Sikkim is a small and mountainous state in North-East India. It boasts of the 3rd tallest peak in the world – the Kanchenjunga and also India’s highest lakes. Although you cant get enough of Sikkim in 9 days, we managed to put a 9 day itinerary that we followed covering most of the state’s wonderful sights.
What would be a good time to visit?
The ideal time to visit Sikkim would be in the off-season months of March or December. While December was a good time to visit, March is supposedly better with more snow around just after the winter and rhododendrons in full bloom. Avoid travelling during the Monsoon(July-September) and Winter(January-February).
The itinerary and guide:
Day 1: Arrive at Bagdogra airport and catch a taxi to Darjeeling. Spend the evening shopping in the local markets of Chowrasta and try some of the streetfood.
Day 2: Spend the day Sightseeing in Darjeeling: Tiger Hill, Toy Train, Batasia Loop, Darjeeling Zoo, cable car and tea estates. Head for Pelling in the evening. Night halt at Pelling.
Day 3: Sightseeing around Pelling: Helipad, Orange Gardens and Rimbi river, Kanchenjunga Falls, Khecheopalri Lake, Rimbi Falls and Singshore Bridge. Spend the night at Pelling.
Day 4: Leave for Ravangla early morning and visit the magnificent Buddha Park. Head to Gangtok and try Paragliding. Night stay at Gangtok.
Day 5: Head for Lachen early morning. It takes almost an entire day to reach there. Indulge in the beautiful scenery along the way. Night stay at Lachen.
Day 6: Early morning drive to Gurudongmar Lake at Lachen in freezing temperatures and visit Chopta Valley. Head for Lachung and spend the night there.
Day 7: Visit the Yumthang Valley and quench your thirst for snow at Zero Point. Leave for Gangtok before nightfall and spend the night there.
Day 8: Look across the Indo-China border at Nathula Pass and visit Baba Mandir, Elephant Lake and the stunning Tsomogo Lake. Spend the night at Gangtok.
Day 9: Leave for Bagdogra airport. Stop at Bhalkhola to try River rafting in the Teesta river. Leave with wonderful memories and photos.
Cost-Saving Tips and Guide : This trip of Sikkim came up-to a total cost of 18000INR (includes paragliding and river rafting) per person excluding flights.
- Taxis are the best and at most places, the only means of transport inside Sikkim for a tourist. So, travelling as a group of 6-7 reduces your transport cost per person.
- Opt for simpler hotels as you just wanna crash for the night.
- Try the local Sikkim food as it would be a different experience and be of lesser cost.
- People with health issues should consult with a doctor prior to going to these high altitude locations due to lack of oxygen available there.
- Put your bargaining skills to test when your shopping at the local markets.
Contacts for reference:
- Mr.Milan: Taxi from Darjeeling to Pelling. Ph:+91 8016622852
- Mr.Gopi: Taxi for sightseeing around Pelling and travel from Pelling to Gangtok via Ravangla. Ph:+91 8348640969
- Fly Sikkim Adventure: Paragliding operator at Gangtok. Link- www.paraglidingsikkim.com
- Mr.Quinn Fenn: Taxi from Gangtok to North Sikkim(Lachen, Lachung) and back. Ph:+91 8967527882
- Mr.Sonam: Taxi for sightseeing around Nathula and taxi to Airport. Ph:+91 9733204538
- Denzong Leisure: River rafting at Bhalkhola. Link- www.denzongleisure.com