In this journey we take you along two trekking trails. The bamboo trail takes you to Khedi through the trail used by traders for centuries. The trails leads through Magnolia and Rhododendron forests that are rich in biodiversity and home to the endangered red panda. On our way we pass Tibetan pilgrimage sites, cascading waterfalls and magnificent mountain views. On the second trek, visit the Khagchendzonga National Park with its rich natural diversity and cultural ethnicity.
Route: Gangtok - Bagdogra - Rumtek - Temi - Namchi - Kewzing - Pemayangste - Yuksam - Bagdogra
Activities: Mountain views, nature trekking, waterfalls, tea gardens, monastrey visit, village walks, tibetology, homestay, culture and heritage programs.
Duration: 11 days
Gangtok: You land at Bagdogra and drive to Gangtok (4.5 hours).
Rumtek: We visit the Handicraft Centre and Institute of Tibetology and then drive to a a resort for lunch. The afternoon is pent hiking the hills around the resort.
Temi: We visit the the old and new Rumtek Monastery, which is the seat of the Karmapa. We then drive and walk through the terraced paddy fields of Martam. After crossing the Teesta River, we drive uphill to Temi Tea gardens. We give you a tour of the Temi Tea Gardens, visit the tea factory and observe tea processing.
Namchi: We drive up to the Biodiversity Park. We walk along the temperate forest for an hour, visit Tendong hill and return to Damthang for lunch. We then drive to Namchi.
Namchi: Explore Namchi, which commands panoramic views of the snow-capped himalayas. We visit the Boomtar Blind School and participate in activities with the school children.
Kewzing: We drive via Kamrang village to Reshi Hot Springs. After lunch at the hot springs, we drive via Legship to Dalep Village, and then walk along the rolling hills to Kewzing village.
Kewzing: From Kewzing we drive to Ralang Monastery. We RalangMonastery which houses a large collection of rare paintings and thangkas. On the return we walk for an hour towards Ravangla for lunch. In the evening we walk/drive to Bon Monastery, and then walk to Kewzing village via Doling Monastery. The evening is spent at a cultural programme.
Pemayangste: From Kewzing we drive to Pemayangste in West Sikkim. We visit the Pemayangste Monastery, one of the oldest in Sikkim dating back to the 17th century, and has a fascinating legend behind it.
Yuksam: We drive to Khecheopalri Lake, which is sacred for both Hindus and Buddhists, and it is said if you make a wish at this lake, it is always fulfilled. From the lake we hike down to Rathong bridge, cross a river and drive to Yuksam.
Yuksam: We spend the morning at Dubdi monastery, where the first kind of Sikkim was crowned. and visit Norbugang - the Corornation Throne. In the evening visit the Khangchendzonga National Park, walk for an hour and on the return visit the Khangchendzonga Conservation Committee (KCC) visitor information centre and interact with its members.
Departure: We head back to Bagdogra (5 hours)
How your travel makes a difference to the local community & environment:
- During this impressive trip we often stay in homestays. This promotes village tourism and helps the local communities benefit fully from the economic opportunities of tourism. The concept of homestays was introduced in the rural areas of Sikkim with an aim to facilitate alternative source of income directly for the rural people in a sustainable way. The system of homestay brought in a very efficient way of sharing the income from tourism among several families. Depending on the number of visitors, the hosts have agreed upon a system where they circulate the guests amongst themselves so that everyone benefits out of tourism. This is a productive way of complementing rather than competing with each other!
- There was a growing concern amongst the local Sikkimese community to minimize the various negative impacts of tourism and actively conserve the resources that attracted visitors to this area. Out of this shared concern, different stakeholders from the community along with our local partners work together under the banner of Khangchendzonga Conservation Committee (KCC).
- In Yuksam we will visit their information centre and get an opportunity to interact with members who can inform you about the issues in this region and the local initiatives that are being taken. Funds used from similar holidays have been used to form an association of porters who have been trained to minimize the human impacts on the environment whilst in nature. They make sure all garbage will be brought back to Yuksam where it is sold to the scrap collectors. These funds go to KCC.
- All the porters are insured by the KCC and have been taught to keep a check on, and monitor all the activities inside the national park. Any illegal activity inside the National park is reported to the KCC office and the forest department.
Glimpse of Sikkim
Sikkim has a lot to offer, from the charming village of Rumtek in East Sikkim which houses the largest Buddhist monastery of Sikkim to the idyllic village of Pastenga.
Into the heart of Mayel Lyang
In the local language, this journey literally means "into the heart of Paradise". One of the areas that this holiday takes you
Sikkim Trekking Trail
Khecheopalri Lake, which is considered to be a holy lake by both the Buddhists and the Hindus.