Sikkim Adventure Trip
is the hidden Himalayan Kingdom, nestling in between Nepal and Bhutan. Bhutias,
Lepchas and the Nepalese immigrants are the people who inhibits the Buddhist
dominated culture of Sikkim.
The lush green valleys of river Teesta, Rangpo and Rangit are the playground
for the diverse fauna, with a few species exclusive to Sikkim like snow leopard,
red panda and clouded leopard. Its flora is as rich, with nearly a thousand
species of orchids having been identified.
Lepchas - the native people of the state, used to inhabit in the entire area
of Sikkim till the 17th century. The conflicts within various sects of Tibetan
Buddhism led to the coming of followers of the Red Hat Sect - Nyingma pa to
Sikkim. This eventually pushed Lepchas to the central part of the state. Lepcha
dwellings are usually made of bamboo and are raised on stilts. Lepchas are
very fond of archery and are good hunters. Lately, they had left their own
Bon faith and now follow Buddhism.
Nepalese cultivators were brought in by the influential Nepalese traders,
with due permission of the 7th Chogyal (King of Sikkim). These cultivators
came in large numbers and cleared substantial hilly tracts in entire Sikkim
except the northern region. Due to their expertise in hill cultivation, cardamom
became a major cash crop of the region.
Third highest mountain of the world, Kangchendzonga, 8598 mts, majestically
towers over all other mountains in its vicinity and can be seen from every
other elevated part in Sikkim. Kangchendzonga is revered as a deity by the
Sikkimese people. Even though the mountain had been climbed several times
since 1977, but still climbers have returned back a few feet short of the
summit. This token gesture had been followed by the climbers so as not to
hurt the religious feelings of the Sikkimese people. The other famous peaks
seen are Kabru North and Kabru South 7338 & 7317 mts, Talung 7349 mts,
The Twins 7350 mts, Nepal Peak 7168 mts.
: 16 nights / 17 days
: Delhi - Bagdogra - Gangtok - Phodong - Singhik
- Namprithang - Lachung - Yumthang - Lachen - Gangtok - Tashiding - Yoksum Kechopari
Lake - Pemayangtse - Pemayangtse - Kalimpong - Darjeeling - Sandakphu - Bagdogra
1: DELHI / BAGDOGRA / GANGTOK
Arrive Delhi, you will be met at the International Airport and transferred
to the Domestic Airport for flight to Bagdogra. Met on arrival and drive for
5 hrs to Gangtok. Half of the way to Gangtok is in the low-lying plains of
the river Mahananda and Teesta in West Bengal. We pass through lush green
Mahananda Sanctuary. The entry point to Sikkim is "Rangpo" from
where onwards the next 40 kms drive is through East Sikkim and you arrive
in Gangtok. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 2: GANGTOK / RUMTEK / GANGTOK
Gangtok has been the capital of Sikkim for nearly a century now and is nestled
on both sides of a solitary ridge. Near about 50,000 people live in this upcoming
town, the only one of this size in the entire state. One can witness a blend
of modern and traditional Tibetan style architecture in most of the buildings
of Gangtok. In other parts of Sikkim as well, the Tibetan architectural influence
is seen in the form of pagoda type roofs with intricately designed welcome
gates at all major entrances. Wayside resting sheds have pillars with painted
dragons curling themselves.
Proceed to Rumtek monastery, 24 kms away, which belongs to Kagyu-pa sect
of Tibetan Buddhism. This monastery was built in 1959 and is an exact replica
of Tsurphu monastery of Kham region in Tibet. In 1959, when the 16th reincarnated
Gyalwa Karmapa came to Sikkim, he brought most of the religious treasures
of the Tsurphu monastery and restored the same in Rumtek. Mural work here
is exquisite and depicts the Tibetan style of religious paintings. Within
monastery complex is a school built on modern lines to impart teaching in
Tibetan and various aspects of Buddhism. Above the monastery is a hermitage
in which monks go under complete seclusion for meditation for period upto
3 yrs. The main puja (or dances) of Rumtek, also known as Tse-Chu Chaams are
held on the 10th day of 5th month of Tibetan calendar that is around the month
of June. Evening is free to explore the markets of Gangtok.
DAY 3: GANGTOK / PHODONG / SINGHIK / NAMPRITHANG
In the morning we leave for Phodong, a drive lasting less than 3 hrs. We visit
the Phodong monastery
to Karma pa lineage of Red Hat sect. First built in early 18th century this
monastery has mainly black mural work depicting various Demonic deities dismembering
miscreants in the bowels of hell. Also visit the ruins of 3rd capital of Sikkim,
Tumlong. Proceed further for a glimpse of a Lepcha village at Singhik. Overnight
in Tourist Rest House in Namprithang.
DAY 4: NAMPRITHANG / LACHUNG
After breakfast leave for Lachung (2624 mts), one of the two major valleys of
North Sikkim. Enroute, we can see Mt. Kangchendzonga with its satellite peaks
in the north westerly direction. Visit Lachung monastery, belonging to Nyingma
pa, Red Hat sect of Buddhism. First built in 1880, this monastery, surrounded
by typical prayer flags is an important monastery of the entire valley. Overnight
in Tourist Rest House.
DAY 5: LACHUNG / YUMTHANG / LACHUNG
Drive to the picturesque Yumthang meadows (3612 mts), surrounded with jagged
peaks including Pauhunri (7128 mts), Donkya Ri (6190 mts). This place is also
known for its sulphur hot water springs. In between Yumthang and Lachung is
Singba Forest Reserve, known for being the habitat for various species of
Rhododendrons. Overnight at Lachung Rest house
DAY 6: LACHUNG / LACHEN
We trace our way back to Chungthang, the confluence point of Lachung and Lachen
Chu rivers (from this place, the river is called Teesta). From here we turn
in the North Westerly direction and after 6 hrs of drive we reach Lachen (2728
mts). There are number of apple orchards around this place apart from the cabbage
cultivating area. Visit Lachen Monastery, first built in 1806 and which belongs
to the Nyingma pa, Red Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Overnight Tourist Rest
7: LACHEN / GANGTOK
Today's drive lasts for 6 hrs, all southwards, during which we traverse 3
river valleys. On the way we pass through dense vegetated areas full of rich
wildlife. The streams and the rivers that we come across carry great amount
of crystal clear water. On the right bank of river Teesta is the region inhabited
by tribals - Lepchas, known as DZONGU whereas further westwards to it is the
Kangchendzonga National Park. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 8: GANGTOK / TASHIDING / YOKSUM
Early morning start for Yoksum, enroute visit Tashiding Monastery. Tashiding
Monastery had been 1st built in 1717 and located high on a cliff in between
Rathong and the Rangit river valleys. The sacred ceremony of `Bum-chu', which
literally means 'a vase containing water', is held only in this monastery.
It takes place on the 15th day of the1st month of the Tibetan calendar. This
ceremony is reportedly being held for the past three centuries, at the same
place, every year. From here to Yoksum is an hour's drive, which is also the
road head for the Dzongri-Goecha La trek to get really close views of Mt.
Kangchendzonga. Yoksum is the place that witnessed the coronation of the 1st
King of Sikkim. Overnight in Camp.
DAY 9: YOKSUM / KECHOPARI LAKE / PEMAYANGTSE
Yoksum to Kechopari is a 2 hrs drive and we reach the lake literally meaning
"Wishing Lake". There is a belief regarding the lake, it says that
one cannot spot a leaf floating on the surface of water even though it is
amidst dense forest. Proceed further to Pemayangtse, the most powerful monastery
of Nyingma Pa sect in Sikkim. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 10: PEMAYANGTSE
built in late 17th century, this monastery houses a number of ancient idols
(especially the ones of Guru Padmasambhava) and religious scriptures of priceless
antiquity. Of all three floors, the top one is an intricately carved wooden
sculpture, depicting Mahaguru's Heavenly Palace - Sangthokpalri. The other two
floors have a big collection of Thangkas - the scrolls, of Chinese silk depicting
the life of Boddhisatva. The thousand Buddhas as shown in the mural work is
a highlight of this Monastery. Look out for great views of Kangchendzonga and
its subsidiary mountains from an entirely new angle (north direction). Overnight
DAY 11: PEMAYANGTSE / KALIMPONG
Drive for 6 hrs to reach Kalimpong (1220 mts), which is just outside Sikkim.
From Pemayangtse it is all downhill till we reach Teesta, a place from where
it's a steep climb and we arrive in this sleepy hill resort where lies the hill
district of Darjeeling. During the days when trade with Tibet was on, Kalimpong
used to be the starting point on the trade route and therefore the hub of trade
activities. Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 12: KALIMPONG / DARJEELING
In the morning, visit the local Arts and Crafts Centre that produces and sells
a wide variety of Handicrafts. We also visit Dharmodaya Vihar, which is a
Nepalese Buddhist Temple with a statue of Buddha donated by Burmese Buddhists.
In the afternoon leave for a 3 hrs drive to Darjeeling. Darjeeling - straddling
on a ridge at 2134 mts, is the foremost place in the Himalayas, which has
been exclusively developed to be known as a hill station. The most well known
aspect of Darjeeling is its tea gardens. The entire population is a mixture
of people from entire eastern Himalayas viz. Tibetan refugees, Sherpas, Nepalese
immigrants and Bengalese. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 13: DARJEELING
Visit Ghoom (Yiga choling) monastery that belongs to Gelugpa, Yellow Hat sect.
It enshrines a 15 feet high image of Maitraya Buddha. Afternoon, visit a tea
estate to witness the orthodox way of tea production, exclusive to Darjeeling
Tea estates. Also visit the Tibetan Refugee Centre for various Tibetan curios,
produced here only and see the manufacturing process in various workshops.
Evening free to visit the Darjeeling bazaar for. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 14: DARJEELING / SANDAKPHU
for 4 hrs and we arrive at Sandakphu, on Singelila ridge which leads to Kabru,
Kangchendzonga massifs apart from a number of other notable peaks above 7000
mts. Overnight in Camp.
DAY 15: SANDAKPHU / DARJEELING
Wake up early to get a splendid view of the entire Eastern Nepal and Sikkim
Himalayas starting from Everest (8848mts), Makalu (8463 mts), Jannu (7710
mts), Kangchendzonga (8598 mts) to Chomolhari (7315 mts) in Bhutan. The notable
aspect of sunrise at Sandakphu is that Everest gets the first rays of the
sun and then the entire northern horizon gets studded. Leave in the afternoon
for Darjeeling. Overnight at hotel.
DAY 16: DARJEELING / BAGDOGRA / DELHI
A 3 hrs drive to Bagdogra Airport for the afternoon flight to Delhi. Met on
arrival and transferred to hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 17: DELHI / OUT
Morning sightseeing includes visit to India Gate the 42 meters high stone
structure-raised in the memory of the 90,000 Indian soldiers who died during
World War-1. The Rashtrapti Bhawan, official residence of the President of
India, is imperial in design and has great court, spacious state rooms and
elegant Mughal garden. Also visit Humanyun's Tomb, built by a widow in memory
of her husband: the central octagonal chamber houses the cenotaph of Humayun
and other Mughal princes. Qutab Minar is one of the most striking of all the
monuments. It has 5 stories, the first three are made of sandstone, others
of marble and sandstone. It is 72.5 meters high. In the evening departure
transfer to the International Airport for flight back home.
Sikkim Adventure Trip, Reservation Form