With its fresh mountain air, pine forests, snow-fed rivers and lakes and thousands of varieties of wild flowers it’s easy to understand why the original inhabitants of Sikkim call it Ley Mayal  – Heaven. Wedged in between Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and West Bengal the former kingdom of Sikkim is a tiny mountainous state in northeast India. Populated by descendants of migrants from these surrounding countries and Myanmar (Burma) it is a wonderful melting pot of different mountain cultures. 

Buddhist prayer flags flutter in the wind, wheels spin prayers to heaven and devotees of Himalayan Hinduism pray to Buddhist bodhisattvas as well as the usual deities. The monasteries at Rumtek near Gangtok, Pemayangtse and Pelling adorned with wall paintings and thangkas (cloths painted with deities) are wonderfully atmospheric places to visit, especially during prayer times, while the bazaars and markets are fabulous for people watching and discovering unusual vegetables and herbs whose uses can only be guessed at. Sikkim’s skyline is dominated by Kanchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world. The uninterrupted view of its snow-capped peak from Pelling at sunrise is enough to make your jaw drop but the best way to appreciate Sikkim’s natural beauty is to spend as much time as you can on foot. One of the best ways to do this is base yourself in Shakti village houses so that you are also immersed in the local culture. Darjeeling (though in neighbouring Bengal) and the surrounding tea covered hills make a good jumping off point or place to relax in the region.

Although the state is tiny, especially compared to giants like Rajasthan, transfers on poorly maintained and winding mountain roads take much longer than expected. Still, they are all part of the journey and there is plenty to see and people to meet long the way. Accommodation choices are fairly limited and although the winter months are best for crystal clear mountain views the general lack of room heating means they can be very cold from December to February so travelling just either side of this time is usually best.

View slideshow



Start your journey...

Speak to one of our experts with extensive experience in travel, accommodation and culture.

Andrea Hulme
Take the first step

Sikkim's places to stay

Just some of the places we'd recommend staying in Sikkim

Deciding where to stay

These are the different styles of accommodation

Typical experiences

Whet your appetite for a once in a lifetime trip to India, Bhutan & Nepal

Why not talk to one of our experts?

Our team

Our experienced travellers include:

Andrea Hulme

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary. All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Natural High Brochure

Drop us an email if you'd like us to send you a copy our brochure. Or you can download a digital copy here

Let us help you get started:

Ready to take the first step? Fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you.

Please sign me up for your newsletter
Please post me your brochure


Let the adventure begin.