A journey lasting all of six days, this trip takes you along the serene landscapes of the North East of India; landscapes that mix the innately spiritual nature of India and its undeniable beauty. Be it the monasteries and zoos, the holy lakes of Gangtok and Lachen, glorious valleys of Lachung, or just the spellbinding Kanchenjunga, you will take away more than just mere memories from here!
Arrival in Gangtok
Pristine mountain air in an ever- growing capital, Gangtok has everything from monasteries and orchids to handicrafts, quaint pubs and packed casinos. Tok means temple here in Sikkim, and there are numerous temples to visit here. Make time for the Ganesh Tok, beside the Himalayan Zoological Park, with gently fluttering prayer flags and Hanuman Tok near the army division for spellbinding views of the Kanchenjunga. No trip to Gangtok is complete without a mandatory visit to Do Drul Chorten and its innumerable prayer wheels. Rumtek Monastery, about 24 kilometres out of Gangtok is worth a visit as well. Look out for lovely views on the ropeway from Deorali market to the secretariat and back.
Spend the evening strolling down MG road for those lovely souvenirs before you set off for a first-hand experience of Gangtok’s slow nightlife.
Tsomgo Lake and Baba Mandir
About 40 kilometres from Gangtok, Tsomgo Lake is perfection in itself at over 12000ft above msl. As with most lakes in Sikkim, legendary Tsomgo is considered sacred with legends of Buddhist monks predicting the future according to its colour. Look out for the numerous migratory birds, Brahmini ducks as well, when you’re here. Make time for a visit to Baba Mandir close by, a shrine to a fallen Indian soldier who is known to still look out for his own here. If you have the time, you could go on to Nathu La Pass to China, about 20 kilometres away.
Head down a few thousand feet to Lachen, a charming little village nestled in serenity and curbed by spectacular snow-clad mountains. Home to the Shingbha wildlife sanctuary, Gurudongmar Lake and other alluring attractions, this tranquil escape is shrouded in mystique as it is mostly hidden from the outside by formidable rock formations. What it lacks in efficient tourism, Lachen more than makes up for in the way it is unique in its simplicity and the many treks it becomes the starting line for.
Today you visit one of the highest lakes in the world and the second most highest lake in India, the Gurudongmar Lake; a lake of divine significance to Buddhists and Sikhs. It is named after the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Guru Rinpoche, who visited it in the 8th century. Located at an altitude of 17,100ft, the sheer magnificence and beauty of the scenery here is, albeit unsurprising, simply breathtaking. Drive through the cold desert before checking out the very scenic Chopta valley, and then head back to your resort for a sumptuous lunch! Post lunch is your trip to the mountain village of Lachung and all that it promises, so eat up!
An elevated village sprawling with spectacular waterfalls and orchards, this tiny little gem of a place lies on the banks of the river, Lachung Chu. You could fall for the juicy apples, peaches and apricots here, or just revel in the sight of snow-capped roofs amidst an abundance of Rhododendron trees; something very much like what you’d see on a postcard. Despite the allure already mentioned, the highlight though is the breathtaking Yumthang valley. An explosion of colour painted across a snow covered canvas as a plethora of alpine flowers bloom in the shadow of majestic mountains giving you a truly surrealistic experience. Once you have had your minds blown, head back to Gangtok for one last night in this paradise.
The day has come for you to bid farewell to this magical place but it’s never goodbye until you say it is, and we have a feeling that you may never say that here!