Sikkim was once a Himalayan Kingdom in its own right before becoming a state of India since in a merger in 1975. It is wedged in between the Kingdoms of Nepal in the west and Bhutan in the east.
The topography and location of Sikkim means it has a diverse range of flora,more tropical in the low-lying areas and alpine in the high reaches of the mountains. The human population throughout history has been very low, which has helped this place to maintain a high percentage of forest cover still evident today. A journey to Sikkim necessarily involves awakening the senses and discovering the pristine and mystic beauty of the land. Sikkim is a dreamland here to be discovered now that the area is open to all.
The state offers a wide range of adventure sports opportunities including mountaineering in the Himalayas. There are four main trek routes: the Monastic Trek, Rhododendron Trek, Kanchenjunga Trek and Coronation Trek. River rafting is possible in the rough waters of the Teesta and the Rangit. Kayaking is arranged on the Teesta only for special groups. Yak safari's are arranged from Dzongri onwards. In north and west Sikkim, mountain biking is very popular these days. Jorethang in west Sikkim and certain parts of north Sikkim are popular places for gliding. As per regulations foreigners should be in a group of 4 persons or more for trekking in Sikkim.
Sikkim is bounded by Tibet (China) in the north, West Bengal in the south, Tibet and Bhutan in the east and Nepal in the west. The state is spread below Mount Kanchenjunga (8,534 m), the third highest peak in the world. The locals worship the mountain as a protective deity. The elevation of the state ranges from 300m to over 8,540m above sea level. The nearest airport is Bagdora (120 km. from Gangtok, the capital). There are regular flights connected to Calcutta, Delhi and Guwahati. There are also regular train services to other parts of county.
The Monastic trek
After a couple of days in Kathmandu we drive to the Nepalese border town of Kakarvitta after clearing customs we travel on to Siliguri
Day 01: Drive - Siliguri to Kalimpong (2 hrs) via Salugara Monastery
Welcome lunch at Kalimpong, Evening kalimpong for shopping and rest. Overnight in hotel. After arrival and check-in at the hotel
Day 02: Drive / Trek - Kalimpong – Pedong - Kalimpong
Kalimpong attractions include three monasteries, orchid nurseries, Excursion to Pedong on the way visit Chhiring Chhyoling Gompa. Situated only 2 Kms from Algarah, Kalimpong towards Pedong, visit the Drukpa monastery in Pedong.
Overnight in hotel in Kalimpong
Day 03: Drive - Pedong - Gangtok 3 1/2 hrs
Local sight seeing. Evening free for Shopping and visiting M G Road, Overnight in a hotel in Gangtok.
Day 04: Drive – Gangtok – Tsomgo lake – Nathula pass – Gangtok (100 Kms, 3 Hrs)
Evening free to visit Gangtok town.
Day 05: Drive - Gangtok – Phodong - Gangtok
Visit to Phodong Monastery, Labrang Monastery and Tumlong.
Day 06: Drive / Trek- Gangtok – Rumtek - Martham
Trek - Rumtek to Martham : After breakfast drive Rumtek monastery. After visiting both the monasteries we begin our trek, an easy straight walk through mixed forests and villages to Martham. It is a big valley with scenic view. Overnight in hotel
Day 07: Trek - Martham - Tumin
After breakfast trek uphill to Pokhari Danda (2,097 m.) through dense forests of oak and rhododendron with plenty of cobra lilies and orchids along the way. There is a small lake here with a good view of the mountains. Have Lunch - After lunch an easy walk through the forest for and then descends to Tumin. In the evening visit the orchid sanctuary around your ground. Overnight camping
Day 08: Trek - Tumin - Brom
The trail descends through Tumin village and cardamom fields to lunch Kokley village. Have Lunch and then to Tumin Monastery. Then trek to Teesta River. After crossing the river, camping spot at Brom village. Overnight camping
Day 09: Trek - Brom - Rabongla
After breakfast trek through cardamom fields on to Yangang village. In Yangang we visit the local market. After lunch we trek to Ramphu River. Next to Rabangla. You can view the majestic Mt Khangchendzonga, Mt Pandim, Mt Narsing, Mt Siniolchu and Mt Kabru. Overnight in hotel
Day 10: Rabongla - Maenam
Trek all the way through the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary right up to the Maenam hilltop. Have lunch, From the summit of Maenam, you will get a breathtaking view of the Khangchendzonga range. In the evening, an excursion to Bhale Dhunga. Overnight camping
Day 11: Trek - Maenam - Ralong - Hot Springs
After breakfast trek through the forest to Ralong a Hamlet. Lunch - Next we visit Ralong monastery. Ralong is the oldest monastery was built during the reign of the fourth Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal. The new monastery is a replica of the Rumtek monastery. There are around 120 monks in this monastery. Overnight camping.
Day 12: Trek - Ralong - Hongri (Tashi Zam) : Overnight camping
Trek through forests and cardamom fields to a village Sinon (1990 meters), Sinon monastery. After lunch we trek through the forest to a village named Hongri and visit Hongri monastery. This follows the Nyingmapa order monastery is one of the oldest in Sikkim.
Day 13: Trek - Hongri - Yuksam
After breakfast rest. After lunch trek to Dubdi monastery, situated on the top of a hill above Yuksam. Founded by Lhatsun Chempo in 1701, it is the oldest monastery in Sikkim.On way back visit Norbugang, where the first king of Sikkim was crowned in 1642. Overnight in hotel
Day 14:Drive - Yuksam - Pemayangtse
Transfer to Pemayangtse / Pelling - Morning after breakfast - Visit Tashiding next arrive Pemayangtse – Return to Pelling for lunch - Check in at hotel - Afternoon visit the monasteries of Pemayangtse and Sangacholing - Overnight in hotel
Day 15: Drive – Pemayangtse / Pelling to Siliguri
Farewell Dinner at Siliguri Hotel
Tour Ends or drive back to Kathmandu.