Offbeat Places to Visit in Sikkim

By Rutuja Bhagwat - August 30, 2018


Serene and poised, Sikkim is one of the lesser explored states located in the North-Eastern part of India. With its magnificent mountain views, quaint villages, and a network of prayer flags across, Sikkim is a paradise for travellers who love to explore new and unexplored destinations. But, in the recent years, Sikkim has turned into quite a popular tourist spot, which is why you would bump into tourists at a few places. 

A little crowd is okay but anyone would prefer a pristine and calm place to visit on their journeys than a hustling one. And the good news is, Sikkim still has some hidden, offbeat places.

So, if you are bored of visiting Gangtok, Yumthang Valley, Tsomgo Lake, and other popular hill stations of Sikkim, then here are a few offbeat places for you to consider. 

ZULUK

This quaint village in the East Sikkim is certainly one of the most tranquil and mesmerizing places you would ever discover. One of the best things about this hill station is that there is hardly any network here so it is a great way to break yourself free from the social media craze and rewind. You won’t find too many tourists here because this place isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

The reason being, reaching here is a task as you have to hire a private Sikkim vehicle to cruise through the Silk Route. Yes, there are no shared taxis or cabs to this place which is why it is still somewhat unexplored and untouched, giving it a truly magical feel. From here, you can actually see the Zig Zag road in its full glory and trust me, it is a sight to behold.

Apart from the peace and serenity, this place also offers you the most mesmerizing view of the Kanchenjunga mountain range and the East Himalayan range. You would witness some of the most beautiful sunrise and sunsets here!

If there is a place which could resemble your childhood stories then it would probably be the Zuluk hamlet.

Rimbi Riverside in Pelling

PELLING

Not many people venture towards West Sikkim when exploring this tiny yet beautiful state. This is why Pelling often gets overlooked by the tourists even though it has some amazing sights and landscapes to offer.

Do you love waterfalls and picturesque places? Have you ever wanted to stay in a town where everyone knows everybody? Then, Pelling is the ideal destination for you. With its historical palace ruins and magnificent waterfalls, Pelling is ideal for travellers who are looking to cut off from the outside world to enjoy some peace and tranquillity.

This spot is not on every tourist’s radar as it is not commercialized much which is why it is the perfect place to get the feel of authentic Sikkim. From Pelling, you can also explore the numerous trekking trails and have an adventurous time while enjoying the views of the Kanchenjunga mountain ranges.

KATAO

Katao is probably one of the least touristy places in Sikkim because of a simple reason, it is a small village in the North Sikkim and doesn’t have a lot of activities to offer. But, then again, if you aren’t interested in exploring the touristy places in Sikkim, then Katao should definitely be on your list.

This small village is located near Lachung and can be reached from the Lachung-Yumthang Valley package by paying an extra 150 INR. Or if you are driving to the North Sikkim yourself then you can take a detour and spend a night in this charismatic village. Here, you will find pure snow covering the roads which you can play with to your heart’s content.

If there is too much snow then you might not be able to go further, but trust me the drive itself to this place will be completely worth it. And, you get to spend half a day just making snow angels and snowmen. Doesn’t that sound like a dream come true to you?

RAVANGALA

Another amazing offbeat place in Sikkim which is sure to take your breath away is Ravangala. Here, you will be left awestruck while looking at the clear blue sky and lush green mountains surrounding you. But what will be most bewitching about this place is the 130 feet statue of Buddha which can be noticed from afar.

Silk Route View from Zuluk

The tall Buddha statue in Ravangala is glorious and is placed inside the Buddha Park where you can stroll around for hours, doing absolutely nothing. The entire park is surrounded with lush green trees and colourful prayer flags which certainly give this place a more enchanting feel.

You can also enter the room which is situated beneath the statue to either meditate or just observe the colourful paintings that cover the space here. In all honesty, if you are looking for a peaceful place with a touch of spirituality then Ravangala should definitely be on your itinerary. 

GYALSHING

Another beautiful location in the West Sikkim is Gyalshing, which lies just 10 km before Pelling and is the main hub to connect to West Sikkim. This is yet another place which is not bustling with tourists and isn’t commercialized so you won’t find a lot of facilities and luxuries here. But that is exactly why you should visit the place!

‘Gyalshing’ translates to King’s Garden and is said to be one of the Royal Gardens of the Rabdentse’s Palace, which was the former capital of Sikkim, till the 18th century. You can explore the old local market and the famous Pemayangtse monastery here, which is quite dazzling to look at. 

You will also witness Mendang – the holiest wall in the state – and can actually learn more about the local ways of the Sikkimese along with their fascinating history. Also, this is the place from where you can reach to other parts of Sikkim like Ravangala and Gangtok without having to change too many taxis.

LACHUNG

Remember all those Christmas movies where the houses are laden with snow and surrounded by pine trees? Well, Lachung is exactly like those places in movies. Although it is not common to experience snowfall here, it is not impossible too.

And if you do witness snowfall in Lachung, you can be sure to have a hard time forgetting it because it is absolutely pictorial. Imagine, standing on the balcony, watching all the rooftops covered with snow while the moon lights up the whole place. It is a Christmas miracle and one that you should certainly not miss out on.

Snowfall in Lachung

Not many people plan to stay in Lachung which is why it is a perfect place for you to chill and relax at. Here, you can just walk and explore and mingle with the locals while breathing in the cool crisp air. And, consider yourself lucky if it snows because that is a sight you will forever cherish!

GURUDONGMAR LAKE

Finally, I am sure a lot of you might have heard about this famous lake in Sikkim but not many people have time to actually explore it. You need to take a package to reach this place but oh boy, how completely worth it is! Known to be one of the highest situated lakes in the world, Gurudongmar Lake lies at an altitude of 17,800 feet.

This is known to be the holy lake of Sikkim and actually freezes during the wintertime which is when you will witness several Yaks and Blue Sheeps surrounding the lakeshore. It resembles the Pangong lake but is so much harder to reach!

↠ TPCG TIP: Plan your trip to Sikkim in November so that you don’t miss out on experiencing the beautiful Gurudongmar Lake.

Have you ever visited Sikkim? What would you add to this list?

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