Let us take a journey to the landlocked state of Northeast India, the place which best defines serenity. Nestled in the Himalayan massifs, Sikkim is white heaven to all the Vista lovers.
On our quest to find the end of all roads, which is famously known as the “Zero Point”, which is an alluring place with mellow sounds of flowing valleys, tweeting birds, resounding peaks, and all the unimaginable beauty of the world. Well, it’s not just the end that is charming, but also the journey. The Off Beaten path is all about lodging with locals in homestays, experiencing the local culture and cuisine of the state, witnessing various local activities and much more.
This is a journey into the depths of snowy mountains, where you will find yourself standing amidst huge rocks and empty spaces, so peaceful and calm. A life-changer for adventure seekers.
- Day 1: Gangtok: We start our quest for the divine end, by driving from Bagdogra to Gangtok, the monastic capital-city of Sikkim; where we witness the extravagant nightlife of the city.
- Day 2: Gangtok: The next day is a visit to the ancient Buddhist monasteries that depict the religionism of the state.
- Day 3: Lachen: Today we drive to North Sikkim, into Lachen, a town camouflaged with snow-capped mountains and streaming valleys.
- Day 4: 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 5: Lachung: Today we drive to Yumthang Valley and after a short halt, we move to our final destination, Zero Point, “where all roads end”.
- Day 6: Gangtok: We drive back to Gangtok from Lachung. Spend a relaxed evening on the bylanes of Gangtok.
- Day 7: Departure: Drive from Gangtok to Bagdogra and departure.
- 3 nights in Gangtok
- 2 nights in Lachung
- 1 night in Lachen
Room with Breakfast: Gangtok
Room with Breakfast and Lunch/Dinner: Lachen and Lachung
SUV for the entire trip
Day 1: Arrive at Gangtok
Arrive at Gangtok via Taxi from Bagdogra International Airport, Or via Chopper.
Settle into the homestay, with hosts who are warm and friendly. If time permits you could visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, and witness the nightlife of Gangtok.
Namgyal Institute Of Tibetology :
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology is a Tibet museum in Gangtok. The NIT library holds one of the largest collections of Tibetan works in the world outside Tibet and a museum of Tibetan iconography and religious art.
The nightlife of Gangtok :
Gangtok is the Las Vegas of Sikkim. This capital city has every luxury you could wish for. It has a number of Casinos, Nightclubs and Pubs. The city also has a number of beautiful restaurants and eateries where you could enjoy all kinds of cuisines.
Day 2: Drowning in Abbeys
Today we visit various monasteries in Gangtok. These monasteries depict the religious culture of the state.
Enchey Monastery: Enchey monastery is another place you must visit in Gangtok. The Enchey monastery literally means the solitary temple. At the time it was constructed, it was the only building in the entire area. This place especially attracts attention during the religious dances or \’Chaam\’ performed in January. The relatively small monastery was built 200 years ago and the present building was constructed in the year 1909.
Lingdum Monastery: Located an hour’s scenic drive from Gangtok, Lingdum Monastery is a destination for Buddhist pilgrims and devotees of fine art alike. The sprawling complex, set amid serene forested hills, is a specimen of sacred architecture.
Rumtek Monastery: The monastery is currently the largest in Sikkim. It is home to the community of monks and where they perform the rituals and practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage. A Golden Stupa contains the relics of the 16th Karmapa. Opposite that building is a college, Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies. Originally built by the 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje in the 16th century, Rumtek served as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage in Sikkim for some time. But when the 16th Karmapa arrived in Sikkim in 1959, after fleeing Tibet, the monastery was in ruins. Despite being offered other sites, the Karmapa decided to rebuild Rumtek.
Nehru Botanical Garden (optional): Just ahead of the Rumtek Monastery is the Nehru Botanical Garden which has a mix of tropical and temperate plants and trees as well as a big greenhouse of exotic orchids.
Gangtok Ropeway: If you are at Gangtok you must visit ropeways or cable car located at Deorali market. This ropeway of about 1 km long has three entry points or stops. The lowest point is at Deorali market and the highest point is at Tashiling (below the state secretariat). There is a midpoint stop at Nam-Nang. One can enter from any point and return to same point after touching other two points. Cable car journey provides spectacular view of Gangtok market, valley and assembly hall of state of Sikkim on its 15 to 20 minutes journey.
Day 3: 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 drink that will calm your senses.
Day 4: 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. Lachen ‘Ngodup Choling’ Monastery is located about 28 km from Tsunthang Sub Division Office. It was built in 1858 A.D. with 8 monks. This Gonpa was first a small hut by built by Lama Kitchen Dorje Drak, who was a student of Jamyang Chokyi Rinzing who in turn was a disciple of Terdak Lingpa Of Tibet.
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.
Day 5: Yumthang Valley and Zero Point
The Yumthang Valley boasts of its thick rhododendron forests and hot sulphur 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.
Zero Point is our final destination. Yume Samdong is where roads in Sikkim end. There is nothing but humongous mountain ranges beyond this point. A white beauty, with snow, spread all over, it is Heaven on Earth.
Day 6: Drive to Gangtok
On the last day of our journey, we drive back to the capital city of Gangtok and enjoy shopping at MG Marg, where culture speaks through commodities and beauty speaks through variety.
Day 7: Departure
A good end to a beautiful journey has come. We drive back to Bagdogra from Gangtok, taking along with us a million unforgettable memories.