Sikkim is referred to as "Nye-mae-el lang" (abode of the Gods) by the Lepchas. Sikkim exhibits intense natural beauty. This land is imbued with a mystic aura and is steeped in legends and history.
The plethora of lofty summits, holy lakes, orchid nurseries, ancient monasteries, helicopter tours and spectacular trekking routes, rural tourism, leisure tourism and wildlife safaris make Sikkim a perfect abode for holiday lovers. The flower filled meadows, splendid vistas and tribal culture attract national and international tourists from different parts of the world to Sikkim.
Pilgrimage Tourism in Sikkim
The nature and religion are in its purest form in Sikkim. Also the tranquility of the place has made it an apt place to invoke the gods and goddesses. The religion of Sikkim is predominantly Buddhism. Hence wherever one looks, he or she will find monasteries or 'gompas' and rock caves. The monasteries are mostly located at hilltops and are favored by tourists because of their serenity. The views of the surrounding parts from these religious buildings are breathtaking. Tsuklakhang monastery, Enchey monastery and Rumtek monastery are some of the most visited monasteries in Sikkim.
Nature Tourism in Sikkim
The capital city of Sikkim is Gangtok. It is known as "the hill made flat". It is a perfect holiday destination to enjoy nature's bounty. The Deer Park is set up on the model of a similar one in Sarnath in homage to the Bodhisattva who was reincarnated as a musk deer. The Orchid Sanctuary is where over 250 different types of orchids bloom. As this northeast Indian state is gaily blessed by nature it has been quite easy for the state to promote eco-tourism. The flora and fauna of the state has led to the sustenance of the wildlife in Sikkim. These sanctuaries play a major part in the promotion of such tourism. Kanchenjunga National Park is the largest wildlife park in Sikkim. Since it is situated at a high altitude it has not been ravaged by man. Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 15 kilometers from Gangtok. Other important wildlife sanctuaries in Sikkim are Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary and Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary.
Adventure Tourism in Sikkim
Sikkim is a paradise for one who wants solace. Sikkim is tucked with the foothills of the snow clad Himalayan Mountain Range. It is draped with the exquisite beauty and charm of nature. There are several places of interest here that are worth checking out. Here the adventure tourism is also flourished with paragliding, skydiving and trekking. Trekking and mountaineering are the most popular adventure sports here. The major trekking point is at Yuskom. It is, probably, one of the best ways of exploring the lushness of the alpine forests, the striking beauty and the quaint Buddhist monasteries. Mt. Kanchenjunga is the most favored spot for professional mountaineering. The presence of Teesta River and Rangit River has made river rafting quite popular amongst the tourists. The interested tourists can also try out kayaking. Besides these there is the Yak Safari. The safari is organised by the State Tourism Department and the starting point is Dzongri. Another recently introduced adventure sport is mountain biking. Camping is also a well known outdoor activity in Sikkim.
Leisure Tourism in Sikkim
The leisure tourism here comprised of the exploration through the colourful culture of Sikkim. The tribal and village tourism are interlinked as far as this state is concerned. The best way to know about the tribes and their culture is by visiting their villages. To make it easier for the tourists to interact with the tribes the government has taken initiatives. Hence the tourists can intermingle with the Lepchas and other mountainous tribes. The state government of Sikkim is taking all the necessary measures to promote village and leisure tourism in Sikkim. Here the regional festivals and fairs promote Sikkim with cultural tradition of Tibetan influences. Some of the festivals are Losoong, Losar, Pang Lhabsol, Bhumchu, International Flower Festival, Saga Dawa and Drupka Teshi.
Laying in the eco-region of India this thumb shaped state forms its borders with West Bengal in the south. This Indian state is comfortably accessible by air, road and rail. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport. It lies at a distance of 117 kilometers from Gangtok. From here rented cars are available to reach Sikkim. New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station for Sikkim. From here travelers can easily hire a rented vehicle to arrive at their destination. Gangtok, the capital state of Sikkim is well connected by road with Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Siliguri. Sikkim Nationalized Transport also offer regular bus services to the capital city.