Sikkim is a land of beautiful contours, rugged mountains, deep valleys and dense forests. Combined with raging rivers, lakes and waterfalls, the landscape of Sikkim appears as a beautiful work of art. Floating high over the cloud-covered lower Himalaya, Mt. Khangchendzonga dominates the landscape of Sikkim. With its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, facility for adventure sports and pilgrim sites, Sikkim is one of India’s top tourist destinations. Although one can visit Sikkim anytime in the year, yet in winter the beauty of Sikkim is delineated more as carpets of snow are laid over the towering peaks. There are many places to visits in Sikkim of which a few are—
Yumthang, situated at a height of 11800 feet is popularly known as ‘Valley of Flowers’, Located at a distance of 148 kms from Gangtok, it is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating blend of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenic beauty. In spring season, wild flowers such as primulas and Rhododendrons bathe the landscape in rich colors, making it a tourist hot spot. Hot spring located on the right side of Yumthang river is a popular tourist attraction. In addition to a vast green meadow, lush green forest abounding in Pine and silver fir trees throngs the place. While driving towards the valley, one can see cascading waterfalls and streams.
Almost 10 kms from Gyalshing, Pelling is the second biggest tourist destination in the state after Gangtok. Its main attraction is the breathtaking view it offers of the Khangchendzonga and surrounding ranges, as well as the easy access it provides to tourist spots in the area. Pemayangste monastery is less than a kilometre from Pelling while a 40 minute walk on the hill opposite the monastery takes one to Sanga Choling monastery built in 1697, one of the first in the state.
Sikkim has many hot springs known for their therapeutic value. High in Sulphur content, the waters are believed to have great medicinal properties .Borong and Ralong hot water springs are located within short distance from each other. Popular with visitors from all over the region, these natural spas have strong curative powers. Taking bath in these springs in winter is an pleasant experience.
38 km from Gangtok and at an altitude of 12,400 ft, the ethereally beautiful Tsomgo lake is a must on every visitors itinerary. A winding road through rugged mountain terrain and sharp cliffs takes you to Tsomgo, which means source of the water The lake derives its water from the melting snows of the mountains surrounding the lake. Of extraordinary beauty, the lake looks different at different seasons. In winter the placid lake remains frozen with the area around it covered in snow while in late spring the profusion of flowers in bloom adds a riot of colors around the lake.
The mountainsides are dotted with many caves which are considered holy by the people and revered as places of pilgrimage. Most of these caves are located in remote places requiring tough treks.The holiest of them is Lha-ri nying phu or the old cave on Gods hill. Located in West Sikkim.De-chhen phu or the cave of happiness is equally inaccessible located in the snows above Dzongri in West Sikkim.Pe-phu, a huge cave, is located between Tendong and Maenam hills in South Sikkim around 5 kms from Ravangla. Even though it is a little difficult to visit the caves, yet a visit to these caves can prove to be redemptive.
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