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Switzerland has been on so many people’s wishlists that you’d expect the place to be amazing. It probably really is. But we do have a place in India (at least one; if you know more, please do tell me about it; I’d love to add it to my wishlist!) that is pretty much just as awesome. That place is the lovely Sikkim. So here are ten reasons why before you make Switzerland plans, you should visit Sikkim.
Nestled in the Himalayas, the beautiful state of Sikkim became a part of India only in the year 1975. The calmness and the silence embedded mystic environment that this state offers is beyond explanation. You need to visit it to have a glance of heaven on Earth.
Reasons That Make Sikkim The Must Visit Place
The destination is home to some grand and gorgeous Buddhist gompas, which are quite renowned. If Buddhism, monks, and monasteries fascinate you, then Sikkim is the best place for you to be! Some of the finest here are Dubdi Monastery, Enchey Monastery, Phodong Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, and Ralang Monastery, among others. Some of these are time tested and have been in existence for a long time now which makes them extra special. You feel blessed when monasteries go echoing with holy chants and sounds of bells. That feeling and experience will without any doubt remain with you forever.
The Alps are one of the biggest reasons why people go to Switzerland. Sure, the Alps are beautiful. But the Himalayas are far more majestic. Be honest; if you haven’t tried snowboarding before, do you really think it would be wise to do it in Switzerland when you’re on vacation? And if it’s the snow and mountains you want, Sikkim has both. If you do want to ski, you can always go to Kulu-Manali.
You’re not really going to Switzerland for famed cuisine, right? In Sikkim, you’ll get food made from incredibly fresh produce, and you’ll get momos. Food is simply amazing here! The sikkimese cuisine is a blend of three cultures (Nepalese, Tibetan, and Sikkim) and, hence, it’s a blast of flavours that tickles the taste buds in the right way! The dumplings (momos), thupka, phagshapa (pork dish), sha phaley (deep fried bread stuffed with beef and cabbage), gundruk (staple Nepalese food made using leafy vegetables) and sinki soup (made of radish tap roots) are the must-try Sikkimese food.
For those who love peace, nature, and spirituality, Sikkim is a wonderland for them. The place combined with enchanting natural beauty and ancient monasteries call for a celebration. The best time to be in Sikkim is the annual Cham, which as per the Tibetan calendar is celebrated on the 28th and 29th day of the 10th month. It’s a lifetime experience that will stay with you forever.
Sikkim, the land of pristine scenic beauty, looks like a poem straight out of William Wordsworth’s book. For nature lovers, Sikkim is no less than a paradise. Moreover, it is also home to the majestic Kangchendzonga, which will definitely make your experience an unforgettable one. Places like Chungthang, Lachen, Yumthang, Yumesamdong, Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake are certainly a slice of heaven on earth.
Changu Lake and Gurudongmar Lake are incredibly beautiful.
The green wilderness and rugged mountainous terrain of Sikkim make it a perfect place for adventure junkies. From trekking and mountain biking to mountaineering and jeep safaris, there are several interesting things to do in Sikkim that adventure junkies are guaranteed definite adrenaline rush. Those interested in river rafting can enjoy the activity in the River Teesta. The white water rafting is quite famous among the adventure seekers coming to Sikkim. Mountain bikers cycling along the rugged terrain is a common sight in Sikkim and cycling tourism is getting quite popular in the state.
Flora And Fauna
From tropical to the alpines. Sikkim’s botanical and zoological richness is awe-inspiring, boasting of more than 4000 species of plants and 30% of all the birds found in the Indian sub-continent. The state animal is the Red Panda. 81% of the state comes under the administration of the forest department.
Sikkim has around 600 species of orchids, 240 species of trees and ferns, 150 varieties of gladioli, 46 types of rhododendrons along with a variety of magnolias and many other foliage plants. The main displays in the flower show are orchids, gladioli, roses, cacti, alpine plants, creepers, climbers, ferns, herbs, etc. There are also seminars and lectures held. Sikkimese cuisine and Yaks are also major attractions during the time.
The state celebrates the International Flower Festival every year (March to May).
People Of Sikkim
The locals of Sikkim are shy, hospitable and very friendly. They’re sure to make you feel at home even when you’re far away from it.
In Sikkim, you’ll get homemade rice beer served in bamboo. You’ll also get local wines that I’d really recommend you go easy on. They’re a lot stronger than you’d think. There’re also the local brands of beer: Hit and Dansberg.
Also, Kanchenjunga (8586 m above sea level), the third highest peak in the world, is in Sikkim, a reason enough to visit this gorgeous state.
A scenic amalgamation of plains, valleys, lakes, glaciers, snow-capped mountains, ancient forests, and more, the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of Sikkim are some of the finest in the country. Kewzing and Khangchendzonga are two outstanding national parks in Sikkim that showcase an unsurpassed range of sub-tropical to alpine ecosystems.
A Lot To Shop
Other than adventure seekers and nature lovers, Sikkim is also the heaven of all shopaholics. The prominent markets of Sikkim, like MG Road in Gangtok, is flooded with Sikkimese handicrafts and Tibetan goods like Chinese Feng Shui items, idols of Laughing Buddha and Dragons, New Year lamps, traditional dresses worn during Tibetan festivals, Tibetan cups, handwoven blankets, carpets, wooden and bamboo items, and more.
Aren’t you excited to travel Sikkim? Leave other destinations in your wish list and first visit this amazing place.