Himalayan kingdom in the north of india

Sikkim is bordered by Nepal to the west, China’s Tibet Autonomous Region to the north and east, and Bhutan to the east. Lesser-known in the west, the region is not visited by many tourists, but more and more people come and fall in love with this small Indian state.Khangchendzonga, the world’s third-highest summit is towering above and dominating the landscape. On or 12-day trekking tour you will always be seeing it or being just around the corner – eye to eye with a majestic eight-thousander. But there is much more to this trip than this single summit, for example: thick rhododendron forests, rare animals, high passes and lesser-travelled paths (at least during the first part of our tour). What makes the journey even more exciting ist the fact that we are always walking right on the border or along the border between India and Nepal.

Explore the former kingdom with your hiking boots!

The world's third highest mountain - the Khangchendzonga - accompanies you on that tour


Highlights at a glance

  • Visiting the heartland of tea: Darjeeling with its colonial flair
  • Meetings with friendly people, for example at the homestays
  • 12-day trekking tour from Chitre to Yoksum
  • Khangchendzonga, the world’s third-highest mountain is always close by



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Basicdata

Best time of travel: March-May & October-December (blooming in spring / best mountain view in autumn)                     
2 pax onwards
Price: on request
Duration:
22 days


Itinerary

Day 1
Departure from home

Day 2
Delhi & Darjeeling
Arrive Delhi transfer to hotel for rest before flying to Bagdogra. Arrive Bagdogra and drive to Darjeeling. Overnight in a clean and nicely located family run property

Day 3
Darjeeling unlimited
Darjeeling sightseeing inclusive of Toytrain ride.

Day 4
Rinchenpong
Drive to Rinchenpong and check into nice farm resort.

Day 5
Relaxation
Day in Rinchenpong with hiking & relaxing.

A ride on a toy train is obligatory in Darjeeling

Day 6
Uttarey
Drive to Uttarey and overnight in Homestay

Day 7
Trek to Chitre
After breakfast we start the trek from Uttarey to Chitre.  Following the checking of our permits at the control post, our first walking of the trip is on a good trail, through abundant rhododendron forest, to a campsite clearing near the forest guards hut at Chitra (2680 m) about 4 to 5 hour trekking. The trail is gradual uphill all the way   to the camp near the border police settlement. O/n Tent.

Day 8
Chitre - Chiwabhangyang - Gairi
A 2 hour climb leads through the forest to a pass known as Chiwabhanjang (3130 m). After the confines of the forest, the walk continues along the ridge opening up tantalising views of the giant Himalayan Peaks to the north. We walk for about 3 more hours before stopping at a place called Gairi (3300m) for overnight. O/n tents.

Day 9
Trek to Dhor
Today is the first of two longer days, from our camp just below the low-point of the ridge we begin a steep climb to a high point of 3500 metres. Although steep, the trail is excellent and has obviously been used for centuries by herders moving their yaks from one grazing ground to another across the ridge. Descending once again to 3300 metres, the path switches between Nepal and Sikkim with spectacular views down either side of the ridge. It is obvious why the trail clings to the ridge top, as there is simply no way down on either side, so dense is the rhododendron forest. In spring, this part of the walk must be spectacularly colourful. A level and slightly wider section of the ridge, offers a perfect resting point for lunch, before another small climb and more airy ridge-top trekking leads to our camp just past a yak herders camp, known as Dhor (3720 m). Water is often scarce at this and the next campsite, which means that the kitchen staff have to descend a long way to find water. We camp on the Nepal side of the ridge and have splended views across a succession of ridges, as well as a beautiful sunset panorama of the high peaks of Nepal, including Makalu and Everest. Total walking time – 7 to 8 hours. O/n Tents

Day 10
Trek to Sikkim Megu
Just before the camp there is a particularly fine viewpoint for Kangchenjunga and it is worth getting up early to watch the sun rise on the world’s 3rd highest mountain. The early morning light along the ridge with many short ascents and descents and very little flat walking! The highpoint of the day’s trekking is at a collection of prayer flags at 3920 meters, which is reached, sometime mid-morning. After lunch, the trail remains high, between 3600 and 3900 metres, to our camp on the open grazing slopes known as Sikkim Megu. Walking time – 5 to 6 hours. Altitude at camp – 3900 metres. O/n Tents.

Day 11
Trek to the meadows of Dafey Bhir
After breakfast at Sikkim Megu. We trek uphill towards Garakhet for about 3 hrs.  The terrain becomes more open and the scale of the mountain scenery much larger as we follow a wide valley, turning east, in the direction of a large waterfall and a break in the ridge, which leads to the Daphebir Pass. We camp near the pass in the meadows. The days walk is about 6 hrs. From the campsite we have a good view of the Kanchenjunga massif. Overnight at Dafey Bhir meadows.

Day 12
Trek to Yangseb
We cross 2 lakes on the way before the Daphebir pass ( 4500)  offering spectacular views of the north, of the high mountains of Sikkim, including Kangchenjunga (8585 m), Kabru (7317 m) and Pandim (6691 m) We leave our camp early, to enable us to get to the pass in time for the early morning views. The pass is marked by 4 cairns and we soon reach the start of the steep zig-zag path that climbs to the col. It is quite atmosphere, walking alongside the yaks and yak men with the sound of jingling yak bells and whistles from the yak men, urging on their charges. After short celebrations we drop down and then contour across the hillside for a further 30 minutes to reach the main pass (4500 m) which is marked by hundreds of prayer flags. The views to the north are once again stunning and we relax for a while to take in the magnificent scenery. The walk down to the valley floor is most enjoyable, following a good trail across the open slopes at first and then down through the pine and juniper forest to Gamothang – a beautiful spot by the river. From Gomathang we have a two-hour climb to our campsite  at Yanseb. (3900m)

Day 13
Trek to Pangding
Leaving the beautiful campsite is a wrench, but there is the promise of more of the same still to come. We can now look across to Dzongri, a small settlement on the main trekking route to Kangchenjunga and our destination in three days time. We continue contouring across the hillside, climbing at times, until we cross a small river beyond which a final climb leads to yet another small pass (4310 m), adorned by prayer flags and with wonderful views looking back across our route of the last two days. A short distance below the pass, the trail climbs steeply once again p the hillside for an hour and then turns a corner to reveal a spectacular view across a wide ridge, to Kabru and Pandim. We now feel that we are getting really close to the big mountain as the landscape opens up in front of us. We camp in a clearing known as Panding (4275 m). Walking time about 6 to 7 hours. O/n tents.

Day 14
Trek to Dzongri
Just as sunset was impressive the night before, so is sunrise. It is certainly worth getting up early to witness this (even if you have to go back to bed). Today’s walk goes downhill very near from the camp all the way to the Bikbari valley floor. It is not a long day’s walk so we can have a leisurely breakfast before we break camp. Once we have descended to a photogenic plank bridge in the valley floor, we start the climb to Dzongri. After 2 hours we reach a set of prayer flags on a ridge, which we follow for an hour to the medows of Dzongri (4050m, where we camp in a natural bowl on the ridge. The peaks of Pandim, Narsingh and Joponu now appear to be distinctly closer. A short walk above Dzongri is a superb viewpoint for sunset and sunrise on Kangchenjunga, well worth the effort for an early evening stroll. For the best approach to the viewpoint, follow the trail up the ridge from the lowest hut – the viewpoint is easily visible due to the large number of prayer flags. As well as Kangchenjunga, there are superb views of the neighbouring peaks, including Rathong (6683 m), Kokthang (6150 m), Karbu Dome (6640 m) and Forked Peak (6116 m). Walking time about 4 hours.

Day 15
Trek to Lamuni
After breakfast trek to Lamune (4000m) for about 5 hrs.   Leaving the campsite at Dzongri, we head north along the ridge from where the peaks of Pandim, Jopuno and Kanchenjunga lies right ahead.  After about an hour’s walk there is a steep descent to the valley bottom below, where we cross the river at Kochchuring. A steady uphill climb   for almost hour brings us to Thangsing. From here it is an almost level walk till Lamune our camp for the night. Lamune lies right below the Lake Samiti and time permiting we can walk upto the Lake. Overnight at Lamune.

The landscapes on this tour are breath taking
© Roland Amon

Day 16
Trek to Goeche La
This is a long day and we start very early in the morning to Goechala, a pass that lies at the foot of Mt. Pandim. We have to walk past the Lake Samiti and walk up the trail through rocks and moraines. A small part of the trail is through a sandy stretch of a dried up lake. It takes about 3 to 4 hrs to reach  Goechala. After spending some time on the pass we head back to Lamune and further down to Thangsing where we camp for the night.  The days walk is about 8/9 hrs today. Overnight camp in Thangsing (3900m)

Day 17
Trek nach Bakhim
We trek back to Kochurung and from there take the trail through the forest bypassing Dzongri and head towards Phedang and Choka to our camp at Bakhim.  Choka used to be a small settlement of Tibetan refugees who have now been relocated to Yuksom.  A small monastery in Choka still stands and can be visited.  After a long descent (almost 1500 metres), we camp in the forest of Bakhim, half an hour below the Chokaa.  It is a pleasant change to be back in a warm climate. From our camp, we look out on ridge after ridge of temperate forest and to the river far below. Walking time about 6/7 hours.

Day 18
Reserve day

Day 19
Yoksum
Trek to Yuksom and overnight in a very clean and comfortable accommodation. More downhill from our camp, all the way to the river. Then the trail runs up the narrow Rathong Valley, through thick, semi-tropical forest, contouring the east bank of the river with several undulations and tributary rivers to cross. The consolation is that now we are back in the warmer lower valley, there is plenty of opportunity for bathing under one of a number of suitable wayside waterfalls. After 4 hours, we reach Yoksom, where we check in to the best hotel in town – the Hotel Tashi Gang. In the afternoon we can take tea in the hotel garden and (with distant views of Mount Kabru) we can reflect on an excellent trek. In the evening we will have a party to say goodbye to our yak men, porters and Sikkimese trek crew.

Day 20
Kalimpong
Drive to Kalimpong

Day 21
Fly to Delhi
Drive to Bagdogra and fly to Delhi. Transfer to a hotel near the airport. Late in the evening transfer back to the airport. 

Day 22
Fly home

The reion of the trekking


Attention!

This trekking tour requires a very good stamina and the ability and will to hike long stretches.

Contact us for your very personal tour to  Sikkim and Darjeeling: daniela@gesar-travel.com or tashi@gesar-travel.com

More infos about Sikkim and Darjeeling: Destinations

 

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