The trek was very nice. But due partly to exceptional circumstances the driving times were far too long.. And exceptional seems to be recurrent in this part of India. My suggestion for this trip would be to skip Sikkim and find alternatives closer to Darjeeling or the Singalila rirdge and elaborate another trip for Sikkim with hiking further there.
Top 5 Things to Do on Sikkim Trips
Visit Rumtek Monastery: Built into the hillside and surrounded by mountains, Rumtek Monastery has an almost mythical ambience. Inside its centuries-old walls are ancient murals and miniature golden statues of Buddha that make Rumtek as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Views from the monastery incorporate verdant meadows, plunging valleys and the city of Gangtok, and it’s worth spending some time just soaking up this mesmerising setting. Originally founded in the 16th century by Wangchuk Dorje, Rumtek was created to teach Buddhism to monks from all around the globe.
Explore Gangtok: The unique hill resort of Gangtok acts as the mountainous capital of Sikkim. Few other cities can boast such an extraordinary mountain backdrop with viewpoints that embody such phenomenal panoramas of lush valleys and the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga. Its beautiful setting and ancient heritage seem to almost contradict its modern and bustling centre, yet the contrasts add to its distinctive charm.
Trek along the Singalila Ridge: Running along the Himalaya between Nepal and India, the Singalila Ridge trek rewards you with varied scenery and dominating views of this epic mountain range. On a clear day, you can see right across to Makalu and Mount Everest. Walk among forests filled with oak, chestnut and silver fir trees and pass colourful rhododendron groves which are in full bloom during the springtime. There’s no doubt this is one of the finest hiking trails in India and perhaps even the world.
Try Temi Tea: The subtropical climates and landscapes of Sikkim provide the perfect conditions for tea growing and Temi has one of the best tea gardens in India: Temi Tea Estate. For many years, Temi has produced a fine organic black tea, which is a customary drink for the Sikkimese. The intense flavours and distinctive aroma have earned Temi tea global recognition and it is one of the rarest varieties in the world. So, it’s only right that visitors on Sikkim tours experience its unique blend.
Sightseeing in Martam: Famous for its locally made butter and other dairy products, the idyllic village of Martam is wrapped inside ancient forest and is home to Bhutia and Nepali communities. As well as being a tranquil haven for nature lovers, Martam has several sites of cultural interest. The Nyingma Institute is a fascinating place where monks come to study the teachings of Buddha and gives you an insight into the religion and the lives of the monks. As you explore the rest of the village, it’s not uncommon to see different species of birds and butterflies, endemic to the Himalaya, flying around.
albert Esses Darjeeling, Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge
Claire Cooney Darjeeling, Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge
Great trip, very varied itinery visiting towns & some working monasteries, location of hotels is very good. Walking too is varied – lovely walks, through forests & bamboo plus up on the ridge for a couple of days. We were lucky & got sun & clear skies – views of everest and the whole range to kanchenjunga are fantastic. Trekking staff are brilliant.
Clare Smit Darjeeling, Sikkim & the Singalila Ridge
Great mix of cultural diversity and natural beauty of India – starting and ending in the manic centres of Delhi and Kolkata respectively, the majority of the trip is in quieter parts of West Bengal and Sikkim, which are simply beautiful.
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