Darjeeling, on the other hand, is a municipality located in the Lesser Himalaya at an elevation of 6,700 ft in northern part of West Bengal. Darjeeling is bounded on its north by the state of Sikkim, on its east by Bhutan and on its west by Nepal.
Climate: Sikkim’s climate ranges from sub-tropical in the south to tundra in the north. Five distinct seasons – winter, summer, spring, autumn, and a monsoon season – can be observed in Sikkim. Most of the inhabited regions of Sikkim have a temperate climate, with temperatures hardly ever rising more than 28 °C in summer.
Monsoon, which goes on from late June to early September, is when the state receives maximum rainfall. Landslides become quite a regular feature during this time. Most parts of September and October, autumn season in Sikkim, is the most pleasant time for tourists in the state. Summer is March end to middle of June and sun shines maximum during these months. During cold season temperatures can fall quite low. Snowfall in higher reaches of Sikkim is quite heavy during winters.
Darjeeling is located in the Himalayas at a high altitude and it has a bearing on its climate. It is never too hot. Summer season is from middle of April to middle of July, but temperature hardly ever rises more than 25 degrees Celsius. This is followed by monsoons, and this continues till September end. It rains quite heavily in Darjeeling. Landslides are always possible during these months. After monsoon comes autumn and the month of October to early November are quite pleasant. From the end of November winter starts setting in and it gets on getting chillier throughout December and hit its peak in January and February. Temperature is generally lower than 10 degrees throughout the day. At times lowest temperatures can hit as low as -5 to -6 degrees. March and most parts of April are spring seasons when Darjeeling is at its pleasant best.
Cuisine: Sikkim has an ethnic Nepali majority and this reflects in cuisines too. Nepalese cuisines are quite popular in Sikkim. They are generally rice eaters. Most popular dishes are – Dal Bhat (boiled roice with lentils and some vegetables), Thupka (this is noodle based soup with vegetables or meat. It has a Tibetan origin), momo (hot steamed flour dumplings stuffed with vegetables or minced meat) and phagshapa (strip of pork fat stewed with radishes and dried chilies).
Fermented food items are also quite an essential part of Sikkim’s cuisines. Chhurpi is a popular fermented dairy product prepared from cow milk. It has a mild sour taste and is used for making soups and pickles. Kinema is a fermented soybean food eaten with rice. Gundruk and Sinki are yet another traditional fermented food items. They are made from vegetable. The vegetables are sun dried after fermentation and stored for consumption later with soups, curries and pickles. Fermented bamboo shoot is also a part of traditional food items. Consuming traditional liquor Chaang, a fermented cereal-based alcoholic beverage, is quite common among both men and women.
Cuisine of Darjeeling is more or less similar to that of Sikkim. But Darjeeling has greater diversity in population. Despite a majority of ethnic Gorkhas, there are Sherpas, Lepchas, Bhutia, Bengalis, Tibetans and even some westerners living here. This diversity is reflected not just in present day restaurants, but also even in traditional cuisines and food items.
Rice, noodles and potatoes are quite common in most of the cuisines. Momos and Thupkas are available and so is chhurpi. Dal Bhat is quite popular here too. Most of the restaurants serve all kind of continental food to serve the large number of tourists visiting Darjeeling.
Things to do: Both Sikkim and Darjeeling are quite popular among tourists. Both have views of Kanchenjunga mountain range.
Darjeeling has a colonial past, with British playing the pivotal role in the development of this hill station. Apart from the wonderful sunrise views from Tiger Hill, Darjeeling has a number of other attractions. These include Ghoom Monastery and the UNESCO Heritage listed Toy Train and Batasia Loop. Darjeeling produces one of the finest qualities of tea in the whole world. A trip to Darjeeling is futile without paying a visit to tea garden and buying some packs of tea. A look at the high altitude animals at the Himalayan Zoo and the adjoining Mountaineering Institute is something one must never miss. A walk on the Mall and spending time on Chowrasta is ever so romantic. One can do some souvenir shopping in Darjeeling.
In Sikkim go on to visit Tsomgo Lake and Nathula and enjoy walks on the Mall Road. Have a look at the different varieties of orchids Sikkim has. There are several waterfalls in Sikkim one must visit. There are several monasteries, some being very old. Rumtek is one of the largest monasteries. There are some serene rural areas. One must these and look at the rural life at close quarters.
Important Places in Sikkim
Pelling: Want to get awe-inspired at the beautiful sight of Khangchendzonga? Approach Excursion2India today and include Pelling in your Sikkim Tour Package.
Pelling is a beautiful town in Sikkim offering some magnificent views of numerous snow-capped mountains. Its local culture is something which will give you nice memories of life. The people there are physically strong, independent, friendly and love tourists. Soak in the peace and beauty of this picturesque town if you are willing to take a break from your hectic monotonous life. We will craft the best package that suits your travel needs and budget.
Lachung: Lachung is a quite town in Sikkim known for its beautiful snow-capped peaks. The place has a lot to offer and is visited by numerous adventure freaks, trekkers and photographers all over the year. The best time to visit Lachung is from October to June.
Few Things You Would Love in Lachung
- Trekking to the Yumthang valley will give you some memories which you can cherish for years to come.
- The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is a very splendid and surreal place which has a lot to offer the adventure-lovers.
- The Lachung Monastery was built in the year 1850 and let you enjoy some beautiful architecture with the splendid mountains as the backdrop.
- The Zero Point is a desolate place which must be in itinerary for visitors to Lachung.
- The Gurudongmar Lake is situated at an elevation of 17,800 meters and is famous for its tranquility. A part of the river doesn’t freeze even during the winter months.
- Bhim Nala is a waterfall where water falls in numerous layers from a height. A visit to the Naga Falls is also quite mesmerizing.
Places Guests Must Visit During Sikkim Trip
Even a few glimpses of the beautiful Khangchendzonga will give you memories which you can cherish for years. Whether you are planning your honeymoon or simply want a nice time, Sikkim is the ideal place for you to be. Just give us a call and we will customize the best Sikkim tour packages for you.
- Sangachoeling Monastery
It is situated at a high ridge in Pelling and is quite famous among tourists for its scenic location. Guests will have to hike for around 4km to reach there though. Good thing is that the climb is quite easy and pleasant.
- Rimbi River
A visit to Rimbi River is a must during when in Pelling. Boulders and pebbles scattered there enhance the scenic beauty of the river even further and make it one of the most favourite picnic spots.
- Darap Village
Darap village is an ideal place to spend a relaxing time in Pelling. The place is far away from the hustles-bustles of the town and is preferred by tourists interested in exploring rural Sikkim.
- Phodong Monastery
- Nathu La Pass
- MG Marg
The solitude offered by this old monastery and its cultural landscape makes it one of the most visited places in Gangtok. Those willing to experience spiritual aspects of Sikkim should visit it.
A small town renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. Magnan offers a wide range of engaging activities. /p>
The height of Nathu La Pass let you enjoy some magnificent views of the mountains, especially if the weather is clear. It is interesting to see the Chinese side from the Indian side. Visitors can also see mountains on Bhutan side.
MG Marg is the hub of those interested in shopping as it is one of the most famous tourist markets. Stroll leisurely along the pedestrian-only zone and enjoy the ambiance there. The market is free from smoke or litter which makes the place unique.