The magic of Himalayas… Sikkim

Sikkim – a tiny, quiet north eastern state nested in the lap of the majestic Himalayas. A state with a population of 6,10,577 with most of the people following Budhism and Hinduism although a sizeable amount of Christian and a few Muslims reside in Sikkim as well. The state economy mostly depends on tourism with tourists not only from different parts of India but also from all over the world flock to this beautiful Himalayan state all the year round.

The city of Calcutta or Kolkata is the nearest metropolitan city. Sikkim is very well connected with road and rail networks. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra, Siliguri and nearest railway station is     New Jalpaiguri.  From Bagdogra  several taxis head for Gantok with river Teesta flowing all along your journey. From New Jalpaiguri railway station , one should go to Siliguri bus stand and board any of the buses are heading for Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. On an average the bus fare to Gangtok is around Rs 150 (around $ 2.18 and GBP 1.4). Cabs or jeeps charge a little more.

A wide range of hotels are available ranging from budget hotels to luxury hotels and localities can be approached for accommodation.

When it comes to food, Gangtok is the place to be with varieties of cuisine on ur palette to choose from. Indian, Tibetian, Chinese, European, fast food joints, pubs – everything is there. However, one should not give momos and tea momos a miss.  The choices, however, become slimmer as u move into the lesser known, interior parts of the state. Local food is quite yummy satisfying ur taste buds and healthy too.

Lots of monasteries like Rumtek Monastry, Dodrupchen Monastery, Phodang Monastry are worth a visit. Namgyal Institute of Tibetology should also be included visited if ur interested in anything about Tibet.

Adventure lovers need not be upset as Sikkim has a variety of adventure sports to offer as well. Mountaineering, Trekking, Yak Safari, river rafting, hang gliding can tantalize ur sense of adventure.

The state is a shopper’s paradise as well. Local handicrafts, prayer wheels, rugs, Tibetan jewellery, wall hangings are must buys but there’s more to this shopping paradise.  

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