Weather Conditions in Sikkim
The Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim is a year-round holiday destination. However, it presents a different side of itself with every change in season. The fairly remote location already makes reaching Sikkim an adventure. But what a beautiful adventure it is!
Your travel experience will also differ based on the season. It will help you to be better prepared if you know the best time to travel to Sikkim. Your travel itinerary and the clothes you take along will vary depending on your travel dates. The summer will allow you to enjoy the serene side of Sikkim, while the winter snow presents the perfect opportunity for exhilarating adventure sports.
So, is there a single best time to go to Sikkim? We say any time is a good time to visit Sikkim, except maybe the monsoons. And that’s only due to the hazardous travel conditions. Here’s a handy guide to Sikkim’s weather conditions. You choose the best season to go to Sikkim depending on how you plan to enjoy this slice of paradise.
Generally, summer is considered the best time to visit Sikkim. Especially if you are travelling with children or seniors. The temperatures, though on the lower side, are not too extreme at either ends. This is the time when Sikkim emerges from under the extremes of the long winter months and blooms in a riot of colours.
This is the best season for trekking around Sikkim. The crisp temperatures coupled with bright sunlight are great motivators and will spurn you onwards. This is also a good time to take a road trip around Sikkim. The roads and mountain passes are free of snow and are easily negotiable. The orchids and rhododendrons are in full bloom and carpet the landscape and roadside with a profusion of colours.
Since this is the peak tourist season, expect crowds and higher rates. You will have to accommodate the longer wait times and the increased traffic into your itinerary. Even though it is summer, night-time temperatures can go as low as 5° C. Day-time temperatures hover around a pleasant 25° C. Dress in layers when you venture out on your explorations.
For the treks and the best of Sikkim’s touristy offerings, summer is the best time to visit Sikkim.
Monsoon has a rejuvenating effect on Sikkim. Though the rains start from May, July is the wettest month and the peak of monsoon in Sikkim. This is the best time to go to Sikkim if you enjoy rainy treks and foggy days. The fog is a constant companion during this season. Experience the magic of walking through a cloud as you enjoy the rains.
The waterfalls around Sikkim, replenished by the rains, are at their glorious best. The forest around Changu lake is teeming with wildlife. This is a great time for bird lovers to be around as you get to see many rare species of birds flitting about. However, it is advisable to stay indoors during the heavy rains. Mud slides are common during this season and it would be easy to get lost among the mountains as the days grow shorter.
Not many tourists visit Sikkim during this season as the roads turn slick and hazardous due to the rains. You can expect sparse crowds and lower prices all around. But you may not get the full Sikkim experience as it gets difficult to move around. Temperatures range between 4° C to 15° C. Carry your woollens and good rain gear. This is the best time to go to Sikkim if you want to spend some quality time with loved ones and enjoy good deals all around.
The coldest months in Sikkim welcome plenty of snow that takes over the mountains and the valleys. The white landscape, alien in its starkness, exudes a rare cold beauty that is a wonder to behold. Surprisingly, the temperatures rarely go below 0° in Sikkim. They range between 5° to 10° C. This is the best time to visit Sikkim if you want to enjoy the snow.
The cold rules Sikkim in winter. The Tsomgo Lake, thriving and vibrant in summer, completely freezes over. As you walk over the frozen lake, you can see the water beneath the ice, giving you the empowering feeling of walking over water. Like the lake itself, the ice catches the sky’s colour and faithfully mirrors its many moods.
A visit to the passes will unveil a spectacular beauty that will leave you breathless. Covered in snow, the Nathula pass looks like a sight from another world. The colourful monasteries stand out like carelessly strewn drops of paint against the white landscape. It is sights like these that make it worth your while to visit Sikkim in winter.
This is the coldest time of the year. Take your time to acclimatise to the thin, cold air. Carry your best woollens to enjoy all that Sikkim has to offer in winter. Do not forget to carry a pair of good sunglasses to protect your eyes against the snow’s glare. Do not venture out alone on treks or explorations.
Sikkim offers a different experience in each season. As such, there is no single best time to visit Sikkim. It is entirely up to you to decide. SOTC has a wonderful selection of Sikkim tour packages. Choose your season and get ready to enjoy this heavenly corner.