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Welcome to Sikkim...

The Himalayan State which has the towering “Kanchan- Dzonga” or “ Kanchanjungha ranges, famous in the world. at 28,216 feet, 8598 mts, is the third highest mountain in the world.

Sikkim has many splendid attractions, terraced hills with magnificent wonderland of forests and rivers, rare flora and fauna. Sikkim’s rich cultural heritage is rooted in the monastic tradition of Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism is the state religion having wonderful Gompas in the hills.

Capital: Gangtok
Population: 6,10,000
Season: Oct to Dec and March to May
 
Trekking at Sikkim:

Trekking is a popular means of touring the state, trek routes spanning the sultry tropical forests in the south to the howling vast wilderness in the north.
The state does not have an airport, there are helicopter services from Bagdogra in neighboring Darjeeling district to Gangtok. In addition to this there are helipads one in Gangtok East Sikkim, Namchi in the south and Geyzing in the west.
There is also helipad at Yuksom the base camp for most trekking trails in west Sikkim as well as Dodak and Dalapchand (both on the Indo Nepal border in the west Sikkim.)
For almost 150 years Darjeeling has been the darling of east Himalayan travellers, where ailing British bureaucrats crossed paths with uncouth Tibetan traders and disguised explorers cum spies prepared for passage to Lhasa.

The modest town drapes itself along an aerated 2,100m (6,890ft) ridge and down the north facing slope. Kangchenjunga rises centre-stage north, flanked by Talung, Kabru, Ratong and Kumbakarna to the west and Pandim, Simvo and Siniolchu to the east, each rising above 6,000 m (20,000ft). Darjeeling was once part and parcel to neighbouring Sikkim until 1835 when the Chogyal deeded it to the Governor General of India 'out of friendship'. Today its narrow lanes zigzag up 60 degree slopes planted with gabled Victorian bungalows and stately boarding schools; roses, poinsettias, petunias and gladioli splash colour across English gardens and lanky trees shade yawning mansions, abandoned with the death of the British Raj. The sprawling Planters' Club recalls that era of ultimate decadence, while gothic churches speak for the missionaries who came for altogether different reasons
For early risers there is a trip to Tiger Hill to experience dawn over Kangchenjunga with Darjeeling in the foreground and Everest and Makalu on the horizon. This is an opportunity not to be missed and a photographer's dream. The rest of the time is free to relax or explore the fascinating town. Overnight Hotel.

The Trek is in 2 parts

I. The ridges on the Nepal/India Border.
2. Within Sikkim,North from Yoksum to thr Goeche La (pass)

To visit Sikkim one needs permit, though this is just a formality .
Nearest Airport is at Bagdogra 124 kms to Gangtok
Some fabulous high and low altitude treks:
9 days trek
Maximum trek altitude 4100mts
Grade Moderate
Season April- May and Oct- Nov
Drive to Yaksum from Gangtok base for trekking 2000mts, camp / Bakhim 2700mts / Dzongri 3962 mts / Thangsing 3930 mts / Samiti Lake 4100 mts / Dzongri / Bakkhim / Yaksum / and drive to Kalimpong.

Trek North Sikkim
Grade Medium.
Season March- April and Sep – Nov
Trek permit required.
Gangtok- Lachen Drive 98 kms through Rongo, Mangan, singhik to Toong bridge. and trek start from Lanchen to Green lake 12 days trek. Maximum Altitude Green Lake 4940mt / 16200ft. This trek is a natural beauty with spectacular high peaks, several varieties of rhododendrons, plenty of wild flowers and paradise for bird lovers and many waterfalls.

Trekking around Kangchenjunga National Park 13 days trek, start from Pemayangtse/ Dzongri/ Guicha La the highest pass 4950mts/16300ft
Grade :
Strenuous Trek permit required.
Season March- April and Sep November
Trek Kangchenjunga from the East Sikkim side
22 days, Maximum Trek Altitude 4,985mts, Trek Grade Moderate
Season March- April and Sep- November
Arrive Delhi & fly to Bagdogra or Fly to Kolkota, fly to Silguri or by Train to Silguri, Drive to Darjeeling 2134mts. Hotel.The trek is in two parts
1. The ridges on the Nepal/India Border
2 Within Sikkim, North from Yoksum to the Goeche La Pass 4985m.
Drive to Maneybhanjank and trek to Meghma / Kalipokhari / Sandakphu / Molley / Samaden / Rimbik and Drive to Yuksom. Overnight Hotel.
Second part of the trek to Bakhim / Dzongri / Thamgsing / Samati Lake/ Trek to Goecha La and return to Thamgsing / Toska / trek end at Yuksom and drive Darjeeling / Bagdogra fly to Delhi or Kolkota.
 
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Home- Kolkota (Calcutta)
Meeting and transfer to Hotel

Afternoon Sightseeing.

Day 02 Kolkota- Bagdogra :
Fly top Bagdogra, meeting and Drive to Darjeeling 4 hours, scenic drive with heavily forested mountainside with twisting rivers in the bottom, on clear days there are excellent views of Kangchenjunga.After arriving in Darjeeling check in Hotel.

Day 03 DARJEELING
Straddling a ridge in the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya at 7,001ft/2,134m and surrounded by tea plantations on all sides, It has been a popular hill station since the British established it as an R&R centre for their troops in the mid 1800's.

Sightseeing. Overnight in Hotel

DAY 4: DRIVE TO MANEYBHANJANK AND TREK TO MEGHMA. (8,793ft/2,680m), 5 hrs
 After a drive of about 1˝ hrs you begin the trek. The trail passes quite steeply uphill on a good path through evergreen forest and bamboo glades. You stop for lunch at Chitray (8284ft/2525m) where there is a 70-year-old monastery, belonging to the Nyingma-pa sect. You continue uphill for about 2-3 hours until you reach camp at Meghma. Camp overnight.

DAY 5: TREK TO KALIPOKHARI. (10,453ft/3,186m). 5-6 hrs
From Meghma it is a beautiful walk along a well defined undulating path with views of Kanchenjunga at every bend. The path passes tiny settlements and the little village of Kanyakatta to Kalapokhari; a fairly easy walking day. Camp overnight.

DAY 6 TREK TO SANDAKPHU. (11,928ft/3,636m). 2˝ hrs
You begin by ascending for about 4 kms as far as Bikhebhanjang (10,977ft/3,346m). You will now reach the magnolia and rhododendron forests around Sandakphu, from where you will get a magnificent view of some of the world's highest mountains, including Everest, Kangchenjunga and Makalu. Today is quite a short day to help you acclimatise. Camp overnight.

DAY 7: TREK TO MOLLEY. (11,155ft/3,400m) 6 hrs. 14km
The trail follows along the Singalila Ridge through chestnut, oak and silver fir, with commanding views of the Himalaya all along the route. Molley is a small village in the alpine-like forest. Camp overnight.

DAY 8: TREK TO SAMADEN VIA PHALUT. (Samaden: 8,136ft/2,480m). 7-8 hrs
The trek to Phalut (11,810ft/3,600m) is uphill, but very scenic, and here you get a real feeling of being on a ridge. Phalut is your lunch spot for the day, again with fantastic views of the high peaks. The descent to Samaden is glorious (about 4 hrs from Phalut). You walk through forests of pine, oak, conifers and rhododendrons to your next campsite, which is a beautiful spot in a small settlement with stunning views. Camp overnight.

DAY 9: TREK TO RIMBIK. 7 hrs
A lovely and interesting walk today as you pass several villages of mixed inhabitants of Rais, Sherpas, Tamangs. Terraced fields and villages dot the landscape and you are likely meet the friendly local people. Descend to Sirikhola for lunch after which you cross the suspension bridge and continue for another 2˝ hrs through more villages to Rimbik - a large Sherpa village and the road head. Overnight camp.

DAY 10: DRIVE TO YUKSOM. (5,840ft/1,780m). 9 hrs
A lengthy, but varied and interesting drive through the foothills and along river valleys. Overnight Tashigang Hotel.

DAY 11: TREK TO BAKHIM. (8,350ft/2,545m). 8 hrs
You walk gently uphill, following the Rathang river gorge, through dense mixed jungle with magnolias, rhododendrons, ferns and many different varieties of orchid, brightly coloured birds and the occasional monkey. After an hour or so you cross the Paha Khola suspension bridge, (5,685ft/1,733m). There is a swimming spot (for the brave) by a waterfall after two hours, and you can stop for lunch by a bridge over stream. Passing by sweet smelling viburnum you cross the Prek Chu River and then ascend steeply for two or three hours to arrive at the lodge at Bakhim. You will either stop in the lodge, or sleep in your tents. The lodge is occasionally the home of the Himalayan Mountain Institute, who organise rock climbing courses on the small cliffs behind the lodge. This is a long trekking day and clients should expect to be pretty tired by the time Bakhim is reached.

DAY 12: TREK TO DZONGRI. (15,202ft/4,024m). 7 hrs
Again, this is a long day’s walk, with a considerable amount of ascent. You trek for about an hour up to the picturesque village of Tshoka, home to a small monastery et beside a holy lake. A fairly steep climb above Tshoka takes you into beautiful rhododendron forests and you continue along a well defined, uphill path to Phedung (about 2-3 hours from Tshoka) - a good lunch spot. A further climb of around 2 hours takes you to the trek lodges at Dzongri. A brief climb beyond brings you to a meadow where we can pitch camp in a site with views of Koktang 20,167ft6,147m, Ratong, Kabru 24,075ft/7,338m, Kangchenjunga 28,169ft/8,586m, Simvo 22,359ft/6,815m and Pandim 21,952ft/6,691m. As usual on trek the choice of campsite depends on many variables, one of the most important is the close supply of water. NB there may be an available campsite before Dzongri.

DAY 13: REST AND ACCLIMATISE
Today is a chance to explore the area and to climb the small peaks near to the campsitefor 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 acclimatisation walk around the local area to help prepare you for the next few days.

DAY 14: TREK TO THAMGSING. (12,602ft/3,841m). 5-6 hrs
Today you ascend gradually over open hillside for a mile or so to a low ridge visible from the camp site (13,500 ft/4,115m). From here, beside some chortens on the skyline there are fabulous views of Kangchenjunga and Pandim. You then descend, at first traversing down towards Pandim on the far side of the valley, and then dropping steeply on a good path through rhododendron forest to the Prek Chu River at 12,300 ft/3,749m for lunch (3 hours). There is a new trekking lodge here that the crew may use for cooking. You cross the river and ascend gradually for 1˝ hrs through pine woods 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 or even sleeping. Camp overnight.

DAY 15: TREK TO SAMATI LAKE (14,100ft/4,298m) 2˝ hrs
Today’s walk is fairly short to give plenty of opportunity to rest before tomorrow’s big day. You begin by continuing parallel to the Prek Chu River, Samati Lake is a beautiful, holy, emerald green nestling behind brightly coloured, wind-torn prayer flags. Camp overnight.

DAY 16: TREK TO GOECHA LA AND RETURN TO THAMGSING. (16,350ft/4,984m)
An alpine start today, when you set off in the early morning climbing the hill behind the lake before traversing the moraine and then descending to the sandy bed of a empty lake. The whole area above Samati lake is called the Chemithang Plateau. You cross this under the shadow of Pandim and then ascend moraine to a height of about 15,700ft, where you rest above a frozen lake, which is dotted with snow, and ice pinnacles. The Goecha La Pass is a further hour away across the lake, up a scree slope and then on a well-trodden path to the objective, which is festooned with brightly coloured prayer, flags. There are stupendous views of the east flank of Kangchenjunga and mountains and valleys into the distance. Returning down the valley, there will be a welcome meal for you at Samati Lake where you can have a short rest before you set off to walk gently downhill for 1˝ hrs, to reach Thamgsing and the tents. Those who do not wish to attempt reaching the pass can stay in camp and relax, or walk to the viewing point (about 1˝ hours walk above Samati Lake) and return. Camp overnight.

DAY 17: TREK TO TSOKA, 7- 8 hrs
Worth getting up early to make the short hike to the ridge behind camp. From here there are fantastic views of Kangchenjunga and one can look back up to the Goecha La. Leaving Thamgsing, you take a different route back, avoiding the long climb to the Dzongri Plateau. Descending to the Prek Chu river, you contour round through jungle, with, inevitably, some ups as well as downs, to emerge at Phedung again. From there it is a steep walk down to Tsoka where there is the new trekking lodge you passed on your way up; hopefully we will be able to use their facilities. This, of course, saves a day on the return march, but does involve quite a long day. Camp overnight.

DAY 18: END TREK AT YUKSOM. (5,840ft/1,780m). 5-6 hrs
Today you descend steeply back down to the Prek Chu River, following the route taken on the first day, and then contour gradually downwards to reach the village of Yuksum, your starting point. Overnight at the Tashigang Hotel.

DAY 19: DRIVE TO DARJEELING
An early start because the sun breaking over Kangchenjunga is too good a sight to miss. You then drive the 6-7 hours to Darjeeling, a fascinating journey which ends with a steep climb up through the tea estates to a comfortable Hotel - you won't believe such hotels still exist!

DAY 20: DRIVE FROM DARJEELING TO BAGDOGRA  4-5 hrs
FLY TO CALCUTTA . You will be met on arrival and transferred to the Hotel for your last night in India.

DAY 21: TRANSFER TO FLY TO SWEET HOME

Depending on flight times the return flight maybe overnight
 
 
 
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