SIKKIM - Home to Kanchenjunga
Sikkim is India's second smallest & least populous state. Situated at an altitude that ranges from 280m to 8,586m across its undulating topography, Sikkim is home to one of the richest Indian biodiversity hotspots. It sports a collection of 400 flowering plant species, 600 variants of orchids, 35 species of rhododendrons, cypresses, junipers and wild shrubbery. The state hosts the International Flower Festival every year after the arrival of Spring. To witness the extravagant display of the aesthetic blooms beneath the resplendence of the towering Kanchenjunga is an experience of a lifetime.
What to expect
When you're in Sikkim, expect to witness panoramic views of the Himalayan ranges from a close vicinity. The trekking trails and winding roads to sky-high passes offer breathtaking views of lush valleys converging in the bottomless pits flanked by the crystal waters of Teesta. Also, don't miss out on the holy lakes of Sikkim, that envelops you in an ethereal atmosphere of transcendence. The therapeutic springs rich with sulfur found here are rumored to heal arthritis. Hop through the endless queues of shops that sell you aromatic Temi teas, colorful prayer flags, miniature rotating prayer bells & golden Buddhas, typical Sikkim mugs decorated with flying dragons, and an assortment of collectibles, edibles and more.
Try out the local rice beer when you're in Sikkim. They're a local favorite & served in classic bamboo mugs. The locals preserve the local, extra spicy chili called Dalley in vinegar. They even sun-dry local leafy greens and let them undergo fermentation. The dried, mildly pungent leaves are then added to regular stews for that extra flavor. Chickpea salad seasoned with cucumbers and sesame seed paste, along with spicy potatoes and "Sel roti" is prepared during the festival of Diwali. Steamed dumplings and noodles are an all-time staple.
Places you cannot miss
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
How to Reach
The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport, which is 124 km away which offers helicopter services from the port to Sikkim's capital Gangtok on a daily basis.
New Jalpaiguri Railway Station is 125kms away and connects to Sikkim via NH31 & a well-woven network of roads covered by Sikkim Nationalized Transport from Siliguri on a daily basis.
Rented cars, jeeps & coaches are also available for rentals & reservations besides the State operated public transport systems.