Sikkim is renowned for its monasteries and natural splendour. The indigenous communities of Sikkim boast of centuries old cultures. This 7 day adventure through the hilly frontier state attempts to combine the best into a short trip.
Glimpses of Sikkim will take travellers to a select few of its most impressive monasteries. Marvel at their architecture and revel in their stories. The monasteries are fabled to leave a lasting impression of serenity upon all visitors. As we hike through its beautiful terrain, discover remote hamlets. Notice the unique day-to-day lifestyle of these remote communities. Interact with them and learn about their lives. Visit community-based projects supported by some of our partners in these areas. Revel in the wonderful capital city of Gangtok – one of the highest capital cities in the country Experience the unique blend of its culture that stems from a fuse of its Lepcha, Nepalese & Bhutia populace.
With no airports or flights in Sikkim, arrive at Bagdogra in Northern Bengal and make the 4½ hour drive to your resort in Rumtek. You have the rest of the evening at your leisure to explore the resort and town at your pace.
After breakfast, the first half of the next day is reserved for exploring Rumtek, especially its 16th century monastery, which is the home of the Karmapa. You will also get time to experience the colorful bazaars at Rumtek.
Later, drive to Pastenga (2.5 hours) to visit KEEP (Khedi Ecotourism and Eco Development Promotion), a community based organization. The organization focuses on developing sustainable tourism in these villages. It manages all the homestays and also actively participates in generating health & environment awareness in the village. They also conduct vocational training for the local communities.
The next morning, trek through a 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.
The next morning, we 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.
In the morning, drive to Gangtok & visit the Handicraft Center and Flower Show. (Best Season: March & April). The evening can be spent interacting with locals or exploring the capital city at your own pace.
On the last day, depart for Bagdogra (4.5 hours drive) for onward journey.
Copyright 2014 The Blue Yonder