Sikkim is the first fully organic Indian state and the land of monasteries, breathtaking natural beauty, warm people and Tibetan and Nepali cuisine. But since Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim is close to the China border there are certain permits that need to be obtained and vehicle formalities that need to be adhered to. Hence it is advisable to book your package from a reliable travel agency. I highly recommend Exotic Sikkim Tours & Travel. I booked my Gangtok trip through them and it went off very smoothly.
Exotic Sikkim is a Sikkim based travel agency that specializes in travel and tours in and around Sikkim, Darjeeling, the different parts of North East and Bhutan. I had my itinerary customized as per my preferences and on the first day experienced the ropeway which takes you from Nam Nang to Deorali and back. Once done, don’t miss the view from Nam Nang Viewpoint. The Sikkim Legislative Assembly is just around the corner. My taxi organized by Exotic Sikkim came dot on time and we drove to Chorten Stupa and Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.
One can pick up Tibetan handicrafts at the Institute’s gift shop or from the arts shop in front of the Institute. From here we headed to Rumtek Monastery and on the way stopped at Shanti Viewpoint where munching on vegetarian momos, onion pakodas and sipping hot coffee, you have Gangtok in the backdrop.
For shopaholics, the stalls near Rumtek offer reasonably priced souvenirs mostly from China. Rumtek Monastery itself is spiritually uplifting and it is worth spending some time in its tranquility. You can pay your respects, see happy monks, visit the Golden Stupa and buy religious items like prayer malas, incense sticks, singing bowls and thangkas here.
The next day was reserved for Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir. Nathula, one of the highest motorable roads in the world is 5 kms from Baba Mandir. You get permits for each depending on the weather conditions of the day on the same day in the morning itself. Once again the experienced and efficient team of Exotic Sikkim got my permit done.
All the permits of the day were issued just for Tsomgo lake as the weather was not favourable to proceed beyond the lake onwards to Baba Mandir. The drive itself is an eye opener to the hard life our Army and Border Roads Organisation brethren live. The beauty of Tsongo Lake cannot be described, you need to feel it for yourself. On the third day you can either drive or hike to Hanuman Tok and Ganesh Tok. Hanuman Tok has a revered Hanuman Mandir from where you can view Kanchenjunga on clear days. The flower exhibition centre showcases the myriad colourful flowers of Gangtok.
For handicrafts and handlooms shopping, you can visit the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms where apart from purchasing, you can get to see how weaving, wood carving, painting and soft toy making is done. There is a crafts museum on the premises as well. In the evening stroll on MG. Apart from the above, Exotic Sikkim Tours & Travel also arranges for excursions to Bhanjhakri Falls, Tashi Viewpoint, Gunzang Monastery, Bakthang Waterfalls and Casino visits in the evening.
Customizing itineraries is their specialty and they have a very wide range of programs, packages and services ranging from culture, history and monastic wonders to just some relaxing in the mountains. The travel agency has over 9 years of experience organizing travel arrangements for solo travelers, families, small and large groups, conferences and VIP groups.
Exotic Sikkim Tours & Travels
Mobile: +918170028211 / 18 / 28 / 27 / 13