Sikkim is a state in northeast India, bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. Part of the Himalayas, the area has a dramatic landscape that includes India’s highest mountain, 8,586m Kangchenjunga. Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s.
There are many trekking destinations, with a popular starting point in the small, quaint village of Yuksom. From there, hikers can explore nearby monasteries, while expert mountaineers head to Goecha La, a base camp for those ascending Kangchenjunga. Snow-capped peaks are also part of the skyline in the capital, Gangtok, home to temples, monasteries and the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, displaying Buddhist texts and artefacts. Fambong Lho and Maenam wildlife sanctuaries protect rare birds and butterflies, plus red pandas, civets and leopards. Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary harbours hundreds of species of the flower.