Sikkim, the undisclosed land of the Himalayas is a fabulous place for treks. One can sense the fresh and crisp air lingering in the atmosphere while trekking. As one passes through the valleys and gorges the beauty of the mountains unfolds before the eyes. Trekking to Kangcendzonga is extremely challenging and captivating, but a worthy one for it provides an opportunity to see nature at its vibrant best.
March to May and September to December are the best time for trekking in Sikkim. Trekking amidst the gorgeous orchids, the kaleidoscopic birds and butterflies make you feel exhilarated. Numerous wonderful trekking routes are available in Sikkim. These treks pass through spectacular gompas, colorful hamlets and interesting alpine forests which have abundant flora and fauna. The estimate cost of per day would be $100.
Namchi which is South Sikkim’s district head quarters offers unparallel views of the white-crested mount of Kangchendzonga and is a convenient base for the short treks. The walk from Rabangla to Mainom top winds past ancient forests which is teeming with birdlife.
The Barsai Rhododendron Sanctuary is a scenic, easy trek; its protected forest is home to silver fir, hemlock, magnolia and of course, rhododendron which are in glorious bloom in March and April. The trek with the best mountain views is from Dzongri to Goecha La. You can even see the Kanchendzonga reflected in the glacial lakes.
At every twist and turn in the path you come across another natural wonder and you marvel at the bounty nature has bestowed upon this region. Trekking in Sikkim is an experience of a lifetime.
Day 01: Arrive Delhi :
On arrival met at the airport and transfer to the hotel. O/N stay at hotel.
Day 02: Delhi - Bagdogra - Darjeeling:
Fly to Bagdogra. On arrival drive to Darjeeling (2134 m). A charming 4-hour journey, through Assam tea plantations and tiny villages takes us to Darjeeling. Built on top of a ridge, Darjeeling faces the Himalaya and is a popular destination for Westerners and Bengalis alike.
Day 03: Darjeeling - Yuksam
Drive to Yuksam,on arrival check in at hotel, day free O/N stay at hotel.
Day 04: Yuksam-Bakkhim (05hours 2744 mt)
This is a long trekking day and you should expect to be pretty tired by the time you arrive at Bakkhim.O/N in camps.
Day 05: Bakkhim -Phedang(04hour 3760 mt)
We begin today’s walk by trekking for about one hour up to the picturesque village of Tshoka. Tshoka is home to a colony of Tibetan refugees who have erected a small monastery by a small lake. A fairly steep climb above Tshoka takes you into beautiful rhododendron forests, and you continue along a well-defined uphill path to Phedang (approx. 2/3 hours from Tshoka). Today we will be doing a shorter trail since we will be gaining much altitude.
Day 06: Phedang-Dzongri(03hour- 4320 mt)
Another short day’s walking today as we are now treading above the 4,000-meter mark. We will be setting up camp by lunchtime and suggest that you spend a relaxed afternoon acclimatizing. A brief climb beyond brings you to a meadow where we can pitch our tents in a campsite with views of Koktang, Rathong, Kabru, Khangchendzonga, Simvo and Pandim. As usual on trek the choice of campsite depends on many variables, one of the most important is the close supply of water.
Day 07: Dzongri (Acclimatization)
Today we will explore the area, with the chance to climb the small peaks near to the campsite for tremendous views. This is particularly worthwhile in the early morning and the evening. While you can rest if you wish, there will be a short acclimatization walk around the local area to help prepare us for the next few days.
Day 08: Dzongri -Thangshing - (06hour - 3800 mt)
Today we ascend gradually over open hillside for a mile or so to a low ridge visible from the campsite (13,500 ft/4,115m). From here, chortens and prayer flags overlooking fabulous views of Khangchendzonga and Pandim make ideal photocompositions. You then descend, at first traversing down towards Pandim on the far side of the valley, and then dropping steeply down on a good path through rhododendron forest to the Prek Chu River at 12,300 ft/3,749 m. for lunch (3 hours). There is a new trekking lodge here that the crew may use for cooking. We cross the river and ascend gradually for one and-a-half-hour, through pinewoods to reach a grassy campsite, beneath the shapely unclimbed peak of Pandim. A new hut has been built here, which may be available for cooking and even sleeping.
Day 09: Thangshing - Samiti Lake (03hour- 4298 mt)
Today’s walk is fairly short to give you plenty of opportunity to rest before tomorrow’s big day. You begin by continuing your walk parallel to the Prek Chu River. Sacred Samiti is a beautiful emerald green lake nestled in the midst of brightly colored wind-torn prayer flags.
Day 10: Samiti Lake-Goecha La-Samiti lake (4984mt)
An early start today to beat the inclement weather conditions that is common during the latter part of the day. Set off in the early morning climbing the hill behind the Lake before traversing the moraine and then descending to the sandy bed of an empty lake. The whole area above Samiti Lake is called the Zemathang Plateau. You cross this under the shadow of Pandim and then ascend moraine to a height of about 15,700 feet where you rest above a glaciated lake mottled with snow and icy pinnacles. The Goecha La Pass is another hour away. We traverse the lake and proceed across a slope, and then on a well-trodden path to our objective, which is festooned with brightly colored prayer flags. The views of the east flank of Khangchendzonga and the mountains and valleys in the distance are stunning. We then return to our campsite at Samiti Lake.
Day 11: Samti-Tshoka(08hour - 3800 mt)
It’s worth getting up early to take a short hike to the ridge behind the camp. From here there are fantastic views of Khangchendzonga and one can look back up to the Goecha La. Leaving Thangsing, you take a different route, avoiding the long climb to the Dzongri Plateau. Descending to the Prek Chu, you contour around jungle to emerge at Phedang. Continue to Tshoka along another steep descent. Here there is a new trekking lodge we passed on our way up that we shall hopefully use this time. This, of course, saves a day on the return march, but does involve quite a long day.
Day 12: Tshoka-Yuksam (06hour)
Today you descend to the Prek Chu following the route you took up on the first day, and then contour gradually downwards to reach the village of Yuksam our starting point.
Day 13: Yuksam-Bagdogra-Delhi:
morning drive to Bagdogra time to catch flight for delhi, On arrival met at the airport and transfer to the hotel. O/N stay at hotel.
Day 14 : Delhi/Departure :
Morning transfer to the airport time to catch flight for onward destinations.
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