Sikkim is one of the most beautiful hill land of Himalayan mountains situated at an elevation from 280 m (920 ft) to 8,585 m.The mountainous terrain state of India is the second-smallest state after Goa and one of the most popular tourist destination for its culture,breathtaking scenery and biodiversity along with other seven sister states. Sikkim is home to the highest mountain peak of India and world’s third-highest peak Kangchenjunga is situated on the border between Sikkim and Nepal and various species of flora and fauna. Namchi, the capital of South Sikkim district is famous for Siddhesvara Dhaam, a place with four major Dhams of the Hindus Jagannath, Dwarika, Rameshawaram, Badrinath have been replicated under one roof along with the twelve jyothirlingas and 108ft tall statue of Lord Shiva and the Padmasambhava Statue near by.
The culture of Sikkim varies as per the ethnic group, major group are Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepali. Lepchas People are original and native people of Sikkim, along with Nepali ethnic group. The Food, dance and traditions of these communities varies, Noodle-based dishes are most popular cuisines here along with famous Momos. The most popular sports are football and cricket, although hang gliding,Paragliding along with river rafting and snow sports are also popular. Due to huge popularity of Western rock music, Sikkim is emerging as one of the hottest rock musical capital of the country, It has many rock bands like Girish N The Chronicles,Still Waters and all-girls rock band the Phynyx.
The Festivals of Sikkim includes all major Hindu festivals including Diwali and Dussera along with predominant Buddhist religion festivals. Maghe sankranti and Bhimsen Puja are two popular festival, celebrated by Nepalese along with Bhumchu,the Buddhist festivals. Some of the main fairs and festivals of Sikkim are Losoong, Bumchu, Saga Dawa,Drupka Tesh and Paragliding festival, Sikkim Snow Festival.
The ecological hotspot of the lower Himalayas is home to a diverse range of flora, the alpine and tundra. Flora of Sikkim includes number of species of flowering plants such as rare orchids,primula,rhododendron,conifer and bamboo. The Dendrobium nobile is the state flower of Sikkim and the rhododendron is the state tree.
The Biodiversity priority areas and protected areas of Sikkim mountain terrains are provide shelter to some of the most endangered species of animals the snow leopard, the Himalayan Black Bear, the clouded leopard,musk deer,the Himalayan Tahr and the red panda,state animal of Sikkim.
Avifauna of Sikkim includes the mountain birds along with other 550 species of birds.The avifauna are griffon vultures, Impeyan pheasant, golden eagles,Old World flycatchers, the snow partridge and the snow cock. Some of the birds are declared endangered due to hunting and loss of habitat.
The rich diversity of Sikkim also support rich species of arthropods, many of them are still unstudied and unknown. Arthropod fauna of Sikkim includes 695 species of butterfly, some of them are the Yellow Gorgon,Bhutan Glory and the endangered Kaiser-i-hind.
The high mountains and deep valleys of Sikkim offers most beautiful views of Water bodies,Landscape and breathtaking scenery. The Yumthang Valley and Teesta river valley are home to some of the spectacular waterfalls of state such as beautiful Seven Sisters waterfall, Khanchendzonga Waterfalls, Bakthang waterfall and Rimbi water falls. Sikkim is home to one of the highest lakes in the world, the Gurudongmar lake, situated at an altitude of 17,100 ft (5,210 m) and Cholamoo lake,India’s highest lake.
Nathu La Pass: The Nathu La Mountain Pass is one of the highest mountain pass in India at an elevation of 4,310 m (14,140 ft). Nathu La Pass connects Sikkim to Tibet area and one of the major trading border between China and India. Nathu La Pass Silk Road is play an important role for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrim to visit pilgrimage sites in the region.
Rumtek Monastery: The Rumtek Monastery is one of the most famous monuments of Sikkim and one of the 75 Buddhist monasteries. Rumtek Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated near the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok. The Monastery of Rumtek is one of the best place to visit in Sikkim, its surrounded by flowing streams,Snow mountains and a river with pleasant climate.
Frozen Changu Lake: The Changu Lake is one of the major lake of Sikkim situated near the Nathu La passes at East Sikkim near Gangtok. Changu Lake also called as Tsongmo Lake is a glacial lake at an altitude of 3,780 m (12,400 ft) and get freeze during the winter season. Tsongmo Lake along with Gurudongmar Lake and Tso Lhamo Lake are thee famous frozen lakes in Sikkim.
Yumthang Valley : The amazing Yumthang Valley is situated near the Lachung town in North Sikkim. Lachung is surrounded by high elevated Himalayan mountains, a river through the valley and considered as the most picturesque village of Sikkim. The valley of Lachung receive heavy snowfall during the winter and high amounts of rainfall in monsoon. Valley of Lachung and Lachen are most beautiful place to visit in the state of Sikkim.
Khangchendzonga National Park: The Khangchendzonga National Park is a Biosphere reserve nature park located in the border of Sikkim. National Park and Biosphere reserve is home to endangered species of majestic snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep,wild dog, Red Panda, Snow Pigeon, Green Pigeon, Sunbird & Eagle along with reptiles Russell’s viper.
Air: Sikkim is about to get its first airport,Pakyong Airport in capital city of Gangtok. Currently the only operational airport in Sikkim is Bagdogra Airport,the military airport in the town of Siliguri in West Bengal.Gangtok has a helipad, the only civilian helipad in Sikkim state.
Rail: The nearest railway station for Sikkim are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. High mountains and rough terrain of Sikkim making it tough to plan a railway line, though Sikkim Railway has proposed plans for railway line and project to connect town of Rangpo in Sikkim with Sevoke.
Roads: Sikkim is well connected through the Indian road network via National Highway 31, links Siliguri to Gangtok. The State Transport of Sikkim runs buses, tourist taxi and jeep services throughout Sikkim and also connected to the hill stations of Kalimpong and Darjeeling.