Long sequestered in the lap of the Himalayas, sandwiched between Nepal Bhutan and Tibet
lies a small strech of rugged land just 40 miles by 70 miles, the erstwhile Kingdom of Sikkim – now a state of India. Sikkim provides a wide potential in tourism that has yet largely remained unexploited. The perennially snow-capped mountains, lush green tropical and temperate forests, gurgling streams and the rich flora and fauna – a true Shangrila or “Nye-mae-el” which simply means ‘heaven’.
From Kathmandu, fly to Bhadrapur in the east Nepal (1 hour), then drive to Kakarbhitta (Nepal-India border, 34 km), to Siliguri (36 km) and to Gangtok (110 km, 3 hours 30 minutes). Gangtok is also connected by road with Darjeeling (5 hours) and Bhutan (7 hours). The closest Indian airport is at Bagdogra, 124 km from Gangtok, where scheduled flights operate from Kolkata, new Delhi and Guwahati. Taxis for Gangtok (4
hours) are available at the airport. Grand Sikkim Tourism development Corporation also operates daily helicopter flights from Bagdogra airport to Gangtok (20 minutes).The closest railway stations are Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri (121 km) which are connected to Kolkata,New delhi, Guwahati and other major Indian cities. Taxis and buses for Gangtok are available at Siliguri.
March-May and October-December are the best times to visit. Bring light woolen clothing during summer ( maximum temperature 20.7 degrees Celsius) and heavy woolen during winter (minimum 7.7 degrees).
- Amit Saxena