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Name: Joydeep Saha
Camera : Nikkon D50
Location : Kumortuli
Date : 12-9-2009
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Switzerland of the East: Sikkim

Lying on the foothills of the majestic Himalayas, the sleepy state of Sikkim is small but a picture perfect destination. So enchanting is its Alpine beauty, it is often dubbed as the "Switzerland of the East".

A travel to Sikkim would take you to the land of ice-capped mountains, rolling slopes clad in thick Alpine woods. Steep heights and plunging gorges, stretched covered in snow - that is what Sikkim sums up.

Travel to Sikkim to see the lovely interplay of clouds and mountain peaks in the sapphire sky. Take a peek at the Mount Kanchendzonga as the sun rises and the beams lend it a golden hue. It is the third highest peak in the world and also the guardian deity of the land.

This is the land of quaint little hamlets peeping out from the towering junipers and rhododendrons. Drive uphill to the placid lakes and mystic old monasteries. Listen to the clang of prayer bells as the prayer flags flutter in the wind. Here legends and natural splendor lies entwined into each other.

How to get there

By Air

Sikkim does not has its own airport. The nearest Airport is Bagdogra (near Siliguri) in West Bengal, which lies only 125 km away from Gangtok the capital of Sikkim. Bagdogra is connected to cities like Delhi and Kolkata by regular flights.

By Road

Although the state of Sikkim lies at the foothills of the Himalayas, it has a good network of roads. Sikkim can be entered through northern areas of West Bengal. Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Siliguri are directly connected to Gangtok and other cities of the state. But during the monsoon seasons sometimes, landslides create temporary problems in road transport.

By Rail

Sikkim does not have any rail network in its boundary. The nearest Railways Station is New Jalpaiguri (near Siliguri), which is connected to Gangtok by road. New Jalpaiguri boasts of an extensive rail network with major Railway Stations in India, such as Kolkata, Delhi. It is also conveniently linked to the cities of Northeastern India like, Guwahati.

Places to Visit:

  • Gangtok
  • Yuksom
  • Tsomgo Lake
  • Nathula Pass
  • Pelling
  • The Rumtek Monastery
  • Do-Drul Chorten
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Garden
  • Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology

One can visit the place anytime, but not the monsoon between mid-June and August. But, the best time to visit Sikkim is in mid-February to May-end and mid-September to December. Where on one hand the winters are too cold, summers are very pleasant. During summers, it is preferable wearing light cotton clothes and one should carry along warm clothes in winter. Carrying a folding umbrella would be very useful.
For Detailed Information on Sikkim visit here: Sikkim Tourism

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