Often referred to as the Himalayan Shangri Las, Sikkim is one of the seven states that come under the tag of ‘seven sisters’ in India. The state is an exotic destination with its hills, delightful weather, adventurous mountain ranges and a huge reserve of flora and fauna. The state is spread over a vast area of 7096 sq. km and meets three different countries on border which include China, Nepal and Bhutan.
Apart from the tourist destinations and distinct culture to explore, Sikkim is also popular for the amazing trek options it provides. Taking you through the perfect scenery of rivers, snow-filled mountains, rich and dense forests with scintillating shades of colours, these treks range from easy to moderate to really heavy ones that require expertise and experience.
Another activity gaining huge amount of popularity among tourists is mountaineering. The hilly beauty of the state is one of those still-to-be-explored sites which are a thrill for an adventure enthusiast.
Here are some of the most popular trek and mountaineering options when travelling in Sikkim:
The trek starts its way from Yuksom and goes all the way to Dzongri while passing through Goecha La. This can be easily a 9-10 day trek which offers mind blowing view of Mt. Pandim and Kanchenjunga mountains. The trek is at an altitude of 4020 m which drops by a steep height once you cross Phedang.
The best time to attempt this trek is during March-June in summers and August-November during winters.
Green Lake Trek
This trek offers you all that you could wish for while keeping the heights high enough to make it all look surreal. Throughout the way in your 11-day trek, you find breathtaking beauty around, along with the mountain range that walks along with you, making you speechless with the magnificence, the sheer beauty of the hills.
The thick forest stretch on the way adds that perfect touch to the trek while the waterfall, scattered rhododendrons and variety of birds create a visual delight for you. The trek is at height of 4935 m above the sea levels and requires obtaining prior permit. The best time to attempt this trek is during November-March.
A fairly easy trek which lingers on to the Indo-Nepal border, this trek is a favourite with the bird-watchers as it takes you through a lovely thick stretch of orchards and forest of rhododendron. The trek is at an altitude of 3060 m and involves around 10 days to complete.
Tosar Lake Trek
An utter delight for fauna lovers, this one is slightly on the side of tough treks and requires you to be in a fit shape and some prior trekking experience. The ultimate end point is a giant peak of mountain which gives you an uninhibited view of the beauty around. This trek is at an altitude of 4000 m and takes a little more than a fortnight to complete.
Essentially, the trek falls between two ranges- Mangan and Chola. Highlights include enchanting forest cover, animal sighting, and a rich variety of plants and trees never seen before.
Before starting, a good tip would be to get information about the weather beforehand and carry a flashlight, trekking rope and a map.
Unlike other states in India where mountaineering is pretty easy and popular, mountaineering at Sikkim is very interesting and is a must-do for any adventure lover. Locals here worship a number of mountains and so, they are banned as a mountaineering option. However, those where active mountaineering is organized include Byrmkhangse, Jopuno, Frey’s Peak, Lamo Angden and Tinchenkhang.
However, you need to get a prior permit from the government authority before embarking on one such trip. The ideal time period for mountaineering in Sikkim is during May to October.