5 Things To Do In Sikkim On A Short Vacation

From gorgeous tea gardens to atmospheric monastery trails and a rich heritage of handicrafts. Sikkim has a lot to offer

Piyali Sen
July 31, 2023
5 Things To Do In Sikkim On A Short Vacation

The mystique of the Himalayan state of Sikkim is difficult to ignore, from the stunning monasteries to the culture and food. Its elevation ranges from 244 metres in the Teesta River valley to 8,540 metres at Mt. Kanchendzonga. Here are five things you should not miss out on.


Go On A Monastery Trail

Sikkim’s monasteries are repositories of Buddhist art and architecture. The murals on monasteries’ interior and exterior walls allow you to research the development of Sikkimese art. Everything you see in a monastery is artistic, from painted thangkas (scrolls) to beautiful masks and sculpted Torma (offerings). In some monasteries, thangkas and souvenirs depicting the sacred emblems are offered for sale as vacation souvenirs.

Shop For Handcrafted Items

Sikkim is a treasure trove of handicrafts. Visit the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms at Zero Point for traditional, handmade goods. Beautifully carved wooden screens, mirrors, clay and wooden masks, the eight lucky signs carved in wood, lamp stands, thangka paintings, handmade paper letter pads, choktse (foldable tables), dhaka choli and saree (traditional attire of Nepali women), Lepcha coats made with handwoven fabrics on loin looms, daka topis, ponchos, children’s dresses, and more are available here.

Pick Up Books By Local Authors

Located in the Development Area in Gangtok, Rachna Books is one of the best independent bookstores in India. They have won Publishing Next’s Bookstore of the Year award in 2015 -16 in the South East Asia category. Owner Raman Shresta carefully curates the collection – the shelf section on books on the Northeast has works by writers from the region of Sikkim, Nepal, and Tibetan history, culture, folklore, and arts. Other noteworthy sections are those on Southeast Asia, the collection of women writers, graphic novels, literary journals, and the classics collection (all from the Himalayan region). You might be able to attend a poetry slam, a movie screening, a music performance, or a shadow puppetry show.

Check Out The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology

One of the largest collections of Tibetan art outside Tibet is housed in this traditionally constructed building in Deorali. You can delve deep into a rich trove of Buddhist literature, manuscripts, figurines, and thangkas at their Museum of Tibetan Iconography, religious art, and the general reference centre on Tibet and the Himalayas. It was founded in 1958 to foster scholarly investigation of Tibetan and Mahayana Buddhism. In 1957, the 14th Dalai Lama placed the institute’s cornerstone and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru declared it open in 1958. The studios, library, study rooms, and conference rooms are all housed in a new structure. Antique Lepcha scripts, Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts, and other priceless works of sacred art are among the library’s extensive collections.

Take A Tea Garden Tour

You will seriously lose out if you do not visit the lovely tea garden of Temi Tea in Sikkim, especially in the winter when the cherry blossoms bloom. The 450-acre tea garden, established by the government of Sikkim in 1969, is the only one of its kind in the state and makes top-notch organic tea. The location is unique due to the road leading to the plant being lined with an exquisite collection of cherry blossom trees. You may enjoy a tea-tasting tour and learn the basics of the tea-making process at Temi Tea Garden, from picking the leaves to their final transformation into boxes holding three different kinds of tea—green, black, and white. You could also book a stay at the Dak bungalow here for a more immersive experience.

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