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Sikkim

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Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state located in the Himalayan Mountains. The state borders Nepal to the west, China's Tibet Autonomous Region to the north and east, and Bhutan to the south-east, while the state of West Bengal lies to the south. It also has the only open land border between China and India. Sikkim's capital and largest city is Gangtok.

Due to its location in the Himalayas, the state of Sikkim is geographically diverse, characterized by mountainous terrain, climate ranges from subtropical to high alpine. Kanchanjunga, the world's third highest peak, is located on Sikkim's border with Nepal. Sikkim is a popular tourist destination, owing to its culture, scenery and biodiversity.

The panoramic perfection of the snow-capped Himalayas, the heady scent of flower bedecked meadows, the vibrant culture and joyous festivals, lush and thick forests, flush with blooms of exotic flora and hilly expanses embellished by Sikkim's two main rivers, 'Teesta' & 'Rangeet", the picturesque villages, hot springs and waterfalls makes it a holiday that is both fascinating and challenging.

Latitude 27.33°N
Longitude 88.62°E

Must See

North Sikkim
-Gurudongmar Lake
-Labrang Monastery
-Phensang Monastery
-Phodong Monastery
-Rong Lungten Lee
-Seven Sisters Waterfalls
-Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
-Sirijonga Yuma Mangheem
-Thangu
-Yumthang (Valley of Flowers)

East Sikkim
-Aritar Lake
-Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial Temple
-Bakthang Waterfalls
-Ban Jhakri Falls
-Botanical Garden
-Chogyal Park
-Directorate of Handicrafts & Handlooms
-Do Drul Choten
-Enchey Monastery
-Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary
-Ganesh Tok
-Gangtok Ropeway
-Gonjang Monastery
-Government Institute of Cottage Industry
-Hanuman Tok
-Himalayan Zoological Park
-Hurhuray Dara
-M.G.Marg
-Menmecho Lake
-Namgyal Research Institute of Tibetology
-Nathula
-Pal Zurmang Kagyud Monastery
-Rumtek Monastery
-Sa-Ngor Monastery
-Saramsa Garden
-Sikkim Science Center
-Tashi View Point
-Thakurbari Temple
-The Ridge
-Tourist Village
-Tsomgo (Changu) Lake
-Water Garden

South Sikkim
-Borong
-Borong Ralong Hot Spring
-Buddha Park
-Kewzing Village
-Maenam Hill
-Namchi Rock Garden
-Phur Tsa Chu
-Samdrupste
-Sikip
-Solophok
-Temi Tea Garden
-Tendong Hill
-Tinkitam

West Sikkim
-Chakung
-Darap Cherny Village
-Dubdi Monastery
-Khangchendzonga Waterfalls
-Khecheopalri Lake
-Kongri-Labdang
-Pelling
-Phamrong Waterfalls
-Rabdentse
-Rangit Water World
-Rimbi Waterfall & Karchen Power House
-Sang-Choling Monastery
-Sawaro Rock Garden
-Shiva Mandir
-Srijonga Yuma Magheem
-Tashiding Monastery
-Versey Rhododendron Sanctuary
-Wadhan (Cave)
-Yuksom

Popular Food

Momos - hot steamed flour dumplings filled with minced meat, cheese or vegetable, accompanied by home-made chilli sauce and piping hot soup.

Thukpa or Gyathuk - a typical Tibetan style noodles in soup, based with vegetables or meat.

Saelroti - a special kind of bread prepared by Nepalese mostly during festivals from fermented rice batter which is deep fried in a ring shape and eaten with potato curry or meat or simply by itself.

Chhurpi - a fermented dairy product prepared from cow milk with a mild sour taste is used for making soups and achar.

Kinema - a fermented soybean food, rich in protein and with a unique flavor is eaten with rice.

Gundruk & Sinki - two traditional fermented vegetable products which are sun dried after fermentation and stored for consumption.

Sishnu Soup - the most exotic local dish prepared from leaves of edible wild varieties of nettle.

Accompanying the food often is 'Chaang', a fermented cereal-based alcoholic beverage.

Things to Buy

Handicrafts - canvas paintings and scrolls with local motifs, 'Tashi Tagey' the eight lucky signs, wall hangings, cloth bags, handmade paper products etc.

Carpets - woollen carpets made of pure sheep wool woven with fabulous designs and patterns

Thankas - scrolls usually with religious depictions, represented by deities surrounded by followers and often contained within a mandala or magic circle

Choktses - small wooden ornate tables carved in traditional style

Jewellery - the 'Dragon Set' is unique to Sikkim, carved in silver and gold and inlaid with precious stones

Tea - irresistibly flavoured packets of Temi from Temi Tea Estate in Sikkim are well known

Large Cardamom or Bari Elaichi - grows in abundance

Alpine Cheese - made of pure cow milk, this cheese has a sweet and fruity flavor

Jams & Juices - canned juices or bottles of orange and pineapple squash are excellent including the very popular Passion fruit juice

Liquor & Liqueurs - 'Sikkim Fireball Special Brandy' a fruit based alcohol that is matured for a long time and is uniquely packaged is very popular among tourists

How To reach

Roadways
-National Highway 31A, the lifeline of Sikkim, connects Gangtok with Siliguri and runs through the lush green forests along the bank of river Teesta on one side and sky touching mountain ranges of Eastern Himalaya on other side.This unique ride of almost two hours gives you the opportunity to enjoy the valley carpeted with numerous wild flowers
-Regular bus service is operated by Sikkim National Transport and adequate number of private buses, jeeps and taxies are available from morning to evening at reasonable rate
-From Siliguri, jeeps and taxies are available for hire to reach almost all the important tourist destinations located in both South and West Sikkim

Railways
-New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri are the two railway stations nearest to Sikkim located in West Bengal
-NJP is 125 Kms and Siliguri is 114 Kms from Gangtok and is well connected to all the major cities
-Ticket reservation facilities are available from Sikkim Nationalized Transport Office in all working days

Airways
-The airport located nearest to Sikkim is Bagdogra Airport of West Bengal which is only 124 Kms away from Gangtok
-Indian Airlines as well as other domestic airlines such as Jet Airlines, Air Deccan run regular flights from the important cities of India such as Kolkata, Delhi etc.
-Bagdogra is also connected with Gangtok by daily helicopter service operated by Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation and it will take only 20 minutes to reach Gangtok from Bagdogra

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