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Introducing Sikkim

Legend has it that the great Buddhist guru Padmasambhava regarded Sikkim as one of the last utopias on earth. Arguably one of the prettiest destinations in India, this tiny former Himalayan kingdom is a haven for travellers. From North Sikkim's plunging mountain valleys and emerald alpine forests to West Sikkim's picturesque patchwork of terraced paddy fields and flowering rhododendrons, there's plenty to feast your eyes on here – not least of which are stunning views of Khangchendzonga, the world's third-highest mountain (8598m), visible from almost anywhere in the state.

A strong preserve of Mahayana Buddhism, Sikkim's superb public aesthetics are lined with ritualistic vermilion, gold, blue and green. To top it all off, the resident population here is gracious, happy and hospitable, and your trip through the state is bound to leave you richer by a few friends.