Tour Name: - Himalayan Fantasy.
Tour Duration: - 20 Nights 21 Days.
Sector: - Sikkim.
For the year: - 2011.
Important Information: -
Capital: - Gangtok.
Population: - 620000.
Area: - 7398 sq Km.
Language: - Lepcha/Bhutia/Nepali/Limbu/Hindi.
Best Time: - May to Mid June (flora and fauna) a Mid September to Mid November (Mountain views).
Highest Point: - Goecha-La (4805 meters).
Focus: - Stunning mountain views, monasteries, villages, flora & fauna.
Physical Challenge: - Some days are demanding, but straight forward.
Red Tape: - While applying for visa, please request for special Sikkim entry permit.
Detailed Itinerary as under
Day 1: - Arrive Calcutta meet and greet at airport stay at airport for your flight to Bagdogra. Arrive at Bagdogra and 4 and a half hour drive to Darjeeling overnight in hotel.
Day 2: - Darjeeling
Morning after breakfast sightseeing tour of Darjeeling. Visit Ghoom Monastery and also visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, which has a excellent collection of memorabilia from the early days of Everest exploration. Overnight stay in hotel.
Day 3: - Darjeeling to Pemayangste
Early morning after breakfast checkout hotel and drive to Pemayangste (2265 m) a 6 hours drive. At the same time at Pemayangste visit Sikkim's second oldest monastery which is also the most prestigious religious centre of learning in Western Sikkim. Overnight stay in delightful Resort.
Day 4: - TREK begins from Pemayangste to Chitra (6 hrs trek): -
A 3 hours drive next the River Ranjit's steep sided valley and through the tea plantation to Uttare. The trek begins on a good track, through abundant rhododendron forest to a campsite clearing near the forest guard hut at Chitra (2693 m). Overnight tents.'
Day 5: - Chitra Chiwabhanjang, (4 hrs trek): -
A climb leads through the forest to our campsite, beneath the settlement known as Chiwabhanjang (3168 m). Overnight tents.
Day 6: - Chiwabhanjang Dhor (9 hrs trek): -
Today is the first of two longer days. From our camp just below the low-point of the ridge we begin a steep climb through the rhododendron forest for one and a half hours to a set of prayer flags at a high point of 3510 meters. Although steep, the trail is excellent and has obviously been used for centuries by herders moving their yaks from one grazing ground to another across the ridge. Descending once again to 3300 meters, the path switches between Nepal and Sikkim with spectular views down either side of the ridge. Our tents.
Day 7: - Dhor Paharay Megu (7 hrs trek): -
This morning has many short ascents and descents and very little even walking. The high point of the days trekking is at 3930 meters reached sometimes mid morning. After lunch, the track remains high, between 3610 and 3900 meters, to our camp on the open grazing slopes known as Paharay Megu 3940 meters. Overnight tents.
Day 8: - Paharay Megu Base of Daphebir Pass (5 hrs trek): -
Leaving camp at Paharay Megu, we go down slightly on the west side of the ridge. The topography becomes more open and the scale of the mountain scenery much larger as we follow a spacious valley, turning east, in the direction of a large waterfall and a break in the ridge, which leads to the Daphebir Pass. We have lunch in the camp at Pararay Jomle, near one of the three sacred lakes, many of which are important pilgrim sites in the summer monsoon months (4215 m). Overnight tents.
Day 9: - Daphebir Yanseb (7 hrs trek): -
Today is one of the most stunning walks of the trek, as we cross two high mountain passes, each offering spectular views of the north, of the high mountains of Sikkim, including Kanchenjunga (8586 m), Kabru (7320 m) and Pandim (6693 m). We leave our camp early to allow us to get to the pass in time for the early morning views. Our route follows a relatively easy track which skirts the edge of two further lakes, the second of which, being an important pilgrim destination. We drop down and then curve across the hillside for a further 30 minutes to reach the main pass (4510 m) which is marked by hundreds of prayer flags. The views to the north are once again eye-catching. The walk down to the valley floor is most pleasant; we camp by the river at Yanseb. Overnight tents.
Day 10: - Yanseb, Rest Day: -
Yanseb is a perfect campsite at which to relax and there are lots of possibilities for walks around the camp. Overnight tents.
Day 11: - Yanseb Panding (7 hrs trek): -
Leaving the stunning campsite we carry on contouring across the hillside, climbing at times, until we cross a small river ahead of which a final climb leads to small pass (4325 m), adorned by prayer flags. The views looking back across our route of last two days are superb. One feels really close to the big mountain as the landscape opens up in front of us. We camp in a clearing known as Panding (4280 m). Overnight tents.
Day 12: - Panding Ghate (7-8 hrs trek): -
Today we have to take quite a detour to the north and cross two further passes to reach this ridge, which makes for quite a long day. Our last climb is steep but we are rewarded with a magnificent view from the pass. Our camp is far below, at a place called Ghate, in a dramatic setting beneath the southwest face of the Kabru Massif. Sunset is predominantly inspiring. Altitude at camp (3960 m). Overnight tents.
Day 13: - Ghate Dzongri (5 hrs trek): -
After relaxed breakfasts descend next to the river to a very pictorial plank bridge, we start ascend to Dzongri. After 2 hours we reach a set of prayer flags on a ridge, which we follow for an hour to the trekkers hut at Dzongri (3995 m), where we camp in a natural basin on the ridge. The peaks of Pandim, Narsingh and Joponu now appear to be distinctly closer.
Day 14: - Dzongri Thangshing (6 hrs trek): -
Today's walk starts with a short climb to a ridge, which offers open views across Sikkim. We track this picturesque ridge for about 5 kilometers, before descending a steep spur to our lunch spot on the banks of the glacial Prek Chu. A short stretch of boulder hopping and then we cross the stream to begin the climb to Thangshing, a large open campsite on a grassy pasture. The southern ridge of Kanchenjunga and the moraines of the Oglanthang Glacier are visible directly ahead and there are close-up views of Pandim. Altitude at camp-3960 meters. Overnight tents.
Day 15: - Thangshing Samity Lake (4 hrs trek): -
A pleasant couple of hours walk under the west side of Pandim, on a path leads through dwarf azaleas and rhododendron, takes us to the first of the terminal moraines of the Oglanthang Glacier. We climb to the peak of a moraine ridge and find ourselves on the shores of the lovely and sacred Samity Lake. Ringed by prayer flags and reflecting a number of snowcapped peaks. Altitude at camp 4310 meters. Overnight tents.
Day 16: - Samity Lake Geochala-Thangsing (8 hrs trek): -
Today we will make the firm, three to four hour climb up to the 4805 meter-high Goecha La. A pre-dawn start is a must, to ensure that we reach the pass when the visibility is excellent. The trail skirts the lake, before ascending a series of moraine ridge on the eastern edge of the Oglanthang Glacier. As we go up, we have increasingly impressive views of the mountains and valley to the south and east, but these are overshadowed by the panorama that unfolds ahead of us when we reach the prayer flagged Goecha La. Rising more than 4100 meters above the Talung Glacier, at a distance of only 5 kilometers from our viewpoint, is the stunning eastern wall of Kanchenjunga, which includes the five principal summits of the massif and also the very impressive Kabru and Rathong peaks. We return to Samity Lake by early afternoon and have lunch before ongoing downhill for two hours to Thangsing, where we camp for the night. Overnight tents.
Day 17: - Thangsing Bakhim (8 hrs trek): -
Downhill the valley from Thangsing, we take a direct route, missing out Dzongri, following a lower track through dense rhododendron forest. We camp at Bakhim.
Day 18: - Bakhim Yuksom (5 hrs trek): - More downhill from our camp, all the way to the river. Then the trail runs up the narrow Rathong Valley, through thick, semi-tropical forest. After 5 hours, we reach Yuksom, where we check in hotel for overnight.
Day 19: - Yuksom Kalimpong: -
After breakfast, we drive to Kalimpong. One of the major commercial enterprises of the town today is the growing of flowers in extensive nurseries. Overnight stay in pleasant hotel.
Day 20: - Kalimpong Bagdogra: -
After breakfast, on time transfer to Bagdogra (about 3 hours) drive to airport for your flight to Calcutta. Arrive Calcutta and transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 21: - Departure: -
Very early this morning transfer to the airport for your return flight.