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Places to visit in Sikkim: Glaciers and Landscapes

Places to visit in Sikkim: Introduction

Sikkim, a jewel nestled in the Eastern Himalayas, is famed not just for its cultural richness but also for its breathtaking natural beauty. Among the many awe-inspiring places to visit in Sikkim are its majestic glaciers and diverse landscapes, which offer both adventure and serenity. This blog delves into some of the most spectacular glaciers and hidden gems of Sikkim, providing a guide for travellers seeking to explore these natural wonders.

Tsomgo Lake

Tsomgo Lake, also known as Changu Lake, is situated at an altitude of about 3,753 metres and is one of the most popular destinations in Sikkim. Frozen during the winter months, the lake is a sight to behold, surrounded by steep mountains and vibrant alpine vegetation during the warmer seasons. A yak ride around the lake or simply sitting by its banks can be a mesmerising experience.

Zemu Glacier

As one of the largest and most significant glaciers in Sikkim, Zemu Glacier is a source of the Teesta River and plays a critical role in the region’s ecosystem. Located in the Kanchenjunga National Park, the glacier offers an exhilarating trekking experience for adventure enthusiasts. The journey to Zemu Glacier is as breathtaking as the destination itself, with lush forests and rare wildlife accompanying trekkers along the way.

Places to visit in Sikkim: Yumthang Valley

Known as the ‘Valley of Flowers’, Yumthang Valley is a riot of colours during spring when the flowers are in full bloom. Situated at an elevation of 3,564 metres, the valley is home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, which features over 24 species of rhododendrons. The journey through the valley offers stunning views of towering peaks and flowing rivers, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

Thangu Valley

Thangu Valley, with its high alpine meadows, is another must-visit location for those looking to explore the hidden gems of Sikkim. During the summer, the valley is covered in a blanket of wildflowers, while winter transforms it into a snowy wonderland, ideal for quiet contemplation and nature walks.

Gurudongmar Lake

One of the highest lakes in the world, Gurudongmar Lake is located at an altitude of 5,183 meters. The lake is considered sacred and is known for its crystal-clear blue waters, which remain unfrozen even in extreme winter. The lake’s serenity and the spiritual significance attract not just tourists but also pilgrims.

Discovering Hidden Gems of Sikkim

Beyond the well-trodden paths lie hidden gems of Sikkim that offer solitude and untouched natural beauty. Places like the Kanchenjunga Base Camp, the Green Lake, and the lesser-known Lhonak Lake provide a more secluded and intimate experience with nature.

Sustainable Tourism

While exploring these natural wonders, it is crucial to practice sustainable tourism. This includes adhering to local guidelines, carrying back all non-biodegradable waste, and respecting the natural habitat of the region’s wildlife.

Singalila Ridge

For those who seek breathtaking views and challenging treks, Singalila Ridge offers a unique trekking experience. The ridge is part of a long trekking route that provides spectacular views of the Himalayan range including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga. The trek is especially popular in the spring and autumn when the clear skies allow for uninterrupted panoramic vistas.

Kanchenjunga Waterfalls

Located near Pelling, the Kanchenjunga Waterfalls are a majestic sight, cascading down rugged cliffs into a crystal-clear pool below. Easily accessible by a short trek, these waterfalls are a popular stop for visitors. The area around the waterfalls has been developed with picnic spots and viewpoints, making it a perfect place for families to relax and enjoy the natural beauty.

Cave Exploration: North Lha-ri-nying phu

North Lha-ri-nying phu, known as the “Old Cave of God’s Hill”, is one of the most sacred caves in Sikkim and a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists. The cave is associated with many mystical tales and is believed to be a place where one can achieve enlightenment. The trek to the cave takes you through dense forests and rugged terrains, making it an exhilarating experience for adventure enthusiasts.

Sustainability in Sikkim

As tourism continues to grow, maintaining the ecological balance and cultural integrity of Sikkim is paramount. Visitors are encouraged to engage with the environment responsibly, supporting eco-friendly tourism initiatives that promote recycling, use of renewable resources, and conservation of natural habitats.


The glaciers and landscapes of Sikkim offer a unique blend of spiritual significance, natural beauty, and adventurous treks. Whether you are an avid trekker, a spiritual seeker, or someone looking to bask in nature’s majesty, the places to visit in Sikkim provide a profound and enriching experience. Discover the glaciers in Sikkim and explore its hidden gems for an unforgettable journey in the heart of the Himalayas.

FAQs About Visiting Glaciers and Landscapes in Sikkim

What is the best time to visit the glaciers in Sikkim?

The best time to visit the glaciers in Sikkim is from March to June and from September to December. During these months, the weather is generally clear, providing good conditions for trekking and exploring the high-altitude areas.

Are there any permits required for visiting these areas?

Yes, several areas in Sikkim, especially those close to international borders, require special permits. These include the Protected Area Permit (PAP) for foreigners and an Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Indian nationals. It’s advisable to check the latest regulations and apply for permits well in advance through a registered travel agent or through the official Sikkim Tourism website.

What should I pack for a trek to the high-altitude glaciers?

When trekking to high-altitude glaciers, it’s essential to be well-prepared. Pack layers of warm clothing, waterproof and windproof jackets, trekking boots, sunglasses, sunscreen, a good quality sleeping bag, and a first aid kit. Also, include enough high-energy food and water purification tablets.

How can I ensure that I am travelling responsibly in Sikkim?

To travel responsibly in Sikkim, stick to marked trails, avoid littering, use water sparingly, respect local customs and traditions, and opt for eco-friendly accommodations and services. Supporting local businesses by buying local products and hiring local guides also contributes to the sustainable development of the region.

Can I visit Sikkim’s glaciers independently?

While it is possible to visit some areas independently, it is advisable to travel with a guide when exploring remote glaciers and landscapes in Sikkim. Guides not only ensure your safety but also enhance your understanding of the ecological and cultural significance of the places you visit.

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