KI - 30 Sikkim (Dzongri) Trek
For those hard pressed for time and little sceptical of being able to endure the rigors of mountain trekking, a trek up to the meadows of Dzongri offers the benefits of experiencing a truly spectacular Himalayan trek. Trekking through a terrain full of moss-laden forests of oak, chestnut, pine, maple, magnolia and rhododendron, which gradually unfolds and culminates in the meadows of Dzongri at almost 4,000 meters with exceptional mountain views is a state of bliss that only a few can experience. The whole experience is a naturalist’s paradise after all these forests harbor hundreds of varieties of flora and fauna that include exotic orchids and birds and butterflies of varied species that seem to vie for trekkers attention.
Day 01 :
Arrive Bagdgora airport and then drive to Darjeeling (90 kms/03 hrs)
Day 02 :
Early morning excursion to Tiger Hill and Ghoom Monastery. The distance from Darjeeling to Tiger Hill is 15 kms and is an hours drive. On a clear one can see the magnificent panoramic view of Mt. Kanchendzonga with the sun rise in the opposite direction. After breakfast half day city tour of Darjeeling visiting the Tibetan Refugee Centre where once can see the carpet weaving, wool carding, paintings and some wood carving. After this we visit the Happy Valley Tea Garden to see the world famous manufacture of Darjeeling Tea. This Tea Garden was founded in the year 1903 and was the first Tea Garden owned by an Indian family from Calcutta. Then we proceed to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Himalayan Zoological Park.
Day 03 :
Transfer by coach/car/jeep toYuksom. This drive takes about 8 hrs. Yuksom was the first capital of Sikkim where the first King of Sikkim was crowned in the year 1641. We either camp in tents or in Trekker’s hut (alt approx 1900 mtrs).
Day 04 :
The 1st day of Trek, Yuksom to Bakhim – 7hrs, including one-hour lunch stop. We walk up hill following the Rathang River gorge, through dense mixed jungle with Magnolias Rhododendrons, ferns and many different varieties of orchids, brightly colored birds and occasional monkeys. The 1st days Trek ends at Bakhim forest Bungalow (alt approx 2700 mtrs.)
Day 05 :
Trek from Bakhim to Tshoka (3000 mtrs). This trek will be a very short trek and we halt in this place for acclimatization.
Day 06 :
Trek Tshoka to Dzongri – 7 hrs. including one-hour lunch stop. We walk uphill passing through the last villages of Tshoka. Tshoka is a village for Tibetan Refugees, built specially for them in the year 1965. We pass through Tshoka and walk further uphill to Phithang the lunch stop. After lunch we climb further to Deorali from where the Kanchendzonga Massif starts looming in from of us. A short walk brings us to Dzongri Rest House which we can use or camp outside, or alternatively walk another 15 minutes to another delightful campsite (alt approx 4030 mtrs.)
Day 07 :
Trek from Dzongri to Thangsing. This walk will take around 5 to 6 hrs including lunch at the river bank. During the walk, one can see the beautiful view of the Mt. Knanchandzonga range. (alt approx 3800 mtrs)
Day 08 :
Trek from Thangsing to Laxmipokhori and back. This trek will take about 6 to 7 hrs including lunch. During the walk one will be passing through the beautiful bushes of Anthopougan. (alt apporox 3800 mtrs).
Day 09 :
Thangsing to Samiti Lake two and half hours, a very gentle leisurely stroll up to Prek Chu Valley amidst spectacular scenery majestic Pandim towers above us on our right and huge rock walls flanks the other side of the river. We pass ruined shrines, many walls inscribed with Tibetan prayers and Yak herder’s hut used only in summer. Crossing a small rise the beautiful sacred Turquoise Samiti Lake appears below us and we make camp on its shore by a new cook hut. A spectacular and serene spot for us to rest.
Day 10 :
Samiti lake to Goechela, and back to Thangshing. An early start today, when we set off at first light-climbing the hill behind the lake before we descend to the candy bed of a newly drained lake. The whole areas above Samiti Lake is called Jamathang – Plateau. We cross this under the shadow of Pandim and ascend moraine to height of about 500 mtrs. When we rest above a frozen lake, which is dotted with snow, and ice pinnacles, we reach this spot after 5 hrs. The Goechela Pass is further hrs away across the lake, up a steep slope and then on a well-trodden path to our objective which is festooned with brightly colored prayer flags. Stupendous views of the east flank of the Kanchenzonga and mountains and valleys into the distance. Those who donot wish to attempt the pass can turn back at 4500 mtrs and return to Thangshing for lunch two and half hours return (alt approx 4940 mtrs).
Day 11 :
Trek downhill from Thangshing to Tshoka which will take 6 to 7 hrs through the dense forest of Rhododendron and Silverfur. Tshoka is a small beautiful Tibetan village with about 10 to 15 houses. (alt approx 2550 mtrs). Overnight at tents.
Day 12 :
Trek from Tshoka to Yuksom. This downhill trek will take around 6 to 7 hrs including lunch. Overnight at trekkers hut or tents.
Day 13 :
Trek to Tashiding.
Day 14 :
Morning walk to Tashiding Monastery. This trek will take around 2 hrs including the time spent in the monastery.This Monastery is believed to be the most sacred Monastery in Sikkim. The Great Guru Padmasambhava the founder of Lamaism is said to have stayed there for sometime of his meditation. Every year in the month of March, April, a festival is held at the Monastery, when a jar of holy water called “Bhumchhu” is supposed to have been left by Guru Padmasambhava is opened and measured. The water is distributed to pilgrims to drink and then drive from Tashiding to Pemayangtse. This drive will take around 3 hours. Pemayangtse is the second oldest monatery of Sikkim which belongs to the Ningmapa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. (alt approx 2150 mtr). Over night at hotel.
Day 15 :
Transfer from Pemayangtse to Gangtok. It is about 130 kms in distance and will take about 6 hrs drive. This day we will drive through Ravangla. In Ravangla one can visit the Bon - Pa Monastery, which is the only Bon – Pa Monastery in Sikkim.
Day 16 :
Morning excursion to Rumtek Monastery. After lunch half day city tour of Gangtok visiting The Enchey Monastery, the Local Handicraft Centre, The Institute of Tibetology and the Flower Show.
Day 17 :
Drive to Bagdogra airport to board flight for onward journey.