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The Sikkim Trekking Trail is an outdoor adventure. This is typically an itinerary designed for the adventurous traveller that wants to traverse the narrow valleys of Sikkim. The mountainous frontier state is blessed with an incredible ecosystem. Through this trekking trail, we attempt to take you far away from the hubbub of civilisation and introduce you to the natural treasures of this land. Our naturalists and interpreters will lead you through some wonderful trekking trails, including the fabled valleys of Khandchendzonga, which is home to many species of flora and fauna – including the endangered snow leopard.
On this trip, also become acquainted with some of many monasteries in Sikkim. Understand many community based projects as you visit their villages and interact with remote civilisations.
With no airports or flights in Sikkim, arrive at Bagdogra in Northern Bengal and make the 4½ hour drive to Gangtok. You have the rest of the evening at your leisure to explore the capital city of Sikkim at your pace.
After a good night’s sleep, drive to the beautiful Pastenga village, located 35 km away from Gangtok. Travelers have the option to either stay here for a day or start the trek to Khedi, along the Malingo Trail (bamboo trail).
On the next morning, we embark upon a trek through lush green rainforest for about five hours to reach Khedi. As you ascend higher, witness the vegetation change from thick conifers to Rhododendron Forests. Huge rock cliffs and caves are seen all along the way and birds are found in every creek. As twilight falls, we set up camp in a tent and enjoy a dinner and a night’s sleep under the unwavering watch of a star-filled sky.
Wake up in the morning and set out to explore Khedi’s alpine pastures. From these pastures, the views of the snow clad mountain ranges are simply spectacular. There are two alpine lakes where during the winter months, migrating birds can be seen, especially ducks. The pastures are scenic and as evening falls, you’ll find yourself short of time to explore every nook and corner!
The following day, make your way back to Pastanga. As you tread back to the village, our naturalist will lead you across other villages where you can stop for tea and observe the daily activities of the village. We take a different route and arrive late in the afternoon. In the evening, experience a splendid cultural program arranged by the villagers/homestay operators. The folk dance is performed by the youth of the community while the older people sing songs and play traditional instruments.
You will spend the whole of next day trekking amongst wilderness at the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary and in the evening drive back to Kewzing village for overnight stay.
After breakfast, wander around Kewzing village in the morning, interacting with the villagers and then set off on a soft trek to Mangbrue Monastery. We then drive to Yuksam, from whence, another soft trek takes us to Dubdi monastery, one of the oldest in Sikkim. Visit the coronation stone and Kathok lake, and interact with the members of the KCC (Khangendzonga Conservation Committee).
The Khangchendzonga National Park is a UNESCO recognised biodiversity hotspot. The vegetation of the park includes temperate broadleaf and mixed forests consisting of oaks, fir, birch, maple, willow etc. The vegetation of the park also includes alpine grasses and shrubs at higher altitudes along with many medicinal plants and herbs. The animals you can spot includes the Himalayan thar, the red panda and the elusive snow leopard. We spend 2-3 days trekking and camping within the the National Park.
On the penultimate day, drive to Kalimpong (6 hours). Visit the Tashiding Monastery on the way, before checking into a hotel for the night’s stay.
In the morning, depart for Bagdogra (4.5 hours) for onward journey.
Copyright 2014 The Blue Yonder