- 145 km ( from Gangtok )
Altitude - 12000 ft.
Note : It is a restricted area and special
permits are required.
At 24 kms from Lachung lies Yumthang, the rightfully
called the Valley of Flowers as in Flowering season there blossoms vivid
colours of variety of Rhododendrons, chimals and blue poppies. Yumthang
is located on a flat valley and is near the tree line, the surrounding
mountains seems to kiss the heavens. The journey from Lachung to
Yumthang has a very picturesque landscape and is lined with
Rhododendrons & 108 other types of Orchids which bloom in different
colours from April to May. "Come as a visitor for a life-time
experience." April and May promises colourful flowers, where as November
end to March usually sees snows. Simple village folks spread scarcely
admit the virgin landscapes is a food forever. Another peculiar feature
of the valley is that, the valley totally covered with snow during the
winter. Hence, while you see the flower bed in summer, you see snow bed
in the winter.
A natural hotspring is another
attraction of the tourist who are said to have had relief of their skin
ailment after having bath there. The visit is on the passing of Shingba
Yumthang valley is a mesmerizing scene
with yaks grazing on flower - carpeted meadows against a backdrop of
towering peaks. It has breathtaking views where one can become a part
of a timeless scene without any kind of intrusion.
Hot springs, crystal clear streams, water falls,
soaring mountains and natures bounty, you name it, you will find it
Photographs of the natural scenes of Switzerland and Yumthang valley
look so similar that it is difficult to distinguish between them.
Yumthang which is at an altitude of 12,000 ft is situated about 135 kms
from Gangtok in North Sikkim. But going there is like travelling 135
years back in time - it is so remote and almost untouched by the
vagaries of civilisation. It is well known for its hot springs to reach
which one has to walk a few hundred yards from the road and across a
pedestrian bridge on the River Lachung. For the convenience of bathers a
hut with two pools in which the hot spring water collects has been
constructed. Hot water rich in sulphur, emanates from a spring just
behind the hut and is diverted to the pools. It is difficult to imagine
that water so hot in its natural form could be found in a place so cold.
Yumthang is now open to foreigners and has also caught the fancy of
filmmakers and a part of some movies have been shot here. Although
Yumthang itself is located on a flat valley and is near the tree-line,
the surrounding mountains seem to touch the heavens. The route to
Yumthang from Lachung - adjoining the Singba Forest Reserve -has a very
picturesque landscape and is lined with rhododendrons which bloom at
their best in May. What is particularly interesting about the
rhododendrons of the Yumthang valley is that they bloom in different
colours unlike those in other parts of Sikkim which are usually red.
Tourists require an Inner Line permit which can be obtained with the
help of the travel agent to visit this place. During the tourist season,
the Tourism Department organizes package tours to Yumthang. Tours to
Yumthang are also organized by some local travel agents. Visitors are
not permitted to take their private vehicles to Yumthang. Yumthang has a
Forest Department Rest House but tourists are normally accommodated at
the Tourist Lodge named Yaksey 6 kms from Lachung towards Yumthang.
Yumthang itself has no population and the few yak herders around are
nomadic. Another 23 kms ahead of Yumthang are the hot springs of Yumey-
Sarndong on the river Sebu-chu at the foot of the mountain on which lies
the Donkiala pass that connects the Lachung valley to the Lachen valley.
These hot springs are located about 25 kms from
Gyalshing near Reshi on the River Rangit. One has to walk about ten
minutes from the highway across the River Rangit by a pedestrian bridge
to reach the hot springs. The water of these springs has medicinal value
as it contains sulphur and can cure some skin diseases. People from all
over the state and neighboring Darjeeling come here during the winter
months and spend days together lying submerged in the soothing water of
the hot spring. There are a couple of trekkers' huts for the convenience
of the tourists. These springs also considered very holy as one of the
four holy caves is located here. This holy cave is called the Kadosang
phu or cave of the occult fairies and lies on the south of the four
cardinal points. Kechopari Lake
Kechopari Lake at an altitude of about 6,000 ft is
located on a bifurcation on the road between Gyalshing and Yoksum.
Kechopari means the Wishing Lake. The water in this lake is placid and
crystal clear. Not even a leaf can be seen floating on the water surface
although there is a beautiful dense forest above the lake. It is said
that if a leaf drops on the surface of the water it is picked by a bird.
A trekkers' hut has been built near the lake for the convenience of the