When I went to Sikkim for the first time last year I really loved different aspects of Sikkim and the trek I have done there has been one amazing decision I took during my trip to India!
Here 4 reasons why in my opinion trekking in Sikkim is definitely something you should consider:
1) Remote areas
Sikkim is far less explored than other Himalayan regions. In the last decades, the rise of Nepal, Ladakh, and Himachal Pradesh have undoubtedly grown up immensely. Some trekking is more a highway than a mountain trail. The typical Annapurna base camp and Everest BC treks are often way too crowded. It’s more and more difficult in some Himalayan regions to feel to an original fascination of the local traditions and cultures. Unfortunately, the downside of welcoming too many trekkers is to lose something. Simply because of trekkers are there. And I am a trekker myself, I’m not certainly blaming “them”.
After having explored some of the trekking in the Himalaya, I decided it was the time to visit Sikkim. I was eager to do it since I heard it’s a different place compared to others. Indeed, it was true. I trekked with Sikkim Trails and I have to say yes, the treks in Sikkim are less beaten and less touristic. The main viewpoints during my trekking there were spotless, quiet, and silent.
In Sikkim, the government highly regulates the access to the national parks to preserve the local fauna.
GoechaLa sees every year 2000 trekkers, while Annapurna base camp trek, for example, is over ten times more!
Consider a trek in Sikkim if you want to visit some remote areas, unspotted mountains and more vivid traditions. Explore the idea of a trekking in Sikkim before it’s too late! 🙂
2) Kanchenjunga majestic
Every mountain is simply a mountain. But a mountain is also the mix of stories and legends people tell about it. They make a mountain even greater than it is. Kanchenjunga is one of those epic and mystical things. Kanchenjunga is called mother by her folks, her being depicted as a woman. Kanchenjunga has been considered sacred since countless generations that have prayed and begged in front of her.
The 3rd highest mountain in the world rises up from all the other giants around. She’s firm and overlooks whatever goes around, pretending she’s still but she’s not. No matter if you are a Buddhist, or a Christian, or a Jewish, Kanchenjunga will conquer you, spiritually.
It happens during the trekking, to see the local guides bending themselves for a prayer or lighting a small fire inside small temples along the banks of the trekking path.
I met a couple that came all the way from Kathmandu to Sikkim to feel the mountains breathing and changing her color.
Jo Gambi described Kanchenjunga in these words: “To the east and west, Kanchenjunga and Shishapangma, two more great sentinels of the Himalaya, stood crystal clear over 100 kilometers away. To the north were the burnished plains of Tibet and to the south the majestic peaks and lush foothills of Nepal. We stood on the crown jewel of the earth, the curved horizon spinning endlessly around us.”
3) Unique culture
Sikkim is shaped by different cultures, beautifully mixed up in the last centuries. They mainly come from Tibet and Nepal.
Sikkim is not really like the rest of India. Well, not at all. Sikkim is a paradise on earth. Sikkimese people still live a life with lots in common with lives two centuries ago. They are calm and joyful. Peaceful and honest. When I reached Yuksom I couldn’t believe there are still places like this.
If I ever imagine my retirement, it will be in a place similar to Yuksom.
In 1959, when Chinese definitely occupied Tibet, many Tibetans were forced to escape beyond the borders. Many crossed the border and went to Sikkim. They influenced the culture of Sikkim and found welcomed in this peaceful place.
Sikkimese people speak a language very similar to Nepali. They don’t communicate in Hindi in the family or with friends. Most of them are Buddhist, only a minority is Hindu.
When I was in Kolkata, I realized also how great is the reputation for Sikkimese women. Being from that tiny state of India is usually a synonym for beauty and purity.
If you ever travel to India and want to see a different part of it, culturally and naturally speaking, Sikkim could be the best choice for you!
4) Sikkim wildlife
Sikkim is not only known for the beauty of its landscapes and culture, but also for its amazingly diverse flora and fauna, which makes Sikkim a perfect destination for the ones interested in wildlife. Are you wondering why? Mainly because the small old kingdom goes from a tropical area to an Alpine one, varying a lot in altitude.
This creates a perfect natural habitat for dense forests, lakes, glaciers where wild animals and birds fit perfectly in this ever-changing environment.
Some of the rarest and interesting species you can even spot while you trek in Sikkim are the snow leopard, the red panda, the Himalayan bear, and huge deers.
The red panda is the symbol of the state and lives between 1500 and 3500 meters above sea level. He’s the most chilled animal I have ever seen. He lives in treetops and moves really slowly.
The snow leopard is spottable mainly in winter when is particularly thirsty and go drinking in some lakes, usually above 3000.
Interested in bird watching? Then the Kanchenjunga national park has tons to offer. It’s home for a really great and diverse avifauna. Black-necked Crane, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Snow Cock are some of the species you can see while you trek on the way to GoechaLa.
For more info about trekking in Sikkim, visit our website SikkimTrails.com