Thing to do in the Darjeeling and Sikkim

 10 Best Things To Do In Sikkim And Darjeeling

Cradled by the majestic Himalayas, Sikkim and Darjeeling are home to breathtaking landscapes, diverse ethnic groups and a rich cultural heritage. From snow-capped peaks to lush green valleys, charming hill stations to ancient monasteries, these neighbouring regions in north-east India promise a unique blend of experiences to every traveller with the best collection of places to visit in Sikkim and Darjeeling. 

Sikkim’s history is a fascinating interplay between geographical isolation and strategic importance. It served as a buffer zone between Tibet and Bhutan for centuries. The British established a protectorate in the 19th century and after Indian independence, Sikkim became a protectorate of India. Sikkim officially joined the Indian union in 1975 and gained statehood. Darjeeling was a part of the Sikkim kingdom in the 18th century with Lepchas being the indigenous tribe of the land. Seeing its potential as a summer retreat to escape from India’s scorching plains the British East India Company leased it in 1835 and introduced tea plantations in the region forever transforming its landscape and economy. A charming hill station famous for its tea estates, the iconic toy train and a vibrant culture fused by various ethnic groups coexisting here, Darjeeling today is a favourite getaway for tourists – international and domestic alike. 

Best time to visit Darjeeling Sikkim depends on one’s personal preference. The weather is pleasant during the spring season in March-May but draws in more tourists. For a more serene and quieter atmosphere, October to December can offer a unique winter experience with fewer crowds and great views of the Kanchenjunga range. 

For the past three years, India Unbound has been conducting indian group tours through the best places to visit in Sikkim and Darjeeling while offering an authentic experience of the cultures and traditions that define these picturesque regions. 

Here’s Our List A Of 10 Best Things To Do In Darjeeling and Sikkim

  • Day trip to Uttarey, Tenzing Hillary Memorial Park
  • Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary Trek
  • Pemayangtse monastery
  • Tsomgo lake
  • Visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) toy train ride
  • Catch the sunrise at the promenade near Mall road
  • Take a walk through the local marketplace in Darjeeling
  • Day at the Tibetan Refugee Self Help centre
  • Visit the Japanese pagoda

1. Day trip to Uttarey, Tenzing Hillary Memorial Park –

Located at the Nepal border, Uttarey is a charming hamlet in West Sikkim. Unlike Pelling, Uttarey offers a respite from the crowds and the slow rural life makes for a tranquil setting. A short hike of 1-2 hrs will take you to the Tenzing Hillary Memorial Park which offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding hills and if weather permits, a glimpse of the Kanchenjunga peak.  

2. Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary Trek – 

Located on the edge of the Singalila range bordering West Bengal and close to Darjeeling, the Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary is a paradise for nature enthusiasts particularly in spring (mid March to mid May). The Barsey Rhododendron trek is a popular activity, considered to be an easy-moderate hike of 9kms (round trip) from Hilley to Barsey. The trail winds through rhododendron forests with beautiful vistas of the surrounding mountains, valleys and villages.

3. Pemayangtse Monastery –

One of the oldest and most prominent monasteries in Sikkim, Pemayangtse monastery played a crucial role in the development and spread of Buddhism in the state. Perched atop a hill near Pelling, it reflects traditional Tibetan architectural influences with intricate woodwork and colourful ornamentation.

4. Tsomgo Lake – 

Tsomgo lake, also known as Changu lake is a beautiful glacial marvel considered sacred by the Sikkimese people. Usually crystal clear in the spring, the lake transforms into a stunning sight as it freezes over in winters. Tsomgo lake attracts pilgrims and tourists alike and is a place of cultural importance.

5. Visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute – 

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) is a premier mountaineering institute and stands tall as the landmark of Indian mountaineering history. It was established in 1954 after the first historic ascent of Mt Everest by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary. It offers courses of all levels for aspiring mountaineers and houses a museum with interesting exhibits of equipment from historic Himalayan expeditions. The Best thing to do in Darjeeling is to visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

6. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train Ride –

DHR is a UNESCO world heritage site recognized for its ingenious engineering. Ride the train as it chugs away through the town and enjoy the change of scenery from glimpses of local life with people waving from homes, vendors selling snacks to rolling lush green hills and tea plantations on villages clinging onto the slopes.

7. Catch the Sunrise at the Promenade Near Mall Road – 

Rise early and take a walk across the promenade dodging the locals are the jog and exercise around Mall road which has several viewing points to get the glorious views of the Kanchenjunga range painted in the hues of the rising sun.

8. Take a Walk Through the Local Marketplace in Darjeeling –

Exploring a local marketplace is a great way to experience the true essence of a city. Take a walk through the bustling marketplace and watch Darjeeling come alive in a cacophony of sights, sounds and smells. You will find wooden curios depicting Himalayan life, colourful handcrafted woollen shawls on display and locals shopping for their daily needs all depicting a friendly haggling culture. 

9. Day at the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre –

The Tibetan Refugee Self Help centre was established in 1959, to provide emergency relief and continues to offer support and housing to the Tibetan refugee community in Darjeeling. The centre is known for its workshops where the refugees produce exquisite handicrafts, carpets, wood carvings, and woollen goods. Apart from preserving their artistic heritage, this also generates a source of income.

10 Visit the Japanese Pagoda –

Dedicated to promoting world peace, this pagoda was built by a Japanese monk in 1972. Inspired by traditional Japanese temple architecture, the pagoda features a multi-tiered roof and intricate details. 

This selection of places to visit in Sikkim and Darjeeling will open a gateway to the heart and soul of the regions for you. We believe that a destination can be truly explored only through varied activities and experiences that bring you close to the local way of living while also enjoying the luxury it has to offer. Plan your unforgettable Sikkim and Darjeeling group tour adventure with India Unbound today! For all the details you require on the group tour in India, contact with our travel specialists.