North Sikkim

North Sikkim Tour is the most beautiful excursion of Nature, especially, the exploration of the eastern mountain of the Great Himalayan Range. North Sikkim hugs the Himalayan Mountains closely and is different from any other place in India. One of the most breathtaking landscapes in India, the region of the Northern part of the Sikkim state is the marvel of Nature of the Earth. The northern zone of Sikkim is the coldest, prettiest and has a wild celestial beauty that few can resist. The pristine view of the white snowy mountain tops, vivacious waterfalls, bustling rivers, majestic lakes and the vivid flora and fauna have the capacity to spellbind its visitors with its spectacular Natural untouched beauty in this region. Travelers demand everyone should complete North Sikkim Tour once there lifetime. North Sikkim Tour organized by Himalayan Destination can make your vacation memorable one, as we are specialist in this sector and we operate hotels The Sunrise Residency at Gangtok also. Himalayan Destination is one of the best North Sikkim tour and travel operator. Himalayan Destination is one of the best tour and travel operator, who organize North Sikkim Tour.

Lachung is a little hamlet nestling on the banks of the Lachung River, Lachung is the best possible destination for those who really love nature. Incidentally the name Lachung means small pass. It is close to the Tibet border and offer to the guest scenic views, a melting pot of culture, ubiquitous handicrafts and wonderful natural flora. Lachung is famous for its fruit production…apples, peaches and apricots are found in abundance there.

The Lachung Gompa / Lachung Monastery is one of the primary attractions of this small hamlet. This ancient monastery was built in 1880 and it lies amidst a luscious apple orchard. You can easily recognize the monastery as it has two identical metal dragons and huge prayer wheels. Try walking through the village to the monastery… it’s a short walk and you get to see many sights on the way. You can either opt for the main Katao road that leads up to the signed gateway of the monastery or you can take the longer and prettier route that forks left after the bridge.

Yumthang Valley  a lovely little place in North Sikkim. Yumthang at an elevation of (11,800 ft.) and 28 km from Lachung, the valley of Yumthang is well known for its Hot Sulphurous Springs and valley of beautiful Rhododendrons. Yumthang is a large valley surrounded by mountains where the tree line ends. A small tributary of Teesta flows besides Yumthang valley and there is a hot spring with alleged medicinal properties in that area. En-route to Yumthang valley you will see lots of natural streams along with some excellent views of peaks of Pauhunri and Shundi. In Late March to Late April the valley erupts in a riot of colors as Rhododendrons, Primula and many other Alpine Flowers are in full bloom. In the winter months, Yumthang is somber with snow all around, and the snow clad mountains adding to the ethereal beauty.

Yumesamdong or Zero Point is situated 26 km more North from the famous Yumthang Valley. It is one of the most visited place in North Sikkim just because of breathtaking views of Himalayan Range with snow clapped mountain. Anyone can found snow in this valley even May month also. Tungabhadra Shiva temple is one of the most attractive place in this location.

Singhba Rhododendron Sanctuary situated on the way to Yumthang valley from Lachung. More specifically you have to pass through this Sanctuary to visit Yumthang Valley. Total area of this sanctuary is more than 43 sq. km. This Sanctuary is famous for home of 42 different species of these beautiful flowers called Rhododendron. This Santuary is also called the Valley of Flowers of North Sikkim. it’s possible to take day trips in the sanctuary between 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with the help of a local trained guide. In Late March to Late April the valley erupts in a riot of colors as Rhododendrons, Primula and many other Alpine Flowers are in full bloom.

Phuni Valley, is one of the loveliest and yet relatively unexplored skiing destinations in Northern India, Phuni is just 20 km away from Lachung. In fact you can use Lachung as a base for exploring Phuni though it deserves a special individual mention. The snow that covers Phuni all winter, lovely gentle slopes and an altitude of 11,500 feet makes it an attractive destination for ski lovers across the globe. The SMA (Sikkim Mountaineering Association) organizes Ice Skiing Festivals at Phuni every March for 15 days to popularize this sport among tourists.

Katao is another most visited place at North Sikkim, at an altitude of nearly 15000 ft and is far away from the center of Sikkim. Staying at Lachung one can visit Katao. With the panoramic view of snow capped peaks of the Himalayas, it is a rival to the much sought after Yumthang in beauty. A military check-post is nearby. Katao Valley is around 24 kilometers from Lachung. The trip to Katao is not in the standard packages of North Sikkim or Lachung tour. Guest has to pay additional cost for visit the place. Technically it is closed to guest but the vehicle arrange for the pass locally and the visit is made possible. Please note that it is quite difficult to do Yumthang Valley, Zero Point & Katao in a same day and return back to Gangtok. If someone have not much time to spend in Lachung and also have interest for Katao, Yumthang & Zero Point, then only one solution as follows. One has to stay or reach Lachung on the previous night. Next day morning first visit Katao then back to Lachung and take breakfast then proceed towards Yumthang Valley & Yumesamdong / Zero Point and return to Gangtok. Infrastructure is poor due to the remoteness of the area. Sikkim is very close to Peoples Republic of China’s border and the Defense establishment tends to keep things under a very tight leash. Hence it is very difficult to get individual permissions for visiting these areas. As long as you move in groups (More than one guest) under the guidance of tour operators its manageable.

Lachen means Big Pass with full of beautiful scenic sights. Lachen has not yet become as big a tourist destination like Lachung so there is an untouched beauty about the place. In summers the annual Yak race takes place here and that’s an ideal time to visit. The Lachen Gompa / Lachen Monastery presides over this small hamlet and luscious forests form the canopy. Snow clad peaks are easily visible here and in the spring many varieties of flowers dot the place.

Thangu situated at an altitude of 14,000 ft. is about three hours drive from Lachen. It is a small Village where the visitors usually acclimatize before they proceed to Guru-Dongmar Lake and Chopta Valley (13,200 ft.). Thangu Valley is a broad valley at the junction of Thangu Chu, Chopta Chu and Lassur Chu. In the spring end / Early Summer months you will be fascinated by many hues all around as Rhododendrons, Primula and many other Alpine flowers are in full bloom. In the winter months you can play in the snow or even walk over frozen rivers. The Unspoiled beauty of the area will take your breath away.

Chopta Valley is not green like most other parts of Sikkim. it has rather a barren and austere landscape that seems exotic. In the spring however the valley transforms itself and becomes a riot of colors. Chopta valley is used a lot as the base for the extreme high altitude trek. Chopta Valley comes on the way from Lachen to Gurudongmar Lake. One can see a 360 degree view of the Himalayan ranges from here. Rare endemic species of flora and fauna are found in Chopta Valley. The colorful Himalayan Monals, Flycatchers, Whistling Thrush, Warblers are just some of the beautiful birds found in this region.

Kala Patthar, meaning ‘black rock’ in Nepali, Urdu and Hindi have altitude of 16942 ft. It is a notable landmark located on the south ridge of Pumori in the Nepalese Himalayas above Gorakshep. Although it is not a proper mountain, with a prominence of only 10 m (33 ft), the ascent of Kala Patthar is very popular with trekkers in the region of Mount Everest since it provides the most accessible close-up view of Mt. Everest. The views of Mt. Everest, Nuptse and Changtse are spectacular from Kala Patthar and there are glimpses of the northern flank and summit of Mt. Lhotse.  Need special permission for visit this place. Less tourist visit this place due to permit unavailability.

Gurudongmar Lake is considered to be one of the highest altitude sweet water lakes in the world. Surface altitude is 17800ft and elevation altitude is around 18100ft. The lake is known after Guru Padmasambhava who had paid a visit here in the 8th century. The revered Guru Nanak had also visited and blessed this lake in the 15th century. This lake treated a holy lake. Gurudongmar lake is considered as one of the sacred lakes of the state both by the Buddhists and the Hindus. The lake remains milky in color throughout the year and it is believed that Guru Padmasambhava touched the lake whilst he visited Tibet from this area via Thangu. The Gurundongmar Lake is sustained by glaciers, this lake also source point of the famous Teesta River. The surrounding area is known as Gurudongmar and is populated by Blue Sheep, Yaks and other species of wildlife.

Below 10 years and above 60 years persons can’t go to Gurudongmar Lake. They can  take rest at the place en-route of Gurudongmar Lake named Cafeteria 15000 / 15000 Cafeteria (just 15 km before of Gurudongmar Lake) and known as World Highest Cafeteria.

THINGS TO REMEMBER BEFORE PLANNING TO NORTH SIKKIM

Note that most of the place of North Sikkim situated in high altitude and the air has rarefied oxygen levels so you need to acclimatize yourself at base camps & gradually increase your night stay. Avoid long stretches of travel that involve drastic shifts in the oxygen levels in air. Avoid too much physical activity for long time & specially notice on your children and senior Citizen. You also need to travel in a sturdy vehicle like a Jeep as the roads are mostly rocky and full of sharp turns. It’s better to hire a good driver and vehicle from a reputed Tour & Travel agency for exploring North Sikkim.

No foreigners are allowed to the Yumesomdong  / Zero Pint, Mt. Katao, Lachen & Gurudongmar Lake. But they can enjoy only at Lachung and Yumthang Valley. 

Best time to visit

North Sikkim can’t accessible for 365 days. So you have to considered about the that before planning to visit North Sikkim.

In January – February

From January to February North Sikkim is at its coldest; especially in the mountains, but clear skies reward those who brave the low temperatures. The valleys are warmer and sunny with clear views of the incredible Himalaya. Due to colder temperatures, visitor numbers will be lower.

High altitude area specially Lachen, Gurudongmar Lake, Yumthang Valley roads are mostly closed due to heavy snow. Difficulty for getting permit on this area. Night stay option may available at Lachung but other parts are may inaccessibility. It is ideal for those who want chilled  weather and heavy snow. Night temperature mostly will goes to negative. Travelers may arrested by snow in this time in high altitude. Travelers may visit in this time with sufficient buffer day. We will not suggest to visit North Sikkim in this season.

In March

On March North Sikkim is at its coldest; snow melting has started. Temperature mostly remain negative at night. Mountains remain covered snow clapped. The valleys are warmer and sunny with clear views of the incredible Himalaya. Due to colder temperatures, visitor numbers will be lower. You can plan at this time but you can stuck any time at high altitude due to snow falls. Night stay at Lachen and sightseeing of Gurudongmar, Yumthang Valley & Yumesomdong / Zero Point mostly not possible due to road bockage with heavy snow and permits may not available. Generally you can get permit for nightstay at Lachung and sightseeing towards Mt. Katao in this season. You may not access entire Northh Sikkim and also not suggest to visit North Sikkim in this season.

In April – May

April and May are among the most popular times to travel as temperatures are pleasant and the valleys are abundant in nature; especially as all the flowers start to bloom. Early April witnesses the Rhododendron, so mountain slope may colorful. It is ideal for photographers and nature lovers. All roads are mostly open and you can get permit easily to visit remote areas also.

In June – September

June to September is monsoon season in Sikkim. But monsoon comes in this area little late so any one can visit till mid June. Although showers can occur at night without spoiling daytime explorations, conditions aren’t ideal for trekking. Sightseeing is still possible – just be prepared with a raincoat. Views are best in the mornings following night-time downpours. It is the best time for mountain shower lover. But landslide can happen any time to spoil your trip. So plan accordingly with sufficient buffer time.

In October

The majority of travelers (around 80%) want to visit North Sikkim in October, so plan well in advance to ensure you get your preferred accommodation and good value flights. It is are ideal for hiking and enjoying stunning views and pleasant temperatures. Expect it to be around 25°C in the sun, but there will be cooler temperatures in the evenings and at higher altitudes. All roads are mostly open and you can get permit easily to visit remote areas also.

In November

It is ideal time for those traveler who want mostly clear sky for photograph. So don’t hesitate to plan in this season. This season is famous for mostly clear with blue sky, Snow Clapped mountain & less crowd so anyone can spend their memorable time with your love one. All roads are mostly open and you can get permit easily to visit remote areas also.

In December

On December North Sikkim is at its coldest; especially in the mountains, but clear skies reward those who brave the low temperatures. The valleys are warmer and sunny with clear views of the incredible Himalaya. Due to colder temperatures, visitor numbers will be lower. But from 20th to 31st December North Sikkim mostly overcrowded. Anyone can arrested any time at this time in high altitude & remote areas. due to sudden snow falls. We will not suggest sightseeing of Gurudongmar lake at this time.

Please note that several parts of North Sikkim falls under protected area and you need a special permit / Inner Line Permit (ILP) and suggested go with a trusted / reliable Tour & Travel agencies only.

Please visit and let us give the opportunity to serve you and make your vacation memorable one……..

Green Sikkim, Clean Sikkim & Plastic Free Sikkim