Sikkim & Darjeeling

Small region - many opportunities

Sikkim is an extraordinary interesting travel destination. It doesn’t appear typically indian, it is more like a mixture of Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. The landscape is similar to Bhutan’s, also culturally they share a lot of similarities. Over the last decades there was a lot of Nepalese immigration taking place, so of course the small former kingdom absorbed a lot from its neighbor in the west. The connection to Tibet has been centuries-old, they connect through history, culture and religion.

And this small state is also home of one of the highest mountains in the world: Khanchendzönga – the world’s third-highest summit is located at the border between Sikkim and Nepal. It is a constant companion on every journey to Sikkim, you can’t avoid it – hence it is one of the most photographed subjects.

Darjeeling is only a stone’s throw from here and is perfect for a combined visit. The tea paradise has a vital colonial history and is a special mekka for mountain lovers

Mount Khanchendzonga

Read our blogpost

Khanchendzonga – Kangchendzonga – Kantsch

8586 meters high: Khanchendzonga. The third highest mountain in the world. The highest mountain of Sikkim and also India.

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Sikkim and Bhutan can be visited together, it makes a great combination of vacations!

Facts & Figures: Sikkim

Area: 7.000 km2

Capital: Gangtok

Population: 600.000

Religion: Buddhism and Hinduism

Beste time of travel: March-beginning June and October-November

Climate: Subtropical in the valleys, temperate zone above 1,000 m. Sikkim is strongly affected by the monsoon and is among the most humid regions of the Himalayas, therefore you should absolutely commence your journey outside of monsoon season (June-October).

Sikkim is one of the smallest states in India and is located at the southern side of the Himalayas between Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. The third-highest mountain of the world – the Khanchendzonga at 8,586m – is situated partly on Sikkim soil and is seen as a tutelary deity by the Sikkim population. The largest river in Sikkim is the Teesta.

Facts & Figures: Darjeeling

Area: 2.092 km²
In the State of: Westbengalen
Population: 1,8 Millionen (2011)

Best time of travel: March-beginning of June and October-November

The district of Darjeeling is part of West Bengal state and has a population of 1.8 million. At the same time Darjeeling has been a famous Hill Station and city popular with the British for its agreeable climate. Just like Sikkim, it is strongly affected by the monsoon and gets a considerable amount of precipitation – so the best travel time is the same as in Sikkim. In the west, Darjeeling is most famous for its aromatic tea which is grown on extensive plantations


Orchids in all shapes and sizes, plantations arranged in a terraced matter, snow-clad Himalayan ranges and friendly people – this and much more make a journey to this destination worth it in any case.

Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim and was spectacularly built onto a hillside. A must-see are: Enchey monastery, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Lal Bazar and its parks. Not far from Gangtok lies Rumtek, the largest monastery of the state and the seat of His Holiness the Karmapa – one of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism.

Yuksom was the first capital of the former kingdom and today is used as an important starting point for trekking tours and expeditions to the base camp of Khanchendzonga. The monastery of Pemayangtse is located near the city of Pelling and is one of the largest monastery sites of Sikkim – next to Rumtek.

Darjeeling is not only the world’s capital of tea, but home of the Himalayan Institute for Mountaineering and a very well-managed zoo (compared to other Indian zoos). Ghoom monastery is always worth a visit and the joyride on board the old British Toy Train brings exactly that: joy and some diversion.

Kalimpong: For us, personally, this city has a lot of flair, it has exciting architecture, many Buddhist temples and beautiful hotels that provide living history and bring you back to colonial times.



Everything is possible, you can book a jeep-safari, you can explore your surroundings on foot or go on a proper trekking tour. Yuksom is the starting point for many popular trekking tours, from here you can enter Khanchendzonga national park and admire the world’s third highest mountain at close range.

The Singelia-Trek starts in Darjeeling and is also very popular among visitors – you will have the most wonderful views of the surrounding mountain ranges.

If you are a friend of flora and fauna, you will get your money’s worth – orchids, ferns, various birds and butterflies are feeling comfortable in Sikkim. So, of course, that aspect attracts many nature lovers from all over the world.


Links & further Infos

The (very well-made) official site of Sikkim Tourism Department >>

The official Site of Darjeeling Tourism Department >>

The homepage of Darjeeling zoo >>

For railway fans: Information on the Toy Train in Darjeeling >>

Infos about Khangchendzonga-National Park >>

A journey through Sikkim in pictures

Photos by Roland Amon