End-Oct snow boost for Sikkim tourism after early-October flood jolt – Times of India


SILIGURI: Early snowfall in some parts of Sikkim has led to revival of the tourism industry, which had witnessed a setback due to the recent flash floods in the Himalayan state. Queries have been pouring in from eager tourists after parts of north and east Sikkim received the season’s first snowfall in the last week of October.

Two popular lakes in Sikkim – Gurudongmar in the north and Tsomgo in the east – are both frozen. Over the last few years, north Sikkim has emerged as the favourite spot for tourists and bikers. The tourists head towards Lachen and Lachung, with a trip to Gurudongmar lake at a height of 17,100ft. Tsomgo, about 40km from Gangtok and 15km from Nathula – the border pass between India and China – has become a must-visit site for tourists.

Adviser of Travel Agents’ Association of Sikkim (TAAS) Satish Bardewa claimed that the state had received snowfall so early for the first time. The snowfall has lured tourists into visiting the state even though the flash floods had resulted in fewer queries than last year.

“We are getting more queries after the state reported snowfall from October end. More queries are coming in for north Sikkim as the tourists want to experience the snow. We request them to visit places in east Sikkim and other districts as the connectivity to north Sikkim has been lost due to the flash floods on October 4 and restoration work is going on. We will not be able to cater to the tourists’ demand to visit the north until mid-March due to snowfall,” said Bardewa.

Meanwhile, IMD – stationed at Gangtok – has predicted that higher reaches in Sikkim will continue to receive snowfall for the next three to four days.

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Met officials said that perhaps for the first time, Sikkim has received snowfall in October. Last year, the state received snowfall on December 27.

IMD director Gopi Nath Raha said western disturbances could be the reason for the early snowfall. “The temperature has decreased to 2°C,” he said.

Recently, National Geographic conducted a survey, where Sikkim was recognised as one of the coolest places to visit in 2024.

The list comprises 30 destinations from across the globe and Sikkim is the only Indian destination.



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