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.
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
Nearest Airport is at Bagdogra 124 kms to Gangtok
Some fabulous high and low altitude treks:
9 days trek
Maximum trek altitude 4100mts
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
Trek North Sikkim
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
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.
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
Day 1 Home- Kolkota (Calcutta)
Meeting and transfer to Hotel
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
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).
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
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
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.
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