiling (below the state secretariat). There is a mid point stop at Nam-Nang. One can enter from any point and return to same point after touching other two points. Cable car journey provides spectacular view of Gangtok market, valley and assembly hall of state of Sikkim on its 15 to 20 minutes journey.
Day 3: West Sikkim
Drive to the beautiful unchartered territories of West Sikkim. Stop and enjoy the scenic tea gardens of Temi en route. Towered over by the sublime Khangchendzonga, West Sikkim’s breathtaking landscape is strung out along formidable mountain ridges draped in evergreen alpine forests. A handful of intriguing monasteries, villages and waterfalls add to its overall appeal, and make it an ideal spot for footloose hiking.
The monastery is a 118-kilometre long excursion from Gangtok but worth all the travelling time. Inside, take note of the murals depicting stories of Lamaism and Dungzin Rinpoche’s seven-tier wooden masterpiece – a smaller remake of Santo Palri, the celestial palace of Rinpoche. It took Dungzin five years to carve out this masterpiece.
The 16th century Sangachoeling Monastery is one of the oldest and perhaps one of the most important in Sikkim. Accessible on foot only, the monastery is a 45-minute walk from Pelling. A picturesque and peaceful setting, it is lined with prayer flags that flutter in the cool breeze and create a soothing sound. Remember to take permission before clicking pictures within the premises.
Day 4: Rhododendron Sanctuary Trek
The Barsey or Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary lies in the south-west corner of the West Sikkim district. It covers 104 sq. km across the razor sharp Singhalila Range, which marks the border with Nepal. Sikkim Rhododendron Trek is one of the most exciting trip which offers hiking and short treks to some of the most beautiful Rhododendron region of Sikkim. In Spring, from late April to mid May, the forests of Sikkim are ablaze with brilliant Rhododendron blossoms both in Low and High Altitude region. In this trip we will be covering some of the most beautiful Rhododendron region in west part of Sikkim. The day hike and short trek on this programme range from easy to moderate. Rhododendron trek can also be done in other parts of Sikkim according to one’s choice and interest. This particular trip is best suited for those who are interested to explore the beautiful nature and remote Himalayan region with gentle and easy hiking.
Day 5: Pelling
Enjoy breathtaking views of the mighty Kanchenjunga as you sip your tea in the morning. Visit the Pemayangtse monastery, and the Sanga Choling monastery built in 1697, one of the first in the state. Pelling’s serene environment and picturesque setting is perfect for nice nature walks and small treks. You may also visit the Khecheopalri lake, Kanchenjunga falls, the Rabdentse ruins and a lot more!
Another must-see in Pelling is the Khecheopalri Lake.Considered a sacred site, it is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. Hidden by a rich forest cover, it offers a pristine setting that is perfect for a stroll along the periphery for admiring its beauty. It is also considered a ‘wishing lake’ and it is believed that no leaf remains on its surface at any point in time. Realistically, this is the case also because of the sizeable duck population at the lake which usually plucks away any leaves that might fall on the surface of the lake. No water activities are permitted at the lake due to its sacred nature.
Ruins of Rabdentse:
Rabdentse is a historically significant place. It was once the capital of Sikkim. After the fall of Yuksam dynasty, Rabdentse remained capital of Chogyal dynasty till 1814. The ruins of the old capital are still here reliving the glorious past.
Day 6: Departure
Drive from West Sikkim to Bagdogra with memories to cherish for a lifetime!