MAY 8-16, 2016
(8 nights 9 days)
This grand tour covers all the places in Sikkim that have made this little mountain state a sought after destination in the Indian Himalayas. You get to see North Sikkim’s alpine meadows & glacial lakes, the verdant thickly forested mountainsides of West Sikkim dotted with terraced fields, small villages & gompas, and some off-beat little explored parts of South Sikkim.
- Day 1: Arrive Bagdogra Airport – Gangtok (1750 M) 125 kms / 5 hrs Meeting and assistance on arrival and drive to reach Rumtek by early evening. 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 Gangtok. Check in to a room on arrival.
- Day 2: Gangtok - Mangan –Chungthang - Lachung 136 kms / 6 hrs Post breakfast drive to Lachung. 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. Mangan and Singhik villages come next with its promises of one of the most glorious views of Kanchenjunga. Situated at an altitude of over 4000ft these villages offer a desired break to the travelers for the magnificent view of Kanchenjunga. Visit CHUNGTHANG-the confluence of Lachen Chu and Lachung Chu (river) and VIMNALA WATER FALLS on your way to Lachung. Reach Lachung in the afternoon. Check in to rooms and have a free evening.North Sikkim:
This region is broadly divided in Lachen and Lachung region (2750m/ 9000ft.). Lachung is a very small town with scattered settlements, dominated mostly by Lachungpas and Bhutias. Lachung is the last habitation on the road to Yumthang monastery; hidden high on the hillside overlooking a settlement of Lachungpas and barracks of the Indian army. In the distance, one can see the impressions of a track that was once used by Silk route traders to cross over from Tibet. The drive to Lachung is enchanting with lush greenery all around and several waterfalls en route. Lachung|s sister village, Lachen is only a recent host to tourists. It stands on a grass and bush flat area from the periphery of which rises the pine clad mountains.
- Day 3: Lachung – driving excursion to Yumthang Valley & Yumesamdong (Zero Point) 59 kms / 2hr each way After early breakfast, leave for Yumthang -the 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 other types of Orchids. The hot springs and mesmerizing scene with yaks grazing on flower-carpeted meadows on the backdrop of snow peas are the added attractions. Proceed further 35 kms to Zero Point. Spend some time in this landscape of eternal beauty. Post visit drive back to your resort in Lachung. Evening go for a walk in the village.
- Day 4: Lachung – Lachen 47 km / 2 hrs Post leisurely breakfast, drive via Chungthang, to reach the bewitchingly beautiful Lachen Village in the afternoon. Check into a room at the Resort. Late afternoon go for a walk in & around the village.
- Day 5: Lachen - excursion to Chopta Valley & Gurudongmar Lake 60 km /2 ½ hrs each way Post early breakfast proceed to Chopta Valley (Alt 13325 Ft/4000 M) – an exciting journey through an alpine plateau to the virgin landscapes close to Tibet border. En route 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 17200 ft (5100 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 6: Lachen – South Sikkim at Ravangala (1700 M) 135 km / 7 hrs Leave after early 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. Check into a cottage with stunning views at the Resort. This region is a haven for nature and mountain lovers, surrounded by alpine landscape, dense verdant woodland, hot spring, sylvan forests & water falls at the foot of Mainam Hills in the backdrop of snow capped Himalayan peaks like Mt. Narsing, Simvo & Siniolchu. The view from the sit-out of the cottages seep in the mesmerizing effect of sunrise & set on these peaks will be a memorable experience. The nature walks in the surroundings present the most scintillating feel of virgin nature.
- Day 7: Ravangla –Temi Tea Garden - Kalimpong 90 Kms/3 hrs Post breakfast, drive to Kalimpong. Enroute visit the exotic Temi Tea Garden, spend some time here enjoying this stunning locale and then drive to reach Kalimpong by afternoon.
- Day 8: In Kalimpong – excursion to Lepcha Village at Pedong (25 kms 30 min drive) Post leisurely breakfast, leave for day excursion to a lovely Lepcha village. Here you will have the opportunity to meet the colourful and happy Lepcha community and interact with them, know their culture and tradition. Enjoy nice gentle nature, hike around the village and finally have an organic and locally farm produced lunch on your own with a Lepcha family (approx cost Rs 500 per person). This is a part of community development project.
- Day 9: Kalimpong – Bagdogra 80 Kms approx 3 hrs drive Post breakfast, drive to airport to board flight for onward destination.