Cultural Week in Sikkim
This can not be booked without an ongoing project.
Traverse into the little beautiful state of Sikkim located at the foothills of the Himalayas in the northernmost part of India!
Immerse yourself in the Himalayan culture; visit breathtaking view sites, local markets, and Buddhist monasteries; and learn to cook local food. The week will give you the perfect way to become a part of the local community.
The introduction/orientation week is designed to introduce you to the local Himalayan culture, to give you an understanding of the local traditions, and to take you on a variety of sightseeing tours around Sikkim.
You will gain in-depth knowledge of Sikkim and also experience the beauty that Sikkim has to offer. Not only that, each day is perfectly designed so that you will have a relaxed and an experiential journey appreciating impressive Buddhist Monasteries, learn cooking local food, and learn a bit of the local language which will help you to interact with local people throughout your stay.
Aims & Objectives
To introduce you to the local Himalayan culture and immerse you into the beautiful Himalayan state.
Day 1: Monday
The day will begin with introductions to your fellow participants. We will then have an orientation session which will introduce you to the Sikkimese Nepali culture, do’s and don’ts, social behaviour norms, cultural sensitivity as a traveller in Sikkim and safety precautions during your travels. Learn the language and talk about the project.
Visit the MG Marga – MG Marg of Gangtok, also known as MG Road (Mahatma Gandhi Road) is the town centre and the main market area. It’s a long stretch of an open air mall.
Day 2: Tuesday
Hike to Tashi View Point – located in Tashi and about 8 kms from Gangtok town. It offers a sweeping view of the Kanchenjunga snow peaks on a clear day. In fact the view of sunrise from here is unforgettable, you will see the peaks dazzling with changing colours and get to visit Ganesh Tok the other view point.
Day 3: Wednesday
Today is the day to learn how to cook typical Sikkimese Nepali food and visit the local market called Lal bazaar.
Day 4: Thursday
Today we visit Saramsa Garden which is 14 km east of Gangtok, Gangtok Ropeway, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.
Day 5: Friday
Today we visit the old Place in Sikkim and go to see the Flower Exhibition Centre (White Hall) and different monasteries.
Saturday & Sunday
Weekends are free to relax or explore! 🙂
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
An area of unspoilt natural beauty, framed by snow capped Himalayan peaks. The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok, reflects this tiny state’s extraordinary ethnic diversity. In the crowded city which spills precariously down a ridge, Lepchas (the region’s original inhabitants) live alongside Tibetans, Bhutias, Nepalis and Indians from the plains. Though now full of modern structures, Gangtok’s “Shangrila” aspects can still be experienced in pockets of the city and in its alpine environs.
Until 1975, Sikkim was a kingdom with the status of an Indian Protectorate. It was ruled by the Chogyals Buddhists of Tibetan origin, whose dynasty began in the 17th century. However, the British Raj’s policies of importing cheap labour from neighbouring Nepal for Sikkim’s rice, cardamom and tea plantations drastically changed Sikkim’s demography, soon Nepali Hindus constituted 75 per cent of the state’s population. In 1975, the population of Sikkim voted overwhelmingly to join the Indian Republic, ending the rule of Palden Thondup, the last Chogyal.
Accommodation & Food
Our Volunteer house is a standard and comfortable place we call home, there is a mini library, a dining room, a lounge area where you can hang out with fellow participants and a beautiful garden to relax.
The meals are a mix of Western and Indian food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. You can expect to have a chicken dish about twice per week. There is a refrigerator which you are welcome to use to store food and beverages.You can also use the kitchen facilities to cook for yourself or eat out at any of the local restaurants.
ATMs: There are ATM’s around our centres. The closest one to our residence is about a 15 minute walk from the house.
Shop: The closest local supermarket is a 15 minute walk from the centre.
Sights & Surroundings
- Enchey Monastery, whose large prayer hall is full of vibrant murals and images, representing the entire pantheon of Mahayana Buddhist deities. Enchey’s festivals feature spectacular masked dances. At the southern end of the town is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. Established in 1958, it has a rare collection of medieval Buddhist scriptures, bronzes and embroidered thangkas.
- Saramsa Orchidarium, situated 14 km south of Gangtok, displays many of the 450 orchid species found in Sikkim. They flower from April to May, and again in October.
- Rumtek Monastery, 24 km southwest of Gangtok, is the headquarters of the Kagyupa (Black Hat) sect, on of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist sets, and the seat of its head, the Gyalwa Karmapa. The 16th Karmapa fled Tibet in 1959 after the Chinese invasion, and built a replica here of this monastery at Tsurphu in Tibet. Rumtek is an impressive complex, its flat roofed buildings topped with golden finials, and filled with treasures brought from the monastery in Tibet. Especially splendid is the reliquary chorten of the 16th Karmapa, behind the main prayer hall, made of silver and gold and studded with enormous corals, amber and turquoise.
- Tsomgo Lake, 40 Km northeast of Gangtok, lies at an altitude of 3780 m. Visitors to the lake require a special permit from the Sikkim Tourism office in Gangtok. The drive to Tsomgo Lake, close to the border with China, is spectacular, and the lake is an impressive sight both in spring and summer, when it is surrounded by alpine flowers in bloom, and in winter when it’s frozen solid. Visitors can go for rides and the splendid shaggy black yaks that stand docile on the lake’s shores.
Trip Country Info
Capital: New Delhi
Language: Hindi, English and 22 other officially recognized languages
Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
Time zone: UTC +5:30
India is known for its pyramid-like temples, its colorful streets and it’s crowded cities. This country represents one of the most vivid and the largest cultures in the world. From the golden triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra to the coast where Ayurveda medicine was born, India offers a 360 degree journey through the most magical of lands. Known for being the second most populated country in the world, India will show you the faces of thousands of Hindu gods in its very vast collection of temples all throughout the country. The land of colors and smiles is ready to take you on your next adventure whether road tripping or helping out in local communities, this sub-continent will amaze your senses. India will shift the way you see the world.
India’s literacy rate is around 60% for women and 80% for men. The principal language is Hindi and English is also commonly used in all major cities. New Delhi, the capital of India, is what many would call the real deal when travelling through the country. It is one of the biggest and most populated cities in the whole world with up to 25 million citizens. New Delhi is known for its amazing cuisine and its new modality of “street food”, which means restaurants with every specialty you can imagine are available to you all throughout the city! Chennai is another of the biggest cities in India, known as the “Detroit of India” for its automobile industry. If you are looking for a quieter spot Kerala is the centre of lifestyle, art, architecture, language and literature in all of the country!
Gap year travel to India is enjoyed in a country with wonderful history that dates back several thousand years. In particular, one of the most incredible historical points of India is how four separate world religions originated here – Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. Beyond this, however, India has only truly been independent as a nation since 1947, just a couple years after World War 2 concluded.
In that time, India has grown to be the eleventh largest economy in the world as well as the second most populous nation, second only to China. This isn’t particularly surprising when you consider that India has been an economic powerhouse for trade routes in the past, but it is very impressive to consider that India has almost reached the status of superpower over the course of 66 years.
The geography of India has been a target for nature lovers for many years but is finally becoming an easy place to visit and explore for foreign tourists. With the Himalayas to the north, the desert in the centre and the luxurious beaches to the west, India has a type of climate that suits the desires of just about anyone. Even if you have a soft spot for snow, you can easily embrace that love by visiting some of the northern mountains which are nearly always capped in snow and ice!
With thousands of years of history and an incredibly diverse climate, India is not a place you can simply read about and understand. You have to visit and immerse yourself within the various Indian cultures before you get an idea of just how amazing India really is. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch now to find out more about our amazing gap year holidays in India or browse the latest experiences below;
Participant Criteria & Requirements
No requirements have been provided.
No requirements have been provided.
- 24/7 support in case of emergencies
- Airport Pick up
- English speaking coordinator
What's not included
- Airport drop off
- Travel insurance