Sikkim

North Sikkim

The Travel spots are:

1.  Phodong Monastery
2.  Seven Sisters Waterfalls
3.  Mangan
4.  Singhik
5.  Chungthang
6.  Lachung (8800 ft)
7.  Copta Valley (13200 ft)
8.  Yumthang (12000 ft, Valley of Flowers)
9.  Yumthang Hot Spring
10. Lachen (9800 ft)
11. Thangu
12. Guru-Dongmar Lake (17800 ft)

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1. Phodong Monastery
Distance - 38 km ( from Gangtok )

This monastery was built by the Chogyal Gyurmed Namgyal in the first quarter of the 18th century in Phodong of North Sikkim. It belongs to the Kagyupa Sect and it is said to be the first Kagyupa monastery to be set up in Sikkim.
The original monastery has been rebuilt and is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Sikkim. It possesses the old mural paintings and has around 260 monks. Like the Ralong and Rumtek monastery the main annual Puja is performed on the 28th & 29th days of the tenth month of the Tibetan Calendar when the religious dances are performed.
 

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2. Seven Sisters Waterfalls:

It is located 32 Km away from Gangtok on the NH leading to North Sikkim. To facilitate the tourists to savour the pristine beauty and to be with nature, Sikkim Tourism Department has set up a waiting shed and cafeteria where they can take a break.
 

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3. Mangan :
Distance- 65 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 3950 ft.

Mangan is the district HQs of North Sikkim, a little hamlet with flower patches, and the water wheels strung with bells set in exquisite miniature gardens more than compensate for the primitiveness of the region. The Mangan Bazaar (market place) is situated on the North Sikkim highway with around fifty odd shops. The district collectorate is situated around two kilometers uphill from market at Pentok. Just opposite to Mangan, separated by river Teesta, is seen a sloppy villages namely Lingdong, Barfok, Hee-Gyathang falling under Dzongu area. From the Pentok area, the picturesque view of mount Siniolchu (a range of mount Khangchendzonga) is also seen.
 

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4. Singhik :

Note: The area also has a number of interesting short nature treks of 1 to 3 days along the higher ridges of the surrounding hills.

Its 4 km from Mangan, from where one can take a glorious view of Mt. Khangchendzonga, and its neighboring peaks. Half an hour uphill walk takes you to an ancient monastery.


 

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5. Chungthang:
Distance - 95 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 5,600 ft.

Chungthang is situated on the way to Yumthang. It is a small town surrounded by high mountains seeming to touch the sky. Chungthang lies on the confluence of two hilly rivers Lachen and Lachung Chu and the starting point of river Teesta has emerged as a major subdivision settlement in North Sikkim. According to legend Chungthang was the meeting place of Guru Rimpoche & Lepcha Chieftain Thekung Tek. It was here from where the word Demazong originated according to the prophecy of Guru Rimpoche.

 

From here the road bifurcates for the Lachen and Lachung valleys. Chungthang is the rock on which legend has it Guru Padmasambhava rested and the imprint on it is said to be his footmark. There is a small opening in the rock which remains filled with spring water Adjacent to the rock there is a small stretch of land where paddy grows, defying the conditions which are not conducive to the growth of this crop here, It is said that while here Guru Padmasambhava had sprinkled a handful of grain on this spot and paddy has grown here ever since. It is predominantly a Lepcha region.
 

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 6. Lachung (small pass):
Distance - 116 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 8800 ft.

Lachung is a very small town with scattered settlements, dominated mostly by Bhutias. There is also an army cantonment for the border protection. You can visit monastery, handicraft centre, go around for village. If you are interested then you can do trout fishing.

 
A Bhutia village has a unique local self-governing body called the Zumsa which substitutes the Panchayat. It is located about 25 kms prior to Yumthang Valley. To get a glimpse of Lachung Monastery you have to come to the opposite slope of the highway.
 

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7. Chopta Valley:
Altitude - 13,200 ft

It has breathtaking alpine scenery with lofty snow capped peaks, meandering rivers and alpine flowers that bloom in May-July. It is about 20 minutes drive from Thangu. Nearby Gurudongmar Lake is a holy lake at an altitude of over 17,000 ft.

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8. Yumthang Valley
Distance - 145 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 12000 ft.

Note : It is a restricted area and special permits are required.

At 24 kms from Lachung lies Yumthang, the rightfully called the Valley of Flowers as in Flowering season there blossoms vivid colours of variety of Rhododendrons, chimals and blue poppies. Yumthang is located on a flat valley and is near the tree line, the surrounding mountains seems to kiss the heavens. The journey from Lachung to Yumthang has a very picturesque landscape and is lined with Rhododendrons & 108 other types of Orchids which bloom in different colours. April and May promises colourful flowers, where as November end to March usually sees snows. You see the flower bed in summer, you see snow bed in the winter.


Yumthang valley is a mesmerizing scene with yaks grazing on flower - carpeted meadows against a backdrop of towering peaks. The breathtaking views can become a part of a timeless scene without any kind of intrusion.
 

Yumthang is now open to foreigners and has also caught the fancy of filmmakers. Although Yumthang itself is located on a flat valley and is near the tree-line, the surrounding mountains seem to touch the heavens. The route to Yumthang from Lachung - adjoining the Singba Forest Reserve -has a very picturesque landscape and is lined with rhododendrons which bloom at their best in May. What is particularly interesting about the rhododendrons of the Yumthang valley is that they bloom in different colours unlike those in other parts of Sikkim which are usually red. During the tourist season, the Sikkim Tourism Department  & Sikkim Travel Operators organizes package tours to Yumthang. Yumthang has a Forest Department Rest House but tourists are normally accommodated at the Tourist Lodge named Yaksey 6 kms from Lachung towards Yumthang. Another 23 kms ahead of Yumthang are the hot springs of Yumey- Samndong (Yumesomdung) on the river Sebu-chu at the foot of the mountain on which lies the Donkiala pass that connects the Lachung valley to the Lachen valley Yumesomdung, the famous area name.
 

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9. Yumthang Hot Springs

Yumthang is well known for its hot springs. To reach, one has to walk a few hundred yards from the road and across a pedestrian bridge on the River Lachung. For the convenience of bathers a hut with two pools in which the hot spring water collects has been constructed. Hot water is rich with sulphur, emanates from a spring just behind the hut and is diverted to the pools. It is difficult to imagine that water so hot in its natural form could be found in such cold place.
 

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10. Lachen: (big pass)
Distance - 122 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 9800 ft.

This small town is located at an alt of 2735m, which is 123 kms from the capital. The journey takes almost 6-hrs drive and it is also a base for the Green Lake trek most of the mountaineering activities.
This new destination of the millennium, only opened on the 20th of December 2000, for domestic and foreign tourists. It's a natures gifted wonderland- in fact words will fall short to describe the glory of this place. The people, culture, monasteries, valleys flowers zone. The famous Yak race in Thangu, Chopta Valley and Domestic Tourists can also visit upto Gurudongmar Lake and Cholamu Lake, the source of river Teesta. Since this is a new destination, the infrastructure is bare minimum and there could be some difficulties but all troubles are compensated by the beauty of the place. Its just too good, held annually at Muguthang.
 

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11. Thangu :

The route continues from Lachen to gradual ascend of 28 kms through the mountain ridge leads to Thangu. Its alpine meadows are dotted with wooden houses and army camps. The calm water of Teesta flowing through the valley presents a fantastic contrast.
 

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12. Gurudongmar:
Distance - 150 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 17100 ft.

The Calm and crystal clear water of the Gurudongmar Lake in that altitude is great to watch. This is also one of the sacred lake and many pilgrims visit this place once in a year. People with respiratory problem should not go to this place.
 Cholamo Lake is above Guru Dongmar Lake and is the origin of Teesta River.


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