The summer sun is bearing down on us with all its strength and might. Needless to mention, the scorching heat and dry suffocating sense of humidity in the peak of summer is dreadful and nauseating. To escape the perspiration and sun-burns one can easily foray to the hills and what can relieve the heat better than the pleasant climate of Sikkim.
Overview: Sikkim is nestled in the Eastern Himalayas and is blessed with innumerable lakes, rivers and glacial water bodies. Not only does it boast the presence of lakes but the mountain ridges result in verdant valleys that are cool and witness a growth of wild flowers and rhodendrons. In all, Sikkim is a fusion of beautiful locations with atmosphere conducive to a convenient visit.
Chief attractions: Besides the grandeur of the mountain peaks, lush bountiful valleys, cascading rivers, and terraced hills lined with alpine forests, Sikkim is sure to leave an indelible mark on the minds of the traveller. The highly popular local preparation of fermented millet should be tried. Sikkim, misty and sanguine, soothing and relaxing, welcomes all visitors with a promise of astounding scenery coupled with areas of perpetual snow. Snowfall is an enriching experience. It brings one closer to nature and is sure to make him ponder over the intricacies of nature. The fame of this renowned tourist spot resides primarily on Mount Khangchendzonga. Trekking and mountaineering add to its charm as a holiday destination.
Fascinating Flora and fauna: Amidst an astonishingly large number of flying prayer flags, Sikkim hosts plenty of water bodies. For instance it is home to numerous lakes such as Tsomgo and Khechopalri; Menmecho, and Lampokhari springs, and gorgeous waterfalls that the residents deem to be sacred and hence treat them with reverential care. Alpine orchids, tropical rainforests are characteristic features of the place. The tall pines, firs and conifers distinguish the hills from the plains and are hence a feast to the eyes of the tourists. Bamboo, oak, maple, walnut, pines, rhododendrons are seen in plenty thereby adding to the scenic beauty of the heavenly place. The trees standing tall against the body of the hills, shrouded by an outgrowth of ferns is a joy to behold. Flower lovers are sure to be pleased to see rare species of flowering plants as, blue poppies, wild strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb including mountain wildflowers. Snow leopard, foxes, Himalayan bear, pandas, yaks, partridges, emerald dove, cuckoos, wood pecker are to be seen here. Sikkim is a suitable holiday spot for nature or wildlife lovers.
How to reach Sikkim: Sikkim is well connected by air, roadways and rail. Form across the country, one need to travel through the state of West Bengal in order to reach Sikkim. Running between Siliguri and Gangtok, National Highway no. 31 bridges the capital of Sikkim to the populated plains. Well-connected roads link Gangtok to Darjeeling and Kalimpong, which serve as ways to reach Sikkim. The huge number of regular buses and hire-cars plying between Siliguri to Sikkim are an additional help. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra which is connected to the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata which again is connected to the major cities of India. For further assistance, Sikkim is soon to have its own airport. The railway connection is cheaper and convenient and hence, a much preferable mode of journey to Sikkim. A traveller has to board the train to the nearest station to Sikkim. This is the New Jalpaiguri station near the town of Siliguri. Overnight trains are an important means of efficient and pocket-friendly travel as these can be boarded from Kolkata to Sikkim to reach New Jalpaiguri Station in the morning. Many trains are available for choosing from, so as to best suit the purposes of the traveller. Trains connect all parts of the country and hence the journey to Sikkim is hassle free and comfortable.
Comfortable stays: There are a number of guest houses and hotels and resorts for travellers that serve as wonderful accommodations. These boast of a cherishing view of Mount Khangchendzonga. Beautifully adorned cafeterias and restaurants serving ethnic food of ‘dumplings’, ‘momos’ and ‘thukpa’ make it convenient for tourists to stay at Sikkim for a prolonged time and enjoy its aesthetic appeal to their heart’s content. Teas and coffee are enjoyed with relished in the cool evenings and early mornings at Sikkim. The residential lodges provide helpful travel information that aid in prior booking of tickets and making reservations beforehand. These spell comprehensiveness and ensure a comfortable stay for visitors.
For most of us seized by wanderlust, Sikkim is a great place to visit as it blends beauty with soothing joy. Besides the aesthetic appeal for travelling to Sikkim’s tourist attractions, there are added benefits of fresh crisp air, escaping the intolerable heat of the plains, experiences of trekking and witnessing mountain climate that is different from that of the plains. Nothing short of a divine abode, Sikkim is a must-visit for all those who love to travel to scenic places. The place witnesses a large tourist population throughout the year owing to its breath-taking scenic view. It has been proven that visiting Sikkim is a uniquely enriching experience. Hence, pack your bags and get going!