Chungbung

Chungbung, Sikkim – Enjoy the essence of a simple village life in its fullest

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The Chungbung village located in West Sikkim is a tourist attraction from where the majestic views of Mt.Kanchenjungha really will create an enchanting effect on you. It also facilitates paragliding. Enjoy the essence of a simple village life in its fullest. On its eastern side the Chungbung village is guarded by Zoom, whereas the western side is emboldened by Sombaria, Soreng and the renowned Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. It is bordered by the Rothak River in the North and Tangbang River in the south. One of the most influential community namely the Rai community of Sikkim dominates the place along with few Lepchas and Bhutias. Chungbung is a happening tourist spot in Sikkim with excellent home stay facilities.

Places to see at Chungbung: The place is loaded with various tourist attractions. Durpiney Dara meaning the telescopic hill is one of the main attractions here. You can savour an amazing telescopic view of the surrounding place from the Durpiney dara. Locally, the place is also called “gadi,” which means fort. Long back, there was a fort in the region. Even now, you can see the ruins of that old fort, which has lately, became the take-off spot for para-gliders.

The Tanki Dara nestled amidst trees is one of the most preferred picnic spots located just above the Chungbung village. The place is a heaven for the avid bird watchers. The place is also known as Hinguwa Tar, which means a tree similar to a tea-shrub. Chungbung is dotted with such shrubs throughout the region.

The inhabitants of Chungbung are religious in nature. They worship “Nag Dewta,” a deity in the form of snake at the nearby spot of Nag Dhunga. They have shaped a huge stone like a snake.  The place is also called ‘Alley’.

Yesoltsoling Monastery is a nearby ancient and holy Buddhist monastery. The Noobling Gumpa is another holy monastery near Chugbung, which is said to be the haven of the Tantrik Lamas’ in the olden times.

The house of the first Chief-Minister of democratic Sikkim, L.D. Kazi, is also near Chungbung. The house was built out of mud in the traditional architectural style and it is endowed with a special feature. The interior of the house cools down naturally in summer and heats up naturally during the winter.

Nearby attractions of Chungbung: You can organize trips from Chungbung to other parts of Sikkim like Pelling, Pemyangtsey, Temi Tea Garden and all other parts in the Western district of Sikkim.

Things to do at Chungbung: You must try out paragliding, a major attraction of the tourists visiting Chungbung. The upcoming International Paragliding Festival 2011 will also be hosted at Chungbung. Chungbung faces the white snow capped mountains and the beautiful view of the tea-estate sprawling on the other side in the Darjeeling district in the West Bengal state. Paragliding lovers could head straight to Durpiney Dara for the take-off. Chungbung is well developed for a long distance paragliding up to Jorethang, covering an aerial distance of 6 km.

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Best time to visit Chungbung: You can visit Chungbung any time of the year but paragliding can be enjoyed mostly during winters only.

How to go ?

The nearest railhead of the region is located at New Jalpaiguri and the closest airport is Bagdogra. Hired cars are available at the railway station and airport, carrying visitors to Chungbung. The entry point to Chungbung is through Jorethang, which is around 13 kms away.

Where to stay ?

There are some excellent home stay facilities available in Chungbung for lodging and dining.

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Mankhim

Mankhim, Sikkim – Site offers spectacular views of Mt.Kanchenjungha & the lush green “boot-shaped” Lampokhri Lake

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A hilltop adjacent to the popular destination of Aritar Mankhim lies in the village of Dalapchand under the Rongli Sub-Division of Eastern Sikkim.  The site offers spectacular views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and the lush green “boot-shaped” Lampokhri Lake at the same time. Mankhim consists of a small temple on the hilltop, a few homestays and a monastery, just a walk away. This place is Mankhimidyllic for spending some days in complete seclusion. The main activities here are bird watching, paddle boating and nature walking. You can tag in Reshikhola, Sillery Gaon, Pedong or Kalimpong with Mankhim. You can also take a day-trip to Kupup lake, Zuluk and the world’s highest golf course from Mankhim.

Places to see at Mankhim: Mankhim is a hilltop near the popular destination of Aritar, which is famous for its Lampokhari Lake. This vast human foot shaped lake is flanked by emerald green forest of Pine and Fir. The lake is ideal to enjoy paddle boating. There is also a Lodge and cafeteria beside the lake. The Changey waterfall boasting a height of 50 meters is located near Mankhim.

You can also visit the nearby Aritar Monastery, which houses some remarkable painted murals, rare manuscripts and Buddhist artifacts. The Dak Bungalow popularly called Ari-Bangla is an age-old British bungalow, built under the supervision of James Claude White in 1895.

The little temple of Mankhim, belonging to the Rai cult of Hindu origin at Maity Village overlooks the Lampokhri and the mighty Kanchenjungha. The view point near the temple offers a panoramic view of the mighty Mt.Kanchenjungha and its allies, Aritar town, rolling hills and the silk route upto Zuluk. You can also visit the Ever Green Nursery and Ram Gauri Sangrhalaya, which is a nursery and museum, displaying some nice collection of drift wood, botanical and some exotic varieties of flowers.

MankhimNearby attractions of Mankhim: You can visit nearby Reshilkhola, Sillery Gaon and Pedong in West Bengal from Mankhim. You can also visit the famous Ramitey View point for viewing the 14 turns of River Teesta with Kanchenjungha in the background. Some other nearby attractions are Kupup Lake (BitangCho Lake), world’s highest golf course and Zuluk in East Sikkim. If you are in the mood of little trekking, then try Mulkarkha Lake trek that is famous for holding the reflection of Mt. Kanchenjungha on its waters. You can also visit the ruins of historic Damsang Fort and the famous Cross Hill.

Things to do at Mankhim: There is a long jungle path acroos the hills covering may view points from Makhim to Lampokhri. You can take a nature walk along this path to Lampokhri Lake from  You can organize picnics at the popular picnic spot called Love Dara, located near Mankhim. The place is also ideal for the avid bird watchers. You can also enjoy boating in the Lampokhari Lake, trekking and rock climbing to nearby hilltops and nature walking.

Best time to visit Mangkhim: You can visit Mangkhim any time of the year. The winters are best for viewing the sunrise over Kanchenjungha and the summers are best for beating the heat of the plains.

How to go ?

You can also hire vehicles from Siliguri and reach Aritar in 5 hours. the route is Teesta Bazar – Kalimpong – Algarah – Pedong – Reshikhola – Rhenock – Aritar – Mankhim. If you are coming from any destination in Sikkim, you have to come via Rangpo – Rorathang – Reshikhola – Rhenock – Aritar – Mankhim. Many tourists also hire vehicles and make tour to Aritar and Mankhim from Gangtok in roughly 3 hours.

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Where to stay ?

There are few homestays in Mankhim offering lodging and dining facilities. Few cottages offering nice, clean, basic facilities overlooking the rift, Lampokhri Lake and the entire Mt.Kanchenjungha range are available here.  There is also glasshouse-type cottage with an incredible view of Mt.Kanchenjungha from bed just on the edge of the ridge. Food is basic in nature but fresh and authentic. You can enjoy a whole lot of momos during your stay at Mankhim. One option is Heaven Valley Homestay.

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Pastanga

Pastanga, Sikkim – A place where you can experience the traditional Sikkimese village life

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Pastanga in Laingzey is a place where you can experience the traditional Sikkimese village life. It is located in the eastern district of the state of Sikkim. This small village lies at an altitude of 1423 m, and is covered by the exotic varieties of flora and fauna, from where you can view an abundance of rhododendrons and orchids.

Places to see at Pastanga: There are a number of sightseeing places in Pastanga which enhances the appeal of the place to the tourists. One of the prime attractions of the region is the Heritage Homes of the Rais and Bhutias. Built with bamboos and mud, this Pastangarare architecture has been treasured for more than 150 years by the people of Pastanga. The walls of this age-old architecture are built in three layered structure, where the inner layer is made of bamboo and the outer layer is plastered with mud on the bamboo framework. The whole structure of the house is elevated around 5 feet above the ground and supported by wooden pillars.

A visit to the nearby “Sumni-hwari” waterfall is truly noteworthy. A number of natural springs constitute the major source of the waterfall, cascading from a height of about 150 meters. The waterfall is considered as a sacred site, and the worship of Goddess Durga takes place nearby the site on Chandi Poornima.

The village of Pastanga is also known for its herbal garden that nurtures a number of medicinal plants. The medicinal plants are identified scientifically and are utilized for educating people. Orchid Poly-house is home to an exotic variety of rhododendrons, wild orchids and mosses. You can savor the sight of blooming orchids, while visiting in the month of April and May.

Nearby attractions around Pastanga: Nopkom, an exotic hilltop, is a major nearby spot of tourist interest, located at the meeting point of the Gaucharan village and emerald green forest. From this point, you can savour the spectacular view of Mt.Kanchanjungha, the famous Rumtek monastery and the outstanding view of the village. In addition to this, you will be enthralled with the twittering sound of the birds.

You can also visit the site of TakchamRiver, which is renowned for its hot water. The golden yellow water of the river is famous for its healing properties. You will also find a picnic spot nearby the site. The place also houses a site for traditional angling.

PastangaThings to do at Pastanga: Pastanga nurtured amidst the scenic landscape is a great place for enjoying a nature walk. You can walk gently around the winding village path, passing through the middle of the cardamom field. You can also enjoy the cultural show of the region, featuring Rai Dance and songs. The most noteworthy feature of the cultural show is the playing of traditional handmade instruments like Binayoo and Machunga. If you have an adventurous bent of mind, take part in trekking to Khedi – Malinggo Trail, located at a height of 2803 meters. Relish the local cuisine and the local beverage called thikla, which will be really an enduring experience.

Best time to visit Pastanga: Pastanga beckons tourists throughout the year. However, it is better to avoid the rainy season, as the hilly roads of the area remain block due to land slides for most of the time.

How to go ?

The quaint village of Pastanga is well connected by roadway via Ranipool and Bhusuk. It is also just an hour drive from the capital city of Gangtok. You can also hire a taxi from Gangtok to reach Pastanga.

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Where to stay ?

There is no hotel or resort at Pastanga. Accommodation facilities are offered by the local people in their homes, which is truly a unique experience of the tourists. The local people of Pastanga are very helpful and their home stays are excellent accommodation options for the guests. You can interact with them to get acquainted with their tradition and culture. They are quite hospitable and will also offer you with tasty local cuisines.

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Gangtok

Gangtok, Sikkim – Resting at an altitude of 4,715 ft Gangtok is the largest town as well as the capital of Sikkim

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Resting at an altitude of 4,715 ft Gangtok is the largest town as well as the capital of Sikkim. It is situated in the Shivalik Hills of the Eastern Himalayan range. The total population here is 80,000 consisting of various ethnic groups like Lepchas, Nepalis and Bhutia. The scenic Mt.Kanchenjungha, will welcome you here. Gangtok being the midpoint from here you can make exclusive day trips to Gangtoknearby lakes and monasteries and also enjoy all kinds of facilities of a modern city. It experiences a mild-temperature almost throughout the year and that makes it the tourist’s favourite. Gangtok also acts as a base for trips to other parts of Sikkim like North Sikkim and the Old Silk Route (NathangValley, Zuluk and Lungthung). There are varied accommodation options in Gangtok.

Places to see at Gangtok: The Institute of Tibetology is one of the prime attractions of Gangtok, which is visited by tourists interested to know about Buddhism. The Institute stocks around 30 thousand books and documents on Tibet related to Buddhism.

The beautiful Enchey Monastery is located near the TV Tower within think vegetation with grand views of Kanchenjungha. The Phurba Chorten located near the Institute of Tibetology is a towering stupa with 113 small prayer wheels surrounding it. The Hurhuray Dara located near the Sikkim Legislative Assembly offers great views of the valley below and the Ro-Ro Chu river flowing below.

The Tashi View Point located some 5 kms from Gangtok on the way to North Sikkim offers a stunning view of Kanchenjungha. Another nice place to visit is Ganesh Tok, which is a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha perched on a hill around 6500 feet above with a bird’s eye view of Gangtok and Mt. Kanchenjungha. Another similar spot with great views of Kanchenjungha and the surrounding areas is Hanuman Tok located at Gangtok-Nathula Highway at 7200 feet above. You must not miss the Bakhthang Waterfalls and Ban Jakhri Waterfalls in Gangtok. Bakhthamg Waterfalls is located on the North Sikkim Highway towards Tashi View Point and Ban Jakhri waterfalls is around 7 km from Gangtok on the road towards Ranka. There is also a solar park here.

GangtokNearby attractions from Gangtok: Gangtok can act as a very good base to visit various interesting nearby lakes, monasteries, gardens, mountain passes and temples. The Rumtek Monastery located almost 22 km from Gangtok was established in 1922. This is the largest monastery in Sikkim and certainly one of the most beautiful ones. It is three-storey with a huge prayer hall intricately decorated with statues, wall paintings and thangkas. The Sarmsa Garden previously known as Ipecac Garden located around 14 kms from Gangtok near Ranipool is one of the best gardens to spot orchids and Medicinal Plants in Sikkim. Another nice garden is the Nehru Botanical Garden located near Rumtek Monastery.

The Lingdum Monastery located near Rumtek is another extravagant monastery near Gangtok. You can also visit one of the most picturesque lakes in Sikkim called Changu Lake (also known as Tsomgo Lake) around 35 km from Gangtok at an altitude of 12310 feet. Special Inner Line Permits for Indian as well as Foreign officials are required from police and Tourism Department to visit this lake. Tucked within hills which are covered with wild flowers in spring and 3 feet of snow in winters Changu lake is a treat to the eye. In winters, Changu gets completely frozen.

Nathula Pass located at 14400 feet is a major pass connecting Sikkim with Tibet. There is an Indian check post and Chinese check post located here. From Nathula pass you can view Mt.Chomolhari (also known as Jomolhari) towering 24,035 ft at the Bhutan side. There is another interesting non-religious temple call Baba Mandir near Changu lake. There is an interesting belief about this temple. Baba Harbhajan was an Indian army soldier who died near the Nathula Pass. He is revered by the soldiers of the Indian army, who have built a shrine in his honour. Baba is believed to have granted favours to the soldiers, and guard each one in the inhospitable terrain.

Things to do at Gangtok: You can take a rope way ride at Gangtok between Sikkim Legislative Assembly and Deorali. The ride takes around 10 mins and gives a great view of rivers, valleys and Gangtok city below. You can also hang out for shopping and restaurant hopping at M G Marg, which is the main market area in Gangtok. Around a kilomter long this road is traffic free and surrounded by the best restaurants, shops and hotels. The shops open by 9:00 am and close down by 7:30 pm. M G Marg Market stays closed on Tuesdays. Lal Bazar, also known as Kanchenjungha Shopping Complex is a favourite of the shopping lovers. You would find all types of goods here and it serves up the local population. The Lal Market stays closed on Thursdays. However, if you are food of local handicrafts, then drop at Govt. Institute of Cottage Industries for Choksees (folded wooden tables), carpets, hand made paper, Thankas and masks. The Institute stays open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and stays closed on Govt. Holidays. One of the most popular pieces of attraction in Gangtok is the zoo, which is home to some animals like the Himalayan Bear and Red Panda that are native to the state. The zoo extends for around 205 hectares and you to walks all around to view some of its inhabitants. If you are fond of flowers, then you can also drop at White Hall for the flower show in winter.

How to go ?

If you are travelling by plane, then the nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport, from where you can hire a taxi or a cab to reach Gangtok. By train, you need to get down at New Jalpaiguri station and then hire a taxi to Gangtok. You can avail state buses or jeep from Siliguri to Gangtok, which takes around 4 hours. You would also get rented cars from New Jalpaiguri Station for Gangtok. Gangtok can also be accessed via road as the place is well connected with Darjeeling and Kalimpong by National Highway 31A.

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Where to stay ?

The are numerous accommodation facilities in Gangtok. Some options are:

Hotel Sonam Delek: (+91)-(3592)-202566 / 208906.
The Royal Plaza: (+91-)(3592)-280032 /280232
The Chumbi Residency: (+91-)(3592)-206618/206619.
Hotel Delamere: (+91)-97330 00060

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Aritar

Aritar, Sikkim – A serene hamlet that boasts a picturesque scenic landscape and a beautiful lake

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A serene hamlet nestled in the Eastern border of Sikkim under the Rongli Sub-Division, Aritar is a relatively new tourist destination, that boasts a picturesque scenic landscape and a beautiful “boot- shaped” lake called Lampokhri. Covered with lush green forest, mountains, stepped farmlands and waterfalls the place is unique in its own way. Enjoy the amazing view of Mt AritarKanchenjunga and some great nature trails, monasteries, view points, bird watching opportunities and village tour options. Aritar is also known for one of the best heritage bungalows of Sikkim – The Aritar Dak Bungalow. Built in 1896, Aritar Dak Bungalow is a typical British bungalow that is recently restored by the Sikkim Govt. for tourists.

Places to see at Aritar: Aritar is famous for its Lampokhari Lake. This vast natural lake shaped in the form of human foot is flanked by emerald green forest. You can enjoy paddle boating in the lake. Beside the lake there is also a cafeteria. A well-maintained jungle path with view points and gazebos skirts through the jungle and climbs up to the Aritar Top, also called Mankhim from where you can catch a panoramic view of Mt.Kanchenjungha.

Visit the nearby Aritar Monastery, which houses some remarkable painted murals, rare manuscripts and Buddhist artefacts. The Dak Bungalow popularly called Ari-Bangla is an age-old British bungalow, built under the supervision of James Claude White in 1896. Of late, the bungalow has been transformed into a guest house for tourists.

The temple of Mangkhim, belonging to the Rai cult of Hindu origin is located at an altitude of 6500 feet at Maity Village overlooking the Aritar. The viewpoint near the temple offers a panoramic view of the mighty Eastern Himalayas, Aritar town, rolling hills and the Silk Route. You can also visit the Ever Green Nursery and Ram Gauri Sangrhalaya, which is a nursery and museum, displaying some stunning collection of drift wood, botanical and some exotic varieties of flowers.

AritarNearby attractions around Aritar: You can visit nearby Reshikhola, Icchey Gaon, Sillery Gaon and Pedong in West Bengal from Aritar. Some other nearby attractions are villages that used to fall on the Old Silk Route like Kupup Lake, Menmecho Lake, Nathang, Padamchen, Zuluk and Lungthung. If you are an adventure lover then a trek to Mulkarkha Lake can be rewarding. You need to travel few km uphill from Aritar to locate this lake in an isolated forest area. Savour the beauty of the surrounding area of the lake adorned with jungle of exotic orchids and colossal mountains. On a clear day, you can see the reflection of Mt.Kanchenjungha on the placid waters of the Mulkarkha Lake.

Things to do at Aritar: You can organize picnics at the popular picnic spot called Love Dara, located at Aritar. The place is also ideal for the avid bird watchers. You can also enjoy boating in the Lampokhari Lake, trekking to nearby hilltops, enjoying village walks and nature walking.

Best time to visit Aritar: You can visit Aritar any time of the year. The rains shroud Aritar with greenery and clouds whereas in winters, you can get a great panoramic view of Mt.Kanchenjungha.

How to go ?

The nearest airport of Aritar is located at Bagdogra, from where you can hire car and drive for 4-5 hours to reach Aritar. The closest railway station of the location is at New Jalpaiguri, which is well facilitated by trains from all parts of the country. You can also hire vehicles from Siliguri and reach Aritar in 5 hours. Many tourists also hire vehicles and make tour to Aritar from Gangtok in roughly 3 hours. If you are coming from Kalimpong, then the route would be Kalimpong – Pedong – Reshikhola – Aritar. If you are coming from Sikkim, then the shortest route would be Rangpo – Rorathang – Rhenock – Aritar.

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Where to stay ?

There are some hotels and homestays in Aritar but the best place to stay is the Aritar Dak Bungalow. Decked with period furniture, fireplaces in every room, wall to wall carpets, extra large couches and English glass windows, this 120 year-old British heritage bungalow is a true gem of Sikkim. Recently renovated, the Aritar Dak Bungalow is located amidst sprawling lawns and gardens with great views of the rolling mountains. There are three Master bedrooms (triple bed) with attached bathrooms, a huge sitting room and a dining hall in the bungalow. Staying in the Aritar bungalow is like re-visiting the days of the Raaj. The staff at the bungalow prepares great food for the guests, which is essentially Indian cuisine. For booking details you may visit www.heritagebungalows.com 

Other options are:
Lampokhari Village Resort: +91 9903295920
Hotel Chittiz:  +91-98325 44438 9832038462 /  7407181895 

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Borong

Borong, Sikkim – An excellent spot to unwind yourself amidst the peace & tranquility of nature

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Located at an altitude of 5800 feet in South Sikkim Borong is an idyllic retreat for the nature lovers. Borong can be easily accessed from Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri. Some 17 km from Ravangla, Borong can also be reached from Pelling, Gangtok and Rinchengpong. With the Himalayan Mountains located at the backdrop, Borong is an excellent spot to unwind yourself amidst the peace and tranquility of nature.

borongPlaces to see at Borong: Don’t miss to catch a glimpse of some extraordinary views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and other the snowcapped peaks from here. And a spectacular sight of sunrise from the snow-covered mountains is perhaps the main reason behind a visit to this beautiful place. You can also look for glances of Sinolchu, Narsingh and Pandim peaks.

Nearby attractions from Borong: Ralong Monastery is some 5km away from here. You can hire a car and visit other places like Famtam Village, Gurang Monastery, the Silver Falls and the Barmely Bridge. Besides, a hot fountain is located at a distance of some 3km from Borong, on the bank of Rangit River.

Things to do at Borong: Borong is idyllic for trekking to Maenam Peak. Besides, there is also a trekking route at Namchi that ends in Borong and takes some 6 days to complete. Apart from trekking, you can go for bird-watching as Borong is home to a wide variety of birds like the scarlet minivet, the black magpie and the Himalayan pheasants.

borongBest time to visit Borong: Borong can be enjoyed throughout the year. But if you want to see the festival taking place by the bank of Rangeet River, then you must come during the month of February.

How to go ?

The nearest railway station to Borong is New Jalpaiguri. Then from the station, you need to hire a car that will take you to Borong via Ravangla. You can also reach Jorthang or Singtam from Siliguri bus stand and then head to Borong. Borong can also be reached from Pelling, Gangtok or Rinchengpong by car.

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Where to stay ?

There are two accommodations at Borong located amidst beautiful hilly trees covering from all sides. Both these accommodation options offer dining facilities.

The Wildflower Retreat: +91 9830705512 / 9609853543 / 9733154748
Website: www.thewildflowerretreat.com
Club 8000 The Borong Resort: +91-96098 54231
Website: rabong-borong.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Chaaya_Taal

Chaaya Taal, Sikkim – Pack your bags to take the pleasure of an itinerary this weekend

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Staying beside a placid lake and enjoying the picturesque view of Mt. Kanchenjungha is a long cherished dream for every urbanite tired of the polluted city life. Pack your bags to take the pleasure of an itinerary this weekend. Chaaya Taal is a mixed magic bag consisting of waterfalls, monasteries, dense forests, largest prayer wheel in the world, rhododendrons, red pandas, water gardens, 65 species of different birds and activities like boating, village walks and trekking. The place is located almost 136 kms from New Jalpaiguri, and just a km above Hee Gaon. It is one of the newest spots on the tourist map of West Sikkim. At the foot of Chaaya Taal is located the twin villages of Hee and Bermiok. The nearby attractions include the Srijunga waterfalls, Vanjhakri Waterfalls, Yuma Samyo Manghim temple, Phurtsa Chu hotspring and Rabindra Nath Tagore Smriti Van. You can also visit the nearby Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary famous for Red Pandas and Rhododendrons from Chaaya Taal. For trekking lovers, an eight-day trek is arranged that will take you to Phoktey, which is one of the very few places on earth from where you can watch sunrise over Mt.Everest and Kanchenjungha, the highest and third highest peaks in the world at the same time.

Places to see at Chaaya Taal: The spell-binding views of Kanchenjungha from the balcony and a turquoise lake beside your guest house with boating facilities makes Chaaya Taal one of the most beautiful destinations of West Sikkim. The twin villages of Hee and Bermiok are located in the foothills of Chaaya Taal. Then there is the famous Yuma Samyo Manghim, the temple where the believers of Yuma Samyo – the great saint from Nepal worship. In front of the temple is a big stone from where this great saint used to deliver sermons to his followers.

About a km westward from the nearby Bermiok Bazar there is a cave on Niya Bhir cliff known as Alley Gufa, where Lord Shiva is worshiped. You would also find a watch tower located just above this Alley cave temple at upper Martam from where you can get a beautiful view of Kanchenjungha. The beautiful Vanjhakri Waterfalls also known as Pheng Doje Falls descends in an isolated destination near Hee-Gaon along the Hee River. However, the biggest attraction of Chaaya Taal is the water garden at the bank of Hee Khola where you would find the world’s largest Buddhist prayer wheel powered by water current, a swimming pool, a cafeteria and few Gazebos.

Also, within a kilometer at the bank of River Kalez lies the sleeping statue of Buda Neel Kantha. On the hill top of Mt. Yumang Thegu (the hill overlooking the lake) a 65 feet high statue of Teyongsi  Sirijunga is under construction. Along with this is, the work of constructing the Sirijunga Study Centre with all the facilities to study and research about Guru Sirijunga is in progress too.

Nearby attractions of Chaaya Taal: One of the major sightseeing options here is the Srijunga waterfalls about an hour’s downhill walk from the Yuma Samyo Manghim. There is a holy cave at the foot of this waterfall in Phagudara village where according to legends the great Guru Srijunga is said to have hidden his mysterious box full of knowledge. Presently, there is a temple located at the confluence of River Reshi and River Kalez which houses a black block of stone which is believed to be the same box of knowledge, now turned into stone.

You can also visit the nearby village of Berthang at the confluence of River Rangsang and River Kalez to see the erstwhile tiny kingdom of Berthang Berfok Mangerjong. The Manger kings ruled this tiny Himalayan Kingdom till 18th century when their last ruler Dal Kinari Khapangi Manger was killed in the battlefield. The locals worship this place as ‘Raja Bhajey Dham’ where he was killed. About 10 minutes’ walk above Bermiok 13th mile village is the ancient cave temple – Kailash Pati Gufa. Hundreds of people come here to offer Puja on Shivaratri every year.

Another popular nearby destinations is the Phurtsa Chu sulphur hotspring which is famous for its ‘medicinal water. It is located below Legship – Jorethang Road between Reshi and Legship along the bank of Rangit River. You can also visit the Rabindra Nath Tagore Smriti Van located at Megie Dara, about a furlong eastward from Rinchenpong Bazar. Though the exact account of this visit to this place is not available, the novel laureate had once arrived here somewhere in the first quarter of 20th century. This is a beautiful place and it can be guessed how the imaginations of the Novel laureate might have soared on his arrival here. There is also a beautiful monastery at Rinchenpong.

You can also visit the famous Reesum Monastery from Chaaya Taal. To reach this monastery, you have to hike over 600 steps but the effort would be rewarded with one of the most magnificent views of Mt.Kanchenjungha. You have to leave Chaaya Taal at around 3:30 am to view sunrise from Reesum Monastery. The car would take around 40 mins to reach the base of the hill from where you have to trek for another 40 min to reach the monastery.     Other than the nearby sightseeing destinations, the major spots of West Sikkim like Pelling, Pemyangtse, Uttarey, Kaluk and Richenpong are all within an hour’s distance.

Things to do at Chaaya Taal: Boating at Chaaya Taal is a wonderful experience. You can also catch the glimpses of Kanchenjungha from your balcony or from the various viewpoints located all around Chaaya Taal. You can take long nature walks and be a patient listener to the quarrels and songs of the birds. If you are an adventure lover then the Everest Singalila trek covering the higher reaches of the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary can be your itinerary. This trek is famous for its flowers and spectacular views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and Mt.Everest. After you cross Thulo Dhaap the trail climbs up to the Singiila Ridge and from Phoktey you can see the sunrise on Mt Everest and Mt.Kanchenjungha – the highest and third highest peaks of the world at the same time.

If you love re-discovering ethnic cultures then try to visit here during the Kalez Valley Heritage Festival held every year from 10th to 13th May. This colourful festival showcases multi ethnic cultural practices, cultural dances, demonstration, mountain biking and traditional cuisine.

Best time to visit Chaya Taal: You can visit Chaaya Taal any time of the year. However, if you want to trek at Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary and see rhododendron in full bloom then visit during March- April.  Also the Kalez valley Heritage Festival is held every year between 10th and 13th May.

How to go ?

Chaaya Taal is located above the twin villages of Hee-Bermiok. New Jalpaiguri is around 136 kms away and it takes around 4 hours to reach. The usual route to be followed is Melli – Jorethang via Mangalbaria, Rinchenpong – Kaluk – Hee Bermiok – Chaaya Taal. You can also come via Nayabazar – Soreng – Kaluk- Hee Bermiok.

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Where to stay ?

There is only one guest house named Chhayatal Village Guest house with four Double Bedrooms at Chaaya Taal. The accommodation is decked with all modern facilities like hot water, television and attached bathrooms. The guesthouse faces Mt.Kanchenjungha and overlooks the lake. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is available at the guesthouse. Treks to Singalila Ridge and Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary can be arranged from the guesthouse itself. For booking details you may contact:

Chhayatal Village Guest house: +919434012213 / 9775915168.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Baiguney

Baiguney, Sikkim – A quaint destination tucked in a remote corner of the Himalayas in Southern Sikkim

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Baiguney, a quaint destination is tucked in a remote corner of the Himalayas in Southern Sikkim in the banks of River Rangeet. This once unknown village is now the most exciting place to be in Sikkim. The luxurious Hotel Zuri, here makes it from non-de-script to one of the most exciting place in Sikkim. It is a picturesque location, the resort on the banks of the river Rangit, is shrouded by Baiguneylush green and scenic views. The resort is just midway to Pelling and Darjeeling that is just two hours drive from the property. The Retreat consists of 21 luxurious rooms. It creates an aura to enjoy the ultimate serenity. Each room consists of a balcony that opening out to the most spectacular view of the hills beyond.

Places to see at Baiguney: The main attractions of the place are the Zuri Retreat Hotel, Rangeet River and the mountains all around creating a totally different ambience for you. The local attractions include Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Museum and St Joseph’s College. The scenic surrounding at The Retreat by Zuri offers a great ambiance all around. You have a lovely Swimming Pool and Pool Cafe at the retreat where you can laze the whole day.

Nearby Attractions of Baiguney: One of the main gateways of Sikkim – Jorethang is just 20 mins by car from Baiguney. The Akar Suspension Bridge and small and beautiful Sisne Mandir of Mahadev would satisfy any photographer’s soul. A few kilometres north lay the hot springs which are becoming an added tourist attraction. The natural Sisney Rock garden, the pristine banks of Rangeet along the village of Majhigaon and the nearby villages of Chakung and Chunbung with their majestic views of BaiguneyMt.Kanchenjungha are few other nearby attractions of Baiguney. Regional points of interest also include Samdruptse and Raj Bhavan. Baiguney The offers plenty of options for our guests including Paragliding, River Rafting, River Camping, Mountain Camping, Jungle Hiking, Village Trekking, Short Trek (2 days), Tea Garden Excursion, Guided Bird Watching Excursion and Monastery Trails.

Things to do at Baiguney: You can raft in the waters of Rangeet or arrange a picnic on the banks of Rangeet. You can also take long nature walks along Rangeet through local villages. When you feel like relaxing the whole day the spa at Zuri Retreat would be ready to pamper you. The Maya Spa is Zuri’s premium wellness brand. The facility features two individual treatment rooms and a twin- treatment room along with a gymnasium, Jacuzzi and sauna. The facility also boasts a wilderness treatment area overlooking the river inside a gazebo. The hotel also has a fabulous theme bars, a multi-cuisine outlet and lounge, The Jalapa – Pool Café and Zen, resort’s banquet hall. Paragliding from nearby destinations of Chakung and Chungbung are also possible. Added to the picture-perfect, serene settings, there are plenty of recreational activities to keep guests entertained. Entertainment is a short throw away at the amphi theatre next to the Pool café. A walk path takes guests on a comfortable trek along the river. Guests can also visit the Organic Garden at the property.

How to go ?

From Siliguri, you have to reach Jorethang first and then Baiguney. The resort is centrally located with Pelling and Darjeeling just a two hour drive away from the property.

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Where to stay ?

The Retreat by Zuri, Baiguney features just 21 rooms comprising of single, double rooms and suites with an average size of 250 square feet each.  All rooms are tastefully done-up to blend with the spectacular natural surroundings. The in-room amenities include 24 hour Room Service,  Complimentary Wi-Fi, 32 inch LCD TV, Mini Bar, Tea/Coffee making facility and Split A/C. The resort offers a choice of dining options which feature a mouth watering array of cuisine and beverages. The resort’s A multi-cuisine outlet and lounge, Papillon offers both indoor (24 covers) and outdoor (20 covers) seating with a choice of sumptuous cuisine and beverages. A splendid Lil Green Bar with a grand view is one place where the ambience itself is reason enough for a heavenly high! Situated beside the wellness centre and adjacent to the pool, Jalapa – Pool Café offers a serene ambiance with a choice of exotic, healthy food and beverages as one lounges by the pool. Other facilities at Zuri Retreat includes Valet Parking, Tour Assistance and Currency exchange facilities.

For booking details you may contact: Tel: +91 3595 276575, 18001037007(toll free), you may also visit their official Website: www.thezurihotels.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kaleej Valley

Kaleej Valley, Sikkim – An ideal tourist spot to romance with nature

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Kaleej Valley in West Sikkim, is an ideal tourist spot to romance with the nature. The place offers the complete peace of mind. Covered by rivers from all sides like the Kaleej Khola in the North, Hee Khola in the West, Rangsang and Rangit in the South, Kaleej Valley is a hamlet with pristine looks from where the enchanting views of Mt.Kanchenjungha will cast a magic spell on you. The popular tourist spots like Bermiok, Uttarey and Rinchenpong, are also located near to this site. This quaint destination is a heaven for bird life and natural splendour. The green farm fields and the winding Kaleej Khola makes it even more appealing. Enriched by the exotic species of flora and fauna the hamlet is mainly dominated by local communities. The treasures of Kaleej Valley are its own rich natural and cultural heritage and gives opportunities for immense travel potentials.

Kaleej ValleyPlaces to see at Kaleej Valley: It is the peculiar charm of Kaleej Valley, which has laid its spell on many visitors. There is an exquisite temple of Yuma Samyo Manghim, where the followers of Yuma Samyo religion worship. There is a huge stone in front of the temple, where the great mystic Guru Teyongsi Srijunga used to sit and deliver Yuma Samyo sermons to his followers. You can walk for around ten minutes above the nearby 13th mile village, to spot the Kailash Pati Gufa, a centuries old cave temple. The place is highly revered by both the locals and the tourists and it is visited by hundred of worshippers during Shivaratri. The Ally cave or Allay gufa is located a kilometer westward from nearby Bermiok Bazar. It is also an ancient cave temple, where Lord Shiva is worshiped.

Nearby attractions of Kaleej Valley: If you want to explore the region, further, make a trip to the Srijunga Falls and caves. The beauty of the Srijunga waterfalls along Reshi River, known as Srijunga Wadhan is breathtaking. The Srijunga Phuku or caves is also famous and boasts historical importance. Nestled at Berthang at the converging point of Kaleez and Rangsang Rivers is Berthang Berfok Mangerjong. Do not miss the Pheng Doji Falls, spotted at a desolate place at Hee-Gaon along Hee Khola. The sulphur mixed hot spring, popularly known as Phur-Tsa-Chau situated beneath Legship – Jorethang road between Reshi and Legship along the bank of Rangit River is also a very popular destination. You can also pay a visit to the Rabindranath Smritiban, named after the Noble Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, who stayed here for sometime.

The Hee Water Garden nestled at the bank of Hee-Khola is also noteworthy. The water garden is admired with the biggest Mani Chukar (Buddhist prayer wheel rotated by the current of water) found across the globe. You will also find a swimming pool, cafeteria, Gazebo (a resting place) and a temple of Shiva in this picturesque water garden. There is also a watchtower just above the Alley cave temple at upper Marrtam, from where you can also catch a spectacular view of Kanchenjungha. Nestled atop Yumang Thegu is a grand statue of Teyongsi Sirijunga, measuring 65 feet. There is a lake just beneath it, offering boating facilities known as Chaaya Taal. You can also make a trip to the Resum Monastery in the early morning to savor a spectacular sunrise over Kanchenjungha.

Some other nearby popular sightseeing destinations include Changay Falls, Singshore bridge, Pemangytse Monastery, Rabdentse Ruins and Pelling. Nunthaley grassy flat field at 7350 feet is another great attraction. Nunthaley is located at the top of Radu-Khandu, and surrounded by Bajrathey Temple, Jor Pokhari, Goru Jurey and Narayan Gumpa. Nunthaley is best place to witness the panoramic view of Kanchendzonga.

Things to do at Kaleej Valley: Kaleej Valley is a huge attraction for the trek and nature enthusiasts. You can take a 19 km long nature walk all the way to the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary through the Red Panda Gate. This stone paved smooth route is 6 ft wide and crosses waterfalls, rivers, valleys, mountain villages and countless streams. It is also a mountain biking trail and tourists truly enjoy this trek. Enjoy village walk or nature trail along the picturesque landscape of the destination. From Kaleej Valley, you can drive to Chaaya Taal and walk just 1 km to reach the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary through the Red Panda Gate. You can also visit the nearby mountain villages and trek to various view points located all along the valley.

Best time to visit Kaleej Valley: If you want to see  Kanchenjungha in all its brilliance, then visit Kaleej Valley in the winters – between October and February. March to April is the ideal time to trek all along the valley and witness the beauty of the blooming Rhododendrons. In April and May, the Hee Bermiok Tourism Development & Heritage Conservation Society organizes a tourist festival, centering the Monastery, which upholds the rich local culture and tradition.

How to go ?

The nearest airport of Kaleej Valley is the Bagdogra Airport, which is connected with regular flights from Kolkata. The airport is located at a distance of 150 km from Kaleej. The closest railway station of the Kaleej Valley is New Jalpaiguri, located at a distance of around 140 km. You can hire cars from New Jalpaiguri to reach Kaleej Valley or can take up shared cars or buses to Pelling and then take cars to Kaleej Valley.

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Where to stay ?

The hotel in Kaleej Valley offers all Mt.Kanchenjungha and valley facing rooms with a rooftop restaurant having spectacular views of the mountains. All the rooms are equipped with attached western bathrooms and hot water Geysers. You can also watch television in the evenings or arrange a small party in the rooftop restaurant. The rooms are well furnished with all standard modern amenities. The most admirable feature of the hotel is its rooftop restaurant offering Indian, Chinese and local cuisine to relish. Complimentary Bed Tea is also offered to every guest in the hotel.

We do not have any name or contact information about Hotels at Kaleej Valley at this point of time.

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Anden

Anden, Sikkim – A heavenly place from where you can savour the beauty of snow covered mountain peaks

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Surrounded by forest and located in the higher altitude Anden in Sikkim is a heavenly place from where you can savour the beauty of some snow-covered mountain peaks. The famous Barsey Rhododendron Trek is what you can enjoy here. The place is loaded with numerous nearby attractions like Jureli View Point, Gathang Waterfalls, Dodak Helipad, Devi Falls, Daramdin Sai Mandir, a Manghim and the market at Sombaria. From here you can also visit the other nearby attractions like Rinchenpong and Biksthang is West Sikkim and Namchi in South Sikkim. Anden is facilitated with only one accommodation which is a beautiful Forest Rest House having all modern facilities.

Places to see at Anden: Anden is situated at the base for the famous Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron trek. Hilley, the check post, a 4 km long trek to Varsey is just 18 km from Anden. While travelling to Hilley from Anden, you can catch the view of the Mt.Kanchenjungha range.

Jureli Dara view point, offers great views of the snow-capped mountain ranges, Darjeeling, Sombaria and endless stretches of mountains is just a walk from Anden. You can enjoy nature walks and birdwatching in the forests around Anden.

Anden-ForestNearby attractions of Anden: Make a trip to Hilley, located 18 kms from Anden that marks the beginning of the Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron trek. There is a beautiful Sai Temple in Daramdin just 20 km away. Other nearby attractions of Anden are Anden Olong Monastery (12 kms away), Kitan Falls, Dodak Helipad, Butterfly Shape Valley and numerous other view points. You can visit most of these destinations while travelling from Somabaria to Anden – they would fall on the way. Other attractions that you cover in a sightseeing trip of Anden are Devi Falls, Gathang Falls, the EPC church (one of the oldest churches of Sikkim), Ribdi Village and a Lepcha Museum.

Things to do at Anden: Trekking is a favourite activity of the tourists visiting Anden. Most tourists travel to Hilley by car from Anden (18 kms) and start the 4 kms long Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary trek. The sanctuary offers excellent views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and endless stretches of Rhododendrons in their array of red, pink and white colours. Birdwatching is another great activity to be enjoyed from Anden. In the mornings you can enjoy your hot cup of tea in the Forest Rest house’s terrace enjoying the snowcapped mountains and in the evenings you can also enjoy a camp fire roasting your chicken.

Best time to visit Anden: You can visit Anden throughout the year. You can enjoy magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjungha in October to January. To see Rhododendrons in full bloom, you should visit Anden from mid of March to mid of April every year. Birdwatching can be enjoyed throughout the year.

How to go ?

Siliguri station is connected with all important rail routes across India. Anden is 122 km from Siliguri which can be reached by car.

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Where to stay ?

Anden-Forest-ResthouseThe only accommodation in Anden is the Forest Rest house, which is located far from any other human settlement in the fringes of a forest. The Forest Rest house  comes with all modern facilities like attached western bathrooms, room heaters, geysers and even TVs. The rest house also arranges trek guides for the guests and cars for sightseeing trips. The rooms are spacious and luxuriously decked with wooden furniture and carpets. There is also car parking facilities and a badminton court here. For booking details you may contact:

Akash Ganga Forest Rest House: (+91)9593388677

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Solophok

Solophok, Sikkim – Offering the spectacular views of Mt.Kanchenjungha

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Solophok in Sikkim is one of the upcoming tourist destinations offering the spectacular views of Mt.Kanchenjungha. The beautiful temple town of Chardham and the wonderful Tarey Bhir, a 10,000 feet long cliff dropping 3500 feet from the abyss makes the destination a complete tourist spot. Visit some of the most imposing monasteries like Samdruptse and Ngadak monastery, most beautiful waterfalls like Tirikhola Dancing falls and one of the most bio-diversified regions of Tendong Hills. Solophok, located near to Namchi is nearby all attractions yet far from the crowd.

Places to see at Solophok: Chardham in Solophok is believed to be one of the most sacred destinations of Sikkim. The 108 feet statue of Lord Shiva in Chardham is encircled by a girdle of twelve Jyotirlingams and a replica of the Chardham, which is Jagannath, Dwarka, Rameshawaram and Badrinath Dham.

The Ngadak monastery – one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim is also located nearby. Another great attraction is the 135 feet high statue of Guru Padmasambhava in Samdruptse Monastery. The Samdruptse hilltop offers a view of Namchi Town, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kanchenjungha and eastern part of Nepal.

Nearby attractions of Solophok: Solophok is very near to one of the Geological wonders of the world – Taray Bhir. It is a 10,000 feet long ridge with a sheer drop of 3,500 feet with a breathtaking View Point at the edge from where one can behold Sikkim’s beautiful river valleys and forests. One can see the panoramic confluence of the Teesta and Rangeet River from here too. There is also a beautiful Rock Garden situated at the base of the Samdruptse Hills with magnificent views of Kanchenjungha. Temi Tea Garden – the only tea estate in Sikkim is only 21 km from Solophok.

On the way to Temi Tea Garden you can visit the Tendong Biodiversity Park to have an access to the myriads of medical plants conserved beautifully by the State Forest Department. The cascading waters of Tirikhola Dancing Falls located just 40 minutes from Solophok looks like the hair of a maiden from June to September. You can also visit Assangthang just 9 kms from Solophok to visit the beautiful Shiridi Sai Temple. However, the most exciting thing to do while in Solophok is to walk along the Taray Bhir. Other nearby attractions include Ravangla, Rayong Sunrise View Point, Mainam Hill, Ravikhola Cave, Sharchogbeyphog Cave and Phur Tsa Chu hotsprings.

Things to do at Solophok: Trek along the steep footpath with about 300 steps through the hamlet of Kholaghari to a long and dark cave adjacent to an old temple. There is also a tranquil spot just 5 km uphill from Namthang Bazaar (29 kms from Solophok) surrounded by virgin forest and at an altitude of 5800 feet called Nagi. Recently, this has turned out to be a perfect spot for meditation. You can also organise a picnic at Rukumtar located at the base of Tendong Hill where 70 species of birds are found singing in and around. You can also visit Tharpu Painting Village just 4 km from Solophok. You can visit the village and get the idea of history, culture and traditions of Sikkim through the beautiful paintings and creations of the local artists.

Best time to visit Solophok: You can visit Solophok any time of the year. The peaks of Kanchenjungha and its allies can be best viewed from March to May and September to January. The flowers in Solophok’s surroundings bloom after the monsoons. Attractions like Chardham, Samdruptse and other monasteries celebrate various festivals throughout the year.

How to go ?

Solofok is 92 kms from Siliguri and just 2 kms from Namchi. The Sikkim Nationalized Transport (SNT) plies regular buses from Siliguri to Namchi and private taxis are also available on regular basis. The nearest rail station is New Jalpaiguri and it takes around 3.5 hours from there. You can also reach Namchi from Bagdogra by hiring private taxis.

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Where to stay ?

The Heritage hotel at Solophok offering majestic views of Mt.Kanchenjungha is managed and run by family members. It is settled on the hill top Solophok just 2 kms from Namchi Bazaar and far from the crowd. Nearly, seven acres of lush green forest surrounds the hotel and a beautiful garden with a gazebo makes it more attractive.  The Holy Chardham Hindu pilgrimage is only a walk from this heritage hotel. There are Standard rooms, Deluxe rooms and Super Deluxe rooms with 24 hrs hot and cold water, satellite TV, balconies with views, western bathrooms, Dining Halls and all other modern facilities. The hotel also arranges bird watching trips, bonfire, forest walks and car rentals. This Heritage hotel serves organic food only.

Another option is the Dungmali Guest House: (+91) 08902232559

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Sumbuk

Sumbuk, Sikkim – Where nature is in its pristine forms with profuse flora and fauna

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Sumbuk located in South Sikkim is one of those parts of Sikkim where you will find nature in its pristine forms with profuse flora and fauna. The pine forests, gladiolas farms, monasteries, villages are tucked on the mountain slopes, valleys, countless birds, butterflies and Greater Rangit River has made Sumbuk a destination no lesser than paradise. Close to Namchi, Sumbuk can be reached within 2.5 hours from Siliguri. The place is not yet interrupted by the tourist crowds and few nature-loving travellers, who truly enjoy living in “no-frills” homestays consuming the local culture visit occasionally. The Sumbuk village is distinctly divided into two parts – Lower Sumbuk and Upper Sumbuk. Lower Sumbuk rests at a height of about 1500 feet and is shrouded with deep temperate forests rich in bird life like peacocks, hornbills and others. Upper Sumbuk has an altitude of 7000 feet and has a completely different vegetation and bird life. You can see endless stretches of fir and pine forests in Upper Sumbuk.

Places to see at Sumbuk: The dense forest at the Southern slope of Lower Sumbuk, which is famous as a Peacock Breeding forest is one of the prime attractions here. The banks of Rangit River, numerous Gladiolas Farms and few age-old temples make Sumbuk a very different type of attraction.

Sumbuk-lowerThe Sumbuk Shivalaya Mandir dedicated to Lord Shiva is a popular place of worship by locals and mass prayers are often organized during the festive time. The Kolomple Rocky Mountain also has a nice viewpoint overlooking parts of Sikkim and Bengal. However, the show-stealer is the region of Upper Sumbuk at an altitude of 7000 feet. It takes around an hour to reach Upper Sumbuk from lower Sumbuk. Mungram Village also known as Phooldara (hill of flowers) has a wide variety of Rhododendrons, wild orchids, pines, wild strawberries blooming in different seasons of the year.

A huge tract of pine forest known as Dhupi covers most of Upper Sumbuk and you would find endless varieties of birds and butterflies here. Tamley Chaur, located just above Phooldara in Upper Sumbuk is covered in pines, rhododendrons, ferns, cinnamon and wild strawberries. From Tamley Chaur, you can enjoy a glorious view of the Himalayan ranges. There is also a beautiful lake located at the Tamley Chaur called Tamley Pokhri. The natural viewpoints of Upper Sumbuk offer panoramic views of Mt.Kanchenjungha, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and other parts of Bengal.

Sumbuk-upperNearby attractions of Sumbuk: Kitam Bird Sanctuary, beside the Lower Sumbuk is the only designated bird sanctuary in Sikkim. You can take a guided bird watching trip through these forests and enjoy spotting some rare birds and lots of peacocks. The town of Namchi is also nearby and its attractions like Chardham in Solophok and Samdruptse Monastery can all be reached within an hour from Sumbuk. Another great destination is the nearby village of Sadam, which is famous for the geological wonder – Tarey Bhir. It is a ridge 10000 feet long with an abrupt drop of 3500 feet. There is a path over the edge of the ridge on which you can walk and enjoy the enchanting views of River Rangit and River Teesta, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Siliguri, Tendong Hill, Nathula, Jelepla and Mt.Kanchenjungha.

Things to do at Sumbuk: Birdwatching is the favourite activity of guests in Sumbuk. The southern slope of Sumbuk is a favourite habitat of the peacock and guests can easily spot them and photograph them here. Other common birds to be found here are Jungle Fowls, Kaleej Pheasant, Himalayan Flameback, Magpie, Forktail, Bulbul, Giant hornbills and the list is endless. You can trek along the banks of River Rangit and Manpur River in Lower Sumbuk and enjoy butterfly watching. Guests can also enjoy White Water Rafting in River Rangit. The rafting starts at Baguwa and ends at Champa – the stretch is almost 6 kms. You can also enjoy guided jungle walks and catch a glimpse of wild boars, barking deer and lots of peacocks. Guests can also enjoy village walks or enjoy a picnic in Phooldara.

Best time to visit Sumbuk: You can visit Sumbuk any time of the year. From March to May the weather is sparkling fresh and you can enjoy blooming of Rhododendrons too in Upper Sumbuk. In Sumbuk, the winters are mild and the weather is too good for bird watching. Migratory birds also visit Sumbuk during the winters. If you are planning to spend a few days in a destination where you would be the only outsider then Sumbuk can be your choice.

How to go ?

Sumbuk is  112km  from Siliguri that is well connected by rail and road.

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Where to stay ?

Sambuk Prahlad HomestayUnique Homestay facilities are available at Sumbuk with clean, comfortable and homely atmosphere. You can stay within the local community and understand their culture, beliefs and society. The homestay facilities have separate guest rooms and attached bathrooms for the guests and they provide facilities like electricity, clean and comfy beds and home cooked fresh food. Indian food is generally served but specific requests of the guests are always honoured by the hosts.

One option is the Prahlad Homestay: (+91) 9733106646, (+91)9733289566

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Nathang Valley

Nathang Valley, Sikkim – A plateau having high altitude in East Sikkim covered by mountains on all sides

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Nathang Valley or Gnathang Valley is a plateau having high altitude in East Sikkim. Perching at an altitude of 13,500 feet above sea level, the plateau is covered by mountains on all sides; this is a remote valley with a meandering stream criss crossing it. Nathang is the highest location in the Indian part of the Old Silk Route. One of the remotest Tibetan habitations in Himalayas, Nathang Valley usually remains snow covered from January to April. The long four-month of sub-zero temperature makes the valley a cold desert Nathang Valleyand one of the most beautiful parts of Himalayas. Few homestays with modern facilities have been built recently with the aid from the Government by the local villagers for tourist accommodation. The most wonderful destination in the whole of Old Silk Route is Nathang Valley and the sunrise points of Lungthung and Eagles Nest Bunker are only 5 km from here.

Places to see at NathangValley: There is a local Hindu temple, a small Buddhist monastery, few houses, some migratory birds, a stream snaking through the valley and a small bridge over the stream in the distance – Nathang is as close as you can get to paradise.

The sunrise points of Lungthung and Gyamochen are just 5 kms from Nathang valley. The whole of Mt.Kanchenjungha range with all its allied peaks can be seen from here. The sun rises over Bhutan, it washes the whole of Bhutan and parts of China with its early rays and reaches Kanchenjungha to turn it crimson and you stand in the middle to witness the magic called “creation.” This heavenly experience can be witnessed from these sunrise points.

If you want to see the longest view of the entire Eastern Himalayas, with Bhutan, China, the hills of Bengal including Darjeeling, the entire  Kanchenjungha range and River Bramhaputra meandering across China and entering India, then you have to trek uphill for 10 minutes to reach the Eagle’s Nest Bunker. This is an abandoned Bunker of the army and located strategically on a hill top with a 360 degree complete view of the Himalayas. You can still see bullet marks in the bunker walls, which bears the testimony of the Indo-China war. Within 5 kms of Nathang Valley, these sunrise points can be reached within 20 mins from Nathang. However, from other spots in this Old Silk Route like Zuluk or Padmachen, it takes around 1.5 hours to reach the sunrise points. Nathang is the most scenic and strategically located spot in the Old Silk Route.

Nearby attractions of Nathang Valley: You can take local sightseeing tours to Zuluk (24 kms away). The panoramic view of winding roads across Zuluk (also spelt as Dzuluk) with 32 turns is an interesting sight. Lungthung – Dhupidara also has a great view of Kanchenjungha and so does Thambi View Point and Tukla Valley. From Nathang, you can also move ahead following the GN Road and reach Kupup Lake (also known as Elephant Lake or Bitan Cho) at 15,600 feet above sea level. Some of the most sacred and scenic lakes like Jorepokri, Green lake, Changu lake and Menmecho Lake all fall within 25 kms of Nathang and can be covered in local sightseeing tours. You can also take a trip to the Nathula Pass at 14,400 feet above sea level to witness the border gates of India and China. There is a cafe at 14,000 feet at Nathula  Pass.

Gangtok is around 60 kms from Nathang Valley. There is the Old Baba Mandir (which was the original bunker of Baba Harbhajan) near Kupup Lake. There is an interesting belief about this temple. Baba Harbhajan was an Indian army soldier who died near the Nathula Pass. He is revered by the soldiers of the Indian army, who have built a shrine in his honour. Baba is believed to have granted favours to the soldiers, and guard each one in the inhospitable terrain. There is a new Baba Mandir near Changu (Tsomgo Lake) dedicated to Baba Harbhajan too. Another interesting destination near Nathang is the Four Lake Point from where you can see the four sacred lakes of Sikkim.

Things to do at NathangValley: You must visit to the local monastery and temple. A ride on a yak or horse across the valley or making a snowman is some of the activities you can take part here. You can also trek to Changala View Point around 4 kms from Nathang to experience one of the most mesmerizing views of River Bramhaputra meeting River Teesta and the vast plains of China, Bengal and Bhutan. Bird and Butterfly watching in summer, when the valley is drenched in colours of all shades is another activity to take up. In October and November Nathang Valley exudes different colours during the day. You can witness this change of colour over the valley sitting in your homestay balcony throughout the day. If you are a food fanatic then you can try local Yak Milk Cheese (Chupri) and some other interesting traditional Tibetan Yak herder’s dishes.

Best time to visit Nathang valley: If you are in Nathang between January and April, then it is covered in 3 feet of snow. Nathang is shrouded with wild flowers from June to September after the snow thaws and the whole valley is covered in a golden hue of the grassland from September to January.

How to go ?

You have to reach Gangtok first which is well connected by both rail and road from all parts of India. Hire a car from there to reach Nathang Valley which is only 60 km from Gangtok.

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Where to stay ?

There are traditional as well as modern homestays in Nathang valley for the tourists. The recently-built Government aided pucca homestays are concrete buildings with modern facilities like cushioned beds, room heaters, solar water heaters, 24-hour electricity, attached western bathrooms and endless supply of blankets and quilts to fight the chill. There are separate dining areas for the guests within the building and Televisions in common room. You may not call it luxury but it is the best accommodation in the whole of Old Silk Route circuit.

The two popular home-stays at Nathang Valley are:
Dafter Bungalow and Phinasa Lodge.
At this time we do not have any contact information of these home-stays.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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okhrey

Okhrey, Sikkim – One of the most sought after trekking trails of Sikkim

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One of the upcoming destinations in Sikkim, Okhrey is a little and not so famous village falling on the way to Varsey. It is one of the most sought – after trekking trails of Sikkim. It is the most popular base for the Varsey Rhododendron trek. You can either stay overnight at Okhrey or start your journey to Hilley around 10 km away by car the next morning. Park your car at Hilley and start your 4 km long trek to Varsey from Hilley. If you start your journey from Okhrey towards Hilley, you will find a small natural lake on your way offering some breathtaking views of Mt.Kanchenjungha and endless stretches of Rhododendrons. The breathtaking natural beauty of Okhrey and its surroundings, the calm and quite atmosphere will amaze you, where you can find your peace of mind.

okhreyPlaces to see at Okhrey: Okhrey is famous for being the base for the famous Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron trek. Hilley, which is the checkpost for the 4 km long trek to Varsey is just 10 kms from Okhrey by car. While travelling to Hilley from Okhrey, you would enjoy the view of the magnificent Kanchenjungha range. If you climb up the slope of the hill, you can spot a serene village called Latitar. Another popular tourist attraction of the place is the Ugen Thon Meon Ling monastery, which is visited by travelers passing through this way. The monastery is operated by the Tibetan missionaries and features a small school.

You will also enjoy a walk to the Ribdi from the village of Okhrey, located on the border of West Bengal. You can also explore further down along the forests of Rumbum and Coorkey to Rimbik. Trekking along the trail from Okhrey that leads to Phalut via Gurdung is also quite exciting.

Nearby attractions around Okrey: You can make a trip to Hilley, located 10 km. from Okhrey, which marks the beginning of the Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron trek. There is a beautiful Sai Temple in Daramdin just 28 kms away. Other nearby attractions of Okrey are the view point Jureli Dara around 18 kms away, the Anden Olong Monastery (20 kms away), Kitan Falls, Dodak Helipad, Butterfly Shape Valley and numerous other view points. You can visit most of these destinations while travelling from Somabaria to Okhrey – they would fall on the way. Other attractions that you cover in a sightseeing trip of Okhrey are Devi Falls, Gathang alls, the EPC church (one of the oldest churches of Sikkim) and a LepchaMuseum.

okhreyThings to do at Okhrey: Trekking is the favourite activity of the tourists visiting Ohkrey. The towering mountains on the northern part of Okhrey also beckon the adventurous tourists to enjoy a rambling walk along the winding mountainous paths. Most tourists travel to Hilley by car from Okhrey (10 kms) and start the 4 kms long Hilley – Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary trek. The sanctuary offers excellent views of Kanchenjungha and endless stretches of Rhododendrons in their array of red, pink and white colours. Birdwatching is another great activity to be enjoyed from Okhrey.

Best time to visit Okhrey: Okhrey can be visited throughout the year. You can enjoy magnificent views of Kanchenjungha in October to January. To see Rhododendrons in full bloom, you should visit Okhrey from mid of March to mid of April every year. Birdwatching can be enjoyed throughout the year.

How to go ?

Okhrey is located at a distance of 130 km. from the New Jalpaiguri station. A number of trains halt at the New Jalpaiguri station. Regular jeep services are available from Jorethang. It takes about an hour to reach the destination. The route from New Jalpaiguri is Teesta Bazar – Jorethang – Sombaria – Okhrey.

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Where to stay ?

Okhrey has not many accommodation facilities. One option is:
The Varsey Retreat: +919800398309

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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padamchen

Padamchen, Sikkim – A village surrounded by a forest full of bird chirps

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Lying in the slopes of the Himalayan foothills, Padamchen is a village surrounded by a forest full of bird chirps. The two factors making this village on Silk Route circuit one of the best place for staying are the waterfall and its excellent weather conditions. It is a good halt before climbing the high-altitude Nathang Valley or Kupup Lake. Padamchen rests at an altitude of 7,000 ft and is splendid in its own way. It is 8 kms from Zuluk and 14 kms from Rongli. It boasts of the breathtaking landscape and winding roads. The panoramic village of the Sikkim Silk route circuit truly offers a refreshing relief. The Heritage Forest Rest house at Padamchen will take you to the older days of the Forest Officers and Sahibs, who used to travel this way.

PadamchenPlaces to see at Padamchen: The thick virgin temperate forest surrounds the Padamchen village and is an ideal place for the avid bird watchers. The village offers shelters to a wide range of birds like Fulvettas, Laughing thrushes, Steppe Eagles, Honey Buzzards, Wrens, Tits, Pheasant and many more and others. The forests witness occasional visitors like Leopards and Himalayan Black Bear. You can also take an early-morning sunrise trip to watch the panoramic sunrise over the majestic Kanchenjungha from Thambi View Point at 11,200 feet.

Nearby attractions of Padamchen: Padamchen is an excellent base for sightseeing of the other notable places in the Silk Route circuit. The three-level zigzag roads of Zuluk, the placid Kupup Lake, Nathang Valley and all other destinations of the Old Silk Route circuit can be covered in a day trip from Padamchen. Thambi View Point located at 11,200 feet, which offers a mesmeric view of Kanchenjungha and Lungtung Dhupidara is around an hours drive away after crossing the zig-zag roads.

Drive for another 30 minute and you will reach the placid Kalpokhri Lake, Kupup Lake and Adi Baba Mandir. The contour of the Kupup Lake has striking similarity with elephant and thus it’s also popularly called Elephant Lake. The highest golf course in the world is located near Kupup Lake and so is the Jelepla Pass. Those who desire to explore further afield can experience the rewarding view of the beautiful Tsomgo Lake and reach Gangtok.

Things to do at Padamchen: Take the early morning sunrise-trip from Padamchen to Thambi View Point to witness the spectacular sunrise over the mighty Mt.Kanchenjungha range. The zig-zag road leading to Thambi View Point crosses some of the unexplored parts of the region and offers some spectacular views of the Eastern Himalayas.

Best time to visit Padamchen: The weather of Padamchen remains conducive all through the year. Unlike the upper regions of the Silk Route circuit, winter in Padamchen is not that chilling and the region also experiences good sunshine. However, the region becomes quite cold during deep winter (January to March).

How to go ?

Padamchen is around 14 kms from Rongli but you would need permits to enter Padamchen (even Indian citizens) as it is guarded by the Indian Army. To reach Padamchen, you have to carry your proof of Indian citizenship and permits are arranged at Rongli Checkpost.

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Where to stay ?

Padamchen has a number of home stays. However, the best place to stay at Padamchen is the Govt. Forest Guesthouse. The Guest house is well furnished with comfortable sofas, fireplaces, wood-panelled walls and wooden floors. Staying in the guest house will offer you an unforgettable experience of living within forest. Recently, the Forest Guest house has been decked with tourist facilities like hot water-geysers, electricity and separate dining area. Food is essentially Indian and based on fixed menus but all food served here is organic and locally sourced.

For booking information you may contact: +91 (03592)-22978, 22330

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Pelling

Pelling, Sikkim – At an altitude of 7200 ft the place is bestowed with magnificent natural beauty

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Located in the district of West Sikkim Pelling is bestowed with magnificent natural beauty. It lies at an altitude of 7200 feet, and from here you can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped peak of Mt.Kanchenjunga and other peaks of the Eastern Himalayas. Pelling comprises two localities – Upper Pelling and Lower Pelling. Pelling is the tourist hub for travelling to various nearby destinations of West Sikkim like Khecheopalri Lake, Rimbi Waterfalls, Kanchenjungha waterfalls, Temi Tea Garden, Rabdentse Ruins, Sewaro Rock Garden and Pemyangtse. Besides the panoramic views of the Himalayas, Pelling is also famed for being the home to some of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim like the Pemyangtse Monastery and Sang Da Choeling Monastery.

PellingPlaces to see at Pelling: Savour the panoramic view of the splendid Kanchenjangha and other snow covered Himalayan peaks from Pelling. Pelling offers wonderful view of some peaks like Rathong, Frey, Kabru Dom, Pandim, Narsing, Tinchikhang, Siniolchu and Kanchenjungha.  You will be truly amazed by viewing the earliest monastery of the region, the Pemayangtse Monastery, belonging to the Nyingapa sect.

The monastery offers visual pleasure by its impeccable sculptures and wall paintings. If you are visiting the monastery in January-February, you can witness a religious dance called ‘Cham’. Locate the Rabdantse Ruins, which is 10 minutes walk away from the Monastery. You will also find a forest area nearby, admired with some exotic orchids and few lakes. Pelling also features a helipad ground, though there is no provision for regular air service.

Nearby attractions of Pelling: You can make a trip to visit some of the prominent locations around Pelling. The Changey Waterfall, located at a distance of 10 km. from Pelling is worth visiting.  Tourists also travel a distance of 28 km. to view another Pellingspectacular waterfall, the Kangchendzonga waterfalls. Make a trip to the site of Khecheopalri Lake, highly acknowledged as one of the holy lakes in Sikkim. Surprisingly, there is not a single leaf on the lake surface, which is said to be cleared by birds. The other two major tourist attractions are the Rimbi Water Falls and Karchen Power House. You will truly enjoy your visit to the Sewaro Rock Garden, admired with flowers, fountains, spectacular gardens, ponds, swimming pool, cafeteria and well-maintained rocks. A fair called Maghe mela is also celebrated at the site.

Things to do at Pelling: Peling is a great place for monastery trek. You can take part in a 3 day trek, from Pelling to Kechapalari lake and then to Yuksum and finally to Tashiding. Enjoy a nature walk along the pathways of Pelling. You can also try your hand in fishing at Rimbi, where you can angle a local fish called Assala. There are few shops in Pelling, displaying an array of gift items, post cards, maps etc. You need to bargain a little, if you intend to buy from those shops.  You can also take a short 30 mins nature walk to Sang Da Choeling Monastery – which is one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim. Pelling is also popular as a bird watching destination.

Best time to visit Pelling: You can visit Pelling round the year, though it is good to avoid the rainy season.

How to go ?

The nearest railway station of Pelling is located at New Jalpaiguri at a distance of 135 km. There are regular trains like Darjeeling Mail, Kachenjungha Express, Kanchankanya Express, Teesta Torsa and others from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri. Hired cars are available from New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Jorethang and Namchi to Pelling. The nearest airport from Pelling is the Bagdogra airport.

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Where to stay ?

Himalayan Retreat and Resort
Ph: (+91) 9007358444 /  9432324780
Kolkata Office :  (+91) 033 24309371 / 033 32941172

Hotel Sikkim Aurora
Ph.:  (+91) 9732258987, 9434591378

Norbu Gang Resort:
Ph.:  (+91) 03595-258272, 919933004492/93/96

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Sribadam

Sribadam, Sikkim – A beautiful forest village which is famous for the meditation centre

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Sribadam is a beautiful forest village which is famous for the meditation centre and the healing of sick people in the monastery. It is the ultimate destination for enjoying the inner peace of mind and meditation. The place is also well known for the Phurpa Thordo Puja and real Cham Dance at the monastery. Sribadam rests at an altitude of 2100 meters above the sea level and is 82 km away from Gangtok. Laying in the valley this remote village of Sribadam (Sreebadam) is basically a small, but a well maintained forest village and comprises around 300 families, including the population of Bhutia, Subba and Gurung. From the village you can enjoy the views of Samduptse (Namchi) on the opposite hill and the Reshi River flowing through the gorge below. The place is renowned for its natural, cultural and religious aspects. The word Sribadam was originally Siribatam that means open space or flat land in the Limboo (tribe) language. The essence of the Sikkimese culture and tradition can be seen and felt at Sribadam.

Places to see at Sri Badam: The nearby Phuntsok Choeling Monastery famous for its meditation centre all over Sikkim and its neighbouring state as well as in countries like Nepal and Bhutan. The monastery is also well known for healing people from any kind of sickness which is cured by religious ritual and practices. The Nyingmapa Palyul Dechen Gawelling Monastery known for its famous Phurpa Tordo Puja and Cham Dance (Mask Dance) that is performed during the month of December every year. There are three natural lakes and one artificial lake at Sribadam. Lakes like Bhaishi Pokhori, Jhor pokhori are well known. Bhaishi Pokhori is in a sacred location in the forest of Sri Badam. The Bhaishi Pokhri has numerous amount of fishes and is forbidden from fishing. There is a road built by the British for their horses in the middle of Sribadam forest and Ganesh Tok.

You can also visit the Woodwork Industry where designs are carved on the wood plank and tables known as Thockchi, Holy seat for Rimpoches [ABOOT] are made. If you are adventure loving then trekking around the Wildlife Sanctuary at Sribadam will be a different experience. There are two waterfalls near Sri Badam. The Ramay Dham dara known for its varieties of flowers and is a place where Rishi (sadhus) perform pujas of various kinds.  The famous 10 Buddhist praying wheel that is powered by water current is also nearby. The temple of Om Nandha (God Angel) is also famous for its meditation center. The unique 17 stairs leading to Jhandi Dara in the middle of Sribadam forest which was built during the British period is also a place to visit when you are at Sribadam.

Nearby attraction of Sribadam: You can visit the Rishum monastery, which is around 20 minutes by car from Sri Badam. A trek route leads to the famous Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. You can visit the hot spring at Legship and also the famous Daramdin Sai Temple. From Sribadam you can visit Solophok and Samdputse at Namchi. The Singshore Bridge at Uttarey and even Khecheopalri Lake can be visited during a half day sightseeing. The Shrijanga Temple is just 13 km from Sribadam. The Vhir Dara Tourist Point, well known for great views of Kanchenjuga and sunrise can be visited from Sri Badam easily.

You can even visit Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali (home at Rinchenpong). People visiting Sribadam during the month of January can visit Jortehang Maghay Mela which is held for 2 weeks. People interested in adventure sports can visit Chakhung and enjoy Paragliding from Chakung till Jorethang. You can also visit Chakung garden and have a walk on top of hill with front view of Namchi Jortehang Darjeeling and the snowy Himalayas. Rinchenpong monastery is also a famous sightseeing destination to visit from here. You can even go to Darjeeling which is around 2.30 hours from Sribadam.

Things to do at Sribadam: You can visit the monastery and meditate there as the monastery is known for its meditation centre and if required you can also get healed from any kind of the sickness from this monastery. If you want to trek there is a route to the famous Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary. During December one can enjoy mask dance or Cham dance at Nyingmapa Palyul Dechen Gaweiling. Mountain cycling in the forest areas as well as in the village areas can be enjoyed. Old Traditional Bhutia, Subba houses can be visited. The Sribadam ground is actually a valley making it favourable for kite fliers, so people can enjoy kite flying. Trout fishing at the two rivers in Sribadam can keep anglers busy. You can even enjoy the traditional Bhutia, Limbu (Chaprung), Nepali, Lepcha, Tamu dances and local instrumental tunes. The forests of Sribadam are well known for bird watching too. Sunrise over the mountains can be seen.  The Old Lenchay monastery can be visited, which is a part of Pemayantse and Enchey monastery.

Best time to visit Sri Badam: Sribadam can be visited any time of the year. You can even visit the place during rainy seasons for enjoying the trout fishing and also for the Meditation which takes place during the monsoon season for 2 weeks. However, if you want views of the mountains then the best time is from the month of October till mid May as the skies are clear. Moreover, guests interested in Cham dance and the Phurpa Tordo Puja which last for 2 weeks must visit the place during December.

How to go ?

From New Jalpaiguri / Siliguri you can reach Sribadam through two routes. One is via Darjeeling – Jorethang – Soreng; the other one via Melli – Jorethang – Soreng . Hired cars are available from NJP to Jorethang and from Jorethang to Sribadam.

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Sribadam Guest HouseWhere to stay ?

There is only one guest house at Sribadam. This guest house contains of one single room and 2 double bedrooms and 1 triple bedroom with all standard facilities like television, hot water, attached bathrooms and even internet connections. Both non-veg and veg food are available which are all organic and produced in the guest house’s own farm. Meats, eggs, milk and local drinks are available at the Sribadam guest house. For booking details you may contact:

Sribadam Guest House: (-91) 08902232559

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Varsey

Varsey, Sikkim – Home to a wide variety of plant and animal life

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The Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is located in the western part of Sikkim between the Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve in the north and Singalila National Park in the south. The altitude of the sanctuary ranges from 2,200 m to 4,100 m and is the Varseyhome to a wide variety of plant and animal life. The Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary or the Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary forms border with West Bengal and Nepal and can be reached from three points, Dentam, Hilley and Soreng.

Places to see at Varsey: The main attractions of this place are the different species of Rhododendrons blooming in various colours. The most popular variety of this species is the red coloured ones, apart from the pink and white varieties as well. The sanctuary also houses many other species of plant life like oaks, Magnolia and pine along with various species of Himalayan animals like Black Bear and Red Panda.

Nearby attractions from Varsey: From Varsey Sanctuary, you can visit Dentam, Hilley and Soreng. Hilley is located within 4 km trek from Varsey. The trail to Hilley is covered with different species of rhododendrons.

VarseyThings to do at Varsey: The best thing to do while in Varsey is to go for hiking. The Hilley – Varsey hike is a moderately easy trek that can be easily completed in one or two hours. The Hilley – Varsey trail passes through brightly coloured species of blooming rhododendrons. The trek covers a total distance of 4 km and the walk along the Singalila will offer you exquisite glimpses of Kanchenjunga Range.

Best time to visit Varsey: The best time to visit Varsey is during the spring time which comprises of the months of April and May when the whole area turns red with rhododendrons. However, if you want some glimpses of the Kanchenjunga, then the months of October and November is the best time as the weather remains clear at that time. From December to March, the area becomes inaccessible as it remains covered with snow.

How to go ?

You can take a night bus or train to reach Silguri or New Jalpaiguri from where you can rent hired cars to Jorethang. From Jorethang, another jeep-ride will take you to Hilley. You can also take a jeep-ride to Ribdi from where an 8 km walk can take you to Hilley. However, Varsey is a 4 km walk only.

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VarseyWhere to stay ?

When you visit Varsey, you will get accommodation at a lodge which offers both the facilities of dormitory beds and a double-bed room. Plus, the lodge also has dining facilities with different kind of foods including both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. For booking details you may contact:

Varsey Tourist/Guras Kunj lodge: (+91) 9475710312

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Zuluk

Zuluk, Sikkim – At an altitude of 3000 meters Zuluk is a quaint tourist destination

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Located in the lower Himalayas, at an altitude of 3000 meters Zuluk or Jhuluk is a hamlet in the East Sikkim, near the Indo-China border. It is a quaint tourist destination. For making a tour to Jhuluk you must have special permits. The place has a population of around 700 people. There is also an army base located that is used as a transit camp for army movement to the Chinese border, located a few kilometers away. It was a part of the popular silk route previously that connects Kalimpong to Tibet and used by traders mainly for travelling to Tibet. The entire area around Zuluk becomes snow covered in winters. However the rains in September, makes the whole region covered in wild flowers of all types. This small village of Zuluk is used as a base to see one of the most magnificent sunrise over Mt.Kanchenjungha.

ZulukPlaces to see at Jhuluk: The three-level zigzag roads of Jhuluk offer beautiful views of the Kanchenjunga and its mountain range. The other attractions of the place include lakes, temples and ‘Young Husband Track’, a route that leads to Tibet. Some of the forests situated around Jhuluk are completely unexplored and offer a variety of flora and fauna. Various kinds of animals found in the wild forests include Deer, Himalayan Bears, Wild Dogs, Red Pandas, Tigers and Snow Leopard. The list of birds includes Monal Pheasant, Khaleez Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Snow Pheasant and many more.

Nearby attractions of Jhuluk: From Jhuluk, you can reach Thambi View Point by driving on a winding road. Situated at an altitude of 11,200 feet; the spot offers excellent view of the entire eastern Himalayas. You can also go ahead and reach Lungtung, at an altitude of 13,000 feet to enjoy another complete panoramic view of Kanchenjungha.

ZulukAnother 30 mins drive would take you to Kalpokhri Lake, Adi Baba Mandir and Kupup Lake. The Kupup Lake (Bitang Cho lake) also known as Elephant lake owning to it shape which resembles and elephant is also a very popular destination. You would also find the highest golf course in the world near Kupup Lake. You can further travel Nathula Pass, New Baba Mandir Tsomgo Lake and reach Gangtok. Menmecho Lake, which is tyhe source of the Rangpo River is also visible in the distance from the road after crossing Kupup.

Things to do at Jhuluk: Your early morning trips from Zuluk village to nearby Lungthang or Thambi View Point would help you witness a grand sunrise over the entire Mt.Kanchenjungha range. The sunrise view points of Thambi and Lungthung offers a panoramic view of the valleys, roads and most of Eastern Himalayas. The road to Lungthung would cross some of the untouched parts of the region and you can catch a glimpse of some rare birds like monals in this region too.

Best time to visit Zuluk: The beauty of Zuluk is breathless in every season. Just after the rainy season in September, the valleys get covered in wild flowers. In April and early May, Zuluk is covered in blooming Rhododendrons and the winter months witness around 6 feet of snow. If you are aiming for the most memorable sunrise of your lifetime, then visit during the winters.

How to go ?

The Zuluk trip is operated as package tours because you would need special Inner Line permits (even for Indian citizens) and exclusive Reserved Cars. The trips are usually operated from destinations like Sillery Gaon in West Bengal, Reshikhola or Mankhim (in Sikkim). The usual packages are 3 Nights – 4 Days and 4 Nights – 5 Days (ex New Jalpaiguri / Siliguri or Bagdogra).

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ZulukWhere to stay ?

Not many hotel facilities are available at Zuluk. You can stay at:
Sky High Resorts: (+91) 8697127316,  9836739437,  9836020731,  9830078453.

You can also opt to stay at homestays at Zuluk.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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Uttarey

Uttarey, Sikkim – A beautiful village where the natural beauty is in abundance

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Uttarey, a small village is bordered by Bhutan, Tibet, West Bengal and Nepal and is located on the northern slope of Singalila Range in West Sikkim. The place slowly emerging as a satellite township is only 150 km from Siliguri and 140 km from Gangtok. It is a beautiful village where the natural beauty is in abundance lying amidst a valley of herbal plants surrounded by hills where the Rhododendron blooms in a never-ending array. One of the gateways of Singalila trek, Uttarey is a village where nature has bestowed all her beauties with utmost generosity and that is very much evident in the un- ending greenery of the area.

UttareyPlaces to see at Uttarey: There is an old monastery that is beautifully decorated with flower garden and beautiful mountains in the surrounding. Then, there is the Singshore Bridge which is the second highest gorge bridge in Asia. The Simphok Khola river flows beside this little village which is admired by a beautiful valley of herbal plants. You can hike along the surrounding mountains to visit a nearby Manghim (temple) or a lake. Eco-tourism in this village can be really exciting, especially for tourists who love nature. You can also make a soft hike to a Trout Fishing Centre nearby and the beautiful Mainbus Waterfalls (4 kms away).

Nearby attractions from Uttarey: You can hire a car and go out for a visit to nearby places like Pelling, Pamyangtse, Kaluk, Dentam Valley, Changey Falls, Hee Bermiok, Chaaya Taal, Rinchenpong and other destinations in West Sikkim.

UttareyThings to do at Uttarey: You can trek till Chitrey and get to see trout cultivation in cultivation centre. Those interested in trekking can go for it till the top of Singalila via Chitrey and Chiyabhanjan. Adventure lovers can go out for short treks through forests to Barsey and Hilley or to Mainbus Waterfalls. In Uttarey, you can always take a nature walk along the surrounding hills and forests, take up soft treks to nearby monasteries and waterfalls. From Uttarey, you can also take up a 4 Nights 5 days Phoktey Dara trek from where you can see sunrise over Mt.Kanchenjungha, Mt.Everest and Mt.Kumbhakarna at the same time. This heavenly view has been described by most trekkers as the most beautiful sunrise of the Himalayas.

Best time to visit Uttarey: The pleasant climatic condition of Uttarey is favourable for all kind of visitors from any part of the world. The place offers a pleasant climatic condition as the temperature remains moderate in almost all season. So, you can visit this beautiful place during any time of the year. However, if you are planning to see the blooming of Rhododendrons, then March is the best month and winter is best for treks and hikes.

How to go ?

If you are travelling by air, then nearest airport is Bagdogra which is some 160 km from Uttarey. The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri. Transport is also available from Pelling to Uttarey. Moreover, the place is well connected with Siliguri and Gangtok by cars.

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UttareyWhere to stay ?

There are now many private hotels and resorts available in the place which also offers dining facilities as well. However, most of the hotels in Uttarey are located in the valley without panoramic views of mountains. There is only one hotel located at Upper Uttarey (Gumbadara), which is around 10 mins by car from Uttarey valley. This hotel has the best panoramic view of Uttarey valley on one side and the rolling mountains up to Jelepla Pass on the other side. This beautiful resort is located at the side of a lake and a monastery. It is a beautiful guest house with all modern facilities like hot water geysers, satellite TV,  dining hall, extra spacious carpeted bedrooms, western bathrooms and a beautiful lobby. Few options are:

Pali Ghar Resort: (+91) 09735001687
Green Valley Treks and Tours: (+91) 9733084992/9734958887/9733165507/9475009575
Nagbeli Hotel & Resort: (+91) 8972554514/ 9733210853 / 8371870988

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.
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