The Northeastern part of India is a beautiful place that holds a charm like nowhere else. If we’re being honest, the greenery surrounded by the snow-clad slopes of the Himalayas, and the quaint villages sprinkled across the terrain are almost magical. One state that is the essence of this charm is Sikkim.
It’s a shame that a state like Sikkim, so serene and quiet, yet so exciting and exquisite, is a well-kept secret at best. A majority of the state, outside of Gangtok, Pelling, and Ravangla aren’t known as tourist spots. So, we’ve curated a list of the best offbeat villages in Sikkim for you to check out if you take the off the beaten path!
Borong is a beautiful little village nestled about 5,800 ft. above sea level, in the southern part of Sikkim. This village is known for its idyllic sceneries and equally beautiful trails. In fact, Borong is a part of a few rather adventurous trails that start in Namchi and Damthang. If you’re in the know with the trekking community, you know how revered these trails are.
However, the pièce de résistance of this village isn’t on the move. It is in a very relaxing spot called ‘Borong Tsachu’ - a hot spring located on the banks of the River Rangeet. These hot springs are known to have high amounts of sulfur, giving the hot springs some healing abilities, as claimed by the locals.
Once you’re done taking a dip in these rejuvenating waters, you can enjoy the beautiful views of the humongous Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Siniolchu, Mt. Narsing, and Mt. Pandim from all over the village. Other than the natural beauty, Borong is also home to a couple of monasteries and a paper factory that still uses old Japanese methods to create paper!
Distance from Gangtok: 3.5 hours
A small hamlet located about 820 feet above the sea level on a hilltop in the West District of Sikkim, Tashiding is the perfect place for a recluse to hide in. Right besides Pelling, this hamlet isn’t as well known, but holds a treasure trove of things to see for every traveler that comes by.
Tashiding is a pilgrimage site with a monastery of the same name. The Tashiding Monastery was built in the 17th century and is still very important for the people of the Nyingmapa sect. As per their belief system, a visit to this monastery can purify one’s entire being.
After a visit to the monastery, you can visit the orange and cardamom orchards, or the neighboring monasteries of Hungree, Dubdi, and Sinon, or visit the Sinek Market to shop for Tibetan accessories and trinkets as souvenirs!
While there are only a handful of things to do in this village, they are exclusively exquisite in nature. The fact that all of these places and things have the beautiful mountain peaks and lush green forests as the backdrop might just make you want to move there permanently!
Distance from Gangtok: 5 hours
Also read: Himachal Pradesh Travel Guide
Located at a height of 5,905 feet, Hee Bermiok is the perfect stop to make if you’re in Pelling. This small heritage village in Sikkim resides at the confluence of Kalej and Reshi Khola. The main attraction here is the beautiful caves of Sirijunga Phuku. This cave has its root in the mythology around the area and is a definite must-visit.
About an hour away from Sirijunga Phuku is the Bermiok Bazaar. This is a small market-like area with a few hotels sprinkled on the sides of the road. This part of Sikkim has managed to keep itself away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger, more well-known tourist areas. The fact that you can find some breathing room away from the crowds is one of the biggest plus points of this place.
Speaking of serenity and breathing room, Bermiok happens to be adjacent to the Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. Varsey is a beautiful butterfly-shaped rhododendron that covers an area of 104 square kilometers, giving the sanctuary its name and beauty. If you are visiting, you must visit this place in the season of spring, when these Rhododendrons are in full bloom. Otherwise, you will also come across fauna like oak, primula, pine, and magnolia. On the other hand, you will also come across some four-legged, furry, and some feathered friends chattering in the sanctuary.
Distance from Gangtok: 6 hours
Also read: 11 Top Things To Do In Sikkim
Nestled at a height of 5,600 feet above sea level, Kaluk is a village that is rich with history, spirituality, and culture, and the variety in things to see in this hamlet is a very good evidence to the same. You will find places like Rabentse Ruins, Pemayangtse Monastery, and Singshore Bridge in close proximity to the village, making it totally worth your time.
Speaking of the village itself, you’ll see a very exclusive culture that is upheld by a local sect called the Lepchas. Owing to their efforts with farming in the area, and the abundance of natural beauty, Kaluk has become an up-and-coming destination for eco-tourism.
As a part of an eco-tour of the village, you can either walk the trails that surround the village, or experience adventure activities like mountaineering, yak safari, and boating in the Teesta river.
After you’re done with all the walking, running, or boating in Kaluk, you can book yourself a pretty hotel and gaze into the sceneries of the mountain peaks that surround the village. One thing to note is that this is one of the few places in the area that give you a 180° view of the mountain peaks. So, you’re definitely in for a visual treat in Kaluk!
Distance from Gangtok: 5.5 hours
Also read: 7 Monasteries In Sikkim That You Must Visit
Located between the towns of Pelling and Gangtok, Ravangla is the epitome of visual treats for people who want to stay in the company of everything beautiful, but away from the crowds. This village lies nestled amidst the hills of Tendong and Meanam. Other than the verdant greenery, Ravangla, often also spelt Rawangla or Ravongla, is home to Ralong Monastery. Moreover, there is a large statue of Buddha in Buddha Park.
One of the most iconic views in this village is one of the Buddha statue with the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga in the background. Speaking of mountains, this village also acts as the starting point to the trek that leads you to Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary. So, you can rest assured that you’ve got a wide selection of things to do during your stay.
After all the exploring, when you want to sit back and relax, you can visit the Temi Tea Gardens for a revitalizing cup of tea, or visit the Bonn and Ralong Monasteries, or take a dip in the Ralang Hot Springs! This village will offer you everything that you might want to experience in a Northeastern state, without needing you to go around a lot. Isn’t that great?
Distance from Gangtok: 3.5 hours
Also read: 5 Amazing Lakes In Sikkim
Located about 42 kms away from Gangtok, Singtam is another village that will be the perfect place to stop at and take a couple of days to relax. As soon as you get to the village, you’ll realize the uniqueness of this place - it has farmlands on one side and vast valleys on the other. This terrain makes it ideal for those who want to explore a lot on foot, but don't necessarily want to go trekking.
Speaking of walking, there are a lot of trails around Singtham that allow you to go birdwatching such as Kitam bird sanctuary. Singtham is also one of the largest marketplaces in the state of Sikkim. So, you can plan on visiting this village towards the end of your trip. That way, you’ll be in the perfect place to rid yourself of the lethargy of a long trip, and take care of getting souvenirs for yourself and the ones waiting for you to get something!
Distance from Gangtok: 4 hours
Also read: Adventure Sports In Sikkim
About 120 kms from Gangtok, Biksthang is a pristine village surrounded by pine and fruit trees, with no hint of commercialization. This village also offers one of the clearest views of Mt. Kanchenjunga that you can see from Sikkim. In fact, the idyllic nature of Biksthang, with the beautiful sceneries make it a great place to end your trip.
This hamlet is home to five different monasteries, aptly earning it the moniker of ‘hub of monasteries’. Other than that, there are a lot of easy trails for you to explore, which you can also go through on the back of a horse if you don’t want to walk. Speaking of horseback riding, you can easily find people who will take you to places like Lhentse Monastery and Rahu Ney Caves.
While there are these easy-to-visit places all around the village, this is one place that we would recommend you visit to actively do nothing. Literally, take your time and do nothing. The scenery, the crisp weather, and the friendly people will make you feel relaxed and happy.
Distance from Gangtok: 5 hours
Also read: Homestays In Sikkim
It is not much more than unfortunate that a state like Sikkim doesn’t have more cred as a vacation destination. Especially as one that allows you to walk out of the hustle and bustle of your daily life so easily. All the villages mentioned in the list above are places of immense beauty and that is largely because of how untouched they are. While we hope you get to explore these places and much more, we also pray that you leave the place just as beautiful as you found it, if not better. Cheers!
What Is The Most Beautiful Part Of Sikkim?
The town of Ravangla, and the valley of flowers in Yumthang are some of the most beautiful places in Sikkim.
How Many Days Are Enough For Sikkim?
If you’re planning on only visiting the famous tourist attractions in Sikkim, you can get through the entire state in 12-15 days. However, if you want to truly explore the beauty that this state has to offer, we recommend you to stay here for at least 20 days.
How Much Does A Trip To Sikkim Cost?
A trip to Sikkim can cost anywhere from INR 9,500 to INR 45,000, depending upon your choice of transport, accommodation, and the duration of your stay.
When Can We See Snow In Sikkim?
If you visit the state of Sikkim between the months of October to March (winter months), you can experience snowfall in few of the most serene places in the country.
Which month is Best To Visit Sikkim?
Why Is Sikkim Famous?
Sikkim is famous for many reasons. The biodiversity, the rich culture and heritage, and the fact that it is home to the tallest peak in India, and the third tallest in the world - Mt. Kanchenjunga.
What Food Is Famous In Sikkim?
There is a wide variety of dishes made with chicken, beef, pork, and fish that are famous in Sikkim. Locally fermented drinks like Arra and Chaang are also relished frequently in the state.
What Language Do They Speak In Sikkim?
In Sikkim, the locals speak Sikkimese languages such as Bhutia or Drenjongke.
Is Sikkim Worth Visiting?
Absolutely! From the mighty mountains in the background, to the waterfalls and the farmlands, this state is a treasure chest of sceneries and experiences. It is one place that you should absolutely visit!