North Sikkim:Few Things Need to Know Before You Visit
One of the most uninhabited areas of the country, yet extremely beautiful and charming, North Sikkim shares its boundary with China and Nepal.
North Sikkim tour is one of the unexplored beauties of India. The pristine beauty of snow covered mountains, majestic waterfalls, blessed flora and fauna and breath-taking views spellbinds every visitor
Mangan is the headquarters of the North Sikkim district. It is one of the most mystically beautiful though unexplored areas due to the harsh conditions found here. North Sikkim is famous for the Gurudongmar Lake which is one of the highest lakes of India. It also has religious importance. Apart from lakes, there are some important monasteries in this area too.
Top 8 Places To Visit In North Sikkim
The Gurudongmar Lake is situated at a height of 5,210 m and is considered sacred by Buddhists, Sikhs and Hindus alike. Every year during the peak season, devotees and tourists flock to this place.
Situated at an altitude of 3000 m, Lachung is a quaint little town in the Northern side of Sikkim. Lachen is situated where two tributaries of Teesta River-Lachen and Lachung converge.
Yumthang Valley (3564 m) is popular among tourists for its beautiful landscape and the spell bounding views of the mountains beyond. The river Teesta flows through the valley, making this a grazing ground for the animals during the summers.
Situated at an altitude of 8838 feet in the northern part of Sikkim, Lachen is one of the most beautiful places in the whole of Sikkim. It is famous for its stunning landscape and its splendid viewpoints of the mountains and lush green surroundings.
The small town of Thangu is situated at an altitude of 13000 feet and usually serves as a base destination for tourists visiting to spots like the Gurudongmar Lake, Cho Lhamu (source of Teesta River) etc.
Yumesamdong/ Zero Point
Sikkim’s untouched beauty; Yumesamdong, is a valley on the Lachung River about 15 km ahead of Yumthang. It is situated at 4724 m altitude in the North East of the State, popularly known as the Zero point which means the hindmost frontier of civilization.
Nestled in the northern part of Sikkim at a distance of 144 km from Gangtok and 28 km from Lachung, Mount Katao is one of the most stunning sights imaginable. Perfect for adventure lovers who like skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding, and grinding during the winter season,
Dzongu is about 70kms away from Gangtok,Dzongu in North Sikkim is an area preserved for Lepchas where traditional lifestyle perfectly blends with nature. If you have the chance of visiting Dzongu during December-January then do target the Namsoong Festival
Things you should know before the start of the journey
The most important thing you should take care of is permit. Reach at least one-two days prior to your actual journey date so that you could arrange permits easily.
Come here with heavy woollens. Even in May –June, you will require heavy woollen to enjoy North Sikkim. It can be rented also in Yumthang Valley and Lachen.
The information available on Google map and GPS may not be correct completely for hotel location and travel time.
This place is prone to landslides in rainy season.
Acute mountain sickness (AMS) is common at such high altitude, so acclimatize yourself well and take medicines with you.
Keep GINGER AND CAMPHOR with you to avoid high altitude sickness.
Sudden rainfalls are quite common, so be prepared.
If you are going to hire the whole SUV, be prepared to burn a hole in your pocket.
If you are going to share a taxi, be ready to understand and adjust with 9 other people. Initially, it looks like a tedious task, but after knowing all of them; it will be more fun than adjustment.
Gurudongmar is situated at very high altitude, so avoid planning North Sikkim with elderly persons with breathing problem or very young kids. You may approach Yumthang Valley though, but you must avoid Zero Point.
Weather / Clothing : North Sikkim being situated on very high altitude, it’s very cold throughout the year. You’ll get snow at Gurudongmar and Zero Point throughout the year. So one must carry winter clothes and wear it in multiple layers instead of wearing one single one.
North Sikkim being situated on very high altitude, almost 98% people face some breathing problem at Gurudongmar and Zero Point (Yumesamdong). Just carry some Camphor to smell and some popcorn to eat and you’ll be fine. Those items helps you to regain oxygen in your body thus minimizing the need of getting the same while you breathe.
When To Visit :
Best time to visit North Sikkim is on April – May and October – November. So it’s just 4 months. Now depending on weather and luck you can also visit North Sikkim on March and on December. Though December will be very cold. Rest of the year, the road is blocked due to heavy snowfall or road gets collapsed due to heavy rainfall. So you must avoid it on Monsoon and January – February at any cost to avoid the risk.
Misconceptions Regarding North Sikkim
Misconception #1 – North Sikkim can’t be done on your own-it’s always better to book through Travel Agents
Misconception #2 – Shared Vehicles Means Shared Accommodations– Shared vehicle or shared trip means, you’ll be sharing the car only. Accommodations will be private to you, allocated based on Double or Triple person per room within your family.
Misconception #3 – Planning with Elderly people or Young Kids : Legally, Sikkim Govt. doesn’t permits kids below 10 years, but you’ll come across many situations where people have made a trip to North Sikkim with kids of 5 – 6 years old.
North Sikkim Itinerary :
North Sikkim tour need minimum 3 days with the following itinerary. Day 1 : Gangtok to Lachen via Chungthang. O/N at Lachen. Day 2 : Early morning trip to Gurudongmar Lake. Post lunch proceed to Lachung. O/N at Lachung. Day 3 : Early morning trip to Yumthang Valley and Zero Point (Yumesamdong). Post lunch back to Gangtok. O/N at Gangtok.
NOTE : Zero Point (Yumesamdong) & Katao are not included in regular trip. So when you confirm your package with any tour operator please reconfirm it.