Sikkim, situated in the eastern Himalayas lies between India and Chinese occupied Tibet and is bound by Nepal, Bhutan and West Bengal. Sikkim comprises some of the most dramatic geological and topographical features. This is a land of high mountains, monasteries, orchids, butterflies, dense forests and clear streams that makes it perfect trekking country. Birdlife is prolific and wild alpine flowers grow in profusion. This tiny state of India has some of the finest mountain scenery in the world as can be seen on the trek into the Kanchenjunga group, the third highest mountain in the world.
The trek goes through moss-laden forests, abounding in a variety of flora and fauna, through scenarios of grazing yaks, mountain sheep and Tibetan resettlement villages. The trail leads through some of the most spectacular forested areas of Sikkim particularly beautiful during the spring when the rhododendrons, giant magnolias and a profusion of other wildflowers are in full bloom. At Dzongri one comes face to face with a magnificent view of Mount Kanchenjunga, which, to the Sikkimese, is an all-powerful God. A rugged terrain from Zemathang leads to Goecha La, the highest point on the trek. The top of the pass places you at the foot of Kangchenjunga, as close to the mountain as possible. On the return journey from Zemathang one can keep a look out for rare high altitude birds and the Blue Sheep. Gradually rise along the east ridge of Dzongri till Phitang and from there descend to Bakhim and on to Yuksom, from where you can drive to Darjeeling.
Duration: 19 nights / 20 days
Best Season: March to November
DAY 1 ARRIVE CALCUTTA
You will be met and transferred by taxi to the Hotel for your overnight stay.
DAY 2 Fly KOLKATA to BAGDOGRA & DRIVE TO DARJEELING.
Morning you will be transferred to the airport to connect flight for Bagdogra airport and drive to Darjeeling, through deep gorges with heavily forested mountainsides with twisting rivers in thebottom of the gorges. After arriving in Darjeeling, you will be transferred to Hotel.
DAY 3 DRIVE TO DHODRAY. TREK TO TONGLU.
2 ½ hours driving. 2-2 ½ hrs walking. After a drive of about 2 hrs you begin the trek. Dhodray is a nice picturesque village a little beyond the border town of Maneybhanjang. From Dhodray you follow a nice path throughstunted rhododendron forests passing meadows and meeting villagers along the trail. The trail climbs very gently with great views of Kanchenjunga all along the way. Trek to camp at Tonglu (3015m). Camp overnight.
DAY 4 TREK TO KALIPOKHARI. 5-6 hrs.
From Tonglu we follow a nice wide path past the village of Tumling and into the Nepalese border to Jaubari, a Nepalese settlement. There are great views of Kanchenjunga all along. We then descend to the village of Gairibas and climb for an hour to Kanyakatta and continue on a pleasant trail to the village of Kalapokhari.
DAY 5 TREK TO SANDAKPHU. 2½ 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 6 TREK TO MOLLEY. 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 alpinelike forest. Camp overnight.
DAY 7 TREK TO SAMADEN VIA PHALUT.
7-8 hrs.The trek to Phalut is uphill, but very scenic. Phalut is your lunch spot for the day, again with fantastic views of the high peaks. You walk through forests of pine, oak, conifers and rhododendrons to the next campsite, which is a beautiful spot in a small settlement with stunning views. Camp overnight.
DAY 8 TREK TO RIMBIK. 7 hrs.
A lovely and interesting walk as you pass several villages of mixed inhabitants of Rais, Sherpas, Tamangs. Terraced fields and villages dot the landscape and you are likely to meet friendly local people. Descend to Sirikhola for lunch after which you cross the suspension bridge and continue for another 2½ hrs through more villages to Rimbik – a large Sherpa village and the road head. Overnight camp.
DAY 9 DRIVE TO YUKSOM9 hrs.
A lengthy, but varied and interesting drive through the foothills and along river valleys.
Overnight Tashigang Hotel.
DAY 10 TREK TO BAKHIM. 8 hrs.
Out of the hotel you walk gently uphill, following the Rathang river gorge, through dense, This is a long trekking day and clients
should expect to be quite tired by the time Bakhim is reached.
DAY 11 TUESDAY: TREK TO DZONGRI. 7 hrs.
This is a long day’s walk with a considerable amount of ascent. You begin by trekking for about an hour up to the picturesque village of Tshoka, home to a small monastery set beside a holy lake. Camp overnight.
DAY 12 REST AND ACCLIMATISE.
Today is a chance to explore the area and 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 acclimatisation walk around the local area to help prepare you for the next few days.
DAY 13 TREK TO THAMGSING. 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. Arrive at camp and overnight.
DAY 14 TREK TO LAMUNEY 1½ hrs.
Today’s walk to Lamuney 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. Camp overnight.
DAY 15 TREK TO GOECHA LA & RETURN TO THAMGSING.
An alpine start today, setting off in the early morning climbing the hill behind the lake before raversing 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. You may 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. Camp overnight.
DAY 16 TREK TO TSOKA, 7- 8 hrs.
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. Descending to the Prek Chu river, walk down to Tsoka. Camp overnight.
DAY 17 END TREK AT YUKSOM. 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, the starting point. Overnight at the Tashigang Hotel.
DAY 18 DRIVE TO DARJEELING.
Depart early to see the sun breaking over Kubru South. Arrive Darjeeling and have rest at your hotel.
DAY 19 FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING IN DARJEELING.
YOu may have an excursion to Mirik on this day to see the beautiful Tea Gardens. Overnight at hotel
DAY 20 Depart Darjeeling
Morning you will be transferred to the bagdogra airport to connect flight for Kolata or Delhi