By Neha Hegde
Here are some places to visit and cherish for all the travel enthusiasts who have Sikkim on their bucket list.
Once a year it is pleasant to go to places which you’ve never been to before. It is an adventurous therapy for your mind. A state embellished with snowy hills, lush forests, flora and fauna, sacred lakes, gentle streams, pristine waterfalls, and holy monasteries.
Although it is possible to fly to Sikkim, the state does not have an airport. Bagdogra, West Bengal, has the nearest airport. Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, is 124 kilometres from Bagdogra. By taxi or bus, it takes about 5 hours to get to Gangtok from Bagdogra. Nature begins to smile as you arrive. The most thrilling aspect of the journey through the northeastern states is eating sizzling Wai-Wai and Maggie noodles at roadside shops while witnessing snow-capped mountains.
A unique and restricted region will offer you the actual sense of standing on the India-China border. It is a two-hour drive from Gangtok. You must seek permission from the District Headquarters in Gangtok the day before, and not everyone will be granted permission. At 14,140 feet above sea level, Nathula serves as the trade boundary between India and China. Because this is a military coverage area, photography is prohibited. It is snow-covered for most of the year, and the gates are only open in the summer for trade and “Kailash Manasarovar” visitors. Tsomongo Lake can be seen on the way to Nathula Pass. You will come across Yaks and eating outlets in the valleys along the way.
It is a picturesque village in northern Sikkim. The 110km section from Gangtok is the most difficult since the roads are narrower, there are waterfalls from every slope onto the road, there is a high vehicle density, and bridges are in doubt of their existence. Entry into Lachen requires permission, and the area is fully plastic-free. Just before approaching Lachen, a large carton with overflowing plastic bottles is placed on the side.
The Gurudongmar Lake
It is located at 17,800 feet and is one of the highest lakes in the world. In the winter, this place is completely frozen. It’s a lovely lake with icy water, snow-capped mountains, and sandy plains. Military camps with tankers and trucks parked inside can be seen on the route here. There are “photography prohibited” signs.
Yumthang’s Zero Point
This place offers another spectacular experience. The road to this runs next to the Teesta river in the valley, with distinct trees on each mountain. Anyone who visits Sikkim will fall in love with the varied flowers. Vehicles stop along the road, and people play in the snow. There are Maggie, booze, light drinks, and snack kiosks.
It is recommended that you spend your evening in Pelling Skywalk, which is about 4 hours from Gangtok. A 137-foot-tall Buddha on top of a hill with a glass-bottom bridge on the site provides a skywalk vista. The view from the Buddha’s seat is breathtaking. The skywalk provides a whole different perspective of the bridge as you walk.
During your travel make sure you experience eating all the fresh and mouth-watering fruits like Plum or Aruchi in local terms, Litchis, Mandarins or Oranges, Apples, etc. The delicious and signature fast foods like Momos, Thukpas, Wai- Wai, etc will make your taste buds satisfied.
However, these are the few places which you can’t miss when you’re planning to visit Sikkim. There are other cultural centers, pleasing monasteries, and much more to enjoy in Sikkim.