Yumesamdong / Zero Point
Yumesamdong / Zero Point, North Sikkim
Sikkim’s untouched beauty; Yumesamdong, is a valley on the Lachung River about 15 km ahead of Yumthang. It is situated at 4724 m altitude in the North East of the State, popularly known as the Zero point which means the motorable road for civilian ends here. There are no roads further, just the landscapes completely covered with snow offering a majestic view contrasting with the patchy blue sky in between the fresh icy breeze. The wind is strong here and the oxygen content is less because it is situated at a very high altitude with minimum vegetation.
The snow-capped mountains and ice-fed valley of Yumesamdong provide a perfect setting to capture the cold nature at its best. Yumesamdong is just an hour drive beyond Yumthang; popularly known as the Valley of Flowers because of its rich meadows and fragrant breeze. If you get lucky, you can even spot Yak and Blue sheeps around these areas which is extremely rare grazing on the pasture.
The place is adjacent to Chinese border. Thus it demands for an special permit, which can be obtained from the Tourist Information Center through any registered tour operator. By the way, foreign citizens are completely forbidden from visiting few places in North Sikkim and Nathu La pass.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Best time to visit Katao Valley is October to June as the weather is quite pleasant at that time of the year. During October to February you can play with snow and during March to Mid June you can see the Rhododendrons blooming all along the way. Monsoon season starts from July and ends by September. Heavy rains are expected in this places during these days due to the South-West monsoons. The heavy rains during this time will play a spoilsport with sightseeing plans so it is advisable to void travelling during these seasons.
HOW TO GET THERE
Airways: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal about 5 hrs drive from Gangtok. From Gangtok one has to drive to Lachen to visit this destination. Gangtok to Lachung or Lachen is 5 - 6 hours drive and requires Inner Line Permit (ILP). Sikkim also has got its first commercial airport at Pakyong, East Sikkim but weather hampers the operation of this airport most of the time. If you are lucky enough you can get a flight directly to Pakyong.
Railways: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal which is about 130 km from Gangtok.
Roadways: Yumesamdong / Zero Point is about 152 km from Gangtok, the capital city. You have to halt at Gangtok and start your journey towards North Sikkim the next day early morning after getting the necessary permits.