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Top Hot Springs to visit in Sikkim


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Ever wonder if you visited Sikkim during your holiday and got the opportunity to dip in a hot spring. Yes, it is definitely possible to experience the rare phenomena. The Kingdom of Sikkim was founded by the Namgyal Dynasty in the 17th century. It was ruled by Buddhist priest-kings known as the Chogyal. It became a princely state for British rule in 1890. Following Indian independence, 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. Characterized 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-dzö-Nga and interpreted in Sikkim as the “Five Treasuries of the Great Snow.”

Sikkim accounts for the largest share of cardamom production in India and the second-largest producer of Spices in the world after Guatemala. The state has five seasons: winter, summer, spring, autumn, and monsoon season. Sikkim is one of the few states in India to receive regular snowfall. The snow line ranges from 6,100 meters (20,000 ft) in the south of the state to 4,900 meters (16,100 ft) in the north. During the monsoon, heavy rains increase the risk of landslides. The record for the longest period of continuous rain in Sikkim is 11 days. Fog affects many parts of the state during winter and the monsoons, making transportation a bit difficult. 

In India, hot springs are very rare to find and experience but we have found out some of the places in Sikkim, where you can get the opportunity to relax in a natural hot spring during your holidays. 

Best time to visit Sikkim:  The best time to visit Sikkim is either between March and May or October and mid-December.

Activities in Sikkim: Trekking, Mountain Biking, Jeep Safari, Peak Climbing, Paragliding, River Rafting, etc. 

Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport, Siliguri

Nearest railway station: NJP Railway Station, Siliguri

Distance from Siliguri: 113.4km (5hrs approx)

 

Why is Hot Springs so valuable? 

Sikkim – a Northeast Indian state of pristine landscapes is a natural niche and habitat of many Hot springs. Hot Springs of Sikkim are regarded as holistic elements having the importance of natural remedy. Dissolved minerals help in curing many diseases, and this forms the basis of balneotherapy (the treatment of disease by bathing in mineral springs). The chemical analysis showed the presence of many naturally dissolved elements like sulfur, chloride, and salts which have an antimicrobial effect and are regarded as potent biomedical therapeutic elements. The water being very scalding in nature acts as an antiseptic or inhibitor to many pathogens. Survey reports showed that the hot springs are used to completely cure off osteo related diseases like arthritis, skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, inflammations, and Gastrointestinal diseases. Every year many tourists and patients throng in around the niche and bathe, take away and drink the hot water as a medicine.

 

List of Hot Springs in Sikkim:

 

  1. Along with Hot Springs
  2. Borong Hot Springs
  3. Reshi Hot Springs
  4. Yumthang Hot Springs
  5. Yume Samdong Hot Spring

 

 

Along with Hot Springs

First, you will need to travel from Gangtok, Sikkim to Ravangla which is at a distance of 68km, and from there you will need to travel 7km to reach Rayong. Along with Hot Springs, very popular among the locals by the name of ‘Ralang Cha-Chu’, is situated near Ravangla in South Sikkim. These pools of sulfurous water endowed with scenic charm, are natural steaming saunas that have the therapeutic power to cure many skin diseases. Apart from this, Rayong Hot Springs also carries religious significance, being located near one of the holy caves of Sikkim. This place is also a trekker’s bliss, guided by various thrilling trails and mind-blowing views of carpeted hills all around. There are trekker’s shacks built near to it, for those who are looking for an overnight stay. The tourists here can also indulge in birdwatching and chasing many-colored butterflies.

Then there is Ralong Monastery which is just about an hour's walk from here. There are many tiny villages of Ravangla such as Narsing Village, Borong Village, Kewzing Village, and many others, that can be visited to get familiar with their native lifestyle and culture. The Temi Tea Garden of Ravangla is a must-visit while in Sikkim because here you can witness the processing of the finest tea brand along with the serene nature. While for the adventure lovers, Ravangla provides treks like the Tendong Hill and Maenam Hill with a detour to explore the wildlife in the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary and Tendong State Biodiversity Park. Apart from these, there are many popular tourist destinations located in Pelling which are quite accessible from Ralong Hot Spring such as the Rimbi Waterfalls, Sewaro Rock Garden, Khecheopalri Lake, Rabdentse Ruins, and Khangchendzonga Waterfalls. For the peace-seekers, there are few famous Buddhist monasteries tucked in the far mountains of Pelling like Sang Da Choeling Monastery and Pemayangtse Monastery and while being in Ravangla one can visit the monasteries such as Ralang Monastery, Bon Monastery, Buddha Park, and Tashiding Monastery.

The best time to experience the Hot Spring: Ralong Hot Spring is best visited during March to May when the weather is quite pleasant and the town provides beautiful views of orchids and rhododendrons. It is open on all days of the week (including public holidays) between 7.00 AM and 7.00 PM. 

Distance from Gangtok: 74.5km (3hrs approx)

Other attractions near Ralong:  Ralang Monastery, Bon Monastery, Buddha Park, Tashiding Monastery, Samdruptse Hill, Tendong Hill, Doling Gompa, Ngadak Monastery, Solophok Chardham, Serdup Choling Monastery, etc.

 

Borong Hot Spring  

South Sikkim is an emerging tourist hotspot, endowed with areas rich in flora and fauna, along with wonderful monasteries, this part of Sikkim is on its way to becoming a popular tourist destination. Numerous travel enthusiasts were unaware of the tourism potential of South Sikkim. Nevertheless, recent years have shown a growth in the tourist influx. This spring is amongst one of the most famous springs in North East tourism. Even the locals of this region visit this spring quite often. The steaming saunas of this spring are said to have curative powers. Ralong & Borong are located very nearby, just a distance of 7km from each other. Both these hot springs are located along the banks of the river Rangit and can be visited from December to February. Ralang & Borong are traditional winter spas where visitors spend a week or more soaking in these springs that have medicinal properties in healing much of the human body problems. These hot springs in Sikkim also known as thermal springs have water with a temperature of 50°C even during the winters. It is believed that these hot springs have medicinal value and therefore, they are ideal for taking a dip. 

Temporary huts are available at nominal rates for overnight stays but all bedding and cooking utensils have to be carried along. So if you are trekking to this place then it will be the best place to give a stay or you can travel back by the end of the day. During the peak hot spring season, there will be small shops selling vegetables and other necessities and the locals sell dairy products. Visitors spend days and more soaking in these magical hot springs which are believed to have the therapeutic power to cure many diseases. Surrounded by carpeted hills all around and guided by various exciting trails with amazing views this place is perfect for nature lovers

The best time to experience the Hot Spring: Both Ralong & Borong Hot Springs are located on the banks of the Rangeet River and can be visited from December to February months. It is open on all days of the week (including public holidays) between 7.00 AM and 7.00 PM.

Distance from Gangtok: 73.5km (3hrs approx.)

Other attractions near Ralong:  Ralang Monastery, Bon Monastery, Buddha Park, Tashiding Monastery, Samdruptse Hill, Tendong Hill, Doling Gompa, Ngadak Monastery, Solophok Chardham, Tarey Bhir, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, etc.

 

Reshi Hot Spring

Amongst all the hot springs in the northeastern state, Reshi Hot Spring is considered the top-visited hot spring. Located on the bank of Rangeet River and about 25 Km from Gyalshing, it has amazing therapeutic powers. The hot water springs present in Reshi are winter spas from the ancient period where pilgrims along with visitors spend a week or more soaking themselves in these hot springs. The water components of this spring are extremely high in sulfur content and are known to have special medicinal properties that aid in curing skin diseases. The Reshi Hot spring is present right after a downhill drive of an hour towards the Rangit River valley and for the comfort of the tourists, there are temporary huts available for an overnight stay at affordable prices but with no bedding or cooking utensils. If anyone wishes to give a stay then they have to carry their bedding and cooking utensils over there and it is best preferable for trekkers.

Also known as 'The cave of occult fairies' Lho Khandro Sang Phug is a small monastery and a holy cave situated adjacent to the river. Due to the presence of this cave, the water present in the Reshi Hot Springs is considered to be holy. The abundant presence of sulfur makes the temperature of the water perfect for carrying out treatment in this cold region. This place is also a perfect spot for trekking followed by a relaxing bath in the spring. You can also click lots of photographs in the area and have a superb visit. 

Best Time to Visit Reshi Hot Spring: The perfect time to visit this hot spring is from December to February when the climate is pleasant and pretty much enjoyable.

Distance from Gangtok: 63.3km (2hrs 30min approx.)

Other attractions near Reshi: Aritar, Lampokhari lake, Pedong, Mankhim, Reshi Khola, Nathang Valley, etc

 

Yumthang Hot Spring

Yumthang is popularly known as “The valley of flowers” which is located in North Sikkim surrounded by the Himalayan mountains. But Yumthang has a small unexplored place where you can experience a Hot Spring in the middle of snow-covered mountains. This very popular Yumthang Hot Spring is situated a few kilometers away from Yumthang Village where one has to walk for a few minutes from the road and across a pedestrian bridge on the River Lachung to reach the hot spring. 

The waters have mild temperatures which are close to 50 degrees centigrade even in the winter seasons. These hot springs are created when rain and snow dribble below Earth's surface as groundwater, until hitting solid rock and collecting in pools, or aquifers. Magma heats this water, which then rises back up to the surface through cracks in the earth's crust forming a hot spring. For the comfort of bathers, there is a hut of two pools that contains hot spring water. The water is rich in sulphuretted hydrogen gas from a spring just behind the hut and then is diverted to the pools. One can sit in the pool and relax with the snow view and rugged mountains in the front. Yumthang is situated at an elevation of 3564 meters and this stunning valley is a paradise for nature lovers as it is the house to Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary which has over 24 species of Rhododendron flowers (the state flower) blooming from late February to mid-June.

Best Time to Visit Yumthang Hot Spring: To enjoy a clear sky and brilliant view of snow-capped mountains, and a hot spring experience September to December season would be ideal.

Distance from Gangtok: 133.9km (6hrs approx)

Other attractions in Yumthang: Zero Point, Yumthang Valley, Lachung Monastery, Chopta Valley, Bhim Nala falls, Naga Falls, Chungthang Valley, Seven Sisters falls, etc.

 

Yume Samdong Hot Spring

Yume Samdong Hot Spring is also known as Momay Samdong. Yume Samdong Hot Spring is located at the Donkai Pass just a 25km drive from Yumthang. The drive through the serpentine mountainous amidst the rugged terrain of Sikkim is a lifetime experience. Since the place is in close vicinity to the international border between India and China, a special permit is required to visit Yume Samdong.

 

Yume Samdong is basically a valley with green grazing patches. The most important essence of the place lies in the fragrance of the Azalea. Azalea forms an important source of income for the locals. They form the raw material out of which local people manufacture incense sticks. There are as many as fourteen hot springs in Yume Samdong. These springs are rich in sulfur content and are believed to have medicinal and healing properties. This spring is a massive crowd puller as the entire place is covered by snow almost all year-round.

Along with Yumesamdong, one can also cover Yumthang Valley and Katao. Yumesamdong is just an hour's drive beyond Yumthang; popularly known as the Valley of Flowers because of its rich meadows and fragrant breeze. Near to this, there is another valley named Katao, sparsely covered with poppy, primulas, and rhododendron. If one desires to get acquainted with the native culture and tradition of Sikkim, one can visit Lachung village which is just 24 km away from Katao.

Best Time to Visit & Experience Yumthang Hot Spring: Best time to visit Yumesamdong Valley & Hot Spring is from March till May. During this time, being mostly covered with snow the place remains accessible through clear roads.

Distance from Gangtok: 172km (8hrs approx.)

Other attractions near YumeSamdong: Zero Point, Yumthang Valley, Thangu, Chopta Valley, Mangan, Phensang Monastery, Green lake, Gurudongmar Lake, Singhik, etc.

 

Some of the Best Accommodations According to the Places

 

  1. Bon Farmhouse (Ralong & Borong)

 The resort has five rooms in total which are categorized as Log House Suite, Farmhouse Suite, and Family cottages. All the living units have attached bathrooms, and have wooden furnishings done with local pine wood. 

  1. Banalata Homestay (Reshi Hot Spring) 

The homestay is located just at the river bed and offers a full view of the Rishi river. The homestay has a dining facility of its own. In the evening the staff and the host all together arrange for a bonfire (depending on the availability of woods). They also arrange for local sightseeing, the rooms are all wooden furnished with attached bathrooms (all western type).

  1. Etho Metho Resort (Yumthang Hot Spring)

Etho Metho Resort, Lachung is a 21 room boutique resort providing reasonably priced, comfortable, clean accommodation paired with great food and friendly, professional service at 9600 ft. It features a restaurant, bar, a shared lounge, and garden in Lachung. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a sun terrace. The accommodation provides karaoke and room service. A luxurious stay in this hotel will make your holiday worthwhile. 

  1. Summit Alpine Resort (Yume Samdong Hot Spring)

Warm Himalayan hospitality is the motto that drives Summit Hotels & Resorts. The hotel in Lachung is known for its non-compromising attitude when it comes to the comfort of the guests. The hotel staff and management are always at your service ensuring that you enjoy every minute you spent at the hotel. The hotel offers Premium Rooms with a range of amenities making it one of the best spots for accommodation in Lachung. A large area that gives visitors to roam around and get the best view of the entire North Sikkim mountain range including Mt. Kanchenjunga. The garden area is the best place to hang out and spend the best of your time. This resort comprises a total of 9 premium rooms.

 

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.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Go online and book your tickets and let us here at WeCare Holidays assist you to book your escapade into the arms of nature.

 

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