Sikkim is situated at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga and boasts of an unexplored beauty. The lofty mountains dominate the skyline of Sikkim and invites tourists in its snow clad peaks, green emerald slopes, rushing streams, tall Rhododendrons and sparkling orchids. Hilltop monasteries emerge from the rugged terrains while multi-colored prayer flags wave in the mountain breeze.
The capital of Sikkim is a charming and picturesque town, straddling with striking houses spilling down the hillside. The city has a fusion of traditional customs and modern way of living which makes the place unique. It's a beautiful town with all modern amenities that one can ask for.
This was the first capital of Sikkim, where historical records say that the first divine ruler of Sikkim was sanctified in 1641 by the three learned lamas. The evidence of the ceremony is still present in Norbugang Chorten. The place is considered sacred since the history of Sikkim began from here. It's also the base camp for the trek to the famous Mt. Khangchendzonga.
The lake is about a kilometer long, oval in shape and is considered very holy by the locals. Between May to August, the lake area is spectacular with a display of rare flowers including the primulas, iris and blue & yellow poppies. The lake has a number of aquatic and aerial species and is a perfect habitat for the red panda. The lake freezes in winter.
At an altitude of 14200 ft, the pass is located on the Indo-China border and connects Sikkim to Tibet Autonomous Region in China. The journey itself is an exhilarating experience, with mist covered peaks, zigzag roads and roaring waterfalls, the passage is simply amazing. Visitors are required to get a permit to visit the place.
Pelling is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination. At an altitude of 6800 ft, it's the most excellent place to get a closest view of the world's 3rd highest peak Mt. Kanchendzonga. Apart from the innate beauty of the place, other attractions in Pelling are the Sanga Choeling Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery and the Khecheopalri Lake.
This magnificent monastery is among the top tourist attractions in Sikkim. It provides as a residence for the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. The Monastery features some of the extraordinary works of art. The Golden Stupa is the most significant segment of the monastery.
Built by the head of Nyingma order of Tibetan Buddhism in 1945, it has one of the most beautiful Stupas of Sikkim consisting of 108 prayer wheels. It stores various Mandala sets, a set of relics and some other religious possessions. Statues of Gurus are also present there.
Established in 1987 the Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden is situated near Rumtek Monastery and is looked after by the Forest Department of the Sikkim Government. The garden is distinguished by enchanting lush woodlands of Oak, different kinds of trees and orchids.
It is a nationally well known centre of Tibetan Studies & Research. The institute is renowned for its huge collection of rare manuscripts, Buddhist books and icons. The building is an excellent example of Tibetan architecture, surrounded by small forests of oak and birch trees. The institute also houses religious works of art and amazing silk embroidered paintings.
Apart from these popular places, Sikkim provides various other places that are popular among tourist. These are:
- Enchey Monastery
- Sa-Ngor-Chotshog Monastery
- Tashiding Monastery
- Phodong Monastery
- Phensang Monastery
- Saramsa Garden
- Tashi View Point
- Rabdentse Ruins
- Guru-Dongmar Lake.
Checklist for Clothing & Equipment/Gears for Trek in Sikkim
Travel light is the phrase which we often hear in our trade. This expression hold water as it’s the bare essence of travelling. However, there are many aspects to consider when we prepare for trekking. One singular most important consideration that dictates our welfare is how to be suitably equipped to combat with elements of nature that we may come across like inclement weather and rugged and unforgiving terrains whilst on trek.
Though our intent is to provide check list with appropriate information however we ask you to examine and exercise discretion in most resilience manner based on your own outdoor experience and preference.
As mentioned, the art lies in maintaining finer balance between taking not too much or too little, especially considering that you need to equip yourself for all extremes of climate
Basic, Necessary & Light
HEAD Gears (Trekking Hat)
Trekking hatOn a clear, sunny day, the sun burnt will be an issue, at altitude, the sun rays are particularly strong. Bring a hat that shade your head, face and neck from the sun and also consider using Arab type scrap for further protection.You should bring a plentiful supply of sunscreen cream and a couple of large tubes of factor 6-10 (depending on your skin sensitivity).
Warm Cap Warm Hat
To combat with cold particular during early morning. A comfortable, warm hat such as one made from Polar Fleece or wool that covers your ears is recommended
sunglasses for trekAt altitude, the sun’s rays are particularly strong, and sunglasses with 100% ultraviolet and infrared filtration are recommended, . These glasses are available with detachable leather or plastic side pieces, which give increased protection. Make sure they are dark enough to keep your eyes comfortable on the brightest day.
Head Lamp for trekBring a good headlamp for this trek. It should be bright enough to use on the trail if we have a day that is longer than usual, an early start for a pass or climb, or for reading in your tent.L.E.D. headlamps are sufficient. Make sure you bring at least 2 extra bulbs and extra batteries.
warm glovesWarm Glove Liner with waterproof outer shell– At times it can get cold and windy. You should bring 2 pair of properly-fitted Wind Shields fleece glove liners and a pair of warm gloves with a waterproof outer shell to protect you from wind,
Liner Socks (2 Pairs)- If you prefer to wear two pair of socks your inner liner socks Liner (A thin wicking sock that repels moisture. Liner socks help to reduce the likelihood of blisters. The socks should be thin wool, nylon. NO COTTON.
Hiking Socks 1Hiking Socks ( 3 pairs)
– You should bring a thick woollen sock to use as an extra layer over the liner sock or some may prefer to wear just the hiking sock, in such case ensure it’s thick mainly natural fibres and of loop stitch construction for maximum warmth and comfort.
–This is one of the most important considerations, as blisters and sore feet will spoil your trek. We recommend that you take a pair of light to mid weight trekking boots, well broken -in, provide good ankle support and suitable for walking over rough terrain and comfortable over long distances. Good quality fabric boots are recommended.
Gaiters are an important piece of equipment, which will help to keep your feet warm and dry in wet condition. The simple â€œalpineâ€ style of gaiter which hooks onto the bootlaces and is held under the instep by a strap or lace is fine for most trekking applications.
Upper Body Gear
Mid – Weighmid weight top for trekt Top–
A mid to heavier weight thermal layer. Fitted, light-weight and quick drying. As we recommend to adopt the principle of “layering” this light to mid weight top can be used as base layer.
Warm Jacwarm fleece jacketket –As it can get cold during morning and night specifically at camp. You should incorporate a Polar guard or fleece jacket. This can be a very warm fleece or Polar guard jacket. Full zip is recommended.
Shell JacketsShell Jacket –As its highly unlikely for the rain during the trek or over the period of time but unpredictability of weather in Himalayas are renowned. To be equipped for any rain whilst on trek the shell jacket is advised. Shell garments made from breathable fabrics (GoreTex or equivalent) are recommended.
Down jacket–This is certainly not optional for this trek. This is what will keep you warm at higher region and at night.
light or mid weight trekking pant (2 pairs) A light or mid weight thermal bottom base-layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures.
warm pants for trek– A pair of comfortable fleece or similar material warm pants are great for colder places and camping at night.
shell pantShell Pant– As its highly unlikely for the rain during the trek or over the period of time but unpredictability of weather in Himalayas are renowned. To be equipped for any rain whilst on trek and also from the cold wind the shell jacket is advised. Shell garments made from breathable fabrics (GoreTex or equivalent) are recommended.
Day pack for treks – A 2500 cubic inch pack should be large enough to carry the following items on trek. a) shell jacket and pants. b) fleece jacket, pants, extra pair of socks etc) Two water bottles, with at least 2 quart total capacity. d) camera plus accessories, binoculars, etc. e) first aid kit. You should test-pack your day pack before leaving home.
Duffel Bags (2 nos) – You’ll need one large duffle bag to hold everything, you do not put in your day pack, including your sleeping bag and mattress, while on trek. This bag should be durable, as it will be carried by porters and/or pack animals. A second smaller bag can be used to store items not used on trek at the group hotel.
You will need a 4-season sleeping bag rated to at least zero degrees. A full-length side zip is essential to facilitate ventilation on warmer nights. A cotton or fleece liner adds to the warmth and comfort of a bag and prevents it from becoming excessively soiled.
Sleeping Mattress – A mattress is needed primarily to insulate you from the cold ground, and you should take a quality closed-cell foam mat .On all camping treks, we provide light trekking mattresses. However, if you care for extra comfort and have a sensitive back, bring a self-inflatable trek mat.
Trekking Poles –Trekking poles can be good if you need extra support for your knees and/or ankles. Must be collapsible poles. Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable.