According to Lepcha folklore, Mayel Lyang refers to the fairy land that lies in the lap of Mt. Kanchanjunga. On cue, this 12 day itinerary takes travellers right through the heart of Lepcha territory. The Lepchas are a remote, indigenous community of Sikkim that speak a distinct Tibeto-Burman language, which is also known as Himalayish.
This journey through the fabled Mayel Lyang traverses through remote, desolate landscapes. Often surrounded by nothing but limitless natural wonder, this trip introduces travellers to the lifestyle of the Lepcha people. Visit their many monasteries and marvel at their many artefacts. Encounter the Lepcha communities that typically live in clans and discover their lifestyle.
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.
Visit the Handicraft Centre and Institute of Tibetology and then drive to your resort in Rumtek. In the evening, visit the Rumtek monastery, a 16th century monastery, which is the home of the Karmapa.
The nex day, drive through the hills to Dzongu in North Sikkim. En route, stop midway at Kabi Lungchok, which is said to be the site of the blood brotherhood treaty between Lepchas and Bhutias. We visit the Phodong and Labrang monasteries and reach Namprikdang and settle down for the night.
The next day, from Namprikdang, hike uphill for 3 hours to Lingthem village. After Lunch at Lingthem village, explore it and interact with the local people. We visit the handicraft center and monastery of Lingthem.
The next morning, hike downhill to Passingdang and drive to Tingvong village. After Lunch at Tingvong village, we explore it and interact with members of the local community.
Begin the next day with a hike to Kusong village, pass through lush paddy fields and cardamom forests. Observe the spectacular mountain views of Khangchendzonga and experience the Lepcha way of life. In the evening, we return to Tingvong village for overnight stay.
From Tingvong, drive to the Lingzya monastic school for an interaction with the monks. On the way stop at Rukshyot waterfalls, the highest waterfall in Sikkim and soak in the pristine surroundings. Later, join us on a hike to Bay village.
On the following morning, embark upon a moderate trek to Tholung Monastery (4 hours). This ancient monastery is believed to be built by spirits. The sacred objects and artifacts are opened for tourists only once in every three years. Return to Bay village in the afternoon, where you have the rest of the day off at your leisure.
On the 9th day, hike down to Lingzya and drive to Hee Gyathang. Rendezvous with some local NGO members & become acquainted with their work in these lands. Later, we go for a walk around the village in the evening.
After a good night’s rest, drive to Kalimpong via Dikchu and Singtam. In the evening we take you to visit the flower nurseries in Kalimpong.
The next morning, visit the Lepcha Museum and interact with intellectual Lepchas who have been working for the welfare of Lepcha tribal community.
On the last day, transfer to Bagdogra for onward journey.
Copyright 2014 The Blue Yonder