Sikkim is a beautiful destination, situated at the foot of Mount Kanchendzonga and boasts of an unexplored beauty In the North East of India. The second smallest state in the country is tucked away in the lap of the magical Himalayas, its beauty and mesmeric charm is the wonder of this small place. It is a unique hill stations in India that draws not only Buddhist pilgrims but also tourists and married couples from distant part of the world. Often it is visited for its cultural fusion and tradition as well as it is hideout for couples and a mighty stopover for trekkers and adventurers. Gangtok offers some of the world’s high altitude tranquil lakes as well as the route this hill station one can reach the mighty heights of Nathula Pass, which is dubbed as the Silk Route between India and China. During its peak season places to visit in Sikkim Gangtok is from September to June, which draws attraction for many tourists.
Scenario of Sikkim’s Climate:
The state has five seasons which has its vibrant different beautiful paradise winter, summer, spring, autumn, and a monsoon season between June and September. Sikkim climate ranges from sub-tropical in the South to tundra in the North. Most of the Sikkim inhabited regions experience a temperate climate, with seldom exceeding 28 °C (82°F) in summer. The average annual temperature for most of Sikkim is around 18°C (64°F).
The climate in Sikkim in the months of September and October is cordially mild and pleasing. The temperature during this time of the year ranges from 15 degree and to 20 degree and offers spectacular foliage. Temperature drops to 12 degree during the months of November, and the temperature in Sikkim in the month of December and January ranges between 2 degree and 8 degree, which is a freezing cold. The ideal time when one can find and discover their ideal holiday places to visit at the best time for Sikkim tour.
Winter (December to February)
It is extremely cold in Gangtok and can be very cold, particularly early in the mornings and at nights. Average temperature is around 4°C. Although snowfall in Gangtok town itself is not common, the routes to high altitudes places from Gangtok like Tsomgo lake and Nathula Pass often get closed due to heavy snow. The fog is also the problem during winter (particularly in February), you can find white blankets of mist blocking the views.
Monsoon (July to September)
In this season you can see continuous rains or cloudy sky. This is the time when there is landslides taking place cutting off routes. The month of July sees heaviest rains, best cultural festival are held during this monsoon. Tourists avoid Gangtok at the time of winter and monsoon as some of the adventurers activities are closed during this time, but the demand is still high as tourist also prefer to visit at the times when hotel and tour rates also get slashed during these periods.
Spring (March to April)
It is a great time when there will be chill in the air but still very pleasant throughout the day. It is the great time to view Kanchenjunga as the sky remains clear. This is a great time for sightseeing and adventure activities.
Summer (May- June)
Temperature hovers around 22°C, but during the day time it gets quite warm overall it remains quite comfortable. You need to wear light sweater at night and tourist pour in during the school summer vacation. I personally as well also visited during the time of my school days when I too was having my school vacation where I found myself the pleasant weather of Sikkim with all other adventures sport activities. So lots of tourist rushes during this time come around for sightseeing tours as well as adventures sports activities like white water rafting. Due to the high rise of demands of hotels taxi tour rates also goes high up soar. But sometime you may not always get the clear sky view and great views of now peaks, can also been seen short showers.
Autumn (October to November)
One of the best time to visit Sikkim and its beauty of other surrounding places is at this time where the weather is extremely pleasant although it starts getting a bit cold in November and you will need warm clothes if you visit in November. Excellent time for sightseeing and fun activities a big plus is the clear sky and the beautiful views.
Snow and Ice at Gangtok
Gangtok as the Indian state of Sikkim situated above the sea level which is a perfect hill station with mild-temperature climate throughout the year, views of the Himalayas ; Buddhist monastery ; Hindu Temples; nearest focal point to Nathula pass (India-China border) and Changu Lake (also called Tsongmo Lake). The best time to see snow is from December to end of April is the high time to see the snow. Reason for you visiting the particular place Gangtok is the Nathula pass which would be covered by snow.
Sikkim Weather & Best Time to Visit
One of the places in the North Bengal and North East India, Sikkim too faces the extremes of winter and monsoon. As discussed above the places best time to visit summer (April-May) and autumn (October-November), are quite pleasant and best for the views with clear sky.
1. Tsomgo Lake, Baba Mandir and Nathula Pass:
It is at the altitude of 12,310ft, lovely glacial Tsomgo (Changu) lake which is surrounded by mountains freezes during the winter, and the best time to visit the place is from December-May, where we can also feel the snow Ice. Along the route continued you can also visit Baba Mandir, a temple built and reserved on the Indian soldier who dies here long back but his soul is believed to be still guarding the Indo-China border. To the famous Nathula Pass located at 14,140ft forming the trade route with Tibet co-located with the Chinese border.
2. Lachung, Yumthung & Zero Point Tour from Gangtok:
An excellent trip to North Sikkim with an overnight stay which includes the mountain village Lachung offering lovely views of mountains, the spectacular valley of flowers featuring varieties of rhododendrons in different colours know oa Yumthang and the snow covered Zero point. Tourist visitors annually between March to May because the forest department holds an international Rhodendron festival and it is the peak flowering season. In such a cold climate, this surprisingly natural warm water comes as a pleasant surprise.
3. Lachen & Gurudongmar Lake Tour from Gangtok:
Located in the North Sikkim at an altitude of 8,838ft with about 250 village families and few hotels & small shops. A beautiful valley located in between Lachen and Gurudongmar which gets covered with flowers in spring and with snow during winter. All tourists visiting Gurudongmar Lake stay at Lachen overnight before proceeding to the lake.
4. Pelling- A Small Hill Town in West Sikkim:
Pelling a small hill town in Western at an altitude of 6,800ft, offering spectacular views of the snow peaks of Kanchenjunga apart from many other attractions including old monasteries, lovely lakes and landscapes, waterfall etc. The popular “Kanchenjunga Festival” is held at pelling every year in December. Best time to visit Pelling is in the month of September to November to get views of Kanchenjunga snow peaks. Temperature remains pleasant during March to May, and during both this periods it get quite cold at night and early mornings. February/March, Chaam dance takes place at Pemayangtse Monastery.
Namchi-a Great Place for Cultural & Religious Tourism:
It is an excellent place for cultural and religious tourism located in South Sikkim. This place has been developed keeping in mind the devotees and those who are religious minded. Namchi meaning ‘Sky High’ is located at an altitude of 5,500ft. March to May is a good time to visit when the temperature remains moderate and comfortable and is usually no rains during this time. Good time to visit the places is in the month between September to November.
Zuluk and the Historic Silk Route:
Zuluk also spelt as Dzuluk is a tiny village settlement at an altitude of 10,100ft. Located in the lower Himalayas of Eastern Sikkim on the historical old silk which once connected India with Tibet. A great place for sunrise views over Kanchenjunga is Thambi Viewpoint which is about 14Kms from Zuluk.