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Located amidst the spectacular Himalayas and one of the least populated states in India, Sikkim is a charismatic place to explore. This landlocked stunning state is bordered by Nepal to the West, Bhutan to the East, Tibet to the North, and Bengal to the South. While scores of people book flight tickets to India and come to explore this scenic state, not many are aware of the extraordinary albeit lesser known facts about Sikkim. Here’s a list of interesting facts about Sikkim to keep in mind when you next visit this remarkable place.

1. Weather

One of the most interesting facts about Sikkim is its peculiar weather. Despite seasons, you never know what to expect here. For instance, it may rain in the morning and may snow that very afternoon! Its unpredictable weather is what adds to the uniqueness of Sikkim. Hence, when visiting the place on cheap last-minute flights, ensure to always carry an umbrella when sightseeing as rains often come unannounced and out of season. However, having said that, Sikkim is still one of the best places to visit despite its whimsical weather.

2. Tsomgo Lake

Also known as Changu Lake and located east of Sikkim, Tsomgo Lake is a spectacular glacial lake and one of the top attractions in the region. One of the most interesting facts about Sikkim’s Tsomgo Lake which is frozen during the winter is that there’s a strange story behind it. It is believed that long back, an old woman was warned in a dream that the village that existed here would drown. But no one gave heed to her warning and she was the only one that left the village. Sure enough, the entire village drowned but for the old woman.

3. Prayer flags

While you may have seen the vibrant prayer flags put up outside homes and along the way in Sikkim, the reason behind the use of these is among the lesser-known facts about Sikkim. They are thought to bring prosperity and happiness with the five colors of the flag representing five basic elements: green - water, yellow - earth, white - air, red - fire, and blue - space. Another of the interesting facts about Sikkim’s prayer flags is that balancing the elements they represent brings harmony to the environment and health to the body.

4. Hot spring

Adding to the uniqueness of Sikkim is a natural hot spring located in Lachung right before the Chumthang Valley. The existence of the hot spring is one of the most interesting facts about Sikkim that not many people are aware of. Located on top of a mountain, the hot spring is accessible to all free of charge. Being a cold location, a dip in this remarkable and welcoming hot spring is all you need to keep you from freezing on your way to Chumthang Valley or Zero Point.

5. Transportation

Transportation is a tricky thing in Sikkim. One of the most interesting facts about Sikkim’s transportation is that it is among the most challenging ones around. While public transport is basically non-existent, you can avail taxis and cars for hire at reasonable rates. Among the most interesting facts about Sikkim’s transportation if you are traveling up north is that you can actually opt for camel rides to the region. Although an offbeat mode of transportation, a camel ride offers a unique perspective of the picturesque surroundings.

6. Shopping

Book cheap business class flights and fly to Sikkim if only to shop here! Lal market and MG market are the two most famous shopping areas in Gangtok. One of the most interesting facts about Sikkim when it comes to shopping is that there is another incredible market to shop at which most people are unaware of. This market comes along on the way to Tsomgo Lake and offers a wide variety of items such as jackets, cardigans, mufflers, warmers, gloves, boots, beanie caps and much more at unbelievably cheap rates.

7. Food

One of the most curious and interesting facts about Sikkim’s cuisine is that people here generally prefer to eat simple and less spicy food. Popular dishes of “Thukpa” and “Gyathuk” are actually noodles in a plain but delicious vegetable stew. Another of these interesting facts about Sikkim when it comes to food is that you will find potatoes in just about every dish as they are grown locally in large quantities here. “Momos” are highly popular and found just about everywhere. With such amazing things to offer, Sikkim is truly one of Northeast’s fantastic places to visit.

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