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Adventurous things to in Sikkim


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Sikkim has emerged as a popular tourist destination in recent years. Nature enthusiasts come cruising into this northeast Indian state to revel in the bounteous natural beauty. However, Sikkim also offers a wide range of adventure activities that are sure to satiate the adrenaline pumping in you. Here are some of the popular adventurous sports in Sikkim waiting to thrill you. Lying in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, Sikkim has been blessed with an amazing landscape, ideal for all kinds of adventures.

You can hike up to the lush mountain trails, feel the high adrenaline rush while fighting fierce river rapid, or can enjoy mountain biking on the paths created by former adventure junkies. There is so much to do in this landlocked state of India when it comes to partaking in some thrilling fun. Adventure is surely guaranteed on your tour to Sikkim. This place is an antidote of the chaotic city life, full of tension and stress.

Sikkim continued its status with the Union of India after 1947, and the Republic of India after 1950. It enjoyed the highest literacy rate and per capita income among the Himalayan State. The third highest peak in the world and jewel of the state, Kanchenjunga is visible from almost anywhere you stand. Characterised by freezing winters and cool summers, the state plays host to a large number of tourists all year round. The name Kanchenjunga is derived from four words of Tibetan origin, usually rendered Kang-Chen-dzo-Nga or Yang-Chen-dzo-Nga and interpreted in Sikkim as the “Five Treasuries of the Great Snow.”  

Adventure in Sikkim is limitless, in fact, it is a fresh way to observe and explore the beauty of this surreal Northeastern State. So, when you come to the verge of concluding there isn’t any challenge left for you to face in Sikkim, an adventure avant-garde is likely to pop up for you. Amongst such surprises is included Mountain Biking, an Eco-friendly sport which is perhaps the best way to explore the state. Other not to miss adventure activities in Sikkim is Paragliding/Hang Gliding; offering a bird's eye view of the villages, rivers, temples, and forests, this aerial sport can certainly leave one wanting for more.

Let us take you to the adventurous part of your journey now: 

 

  1. Rafting in Teesta River

The Teesta river rushing through this natural paradise offers one of the most thrilling experiences of river rafting in Gangtok. Sitting in your raft, oars in hand and lifejacket safely belted one can feel the rush of adventure even before setting off on this thrilling ride. While you move through the mighty rapids and feel the thrill of one of the most fierce adventure activities in Gangtok, you also get a chance to witness the attractive landscapes that pass you along the river. The Teesta river rafting has carved out deep ravines and gorges in Sikkim meandering through the hills lying just off the river.

Whether you are a nature lover or an adventure you will have the best time of your life in this region. Get ready to try a thrilling activity in this region. Start this amazing activity once you reach the tour locality and begin your adventure for the day.  This makes for quite an exciting and enthralling rafting experience. You will be accompanied by an experienced guide during the activity. The guide will give you a brief about the rules and precautions for water rafting. Conclude this activity after 30 minutes and head back home with lots of memories.

Best time for rafting: 

Rafting Point in Gangtok: Triveni point near Teesta Bazaar.

Distance from Gangtok: 64.3km (2hrs approx)

Price: Teesta river rafting cost starts from INR 900/person

 

  1. Paragliding

How about flying like a bird and getting the view of the Kanchenjunga Mountains and quaint villages enclosed in verdant greenery? 

This is the only reason why the new adventure sport paragliding is getting trendy in Sikkim. This small state is the home to excellent ridges and sites that will definitely give you an awesome paragliding experience like never before. The gush of strong wind chasing clouds, green fields, snowy mountains, curve roads adds thrill to the activity like never before. 

In Sikkim, you do not require prior training for this paragliding, and this is the best part about it. This is because they are Tandem rides and a professional pilot will accompany you during the activity. Both the passenger and the pilot are in the harness that is attached to the paraglider. And it is the responsibility of the pilot to take care of the gliding as well as the navigation. Thus, you can dive into the spectacular views around without worrying about anything. In 2012, a Paragliding Festival was hosted by Sikkim and it was organized in association with the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation.

There are two types of flying modes in Sikkim- Medium Fly & High Fly

Medium Fly: You will be flying at a height of 1300 to 1400 metres and the duration is 5 to 10 minutes. From the medium-altitude, you will get to witness the Himalayan ranges as well as the capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok.

High Fly: You will be flying at a height of 2200 metres and the duration is 15 to 20 minutes. From the higher altitude, you will be able to witness the Kanchenjunga ranges, snow-covered peaks, and the Tashi viewpoint. Apart from this you also get to savor the view of Gangtok Township.

Best time to experience: The best time for paragliding in Sikkim is during the summer months (March to June) as well as during autumn (September to November).

Paragliding Point: Sikkim Paragliding Adventure Sports Co-Operative Society Ltd., Gangtok, Sikkim 737103

Distance from Gangtok: 8.2km (30min approx)

Price: Rs. 2500 - 5000/person. A GoPro video recording incurs additional cost.

 

  1. Yak Safari

Ever imagined doing a mountain safari in the back of a Himalayan Yak. This animal is a long-haired domesticated bovid found throughout the Himalayan region of the Indian Subcontinent. Yak physiology is well adapted to high altitudes, having larger lungs and heart than cattle found at lower altitudes, as well as greater capacity for transporting oxygen through their blood.  A trip on the back of a Yak, moving through the rocky ways in the midst of Sikkim, actually addresses the appreciation of every person. 

This Yak safari will take you on a stroll through the gentle but steep slopes to Tsomgo Lake. This safari will give you a chance to experience the beauty of this region in real form. The Yaks have been domesticated for centuries in Sikkim. In recent years, the animal has been used to create an adventure spirit among people and travelers. Another interesting fact about the Yak is that it is only found in the high altitude region where the low temperature is just ideal to ensemble the requirements of this mammal. It is for sure that once you take this safari, it would really become a memorable part of your trip to Sikkim.

Best time to experience: The best time for Yak Safari in Sikkim is during the summer months (March to June). 

Yak Safari Point: Tsomgo Lake & Dzongri Lake

Distance from Gangtok:  44.4km (1hr approx)

Price: Rs.300/person & Rs.50 for photo

 

  1. Mountain Biking 

The rugged and dramatic terrain of the Sikkim Himalayas offers sure and exciting biking trails to adventure lovers. The beauty of the countryside, flora & Fauna & lifestyle of Sikkimese people is a beautiful experience on a bike’s seat as you meander through lush green hills and dales. Many have enjoyed riding their bikes during monsoon on slushy dirt roads. Every time there is different fun and feeling. It is a technical sport so maximum safety precaution with the experienced backup will enhance your biking holiday in Sikkim.

The thrill of riding upon a high altitude range destination while relishing in the picturesque surrounding can be a ride of a lifetime. Mountain biking in Sikkim has become a famous adventure sport and has caught the attention of adventurers from around the globe. Lachen and the surrounding hamlets are dotted with exciting Mountain Biking trails and offer numerous scenic trails for relaxing rides around mountain lakes and through small villages like Tsomgo Lake and Pelling. The mountainous valley of Sikkim offers a huge range of cycling trails, from the steepest and bumpy trails to more casual ones ranging at an altitude of 4000mt to 600mt respectively for the mountain bikers. Mountain Biking in Sikkim lets the adventure traverse through the well-maintained roads of the bustling Gangtok town towards the trails full of gravel in a serene ambiance with the view of the changing landscape to witness the surreal Himalayan beauty.

Best time to experience: The best time for Yak Safari in Sikkim is during the summer months (March to June). 

Biking point: There are various starting points. Starting points will be mentioned in the itinerary according to your stay.

Price: Rs. 1000 - 5000/person depending on the distance & place

 

  1. Helicopter Ride

A helicopter ride in Gangtok is one of the best things to do if you want to experience Gangtok and its beauty. The ride will offer amazing views of the Himalayan ranges and will let you witness majestic mountains, treacherous rivers, expansive valleys, and green forests. The helicopter will give a bird’s eye view of the town and its surroundings.

Come and see the majesty of the Himalayan peaks from close up like never before. Feast your eyes on the grandeur and the sheer size of the great Mount Khangchendzonga, the third highest peak in the world, or check out the symmetrical beauty of Mount Siniolchu, considered by many as the most beautiful peak in the entire Himalayan range, or fly over Gangtok and get a comprehensive view of the layout of the town with its winding roads and many alleys. Special flights are also conducted over West Sikkim and North Sikkim for a bird's eye view of the monasteries and the exotic Valley of Flowers, Yumthang. Besides these mountain flights, you may also opt for the Regular Bagdogra to Gangtok and Gangtok to Bagdogra flights. 

Best time to experience: The best time for Yak Safari in Sikkim is during the summer months (March to June). 

Helipad ground: Burtuk, Gangtok

Distance from Gangtok: 4.2 km (15-20 min)

Price: www.sikkimstdc.com

 

  1. Ropeway Cable Ride

This is one of the greatest attractions that should not be missed anyway. This ropeway is located just in the heart of Gangtok. Gangtok ropeway is a lifetime experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else. It is a 1km zig-zag ride that takes the visitors from Deorali to Tashling offering amazing aerial views of the town. It is a 7 min ride that gives stunning views of the Khangchendzonga on a clear and sunny day.  

This cable car journey is not included in local tour packages and this place can be easily reached by taking a local cab from any hotel. This ropeway of about less than 1 km long has three entry points or stops. The lowest point is at the Deorali market and the highest point is at Tashiling. The Gangtok Ropeway was built at a cost of 11.5 crores and became operational in early 2004. It soon became one of the main attractions for tourists. The ropeway ride offers an excellent view of the Gangtok town. The ropeway passes through the National Highway giving it great visibility to tourists.

The Ropeway Cable Ride is normally operational throughout the day between 9:30 am to 4.30 pm. However, the actual timing may vary depending on seasonality and weather conditions. During peak season the ropeway runs for longer hours than during the offseason. Each cable car can accommodate a maximum of 24 people at a single time and there is no sitting arrangement inside the ropeway.

Best time to Visit:  The best time for this experience in Sikkim is during the summer months (March to June). 

Location: Vishal Gaon, Gangtok, Sikkim 737102

Price:  The ticket fee for adults is Rs 50 and Rs 30 for kids below 6 years. One can carry a video camera by paying a fee of Rs 50. 

 

  1. Peak Climbing

Sikkim is home to an abundance of majestic high peak mountains that range from 5868 meters to a staggering height of 8585 meters thus making this Northeastern state an ideal place for the adventure of peak climbing. Sikkim shares a part of Mt Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak lures adventurers. Other peaks that equally allure adrenaline junkies to Sikkim include Frey Peak (5,889 meters), the Indian Matterhorn, which offers the opportunity to explore supreme scenic regions like Chaurikhang, Yuksom, and Tshoka; Mt. Tenchenkhang (6,010 meters), known for its stunning views of sacred lakes, snow-capped mountains, and exotic biodiversity; Mt. Jopuno (5,603 meters), the major attraction for the mountaineers/peak climbers; and Mt. Brumkhangse (5,868 meters), which is considered one of the easiest peaks to climb. Apart from these, Sikkim also offers a brilliant opportunity for peak climbing at mountains like Mt. Lama Wangden (5,868 meters), Kabru ( 7,412 meters), and Siniolchu (6,888 meters), which also offer thrill, challenges, and breathtaking views.

Best time to Visit:  The best time for this experience in Sikkim is during the summer months (March to June). 

 

So, while in Sikkim, if you want to find your inner adventurer these are the activities that you can undertake to experience some spine-chilling and exciting episodes in your trip. Sikkim can bring you immense satisfaction with its bounteous natural beauty and has also the potential to make it a trip that will stay with you for a lifetime.

 

Mode of Reach to Sikkim:

Sikkim Helicopter Service: Bagdogra is also connected with Gangtok by daily helicopter service operated by Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation, and it takes only 20 minutes to reach Gangtok from Bagdogra. The 5-seater helicopter makes traveling to Sikkim easier, along with being an incredible way of witnessing the majestic state, like never before. The passengers on this helicopter are awarded a Certificate of Participation by the Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation.

Road: Siliguri is more or less the main gateway to Sikkim. National Highway 31A connects Gangtok to Siliguri. The scenic lush green forests on the banks of river Teesta on one side and the Eastern Himalayan range on the other side make the drive worthwhile. As stated earlier, public vehicles including buses, shared jeeps and auto-rickshaws are available from Siliguri to Gangtok, Kalimpong, Kurseong, etc. at frequent intervals. You can also opt for a private cab from Siliguri to travel further.

 

Railway: Sikkim does not have a proper train network. The nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) which is about 6-7kms from Siliguri and 130 km from Gangtok. Very few selective trains pass through Siliguri, which is approximately 114 km from Gangtok. Onward journey from Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri railway station is possible by road.

 

Air: The nearest accessible airport to Sikkim is in Bagdogra which is approximately 124 km from Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. Bagdogra airport has both public and private transport options for the onward journey. 50 meters away from the terminal building, the local taxi stand has both shared and private jeeps for Darjeeling, Siliguri, Gangtok etc. Further down, around 700-800 m from the taxi stand there is good availability of public buses and shared autos for the same.

 

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