"That man has reached immortality who is disturbed by nothing material." ~ Swami Vivekananda


Sikkim: An Overview

Sikkim's climate is sub tropical in the lower valleys, but changing fast to temperate and alpine with increase in elevation. For most of the year, it is cold and humid as rainfall occurs right through the year. The area experiences heavy rainfall due to its proximity to the Bay of Bengal. The rainfall in the north district is comparatively less than the other districts. The general trend of decrease in temperature with increase in altitude holds good everywhere. Pre-monsoon rain occurs in April-May and the south-west monsoon operates normally from the month of May and continues up to early October.

Places with a moderate altitude (4000ft to 10,000 ft) have a more or less pleasant climate from March to June and September to November. Needless to say, the winter months of December-February are very cold. Some of the better known places situated at a moderate altitude are Gangtok, Pelling, Yuksom & Lachung.


In the higher altitudes of 10,000 ft plus, the temperature rarely rises above 15 degree centigrade. Some of those places are Yakshey Lodge above Lachung ; Yumthang valley, Tsango Lake and Dzongri where heavy snowfall occurs during the winter months. Tsango and Yakshey sometimes receive snowfall even during April or mid-November.


The mean temperature in the lower altitudinal zone varies from 1.5 to 9.5 degree centigrade. Temperature varies with altitude and slope. The maximum temperature is recorded usually during July and August, and minimum during December and January.

More about Sikkim
An Overview
People & Culture
Off the Beaten Track
Wild Life
Monastery Magic
Tourist Information
Getting There

Journey to Remember
Rumtek Diary
Yumthang Valley

Freedom From Fear
Classic Dzongri Trek
When Climbers Trek

Fog is a common feature in the entire state from May to September.
Summer : Max. 20.7oC Min. 13. 1oC
Winter: Max. 14.9oC Min. 7.7oC

Available rainfall data shows that the mean annual rainfall is minimum at Thangu (82 mm) and maximum at Gangtok (3494 mm).

There are two maximum rainfall areas:
* South-East quadrant, including Mangan, Singhik, Dikchu, Gangtok, Rongli etc.
* South-West corner including Hilley. In between these two regions, there is a low rainfall region viz. Namchi.

North-West Sikkim gets very little rainfall (even less than 4.9 mm.). This area has mainly snow -covered mountains. Rainfall is heavy and well distributed during the months from May to early October. July is the wettest month in most of the places. The intensity of rainfall during the south-west monsoon season decreases from south to north, while the distribution of winter rainfall is in the reverse order.

Compiled by Romola Butalia

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.