Hill Stations of Sikkim
Gangtok, with magnificent views of Kanchenjunga, uniqueness and vibrancy in colors of culture and tradition, infused into the stunning sceneries and just the right dash of subtle city life is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the area.
The name meaning hill-top, Gangtok can be safely said to be one of the most beautiful hill stations in the country. With everything in just the right amount from a blend of cultural identities to urbanisation, Gangtok is a breathing and dynamic bit of paradise of the northeast. It has an amazing view of mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world. Also like everything around it, Gangtok is abundant in natural beauty and has various natural attractions such as the Tsomgo Lake, Ban Jhakri falls, Tashi viewpoint and more. Other places to visit include the Enchey Monastery, Ganesh Tok, Do Drul Chorten Rumtek Monastery, etc. Also, river Teesta is one of the best spots for white water rafting in North East India.
Pelling, a beautiful town in the West district of Sikkim, is becoming the second biggest tourist destination in Sikkim after Gangtok. The main attraction of the place is the breath-taking sight of the Khangchendzonga and the neighbouring peaks. The famous Pemayangste monastery is less than a kilometre from here and is a major tourist hotspot. It also provides sites for mountain biking, rock climbing, village tours, meditations, educational studies and several other activities. The scenic town of Pelling is a perfect holiday destination for all nature lovers.
Pelling, a beautiful petite town sited at a height of 6800ft was initially covered with wild thick forest which served as home to many indigenous wild animals of that period including Wildman( may not be yeti though). This ridge being situated in between two old Buddhist monasteries (Pemayangtse and Sangacholing) developed into a full-fledged village named Pelling. Today, Pelling is one of the best chosen tourist hotspots in Sikkim due to its scenic beauty and the fact that it offers the closest view of world third highest mountain Mt. Khang _ã_Chen-Dzonga and other snow covered ranges from here. More than that Pelling is the heart where all the breath taking tourist spots of West Sikkim can be visited in several optional sightseeing tours. Pelling has all kinds of tourists facilities including the hotels of all categories ranging from guest houses to resorts, the government registered travel agency offices and restaurants and fast-food corners to relish your taste buds with all kinds of cuisines including local Sikkimese food.
Namchi, the district headquarters of the South District, is a prosperous market town which has quickly developed into a tourist hotspot. Namchi literally means "Top of the Sky" and the main tourist attractions of Namchi are the two gigantic statues. These two gigantic statues are facing off from opposite hillsides across Namchi and attract several tourists every year. Set in a scenic environment, Namchi provides you a beautiful view of the Khangchendzonga range and the Rangit valley. You can also visit the Sherdup Choeling Monastery and the Dichen Choeling monastery over here.
Namchi is the capital of the South Sikkim district which is quickly transforming into a tourist hotspot because of its pilgrimage centres. The world 's largest statue is also situated here and is worth seeing. A number of luxury hotels are being setup in Namchi and the existing ones have good facilities for you to enjoy a comfortable stay. The spas and the bars in this town are very relaxing for the tourists. Around two kms from Namchi is the old Ngadak monastery. Positioned on a hill just above Ngadak monastery is the very striking Rock Garden which makes a great tourist attraction because of the several unique flowers and plants which blossom every spring.
The main tourist attractions in Namchi are Samdruptse and Solophok statues. Coated in shining copper and bronze tones is the spectacular 45 m Padmasambhava statue. This statue can be seen from miles around, shining like a golden cone in the heart of the forests of Samdruptse hill. The site is 7 km from Namchi. As if one giant statue were not enough, another Shiva statue is established on Solophok hilltop. There are several surrounding complex of temples and visitor pavilions here. Solophok is at a distance of 6km from Namchi.
The popular Yumthang Valley in North Sikkim is located 140km North of Gangtok. Famous as the valley of flowers, this is a rare and exotic valley where the tree line ends. Yumthang Valley is a must visit on your holiday to Sikkim and the nearby beautiful town of Lachung is the base station for an expedition of Yumthang. The Yumthang Valley is a paradise for nature lovers with a spectacular blend of flora and fauna and splendid picturesque beauty. Unique wild flowers such as primulas and Rhododendrons cover the entire valley in rich colors every spring, making it a great tourist attraction.
The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary that is situated here too has 24 species of Rhododendron flowers which blossom from April to May end. A hot spring situated on the right side of Yumthang River is a very well-known tourist hotspot. Apart from a cosmic green meadow, plush green forest abundant in Pine and silver fir trees fill the area. On your way towards the valley, you can see gushing waterfalls and streams. It also offers a spectacular sight of a splendid row of peaks with Pauhunri and Shundu Tsenpa. A few more kms away further north is Shiv Mandir and a trek to this temple is a very refreshing experience. Lying further north at a distance of 16 kms is Yumesamdong where the rocky vegetation- free mountains present a beautiful view.