Best Time to Visit Sikkim

Paradise found: the best time to visit Sikkim

Author: Tanuja Rai
Date: 2020-03-26

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When they said that “good things come in small packages” they weren’t lying. Sikkim is the second smallest state of India but is one of the most scenic destinations in the country. Settled comfortably in the lap of the great Himalayas, Sikkim is bordered by Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet, and nature has been extra kind in her bounty. Sikkim stands out for its unparalleled natural beauty: bewitching and dramatic landscapes, majestic snow-clad mountains, dazzling waterfalls, beautiful green hills, and rivers in hues of green. The people of Sikkim are another reason why people like coming back again and again. They are kind, jovial, and are known for their warm hospitality, which is best experienced at the rural homestays of Sikkim.

From witnessing exotic wildlife and flowering valleys to riding yaks around glacial lakes and biking on high mountain passes, find out the best time to visit Sikkim for an unforgettable holiday.  

3 Ideal Seasons to Visit Sikkim

(1) Spring/Summer (March-May)

Summer in Sikkim is not at all blazing like many other parts of the country. Its proximity to the Himalayas keeps the weather quite pleasant, and the temperature in peak summer reaches only up to 28Celsius max. Sometimes the temperature can fall low even in summers, so it is advised to carry a pair of warm clothes too.

During summer, the hills and valleys of Sikkim come alive with colourful flora and rivers and waterfalls gush with melted glacial snow. Yumthang Valley, also known as the Valley of Flowers, looks spectacular during summer with pretty primulas, rhododendrons, and magnolias carpeting the valley floor. A flower exhibition is organized by the Sikkim Government every year during the month of May.

Summer is the best time to visit Sikkim for sightseeing tours as it allows you to travel without any road hindrances (such as landslides prevalent during monsoons) or cancellation of permits to high-altitude restricted areas (common during winters when there is heavy snow).  

Activities to enjoy during summer:

To truly enjoy the beauty of Sikkim's landscape, the ideal summer activities to indulge in are paragliding, helicopter ride, and of course taking treks and hikes.

Zuluk Valley in spring-summer

Zuluk Valley in spring-summer (courtesy: Himalayadestination)

(2) Autumn (September & October)

Fresh out of the monsoons, autumns in Sikkim are a welcome break and the landscape is resplendent in pleasant autumnal hues. The air is crisp and the skies are clear. The temperature ranges from 15-20  ͦ Celsius during this time.

Most of Sikkim’s foliage loses its greenery and bare branches and fallen leaves in gold, red, orange, and yellow hues add a barren but warm touch to the landscape.

Read: Witness Sikkims flamed foliage in October: Best time to visit Sikkim

Some of the best places to visit during autumn are the wildlife sanctuaries and lakes of Sikkim. A wonderful way to enjoy the autumn scenery is by going on hikes and treks and camping near rivers. The Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary in West Sikkim offers an easy and picturesque hike with blooming red, pink, or white rhododendrons dotting the trail. Other popular treks include Goecha La trek and Dzongri trek. Important Hindu and Buddhist festivals are also celebrated during this time.

Read: 6 exhilarating trekking routes in Sikkim

Activities to enjoy during autumn:

Autumn is one of the best seasons in Sikkim as you see a drastic change in landscape after the monsoons.  After being cooped up due to the rains, it's time to enjoy the outdoors by taking treks and hikes and camping. You can also participate in the harvest festivals and other religious festivals also take place at this time.

Goecha la trek

(3) Winter (November-February)

The winter in Sikkim lasts from November-February. The temperature may vary from 7 degrees Celsius to 5 degrees Celsius.

During winter, the North district and parts of the East and West districts of Sikkim are covered with beautiful glittering white snow. The valleys are all covered with snow as if a white blanket has been draped over them. You will be able to witness mystical views of beautiful mountains and its surroundings. The small hamlets of Lachung and Lachen in North Sikkim are favourable destinations to head to in winters if you want to witness snowfall in Sikkim as well as Okhrey in West Sikkim and Changu and Zuluk in East Sikkim.

Photo essay: Winter scenic drive to Thambi Viewpoint in Zuluk

You can also enjoy festivals like the Red Panda Winter Carnival that takes place during December and is hosted by the Sikkim Government. In November, the Cherry Tea Festival is held in the Temi Tea Garden in South Sikkim. The edges of the beautiful green tea garden are decked with cherry blossom trees that bloom at this time of year.

Activities to enjoy during winters

Playing in the snow is a given but add a cable car ride at Tsomgo Lake and a yak ride around it to heighten your experience of viewing this beautiful winter wonderland.

North Sikkim in winter

North Sikkim in winter

Monsoon (June-August)

Sikkim experiences heavy rain showers with thunderstorms during the monsoon season. However, Sikkim looks more beautiful with abundant greenery, numerous waterfalls and streams, and the smell of fresh soil. Irrespective of the beauty, the monsoon season is not an ideal time to visit Sikkim because of recurrent landslides that block the main roads and it is impossible to head anywhere.

With many amazing reasons to visit Sikkim, all you have to do is pack your bags and head to Sikkim to experience its astonishing splendour. This Northeastern state truly evokes a sense of wonder for every visitor and tops the wish list of many travelers across the globe.

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  • Near Co-Operative, Middle Sichey Gangtok, East Sikkim, India, 737101