Located in the Northeast region of India, Sikkim is bordered by Tibet in the north, Nepal in the west, Bhutan in the east, and West Bengal in the south. The state is a popular destination among travellers with soaring mountains, lush valleys, glistening glaciers, and meandering rivers. Home to the third-highest peak in the world, Mount Kangchenjunga, the state is also a favourite among mountaineers and trekkers from all corners of the globe. With such natural and cultural heritage, there are many must-visit destinations in Sikkim for travellers to explore.
Located just a short distance from the main town of Namchi, this monastery was built during the reign of Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal by Tensung Namgyal as a palace for Her Highness Pendi Ongmu. According to local legend, visitors are expected to make a promise to return, which is reflected in the name Ngadak, meaning "promise." The monastery is supported by iron railings, and a new Gompa (meditation centre) is being constructed due to damage from an earthquake in the 17th century.
If you’re in Gangtok, visiting the museum at the Namgyal Institute is a must. It is located in Deorali and boasts an impressive collection of ancient statues and artefacts. Established in 1958, this institute is home to one of the largest collections of Tibetan works outside Tibet. The museum houses a rare collection of ancient manuscripts dating back to the 11th century, as well as statues, ritual objects, and thangkas (paintings). The highlight is a magnificent silver image of Manjushri, the Boddhisattva of Knowledge, which originated from Tibet.
Situated at an elevation of 17,800 feet (5,430 meters) above sea level, Gurudongmar Lake is the highest lake in India and holds great spiritual significance for Buddhists and Sikhs. According to local lore, Guru Padmasambhava, the revered Buddhist master, blessed the lake, thereby making its waters sacred and revered by devotees. The pristine blue waters are believed to possess healing properties, and pilgrims from all over flock here to seek blessings and pay homage to the revered Guru.
The journey to Gurudongmar Lake is an adventure in itself, taking travellers through rugged terrains and picturesque landscapes.
If you’re planning a trip to Gangtok, you won’t want to miss visiting this lake, located about 40 kilometer from the state capital. At over 12,000 feet, the Tsomgo Lake changes with the seasons. It has a beautiful shimmering blue colour in spring and summer, while it’s frozen in the winter. The lakeside is full of colourful flowers during the summer months, and during the tourist season, there are kiosks selling food and souvenirs. The lake is also a great spot for birdwatching. You can see a lot of Ruddy Shelducks, also known as Brahminy Ducks, which are winter visitors to India.