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SHRI RAGHAVENDRA TOURS welcomes you to experience the rich Cultural and Natural Heritage of Sikkim and the Himalayas. With a decade long experience in organizing tours, treks, rafting, mountain biking etc for a most satisfied clientele, we believe in providing efficient service with the warmth of the traditional Sikkimese hospitality.
The Himalayan Shangri-La
Sikkim, tucked away in India's Northeast corner, between Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal is, without question, a very special part of India beautiful, unspoilt, green, full of orchids, mountains, butterflies and monasteries, and home to some of the gentles t people you could wish to meet. Just getting there is half the adventure. The first stage is to fly to Bagdogra, in West Bengal. From Bagdogra you reach Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, by road - either by Sikkim Nationalized Transport buses, or by a private car or taxi, which you can easily fix up at Bagdogra airport. Whatever the mode of transport, count on at least a 4 - 5 hour bumpy drive. The drive is spectacularly beautiful: once out of the plains and the rice paddies of West Bengal, the road becomes very wooded, and zigzags its way up into the mountains, hugging the Testa river valley. Along the way, monkeys sit by all the bends on the road: they know exactly where the cars have to slow down - with any luck, they'll get a biscuit or a banana. Until 1975, Sikkim remained an independent kingdom, ruled by the Chogyal, whose palace is tantalizingly hidden by trees, and is inaccessible to the public. The Tsuk-La-Khang, or Royal Chapel, is not always open to the public - it's better to go and ask, for depending on the guard on duty, you may be able to gain admission. Gangtok means, aptly enough "hill top" and the little capital of Sikkim are perched at 5,500 feet, high on the ridge of a valley. From Gangtok, you look over the hillside, down and across to terraced fields, with tall, white Buddhist prayer flags fluttering in the wind, and endless vistas of many shades of green. The town careers wildly and very steeply up and down the hillside, and no matter how you arrange it, you'll always end up at the top of the hill when you want to visit the little restaurant at t he foot of the hill, or you'll be at the bottom of the town, and remember you have to do some shopping at Cottage Industries, right at the top-just resign yourself to lots of steep climbs, and being a lot trimmer at the end of your stay! Gangtok is full of tall, brightly decorated houses and is a happy, bustling place-you'll meet Nepalese, Tibetans, Lepchas, Bhutias, Bengalis from the plains and even dhoti-ciad Tamils, and they are all, without exception, welcoming and friendly. In all m y years in India, I don't think I've gossiped as much with people, nor answered as many detailed questions about myself, nor seen my children plied with quite so many toffees and biscuits as in Sikkim. If you love the atmosphere of Indian hill towns, then you'll love Gangtok, with its sweaterclad locals; trekkers loaded down with equipment; and the busy Lafi Market, selling everything from luggage to dried cheese on strings. My children loved the deer park, to which we had to make a pilgrimage nearly every day, to see the deer, and the red panda. They also fell in love with the yellow fire engines at the Fire Station, but you can probably omit that from your itinerary!
The Namgyal Institute of Tibet logy in Gangtok is a "must". It is housed in a beautiful building, built in the traditional Tibetan style, with murals, decorated columns and a wonderful smell of beeswax polish from the creaky wooden floor. The staff of the institute is knowledgeable and delighted to show you their stunning collection of silk thanks (Buddhist paintings), statues and manuscripts. Having seen the exquisite thanks of the institute, go and visit the Cottage Industries Emporium, which is high up on the hill leading to Raj Bhavan: in the workshops, you can watch young students being taught the traditional art of thank a painting, along with weaving, wood-carving, and carpet making. Once again, the gentleness of the staff and their willingness to explain their crafts ensures that you'll walk back down into town with a sheaf of addresses of your new friends, many more photographs the n you'd meant to take and, who knows, maybe a thank of your own. The Tourist Office on the main Darjeeling Road is staffed by very helpful young people, and is open until quite late every night but, unfortunately, they have very little literature that they can give you. If you come across a good map or guidebook before you leave for Sikkim, do buy it and take it with you. Before hiring a taxi to go on any trips around Gangtok, first check the list of fares displayed in the tourist office. As far as food is concerned, do go to the prettily decorated Snow Lion Restaurant of the Hotel Tibet, and eat typical Tibetan food and Sikkimese momos (a snack akin to steamed dumplings). The restaurant of the Hotel Mayur has good food, and lovely views. ; And on the steep road climbing up to Raj Bhawan, on the left, there is a little hotel called the Himalchuli-sitoutside on their little terrace in the evening, have tea and samosas (a deep fried snack), and watch the sun set over the valley. 454 types of orchid, over 600 species of butterflies, 500 species of birds, red pandas; snow leopards Sikkim is a naturalist's paradise, and there are many wildlife parks and sanctuaries. The largest and most famous of these is the Kanchenjunga National Park, covering an area of 850 square kilometers and whose centrepiece, naturally, is the sacred mountain of Kanchenjunga. The best times to see orchids in bloom are April-May, July-August, and November. The Orchid Sanctuary in Gangtok, and the ipecac Garden, 14 kilometers downhill from Gangtok, has large displays of the state flower. Buddhism is an integral part of Sikkim and its culture, and many of the recommended trips around Gangtok have a monastery as their ultimate destination. The monasteries that are closest to gangtok are Enchey, Rumtek and Phodong: much further a field is t he monastery of Pemayangtse, 140 kilometers away from Gangtok. Enchey Monastery is three kilometers out of Gangtok, near the tourist bungalow. Follow the road up the hill towards Raj Bhavan, and then at the roundabout, ask for further directions. Enchey is a beautiful monastery, in an equally beautiful setting, approached along an avenue of hundreds of multicolored prayer flags. Although, on an absolute scale, everyone we meting Sikkim was friendly, if I had to choose winners, it would be the monks of Enchey, who fussed endlessly over my children, and even wanted them to take one of the monastery puppies home as a present! Rumtek Monastery is 24 kilometers out of Gangtok, on the other side of the Rain pool valley, and is easily accessible by car or taxi. The monastery is very large, and many of the local children study there: the children sit outside in the courtyard, studying their homework, and reciting their lessons for the older monks, basking in the sunshine.
Phodong Monastery, in eastern Sikkim is a must - the monastery is small, but interesting but the drive is absolutely beautiful. The 28 kilometers drive to Phodong takes 2 hours each way, and the road is fairly good, though there are one or two hair-raisin g sections, where waterfalls seem to have swept most of the road away. The bus timings are impractical; involving an overnight stay, so negotiate a taxi from the main rank in Gangtok, which is outside the Tourist Office. Phodong is the furthest you can go in eastern Sikkim on your permit. There is supposed to be a restaurant there but, when we went, everything was closed so take drinks and snacks with you. Pemayangtse is the worthwhile focal point of a two-day trip to west Sikkim. The 18th century monastery commands a stunning view of Kanchenjunga, as does the Hotel Mount. Pandim, whose gardens face the mountain? The Hotel Mount Pandim is the only hotel at Pemayangtse, and is very busy, with both serious trekkers and overnighters staying there, so it's essential to book. There is also a P.W.D. guesthouse. On the way to Pemayangtse, visit Kechopari Lake, or the "Wishing Lake". Legend has it that whenever a leaf drops onto the surface of the water, a bird will instantly swoop down to pick it up and, indeed, despite the surrounding dense forest, the surface of the lake stays remarkably smooth and clear. Tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas, Sikkim is a Himalayan wonderland with its lovely views and exotic orchids, and its forest-trails. A virtual Shangrila overlooked by Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak, Sikkim is attractive equally for the sightseer, the adventure sports enthusiast and those interested in Buddhism and Tibet logy. Buddhism is the predominant religion here, with many fine old monasteries rich with frescoes, religious paintings on silk and statues of the Buddha’s various incarnations. In Gangtok, the delightfully quaint capital, are pagoda like roofs of many buildings and the presence of crimson robed monks in the bazaars. The Institute of Tibet logy, the only one of its kind in the world, was set up by the erstwhile ruler to promote research on Mahayana Buddhism, and on the language and traditions of Tibet. Lower down the hill is the famed orchid sanctuary where 500 species of orchids indigenous to Sikkim are cultivated. Sikkim offers several treks that lead through pine forests, through picturesque valleys, monasteries and to mountain lakes. It is also the base for mountaineering expeditions and the rivers Teesta and Ranged offer excellent river rafting. All foreigners wishing to visit Sikkim – though travel formalities are being relaxed gradually, must seek prior permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Permission may, therefore, be sought from Indian Missions overseas, or from offices of Sikkim Tourism, A number of good hotels and lodging houses exist in Gangtok. SIKKIM HELIKOPTER SERVICE (SHS) Daily 5-Seater Helicopter Service Between Ganktok and Bagdogra connecting all civil Flights to and from Bagdogra Dep Gangtok - 12:30 hrs Dep Bagdogra - 14:30 hrs* Duration 30 minutes Fare Rs 1500/- per Person *On Monday/Friday Dep 15:30 hrs to cater for IA Calcutta Arrivals For information/Prior Reservation Gangtok Entry to Sikkim is most convenient by coach, taxi or helicopter. The state of Sikkim lies in the shadow of the mighty Kanchenjunga and its capital, Gangtok, is a picturesque mountain clinging town with monasteries, parks, pagoda style houses and colourful bazaars.
GENERAL INFORMATION Altitude: 5800 ft (1,547 meters). Climate (deg.c.): Summer- Max. 20.7, Min. 13.1; Winter- Max. 14.9, Min. 7.7. Clothing: Summer- Light woolens, Winter- Heavy woollens. Languages spoken: Sikimese, English. Best Season: March to late May, October to Mid-December. HOW TO REACH Air: Nearest Airport is Bagdogra (124 kms). Fare: - Calcutta-Bagdogra Rs.1025. Rail: The nearest railway stations are Siliguri 114 kms, New Jalpaiguri (NJP) 125 kms. Fare: - Howrah-New Jalpaiguri: AC 1st Class Rs.1010, AC 2 Tier Rs.667, 1st Class Rs.530, 2nd Class Rs.161. Road: Good motor able roads connect Gangtok with Siliguri 114 kms, Calcutta 725 kms, Darjeeling 139 kms and Guwahati 589 kms. Bus Service: Regular bus services connect Gangtok with Bagdogra, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri and Calcutta. Fare: - Calcutta-Gangtok Rs.160. Conducted Tour: The following tours are run by the Dept. of Tourism, Govt. of Sikkim, starting from the tourist Information Centre, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Tel.: 22064, only during the season. Places Covered 1) Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom, Research Institute of Tibet logy, Orchid Sanctuary and Enchey Monastery (1000 to 1230 hours). Fare Rs.40. 2) Orchidarium and Dharma Charka Centre (Rumtek) (1300-1730 hours). Fare: - Rs.55. Places of Interest Chorten, Deer park, Enchey Monastery, Government Cottage Industries Institute, Orchid Sanctuary, Research Institute of Tibet logy, Tashi View Point, Dharma Charka Centre (Rumtek) and Saramsa Garden. Proposed Ganesh Tok & Hanuman Tok. Excursions Bakkhim: 2nd day halt for trekking and mountaineering expedition to Dzongri. Dzongri: This place offers a fascinating view of Kanchenjunga. Pemayangtse Monastery: 115 kms from Gangtok. The 2nd oldest monastery in Sikkim. And an ideal base for trekking to Dzongri. Mt. Narsing Village Resort Located 3 km away from Ravangla (6800 ft) on the Gangtok -Pelling/Pemayangtse highway amidst quaint villages, Mt Narsing Village Resort offers a splendid view of the Rangit valley and the wide countryside dotted with ancient and sacred monasteries of west & south Sikkim. The close proximity of the snowcapped peaks of Mt.Narsing, Mt.Jopuno and Mt.Kabur provide a truly magnificent and awe inspiring backdrop. Mt. Narsing is an ideal place to experience the peace and tranquility of the Sikkimese countryside coupled with the warmth of the typical Sikkimese hospitality. While conducting tours, treks, biking & rafting trips, and specially special interest trips, Yuksom Tours & Treks follows a code of conduct pledging not to do anything detrimental to the cultural & natural heritage of Sikkim and the Himalayas. Please help us in fulfilling this pledge - we are sure you will also support and appreciate this. Mt. Narsing Village Resort Mt. Narsing-the village resort is located 3 km away from Ravangla (6400 ft) on the Gangtok - Pelling / Pemayangtse highway. Situated amidst quaint villages, it offers a splendid view of the Rangit valley and the wide countryside dotted with ancient and sacred monasteries of west & south Sikkim. The close proximity of the snowcapped peaks of Mt.Narsing, Mt.Jopuno and Mt.Kabur provide a truly magnificent and awe inspiring backdrop. Mt. Narsing is also an ideal place to experience the peace and
tranquility of the Sikkimese countryside coupled with the warmth of traditional Sikkimese hospitality. Accommodation is in set of cozy rooms with attached baths in the Bungalow or in Safari Tents for the adventurous. The tents are separate carpeted units with full sized beds and private patios and serviced by a block of clean, well-maintained, toilets and bathrooms. There are two restaurants to enjoy delicious Sikkimese, Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisine and a well stocked bar to warm the cool evenings. The resort has a lot of open space to lounge around and play indoor or outdoor games and also a crafts centre where one can observe the master craftsmen display their traditional skills of wood carving and Thanka painting. Activities during a stay in Mt. Narsing range from tours to the monasteries at Pemayangtse, Ralang and Tashiding, the tea garden at Temi, moderate treks to the viewing points at Menam (3200 mtrs) and Tendong (2575 mtrs), hikes into the nearby villages and pony riding. Mt. Narsing is promoted and managed by Yuksom Tours & Treks, one of the leading travel companies in Sikkim with a decade of experience in providing quality service to the most discerning guests. The Resort is directly accessible from Gangtok (65 km/ 2 1/2 hrs), Siliguri (126 kms/ 4 1/2 hrs) as also from Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Welcome to Ravangla: Ravangla (6,800 ft), saddled on the ridge between the Menam (10,600 ft) and Tendong (8500 ft) peaks, is the sub-divisional headquarter of the South district of Sikkim. Situated on the state highway between Gangtok and Pelling / Pemayangtse, Ravangla town and the surrounding villages is an ideal destination to experience the rich cultural & natural heritage of Sikkim. Sightseeing: Rayong Sunrise View Point: Located 8 km drive from Ravangla on the road to Damthang the view point offers a spectacular sight of the red ball of fire emerging from the eastern horizon and throwing the first rays of the sun on the snowy peaks of Mt Narsing, Jopuno, Kabur, Rathong & Pandim. Temi Tea Garden: Established in 1960s by the Sikkim government under the last King, Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal, the only tea garden in Sikkim is located 18 km from Ravangla. The tea produced from this garden has a rare combination of liquor & flavour and fetches some of the highest rates offered in the international markets. A visit to Temi offers one an opportunity to see the plucking of the tealeaves in the garden also to observe the processing of tea in the factory. Tinkitam Village: A quaint Sikkimese village situated about 6 km from Ravangla is famous as the ancestral village of Bhaichung Bhutia, the popular football star. But known only to orchid lovers this village is also the natural habitat to a rare species of orchid Paphiopedilum fairieanum Or lady's slipper, as it is commonly known. Unlike most wild orchids which grow on trees this beautiful orchid is terrestrial and flowers in October / November. An effort is underway to preserve the natural habitat of this beautiful flower. Kheunpheling Carpet centre: The carpet-weaving centre is in the Tibetan Refugee Settlement Camp located just above Ravangla town. The traditionally designed & woven woolen carpets produced here are amongst the finest Tibetan carpets one can buy anywhere. Ralang Monasteries: 13 kms from Ravangla are the two monasteries at Ralang, which follow the Kagyupa sect of Buddhism. The Old monastery was built in 1768 AD and legend has it that the 9th Karmapa, head of the Kagyupa sect, gave his blessings by throwing some grains of rice from Tibet. The monastery built on the site where these grains of rice fell. " Pang Lhabsol " the worship of Mt Khangchendzonga
& " Kagyed " Chaam (masked dances) are held every year on the 15th day of the seventh month of the Buddhist calendar coinciding with August/September and on the 29th day of the tenth month just before Losoong - the Sikkimese New Year in December. The new monastery - Palchen Choeling Monastic Institute was built by the XIITh Gyaltsab Rimpoche and completed in 1995. The sacred Mahakala Dance is held here every year in November. Borong & Ralang Cha-chu: Cha-chu or hot sulphur springs at Ralang & Borong are traditional winter spas visited by the locals as well as by people from far away Bhutan and Nepal. Visitors spend a week or more soaking in these springs that have medicinal properties believed to cure many skin & other ailments of joints, bones & muscles. Ralang Cha-chu can be reached after a 1 hr. downhill walk to the Rangit valley from the Ralang monastery. Borong Cha-chu is a 7 km drive from Ralang and a further 45 mins downhill walk. Both these hot springs are located along the banks of the Rangit River and can be visited from December to February. For overnight stays temporary huts are available at nominal rates but all bedding and cooking utensils have to be carried along. During the hot spring season small shops selling basic vegetables & provisions are setup and the local villagers sell dairy products. Doling Gompa: This Gompa or monastery follows the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism, which is also the oldest sect and commonly referred to as the Red Hat sect. Located about 4kms away in the Barfung village amidst cardamom plantations, a hike to the monastery also allows one a close experience of the rich flora & avifauna of the area. Bon Monastery: The Bon faith flourished in Tibet unto the 8th Century AD prior to the advent of Buddhism. It is believed that many of it's rituals were assimilated in Buddhism like the prayer flags, burning of incense etc. and with the passage of time this faith was also influenced by Buddhism and has now been accepted as a part of Buddhism. The Bon monastery at Kewzing, the only one of its kind in Sikkim, is located 5 km from Ravangla. This monastery was established in the latter half of 1980s and is a symbol of the determination of a community of people at Kewzing to preserve their religious traditions. Handicraft centre, Kewzing: A training centre set up by the government to keep alive the tradition of Sikkimese handicraft & handloom. At the centre one can observe young boys & girls learn the intricate art of wood carving & weaving. This is also a place to pick up some local souvenirs Khandosangphu and Sharchog Bephug: These are two of the four holy caves where Guru Padmasambhava, the saint who spread Buddhism in Tibet in the 7 th century AD, is said to have meditated during his journey to Tibet. Khandosangphu - the cave of the occult fairies is located 34 kms from Ravangla (8 kms beyond Legshep). The legendary fight between Guru Rimpoche & a female demon that was terrorizing the area is manifested in the rock formations in the cave. A place for pilgrimage to the devout, there is also a hot sulphur spring "Phur Cha-chu" where people come to bath during the winter months. Sharchog Bephug is at Sangmo village about 8 kms from Ravangla is the largest of holy caves and it is said to extend into the Menam and Tendong hills. Rangit Water World: The dam built, across the Rangit River, for a hydroelectric project has formed a unique water body. Situated 26 kms (1 hr approx.) downhill from Ravangla, it is an ideal place to enjoy a day - boating in rafts, fishing, swimming & just having a good time in the water. Shiva Mandir: Located 26 kms from Ravangla on bank of the Rangit River at Legshep, the Shiva Mandir is a shrine revered by the local people And an annual festival is held every year during Shivaratri in February.
Tashiding Monastery: Located 39 kms/1.45 hrs drive from Ravangla and a 20 mins walk, Tashiding literally meaning the "Central Elevated Glory" is the most sacred monastery complex in Sikkim and was described by Guru Rimpoche as the heart of "Beyul Demazong". Built in 1716 AD the complex is also the location of the "Thongwa Rongdol" Chorten. Just a sight of this sacred Stupa is said to wash away one’s sins. The monastery is also revered for the "Bumchu" festival during which the barrel containing holy water is opened and a small quantity distributed to the devout. The origin of the water dates to the time of Guru Padmasambhava in the 7 th century AD and is said to contain sacred soil, water & precious jewels from the entire holy place in India. The level of the water each year is considered the indicator of the times ahead for this land. Trekking: Menam (10,600 ft) is located about 12 km up hill trek from Ravangla. A traditional meditation site for the monks it is also vantage location for a spectacular view the mountains at sunrise. The trek takes about 2.5 hrs to 4 hrs (depending on one's speed) and winds through a thick forest of oak, chestnut, magnolia and rhododendron trees. The forest is a riot of colours during spring (March/April). A natural habitat of the red panda, Himalayan black bear and many species of deer, this area is designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary and the motto of leaving only footprints & taking back only photographs & good memories is required to be followed strictly to maintain the area. Tendong: A 20 kms drive to Damthang & 2.5 hrs trek takes one unto the Tendong peak (8500 ft) for a spectacular 360 deg. view of Sikkim & the distant plains of North Bengal. Accessibility: The nearest airport is at Bagdogra (120km. from Gangtok), which is connected by air to Calcutta, Delhi and Guwahati. The new Jalpaiguri (NJP) and Siliguri railway stations have regular train services to other parts of the country. Both these facilities are in the State of West Bengal. Gangtok is also km from Phuntsoling, the Bhutan border town & km from Bhadrapur airport in Nepal. Foreigners require an Inner Line permit (ILP) to enter Sikkim and can visit Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodong and Pemayangtse. The ILP is issued at all the Indian Embassies abroad and in Sikkim Tourism offices at Delhi, Calcutta and Siliguri. Special permits issued from Gangtok are required for trekking to Dzongri/Godchild & Signally Ridge and visit to North Sikkim and Togo Lake. Pemayangtse haunt you for days after you have left this cloud- woven habitation on the eastern tip of the country. Area: 7229 sq. Kms. Population: Sikkim- around three lakh and Gangtok- around 40 thousands. Literacy rate: 56.94% Main Language: Nepalese Near by cities: Bagdogra- 124 Kms Siligurhi- 114 kms Kalempong- 75 Kms Jalpaigurhi125 kms Calcutta- 724 Kms. Entry Formalities for Foreign Tourists Individual tourist along with group tourists can visit Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodong and Pemayangtse for 15 days. Group min. 4 persons can only visit Dzongri (in West Sikkim) for 15 days for the purpose of trekking. Given below are the lists of the authorities, which can issue the permit: 1) All Indian Missions abroad; 2) All Foreigners' Regional Registration Offices in Calcutta, Delhi, Madras & Bombay; 3) Assistant Director (Tourism), Govt. of Sikkim, Siliguri; 4) Deputy Director (Tourism), Govt. of sikkim, New Delhi; 5) Assistant Resident Commissioner, Govt. of Sikkim, Calcutta;
6) Deputy Commissioner, Darjeeling. Tourist Information Centre 1. Department of Tourism, Govt. of Sikkim, Gangtok Bazaar, and Tel.: 22097, 22064. 2. Sikkim Tourist Office, Hill Cart Road, Siliguri, Tel.: 24602. 3. Sikkim Tourist Information Centre, Poonam building, 5 / 2 Russell Street, Calcutta 700 071, Tel.: 297516, 298983. Sikkim is the 22nd state of India came into existence with effect from 26th April 1975. Sikkim state being a part of inner mountain ranges of Himalayas is hilly having varied elevation ranging from 300 to 8540 meters. But the habitable areas are only up to the altitude of 2100 mtrs. Constituting only 20% of the total area of the state. Sikkim has been divided into four districts and each district has further been bifurcated into two sub-divisions for administrative purpose. The highest portion of Sikkim lies in its northwest direction. A large number of mountains having altitudes of about seven thousand meters stands here with - Kanchenjunga (8598 m.), The third highest peak in the world. The high serrated, snow capped spurs and peaks of Kanchenjunga look attractive consisting of Kumbha Karna (7711 m.), Pendem (6706 m.), Narsingh (5825 m.), Kabru Dome (6545 m.), etc. A number of glaciers descends from eastern slopes of Kanchenjunga into Sikkim where snow clad line is found above 5300 mtrs. The biggest of them is Zemu, from whose snout above Lachen monastery raises the river Teesta. Teesta is the main river and its main tributaries are Zemu, Lachung, Rangyong, Dikchu, Rongli, Rangpo and Rangit, which form the main channel of drainage from the north to the south. It boasts of the great mount Kanchendzonga as its crown. Ethically Sikkim has mainly three groups of people viz. Nepalis, Bhutias, Lepchas. The local language is Nepali. English is the official language. This jewel- like mountain state of ethereal beauty with an area of 7299 sq. kms nestles in the heart of Himalayas. Cradled in the manifold splendors of nature deep within the snow clad Himalayas is Sikkim's capital Gangtok. Wrapped in mists and clouds, a garden state with an incredible variety of rhododendrons & a host of other flowers. Geomorphology: Sikkim encompasses the lesser Himalayan, Central Himalayan, and the Tethys Himalayan. It is essentially a mountainous state without flate piece of land of any extent anywhere. The mountains rise in elevation northward. The northern portion of the state is deeply cut into steep escarpments, and except in the Lachen and Lachung valleys, is not populated. Southern Sikkim is lower, more open, and fairly well cultivated. This configuration of the State is partly due to the direction of the main drainage, which is southern. The physical configuration of Sikkim is also partly due to geological structure. Major portion do state is covered by Precambrian rock and is much younger in age. The Northern, Eastern and Western portion of the state are constituted of hard massive gneissose rocks capable of resisting denudation. The central and southern portion is formed of comparatively soft, thin, slaty and half-schistose rocks, which denudes very easily. The trend of the mountain system is in a general east-west direction. However, chief ridges run in a more or less north south direction. The Rangeet and the Tista, which form the main channels of drainage, run nearly north south. The valleys cut by these rivers and their chief feeders are very deep. The valleys are rather open towards the top, but usually attain a steep gorge like structure as we approach the bed of the rivers. There are 180 perennial lakes of different altitudes. Much hot water springs i.e. Phur-Cha, Ralang Sachu, Yumthang, Momay are also found in the state. The Perpetual snow line in Sikkim may be approx. at 16,000 ft. Demographic Features: - Sikkim is a multi-ethnic state. Broadly, the population can be divided into
tribal and non-tribal groups. Lepchas, Bhutias, Sharps are categorized as Scheduled Tribes. The Lepchas are the original inhabitants of the state. Compared to other ethnic groups, the Lepchas still maintain many of their traditional ways. The Bhutias comprise, the sikkimese Bhutia and Bhutia from Bhutan and Tibet. The Sherpas are a marginal ethnic group in the state. Over 70% population consists of Nepalese. They are dominant ethnic group in the state. The people from the plain, mostly involved in trade and services represent a marginal group. As per the 1991 census of India, the total population of the state is 406457, whereas in 1981 it was 3,16,385 only. Decennial growth has come down, as in 1971-81 it was 50.77% where as for 1981-91 it is 28.47% only. The overall density of population in the state is 57 per sq. Km. East district is the most populated where as North's density only 7, is least populated. Sex ratio (females per thousand male) in 1981 was 835, where as it has improved and now is 878. There are only eight urban towns and urban population is 9.10% of total population. Schedule caste and schedule tribe population is 5.93 % and 22.36% respectively, North district is a tribal district and it has about 55.38% tribal population. Literacy rate is 56.94% (19th position), higher than the all India average literacy tare of 52.11%. Location: Sikkim is a very small hilly state in the Eastern Himalayas, extending approximately 114 Kms from north to south and 64Kms from east to west, surrounded by vast stretches of Tibetan Plateau in the North, Chumbi Valley of Tibet and the kingdom of Bhutan in the east, Darjeeling district of West Bengal in the south and the kingdom in Nepal in the west. The state being a part of inner ranges of the mountains of Himalayas has no open valley and no plains but carried elevations ranging from 300 to 8583 mtrs above means sea level consisting of lower hill, middle and higher hills, alpine zones and snow bound land, the highest elevation 8583 mtrs. Being the top of the Mt. Kangchendzonga itself. Climate: The climate of the state has been roughly divided into the tropical, temperature and alpine zones. For most of the period in a year, the climate is cold and humid as rainfall occurs in each month. The area experiences a heavy rainfall due to its proximity to the Bay of Bengal. The rainfall in north district is comparatively less than of the other districts. The general trend of decrease in temperature with increase in altitude holds good everywhere. Pre-monsoon rain occurs in April-May and monsoon (southwest) operates normally from the month of May and continues up to early October. Temperature: The mean temperature in the lower altitudinal zone, it varies from 1.5 degree centigrade to 9.5 degree centigrade. Temperature varies with altitude and slope. The maximum temperature is recorded usually during July and August, and minimum during December & January. Fog is a common feature in the entire state from May to September. Biting cold is experienced at high altitude places in the winter months and snowfall is also not uncommon during this period. Rainfall: An examination of available rainfall date shows that the mean annual rainfall is minimum at Thangu (82 mm.) and maximum at Gangtok (3494 mm.). An isohyatal analysis of these data reveals that there are two maximum rainfall areas (I) South-East quadrant, including Mangan, Singhik, Dikchu, Gangtok, Rongli etc. (ii) South-West corner including Hilly. In between these two regions, there is a low rainfall region e.g. Namchi. Rainfall in this area is about half of that in the former areas. There is an area in the North-West Sikkim, which gets very little rainfall (even less than 4.9 mm.). This area is having mainly snow -covered mountains. Rainfall is heavy and well distributed during the months from May to early October. July is the wettest month in most of the places. The intensity of rainfall during Southwest monsoon season decreases from south to North, while the distribution of winter rainfall is in the opposite order. The highest annual
rainfall for the individual station may exceed 5000 mm. and average number of rainy days (days with rain of 2.5 mm. or more) ranges from 100 at Thangu to 184 at Gangtok. SIKKIM-History Sikkim was inhabited in pre-historic times by three tribes namely Naong, Chang and the Mon. The Lepcha who entered Sikkim sometimes later absorbed them completely. The Lepchas were a very peace loving people, deeply religious and shy, which characteristics they still have retained. They were in fact the children of nature, and worshipped nature or spirits of nature. These Lepcha lived quite close to the nature by way of leading sustenance. Some of them practiced shifting cultivation and raised grains like maize and millets. They led a tribal life at the beck and call of their tribal leader. The credit of organizing them into some sort of a society goes to a person called Turn vet pa no. He was eventually elected leader of king called "Punu" sometimes in A. D. 1400. He was killed in a battle and was succeeded by three Kings - Turn Song Pa No, Turn Aeng Pa No and Turn Alu Pa No. The monarchy came to an end with the death of the last king. After that the Lepchas followed the practice to elect their own leader. Somewhere in the Thirteenth century a prince named Guru Tashi of Minyang dynasty in Tibet had a divine vision that he should go south to seek his fortune in "Denzong- the valley of rice". As directed by the divine vision he along with his family, which included five sons, headed in the southern direction. The family during their wandering came across the Sakya Kingdom in which a monastery was being built at that time. The workers had not been successful in erecting pillars for the monastery. The elder son of Guru Tashi raised the pillar single handedly and thereby came to be known as "Kheye Bumsa" meaning the superior of ten thousand heroes. After this Kheye Bumsa married Sakya king's daughter. Thekong Tek, who was a religious leader blessed Kheye Bumsa with three sons and prophesied that his successors would rule Sikkim. Guru Tashi, grandson of Thekong Tek, later became ruler of Sikkim. Guru Tashi was succeeded by his son Jowo Nagpo followed by Jowo Apha and then Guru Tenzig , who pursued the policy of having amicable relations with Lepchas. The Tibetan migration in early 17th century led the Rongs to shift their habitats so as to avoid conflict. Meanwhile the struggle and conflicts among the followers of the "Yellow hats" and the "Red hats" in Tibet forced the latter to seek refuge in Sikkim, where they attained the status of aristocracy .They were popularly called as 'Bhutias' , and they tried to convert the Lepchas to Buddhism . After much confusion of the "actual" ruler of Sikkim they chose Phuntsok Namgyal , as the spiritual leader of Sikkim. Phuntsok Namgyal , who was the great grandson of Guru Tashi and son of Guru Tenzing , ruled on a vast territory , much bigger than the present day Sikkim .His kingdom touched Thang La in the Tibet in the north, Tagong La near Paro in Bhutan in the east and the Titalia on the borders of West Bengal and Bihar in the south . He commanded favor from Dalai Lama of Tibet and along with his three faithful saints converted Lepchas to Budhism . His son Tensung Namgyal followed by his son Chador Namgyal, who was a scholar at Lahasa, succeeded Phuntsok and the Sixth Dalai Lama bestowed high honors and titles on the young king. Chador was killed by his own sister ,Pedi , in a conspiracy .Gyurmed Namgyal succeeded his father Chador and this era of Namgyal Dynasty continued till 1972 , 332 years after it's founder Phuntsok Namgyal , founded it in 1640 . Phuntsok Namgyal II succeeded Gyurmed Namgyal in 1780 . During his rein , Napalies often attacked Sikkim and had captured large areas of Sikkim .The Napalies also attacked areas of British India . A war broke out between British India and Napali Gorkhas in 1814 and ended in 1816 with the defeat of the Gurkhas . The British signed a
treaty with the Sikkim rulers in 1817 known as the Treaty of Titalia in which former territories, which the Nepalis captured, were restored to Sikkim. The British became interested in Darjeeling both as a hill resort and an outpost from where Tibet and Sikkim would be easily accessible. Following a lot of pressure from the British, Sikkim finally gifted Darjeeling to British India on the understanding that a certain amount would be paid as annual subsidy to Sikkim. The Chogyal Tsudphud Namgyal signed the gift deed in 1835. When the British went back on their word , the relations between Sikkim and Britishers soared which led to few battles and then in 1861 the Britishers signed another treaty with the Sikkimese , according to which they would pay Rs. 12000/- per annum to the ruler of Sikkim , Sidekeong Namgyal , who was the son of Chogyal. Chogyal Sidelong Namgyal defied in 1874 issueless and was succeeded by his half brother Thutob Namgyal. There were serious difference between the Nepalese settlers and the original inhabitants of Sikkim and this led to British intervention. The settlement went in favour of the Nepali settlers and made Thutob Namgyal have ill feeling for the British. He retreated to Chumbi and became more aligned towards the Tibetans. The British meanwhile were making concerted efforts to establish a trade links with Tibet and also imposed their influence. A delegation led by Colman Macaulay, Financial Secretary to the Bengal Government of British India was sent to Sikkim in 1884 to explore the possibility of establishing a trade route with Tibet through the Lachen Valley. This delegation visited Tumlong the capital where it met the Maharaja. The Britishers started building of roads in Sikkim. This was viewed with suspicion by Tibet and in 1886, some Tibetan militia occupied Lingtu in Sikkim near Jelepla pass. In May 1888, the Tibetans attacked Gnathang below Jelepla but were driven away. In September of the same year the British called for reinforcements and the Tibetans were pushed back from Lingtu. A memorial was built at Gnathang for the few British soldiers who died in the engagement. The Britishers appointed Claude White as the first political officer in Sikkim in 1889 and Chogyal Thutob Namgyal was virtually under his supervision. Thutob Namgyal shifted the capital from Tumlong to Gangtok in 1894. The Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial (STNM) Hospital built in 1917 is named in the memory of Thutob Namgyal who died in 1914. Alarmed by the growing Russian influence in Tibet and also to assert itself, the British sent an expedition led by Col. Younghusband to Lhasa via Jelepla in 1904. The expedition met with resistance from the Tibetan army, which was defeated, and Younghusband on Tibet dictated a treaty. The Treaty secured monopoly-trading privileges in Tibet for the British. His son Sidelong Tulku succeeded Thutob Namgyal in 1914. Unfortunately he did not live long and died in the same year. He was succeeded by his half brother Tashi Namgyal who promulgated many reforms in the state. In 1947 when India became independent, Tashi Namgyal was successful in getting a special status of protectorate for Sikkim. This was in face of stiff resistance from local parties like Sikkim State Congress who wanted a democratic setup and accession of Sikkim to the Union of India. The treaty signed between India and Sikkim ratified the status of Sikkim as a protectorate with Chogyal as the Monarch. Tashi Namgyal died in 1963 and was succeeded by his son Palden Thondup Namgyal. By the beginning of 1970 there were rumbling in the political ranks and file of the State, which demanded the removal of Monarchy and the establishment of a democratic setup. This finally culminated in wide spread agitation against Sikkim Durbar in 1973.There was a complete collapse in the administration. The Indian Government tried to The Chogyal with the Indian P.M. Jawaharlal Nehru brings about a semblance of order in the state by appointing a Chief administrator Mr. B. S.
Das. Further events and election led to Sikkim becoming transformed from a protectorate to an associate State. On 4th September 1974, the leader of Sikkim Congress, Kazi Lendup Dorji was elected as the Chief Minister of the state. The Chogyal however still remained as the constitutional figurehead monarch in the new setup. Mr. B. B. Lal was the first Governor of Sikkim. Events leading to the confrontation between the Chogyal and the popular Government caused Sikkim to become a fullfledged 22nd state of the Indian Union on 16th may 1975. The institution of Chogyal was subsequently abolished. Nestled between Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet, Sikkim, a tiny and a remote independent Buddhist Kingdom was ruled by the Choegyal Dynasty whose root goes back to the 13 th century. The Choegyal Dynasty started with Kye Bumsa, a Tibetan warlord who happened to come to this land of Demazong meaning “Valley of Rice”. During the British Raj in India, Sikkim was given the status of Protectorate State. In 1975, under the 16th Choegyal, Sikkim became the 22nd state of Indian Union. Measuring just 40 by 70 miles (2800 square kilometers), its terrain rises from just above sea level to the icebound summits of Kanchenjunga (28,208ft), third highest peak in the world, revered by the locals as their protective deity. Each year, in order to appease the Lord Khanchenjunga, a state sponsored religious festival of Phang Labsol is held at the four major monasteries of Sikkim. Referred to as the ‘Garden Kingdom of the Himalayas’, flora and fauna of Sikkim with over 600 varieties of Orchids, 30 species of Rhododendrons and Primulas, is considered one of the botanical minefields in the world. Seventy percent of the landscape is still untouched by the modern civilization . Forest life as such are still magically primeval and refreshingly intact, spared the chopper’s axe due to the eco-consciousness of the people advocated widely. The people of Sikkim are of three distinct heritages: Lepcha, believed to have originated from the border area of Assam and Burma; the Bhutia, of Tibetan origin, settled in Sikkim after the 15th century; and the Nepalese, who migrated from Nepal in the middle of the 17th century. Communities, cultures, religions and customs of different hue intermingle freely and the Sikkimese’s natural friendliness adds immeasurably to the visitor’s enjoyment. Highlighting a visit to Sikkim are the stunning monasteries, which form an integral part of Sikkim: it is here that Gods mix with the mortals. Built in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition (Nyingma and Kargyu sects), set amidst thick forests and on isolated hilltops, these monasteries are host to a number of festivals, which are singular experience in pomp and pageantry. GANGTOK, the hillside capital of Sikkim (5,800ft) retains a small-town feeling, neat and clean, but undergoing rapid modernization. An open-air vegetable bazaar and bustling handicraft center selling hand-woven carpets, intricately carved chaste(tables), and exquisitely carved silver and gold jewelry attract visitors. Attractive hotels and restaurants feature Sikkimese, Tibetan and Chinese dishes. GENERAL INFORMATION:HOW TO GET TO SIKKIM The primary means of communication within Sikkim is by road. A daily helicopter service between Gangtok and Bagdogra is the only other alternate option. However Sikkim is well connected to rest of the country by rail and air through Siliguri in West Bengal, which is about 115 kms from Gangtok and forms the railhead to Sikkim. Bagdogra, the airport of Siliguri has daily flights to Delhi, Calcutta and Guwahati. Sikkim is also well connected by road with Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Phuntsoling, the border town of Bhutan.
CLIMATE: Sikkim has an unusual variety of climate influenced by varying altitudes so much so, it is possible to drop from arctic heights to the tropical lowlands within a matter of couple of hours. Places with moderate altitude (4,000ft – 10,000ft) like Gangtok have a more or less good climate. During the spring (March-May) and autumn(September-November), the weather is pleasant. JuneAugust, the monsoons bring torrential rain for days together and winter (DecemberFebruary), the days become cold and nights chilly but the snow line remains above 12,000 ft. GOVERNMENT: Sikkim became a constituent unit of India on 10 April, 1975 after abolishing the institution of the Chogyal (the king) who had ruled since the first king had been consecrated in the year 1642 in Yuksom. The people of Sikkim submitted a general referendum in favour of the resolution, after which the two houses of the Indian parliament passed the 38th Constitution Amendment Bill, which made Sikkim the 22nd state of the Indian Union. As a democratic state, election to the 32 seats in the state legislature is held after every 5 years . RELIGION: The main religions are Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity whereby the Hindus constitute nearly 67%, Buddhists 30% and Christianity 2%. Important festivals are Saga Dawa (4th month of the lunar calendar), Phang Labsol ( 15th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar), Loosong (Sikkimese New Year held during the December usually), Lossar (Tibetan New Year which normally is celebrated in the month of February) LANGUAGE: The official language of Sikkim is Nepali. English is widely spoken and even used as the medium of communication in official documentation. We are pleased to offer you treks in remarkable Sikkim and the Eastern Himalayas. Some people have the idea that trekking is a lot of sweat and no fun, yet anything could be further from the truth. Trek days are designed to be challenging, not exhaustive; all you need to be is physically fit and enjoy walking. Your trek is your holiday and SHRI RAGHAVENDRA TOURS aims to help you enjoy it as much as possible, not to wear you into the ground. SHRI RAGHAVENDRA TOURS staff will as much as possible cater for your every wish, all you have to do is ask your Group leader and he or she will, when able, organize it for you . We are sure you will enjoy your holiday with us in this land of the last great adventure and you may check out the itineraries of the treks we have on offer. TOWARDS KHANCHENDZONGA: THE GOECHALA TREK. Starting at altitude of 6000 ft in sub-tropic moss -laden forests of pine, magnolia and rhododendron steadily progressing upwards through wild and uninhabited alpine landscapes finally takes us up to Goechala Pass, opposite to the eastern phase of Khanchenzonga (8435 mtrs) third highest mountain in the world. The package trail TOWARDS KHANCHENZONGA ,THE GOECHALA TREK, starting at altitude of 6000 ft in sub-tropic moss -laden forests of pine, magnolia and rhododendron steadily progressing upwards through wild and uninhabited alpine landscapes finally takes us up to Goechala Pass, opposite to the eastern phase of Khanchenzonga (8435 mtrs) third highest mountain in the world. Goechala, at 5000 mtrs is the northernmost and the highest point in the trekking itineraries of Sikkim. DAY 01 Transfer from airport - Gangtok Distance:124kms Time :5 hrs drive DAY 02 Gangtok - sightseeing of Rumtek Monastery, the premier Kagyu Monastery and seat of HH Gyalwa Karmapa, the Local Handicraft Center, Research Institute of Tibet logy, Flower Exhibition and the Enchey Monastery.
DAY 03 Gangtok - Yuksom Distance :138Kms Time:6 hrs drive DAY 04 Yuksom - Tsokha (2745mtrs) (trek starts) Distance:12kms Time : 8hrs trek DAY 05 Tsokha - Dzongri (4200mtrs) Distance 9kms Time:3 hrs trek DAY 06 Acclimatization in Dzongri DAY 07 Dzongri - Thasning (3800mtrs) Distance 8kms Time:61/2 hrs trek Distance : 6kms Time :3 hrs trek DAY 09 Samiti Lake - Goehala (5000mtrs) and back to Samiti Distance : 8kms Time :7 hrs trek DAY 10 Samiti Lake - Thansing DAY 11 Thansing - Tsoka DAY 12 Tsoka - Yuksom (trek ends) DAY 13 Yuksom - Pemayantse (halt at Mt. Pandim) Distance : kms Time :3 hrs drive DAY 14 Pemayantse : Morning - visit Pemayantse Monastery, the premier Nyinmapa Monastery and Rabdentse Palace ruins. Distance : kms Time : 3 hrs tour Afternoon - visit Tashiding Monastery, a 17th century Nyinmapa Monastery situated on top of a hill. Distance :kms Time :2 hrs drive DAY 15 Pemayantse - drop to airport/railway station Distance: 124kms Time: 5 hrs drive. Each walking day may differ with different groups, some taking longer and others less. The group leader or your guide can alter the schedule if necessary and advise you of the same. Sikkim Alpine Tour Day 01 Pickup from Bagdogra/NJP drive to Gangtok (approx 4hrs) Day 02 Gangtok Sightseeing Morning : Handicraft Centre for locally made crafts, Flower Exhibition and Enchey Monastery . Afternoon: Tour of the famous Rumtek Monastery, the seat of the Kagyu order, old Rumtek Monastery and Research Institute of Tibet logy. Day 03 Chhangu Lake Excursion : Chhangu lake lies at 12400 ft on the old trade to Tibet about 35 kms from Gangtok near Nathula Pass, the border with China. Day 04 Gangtok drive to Lachung Valley (8,800ft)(approx 5 hrs drive) Enroute dramatic terrain and gorgeous waterfalls, visit Kabi Lungstok, a historical site . Overnight in resort. Day 05 Excursion to Yumthang Valley(11,800ft) along the Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary home to almost 40 different species of rhododendron flowers. Also visit the hot spring, believed by the locals to have remedial value. Overnight in resort. Day 06 Sightsee of Lachung village, visit the monastery and acquaint with the traditional life of the lachung people. Drive back to Gangtok , enroute visits the Podong Monastery, one of the oldest Kagyu monastery in Sikkim. Day 07 Drive back to Bagdogra/NJP . Recommended time : Sep - Dec/ Mar - May North Sikkim Tour Day 01 Pick up from Bagdogra and drive to Gangtok Day 02 Chhangu Lake excursion Day 03 Drive to Lachung, overnight in resort Day 04 Yumthang Valley excursion and overnight in Yumthang in resort or camp Day 05 Drive to Yumey-Sandrong at 15000 ft, 28 kms away from Yumthang to view the Donkiala Pass which stands at 18,500 ft high and separates the Lachung valley from the Lachen valley. Yumey-Samdrong, a beautiful paradise, full of wild flowers, fauna and hot springs till now was inaccessible to tourists, being a restricted area. Overnight in resort/camp in Yumthang. Day 06 Drive to Lachen valley (9,800ft) (approx 2 hrs drive)Over night in resort.
Day 07 Excursion to Thangu, (13,800ft)the gateway to the sacred lakes, Gurudogma and Cholamu and acquaint yourself with the nomadic life of the Lachen people. (approx 5 hrs tour) Day 08 Drive back to Gangtok enroute visit Podong and Labrang Monastery. Day 09 Drop at Bagdogra/NJP station. Recommended time : Sep - Dec/ Mar – May Sublime Pemayangtse Tour Day 01 Pickup from Bagdogra/NJP and drive to Gangtok Day 02 Gangtok local sightseeing Day 03 Chhangu Lake excursion Day 04 Drive to Pemayantse in West Sikkim (approx 5 hrs drive) Day 05 Visit Pemayantse Monastery, the premier Nyinmapa Monastery in Sikkim and the Rabdentse Palace ruins. View the majestic Khanchenzonga peaks looming right in front of you . Day 06 Excursion to Khechopalri Lake, also known as the "Wishing Lake" as locals believe any wish made here comes true. Also enroute visit the Khanchenzonga falls (approx 6 hrs tour) Day 07 Drive from Pemayantse to Bagdoga/NJP (approx 5 hrs drive) Recommended time : Sep - Dec/ Mar – May. Sikkim Nature and Culture Tour Day 01 Pickup from Bagdogra/NJP and drive to Gangtok Day 02 Gangtok local sightseeing Day 03 Chhangu Lake excursion Day 04 Drive to Lachung Day 05 Excursion of Yumthang valley and Yumey Sandrong Day 06 Drive back to Gangtok Day 07 Drive to Pemayantse (approx 5 hrs drive) Overnight in hotel. Day 08 Visit the Pemayantse Monastery, the premier Nyinmapa Monastery and the Rabdentse old Palace ruins and view the majestic Khanchenzonga Peaks looming in front of you. Day 09 Excursion to the sacred Khechopalri Lake, "Wishing Lake". Enroute visit the Kanchenzonga falls (approx 6 hrs tour) Day 10 Drive from Pemayantse to Bagdogra/NJP station (approx 5 hrs drive) Recommended time : Sep - Dec/Mar – May. Bhumchu SHRI RAGHAVENDRA TOURS package takes you on this spectacular experience with the pilgrims to transuding for the Bhumchu ceremony followed by attendance of rituals, prayers and religious dances at Khechopalri Lake and Pemayantse Monastery. Day01 Pickup from airport, transfer to hotel in Gangtok Day02 Gangtok sightseeing, tour to Rumtek monastery and Research institute of Tibet logy Day03 Gangtok - Pemayantse Day04 Pemayantse - Tashiding (arrive Tashiding for the Bhumchu ceremony before midnight Day05 Pemayantse - Khechopalri Lake, attendance of prayers/religious dances Day06 Pemayantse sightseeing (short walk to Rabdentse Palace ruins, first capital of Sikkim and Sangachoeling monastery) Day07 Drop at airport. Rhododendron Trail
SHRI RAGHAVENDRA TOURS RHODODENDRON TRAIL offers a combination of trek and tour with sightseeing around Pemayantse with visits to the Khechopalri Lake (the famous Wishing Lake) and Tashiding Monastery. Day01 Gangtok - Hilley (drive for about 6 hrs, night in lodge) Day02 Hilley - Varsey - (trek ) Day03 Varsey -Dentam ( trek ) and then drive from Dentam to Pemayantse Day04 Visit Khechopalri Lake in the morning and take a short walk to Rabdentse Palace ruins in the afternoon Day05 Visit Tashiding Monastery situated on top of a small hill, and houses the Bhumchu, the pot of holy water blesses 3000 years ago. Day06 Drop at the airport from Pemayantse. Besides the other treks we offers you the following tours covering Sikkim, the Darjeeling hills, and Kalimpong. Eastern Himalayan Tour Darjeeling, the enchanting town, also known as the “Queen of Hills” lies nestled in the grandeur of the snow-capped mountains and lush green tea gardens. A holiday resort during the British rule, this town still exudes its past grandeur, charm and majesty, attracting a lot of visitors. Tucked away in the Himalayas, south of the state of Sikkim, Darjeeling at an altitude of almost 7000ft is situated in West Bengal, sharing its border with Sikkim in the north, Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east. Darjeeling derives its name from the local Tibetan name ‘Dorjee-ling’, meaning ‘Place of the Thunderbolt’. Kalimpong is a small sleepy hill resort at an altitude of about 4000 ft and is cradled on a saddle between the Durbin Hill and Deolo Hill. Kalimpong meaning ‘Fort of the King’s Minister’ was once the hub of the trade of India with Tibet, but now attracts a lot of visitors looking for a quiet holiday. DAY 01 Bagdogra – Gangtok Distance : 129kms Time : 5 hrs drive DAY 02 Gangtok sightseeing Morning : Rumtek, a Kagyu Monastery also the seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa, Research Institute of Tibet logy, the Do-drul Stupa and orchid sanctuary for a glimpse of the rare orchids. Afternoon: Visit Enchey Monastery, a Nyinmapa Monastery, the local handicraft center and the Flower Exhibition DAY 03 Visit Chhangu Lake, a sacred lake 35kms away situated at an altitude of 12400 ft near Nathula, the border between Tibet and India DAY 04 Gangtok – Lachung Distance :149kms Time:5 hrs drive Halt in one of the ethnic village resort, visit the Lachung Monastery and stroll through the village for a glimpse of typical village life. Day 05 Lachung – Yumthang – Lachung Leave early in the morning to visit the Yumthang valley, passing through the Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary, home to nearly 40 varieties of rhododendron flowers. Yumthang valley at 11,800 ft is breathtakingly beautiful with snow-capped peaks and nature aglow. Day 06 Lachung – Gangtok Leave for Gangtok, visiting the Phodong Monastery enroute. Day 07 Gangtok – Pemayantse Distance : 119 kms Time : approx 5 hrs Day 08 Visit Khechoplari Lake, about 22 kms distance, also known as ‘Wishing Lake’. Also visit the Pemayantse Monastery, the premier Nyinmapa Monastery, which houses the ‘Zandopalri’ a man-made wooden structure depicting the celestial abode of Guru Rimpoche.
Day 09 Visit Tashiding Monastery, situated on top of a hilltop, another 17th century Nyinmapa Monastery. Enroute visit the hot springs. Day 10 Pemayantse – Darjeeling Enroute visit Rabdentse Palace ruins Distance : Time : 4hrs approx Day 11 Visit Tiger Hill in the morning to view the sunrise & visit the Himalayan Mountain Institute, Tea Garden, Batasia Loop and the Tibetan Refugee Camp. Afternoon, visit the Dali Gompa, and take a short ride in the famed “Toy Train”. Day 12 Visit Mirik Lake for a boating excursion. Day 13 Darjeeling – Kalimpong Dista nice : 50 kms Time : 2-½ hrs approx Day 14 Sightseeing around Kalimpong Walk around the town visiting the Art and Crafts Centre, Nurseries, and then on to Durbin Hill, about 5 kms away from the town for breathtaking view of the of Khanchenzonga range, and the whole Chola range of Sikkim. Day 15 Kalimpong – Bagdogra Drop to the airport to catch connecting flight back home. Distance : Time : 2-½ hrs approx This itinerary is tentative. Recommended time to visit: September - May The Singalelah trek The trek begins at Uttarey (6,500ft) and ascends to Chewa Bhanjang (8,860ft) on the Sikkim-Nepal border, where a police check post exists on the Sikkim side. From thereon, the trek route keeps between the altitudes of 12,000ft to 14,000ft with the highest point being the Dafey Bhir Pass located at an altitude of 14,450ft high. The terrain along the trek route is, therefore, treeless, crises-crossing, steep, rugged rocky hills with grassy meadows forming flat plains at places. Within the folds of these fragile rocky slopes, one comes across several high altitude lake formations of turquoise green water considered pristine and sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists alike. Among these lakes, Ram and Laxhman, Lampokhari, Laxmi Pokhery and Zomlay Pokheries are some of the wellknown sacred lakes, located along the main trekking route. At places, the trail leads through the rich rhododendron forests of many hues and colors. The trek route after Gomathang valley goes intermittently through forests of silver fir and rhododendron right unto the alpine plains of Dzongri. TREKKING ROUTE: Day01 GANGTOK –UTTAREY (6,500ft) Drive 6hrs Day02 UTTAREY-CHEWABHANJANG (10,400ft)Trek 6hrs Day03 CHEWABHANJANG HALT –VISIT SINGALELAH Day04 CHEWA-DHOR (12,200ft) Trek 8hrs Day05 DHOR-SIKKIM MEGU (13,600ft) Trek 7hrs Day06 SIKKIM MEGU-DAFEY BHIR (14,286ft) Trek 8hrs Day07 DAFEY BHIR-GOMATHANG (12,200ft) Trek 4hrs Day08 GOMATHANG-PANGDEN (13,900ft) Trek 7hrs Day09 PANGDEN-DZONGRI (12,800ft) Trek 4hrs Day10 DZONGRI-THANSING Day11 THANSING-SAMITI LAKE Day12 SAMITI LAKE –GOECHALA –THANSING Day13 THANSING-TSOKHA Day14 TSOKHA-YUKSOM Trek ends Day15 YUKSOM – GANGTOK/BAGDOGRA AIRPORT OPTION Discover Sikkim
Tour: 9 nights / 10 days This tour has been programmed to give you a composite feel of Sikkim,- the land and its people . In a limited period of time you can experience the mountains, the flora & fauna and the cultural heritage of this former Himalayan kingdom. In this tour a short walk to the Sangachholing monastery has been included for you to experience the serenity of the place and the breathtaking view it commands. The day temperature ranges from25*C to 17*C and the night temperature between 12*c to 5*C. DISCOVER SIKKIM DAY 01: Bagdogra- Pemayangtse.(2085mtrs) Distance: 156 km. Time: 5 hrs (approx.). A drive along the Tista Valley takes you to the Sikkim border at Melli. Then through the Rangit valley and up to Pemayangtse. Overnight in Hotel. Day 02 : Pemayangtse - Sangachholing - Khecheodpalri - Yuksom: (1770 mtrs.) Dist. 55 km. Time: 3 1/2 hrs.(approx.) After an early breakfast, a short walk to the Sangachholing Monastery (45 min) located on a hillock above the Hotel. Built in the 17th century by Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo, the patron saint of Sikkim, it is considered to be the second oldest monastery in Sikkim. This spot commands a breathtaking view of the hills, valleys and villages of West Sikkim. Also visit the Pemayangtse Monastery. Built in the 18th century AD, this monastery follows the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Pemayangtse - "the Sublime Lotus", also houses the famed "Zangdopalri", a fascinating model of the celestial abode of Guru Padma Sambhava, crafted single-handedly out of wood by the late Dungzim Rimpoche. On return from the monastery, drive to Khecheodpalri lake also known as the wishing lake (24 km./11/4 hours). This unusually calm lake, located in the midst of a dense forest is considered very sacred and no water sport or other activities besides prayers and worship are allowed around it. After packed lunch near the lake drive to Yuksom. A quaint little village, Yuksom is also the take off point for trekking to Dzongri and Goecha-la. This is also the place where the three Lamas met and consecrated the first king of Sikkim in 1641. The Norbugang chorten and the Coronation throne stand mute testimony to this historic event. Overnight in Hotel. Day 03: Yuksom - Tashiding - Ravangla (1950 mtrs) Distance:58 km. Time: 3 1/2 hours (approx.).An early morning uphill walk (40 Min.) to the Dubdi monastery, the oldest in Sikkim, is a refreshing experience and the view of the mountains and the villages dotting the hill slopes is exhilarating. Another 30-minute walk to the Tashiding monastery enroute to Gangtok is also recommended. The monastery is the most sacred and was considered the heart of Sikkim by the Buddhist saint Guru Padmasambhava. The drive across the Rangit valley, one of the two major rivers, through semi-tropical forests, cardamom plantations and quaint villages takes you to Ravangla. A stay at the Mt. Narsing Village Resort gives an experience of a typical sikkimese countryside with a slow pace of life, great open spaces for walks and hikes, and fabulous mountain views, all with the warmth of the traditional sikkimese hospitality. An afternoon visit to the monasteries at Rumtek (40 mins. one way). Day 04: Ravangla - Gangtok (1600 mtrs.) Distance:59 km. Time: 2 1/2 hours (approx.). Drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, enroute visit Temi tea garden to observe the processing of one of the finest tea in the world. Under the majestic Mt. Khangchendzonga, the guardian deity of Sikkim, Gangtok is a happy blend of the traditional and the modern. Overnight in Hotel. Day 05: A full day sightseeing in and around Gangtok.
Tashi View Point: Located 8 km beyond the town, this spot offers an absolutely breathtaking view of Mt. Khangchendzonga and it's attendant peaks. Enchey Monastery : This 90 year old monastery on a hillock, 2 km above follows the Nyingmapa sect and is the main monastery in Gangtok. Government Institute of Cottage Industry: This centre offers you the opportunity to observe the local artisans at work and their skills being imparted to young boys and girls. If you want to take back souvenirs, the institute's salesroom is well stocked with local handicraft and handloom products. DoDrul Chorten : One of the most important Stupas of Sikkim built by the late Venerable Trulsi Rimpoche in 1945-46, it contains a mandala of Dorji-Phurpa, holy texts, mantras and is encircled by 108 prayer wheels. Research Institute of Tibet logy : Situated close to the Chorten this institute is a repository of the largest collection of Tibetan artifacts outside Tibet. Also renowned worldwide for the study of Buddhist philosophy and religion, it is a treasure house of rare Thanks, Buddhist icon and objects of art. Rumtek Monastery : 24 km drive to the opposite hill takes you to this magnificent monastery built by the late Gyalwa Karmapa, the head of the Kagyupa sect. This monastery has been built as an exact replica of the original Kagyu monastery in Tibet. It is also the international headquarters of the Karma Kagyu centers. Overnight at Hotel. Day 06 : Day trip to Tsomgo Lake (3650 m) Distance : 70 km Time: 5 hours (approx.). Located east of Gangtok at an altitude of 3650 mtrs. The Tsomgo Lake is a typically beautiful mountain lake. The journey to the lake offers a magnificent view of Mt. Khangchendzonga and other peaks of Sikkim Himalayas. Overnight in hotel. Day 07: Gangtok - Lachung (2700 Mtrs.) Distance : 126 km. Time: 6 hours (approx.) After breakfast drive to North Sikkim. Enroute visit Phodong Monastery. Built by the Chogyal Gyrumed Namgyal in the early eighteenth century, it is one of the important monasteries of Sikkim following the Kagyupa sect. Overnight at Lodge in Lachung. Day 08 : Lachung - Yumthang (3600 mtrs.) - Lachung Distance : 24 km Time: 1 hr (approx.). After breakfast drive to Yumthang. The road runs along the valley with snow capped mountains rising high up on either sides. During spring season the journey is lit up with flaming rhododendrons and other mountain flowers. Yumthang is a wide valley where the local herdsmen from Lachung camp their herds of yaks and cattle during summer. The day can be spent walking around in the valley, taking a dip in the hot sulphur spring or just gazing at the towering White Mountains around. Lunch at Yumthang. Return to Lachung. Overnight in Lodge. Day 09: Lachung - Gangtok. Drive back to Gangtok. Overnight in hotel. Day 10 : Gangtok - next destination Khangchendzonga "White Magic Trek" Strenuous Trek: 12 nights / 13 days This strenuous trek takes you unto Goechala at 5000mtrs, opposite the southeastern face of Mt. Khangchendzonga (8345mtrs), the third highest mountain in the world and also one of the most majestic peaks in the world. The trek begins through dense sub-tropical forests and passes vast pasture lands of grazing Yaks and finally reaches the alpine region where the only vegetation are Rhododendron shrubs rising a few inches above the ground. The day temperature could rise to a maximum of 25*c during trek while the minimum temperature could hover around zero.
THE KHANGCHENDZONGA "WHITE MAGIC" TREK DAY 01: Bagdogra- Ravangla (1950mtrs) Distance: 150km Time: 5hrs (approx.). Meet assist at the airport and drive along the Teesta valley to the Sikkim border at Melli. Then you bifurcate into the Rangit valley and climb up to Ravangla. Overnight at Village Resort. DAY 02: Ravangla. Day hike in the village to loosen up for the long trek ahead. DAY 03: Ravangla-Yuksom (1770mtrs) Distance: 58km/Time: 2 1/2hours (approx.). Enroute visit Tashiding monastery- the holiest in Sikkim. o/n Lodge. DAY 04: Yuksom-Tsokha (2745mtrs)Dist:12km/Time:5hrs(approx.). The trek begins(after breakfast) through dense semi-tropical forest occasionally crossing beautiful mountain streams. The last two-hour trek to Tshoka is a steep climb. The first glimpses of the magnificent Mt. Pandim(6891mtrs)can be seen. Overnight: Trekkers huts/Tents. DAY 05: Tshoka - Dzongri(4200mtrs) Distance:9kms/Time:3 hours(approx.). A steep climb through fascinating rhododendron forests. The magnificent view of Mt. Khangchendzongna and Mt. Pandim can be witnessed all through the route. Overnight: Trekkers huts/Tents. DAY 06:Dzongri: A day return excursion to Dzongri Pass along a route through towering white peaks. Also a day for acclimatization. Overnight trekkers' hut/tents. DAY 07:Dzongri- Thangsing(3930mtrs) Dist:8kms/Time:3hours (approx.) a relative easy trail with a clear view of Mt. Khangchendzonga. A slight climb after crossing a mountain stream for camp for the night. Overnight: Trekkers hut/Tents. DAY 08: Thangsing - Samiti Pokhari(4500mtrs) Distance:6km/Time:3 hours (approx.).The trail with magnificent views of Mt. Pandim all along. Overnight: Trekkers huts/Tents. DAY 09: Samiti Pokhari- Goechala-Thangsing (5002mtrs) Distance:11kms/ Time: 5hours (approx.). An early morning climb along a gully to view the east face of Mt. Khangchendzonga bathed in the rays of the morning sun. Descend to Thangsing. Overnight: Trekkers huts/Tents. DAY 10: Thangsing: A day excursion to this beautiful mountain lake with a chance to come across some of the rare and endangered fauna of this region. Overnight: Trekkers huts/Tents. DAY 11: Thangsing- Tsokha Dist:12km/Time:4hrs (approx.).Descend to Phedang and then to Tsokha through dense forests. Overnight: Trekkers hut/Tents. DAY 12: Tsokha - Yuksom. Distance:10km/Time:4hours (approx.).The last day of the trek. Retrace the trail to Yuksom at your own leisure. If you arrive early you can visit Dubdi Monastery, the oldest monastery in Sikkim built Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo, the revered Buddhist monk who introduced Buddhism in Sikkim in 1641 AD or stroll around the tranquil Karthok Lake. Overnight: Hotel Tashigang. DAY 13: Yuksom - Next destination. SINGALILA RIDGE TREK Strenuous Trek: 16 nights / 17 days This strenuous trek along the Singalila ridge separating Sikkim from Nepal, starts from the southern end & climaxes at Goechala (5000 mtrs) opposite the mighty & splendid Mt. Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world and revered by as the guardian deity of Sikkim. The trail offers panoramic views of the highest peaks in the world - from Mt Everest in Nepal to Mt Chomolhari in Bhutan and passes through pristine and isolated rhododendron forests & mountain lakes. Day 01: NJP Rly. Stn. / Bagdogra Airport - Gangtok. O/n Hotel. Day 02: Gangtok - sightseeing. O/n Hotel. Day 03: Gangtok - Temi Tea Garden - Ravangla. O/n Mt Narsing Village Resort.
Day 04: Ravangla - Village Hike - Drive to Pelling. O/n Hotel Day 05: Pelling - Utteray (2320 m.). O/n Lodge. Day 06: Trek Starts. Utteray - Chewa Bhangyang (3140 m). O/n Tents. Day 07: Chewa - Dhond (3900m). O/n Tents. Day 08: Dhond - Sikkim Megu (4000m). O/n Tents. Day 09: Sikkim Megu - Gomathang (3700m). O/n Tents. Day 10: Gomathang - Thaygyapla (4000m). O/n Tents. Day 11: Thaygyapla - Dzongri (4200m). O/n Tents. Day 12: Dzongri - Thangsing (3930m.). O/n Tents. Day 13: Thangsing - Samiti (4060m). O/n Tents. Day 14: Samiti - Goechala (4940m) - Thangsing. O/n Tents. Day 15: Thangsing - Tsokha (3048m.). O/n Trekkers hut/Tents. Day 16: Tsokha - Yuksom (1780m). O/n Hotel. Day 17: Yuksom - Next Destination. BUDDHISM TOUR Tour with short hikes: 9 nights / 10 days Guru Padmasambhava, the great Buddhist saint and the restorer of Buddhism in Tibet, had prophesied during his travels to Tibet in the 7th century, that amongst the holy hidden lands or "Bey-Ney"; personally consecrated by him, "Bey-Yul Demazong" Sikkim, was the holiest. Here he had hidden a vast religious treasure of Holy Scriptures, icons, etc. to be discovered and interpreted in the future. It was the fulfillment of this prophecy that Lhatsun Chenpo, Rikzen Chenpo and Ngadak Sempo Chenpo, came to Sikkim to propagate Buddhism. The three monks met at Yuksom in 1641 and coroneted the first Chogyal - the Religious King. These events have been given shape to rich heritage of Buddhism in Sikkim manifesting in over 200 monasteries, chortens, and holy caves and influencing the society in general. This itinerary has been drawn up to provide you a lasting experience of the "Buddha Dharma" as practiced in Sikkim. BUDDHISM TOUR OF SIKKIM Day 01: Bagdogra -Rumtek (1600,mrts, 124km/4hrs approx). Drive from Bagdogra to Rumtek. O/N Hotel. Day 02: Rumtek - Gangtok. (24km/45mins). Visit the Dharma Chakra centre at Rumtek. Located on the hill opposite Gangtok this magnificent monastery and a college of Buddhist learning was built by the late Gyalwa Karmapa, the head of the Kagyupa sect, in the early 1960s as an exact replica of the original Kagyu monastery in Tibet. It is also the international headquarters of the Karma Kagyu centers. Drive to Gangtok. O/n Hotel Day 03: Gangtok Day starts with visit to the Enchey monastery, located about 2km and on a hillock above Gangtok, this monastery was built by Lama Druptob Karpo, a tantric master known for his power of flying. Built in the early part of this century, it follows the Nyingmapa tradition and has a pagoda style architecture unique to the Sikkimese monasteries. Research Institute of Tibet logy : Situated close to the Chorten this institute is a repository of the largest collection of Tibetan artifacts outside Tibet. Also renowned worldwide for the study of Buddhist philosophy and religion, it is a treasure house of rare Thanks, Buddhist icon and objects of art. Do-Drul Chorten: One of the most important Stupas of Sikkim built by the late Venerable Trulsi Rimpoche in 1945-46, it contains a mandala of Dorji-Phurpa, holy texts, mantras and is encircled by 108 prayer wheels.
Ngor Gompa: The only Sakya monastery in the state is situated at Rongyek around 5km from Gangtok. This three-storied monastery has an idol of the Sakya Muni. Day 04:Gangtok.Day return excursion to Phodang and Phensang monasteries. Phodong monastery: Built in the mid 18th century, it is one of the important Kagyupa monasteries of Sikkim. Along with Rumtek and Ralang monasteries it hosts the annual "Kagyad Chaam" - the masked dance, on the 28th & 29th of the tenth month in the Tibetan calendar. This corresponds to the second fortnight of December. A Kilometer uphill is the Labrang monastery, which belongs to the Nyingmapa sect of Buddhism. Enroute to Phodong, a stream of prayer flags leads to the Phensang monastery. This monastery follows the Nyingmapa sect and has about 300 monks. Return to Gangtok. O/n hotel. Day 05: Gangtok – Temi - Ravangla.(1950mtrs, 98km / 4 hrs approx). Enroute a visit to the only Tea Garden in Sikkim at Temi to see the processing of the internationally famed brew. O/n Mt. Narsing – the village resort. Day 06: Ravangla. Day excursion to monasteries at Ralang. Situated 13 kms away against the spectacular backdrop of the peaks of Narsing, Jopuno and Kabur are the two monasteries at Ralang. The old Ralang monastery was built in 1730 on a site blessed by an earlier incarnation of Karmapa where the grains of rice thrown by him from Tibet had landed. The monastery is one of the most sacred and important monasteries following the Kagyupa tradition. " Pang Lhabsol " the worship of Mt Khangchendzonga & " Kagyad " Chaam (masked dances) are held every year on the 15th day of the seventh month of the Buddhist calendar coinciding with August/September and on the 29th day of the tenth month just before Losoong - the Sikkimese New Year in December. The New Ralang monastery - Palchen Choeling Monastic Institute, was built by the XII Th Gyaltsab Rimpoche, one of the four regents of the Kagyupa sect and completed in 1995. This is the biggest monastery in Sikkim and its architecture and paintings have been painstakingly undertaken to maintain the authenticity of the Kagyupa monasteries. The sacred Mahakala Dance is held here every year in November. Also a visit the Kungdraling monastery at Kewzing, which is the only monastery in Sikkim, dedicated to the "Bon" faith, the religious practice prevailing in Tibet before the advent Buddhism. The present day Buddhism has imbibed a lot of traditions, rituals and practice from this faith and for a layman it is impossible to segregate this monastery from that following any other tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. A short walk from the resort is the Doling monastery located amidst a thick cardamom plantation. This monastery built in AD follows the Nyingmapa sect. Day 07: Ravangla – Pelling / Pemayangtse (2055mtrs, 52km / 1 ½ hrs approx). A drive down to the Rangit valley and up to Pelling. Visit the Pemayangtse Monastery . Built in the 18th century AD, this monastery follows the Nyingmapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Pemayangtse – "the Sublime Lotus", also houses the famed "Zangdopalri", a fascinating model of the celestial abode of Guru Padma Sambhava, crafted single-handedly out of wood by the late Dungzim Rimpoche. O/n Hotel. Day 08: Pelling / Pemayangtse. Day excursion to Khecheodpalri Lake. The day starts with an early morning walk to Sangachholing Monastery (45 min) located on a hillock above Pelling. Built in the 17th century by Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo, the patron saint of Sikkim, it is considered to be the second oldest monastery in Sikkim. This spot commands a breathtaking view of the Snowcapped Mountains and the hills, valleys and villages of West Sikkim.
Khecheodpalri Lake (24 km./11/4 hours) - also known as the wishing lake is located in the midst of a dense forest .This unusually calm lake is considered very sacred and no water sport or other activities besides prayers and worship are allowed around it. After packed lunch near the lake drive to Yuksom (40 km / 2 hrs). A quaint little village, Yuksom is also the take off point for trekking to Dzongri and Goecha-la. This is also the place where the three Lamas first met and consecrated the first king of Sikkim in 1641. The Norbugang chorten and the Coronation throne stand mute testimony to this historic event. Overnight in Hotel. Day 09: Yuksom – Tashiding – Kalimpong (1250 mtrs, 121km / 5 1/2 hrs approx). An early morning walk to Dubdi monastery(40min) the oldest monastery in Sikkim built in 1642 by Lhatsun Chempo. The Tashiding monastery is reached after a 45min walk from the roadside market 20 kms away from Yuksom. Tashiding literally meaning the "Central Elevated Glory" is the most sacred monastery complex in Sikkim and was described by Guru Rimpoche as the heart of "Beyul Demazong". Built in 1716AD the complex is also the location of the "Thongwa Rongdol" Chorten. Just a sight of this sacred Stupa is said to wash away one’s sins. Overnight: Hotel in Kalimpong. Day 10: Kalimpong – next destination. ADVENTURE SIKKIM. Mountain biking, trek & rafting: 13 nights / 14 days This bike, trek & raft itinerary offers an exclusive & first hand experience of Sikkim - the lands, its people, the flora & fauna. Biking is on proper motorable roads avoiding high traffic routes and meandering through the lush countryside and forests. The itinerary has been designed with room for flexibility in routes (Sikkim has a wide network of motorable roads) and overnight stays. Also a pilot vehicle preceding the group and a back up jeep will ensure full support to make biking in Sikkim a wonderful experience. A trek to Menam peak(10,500ft) has been included to offer a change in the programmed and also because Menam offers a truly fascinating awesome view of the Sikkim Himalayas. The best time to experience Classic Sikkim would be March - May and October December. Day 01: Bagdogra - Gangtok (drive) Dist: 123km. Meet, assist and transfer from Bagdogra airport and drive (4 1/2hrs) through the Teesta valley to Gangtok. O/n Hotel. Day 02: Gangtok - Ranka - Martam (bike) Dist:29km. The first day biking will start with a slight down hill route to a mountain stream and then level before a gradual climb through Rumtek and then to Martam (1520 mtrs). Overnight in the resort is an experience of a typical Sikkimese countryside with modern amenities. Day 03: Martam - Simchuthang (bike) Dist: 45km. The initially downhill route goes to the Teesta valley and after a short uphill levels to pass through stretches of terraced paddy fields to meet the river upstream at Simchuthang. O/N tents. Day 04: Simchuthang - Temi (bike) Dist: 30km. The route for this day is uphill all the way to Temi (1670 mtrs), which is also the only tea garden in Sikkim. O/N Lodge/Tents near the tea garden. Day 05: Temi - Ravangla (bike) Dist: 25km.
A gradual climb unto Damthang(2200 mtrs) and level and gradual downhill drive to Ravangla(1950 mtrs) a small picturesque town of South Sikkim. O/N village resort. Day 06: Ravangla - Menam (Trek) Dist 14km. Trek through a dense forest - an experience of the wilderness, as there are no human settlements enroute. The view from Menam peak(3200 mtrs) is the most spectacular and comprehensive that one can get of the Sikkim Himalayas. O/N tents. Day 07: Menam - trek - Borong (2000 mtrs) Dist:12km. The return from Menam is a fairly downhill walk to Borong village . O/N Tents in the village. Day 08: Borong - Tashiding (bike) Dist:38km. A level route through Ralang where you can visit the monasteries. After a gradual climb to Ravangla it is downhill to the Rangit valley and a 13km climb to Tashiding. O/N tents/trekkers huts. Day 09: Tashiding - Yuksom (bike) Dist: 19km a gradual climb through villages and plantations to reach the historic village of Yuksom. O/N Hotel. Day 10: Yuksom - Pelling (bike) Dist: 49km A fairly downhill route initially goes uphill after crossing the Rimbi stream. O/N Hotel. Day 11: Pelling (Rest day). The rest day to help you rejuvenate for the rest of the journey. Also to visit the Pemayangtse monastery, walk leisurely to Sangacholling monastery and the old Palace ruins at Rabdentse. O/N hotel. Day 12: Pemayangtse/ Pelling - Soreng (bike) Dist: 45km. Descend to Dentam and a gradual climb ending with a downhill to Soreng. O/N tents/trekkers hut. Day 13: Soreng - Jorethang (bike) Dist:24km. The last day of biking is descending to Jorethang located on the bank of river Rangit. O/n :Lodge. Day 14: Jorethang - drive/ raft - Siliguri Dist:94km. A 4 1/2 hrs drive to Bagdogra airport to catch the flight to your next destination from Bagdogra airport. Day 15: Siliguri - next destination. CLASSIC SIKKIM - THE RHODODONDRON DETOUR This detour to Varsey, a huge Rhododendron forest, is a must experience trip during the flowering season from mid-March to April 1st week. The whole forest is aflame with Rhododendron flowers with hues ranging from blood red to pure white and against the backdrop of the mountains it is truly an unforgettable experience. Day 11: Pelling - Dentam (bike) Dist;17km. After an invigorating rest day, a slight descend to Dentam village on your bikes. Then a trek unto Varsey(2850 mtrs), the huge rhododendron forest on the ridge. O/N tents/trekkers hut. Day 12: Varsey: The day is spent taking a leisurely hike inside the forest which abounds in more than 20 varieties of rhododendrons and offers fascinating view of Mt. Khanchendzonga and its attendant peaks. O/n trekker’s hut/tents. Day 13: Varsey - Hilley(trek) Dist:4km - Hilley -Jorethang(bike) Dist 55km. Day 14: (Jorethang - Bagdogra drive) Dist:94km. Time to say good-bye to Sikkim and drive to Bagdogra airport to catch the flight to your next destination. (Trip ends). THE RHODODENDRON TRAIL. Tour & soft trek: 9 nights / 10 days
Best recommended for the spring season (mid March - mid April), this tour/trek takes you to Varsey and Menam, rhododendron sanctuaries. The huge Rhododendron forests are a riot of flowers during spring and against the backdrop of Mt. Khangchendzonga and its attendant peaks it makes a truly magnificent experience. The trek is route range from moderate to easy and can be done by anyone in relative in good shape and interested in walking. The rafting trip down the Teesta River completes a memorable trip. Experienced river guides handle the rafting and safety equipment of international standards is used to make the rip completely safe for anyone interested in adventure. Day 01: Bagdogra/Bhadrapur - Jorethang (500 mtrs.) Dist: 143-km/5 hrs. (Approx.) On arrival meet, assist and drive to Jorethang. Drive to Jorethang along the picturesque Teesta and Rangit valleys. Overnight at hotel/lodge. Day 02: Jorethang (drive) - Hilley (walk) - Varsey (2840 mtrs.) After breakfast drive to Hilley (55 km/2 hrs.) through a luxuriant countryside. A leisurely walk (45 min) to Varsey the scented air of the blooming rhododendron flowers. Overnight trekker's hut/ten. Day 03: A day to enjoy Varsey. Venturing into the rhododendron forest and enjoying the peace and tranquility of the natural solitude can spend this day. Overnight trekker's hut/tent. Day 04: Varsey (walk) - Dentam (drive) - Pemayangtse (2085 mtrs.) After breakfast walk (2 hrs.) along a well-marked route towards the village of Dentam. Board vehicle, enroute you experience rural way of life of Sikkim. On arrival check in at hotel. Overnight at hotel. Day 05: Pemayangtse - Ravangla. (1950 mtrs) Dist: 52 kms / 1 ½ hrs (Approx.) After early breakfast visit Sangachholing monastery (2 km/45 min.) located on a hillock, it is considered to be the second oldest monastery of Sikkim. On return from the monastery, drive to Ravangla. Overnight village resort. Day 06: Ravangla - trek - Menam (3200 mtrs.) Dist: 14 km / 4 hrs. (Approx.). After breakfast trek through a dense Rhododendron forest flaming with hues from blood red to white. If you are lucky you can get a glimpse of the rare and shy fauna of this wild life sanctuary - a rare experience of the wilderness. Located close to the centre of Sikkim Menam peak offers a view, which is one of the most spectacular and comprehensive that one can get of the Sikkim Himalayas. O/N tents. Day 07: Menam - trek - Borong (1900 mtrs) Dist: 12km. The return from Menam is a fairly downhill walk to Borong village. O/N Tents in the village. Day 08: Borong - Gangtok – Drive to Gangtok. Overnight at hotel. Day 09: Gangtok sightseeing - Rumtek - Martam (1588 mtrs.) After breakfast sightseeing around Gangtok, Enchey monastery, flower show, Deer Park, Government Institute of Cottage Industry, DoDrul Chorten, Research Institute of Tibet logy. After lunch drive to Martam enroute visit Rumtek monastery. This monastery has been built as an exact replica of the original Kagyupa monastery in Tibet. Overnight Resort. Day 10: Martam (drive) - Rangpo (raft) - Melli - Bagdogra/Bhadrapur. Drive to Rangpo. Rafting starts from Rangpo to Melli and than drive to next destination. After lunch. TOUR ENDS.
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