This extended trek upto Goche la (4950m) offers majestic close up Southwestern face of Mt. Kanchenzonga (8586m), the third highest peak in the world. The best time to visit for clear views is post monsoon i.e September to December and to view the vegetation especially rhododendrons bloom is in spring (March, April). In the lower altitudes from Yuksam to Dzongri the route is covered with dense vegetation of the Himalaya region. The short stops for sightseeing at Gangtok, Temi, Pelling and en-route offers lifestyle of the Sikkimese people and their heritage.
Arrival at Bagdogra Airport, drive to Gangtok through the narrow hilly roads, passing the Teesta river numerous times along the way. In between we stop at Rangpo, the border between the state of West Bengal and Sikkim, to obtain the inner line permit.
Pick up at Bhadrapur airport, Nepal and transfer to Kakharvitta which is approximately 35 minutes by vehicle, a small town which shares international border with India.
After immigration formalities, drive to Gangtok, which is about 5hrs. In between we stop at Rangpo, the border between the state of West Bengal and Sikkim, to obtain the inner line permit.
After breakfast, we drive for an hour to Rumtek monastery which was founded in mid-1700s by the 12th Karmapa of the Kagyu sect and rebuilt again in the 1960s by his 16th reincarnation. It is the main seat-in-exile of the Kagyu sect outside Tibet. Drive back to Gangtok and visit Dro-Dul chorten, a stupa built in 1945 by the head of the Ningma order. Afternoon, visit the Handloom & Handicraft centre followed by local market exploration.
After breakfast, we drive on the highway for about 45 minutes to Singtam and then take a narrow winding road for about 2 hours to Temi. The landscape gradually changes throughout the drive passing through mountain sides lush with ferns and paddy fields. In the afternoon we visit the famous Temi tea garden established in 1969 which produces organic tea certified by Institute of Marketology (IMO) of Switzerland. One can enjoy beautiful panoramic views of Kanchenjunga along with lush tea estate and blossomed Cherry Trees from the hotel.
After breakfast, drive towards Yuksom taking short stops at Ravangla and Tashiding. In Ravangla, visit the famous Buddha Park which features a 40m tall statue of Buddha, and then a short stop at Tashiding to visit the sacred Tashiding Monastery of the Nyingma sect. After about one and a half hours drive from Tashiding we will reach Yuksom, the ancient capital of Sikkim and the gateway of most treks in West Sikkim. If time permits, one can also visit the Dubdi Monastery (2,100m) which is about an hour walk from Yuksom. Built in 1601, it is the first Monastery of Sikkim and the place for the first consecration of the first King of Sikkim by three sacred lamas which was prophesized by the Guru Rinpoche hundreds of years back.
Our trek will start from Yuksom. The trail undulates through forests laden with trees like oak, chestnut, pine, fir, magnolias and rhododendrons. It is really a botanist’s paradise. One can find hundreds of varieties of wild orchids, different species of birds and butterflies. Some animals which can be found at this altitude along the this trail are the Himalayan brown bear, black bear, musk deer, sambar, Tibetan antelope, wild goats and red pandas. After crossing several suspension bridges on beautiful grooves we finally reach Tshoka, a small hamlet consisting of forest – tourism huts overlooking a small lake.
After breakfast, the trail climbs a picturesque place, Phedang. Meadows through a dense forest of rhododendrons and the trail continues to ascend till Deorali (4000m) where one can see the prayer flags floating. One can also get a spectacular view of the mountains as Kangchendzonga, Sinolchu, Kabru, Pandim, Jopuno , Kokthang, Talung and Narsing if the whether is clear. The trail now climbs onto the covered ridge of rhododendron bushes before falling slightly to Dzongri.
After breakfast the trail descends approx.. 350m steep down to Kokchurung at the bank of river Preckchu. After that the trail continues to descend and we walk mostly through the rhododendron bushes. As we cross the river the trail gradually climbs up to Thangsing passing through the silver fir and rhododendron forest.
Wake up early in the morning, after tea walk up to Gochala. There will be packed breakfast only for this day. The trail goes steep up passing through moraines of Mt. Pandim. From the view point we descend down slowly and walk through the flat and sandy area of Zemathang and then slowly climb up to Gochala pass which takes about 4hrs. From the pass and our ultimate point we will get the close up view of the massive Mt. Kanchenjunga. After the breath taking views we trek back to Samiti for about 2hrs. Rest for a while near the lake and then to Lamini where we will stop for our lunch and finally to Thangsing.
After breakfast transfer to Pelling via Kechopalri Lake, visit around the lake which is a sacred pilgrimage site considered holy by both Buddhist and Hindu. This religious place is believed to fulfill one’s wishes. Afterwards drive to Pelling and visit Pemayangtse monastery and Rabdantse Palace ruins.