Best Hill Stations in Sikkim

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Sikkim is a small state in northwest India. The state is a part of the Himalayas. The place is blessed with glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. There are many landscapes in the State including India’s highest mountain, 8,586m Kanchenjunga. There are many ancient Buddhist monasteries here. The state offers many trekking routes as steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s. The best hill stations of the state are Gangtok, Lachen, Lachung and Pelling.

 

Gangtok:

 

Gangtok

 

Gangtok is a popular hill station destination in the East. This is the capital city of the State. It is known for its scenic beauty and striking views of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. The hill station is located at an elevation of 1,600 m above sea level. The place offers a spectacular view of the majetic Kangchendzonga. Here you can see an interesting mix of cultures and communities.

 

The main street of the town is MG Marg. This is a great place to chill out and is the first litter and spit free zone in India and also no vehicular traffic is allowed into the marg. This is the best for shopping in the city. It is here the annual Gangtok Food and Culture festival is held in December every year. During this festival, Sikkims multi-cultural cuisine, along with music and dance performances are showcased.

 

You can enjoy the beauty of the whole hill station by taking a ride on the bi-cable Zig-back ropeway. This ride is completed in 7 minutes and it costs Rs. 30 one way from Deorali to Tashiling Secretariat. The ride offers a great view of the Khangchendzonga range from an overview of the town and the valley. After reaching the Tashiling Secretariat you can visit the Ridge Park and watch the Flower Festival.  

 

Ganesh tok is an important place to visit near the city. It is located at about 7 kms from Gangtok. From here, travellers can get a view of sprawling Gangtok town, and also enjoy the awesome beauty of the hills Mt. Khang-chen-Dzonga and Mt. Siniolchu. The view from here is truly breathtaking with snow peaks.

 

The other main places to visit here are Hanuman Tok, Tashi View Point, Enchy Monastery, Tashiding Monastery & Orchid Garden. Hanuman Tok is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman situated at an altitude of 7,200 feet. The hilltop offers amazing views of the peaks surrounding Mount Khangchendzonga and also a bird's eye view of the Selep water works, which supplies drinking water to Gangtok. Lukshyama is the royal cremation ground located adjacent to this area.  

 

Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology is another main place to visit. This is a treasure house of rare Lepcha, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, statues and rare Thankas (colourful tapestries used in Buddhist liturgy). The museum has over 200 Buddhist icons and other prized objects of art. This is a renowned world wide centre for study of Buddhist philosophy and religion.

 

Nathula Pass is a mountain pass connecting the Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass is located about 56 kms from Gangtok at an altitude of 4,310 m bordering India and China in the Tibetan Plateau. At present domestic tourists are given permit to visit here only 4 days a week ie; Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and only upto 30 vehicles are allowed each day.

 

There are many holiday homes in this town which offers the travellers all possible amenities. These are available in all price range along with a variety of eateries serving delicious cuisines.

 

Lachen:

 

Lachen

 

Lachen is a town located in the north of the district of Sikkim. The word ‘Lachen’ means ‘big pass’. It is located at an elevation of 2,750 m. This town forms the base to the Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake. Every year in summer, an annual yak race, the Thangu is celebrated. The place offers panoramic vistas of the stunning landscape and snow load peaks around Sikkim. The hill station is famous for its valleys.

 

The main festival here is the annual yak race organised every year during the summers in Thangu. Another scenic place to visit in this hill station is the Chopta Valley. The Gurudongmar Lake here is a unique place whisch is open only to Hindus and Buddhists. The place is rich in wildlife and also offers panoramic views of the Himalayas. By visiting the Lachen Gompa, you can understand the simple lives of the villagers here.

 

Adventure enthusiasts can go for adventure sports like trekking and rafting. This is the base camp for the two main trekking camps of Sikkim- Chopta Valley, Muguthang and Gurudongmar lake trek. The best season time to visit here is from October to June.

 

If you are a foreigner, you are required to get special permission to enter Lachen.

 

Lachung

 

Lachung

 

Lachung is a beautiful hill station of the state. The word Lachung means "small pass". It is located at an elevation of 3,000 m above sea level. This is a popular town at about 125 kms from Gangtok. The place offers its visitors the eye-catching view of the beautiful snow-capped peaks. The hill station is mainly inhabited by Lepcha and Tibetan descendants.

 

Lachung also offers skiing and trekking paths for adventure lovers. The main places to visit nearby are the Lachung Gompa monastery and Yumthang Valley. The best season time to visit is from October to May.

 

Pelling:

 

Pelling

 

Pelling is a picturesque hill station known for its magnificent views of the snow-capped Kanchenjunga range. This is the third highest peak in the world. This is a pleasant little town situated about 115 kms from Gangtok. The hill station is located at about 2,150 m above sea level.

 

The place offers good view of the entire Kanchenjunga mountain range including Koktang, Kumbhakaran (Jannu), Rathong, Kabru, Kabru Dome, Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Siniolchu, etc. This hilly region is very near to the Kanchenjunga range and travellers can get the closest view of the mountain ranges from here. The place is blessed with waterfalls and lakes. The main tourist attraction here is the Khecheopalri Lake, considered one of the most sacred lakes in the state. It is believed that the birds who reside here do not permit even a single leaf to float on the surface of the lake. The locals will encourage you to maintain the holiness of the place by being silent and not trying to feed the fish.

 

The oldest and most important monastery in the State is the Pemayangtse Monastery. The word ‘Pemayangtse’ literally means ‘perfect sublime lotus’. Pelling is a brilliant starting point for monastery treks. This is a three-storied building monastery with beautiful collection of wall paintings and sculptures. The third floor has a seven tiered painted wooden model of the Guru Rinpoche complete with rainbows and angels. The main attraction of the monastery is the religious dance, Cham, performed here in the months of January-February every year. Another place to visit is the Sangachoeling Monastery. This is built on a ridge above Pelling. It takes almost 40 minutes up a steep hilly trek through a forest to reach this monastery.

 

Darap village here offers activities such as handicraft making, cultural shows and Limboo story telling sessions, visiting caves, bird watching, etc for its travellers. Assala is a fish found only in this region that has a unique taste.

 

There are several homestays in Pelling owned by Lepcha people.  The hospitality and culture of the people can be felt well if you opt a homestay accommodation.

 

There are many restaurants here that serve a variety of different cuisines. The main local drinks here is the Tongba, made of fermented millet wine served in a bamboo container to be drunk through a bamboo straw.

 

Indian Nationals have no formalities to enter the State other than restricted areas. Foreigners must obtain Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit Sikkim.

 

There are many holiday homes in Sikkim such as homestays, resorts, cottages and guest houses surrounded by lush greenery which offers its visitors comfortable stay with all required amenities.

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Holiday Homes in Sikkim

6 Bedroom Holiday Home, Rongli

Rongli, Sikkim

5+ bedrooms, Homestay

rupee

1180

/ night
Serviced Flats, Gangtok

Gangtok, Sikkim

5+ bedrooms, Apartment

rupee

8776

/ night
Mountain View Resort, West Sikkim

West Sikkim, Sikkim

5+ bedrooms, Resort

rupee

3000

/ night
Taras Urban Homestay, Tadong

Tadong, Sikkim

3 bedrooms, Homestay

rupee

2185

/ night
Aashishkhim Guesthouse, Burtuk

Burtuk, Sikkim

4 bedrooms, Guesthouse

rupee

2300

/ night