It’s incredible to think that India’s second smallest state… Sikkim has so many lovely places to visit. Tourists have been visiting Sikkim for decades, but many of its spectacular sights remain undiscovered. While on the other side, dazzling Darjeeling is a must-see destination for most travelers, and interestingly most of the travelers who plan their trip to Darjeeling also book a package for Sikkim and vice versa. Both Darjeeling and Sikkim are some of the most popular getaways for both Indians and international visitors. Hill stations, trekking destinations, and animal sanctuaries abound in the areas surrounding Darjeeling. Tourist destinations near Darjeeling are ideal weekend getaways for both relaxed holidaymakers and adrenaline junkies. There are numerous tourist attractions near Darjeeling that highlight the region’s natural beauty and provide an unforgettable vacation experience.
Let us take a look at some of the best destinations at Sikkim and Darjeeling
- Gangtok, Sikkim: Gangtok is Sikkim’s capital surrounded by stunningly lovely, vibrant, and encrusted clouds. The city’s splendor justifies its status as one of the state’s most important cities. Sikkim is fortunate to have the cultural and historical value that Gangtok brings to the state. While visiting Sikkim, you must fly to Gangtok to see beautiful views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. If you visit Gangtok between March and Mid-May, you will be greeted with the scent of Rhododendrons that has spread over the city.
- Kali Temple: Blessings in travel: The Kali Temple is one of Darjeeling’s most important religious sites. It is dedicated to Goddess Kali and attracts a huge number of tourists who come to give prayers throughout the year. The temple has lovely furnishings and enthusiastically celebrates various holidays, including Navratri.
- Nathula Pass: Nathu La is a mountain pass in the Himalayan ranges that connects Sikkim with China. It is known as one of the world’s highest motorable roads. Nathu La, located 14450 feet above sea level on the Indo-Tibetan border, is one of the country’s most important Himalayan passes. ‘ Listening ears’ is the meaning of Nathu, while ‘pass’ is the meaning of La. Nathu La is one of India’s three open trading border checkpoints with China, and it is known for its scenic attractiveness and natural beauty. For the most part, the temperature remains below freezing. The Nathula Pass connects India with Tibet, resulting in a mix of Indian and Tibetan culture in the area. You can buy a sovereign for yourself and your pals in Sherathang, a well-known border commerce market. This bustling market also has Tibetan artefacts for sale. Near Nathula Pass, there is a region called Kupup that is perpetually cloudy and visiting there could be a unique experience for your trip to Sikkim.
- Banjhakri Water Falls: Banjhakri Waterfall is located about 10 kilometers from Gangtok, in the center of a forest, and falls en route to Ranka Monastery. Its sound is almost captivating as it cascades down from a height of 40 meters. The location, which spans roughly 2 acres of lush green space, is also well–known among locals as a picnic destination.
The name literally translates to “healer of the forest,” and refers to a legend that claims a man lives in the forest’s rocks and protects it from evil. A man-made lake rests at the base of the mountain, with a spectacular dragon at its center.
- Darjeeling Himalayan Railway: A trip to Darjeeling would not be complete without a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway’s miniature train. It’s an experience definitely no one wants to miss, moving at a snail’s pace through the hilly landscape enjoying the beauty of nature. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), commonly known as the ‘Darjeeling Toy Train’ is a 2-foot narrow-gauge train that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Between 1879 and 1881, the huge 88-kilometer railway line was built, and since then, a ride on this train route has been a sought-after experience.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a wonderful achievement and feat of engineering ingenuity and vision that connects various regions of the Darjeeling hills and lower plains. How else could a little steam engine overcome nearly impossible curves and slopes to move mini coaches up the steep mountains? Perhaps this is why, on December 2, 1999, the Darjeeling Toy Train was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.