(5 nights 6 days)
This compact trip covers the alpine pastures & glacial lakes in picture-perfect North Sikkim with an off-beat twist at both ends. So on the way up you stay in an eco resort in serene Rumtek instead of crowded Gangtok and on the way back instead of backtracking to Gangtok you take the little explored route via Dikchu to South Sikkim for an experiential stay in a village farmhouse.
- Day 1: New Jalpaiguri Rly. Stn. / Bagdogra Airport - Rumtek - 118 kms/ 5 hrs Arrive in NJP Rly Stn or Bagdogra airport. Drive via Siliguri and then through the dense forests of Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary to reach Sevok in the foothills – see gorgeous view of Tista River as it comes out from the deep gorges of the Himalayas and spreads itself over the vast plains of North Bengal. From here the drive is on winding roads along the meandering emerald green Tista till Singtham, and then through typical Sikkimese mountainside dotted alluringly with terraced land & orchards to finally reach Rumtek in the evening. Overnight in an eco resort.
- Day 2: Rumtek – Lachen (2750 M) 135 kms /6 hrs Have breakfast and start for North Sikkim. As the journey continues from Gangtok the route meanders through small villages flanked by fields and valleys until it hits the forest grove of Kabi Langchuk. See the quaint villages of Mangan & Singhik- these villages offer a most glorious views of Kanchenjunga. Drive on to reach Chungthang- a village that lies at the confluence of Lachen Chu and Lachung Chu (Chu means River in the local dialect) and have lunch here. Move on, stop a while at the Vimnala Waterfalls and reach Lachen in the afternoon. Rest of the day is free to enjoy the Alpine picture postcard beauty of this village and the mountainside. Overnight stay in a resort.
- Day 3: Lachen Today after early breakfast we proceed to Chopta Valley (Alt 13325 Ft / 4000 M) – an exciting drive through an alpine plateau to the virgin landscapes close to Tibet border. En route we visit Thangu –the last village in North Sikkim mostly inhabited by the nomadic tribes of Tibetan origin. Proceed further to Gurudongmar Lake – situated at an Altitude of 17600 ft (5360 M) this lake is considered as the most sacred Lake of Sikkim and it is certainly the most beautiful. Spend some time in this landscape of eternal beauty and be back in Lachen by late afternoon/early evening.
- Day 4: Lachen – Yumthang Valley – Lachung (2425 M) 95 kms / 4 ½ hrs After breakfast drive back to Chungthang and enter the Lachung Valley. Go past the village to Yumthang – Sikkim’s valley of flowers at 12000 ft (3600 M). The journey from Lachung to Yumthang offers an unforgettable virgin landscape covered with Rhododendron bushes and 108 types of Orchids. Visit the hot springs and enjoy a mesmerizing spectacle of yaks grazing on flower-carpeted meadows with a backdrop of snow peaks. Enjoy a picnic lunch and drive back via Chungthang to reach the village of Lachen in the evening. Overnight stay in a resort.
- Day 5: Lachung – South Sikkim at Kewzing 135 km / 7 hrs Leave after breakfast visit the Angora rabbit farm at Rabum. There are only two such farms in India (the other one is in Kullu) shop for 100% pure Angora products. Carry on towards Ravangla district in South Sikkim. It is a long drive but through beautiful valleys and quaint villages. Go past Ravangla town to reach Kewzing village by late afternoon. This is a typical Bhutia Village in South Sikkim with a backdrop of the majestic Mt Narsing & Mt Karbu snow peaks crowning valleys dotted with beautiful terraced fields. On promise here are nature walks, birding, exotic food and interaction with the simple & warm locals. Spend evening around a bonfire drinking Chaang (traditional millet beer) in the company of family members of the farmhouse homestay you’d be staying the night at.
- Day 6: Kewzing – NJP/Bagdogra – 140 kms/6 hrs Morning transfer to Bagdogra Airport/New Jalpaiguri Rly Station in time to board your flight/train back home. PLEASE NOTE: ideally you should spend one more day in Kewzing to do justice to the pristine natural beauty and wonderful hikes/walks the surrounding region offers.