Sikkim has been given many names. The Lepchas, original inhabitants of the land called it Nye-mae-el `paradise’. The Limbus named it Su Khim or `new house’ while to the Bhutias it was Beymul Demazong `the hidden valley of rice’.
Today, travelers embarking on a journey of Sikkim discover a mystical wonderland of spectacular natural beauty. The panoramic perfection of the snow-capped Himalayas, the heady scent of flower-bedecked meadows, the vibrant culture and joyous festivals, the infinite variety of its flora and fauna makes it a holiday that is at once fascinating and challenging.read more...
Even today the mountain god is invoked and prayed to during Pang Lhabsol, a major Sikkimese festival, which also commemorates the blood brotherhood sworn between the Lepchas and the Bhutias at Kabi in the fifteenth century. The sacred mountain can be viewed from every corner of Sikkim and remains an intrinsic part of the consciousness of the people.
Sikkim shares its border with Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east, with the Tibetan plateau rising from its northern border. It was once a Himalayan monarchy and part of the fabled Silk Route to China. Its merger with India in 1975 has offered a window to the world to discover the treasures of this hidden land.
Sikkim’s tiny size geographically belies the profound diversity she offers. The state has the steepest rise in altitude over the shortest distance and has within its 7,096 sq. kms the entire climatic range, from tropical to temperate to alpine, bestowing on the land an intense natural heritage. Lush and thick forests, flush with blooms of exotic flora, hilly expanses embellished by Sikkim’s two main rivers, the Teesta and the Rangeet, the picturesque villages, hot springs and waterfalls have a compelling appeal.
The mountainsides are dotted with many caves which are considered holy by the people and revered as places of pilgrimage. The 135 feet tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava is situated at Samdruptse, South Sikkim.
Sikkim has much to offer all her visitors. From popular home stays where one can get a first hand experience of rural Sikkim to endless possibilities for adventure sports. From ancient monasteries and flamboyant festivals to all the amenities of the modern world. The State is naturally gifted having all sorts of destinations and circuits required for the tourists. Tourism in Sikkim has impressive varieties of Tourism Products, some of them are:
- Organic, Green and Pollution Free State
- Very rich Culture, traditions, heritage and strong commitment
- Eco-tourism & Wildlife
- Village Tourism
- Adventure Tourism
- Wellness, Health, Yoga, Herbal and medical tourism
- Religious, culture, Heritage and pilgrimage Tourism
- Conference Tourism and many more
The mighty and majestic mountains, green valleys, wilderness & sense of adventure, delightful cuisines, peaceful and crime free State, Hot spot of biodiversity and a mixture of things that would make any place on the earth a delight to visit, has made Sikkim the hot destination for Tourism that it should be. Virtually unexplored, offers unique opportunities in almost all the major aspects of Tourism. The State Government in the past years have given top priority and importance for development of sufficient and required infrastructure for the development of tourism in the State. Some of the important steps taken are:
- Construction of good network of all weather roads
- A very good network of communication, internet, telephone etc.
- A good network of transport- private participation
- Introduction of Helicopter services which is being further upgraded
- Construction of network of Helipads
- Airport under development
- A substantial enhancement in accommodation , hotels and Home stay
- Approval by Government of India for Railway line.
- Double lane of existing NH-31A and construction of alternate National High Way
- For power and energy support, a network of Hydro Electric projects
- Development of required Human Resources for the sector
- Safety and security
- Regulation of Tourism trade
- A good network of travel agents, tour operators and other services providers
- A well established network of Tourists Reception-cum- Information Centers (TRICs) which are being further strengthened
Add to this the different communities, each with their own distinctive festivals and traditions, the dances and the music; it has all the elements that go into making a holiday an unforgettable experience.
Come, Be Blessed
How to reach Sikkim
Almost All the modes of transportations are available to visit Sikkim. This Paradise on Earth is well connected by airways, railways and roadways. In spite of being a hilly state, transportation of Sikkim is comfortable and more frequent to enjoy the ride on the world’s most beautiful valley.
The airport located nearest to Sikkim is Bagdogra Airport of West Bengal which is only 124 Kms away from Gangtok. India’s national carrier, Indian Airlines including almost all other domestic airlines such as Jet Airways 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. This helicopter service is subjected to the weather conditions.
New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri are the two rail 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.
The lifeline of Sikkim, which is National Highway 31A connects gangtok with Siliguri and this picturesque highway 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 will gives you the opportunity to enjoy the valley carpeted with numerous wild flowers. Regular bus service operated by S.N.T. and adequate number of private buses, jeeps and taxies are available from morning to evening at reasonable rate and you can have a very comfortable journey. From Siliguri you can catch jeeps and taxies to reach almost all the important tourist destinations located in both South and West Sikkim. You can also hire taxies and jeeps to travel to your destination of choice at reasonable rate. Most of the reputed destinations of siikim are interlinked by motor able all seasons roads.
Sikkim Helicopter Service
Height of Luxury
For the more discerning travelers, Sikkim Tourism is proud to present the Sikkim Helicopter Service from Gangtok to Bagdogra Airport and back. The five-seater Helicopter offers an exclusive mode of transport not merely enabling connecting flights, but also to see Sikkim from an entirely new view.
Sikkim Helicopter Service also conducts, besides the regular runs to Bagdogra Airport and back, special mountain flights. Come and see the majesty of the Himalayan peaks from close up like never before, Feast your eyes on the grandeur and the sheer size of the great Mount Khanchendzonga, the third highest peak in the world, or check out the symmetrical beauty of Mount Siniolchu, considered by many as the most beautiful peak in the entire Himalayan range, or fly over Gangtok and get a comprehensive view of the layout of the town with its winding roads and many alleys.
Special flights are also conducted over West Sikkim and North Sikkim for a bird’s eye-view of the monasteries and the exotic Valley of Flowers, Yumthang.