The mighty 2020 has been a challenging year in most of our lives. A lot of us are finding it difficult to adapt to the new normal, right? However, nothing should stop us from scheduling and exploring innovative ideas to travel! In this blog, we will explore India’s cleanest and my most favorite city of all the time – Sikkim. Sikkim is the smallest state of India, but the beauty it encompasses is huge. We spend two days in Sikkim in total, and we have managed to cover the maximum places possible. Here is my recommendation of Things To Do In Sikkim for 48 hours.
Day 1- Rumtek Monastery
The Rumtek monastery, also known as the Dharmachakra centre is a serene and divine Buddhist monastery in the heart of Sikkim. There is no formalities or rules to enter the place. Nevertheless, ongoing meditation and silence should not be interrupted. It is indeed the most peaceful sight to watch the monks performing their rituals and pay respect to Lord Budha. We were asked to do the same if we wish to.
The students of the monastery and the monks are usually addressed as Lamas. They lead a very simple life gaining divinity and peace through the strict adhering of Buddhist scriptures.
Timings: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entry Fee: INR 1
Tsongmo Lake (Things To Do In Sikkim)
On the way to the next touristic spot, we stopped by the glacial lake in Sikkim, the Tsongmo lake. The guide informed us that the lake would be covered with ice by the end of January. The water was so reflective and clean. And, this is where we must draw inspiration from the people of Sikkim. The cleanest city for a reason!
There is a deep spiritual connection associated with the lake. It is being said that the lake mirrors different colours with the variation in seasons! Isn’t it wonderful? So, the lamas believe that the colour can indicate how the year is going to be in the city- problematic or joyous.
Though I would not want to believe in the superstition, the change in colours would be a wondrous sight.
The best time of visit – March to May and October to December.
Timings: 8 AM – 3 PM
Cable Car Ride: Rs.295 per person
The Natu La (Things To Do In Sikkim)
Next and the last destination was the world-famous ‘Natu La’ situated in the East Sikkim. Natu La means Pass of the listening ear. As we approached the destination, the soldiers stood by all the corners, and the temperature dropped suddenly (the Pass is 4310 metres above sea level). If you haven’t heard of the Sino-Indian conflict that happened, I would suggest you know about it to have a better knowledge about the place. The place is always protected after the war. Natu la was closed for years but reopened after many considerations.
Visiting Natu la is a bliss. Not many could travel since getting permits is a difficult task. Hence, it was a memorable road trip for us.
Timings: Wednesday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM.
Entry Fee: No entry fees, but the permit is necessary.
Day 2- Local Tour
We decided to do our local tour. Besides the wonderful tourist spots, the local markets are equally a sight to behold. The primary item sold here is undoubtedly the spices. Cardamom is found in abundance. Fresh vegetables and fruits are also available. Plums and cherries which are not found in the south are sufficiently seen here in all seasons.
Anywhere we go ( or say, I go!) the first thing that grabs my attention would be the cuisine. Confessing that statement, Sikkim specials are mindblowing. Momos, noodles, smoked pork, dal bhat, etc. are a few dishes I tried and loved. Those who love momos, thugpas and noodles, this place is heaven.
There are many local markets in and around Sikkim. You can buy a bulk amount of items at cheap rates. Sikkim would never disappoint the shopaholics in you.
Sikkim is one such place where you could go and forget yourselves! It is peaceful and serene. Also, affordable compared to other Indian states.
Things To Carry
- Powerbanks and portable wifi, since the range at the hotels, were wavering from time to time.
- Sweaters and sweaters! Sikkim has a pleasant and COLD climate, people!
- Medications for those who have respiratory issues. The climate and heights might get hard on those who got respiratory problems.
We stayed at the hotel booked through the package. The hotel was affordable, but it is recommended that you should not book hotels through the package. The location and facilities might not reach your expectations.
We stayed in The Royal Oaks. The price was around 2000 INR.
Other Details (Things To Do In Sikkim)
We took a tour package of SOTC, as we find it affordable and safe. Our first destination on the list was Sikkim. We went during the first week of May, back in 2018. The climate was told to be ‘moderate’. I remember wearing three sweaters and covering up myself with a shawl even in the ‘moderate’ climate!
There was no direct flight to Sikkim, and hence we travelled from Chennai to Guwahati (2 hours 50 minutes) and from there to Baghdogra, West Bengal (1 hour). From Baghdogra, we had to go on the road to Sikkim. It took almost six hours for us to reach our destination.
Read the places to visit in Darjeeling on my blog.