The Rangit and Rangpo rivers form the natural borders with the state of West Bengal. The Teesta and Rangit rivers are the main drainage channels. The Singalila Range separates Sikkim from Nepal to the West and the Dongkya Range forms the border in the North and Northeast. In the East the Chumbi valley lies between Sikkim and Bhutan. On its Western side is the massive 31 km long Zemu glacier.
The dominant feature of Sikkim is Mount Khanchendzonga – the third highest mountain in the world at 28,168 feet. Khangchendzonga means the ‘Five Treasures of the Great Snows’. According to Sikkimese legend it is the repository of the Holy Scriptures and is considered to be the Mother Goddess. Other notable peaks are Tendong (8675 ft) Siniolchu, Mainam (10637 ft), Simvo, Goechala (16500 ft), Narsing, Donkiari (20250 ft), Kabru, Pandim (22020 ft), Pyramid Peak and Nepal Peak. Besides these peaks, there are several passes the important and notable ones are- Bhutanla (13000 ft), Jelepla (14400 ft) and Nathula (14400 ft) in the east, Chiwabhangjyang (10300 ft) and Kangla in the West, Donkiala and Kongrala (18000 ft) in the north. Sikkim has a host of mountain lakes and some of the notable ones are- Tsomgo, Khechopalri, Menmecho, Samiti, Lampokhari and green lake. Sikkim is also home to a few glaciers like Zemu, Rathong and Lonak and innumerable hot water springs located at Zemu, Rathong and Lonak.
The terrain in Sikkim ranges from tropical rainforest to alpine and at the high altitudes temperatures go below freezing.It can broadly be divided into three zones-Tropical (4500 ft.above sea level), temperate (between 5000 ft to 12000 ft above sea level) and alpine upto the permanent snowline at around 15000 ft above sea level. The variation in the altitude in the terrain of Sikkim has resulted in the difference in the forest cover with dense tropical forests in the lower altitudes to alpine forests at the higher altitudes.This variation in vegetation, temperature and altitude has resulted in a very rich diversity of flora and fauna.There are over 600 species of orchids growing in the wild.
The animal and bird life is very diverse with 80 species of mammals, 600 species of birds and over 600 species of butterflies.Some of the important fauna are the snow leopard,wild asse,red panda,silver fox,musk deer and Himalayan black bear. Sikkim also has a very wide range of bird and butterfly species. Amidst the grandeur of the mountain peaks, lush valleys, fast – flowing rivers, terraced hills, Sikkim offers a rare experience.It is a land wrapped in mists and clouds.
PAP. Protected Area Permit. For Foreign Tourist is required permit for a Sikkim, period of 15 day. Extendable.PAP. Permit apply through recognized register local Tour Operator/Travel Agent. Maximum 04 person. If less than 04 person should be obtain (RAP) Restricted Area Permit from Ministry of Tourism Govt. of India, New Delhi. Contact us 07 weeks in advance, after obtaining India visa, to arrange for the permits. Please send Xerox copy of passport and visa by internet scan or post, which can process for permit.