Perched at an elevation of 2,045 meters on the Lesser Himalaya, Darjeeling, which is one of the popular hill stations in India in North Bengal, is frequented by thousands of tourists and adventurers all throughout the year. The majestic view of the Kanchenjunga range at dawn from Tiger Hill and the sprawling valley bedded with a rich verdure captured from the Mall Road simply grabs the attention of every traveller. Nonetheless, the fresh aroma emanating from the vast tea garden that rolls down the hill simply makes the day inspiring and rejuvenating.
Darjeeling is also a popular hub for trekkers as the hill station is the base to the popular Sandakphu – Phalut Trek. The journey traverses through the rich verdure of the Singalila range and cuts through the thick forest of rhododendron and pine trees en route to several tribal villages tucked in the mountains. It also allows you to get acquainted with the wilderness of the Singalila National Park after crossing Tonglu, which is at an elevation of 3,070 meters.
The trek to Sandakphu – Phalut commences from Maneybhanjang, which is at 2,134 meters, and thereafter it leads to Garibas at 2,620 meters via Tonglu and turns to Sandakphu at 3,640 meters. From Sandakphu to Phalut, it’s a gentle walk and one can catch the panoramic view of the Himalayan range from Mount Everest to Kanchenjunga. The trek downhill leads to Rimbik via Raman and thereafter wheels to Pelling in Sikkim. Pelling is approximately 111 kilometers by road. From Pelling, the Darjeeling and Sikkim trekking tour routes to the Pemayangtse monastery, which is nestling at an elevation of 2,800 meters, and thence the tour leads to Yuksom that is approximately 40 kilometers from Pelling. Yuksom is the erstwhile capital of Sikkim and is the base point of the popular Dzongri – Goecha la trek in Sikkim. From Yuksom one can pay a visit to the Tashiding Monastery and thereafter steer to Martam. The journey leads off at Gangtok via Rumtek Monastery.
The North Eastern region of India offers numerous adventurous and remarkable trails that attract a lot of travelers across the globe. Yuksom-Dzongri Trek is a short, high altitude and one of the most interesting trekking routes in Sikkim. Dzongri trek is the small trek option of the Goechala Trek. This remarkable trek begins from Yuksam and finishes at Yuksam in 5 days. For the trekkers who want to explore more in a short duration the Dzongri trek is the most apt option. Trekkers on this wonderful trek get to explore and see the mesmerizing exquisiteness of scenic landscapes during trekking. In actual fact, Dzongri and Dzongri La (view point) is the paramount spot to get a view of the spectacular mountains and its towering peaks in the Sikkim Himalayas.
Along with the impressive Mt. Kangchendzonga (8585 meters), the 3rd highest mountain in the world, you can also discover some of the most famous peaks during this trek from the Dzongri View Points like Mt. Kabru south (7317 meters), Mt. Kabru north (7338 meters), Mt. Simvo (6811 meters), Mt. Pandim (6691 meters) Mt. Kabru Forked (6108 meters), Mt. Rathong (6679 meters), Mt. Kumbhakarna (Janoo) (7710 meters), Mt. Kokthang (6147 meters), Mt. Goecha Peak (5127 meters) and Mt. Frey Peak (5830 meters).
One of the most notable treks in the Sikkim Himalayan region, the Singalila Ridge and Goecha La trek finds a mention in every trekker’s diary. From the vast tea gardens of North Bengal rolling down the hills to the eco – friendly environment of Sikkim, which is embellished with varied species of alpine trees, medicinal plants, wildlife and avifauna at different altitude, the journey simply woos the travellers. Ideally the trekking tour from the crest of North Bengal to the base of Kanchenjunga is a perfect hop for nature lovers. Further, the 360 degree view of the Himalayan range, from the hulking high peaks of Greater Himalaya that forms a silver horizon parallel to the blue sky on a clear day, enriches the moderate to challenging trail from the Singalila Ridge to Goecha La. The Singalila Ridge and Goecha La Trek also takes you to the deep and diverse culture of Sikkim. Tucked in the mountains, Sikkim boasts of several monasteries that dilate a diorama of the footsteps of Buddhism in Sikkim. The journey cuts through several tribal villages that belong to the Lepchas, Nepalis and Bhutias. During the festive seasons, you can even experience the vibrancy of festivals like Drupka Teshi, Losar, Bumchu, Losoong, Saga dawa and more. Not to forget the harmony and ethnicity of the people. You will never forget the colourful appearance of the Lamas wearing a festive mood. That’s the best part of the trek, if only you hit the tracks during April and May and in October and November.
The trek from Singalila Ridge in North Bengal to Goecha La via Dzongri commences from Tonglu, which is at an altitude of 3,070 meters, via Maneybhanjang from Darjeeling. From Tonglu one can spend some ideal hours, just treating their eyes to the rejuvenating sight of the lush green Himalayan ranges below the silver lining of the clouds. From Tonglu the route snakes through the vast forest of rhododendrons to Garibas, which is at an altitude of 2,620 meters, and thereafter there is a gradual climb to Sandakphu at 3,640 meters en route to Singalila National Park and Kalipokhri. From Sandakphu one can fest his eyes on the aureate sunrise over the Himalayan range unfolding the summits of Kanchenjunga, Jannu, Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyo. From Sandakphu the trail continues to Phalut and thereafter the trail downhill takes you to Rimbik via Raman. From Raman the journey wheels to Yuksom via Pelling and Pemayangtse Monastery. Yuksom is the gateway to the Goecha La that traverses through Dzongri. The trail from Yuksom passes through the rich alpine forest and cuts through several tribal villages to Tshoka at 3,030 meters. The difficulty level starts from here when the trail goes through gradual climb to Dzongri at 4,020 meters and thence leads to Samiti Lake at 4,200 meters via Thangsing. From Samiti Lake, another steep climb leads off at Goecha La at 4,940 meters. The downhill trail follows the same route to Yuksom and thereafter wheels to Gangtok.
Much of the Sikkim Himalaya remains largely unexplored. The journey to this part of the Himalayas has been taken up by only few who are aware of this haven. The Green Lake Trek in Sikkim takes you to the base of Kanchenjunga, a sprawling green landscape, dotted with few alpine trees and a serene lake. The vicinity allows you to hold the beautiful horizon firmly, parted by the Kanchenjunga at 8,586 meters, Kanchenjunga West, also known as Yalung Kang at 8,505 meters, Kanchenjunga Central at 8,482 meters, Kanchenjunga South at 8,494 meters and Kangbachen at 7,903 meters. All these part courters a silver line parallel to the spotless blue sky and spanning over the boundaries of Nepal, Tibet and the Indian state of Sikkim. The Green Lake Trek in Sikkim is amongst the tricky and unexplored treks in the Sikkim Himalayan belt that traverses through some of the secluded tribal villages perched at a lofty height of the mountains. Other than the vast forest of rhododendrons and other flowering plants, alpine trees, and wildlife, it’s the culture that reverberates in the mind of several explorers comes in contact with this alpine trek. Further, the trekkers will get a rewarding view of the lush green surrounding, encircling the lake at an altitude of 5,000 meters.
The Sikkim Green Lake Trek commences from Lachen, which is at an altitude of 2,730 meters and approximately 135 kilometers from Gangtok. The trail leads to Tallem at 3,240 meters via Zema. From Tallem, the route winds and gently climbs to Jakthang at 3,430 meters. Here is a day of acclimatization before you continue further on Sikkim Green Lake Trek. From Jakthang, the route snakes through a gorgeous alpine forest and cuts through several small and gushing streams to Yabuk at 4,040 meters and after that to the rest camp at 4,725 meters.