Adventure in wonderland is what Sikkim is known for
5/31/2017 4:33:44 PM
|written By : Maya Tsering Bhalla|
Sikkim is a biodiversity hotspot, nestled in the heart of the Eastern Himalayas in the North-east of India. In addition to being named India’s first fully organic state in 2016 and being lauded the world over for its exquisite beauty, Sikkim is a haven for Village Tourism, which combines the features of Nature, Culture, Adventure and Pilgrimage to offer a complete package to the tourists visiting the state. Within this umbrella of tourism, those looking for an authentic experience can do so through homestays. Of course, one must bear in mind that you’ll need to be prepared to “rough it out” a little – that is to say, forget modern city life, your phone and having a regular supply of running water – and embrace the experience.
One of the most popular homestay destinations is Dzongu in North Sikkim. It is the homeland of the Lepchas – who are known as the original inhabitants of Sikkim, hailing from Tibet. They refer to themselves as “Rongkup” – ‘children of the snowy peaks’. Dzongu is almost completely homogenous and like most other Lepcha communities, the peoples centre their livelihoods around the great Khangchendzonga and its associate peaks. As one would expect, the homestay experience in Dzongu is unparalleled.
If you’re planning a trip to Dzongu, Tenzing’s homestay is a must-visit. This bucolic homestay, like most homestays in and around Sikkim, is rustically comfortable and spotlessly clean, with four newly built guestrooms, a large covered terrace where splendid meals are served and a communal bathroom. Other popular destinations for homestays in the North include villages like Tingchim, Kabi and Lachen, each offering a unique option to experience life like the Bhutia, Lepcha, Sherpa and Tamang communities who inhabit them. In the South, village Lingee Payong, tucked away in the lap of the Mainam Wildlife Sanctuary, with the grand Teesta River flowing below it, is a nature paradise for tourists and the homestays offer warm, native hospitality.