- Natural Beauty
- Spectacular mountain views
- Adventure sports – rafting, trekking, picnics
- Rhododendrons in bloom – end of April till end of May
Imagine driving past entire hillsides draped in shades of red, pink, yellow, purple and white under a picture-perfect blue sky. If you happen to be in Yumthang Valley, Sikkim, between March to May, there is a good chance of catching this hill state in full bloom. Home to over 5000 species of flowering plants, the Flower Exhibition Centre in Gangtok is worth a visit.
The Rumtek Monastery, built in 1966, is an important Buddhist monastery in this region. It holds countless invaluable artefacts – precious metal statues, gem-studded cenotaphs and a golden stupa that acts as a reliquary for the ashes of the 16th Karmapa who founded the Rumtek complex.
From there, drive to Pelling, 36kms from Gangtok, for a view of the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kanchenjunga (the third highest mountain in the world). For the more adventurous traveller, Sikkim is also a good spot for river rafting, kayaking, paragliding and trekking.
The Dzongu Valley is a protected region inhabited by the Lepcher community and perfect for relaxing, taking short walks through mustard fields, picnics, swimming and trying your hand at fishing.
April and May are great time to visit the rhododendron sanctuary both in western and northern Sikkim. Inner line permits are required, and for North Sikkim a separate permit and local guide are a must. Here, a varied range of accommodations are available but please note that large patches of hill roads are in poor condition.