No wonder, this state of India has been awarded the National Tourism Award 2012-13 by the Union Ministry of Tourism; including the fact that it exhibits lowest crime rate and is an immensely enriching window to nature that will definitely set your heart racing! The best time for travelling to Sikkim is in the month of October-November, though I wasn’t very late in going around December end. With excellent road connectivity from Gangtok (capital) to Nathula Pass at a height of 14,200ft. above sea level, the journey is smooth and devouring. Talking of the Nathula Pass, it is the India-China border more so Tibet and can be one hell of an experience as we witness extremes of temperature and cruel icy winds cutting across you! It also introduces us to the lives of the soldiers serving at such borders, sacrificing all for our safety. Hat’s off to them for such Courage! The trivia of such a site is the tourists because you’ll see hoards of them clicking selfies with the soldiers and eating popcorn with them. Another positive aspect of travelling to such a place is that it’ll make you realize that these tiffs between India and China is maybe only on paper because you’ll find people interacting with Chinese soldiers (I must say well dressed and handsome!) and treating them almost like celebrities. Besides the whole of Sikkim is no less than a tourist’s platter with Pelling, Lachung, Namchi, Ravangla, Rangpo, Jorethang and many more places to visit with your family. Ice capped peaks, pleasant cool winds and healthy vegetation, they all set the mood for an enriching Romantic experience. Another place that is worth a mention as per my experience is the replica of the 4-Dhams at one place that gives you a sense of spiritual satisfaction on the partial accomplishment of the ‘4-Dham Yatra’, the dream of all Indians! Monasteries yet another word that describes Sikkim especially the Rumtek Monastery with the huge Golden Stupa. A picto-graphic place with elite aesthetic and inherent tranquility. I’m sure you’ll love it!
Talking of the culture and the people of Sikkim then only one word can describe the natives and that is ‘Cute’ because they’re so fair with red blushed cheeks and they live in petite wooden houses on hill-tops amidst the lush green environs. I don’t know about everybody but someone who like me is of a Poetic nature will definitely have an ardent desire to own a beautiful cottage in some remote corner of Sikkim and maybe write a book, basking in the winter sun! I know, I know I’m digressing but such is the tranquility that this place emits. The food however can be the problem area for a hardcore vegetarian as the smell of meat is ineluctable even in vegetable noodles. But of course if you’re a meat eater then Sikkim is a delight for you. Meat roasted on raw fire spiced up with local spices is a respite for us Indians. Moving on to Sikkim as the Trekker’s Paradise, surely will require a lot of trekking on your part. The Yuksom to Dzongri Trail is a famous trekking trail that ends with a view of the mighty Kunchenjunga. So warm comfortable clothes, boots or sport shoes, reserve food and obviously an Image capturing device that works on light mechanisms (Camera) is a must! Besides don’t forget to get your pictures clicked in the traditional attire of Sikkim (age/gender no bar) creating lots of memories with your family and friends.
Signing off I would only like to add that if possible, one must also try and visit Darjeeling, Siliguri and Kalimpong, the neighbouring places for obviously more fun and adventure. And oh! Did I mention the joyous Yak ride on the way back from Nathula Pass? It’s definitely a must!