Sikkim Weather in June

June marks the onset of the monsoon in the hills of Sikkim. The fog and sun play a constant game of hide and seek. One moment the mountains are shrouded in a veil of mist and the very next moment the mist gives way to the sun shining bright on rain-soaked forests that carpet the majestic hills. Though most tourists tend to avoid visiting Sikkim during monsoons, normal life goes on for locals in spite of the rains. In fact, the hills acquire a distinct charm of their own at this time of the year. Rivers and waterfalls are at their best during monsoons.

June is the perfect time to visit Sikkim if you want to avoid other tourists. Keep an open mind and enjoy the ever-changing weather of the hills. Equip yourself with a good raincoat, a pair of water-proof walking shoes and an umbrella—don’t let rain get in the way of you soaking in the beauty of monsoons in the Himalayas.

The Fluffy Sky of East Sikkim

The capital city of Gangtok remains pleasant with temperature ranging between 17°C to 21°C. Take a leisurely stroll down M.G Marg, the heart of Gangtok city. The street is lined with cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and bars. Take a cab or walk to Deorali, about 2 km away from the city centre. Spend a rainy afternoon huddled up at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. It has a brilliant library if you’re interested in Sikkimese Buddhist culture and a museum that houses some of the rarest collections of statues, coins and thangkas. Walk to the Do Drul Chorten, a giant stupa built by Trulshig Rinpoche to protect the city from evil spirits. Visit the 100 feet tall Banjhakri Waterfall nestled amidst a landscaped forest about 7 km away from the city centre.

(Rumtek Monastery)

(Enchy Monastery)

The 200 year old Enchey Monastery is just 5 km away. The monastery belongs to the Nyingma sect and was blessed by Lama Drupthob Karpo, a tantric practitioner also known as the flying monk. The famed Rumtek Monastery is about 23 km away from Gangtok. One of the finest specimens of Tibetan Buddhist architecture and also the seat of the Black Hat Order, you cannot afford to miss it.

Hire a cab to take you to Nathula, a pass in the high Himalayas that was once a part of the old Silk Route that connected India to Tibet. Located at a height of more than 14,000 feet, the pass is covered in snow all year round and the view of the surrounding peaks from here is splendid. In June, temperature stays between -2°C to 5°C, so make sure you wear enough warm clothes. The Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple in Nathula is popular amongst tourists and locals alike. The shrine is dedicated to a sepoy of the Indian army who died on duty at Nathula. Believers say his spirit still protects the army from harm. Enroute Nathula, don’t forget to stop at Lake Tsomgo. This gorgeous glacial lake, almost a kilometre in length, changes colour every season and is considered sacred by locals.

The Sunshine Daydreams of North Sikkim

Once you have explored Gangtok to your heart’s content, head to North Sikkim. The tiny hamlet of Lachung, located at a height of 8,610 feet, is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and gushing waterfalls. Spend an afternoon at the lovely Lachung Monastery built in the middle of an apple orchard. Temperature ranges between 14°C to 23°C. Lachung also serves as the perfect base for exploring the Yumthang Valley, popularly known as the Valley of Flowers. Just 23 km away from Yumthang, at a staggering height of 15,000 feet is Yumesamdong or Zero Point—a paradise for snow enthusiasts. Owing to its altitude, the area is perennially covered in snow. China is a stone’s throw away from here.

Another great place to spend a quiet holiday is the beautiful village of Lachen, about 47 km from Lachung. Get a glimpse of rural life in Sikkim, visit the Lachen Monastery—Lachen is perfect for those who love the idea of slow travel. It is also the gateway to the sacred Gurudongmar Lake which is about 66 km away. Lachen serves as a base for a number of popular trekking routes in North Sikkim but it might not be a good idea in June owing to the rains.

Waning Summer Delights of South Sikkim

You cannot miss Namchi if you are planning to explore South Sikkim. In June, the temperature fluctuates between 15°C to 23°C . Popular as the cultural capital of Sikkim, Namchi is home to the world’s tallest statue of Guru Padmasambhava, the guardian saint of Sikkim. Look out for the statue sitting pretty on Samdruptse Hill as you approach the city. You can also visit the monastery situated on top of the hill. Do visit the beautiful Namchi Rock Garden. Waterbodies, gazebos, lily pools and plenty of rare flowers make it the perfect place for enjoying a little picnic. Just 18 km away from Namchi, the Temi Tea Estate, Sikkim’s only tea garden is perfect for a day trip. Rolling hills carpeted in tea bushes and a lovely bungalow where you can stay, you can find out all about manufacturing the one of the world’s finest varieties of tea here.

The Magical June Forests of West Sikkim

A trip to the state is incomplete if you skip West Sikkim, especially if you are a history buff. Head to Pelling, a small town about 113 km from Gangtok. Temperature here remains in the pleasant range of 10°C to 20°C in the month of June. The historic ruins of Rabdentse are just 9 km away from here. Rabdentse served as the second capital of the kingdom of Sikkim for close to 200 years. The remains of the old palace surrounded by a thick forest look straight out of a fairy tale. Just 2 km from Rabdentse is one of Sikkim’s oldest and most important monasteries, the Pemayangtse Monastery. Visit the Khecheopalri Lake which is just 30 km away from Pelling. Known as the wish-fulfilling lake, Khecheopalri is surrounded by verdant forests and has many legends attached to it. It is considered holy by Hindus and Buddhists alike. On the way to Khecheopalri make a pit stop at the gorgeous Rimbi Waterfalls. The milky-white cascading water makes for a perfect backdrop for some insta-worthy photos.

All in all, June is a great time to visit the tiny Himalayan state for the rains give a new lease of life to the mountains of Sikkim.

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