Yumthang, North Sikkim
Yumthang, situated at a height of 11800 feet is popularly known as 'Valley of Flowers', Located at a distance of 148 kms from Gangtok, it is a paradise for nature lovers with a fascinating blend of flora and fauna and breathtaking scenic beauty. In spring season, wild flowers such as primulas and Rhododendrons bathe the landscape in rich colours, making it a tourist hot spot. The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary over here has 24 species of Rhododendron flowers which bloom from April to May end.
Hot spring located on the right side of Yumthang river is a popular tourist attraction. In addition to a vast green meadow, lush green forest abounding in Pine and silver fir trees throngs the place. While driving towards the valley, one can see cascading waterfalls and streams.
6 kms away further North is Shiv Mandir. A drive or trek to this place can be very refreshing and exhilerating. Situated further up at a distance of 16 kms, at an altitude of about 16,000 feet is Yumesamdong. The rugged vegetation- free mountains, especially in the months of November-December and February¬March over here present a breathtaking scenario. The approach to Yumthang is from Lachung valley, situated at a height of 8000 feet. It is at a distance of 120 kms from Gangtok. It has a unique self-governing body called the Dzumsa, which substitutes the modern Gram Panchyat. The village, spread out on the either side of Lachung Chu, has managed to retain its unique culture and tradition.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Best time to visit Yumthang 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 on the hills nearby. 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, and about 220 km from Yumthang. 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 215 km from Yumthang.
Roadways: Yumthang is about 127 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.