Driving past various shades of green, into a place that locals call “Paradise”, Sikkim can give you goosebumps with its warm portrayal of chilled beauty! This place is believed to be the “Switzerland of India”, with the Goddess deity of Kanchendzonga showering snowy blessings, with Rhododendrons fragrance in the air, with Tea perfuming the greens of South; Sikkim is beauty and beyond.
Treks that would bring out the adventurer in you, Culture that would stun you with its simplicity, Food that would tangle your tastebuds, Beauty that would leave you awestruck; it’s Heaven’s calling!
- Day 1: Gangtok: We start our journey with driving into Gangtok. Witness the scenic nightlife and dig into some delicious Sikkimese food tonight at the local market.
- Day 2: East Sikkim: Today we start our sightseeing by visiting Changu Lake, Baba Mandir and Gnathang valley, with an overnight at Phudemchen.
- Day 3: Gangtok: Today we visit the beautiful Aritar lake, Zuluk and Romgil and return to Gangtok.
- Day 4: Lachen: We drive to North Sikkim, into Lachen, a town camouflaged with snow-capped mountains and lush valleys.
- Day 5: Gurudongmar Lake and Lachung: After a night-halt a local homestay, we visit the famous Gurudongmar lake which is known for its healing waters. Post lunch we drive to Lachung, a serene mountain village. Overnight halt at Lachung.
- Day 6: Lachung: Today we visit the Yumthang Valley.
- Day 7: Gangtok: Today we drive back to the capital city, and shop at M.G Marg.
- Day 8: West Sikkim: Today we drive to West Sikkim via the Temi tea gardens, settle into a cosy farm stay.
- Day 9: West Sikkim: Today we drive to Pelling, which gives the best view of Kanchendzonga
- Day 10: Departure: Drive to Bagdogra and Departure.
- 3 nights in Gangtok
- 2 nights in Lachung
- 1 nights in Lachen
- 2 nights in Pelling
- 1 night in Phudumchen
Room with Breakfast in all places
A mix of SUV and Wagon R
Day 1: Arrive at Gangtok
Arrive at Gangtok via Taxi from Bagdogra International Airport, You may also look at taking a chopper into Gangtok.
Settle into the homestay, with a warm family. If time permits you could visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, and witness the night life of Gangtok.
Day 2: East Sikkim: The Old Silk route
The Old Silk Route or Silk Road which passes through East Sikkim is a part of the ancient network of trade routes which connected China to India. This Ancient Silk Route is expected to have been discovered by traders as early as First Century AD. You will be retracing these steps on your two-day journey across East Sikkim. Some of the places you will see are:
The Changu Lake is perched within mountains at an altitude of 12,400 ft. Located at the Gangtok – Nathula Highway only 37 km from Gangtok, the Changu Lake is one of the most spectacular landscapes of Sikkim. The lake is highly revered by the local Buddhists and Hindus as a sacred lake. With a depth of around 48 feet and spreading over 1 kilometre, the magnificent Changu Lake romances with its picturesque surrounding.
Baba Harbhajan Mandir:
Baba Mandir is a distinguished sightseeing place of Sikkim. This “mandir” or shrine is dedicated to “Baba” Harbhajan Singh, who was a soldier of the Indian Army. He died near the Nathula Pass in eastern Sikkim.
Located at an altitude of 13,500 feet, this lush valley was the home to traditional yak herders who came from Tibet. Nathang Valley appears in different colours in different times of the year. You would find few streams snaking through the valley and makeshift bridges built on the stream. And there is nothing more except endless stretches of grassland, surrounded by high mountains. The valley is devoid of any trees and it seems out of this world.
Your stay tonight will be at Padamchen. Padamchen experiences a very pleasant weather throughout the year and this is one of the main reasons for its popularity. Padamchen has some of the best views of the valleys and forests of this part of Sikkim and Himalayan foothills.
Day 3: Zuluk , Aritar lake and return to Gangtok
Located at a height of around 10,100 feet on the rugged terrain of the lower Himalayas in East Sikkim, Zuluk or Dzuluk is a small village beside a winding road. It was once a transit point to the historic Silk Route from Tibet to India. The road through Zuluk makes almost 32 hairpin turns to reach Lungthung, which makes it a unique engineering feat. There is a local Nag Temple here. The temple has a cave-like structure and the deity of King Cobra or Nag, famous Hindu mythical god is worshipped in the temple. Visit the scenic Aritar lake and enjoy your drive back to Gangtok.
Day 4: Drive to Lachen
Today we drive to Lachen in North Sikkim. On the way, you can breathe in the beautiful landscapes of the state. It’s a four and a half hour drive from Gangtok to Lachen. You can take a stroll around the property of the homestay, and do some local sightseeing. Have authentic Bhutanese cuisine with the local family and enjoy the warm Thukpa, a refreshing soup that will calm your senses.
Day 5: Gurudongmar Lake
Amongst the most famous destinations in Sikkim, Gurudongmar Lake is a high altitude lake situated at an altitude of 5430m. The lake is one of the source streams of River Teesta and it holds immense religious importance. It remains completely frozen in the winter time, whereas in the summer it offers a sparkling look. The simplicity of the place is what makes it even more gorgeous. Once back from the lake, You may visit the local Lachen ‘Ngodup Choling’ Monastery. It was built in 1858 A.D. with 8 monks.
After visiting the Lake we drive to Lachung which is a 2-hour drive. Spend the night at a local homestay and enjoy the local cuisine of the Lepchas.
Day 6: Yumthang Valley and Zero Point
The Yumthang Valley boasts of its thick rhododendron forests and hot sulfur springs. The valley is the home to 24 species of Rhododendrons, thus it rightly earns its name as ‘Valley of Flowers’. The vast meadows and the passing of River Teesta through it makes the Yumthang Valley a nature lovers’ paradise.
Day 7: Drive back to Gangtok
Return to Gangtok and spend a relaxed leisurely evening. Explore the famous MG Marg by evening and dig into some local delicacies and enjoy the local culture and nightlife.
Day 8: West Sikkim
Drive to the beautiful unchartered territories of West Sikkim. Stop and enjoy the scenic tea gardens of Temi en route. Towered over by the sublime Khangchendzonga, West Sikkim’s breathtaking landscape is strung out along formidable mountain ridges draped in evergreen alpine forests. A handful of intriguing monasteries, villages and waterfalls add to its overall appeal and make it an ideal spot for footloose hiking.
The monastery is a 118-kilometre long excursion from Gangtok but worth all the travelling time. Inside, take note of the murals depicting stories of Lamaism and Dungzin Rinpoche’s seven-tier wooden masterpiece – a smaller remake of Santo Palri, the celestial palace of Rinpoche. It took Dungzin five years to carve out this masterpiece.
The 16th century Sangachoeling Monastery is one of the oldest and perhaps one of the most important in Sikkim. Accessible on foot only, the monastery is a 45-minute walk from Pelling. A picturesque and peaceful setting, it is lined with prayer flags that flutter in the cool breeze and create a soothing sound. Remember to take permission before clicking pictures on the premises.
Day 9: Pelling
Enjoy breathtaking views of the mighty Kanchenjunga as you sip your tea in the morning. Visit the Pemayangtse monastery, and the Sanga Choling monastery built in 1697, one of the first in the state. Pelling’s serene environment and picturesque setting are perfect for nice nature walks and small treks. You may also visit the Khecheopalri lake, Kanchenjunga falls, the Rabdentse ruins and a lot more!
Another must-see in Pelling is the Khecheopalri Lake. Considered a sacred site, it is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists. Hidden by a rich forest cover, it offers a pristine setting that is perfect for a stroll along the periphery for admiring its beauty. It is also considered a ‘wishing lake’ and it is believed that no leaf remains on its surface at any point in time. Realistically, this is the case also because of the sizeable duck population at the lake which usually plucks away any leaves that might fall on the surface of the lake. No water activities are permitted at the lake due to its sacred nature.
Ruins of Rabdentse:
Rabdentse is a historically significant place. It was once the capital of Sikkim. After the fall of Yuksam dynasty, Rabdentse remained capital of Chogyal dynasty till 1814. The ruins of the old capital are still here reliving the glorious past.
Day 10: Departure
Drive from Pelling to Bagdogra with memories to cherish for a lifetime!