March 23rd - 31st, 2013
(8 nights 9 days)
This is a truly off-beat trip that focuses only on little explored, emerging destinations across the western, southern & northern parts of Sikkim. Pristine breathtakingly beautiful scenery, awe inspiring views of snow covered peaks including Kanchenjunga, and interactions with the warm & hospitable indigenous hill tribes during a homestay in North Sikkim; all combine to give you a unique & matchless holiday experience in the Sikkim Himalayas. What’s more you not only cover incognito places but also go incognito far away from the maddening crowds that throng elsewhere in this remarkable Himalayan state.
- Day 1: NJP / Bagdogra Kaluk 110 km / 4 hrs Arrive at Bagdogra Airport / New Jalpaiguri Rly Stn. Set off on a picturesque drive to reach the village of Kaluk in West Sikkim. Kaluk-Rinchenpong is the forest and buffer zone area of Varshey Rhododendron sanctuary. The area is gifted with abundant natural resources and is a paradise for the nature lovers, conservationists, botanists, zoologists and environmentalists. Set amidst the lush green valley your resort offers a magnificent frontal view of Kanchenjunga snow peaks. Spend the rest of the day relaxing in the resorts landscape garden with a book or stroll around the resort's own forest area on a bird watching tour. Overnight in a village resort.
- Day 2: Kaluk - hikes & village exploration Post breakfast do a pleasant 3.5 km walk through pristine Lepcha villages and forests to Resum - the meeting of three hill tops. From here you get spectacular views of Mt Kanchenjunga. Post lunch go for another beautiful walk of about 4 kms through verdant forests of chestnut and oaks to a Lepcha heritage house – a stunning example of intricate traditional architecture. Also visit the local market at Rinchenpong and the colonial era Dak Bungalow. Be back in your resort for cocktails at the Bamboo Bar with a bonfire and an ethnic cultural performance to boot.
- Day 3: Kaluk Kewzing via Dentam & Pelling Valleys 80 km / 4- 5 hrs Leave after a leisurely breakfast on a beautiful drive through the stunning Dentam valley to reach Pelling, stop here to take a look at the Pemayangtse Gompa or do a short walk to Rabdentse Ruins - the second capital of the erstwhile King of Sikkim till 1814 A.D, by walk. The scenic view from the top of the ruins scanning across the deep valley, to the mystic heights of the Kanchenjunga range is something that’ll be cherished for long & etched in memory. Later carry on via Geyzing towards Legship – a small and busy market on the bank of Rangeet River. Legship is also famous for its hot spring and Shiva Mandir. Reach Kewzing – a typical Bhutia settlement set on a forested slope. On arrival in Kewzing Village you will be greeted traditionally by the villagers with silk scarf locally known as Khada followed by introduction with family members of the farmhouse homestay that you’d be boarding up at for the night. Spend the evening around a bonfire and copious draughts of Chaang (traditional millet beer) enjoying the warm hospitability of the farmhouse folks.
- Day 4: Kewzing hikes & visit Ravangla This morning we will go for a short tour around the farm and interact with the villagers. From Kewzing we will take you for a pleasant nature walk to Doling Monastery where you can enjoy the pristine village trail passing through lush green forest lined with Mendang (Buddhist Stupas), streams with log bridges on the path which takes about two to three hours. Packed Lunch will be served at Doling monastery. After lunch if interested one can walk to Ravangla by passing Barfung Village which takes about an hour. Later you could either get back to Kewzing or explore Ravangla. Overnight at the farmhouse.
- Day 5: Kewzing Temi Tea Garden Rumtek (1750 M) 90 km / 4 ½ hrs Leave after breakfast via Ravangla to the exotic Temi Tea Garden, spend some time here enjoying this stunning locale and later drive through typical Sikkimese mountainside dotted alluringly with terraced land & orchards to finally reach Rumtek by late afternoon. Later visit Rumtek Monastery – Sikkim’s largest and 2nd largest in Asia after Lhasa. Overnight in an eco resort.
- Day 6: Rumtek Dzongu 84 km / 3 ½ hrs Leave after breakfast to Dzongu - an official reserve for the Lepcha community in North Sikkim. Kilometers of stunning beautiful wilderness greet you when you enter Dzongu. Numerous waterfalls cascade down every hill, visible here and there amongst the lush green trees. Mighty rivers flow in steep and narrow valleys nurturing all the life here and ultimately adding to the Teesta. Snowy mountain ranges form the backdrop and bird calls add to the pretty painting that the landscape here is. Everything here exudes a deep sense of solitude and calm. This pristine natural beauty is aptly complimented by the warm hospitality during your homestay in a Lepcha household.
- Day 7: Dzongu A full day to enjoy the beauty of this region on short hikes & drives to monasteries, waterfalls and other villages. You could also try crossing the river on cane bridges that the tribals have made at various points – this is very thrilling and certainly not for the faint hearted. Angling in the crystal clear waters of the Ryong Chu or Teesta and later having it cooked Lepcha style is yet another option
- Day 8: Dzongu Gangtok - Changoo Lake Rumtek 152 km / 7 hrs We leave after an early breakfast, to reach Gangtok; here we take a detour of about an hour each way to see the beautiful Tsomgo / Changoo Lake. We later drive back past Gangtok to reach the resort in Rumtek by late afternoon/early evening.
- Day 9: Rumtek Bagdogra airport / NJP Rly. Stn. 125 km / 5 hrs Post breakfast drop to the airport in Bagdogra or NJP Rly Stn for your return flight/train.
CostCost per person on twin share: INR 36400/-
Cost for extra adult sharing a room: INR 25000/-
Single room supplement: INR 20200/-