Sikkim is one of the most famous tourist destinations in North East India. Its marvellous landscape is dotted with high altitude lakes, rolling green mountains, colourful rhododendron groves, azure rivers, milky waterfalls, beautiful monasteries and unparalleled views of Mt. Kanchenjunga/Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world.
The state is divided into 4 districts: North, South, East and West. There are 4 district capitals: Gangtok (East Sikkim), Mangan (North Sikkim), Namchi (South Sikkim) & Gyalshing (West Sikkim). The main capital of the state is Gangtok. Each of these districts has something unique to offer to the tourists.
Sikkim’s hills, forests & mountains harbour a variety of rare & exotic Himalayan wildlife. Many of these animals and birds are exclusively found at high altitudes. Spotting them in their natural habitat is a rare privilege.
There are several national parks & sanctuaries in Sikkim where you can observe its wildlife leisurely. The most famous of these is the Khangchendzonga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can spot animals like Himalayan Black Bear, red panda, Tibetan Wild Ass, Himalayan Blue Sheep, goral and takin. Among these, the red panda is a mammal species native to the Eastern Himalayas & southwestern China. Other famous wildlife sanctuaries in Sikkim are Fambong Lho, Varsey Rhododendron, Kyongnosla Alpine and Maenam. Enjoy your vacation in Sikkim with tour packages offered by Tour My India that cover all the popular points of tourist attractions and ensure that your holidays are hassle free and enjoyable.
The ideal time to visit Sikkim is between the months of March and May or October and mid-December.
Currency: Indian Rupees
Official languages: Nepali, English, Lepcha and Sikkimese or Tibetan or Bhutia
Sikkim was a Buddhist kingdom under the Namgyal-Chogyal dynasty from 1642 to 1975. Time and again the little kingdom had to defend itself against attacks from Nepal. 1835 the area of Darjeeling - that had been part of Sikkim until then - was annexed by British India. Sikkim was a protectorate first of British India and after its independence in 1947 of India. With foreign policy and national defense in the hands of India the political influence of Sikkim became more severely restricted when the new Constitution came into force in 1955. Bureaucrats planned to bring the monarchy to an end in 1973 and India in turn, increased its influence. The Chogyal (king who governs with righteousness) Palden Namgyal Thodup was crashed in 1975 and Sikkim merged with India as its 22nd state.
The People of Sikkim consist of three ethnic groups, that is, Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepali. Communities of different hues intermingle freely in Sikkim to constitute a homogenous blend. Hindu Temples coexist with Buddhist Monasteries, Churches, Mosque and Gurudwara. The predominant Communities are Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalese. These myriad Cultures has produced a quintessential Sikkimese Culture that encompasses all ways and walk of life, but has also managed to preserve their own identity. These can also be seen in the various places of Worship, Festivals and Cultural dances that are celebrated through the year.
The native Sikkimese consist of the Bhutias, who migrated from the Kham district of Tibet in the 14th century, and the Lepchas, who are believed to have migrated from the Far East. Tibetans reside mostly in the northern and eastern reaches of the state. Migrant resident communities include Bengalis, Biharis and Marwaris,who are prominent in commerce in South Sikkim and Gangtok.
Sikkim's climate ranges from sub-tropical in the south to tundra in the north. ... Most of the inhabited regions of Sikkim experience a temperate climate, with temperatures seldom exceeding 28 °C (82 °F) in summer. The average annual temperature for most of Sikkim is around 18 °C (64 °F).
Citizens of most countries, including the United States, need a visa to visit India which should be arranged in advance. Full details can be found at The Government of India website (http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/). Citizens of Nepal and Bhutan do not need a visa, while some nationalities may get them upon arrival.
Sikkim doesn't have a train network also. The nearest major railhead is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) , about 7 kms from Siliguri. Some trains also pass through Siliguri Railway Station. New Jalpaiguri Railway station is connected with rest of India by long-distance express and superfast trains.
Before you leave on your holiday, there are at least four health-related things you should do. Please check the handbook for specifics, but for now, here’s the short list:
Step 1: Check with the CDC for their recommendations for the countries you’ll be visiting.
Step 2: Have a medical checkup with your doctor.
Step 3: Pick up any necessary medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Step 4: Have a dental and/or eye checkup. (Recommended, but less important than steps 1-3.)
We recommend avoiding packing any plastic bags in your luggage before flying to Kenya. You should also remove any items purchased at departure airports from their bags before boarding. Double check your luggage before disembarking in Kenya and leave any plastic bags on the plane.
In case of need or desire to overstay, you are advised to contact the nearest Foreigners' Regional Registration Office.
It is advisable to avail of pre-paid taxi/auto-rickshaws or pay by meter or ask for the fare chart.
Advisable to shop at the Govt. Emporia/Fixed Price Shops to ensure quality and reasonable prices.
Check power voltage before using electrical instruments (220/240 V are available in India)
Keep your valuables in hotel lockers/safe deposit vaults
You are advised to contact the nearest India Tourism Office/State Govt. Tourist Office or Government approved Travel Agents/Tour Operators for local sight seeing and excursion tours.
Fast Trains/Intercity express are available between several tourist centers. Consult the Railway Information Office or India Tourism Office/State Govt. Tourist Office.
Always hire a Govt. approved tourist guide who invariably carries an identity card.
Check about photography permissions/video filming at any monument. Contact the nearest India Tourism Office/State Govt. Tourist Office
Change money only at the Authorised Foreign Exchange Outlets/Banks/Hotels and insist on receipt for money changed.
For guide map of the city/tourist information, contact the nearest India Tourism Office/State Govt. Tourist Office
STD/ISD/FAX facilities are available at small outlets in all parts of the country with yellow sign boards
Observe local tradition/customs while visiting religious places
There is prohibition on liquor in a few states. Check details from the nearest Tourism Office about the same.
Smoking not allowed in public places and vehicles in some states.
Do not buy goods from road side unless and until you feel satisfied
All state government has their own handicraft stall and all good tour operators include it in their itinerary. Try to buy from Government stall only for genuine handicraft.
Don't encourage beggars
Don't accept food/drinks from strangers
Export of Indian Currency is banned
Don't be coerced into shopping by touts/guides/cab/taxi drivers or strangers
Don't bye articles made from rare/endangered species of animals which are banned
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