Sikkim offers the magical feel of a Himalayan fairytale land. It is an amazing place of hidden valleys, mystical monasteries, snow-fed lakes and a mountain setting covered with flowers and forests. Sikkim, an independent Buddhist kingdom till 1973 with historic and cultural ties to Tibet and Nepal, is a state of northeast India tucked in the Himalaya across Nepal’s eastern frontier. Its terrain rises from just above sea level to the five sacred summits of Kanchanjunga (8,586 m or 28,162 ft), the third highest peak in the world, which dominate the landscape and is revered as Sikkim’s guardian deity.
Its rich forests harbor unusual wildlife and stunning flora, hundreds of species of wild orchids and a large variety of rhododendrons. Everywhere you go, you will get to see enchanting terraced farmlands.
The former kingdom is home to three major population groups – Lepcha, Bhutia and the Nepalese – providing a colorful composite of cultures.
Sikkim has a lot in store for travelers. It offers fascinating landscapes, varied cultures, ancient religious monuments, sacred lakes, the tallest statue of Guru Padmasambhava at Sandupche, Namche to the south of the capital city of Gangtok and many more. Tibetan Buddhism is evident not only in the well preserved monasteries, of the Nyingma, Gelug, and Kargu sects, but also in the architecture of government buildings.
Above all, however, it offers peace, tranquility and a sedate pace of life, especially for those seeking to get away from the mad rush of city life.
You can reach Sikkim either by road from Siliguri, a satellite town in the Indian district of West Bengal and which is less than two hours’ drive from Bhadrapur airport in east Nepal, or by a six-seater chopper from Bagdogra (about one hours’ drive from Bhadrapur).