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Sikkim

Sikkim is the 22nd state of India that came into existence with effect from 26th April, 1975. Sikkim being a part of inner mountain ranges of Himalayas, is hilly having varied elevation ranging from 300 to 8586m meters. But the habitable areas are only up to the altitude of 2100 mtrs. Constituting only 20% of the total area of the state, Sikkim has been divided into four districts and each district has further been bifurcated into two sub-divisions for administrative purpose.

The highest portion of Sikkim lies in its north west direction. A large number of mountains having altitudes of about seven thousand meters stands here including Kanchenjunga (8598 m.), the third highest peak in the world. The high serrated, snow capped spurs and peaks of Kanchenjunga look attractive consisting of Kumbha Karna (7711 m.), Pendem (6706 m.), Narsingh (5825 m.), Kabru Dome (6545 m.), etc. A number of glaciers descends from eastern slopes of Kanchenjunga into Sikkim where snow clad line is found above 5300 mtrs. The biggest of them is Zemu, from whose snout above Lachen monastery rises the river Teest.

General Information

People and culture

The Lepchas are the original inhabitants of the state. Compared to other ethnic groups, the Lepchas still maintain many of their traditional ways. The Bhutias comprise the Sikkimese Bhutia and Bhutia from Bhutan and Tibet. The Sherpas are a marginal ethnic group in the state. Over 70% population consist of Nepalese. They are dominant ethnic group in the state.

Visa & Permits

In addition to an Indian visa, foreigners must obtain inner line permit (ILP) to visit Sikkim, the permits can be obtained from all Indian missions, Tourism Office, New Delhi, Sikkim Tourism office, Calcutta and Sikkim Tourism Office, Siliguri on the strength of an Indian Visa.

Foreigners are issued a permit for initial period of 15 days duration on the spot without any delay provided photocopies of Passport and Visa details along with two passport photos of applicants are made available. It can be extended for further 30 days of 15 days each. The extension of permits can be obtained from FRO at Gangtok, Superintendent of Police of North, South and West Districts.

If you are visiting the interior regions, you also require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) OR Protected Area Permit (PAP) which is obtainable in Gangtok from the Police Check Post and Department of Tourism.

NOTE: THIS PERMIT IS ISSUED TO LOCAL GOVT REGISTERED TRAVEL AGENTS ONLY.

Language Spoken

English, Nepali, Hindi and their cultural languages (Lepcha, Rai, Tamang, Newar, Limbu, Bhutia, etc)

Climate

Cold Winters in the month of November to February with minimum temperatures dipping to 4 centigrade during January - February. It is between the month of March and early May when sunshine is quite abundant. Though summer is officially from May to October, Sikkim is almost always wet due to the heavy monsoons, with rains at times continuing for days on ends. Longest recorded nonstop rain is 11 days. September to October is the season of Autumn. A peculiar feature of Sikkim weather is that though there is a classification of sorts of the various seasons, one actually experiences a cold winter from end of November to February and monsoons throughout the year with a little respite during May - June and October - November. Even the winter months can be irritatingly wet and damp with the unpredictable showers.

Money and Banking

India has strict rules against importing or exporting its currency. International airports have currency-exchange booths that are always open for arriving or departing overseas flights. When you change money, remember to get a certain amount in small denominations. Many merchants, hotels, and restaurants won't accept worn or torn bills, and it's a hassle to go to a bank to get them exchanged.

Always change money from an authorized money-changer and insist on receiving an encashment slip. Some banks now charge a nominal fee for this slip, which is necessary if you plan to pay hotel bills or travel expenses in rupees. The encashment slip is also required if you need to reconvert rupees into your own currency at departure. Do not be lured by illegal street hawkers who offer you a higher exchange rate.

India's state-run banks can take forever to cash traveler's checks. Save time and use American Express Traveler's Service. Otherwise, cash the check at the foreign-exchange counter at your hotel. Rates will be slightly lower, but you will save irritation and time. Most Western-style hotels have foreign-exchange facilities for their guests.

Sikkim Tour with Darjeeling - 9 Days

Sikkim Tour with Darjeeling offers you a combined tour of Darjeeling and Sikkim. The Sikkim Tour with Darjeeling begins with one day sightseeing that involves trip to Tiger Hill to see Mt. Kanchenjunga up close, visit to Mountaineering Institute & Museum and Botanical gardens.

Sikkim Tour and Trek 12 Days

Sikkim Tour and Trek will allow you to involve in both tour and trekking in Sikkim. At Gangtok you will have time to observe Enchey Monastery, White Memorial Hall, Dodrul Chorten, Namgyal Research Institute, Sanga-Choling Monastery of Tibetology (NRIT), Saram sa – Epeca garden etc.

Sikkim Trekking Tour 15 Days

This 15-day Sikkim Trekking Tour is a fantastic journey to the western Sikkim. The Sikkim Trekking tour starts with a day worth of exploration of Darjeeling followed by a drive to Pelling to observe emayangtse Monastery, Kechipalri Lake and Kunchenjunga Water Falls.

Nambu - Singalila Trek - 17 Days

The Nambu-Singalila Trek starts and ends at Yuksom. A circular trek, Nambu-Singalila Trek is easier and offers the spectacular views of the majestic Himalayas falling both in Sikkim and Nepal. Nambu-Singalila Trek is not crowded and the trekkers can enjoy the total peace and tranquility of the Himalayas throughout the trek.

Sikkim Adventure Trek Tour 18 Days

Every step of Sikkim Advenutre trek takes you a bit closer to Mt. Kanchenjunga. The Sikkim Adventure Trek starts from Darjeeling, where a visit to Tiger Hill will give you the first glimpse of Kanchenjunga. Visit Himalayan Mountaineering to acquaint yourself of himalayas and the mountaineering history.

Sikkim Kanchenjunga Trek

Sikkim Kanchenjunga Trek is a 18-day trek to Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. The highest altitude reached in Sikkim Kanchenjunga Trek is 4949 m. Our first stop will be Gangtok where you will have lesiure time to observe Rumtek Monastry, Flower Show, Cottage Industry and Research Institute of Tibetology.

Mount Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Mount Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek follows a new trekking route in North Sikkim through Lamo-ang-dang. The highest altitude reached in Mount Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek is 5050m at Green Lake. The Green Lake provides you the grandest view of the Mt Khangchendzonga, the Simvo, Twin Peaks, Nepal Peak and distant Mt Chomolhari in Bhutan.

Sikkim - Bhutan Buddhist Tour

Sikkim-Bhutan Buddhist Tour is a rare opportunity to visit the most sacred and holiest shrines or Chortens in Sikkim and Bhutan. The Sikkim-Bhutan Buddhist Tour starts at Gangtok with Enchey Monastery built in the style of Chinese Pagoda and Do-drul Chorten (Stupa) built by Trulshik Rimpoche  to invoke the Gods for the peace and tranquillity.

Sikkim Tour with North Sikkim Trek

Sikkim Tour with North Sikkim Trek will give you an insight into the local village life of Sikkim as well as its pristine nature. Lachen, Phodong, Kabi and Yumthang are some of the Sikkimese villages you will pass by.

Markha Valley Trek Tour

Since 1974, when Ladakh first became accessible to foreign visitors, this high region has captured the imagination of adventure travelers. The Markha Valley Trek Tour offers a large diversity of landscape from the jagged Kongmaru-la pass (5060m) to the green oasis of Karakoram snow-capped peaks.

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