Sitting at an elevation of over 12,300 feet, Tsomgo Lake is a glacial lake in Sikkim. Since the lake is located at a short distance of 40 km from the state capital, Gangtok, you must include this natural marvel in your itinerary to Sikkim. An absolute visual delight for spectators, Tsomgo Lake is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim in December. Stay in the most prestigious resorts in Sikkim and witness their hospitality and culture.
The lake, also popular as Changu Lake, remains frozen during the winter season due to extremely cold climate in the region and is an ideal place to visit here if you are visiting Sikkim in winter months. Owing to the great scenery the azure lake creates with snow-covered mountains in the backdrop, the lake finds its name among the most scenic high altitude lakes in the country.
Location: 40 km from Gangtok on the way to Nathu La Pass
Timing: Open 24 hoursEntry Fee: Entry is free
From gushing waterfalls to sprawling forests, from solitary monasteries to austere mountains, Gangtok offers a range of awe-inspiring things to do for visitors
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If you are on a search for the most picturesque sites in the state of Sikkim, Yumthang Valley is probably the best recommendation for you. The valley, also known as “Valley of Flowers,” boasts an average elevation of 11,700 feet, offering views of snowy Himalayan peaks.
While the green valley carpeted with wonderful flowers exhibits a vibrant foliage during the spring and summer seasons, white sheets of snow cover the entire region during the winter season, rendering the already beautiful landscapes surreal. There is also a hot spring available in the valley to ease your body of the extreme cold you will get to experience here during peak winter months.
Location: 140 km from Gangtok, North Sikkim
Timing: 8 AM to 5 PMEntry Fee: Entry is free
For a rejuvenating experience through the mountains and serene countryside of Sikkim, Gangtok Tour Package to make your spirit thrilled with excitement
This breathtakingly beautiful lake sitting at an elevation of 17,200 feet above the sea level is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim in December. Gurudongmar Lake located in North Sikkim is one of the highest lakes in the world. Encircled by snow-laden mountains, the blue waters of the lake make it a sight to behold and capture in your camera.
The lake was named in the honour of Guru Padmasambhava and is now believed to be sacred by the locals. There is also a small temple dedicated to the guru located on the site. It is believed that a part of the lake never freezes even during extremely cold days. Indo-Tibetan border lies pretty close from the lake.
Location: 175 km from Gangtok, Sikkim
Timing: Sunrise to SunsetEntry Fee: Entry is free
You can also check out our guide on the best places to visit in North East India on your trip.
Zuluk is a small hamlet claiming an elevation of approximately 10,000 feet, famed for its various offerings to the tourists visiting East Sikkim. Located close to Indo-Tibetan border, Zuluk is a great choice if you wish to spend a day or two in a soothing embrace of Himalayan Mountains.
Falling on the Silk Route, the village once served as a base camp for travellers travelling to Tibet for trade. Though you need a special permit to visit this area, the experience of breathing in the fresh aura of this place will give you lifelong memories. Some of the major places you can visit around Zuluk are Thambi View Point, Lungthung, and Tukla.Location: 90 km from Gangtok, East Sikkim
A river originating from Tso Lhamo Lake in the Himalayas, Teesta River flows across the states of Sikkim and West Bengal before it enters Bangladesh. The experience of river rafting on the volatile waters of the river makes for a treat for any thrill seekers visiting the state in the search of offbeat fun.
The lush green forests and small villages that border both sides of the river make the river appear even more appealing. Besides, you can also enjoy the fun of camping on the banks of Teesta River that will take you a hundred steps closer to pristine nature that thrives in the region.Location: Flows through Sikkim and West Bengal
Located ideally in the foothills of Himalayas, this pretty village named Kaluk is a place you should definitely visit to make your winter holidays in Sikkim special. Though the village is located at an elevation of barely 5,600 feet, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the world’s third highest peak, Kanchenjunga from Kaluk.
Away from the chaos of urban life and blaring cacophony, this tranquil ecotourism destination is a perfect place for rejuvenation in the lap of nature. If you are in Kaluk in the month of December, you can enjoy activities like nature photography, bird watching, and trekking. For a stay experience in this village, you can either book yourself a hotel or find a homestay which can be found here at reasonable rates.Location: Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, 115 m from Gangtok
An experience worth remembering, Dzongri Trek is one of the most sought-after adventure activities among the daredevils visiting the state of Sikkim in the month of December. Taking you through a wide variety of Himalayan forests thriving with trees of rhododendron, pine, oak, chestnut, and maple among many others, Dzongri Trek is an experience that delivers you the best of nature and adventure.
Commencing from Yuksom located at a height of 17,800 meters, the trail takes you to Dzongri View Point located at an elevation of 4,030 meters. You can enjoy the panoramic views of mighty Himalayan mountain peaks, namely Kanchenjunga, Rathong, and Kabru from here. The duration of this moderate level trek is 7 days.Location: Yuksom Village to Dzongri View Point
Mangan Music Festival
If you visit the state during the month of December, you must definitely attend this three-day grand music festival as it is held every year from 12th to 14th December. Mangan, located at a short distance of 52 km from the capital city Gangtok, due to this festival is among the best places to visit in Sikkim in December.
Known for its brilliant architecture, this beautiful Buddhist Monastery is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim in December. The monastery complex features a three-storeyed building where some rare relics and Buddhist religious artwork are on display.
Rumtek Monastery is perched atop a hill opposite to the state capital, Gangtok which makes it an important tourist spot. The site features vantage points from where some mesmerizing views of the beautiful town can be enjoyed. Apart from being a major religious place in the region, Rumtek Monastery is also a great place worth visiting by photographers.
Location: Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, 23 km from Gangtok
Timing: 6 AM to 6 PMEntry Fee: INR 10 per person
Yume Samdong Hot Spring
One of the must-have experiences, while you are in Yumthang Valley, is taking a dip into the hot water spring named Yume Samdong that will help you relax your muscles and soothe your soul. The hot water spring lies in Yume Samdong at a distance of approximately 24 km from Yumthang Valley and is close to Indo-China border.
If you are visiting the site in December, you can expect a lot of snow as far as your eyes can see as it boasts an elevation of 15,200 km. Though the climate here may get extremely harsh during the peak winter months, the warmth of the sulphur hot springs coupled with scenic vistas of the whitewashed Yumthang and Yume Samdong you will get to witness here is worth the pain.
Location: Yume Samdong, Near Yumthang Valley
Timing: 7 AM to 6 PMEntry Fee: Entry is free
Your trip to Sikkim in December is incomplete if you do not explore and spend some time at its small villages which will deliver a dual experience of cultural and natural extravaganza. One of the less explored stations in the state, Darap Village will render you enchanted with its scenic beauty and tranquil atmosphere.
The village is located at a distance of 8 km from Pelling and can be visited by road. While you are staying here, you can spend some memorable time taking early morning village walks, hiking to nearby places, sitting by streams, interacting with locals, or simply admiring the beauty of pristine nature here.Location: 8 km from Pelling towards the road to Yuksom
If you like to explore offbeat locations, you are going to Kecholpheri which is not known to too many tourists visiting Sikkim. Majorly popular among backpackers and photographers, Kecholpheri is among the best places to visit in Sikkim in December.
When visited during peak winter months, you can find this high altitude lake at its best, surrounded by Himalayan mountains hiding under plush sheets of virgin snow. The site can be included in your plans if you are planning to visit Yuksom and Pelling on your Sikkim visit.Location: Yuksom, Sikkim
With numerous visual treats on offer, Yuksom is one of the most sought after tourist destination in Sikkim, especially if you are visiting the region in the month of December. Since Yuksom has remained the ancient capital of Sikkim, the place enjoys a lot of tourist spots that will amuse you throughout your visit to this historical town.
What makes this place with alluring landscapes even more exciting is the views of snow-capped mountains that can be enjoyed from here. Though the month of December features extremely cold temperatures, Yuksom is located on an elevation of 5,900 due to which the cold here is bearable. Some of the must-visit sites here are Khecheopalri Lake, Kanchenjunga Falls, and Sanga Choeling Monastery.Location: Gyalzing, West Sikkim
A small Himalayan village located on a hill in Western Sikkim, Tashiding is counted among the most revered religious sites in Sikkim. As per a popular legend, the village is the central point of the holy places in the state. Hence, a lot of local devotees and local and foreign tourists frequent the village throughout the year.
The major attraction in the village is Tashiding Monastery that was found in the year 1641. The other places of interest here are orange orchards and cardamom plantations. One can travel to Tashiding from Yuksom as it is located at a distance of 16 km from the place. You can also partake in Bumchu Festival that is held here annually during the winter season.Location: 25 km from Gyalzing, West Sikkim
Add an essentially Sikkim flavour to your holiday experience by exploring this former capital city of the Kingdom of Sikkim. A place with a great importance in the history of Sikkim, Rabdentse was found by Tensung Namgya, the king of Sikkim in 1670 and remained the capital city till the year 1814.
The ruins of the palace and the chortens that once held an unmatched glory are located near the popular Pemayangtse Monastery and can be reached by trekking from the monastery. Whatever is left of the palace tells a lot about its magnificent architecture and the illustriousness of the kingdom. If you are a history buff visiting Sikkim, do not miss out on this amazing site.
Location: 2 km from Pemayangtse Monastery, West Sikkim
Timing: 8 AM to 5 PMEntry Fee: Entry is free
This monastery is one of the most prominent Buddhist Monasteries in the state of Sikkim, located at a distance of 110 km from the capital city, Gangtok and 2 km from the popular West Sikkim city, Pelling. If you are planning to visit the state during the winter season, this monastery is a great option of a tourist spot for you where you will get to learn about the Buddhist culture along with experiencing a sense of peace.
The architecture of this 300-year-old structure and the idols kept therein are definitely worth admiring. Besides, numerous paintings, ancient manuscripts and scriptures have also been stored here.
Location: Pemayangtse, 110 km from Gangtok
Timing: 9 AM to 6 PMEntry Fee: INR 20 per person
A popular tourist destination located in South Sikkim, the small town of Ravangla is full of surprises. Enjoying an elevation of 7,000 feet located on the foothills of Maenam Hills, Ravangla can be visited throughout the year. However, the picturesque town exhibits an unusual charm during winter months when the views of snow-capped mountains all around render the visitors speechless.
Whether you are on a solo journey to discover yourself or you are touring Sikkim with your better half, the place is ideal for all kinds of travellers. Some of the major tourist attractions in and around Ravangla are Shar Chok Bephu Cave, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, Ralong Monastery, and Ravangla Monastery.Location: South Sikkim
If you are a mountain lover who enjoys being in high altitude regions, Nathang Valley is a place you need to be while you are in Sikkim. Boasting a whopping elevation of 13,500 feet, Nathang Valley is located along the Silk Route and is often referred to as ‘Ladakh of Sikkim’. Once an abode of the yak herders who came from Tibet, this destination is off the beaten path, offering tranquillity in its purest form.
During the winter season, thick blankets of snow hide the scenic landscape of the valley. The fluttering prayer flags, the gushing water streams, and the towering mountains around – Nathang Valley is truly a nature lover’s paradise. The place also features a monastery, a temple and several trekking trails.Location: East Sikkim
Namgyal Institute of Tibetology
Unravel some interesting facts about the history and culture of the region by paying Namgyal Institute of Tibetology a visit while you are in Sikkim. The institute gives you an opportunity to learn all you wish to know about Sikkim and Tibetan culture apart from imparting the knowledge of art and language.
The complex stores paintings, coins, trumpets, etc. and features a library that has one of the greatest collections of Tibetan works. The institute was established in 1958, and has been a major tourist attraction in Sikkim. Enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the place with its presence is the image of Manjushri that was brought here from Tibet.
Location: Gangtok, SikkimTiming: 10 AM to 4 PM
Jawahar Lal Nehru Botanical Garden
Otherwise famous as a popular picnic spot and weekend getaway destination among the locals, Jawahar Lal Nehru Botanical Garden located in the state capital, Gangtok is among the greatest places to visit in Sikkim in December. The lush green expanse of the garden cradles within its ambit a variety of fauna species and is an ideal spot if you are a nature lover or somebody looking for an escape from the uproar of cities.
The garden offers a splendid view of Gangtok on one side and the breathtaking scenery of towering Himalayan peaks on the other side. You can either take a stroll in the peaceful environment or enjoy boating in the lake present inside the garden.
Location: Near Rumtek Monastery, GangtokTiming: 8 AM to 6:30 PM
Kangchengdzonga National Park
Another timeless gem on the list of the best tourist spots in Sikkim, Kangchengdzonga National Park is a high altitude wildlife park located in the realm of the Himalayas. The scenic offerings of the place in the form of high altitude lakes, verdant valleys and 19 colossal mountain peaks make it an interesting place for photography and exploration.
Furthermore, the wide range of exotic flora and fauna found here makes it an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts visiting the state. Owing to the rich biota housed by the park spread over an area of 849 sq. km, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in the year 2016.
Location: North Sikkim
Timing: Open 24 hoursEntry Fee: INR 200 per person
Experience Local Drink Chang
Taste the local beverage called Chaang while you are in Sikkim, and that will end up becoming the high point of your journey here. The drink is made by brewing rice grains, millet or barley, and is consumed in Sikkim and some parts of Nepal and Tibet as well.
The alcoholic drink is usually consumed by sipping from a pipe made of bamboo in a traditional fashion. Though Chaang is easily available at restaurants in Sikkim, if you face a hard time finding a good quality traditional style Chaang, you can ask a local and they will gladly guide you to the ecstasy.Location: Sikkim