In 1975, Sikkim became the smallest State of India.
Until then, it was a kingdom.
Sikkim is north to south appreciatively 70 miles and 40 miles east to west.
The people of Sikkim reflect an ethnic and cultural diversity. Along with the Lepchas
( so peaceful, there is no word for “war” in their language), are Bhutia , Hindu
Nepalis, and Indian .
Sikkim has only recently been opened to tourists. With Sikkim And Nepal Treks And
Tours (SANTAT) you can discover painted Buddhist monasteries, traditional Lepcha
villages, sacred lakes, trek routes etc...
Sikkim is a naturalist’s paradise noted for its vast varieties, 560, of orchids,
primeval forests of 40 species of rhododendron trees, and 100 exotic butterflies.
These mountains are also home to snow leopards, musk and barking deer, red panda,
blue sheep, 600 species of birds etc.. and probably the legendary Yeti!
To preserve Sikkim’s place ( most of the mountain areas in Sikkim have a fragile
ecosystem ) government restrictions regulate individual travel. This demands any
trekkers to obtain special permit to trek. Sikkim and Nepal Treks and Tours (SANTAT)
facilitates the necessary paperwork and logistics of such a trip.
Sikkim Permit : You need an ILP/ Sikkim permit to visit this area which can be applied
along with your Indian Visa at Indian Consulate/Embassy. Another way to get the ILP
is to arrive at Rangpo and get your ILP as you enter The permissible duration of
the stay for foreign tourists is 15 days initially.The State Government is authorized
to extend the same twice by a further period of 30 days (15 days each).
Trekking Permit : The Singalila and Dzongri Goecha-La trek are high altitude treks.
A special permit (which is available for certain specified area for groups consisting
of two , it depends , foreigners ) is needed to do theese treks,which have to be
booked through an Indian government accredited agency.
Accessibility to Sikkim: By plane
The nearest airport is Bagdogra (North Bengal) which is 124 kms away and about 4
hours drive from Gangtok and 95 kms and 3 hours drive from Darjeeling. There are
Indian Airlines and other private Airline services operating from Bagdogra linking
Kolkata, Guwahati and New Delhi.
By Railway The two nearest railway stations are Siliguri ( near Bagdogra) and New
Jalpaiguri where access to Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Lucknow and other important
cities in India is easy.