5 Facts About Sikkim Every Responsible Traveller Should Know! header image

5 Facts About Sikkim Every Responsible Traveller Should Know!

Explore the True Culture of Sikkim

Santa Nibedita

Santa Nibedita

Volunteer Writer

A destination with growing popularity, anyone who has been to Sikkim will have only good things to say about the people, the local culture, and the scenic beauty. If you’re a responsible traveller who loves to travel slow, you're sure to love each and every moment you spend here. Sikkim is famous not only for its scenic beauty but also for its age-old traditional culture that the local people of Sikkim embody in their day-to-day activities.

As the state is a part of the Himalayas, the area has a dramatic landscape that includes 8,586m tall Kangchenjunga along with glaciers, alpine meadows, thousands of varieties of wildflowers on sloping mountainsides, with gushing streams and rivers running across the terrain. The entire state can be divided into four regions: East, West, North, and South Sikkim. Each zone has a distinctive landscape and culture. 

  • East Sikkim has a more modern feel with its capital city Gangtok and Nathula Pass.
  • West Sikkim offers sweeping views of the Himalayan range. 
  • South Sikkim is the religious hub teeming with monasteries and temples.
  • North Sikkim has high-altitude lakes and valleys.

Plastic Ban in Sikkim; Image Source - India Times

Here are a few things you probably didn't know about Sikkim!

1. Nestled in the Himalayan region, Sikkim shares borders with Nepal in the west, China in the north, and Bhutan in the east, making it a melting pot of ethnicity and cultures. Whether there are 9 local languages that are spoken by the community or a fusion of various cuisines, one can truly feel the diversity and the cultural shift. 

2. The Lum Village lies hidden in the Lower Dzongu region in North Sikkim. Existing about 50 km away from the bustling town of Gangtok, Lum remains a completely secluded destination. The Dzongu Region is a declared reserve of ‘The Lepcha Tribe’ and one needs special permission to enter here. You can visit the beautiful locally run homestays in the village to experience the local tribal culture. 

People of Lum Village: Image Source- NotOnMap

3. Bound by its unique policies, the entire state has shifted to organic agriculture. Sikkim is known as the first organic state in the whole world. It is also the first state in India to be plastic-free by 2022 owing to its sustainable tourism practices. If you love to travel, make sure you’re conscious not to use plastic in any form, whether in Sikkim or anywhere in the world.

Image Source: https://www.lifegate.com/sikkim-first-organic-state-india

4. There are some locations in Sikkim such as Tsomgo Lake, Nathula, and Yumthang that share international borders and thus require a special permit known as Protected Area Permit. Unless you are Indian, another permit known as Inner Line Permit issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India is required by foreigners to enter the state.

Tsomgo Lake: Image Source- https://www.esikkimtourism.in/tsomgo-lake-in-january/

5. Home to the snow-capped Kanchenjunga, one can experience the panoramic views in Pelling, a small mountain town that offers waterfalls, monasteries, and villages shared with Nepal. 

Sikkim is beautiful when it comes to natural landscapes. But if you want to explore the true essence of Sikkim, you need to dive deep into its culture. And you can do that only if you explore the village life experience together with the locals themselves. Lum Village is a great offbeat and remote rural destination in Sikkim that you won’t experience anywhere else in the world. 

Come & explore Sikkim with us at NotOnMap, an offbeat rural travel company promoting sustainable and responsible tourism.

Santa Nibedita

Santa Nibedita

Volunteer Writer

Santa Nibedita is a rural development practitioner who works with marginalized women farmers in the poorest pockets of India on livelihood systems, governance, and gender. She is also an aspiring filmmaker who intends to explore the intersection of grassroots movements and cinema as a political discourse for resistance and transformation. She is currently working on her first documentary.