Katao | Yumthang | Lachen | Lachung | Gangtalk | North Sikkim | Little Switzerland Of India : Sikkim | Ladakh of East India | Tibet India - India Tibet Border

Here in this blog, I will give a quick guide for visiting Switzerland of India and Mini Tibet of India or you can say Ladakh of east India. So, let me first give you a geographical idea of how Sikkim Tour is being divided

  • Katao | Yumthang | Lachen | Lachung | Gurudongmar Lake | Tsomgo lake are the part North Sikkim. 
  • Gangtok | Nathula Pass China Border | Harbhajan Baba mandir which is popularly known as Baba Mandir and Changu Lake are the part of  East Sikkim. 
  • Pelling, Ravangla/Rabangla and sky walk is a part of  West Sikkim. These are the three major division Sikkim Tour. 
  • Apart from this another popular thing is Goechala Trek.
  1. You can check the Sikkim series on youtube also.  Click to see full series: Youtube 
  2. For all the waterfalls https://www.vraman.org/2020/09/water-falls-in-sikkim-seven-sisters.html
  3. Katao: https://www.vraman.org/2019/03/katao-switzerland-of-sikkim-in-india.html

**Note: All the price I will mention or mentioned, they vares season-wise so, I will give an approx idea.
Buses Available For Sikkim 
  1. How to reach Gangtok: There is public transport available at regular intervals to reach Gangtok by using bus service from Siliguri to Gangtok which departs from SNT Bus Stand. You will find an auto to reach SNT Bus Stand from NJP (Approx. Rs. 50 to 100 each).  Also, you will find a shared car from NJP to Gangtok (Fare approx. Rs. 400 - 500 each) from outside NJP Station.
      From Siligurithere are lots of places where shared cabs leave towards Gangtalk. Tenzing Norgay Bus Stand is one of them.

    It will take approx. 5 hours to reach Gangtok from NJP  by using the car. First Car will first take you to Deorali Parking, Gangtalk from there you have to hire a small taxi to reach hotels as SUV or large vehicles are not allowed to enter the city after 8AM. and the price of the taxi is very high you can assume that they will charge Rs.200 to 400 for 2KM to 4KM distance, no fixed price here, Minimum charges is approx  Rs 100.

    Gangtok by flight -
     this option is also available via Kolkata to Gangtok direct flight Kolkata Pakyong flight ). Fare approx Rs.2500 for one way.
  2. Nathula Pass China Border | Baba Mandir and Changu Lake: To visit here you need to book an authorized tour operator as it is a restricted area. You have to submit the documents (Aadhar/Voter/Pan/DL and passport image) to get the permit But, the tour operator will do all these things to get the permit on behalf of you. Shared Vehicles for this tour costs approx. 1000/- per person but it changes season-wise. This whole tour takes a full day.
  3. North Sikkim Tour (Lachen, Gurudongmar, Lachung, Yumthang, Zero Point, Katao): This north region is fully restricted so you need a permit for that. The best way to do is travel via a tour operator otherwise lots of time will be waste to get a permit by won. Also if you do travel without an operator it is not possible to visit GurudongmarKatao, Yumthang because only tourist vehicles go there. You can reach Lachung and Lachen by own(Using Shared Cab) but also they will not stop places like a waterfall you will find on the way to Lachen or Lachung and after reaching there, you cant find vehicles to visit GurudongmarKataoYumthang as all the vehicles are being haired from Gangtok. So, you have to find people who will allow you to visit them in their car. So, the best option is to book a tour for a minimum of 2Night 3Day which costs approx. Rs.3000 each which includes Fooding and Lodging and Travel.
  4. Gangtok - Ravangla/Rabangla – Pelling: In peak season you find lots of shared vehicles to reach Pelling (Approx. Rs.400 each) but in offseason shared cars are very less. So the best option for this is first reaching Gangtok to Rabangla, which quite frequently available. Then from there go to Pelling which is also frequent. 
How to make Sikkim tour plan? 

As already mention Sikkim tourism is divided into 3 parts North Sikkim Tour, East Sikkim Tour, West Sikkim Tour. Sikkim city tour is common in all three. So I will explain one by one.

Day 1: It will take a lot of time to reach Sikkim Gangtok. The whole day will take to reach the Gangtok so will not have enough time for other things.  
After reaching the hotels, be fresh and take some tiffin and then visit the M.G market Gangtok. You can do Shopping some winter wear here if required. For food, you can think the price is 2 times higher than Kolkata. You can do dinner at the mg market as well as the hotels which you prefer.

Attractions of the day: If you are visiting the mountain for the first time so, this day you will remember the whole life. After crossing Sevoke, the landscape will be changed in a minute. It will feel like you are being teleported to hill station from the flat ground. A minute before the street was a flat straight line and if you look at the window you will see a flat jungle. After crossing Sevoke street suddenly changed to enclined drawn curved path and if you look at the window plane Jungle has been changed large hilly Landscape and narrow Teesta River is flowing at the large river basin.

If you want you can do river rafting in the  Teesta River at West Bengal Sikkim border costs approx Rs.900 each and take time approx 3 to 4 hours.

When you reach Gangtok suddenly you will feel like you have reached somewhere in Tibet. All the building block peoples looks exactly like Tibet. It is obvious because peoples are genetically and culturally very similar to Tibet. 

At Night when you will visit MG Market, it will feel like you are in some europian market.

Day 2: A day is required to visit the local sightseeing which includes Tashi View Point,  Enchey Monastery, Hanuman Tok, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Do-drul Chorten. To visit these hire a taxi which costs approx Rs.1400. If you hire a taxi every time for every place then it cost very much more.

Attractions of the day: At Enchey Monastery you will get a test of how Tibetian monitory is looked like. Hanuman Tok is a Hindu temple. Form Tashi View Point ou will get a very good view of the Green Himalayan Landscape and a birds-eye view of  Gangtok.

Now the time has been arrived to choose which part of Sikkim wants to visit  North Sikkim, East Sikkim, West Sikkim. So I will first cover East Sikkim first then North Sikkim and Then West Sikkim.

Day 3: For East Sikkim main attraction is Nathula India China Border, Changu Lake, and Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple. It takes almost a day to visit if you have time you can go to Nathang ValleyThambi View Point, and Zuluk.

Attractions of the day: Main attraction you will experience is Snow at Nathula India China Border and You can see China 1 foot away China but still you are in India and charming view of Changu lake. If you go to  Changu Lake in December then you will get a view of a frozen lake. And you can experience the zig-zag road in Zuluk from Thambi View Point.

Day 4: Now it is time for the North Sikkim trip, it will take at least 2 Night 3 days. So, this day will take to reach Lachen Sikkim.

Attractions of the day: On the way to Lachen you will see lots of waterfalls - Seven Sisters Falls, Naga Falls, Bhim Nala Falls and you will get a chance to see White Mountain for the first time from Hydroelectric Dam View Point. After reaching Lachen you can see that you have reached the foot of the White Mountain. In the night also you can clearly see the white mountains to close.

Day 5: On day 5 please try to awake as early as possible otherwise you will miss the Golden Mountain view. It is only visible at the time of sunrise. Now Take your breakfast and leaves for Gurudongmar Lake. After crossing Thangu valley roads will change to a straight line, you will fill that you are in Ladakh. Actually, this is the same Landscape as Ladakh, both are part of the Tibetan Plateau. After visiting Gurudongmar Lake and Tso Lhamo Lake View will leave for Lachung. (Tso Lhamo Lake View maybe not included to the package so the driver will ask more money to visit there approx Rs.2500 to Rs.3000 for the car which includes all the passengers )

Attractions of the day: The main attraction is the blue water of Gurudongmar Lake and the Tibetan Plateau and Golden Mountain view at the time of Sunrise.

Day 6: Wake up as early s possible, Now is the day for Katao the Switzerland of Sikkim. ( Katao north Sikkim always not included to the package so the driver will ask more money to visit there approx Rs.2500 to Rs.3000 for the car which includes all the passengers ). Lachung to Katao is not more than a half-hour journey. Snow will be visible at the top of Mt. Katao. Spend there for 1-hour return back within 10AM and have lunch and leaves for Yumthang Valley. If you are visiting there in March End it is the best time for snow tracking the first time. But this time you can't see any flowers if you want to see flowers so visit in spring but that time snow is not there. After visiting Yumthang Valley you can continue to Yumthang valley to zero point. (zero point, always not included in the package so the driver will ask more money to visit there approx Rs.2500 to Rs.3000 for the car which includes all the passengers )

Attractions of the day: Mt. Katao, Katao the Switzerland of Sikkim. This divides India and China. Snow tracking at Yumthang Valley and flat landscape of zero point of Yumthang Valley.

Day 7: Now its time for West Sikkim. This full-day will need to reach Ravangla Sikkim via Gangtok.

Attractions of the day: Nothing new thing to see until reach Ravangla all the places you have visited earlier.

Day 8: At Ravangla you can see all the places like Buddha ParkRalang Monastery Doling monastery  Glass Skywalk.  After seeing these go to Pelling Sikkim.

Attractions of the day: Do not need to go to China to experience a skywalk. Here you can get a test of skywalk but it is not this scale of large Glass walk. In Buddha Park, you can see a large Buddha statue.

Day 9: From this day it is your own choice as  Pelling Sikkim is a small village to stay in. you can stay how long you want. After visiting  Pelling West Sikkim time to return home.

1. What is the name of the river which divided the east and north Sikkim?
Ans. Rate chhu. 

2. What is the temperature of North Sikkim's different places?
Yumthang Valley : January  5 / -13 | February  6 / -11 | March  8 / -6 | April  11 / -1 | May  14 / 3 |  June  16 / 7 | July 17 / 9 | August 17 / 8 | September 15 / 6 | October 12 / -1 | November 10 / -8 | December 7 / -12

Katao:  January 3 / -15 | February 4 / -13 | March 6 / -8 | April 9 / -3 | May12 / 1 | June 15 / 6 |July 15 / 7 | August 15 / 6 | September 14 / 4 | October 10 / -3 | November 8 / -9 | December 6 / -14

Lachung: January 12 / -6 | February 13 / -4 | March 15 / 1 | April 18 / 6 | May 21 / 10 | June 24 / 14 | July 24 / 16 | August 24 / 15 | September 23 / 13 | October 19 / 6 | November 17 / 0 | December 15 / -5

3. Is it a good idea to visit North Sikkim in the 2nd week of March?
Ans. Rode for places like Gurudongmar lake, Tso Lake is closed in winter, and from march mid to April started to open. That's why I will recommend you in the 2nd week of March.

4. How can I go for a trout fishing in North Sikkim?
In the alpine region in all parts of Sikkim (East, West, North, South) can be done trout fishing. The best time to do this is from March to May and August to September. You need to contact hotel stuff to find local organizers to do this.

5.  What is the height of Gurudongmar lake?
Gurudongmar lake is one of the highest lake in India and also in the world. It located at an altitude of 5430m or 17800ft.


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