Trekking in Sikkim and Darjeeling, Trekking routes of Sikkim and Darjeeling has amazing scenic view
Trekking in Sikkim and Darjeeling – Best Season
The ideal time for trekking in the Kumaon hills is between October to May.
NATURAL BEAUTY – Trekking in Sikkim and Darjeeling
Darjeeling is perched at 2134 m directly opposite the massif of Kanchenjunga. At 8586 metres this is the world’s third highest mountain and India’s tallest. The road rises steadily to Kurseong where wisps of cool air affirm an undeniably Himalayan setting. Road and train track follow each other for the remaining 60 kn past the Jorebangla crossing and the Batasia Loops to the bustling, railway terminus. This was also the home of the late Tenzing Norgay and has since 1954 housed the Himalayan Mountaineering institute where he trained a generation of mountaineers. the earliest Everest expeditions started their journey from here. A profusion of alpine blossoms and orchids can be found on the leisurely trips to the neighbouring lakes at Senchal and Mirik and the Lebondg racecourse, which is the highest in the world. Most spectacular of all is the sunrise over Kanchenjunga as seen from Tiger hill (259 m) nearby. On clear days, Everest is visible as well.
Down to the Teesta and up on the other side is Kalimpong, 67 km away and the main point of embarkation on the now disused trade route to Lhasa. Along the river, the road ascends once again to Gangtok, 88 km away coursing some very fine white water runs. The direct road from Bagdodra is 125 km.
TREKKING ROUTES – Trekking in Sikkim and Darjeeling
Treks in the Darjeeling area join up with the feeder Sikkim valleys of the Rangit river adjoining the Singalia ridge. Kanchenjunga is the dominant feature, its subsidiary peaks spread alongside with distant Everest also in view. Medium or strenuous grade trekking trips can be undertaken using Darjeeling as a convenient departure point.
Darjeeling-Batasi-Tonglu-Sandakphu (3636 m) (3070 m) – return : 6/7 days moderate trekking (2B) from Manebhanjang which 26 km by road from Darjeeling . Ideal for views along a standard trail.
The route is famed for its views of Kanchenjunga, Mt. Everest and rhododendrons from Phalut and Sandakphu.
Darjeeling/Gangtok – Pemayangtse – Yoksam – Dzongri (3939 m) : 6 days exhilarating trek (2B) with exclusive views of the brilliant Dzongi sunset over Kanchenjunga (Higher grade extension (3C) to Goechala overlooking the inner basin of the main range).
MONSOON CONDITION – Trekking in Sikkim and Darjeeling
The monsoon in the Teesta valley is heavy, lasting from early June till mid September for Sikkim and Darjeeling. For this reason, winter treks are recommended, beginning with October through the period from April to end May has also been traditionally preferred.
OVERSEAS VISITORS – Trekking in Sikkim and Darjeeling
For visitors from overseas, travel formalities have now been further simplified for sightseeing and trekking. Tourists planning to visit Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodong and pemayangtse monasteries etc. can obtain permits for periods up to 15 days from a number of designated offices including Indian Missions overseas. Immigration Officers at the main metro airports, Bagdodra, Gangtok and other convenient points including the Sikkim Tourism Office in Delhi. Likewise, for trekking in the currently permitted Dzongri area of West Sikkim, groups of 4-20 persons may obtain 15 day permits.
INNER LINE PERMIT – Trekking in Sikkim and Darjeeling
Indian nationals can visit the areas falling inside the Inner Line with permits can be obtained in advance.
Each season in Sikkim is distinct. The periods for outdoor excursions are several. March to May is the best season for flowers. Then on till September, the monsoon moves in with thick mists and heavy rain. The onset of autumn imparts an enduring clarity to the distant views until late December, when snow starts falling in the upper valleys. Meanwhile, the life cycle carries on, adapting to the changing colours of the landscape. In many ways, this deep seated harmony with nature is a special characteristic of Sikkim going back to the origin of its earliest inhabitants, the Lepchas. In its monasteries, picturesquely dotted across the state, lie the religious and cultural strengths of the friendly Sikkimese.
The State has Four Districts : North, South, East and West. Historically the capital Gangtok had long been important as an allied station on the Lhasa trade route going over the crest. In the north, this route was linked with the upper reaches of the Teesta, bifurcating at Chungthang into the Lachen and Lachung forks each with its own monastery.
These forks are the main confluents of the river, draining the basins of such striking peaks as Chombu, Chomiomo and Kanchangyao. The Lachen Chu rises way up north at Gurudongmar Lake and the Lachung Chu on the other side of the Dongkya La Pass. Trodden by Yak herders for hundred of years, these trails witnessed the flowering of millions of blossoms in the season as the caravans wound their way towards the Chumbi valley in Tibet.
RAIL LINKS – Trekking in Sikkim and Darjeeling
The airport for Sikkim is Bagdodra, linked by daily jet services from Delhi, Calcutta and Guwahati. A number of express trains also provide direct connections with new Jalpaiguri and Siliguri from Delhi and Calcutta. Convenient bus and taxi services cover the 125 km drive to Gangtok (altitude 1547 m) from Siliguri. Road distances from other points include Darjeeling 139 km, Guwahati : 589 km and Calcutta : 727 km.
As in other parts of the Himalaya, the scale of its altitude and the distinct character of its season make Sikkim an all-year trekking destination. Low altitude treks in winter and higher level excurtions in spring, summer and autumn, when the snowline recedes, are possible. While the conventional trekking periods have been March-May before the monsoon, and after the rains in late September- mid- December, winter is invigorating to the monasteries and viewpoints nearby.
Treks in the interior which, if opened, will enable 3C trips to Green Lake at the base of Kanchenjunga and the Lachen-Lachung link via Sebu La and Donkyala in the north.
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