Sikkim is one of the most offbeat yet beautiful states in India. With its pristine mountains, wildflowers and rich history and culture, this former princely state makes for one of the best destinations for tourists to visit. Places like Gurudongmar Lake and Lachung Valley not only give tourists and travellers alike something pristine and virgin to cherish, but Sikkim has now also slowly started entering the arena of adventure sports, turning this heavenly land into a paradise for thrill-seekers. From climbing its highest peaks to navigating through its fierce river waters, Sikkim should definitely be on your list if you’re looking for adventure activities in offbeat regions, far from the maddening crowd.
When it comes to the Indian Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are the forerunners and places like Sikkim are often overlooked. But being the home to the third highest mountain in the world- Mount Kanchenjunga, its thick snow cover and tall mountains make skiing in Sikkim the perfect dream come true. Recently Sikkim Mountaineering Association has introduced snow skiing at two destinations- Phuni in Lachung and Yumthangto slowly help get Sikkim the attention it deserves is one of the best skiing destinations in India.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Sikkim is during March.
With massive mountains and immense glaciers come beautiful winding, free-flowing rivers. These rivers are not only carriers of a whole different ecology, their gentle tides and ferocious rapids also give adventure tourism a huge boost with adventure lovers craving to get their paddles on! Sikkim’s River Rangit is a perfect balance of soft and hard rapids coupled with night camping on its beautiful sandy beaches, making it a haven for newbies and experts alike.
On the other hand, the River Teesta is known for its difficult grade rapids providing pure adrenaline high with its extreme and turbulent waters. The grade III and IV rapids going through Makha, Sirwani and Bardang, make rafting in Sikkim and unforgettable experience. The department of tourism along with other institutes in Sikkim provides many rafting packages fitting to individual needs.
Best time to visit:The best time to go rafting in Sikkim is from March to May
Imagine flying like a bird through the beautiful valleys and snowy mountains of Sikkim with the wind gushing in your hair and excitement under your feet. The best part is you don’t even need to practice for paragliding as you will have an instructor along with you. Some of the best places for paragliding in Sikkim are Baliman Dara and Bulbuley Dara near Gangtok. Another place is the Tashi viewpoint which is a high fly from where you can see the snow-covered Kanchenjunga ranges. There are many reputed paragliding institutes in Sikkim where you can find certified instructors to fly with you. This is definitely a ride you don’t want to miss!
Best time to visit: The best time to visit is throughout the year.
Known for its pristine nature- the clear water, dark green forests, red sunsets and pure air, it doesn’t come much as a surprise then that trekking in Sikkim is one of the best activities in the region. The Goecha La Trek is one of the best treks in Sikkim and is known for its breathtaking views of over 14 high mountain peaks including the mighty Kanchenjunga.
The Dzongri trek is known to have a picturesque trail with vibrant flowers and wild trees, whereas the Rhododendron trek is a treat to the eye with most of the trail decorated with massive rhododendron trees and the bright red flowers making your way to the top! The Kanchenchunja base camp trek, though one of the most difficult treks in the state, is worth the pain and grit for its breathtaking views of some of the highest peaks in the world! Some other trekking routes in Sikkim including Kasturi Orar round, Singalila, Silk route among many more.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Sikkim for trekking is throughout the year depending on the place you choose.
Home to the mighty Kanchenjunga, it is of little surprise that mountaineering in Sikkim is also a flourishing adventure sport. Although most expeditions in Sikkim require a permit, there are many still that are open for the general public to climb. Some of the most popular mountaineering expeditions in Sikkim include Freys Peak (5830 meters) in West Sikkim, Lama Wangden (5868 meters) and Brumkhangse (5635 meters) in North Sikkim and Mt Khangchendzonga (8586 meters), Mt.Kabru (7412 meters), Mt Siniolchu (6888 meters), Mt. Thingchinkhang (6010 meters), Mt. Jopuno (5936 meters) and Mt. Pandim (6691 meters) amongst many others. Most of these peaks need prior permission but it is worth the wait. There are also several mountaineering institutes in Sikkim which will help you train for mountaineering and help achieve a lifetime of experience.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Sikkim for mountaineering is from March to June and from October to December.
Isn’t it everyone’s dream to drive across the mesmerizing Himalaya? The ancient silk routes, alpine valleys, luscious green forests and breath-taking waterfalls throughout the journey makes it hard to take a pass at motorbiking. Sikkim routes are everything an adrenaline junkie craves for. There are many biking trails in Sikkim such as Gangtok to Ranka, Martam to Sirwani, Yuksom to Khecheopalri Lake which are sure to satiate the dreams of every motorbiker waiting to go on an offbeat, adventurous trail!
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Sikkim for motorbiking is throughout the year avoiding winters.
Not much was known of Sikkim apart from Gangtok for the longest of time until the state decided to open its doors to tourism and reveal all the beautiful secrets it had been keeping well all these years. There is now a sudden inflow of tourism in Sikkim- especially the northern part of the state, helping adventure sports in Sikkim grow manifolds as well. With tall mountains and a thick cover of snow every winter, mountain-based sports here are a hit. Other sports like paragliding and river rafting are also slowly gaining pace, giving all the more reason to the adventurer in you to go and explore this offbeat adventure destination!