Sikkim

14 Days: Bagdogra > Bagdogra

  • Biksthang
  • Bermiok
  • Pemayangtse
  • Yuksom
  • Ravangla
  • Gangtok
  • Lachung
  • Bagdogra

Sikkim

Trip Code: AITSIK

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  • Introduction

    Genuine hospitality, incredible natural beauty and a fascinating history are some of the reasons why Sikkim is so special.

    With the main Himalayan range as a backdrop, including the occasional appearance of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, this itinerary highlights Sikkim’s natural beauty and cultural diversity.

    By visiting and staying in small villages, where distinct ethnic communities maintain traditional lifestyles, as well as larger cultural centres such as Pemayangtse – a key centre of Mahayana Buddhism – and the capital, Gangtok, you’ll appreciate how varied the state is.

    The trip is even richer if you take some of the many opportunities for day walks, which get you off the main roads and into the beauty of the countryside. Quaint homestays and B&B accommodation allows you to interact with hosts and gain a deeper understanding of the people.

  • Day 1 Biksthang

    Begin this journey with a drive from Bagdogra to Biksthang (four hours), a quiet village in West Sikkim. Spend the night at a well-equipped private farmhouse with great views of the mountains. (Bagdogra is well connected to Delhi and Kolkata by several domestic airlines.)

  • Day 2 Bermiok

    Today’s journey takes you to Hee Bermiok (a three hour drive), a picturesque village at the foot of Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary in West Sikkim. The village is inhabited by the indigenous Limboo tribe, known for their spiritual tradition and sustainable lifestyle. It also offers a spectacular view of Mt Kanchenjunga and its associated peaks.

  • Day 3 Bermiok

    Explore the village of Bermiok with a heritage walk, getting a feel for the local lifestyle, followed by a short hike in the Rhododendron Sanctuary. The Sanctuary offers diverse bird life, several species of butterflies and endangered Himalayan plants.

  • Day 4 Pemayangtse

    Today you’ll drive to Pemayangtse (three hours), one of the cultural centres of Sikkim; this is the closest you can drive to Mt Kanchenjunga. Pemayangtse is the epicentre of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism as introduced by Guru Padmasambava. [Image: Kothanda Srinivasan].

     

  • Day 5 Pemayangtse

    Explore Pemayangtse, taking in the local Buddhist monasteries, a sacred lake, several natural waterfalls, a school for orphaned children as well as the sights and sounds of the local market.

  • Day 6 Yuksom

    A full-day trip today takes you to Yuksom via Tashiding monastery, the most sacred royal monastery of Sikkim. Yuksom was the first capital of the royal family of Sikkim. The first Chogyal (religious king) of Sikkim, Phuntsok Namgyal, was coroneted by three Tibetan Lamas and gave rise to the Namgyal dynasty in Sikkim. The coronation stone can still be seen today. [Image: Walter Callens].

  • Day 7 Ravangla

    Today we visit Dubdi, the oldest monastery of Sikkim, as well as the Norbughang throne, before a four-hour drive to Ravangla in South Sikkim.  [Image: Dhillan Chandramowli].

  • Day 8 Ravangla

    Explore the only Bon monastery outside Tibet in the small village of Kewzing, about 40 minutes drive from Ravangla. Also visit Temi, surprisingly Sikkim’s only tea estate.

  • Day 9 Gangtok

    Take a morning two-hour drive to Gangtok, with the remainder of the day free. The town’s main street, officially MG Marg but popularly known as the Mall, is vehicle-free and a pleasant place for a wander, and the winding side alleys hide some unexpected gems.

  • Day 10 Gangtok

    Today get to know Gangtok, taking an excursion to Tsomgo Lake, as well as visiting Rumtek monastery, the headquarters of Karmapa and the Institute of Tibetology. Tsomgo Lake is a scared high-altitude lake, which remains under snow for most of the year. There is also time for shopping at a fixed-price, government run handicraft emporium and a colourful local market.

  • Day 11 Lachung

    Today head to the remote north district of Sikkim – a six-hour drive to Lachung, the gateway to the Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary. This picturesque village is a protected area and is famous for its pristine natural beauty. The Sanctuary becomes a riot of colour when the rhododendrons and primulas bloom in spring. The area is also home to several endangered Himalayan wildlife species.  [Image: Carsten.nebel].

  • Day 12 Lachung

    Today you’ll explore the Lachung area and Yumthang, known as the ‘Valley of Flowers’ thanks to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. Drive through the valley taking in cascading waterfalls and streams, vast meadows and lush green forests. This is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating blend of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenic beauty.

  • Day 13 Gangtok

    Return to Gangtok. If you have time, it’s well worth adding a couple of extra nights in Gangtok, where there are several lovely lodges and Sikkimese cuisine and hospitality is at its best.

  • Day 14 Bagdogra

    Your journey concludes with a five-hour drive to Bagdogra airport for a flight to Delhi or Kolkata.

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