Spirited Sikkim – The 5 Senses Trip

Spirited, yes that is the perfect word for Sikkim. While a Sikkim tour sounds very offbeat and quaint, it’s much more than that. The gorgeous trekking trails, mystic lakes, prayer flags that set the very sky aflutter and those thousands and thousands of butter lamps. Sikkim is sheer love, with such infinite energy that spirited is just the word for this state.


While we have already flitted across the very gorgeous Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala and many other places in the 5 Senses Trip Series, there’s nothing that can beat Sikkim. Just nothing. Let me dissect it all for you, sense by sense!


A Touch For The Soul

Photo Courtesy – myhimalayas.com

Some trips change you for life. Much more than a vacation as we might call those. Plan a tour to Sikkim and you’ll know what I mean. While you listen to the lamas chanting at Tashiding and Pemayangtse monastery, you might find the silence that you have been looking for. And if that read too spiritual to you, the sheer simplicity of its people will tug at your heart strings. Book a home stay and you’ll know what it feels like to snap out and away from the world that’s a tad too fast.


Some Tingle For The Tastebuds

Photo Courtesy – researchingparis.wordpress.com

Steamed and fresh might sound to be bland, but there’s a good side to it. Sweeping away the “healthy” reason and popular assumptions, Sikkim’s cuisine is much more than steamed. A strong Nepalese influence is evident, with the oh-so-delicious ningro, thukpa, gudruk, chaang and, of course, momos making for just some of the options on the menu. Butter tea? Ah, I’m still wary of it. But you got to try it, for the sake of some tingle!


Sighs For Your Sight

Photo Courtesy – bushahrtimes.com

A tour to Sikkim is like a feast. More for the eyes. So much so that you’ll find it tough to fall asleep (I couldn’t for the fear of missing a sight!). There’s the ever fascinating Lachen and the really offbeat Dzongu. Somewhat off the tourist circuit, you have the mirror-like lakes, including Gurudongmar (in summers when it’s not frozen). Then, there are the awe-inspiring monastic dance ceremonies to lose yourself to. Read photographers’ alert.


A Whiff From Heavens

Photo Courtesy – namchitaxi.in

If the Himalayan winds are not enough to take your breath away, head off straight towards the Temi Tea Gardens. A fascinating place, supposedly India’s best and the only tea garden in Sikkim, it’s a refreshing change. Home to India’s best tea, you can’t call a Sikkim tour complete without a cup of tea from here. One rule, before you take a sip – stir it six times, thrice clockwise, thrice anti-clockwise.


Then, take the cup and a whiff. Now you can taste it. Never mind, I made the “stir rule”. Still, you got to take a whiff of it.


Guitar & Drums, Music Anyone? 

Photo Courtesy – Shuvamguha

Unlike much of India, Sikkim is quite hip when it comes to music. Inspired much by the Western school of music, Sikkim buzzes alive with guitars and drum beats. And if you’re searching for a place to join in the fun, you really don’t need to scour much. Almost every pub and food joint here, especially in Gangtok, has people swooning to live music. Most of these invite travellers for live sessions, and in all probability, you might find yourself strumming on a leisurely evening at one of the pubs. Go, swoon. 


With that musical note for a perfect end, I’m now off to plan another one of such 5 Senses Trip. Suggestions, comments, tips, any insight is welcome. Just pitch in with some words in the comments section below, and I’ll be happy to read it all.


Till then, happy travelling.


About the Author


Shikha Gautam loves to play with steering wheels, roads, words, flute and guitar among other things. Not necessarily in that order! You can contact her on twitter @ShikhaGautam