Tripsy – B2B Consolidator for East and North East India
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A little Background

Historically Sikkim was an Independent kingdom under the monarchy known as Namgyal Monarchy. In 1975 the popular demand for setting up a democratic set up ended in Sikkim becoming the 22nd state of India. It is also the last independent state to subsume into India. Since then a democratic government has been running the affairs of the state and Sikkim has been in a continuous path of growth and development in all fronts.

Tourism in Sikkim

Till the 1980’s Sikkim was mostly inaccessible to general tourists. Since then tourism in Sikkim has progressed by leaps and bounds. The most popular destinations of tourist attraction in Sikkim include Gangtok, Pelling, and Lachung (North Sikkim). Additionally Lachen in North Sikkim and Ravangla and Namchi in South Sikkim have also gained prominence. There are many other smaller tourist destinations in the state that promote village tourism, homestay, eco-tourism, and other such ideas.

Sikkim and Darjeeling are often clubbed together as a common tourist circuit. The most common tourist route is Darjeeling - Gangtok - Pelling - Kalimpong and Darjeeling - Gangtok - North Sikkim.
For the adventure lovers, Sikkim offers plenty of choices, the most popular trek is the one to Dzongri Goechala in west Sikkim. Rafting, Paragliding, Mountain biking, motorbiking, etc. are other common adventure tourism activities in the state.

Tour Operators perspective

Tour Operation in Sikkim is different from other places. It is difficult to ensure the same standard of service in Sikkim, that you may come to expect in other major destinations in India or abroad. The situation has definitely improved over the years, but still, there is a scope of development and growth. Due to several factors, tour operators find Sikkim one of the most difficult places to operate in.

The first issue you have to remember is the restriction on travel in Sikkim. There are different permit requirements for different places depending on nationality. For Indian tourists, the restrictions are less compared to foreign nationals, even for Indian tourists there are several permit requirements. As a travel agent, you must be aware of these permit requirements and support us with the necessary documentation.

The second area of problem is transportation. There are several restrictions in vehicle movement in the region. One district vehicle may not be allowed to travel to another district and there may be a requirement for change of vehicle on a daily basis. Although our operations team is trained and well equipped to handle such a situation, guests who are not communicated about this problem in advance often find the regular vehicle change uncomfortable. Due to this change, the number of vehicle and drivers used by ground handling agents like us is also very high and it becomes difficult to keep a track on all the drivers.

There has been a great improvement in hotel standards in Sikkim over the last couple of decades. You can get 5 star or equivalent service in some of the major destinations in Sikkim now. Yet the cost of accommodation in Sikkim is relatively higher compared to other major destinations in India or abroad.

Duration of a typical leisure tour

A typical leisure tour normally covers the region in 5 to 15 days. Most common tours are of 7-10 days duration.

Place Typical Tour Duration
Darjeeling 2 to 3 nights
Kalimpong 1 to 3 nights
Gangtok 3 to 5 nights
Pelling 1 to 2 nights
North Sikkim 2 to 4 nights
Note: The list is meant to help travel agents to plan a tour. It is indicative only

Getting There

From Distance Time (approx)
New Jalpaiguri / 
Bagdogra Airport / 
Siliguri Town
115 km 3.5 hours
Darjeeling 100 km 4 hours
Pelling 110 km 4 hours
Kalimpong 80 km 3 hours

Accommodation for tourists

Gangtok offers a wide variety of hotels. At Tripsy, we offer 8 different categories of hotels starting from Budget to Heritage properties. The total number of hotels we work in Gangtok is close to 50,

Districts of Sikkim

The state is divided into four districts; South, West, East, and North.

The South district consists of relatively low altitude tourist destinations. The more popular among them is Namchi and Ravangla. 

The West district is popular for its proximity to Kanchenjunga. Although Mt. Kanchenjunga and other peaks of the range can be seen from throughout the region, the Mt. Kanchenjunga is located close to Dzongri and the Kanchenjunga base camp is also in the state. Pelling, Geyzing, Yuksom, Rinchenpong, Hilley, Varsey, Hee, Barmiok, Tashiding, etc. are common tourist destinations of West District.

In the East district, the most famous tourist destination is the Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Common tourist day visit destinations Tsongo lake, Baba Mandir and Nathula pass also falls in this district. There are several new tourist destinations coming up in the district including Dzuluk, Memenchu, Aritar, Rishi, etc.

The North Sikkim is famous for its high altitude rhododendron sanctuary and the beautiful snow-capped mountains. Lachung and Lachen are the two main points for an overnight stay. From Lachung a day visit to Yumthang valley and the from Lachen day visit to Gurudongmar lake and Chopta valley are memorable experiences.

Entry Formalities

Indian tourists do not require any prior permission to enter into Sikkim. All foreign national require ILP to enter into Sikkim. Tripsy will assist you regarding the arrangement of the ILP for your guests. The ILP is issued for a period of 30 days which can further be extended for another 30 days.

Pakistan, China, and Myanmar nationals need special permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs (New Delhi) to enter Sikkim. Bhutan nationals do not require ILP to enter into Sikkim.

Bangladesh Nationals were not allowed to enter Sikkim without the special permit, but the rule has been amended in 2018 and Bangladeshi nationals can now enter Sikkim like any other foreign national.

Special permits are required to visit many parts of Sikkim such as North Sikkim and Nathula, Tsongo lake area. These permits are also arranged by Tripsy.

Following is the list of places that can be visited by Foreign nationals in Sikkim

I. East District
i. Gangtok-Penlong-Tinjure-Rumtek/Martam
II. North District
i. Gangtok-Chungthang-Lachen-Thangu
ii. Mangan-Lingzia-Shabrung-Tholung Monastery-Kisong (except Yabok)
iii. Mangan-Lingzia-Sakyong-Royot Patam (except Gochala)-Dzongri-Yoksum
iv. Yumthang-Phuni-Phunichoka-Tarum Chachu-Chunbgthang
v. Dikchu-Phodong-Labrang-Namptam-Mangan-Maling-Singhik-Samartek-Chungthang
vi. Lachung-Yumthang-Yume-Samdong
III. South District
i. Sirwani-Temi-Damthang-Tendong-Namchi
ii. Damthang - Tendong - Damthong - Rabangla - Maenam - Yangaang - Singchuthang - Sirwani
iii. Rabangla - Maenam - Borong -Tashiding
iv. Kewzing - Rayong - Tinkitam - Legship 
IV. West District
i. Yuksom - Dzongri (except Gochala)
ii. Yuksom - Dzongri - Thangsing-Lampokhri
iii. Uttarey - Chewa Bhanjang - Dhond - Garakhet - Oktak - Dzongri
iv. Hilley - Versay - Singalila - Chewabhanjang
v. Hilley - via - Sombarey - Versay - Soreng
vi. Hilley - Versay - Dentam
vii. Pelling - Sangcholing - Khecheperi - Yuksom - Dubdi - Sinon - Tashiding.
i. Tsomgo Lake in East Sikkim (day visit only)
ii. Mangan, Singhik, Toong, Chungthang, Lachung, and Yumthang (for 5 days only)

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About Tripsy

The journey started more than a decade ago when a financial consultant, a social activist and a biology researcher came together to start a business in tourism that none of them knew about. But travel is something they loved and enjoyed, and so they decided to change the paradigms in their own way. And they remarked “travel is more than a profession, it’s a passion”. Read More [+]

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