Tucked away in the Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim is sandwiched between Tibet to the north, Bhutan to its east, Nepal to its west and West Bengal to the south. At 7,298 sq km, the hilly state is the second smallest in India, measuring only 112 km in length and 64 km wide. Yet, this tiny land is home to many natural wonders, rich flora and fauna and a diverse ethnic population.
This strenuous trek takes you along the Singalila ridge that separates Sikkim from Nepal, starting from the southern end and climaxing at Goechala (5000 m) opposite the massive Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. The undoubted crowning glory of this tiny hill state, the peak is revered as the guardian deity of Sikkim. The trail offers panoramic views of the highest peaks in the world - from Mt Everest in Nepal to Mt Chomolhari in Bhutan and passes through pristine and isolated rhododendron forests & mountain lakes.
The rich fauna harbours 81 species of mammals and 600 species of birds like pheasants, teal, partridges, cuckoos, babblers and thrushes. Wild asses and yaks abound in the north, while bears, lesser (red) pandas, silver foxes and leopards can be found in the tropical forests. With 660 species of orchids and 20 species of bamboo, Sikkim is also a botanist's delight. The lowest parts are dominated by wet sal (Shorea Robusta) forests, which give way to tropical evergreen mountain and rainforests (tree ferns, epiphytes, bamboo, oak, beech, chestnut, giant magnolia, rhododendron, firs and pines) up to the tree line. The alpine forests at 12,800-16,400ft/3,900-5,000 m are characterized by beautiful flowering plants such as primulas, gentians, blue poppies and wild strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb. Nearly 631 species of butterflies are an added attraction.
♦ The foothills of the third highest mountain in the world - Kangchenjunga
♦ Views of some of the highest peaks in Nepal, Bhutan and India
♦ Diverse assemblage of Eastern Himalayan flora and fauna that includes 660 orchids, 631 butterflies and nearly 600 birds.
Day 1. Delhi - Bagdora - Yuksam
Arrival to Delhi early in the morning, flight to Bagdogra and transfer to to Gangtok - 7-8 hrs drive by 4x4 vehicle. We enter Sikkim through Rangpo check point. Upon arrival check into hotel for overnight stay.
Day 2. Yuksam - acclimatization
Acclimatization day in Yuksam before start of the trek in order to have proper rest. Overnight in Yuksam.
Day 3. Yuksom - Tshoka (3000 m)
Yuksam to Bakhim - a 6-7 hwalk on the way crossing waterfalls like Churchery, and Mintogang and stream like Phakhola & Chursey. Break at Sachen for lunch. Climb steeply from Prekchu to Bakhim, and then further to the Tibetan Refugee settlement of Tsokha where we get our first views of Mt.Pandim (6780m) and Mt. Tenchinkhang Night halt at Tshoka .
Day 4. Tshoka - Dzongri
From Tshoka, we move furrther to Dzongri - walk quite steeply upwards crossing Deorali a view point and move to Dzongri. Night halt at Dzongri.
Day 5. Dzongri - acclimatization
During this acclimatization day, you will have the chance to view the sunrise above the mountain peaks from Dzongri-La (30-40 min steep walk). Free day to explore the region.
Day 6. Dzongri - Thangsing
Early morning walk approx. half an hour up to the Dzongri pass from where views of the mountain ranges look ominously close. In front of you are the Kabru Dome, Frey Peak, Kokthang, Kabur, Rathong, Pandim Talung & Khangchendzonga Peaks standing aloft in all their celestial beauty. After breakfast 5 hrs walk up to Thangsing. Walk over the east shoulder of Dzongri pass and cross rambling terrain, stopping frequently to gaze upon the stunning line up of Himalayan peaks. Mt. Pandim & Kabru Dominate the foreground left and right of the Prekchu valley while Khangchendzonga takes backstage, its light coloured sharp summit tapering to the east. You start to hear the rumbling of the Prekchu River, this is the major elevation loss of this trek, ending at the edge of a broad rocky river bed. Stop for the lunch beside the river thereafter continue walk the west side and cross the wooden bridge, then traverse a lonely fir forest and follow the creek to Thangsing set at the bottom of the Tinchenkhang and along glacial valley. Overnight at camps.
Day 7. Thangsing - Samiti Lake - Lamune
The distance of the trek from Thangsing to Samiti Lake is 5-6 kms and takes about 3 hrs walk. The initial walk is a gradual climb alongside a milky stream. Breaking into steeper slopes at a lone yak herder's hut. You are now walking at a lateral moraine of a gigantic glacier. The trail again crosses high grasslands and picks its way through lichen-covered boulders, the mountains closing in both sides as the valley narrows. At last the campsite is visible just at the shore of an emerald coloured Lake Samiti set at the base of Mt. Pandim. Protected away from the ice-chilled winds, the small oasis seems far from all the demands you left at home. Lunch at Samiti. Overnight halts at Lamune camp.
Day 8. Lamune - Goechala - Thangsing
Trek from Lamune to Goechala (4940 m). The harshness of the weather and the scarcity of drinking water does not permit camping at Goechala. An early start from Samiti Lake enables one to reach Goechala and return back to Thangsing same day. Overnight halts at camps.
Day 9. Thangsing - Lampokhari
Today after breakfast we will continue our trek towards Lampokhari Camp site which is a lees Explored trekking trail and destination. This trek route fall exactly opposite to the Singalila range of Hills and Mountains. In fact the trail all the way to Labdang adjoining hills falls opposite to Singalila Range. The trail passes through the pristine valley of Junipers and Rhododendron from Thanshing onwards till one reaches Lampokhari Camp site.
Day 10. Lampokhari - Kasturi
After Breakfast head on for a Longer Trek to Kasturi Odar camp site. Kasturi means Musk Deer in English and Odar means a Cave.The region has huge Musk Deer Population and other rare Himalayan Animals and had some Popular Animal caves hence the name of the place is called Kasturi Odar. The trail passes through Alpine valley in a zig-jag and Up-Down trail till one reaches Kasturi Camp site which is a Semi-Tropical region. Kasturi camp site is in the middle of the Semi tropical Forest.
Day 11. Katuri - Labdang
Today the trail is mostly downhill all the way till Labdang Village. The trail descend through a Romantic but long downhill valleys.In some places during the Trek you will come across the abandoned Camp sites of the Sheep Herders. Labdang is a Proper Himalayan Village well connected with a motor able roads and had its own Primary School. Labdang Village is also Popular for its rural Home stay.
Day 12. Labdang - Tashiding
Today after Breakfast we will trek to Tashiding Village which is Popular for its Powerful and Holy Monastery. Today the trails passes through regular Village footpath and often comes across the under construction motor able roads. Today One will have the best Opportunity to Explore and Experience the small Scattered villages of the Himalayas. In the Evening Visit Tashiding Monastery to Experience the divine and Peaceful time. Overnight at Tashiding.
Day 13. Tashiding – Bagdogra – Delhi
Transfer to Bagdogra. Flight to Delhi