Discover the serene, but often overlooked part of the Himalayas

Sikkim India

Find out why India’s prime minister sang praises about this destination. Source: Shutterstock.

LIKE its close neighbors in Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal, the northeastern state of Sikkim is also a part of the Himalayas.

However, it is often overlooked in favor of its neighbors due to lack of marketing and inaccessibility. But this is about to change.

The serene and splendid ancient mountain kingdom is home to a dramatic landscape that includes India’s highest mountain, the 8,586-meter Kangchenjunga.

A paradise for nature lovers, Sikkim is both refreshing and exhilarating as it boasts a maze of plunging valleys thick with lush flora and a variety of fauna.

Its ethereally beautiful glaciers, alpine meadows, and Tsomgo lake are worth mentioning too, of course, for these are bound to end up on your Instagram feed.

The Indian hill state also prides itself in being one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most important centers, evident in its many well-preserved traditional monasteries and religious sculptures.

And it is not just its meditative surroundings you will love – Sikkim’s people are warm-hearted and hospitable, ready to make a new friend or two.

Source: Shutterstock.

Considering making your way to Sikkim, one of the least accessible corners of India? Now, you can.

On Oct 4, 2019, Sikkim’s Pakyong Airport received its first scheduled flight. Located about 30 kilometers south of Gangtok, the airport, which is the state’s first, was almost 10 years in the making.

For now, it will receive daily morning flights from Kolkata in West Bengal on SpiceJet carriers, but soon, Bhutan’s Druk Air will schedule international flights.

Travelers who are interested in visiting Sikkim are required to obtain the Inner Line Permit (ILP) which will allow foreign visitors a 30-day stay.

The 30-day permit can be issued on the spot without any delay provided photocopies of the passport and visa along with two passport photos of the applicants are made available.

For more information, visit sikkimtourism.gov.in.