The Rhododendron Trail 9 Days

The Rhododendron Trail is designed to allow you to discover this floral rainbow, traveling in the comfort of a car. Best recommended for the local Spring season (April-May).

The tour takes you to the higher reaches of Tsomgo lake & the North Sikkim areas covering Lachung, Yumthang, Lachen & Thanggu. These areas vary in altitude from 8,200 ft. to 14,000 ft. and cover rhododendron reserves such as the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary near Gangtok and the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary near Lachung.

The itinerary offers you an introduction to the rhododendrons in Sikkim, as well and the countryside and some of the amazing views of Himalayan range.

  • Day 01 Arrive Bagdogra/Bhadrapur (Nepal), drive to Gangtok (5250 ft.)
  • Day 02 Full day tour in Gangtok
  • Day 03 Gangtok- Day Excursion to Tsomgo Lake/40 km (One way 02 Hrs)
  • Day 04 Gangtok-Lachen (122 Km- 06 Hrs.)
  • Day 05 Lachen-Thanggu ( 13,120 ft.) -Lachen (28 km One way -1 hours drive)
  • Day 06 Lachen-Lachung (8,850 ft.- 57 km. 2 hours )
  • Day 07 Lachung-Yumthang (11,800 ft.)-Lachung (24 km /1 hour drive one way)
  • Day 08 Lachung-Gangtok (approx. 123 km | Time: 6 Hrs.)
  • Day 09 Gangtok-Bagdogra- U.S or an extention

Day 01 Arrive Bagdogra/Bhadrapur (Nepal), drive to Gangtok (5250 ft.)

MEAL: Dinner

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred  through the Teesta valley to Gangtok (approx. 150 Km/7 Hrs.),  the capital of Sikkim, is a bustling town with a unique mix of the modern and the traditional.

Overnight at Gangtok. 

Day 02 Full day tour in Gangtok

MEAL: Breakfast/Dinner

Begin your day with a visit to the Rumtek Monastery, located 24 km. away. This magnificent Buddhist monastery established by the late Gyalwa Karmapa, the head of the Kagyupa sect is built as an exact replica of the original Kagyu monastery in Tibet. It is also the international headquarters of the Karma Kagyu centres.

On return to Gangtok, visit the Government Institute of Cottage Industry, a centre that offers you the opportunity to observe the local artisans at work and their skills being imparted to young boys and girls.

The next is Do-Drul Chorten, one of the most important stupas of Sikkim built by the late Venerable Trulsi Rimpoche in 1945-46. It contains a mandala of Dorji-Phurpa, holy texts, mantras and is encircled by 108 prayer wheels. Continue to Namgyal Institute of Tibetology , siituated close to the Chorten, this institute is a repository of the largest collection of Tibetan artifacts outside Tibet. Also renowned worldwide for the study of Buddhist philosophy and religion, it is a treasure house of rare Thankas, Buddhist icon and objects of art.

Continue to Flower Show Pavilion, located on the ridge above the city, this centre displays the floral diversity of Sikkim. The famed orchids of the state are on display as also a stunning variety of seasonal flowers.

Overnight at Gangtok.

Day 03 Gangtok- Day Excursion to Tsomgo Lake/40 km (One way 02 Hrs)

MEAL: Breakfast/Dinner

Located east of Gangtok at an altitude of 11,970 ft., the Tsomgo Lake is a typically beautiful mountain lake. The journey to the lake offers a magnificent view of Mt. Khangchendzonga and other peaks of Sikkim Himalayas.

A visit to the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary opens a world of high altitude rhododendrons. The route to Tsomgo lake and especially the area around the lake is abundant with R. dalhousiae, R. campanulatum, Barbatum. Spend the day exploring.

Return to Gangtok in the late afternoon and visit the local markets.

Overnight at Gangtok. 

Day 04 Gangtok-Lachen (122 Km- 06 Hrs.)

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Morning depart Gangtok for Lachen, driving through one of the most picturesque roads. Stop by view points, waterfalls and places of interest like Tashi  Viewpoint, Kabi Lungstok, Naga Waterfalls,  confluence  of  Lachen Chu (River)  and Lachung  Chu at Chungthang, Twin Waterfalls, Bhim Nala Waterfalls.

Arrive at Lachen by late afternoon or early evening and check in at hotel.

Lachen, a quaint little village the local community practices a traditional system of local governance – “Dzumsa”. The “Pipon” or the headman and his council are elected each year by the local families which implement all developmental projects in the area as well as social occasions like the Sikkimese New Year, “Losoong”, and even decides the date when yak & cattle herds are to be moved in summer & autumn.

Overnight at Lachen.

Day 05 Lachen-Thanggu ( 13,120 ft.) -Lachen (28 km One way -1 hours drive)

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

The drive to Thanggu takes you to high mountain country with fascinating snow peaks rising up the valley. The area around Thanggu, small summer village of the Lachen people, abound in R. campanulatum, R. wightii, R. pumilum, R. setosum a truly great experience. Enjoy the day, with lunch at the local inn, spent in this wondrous place.

Return to Lachen with rest of the day at leisure or free for optional activities. 

Overnight at Lachen. 

Day 06 Lachen-Lachung (8,850 ft.- 57 km. 2 hours )

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

After a leisurely morning, take a fairly short drive ahead to Lachung. The drive to Lachung passes through thick forests of Magnolia & oak and fir in the upper reaches.

Also, visit Lachung monastery in the afternoon.

Overnight at Lachung.  

Day 07 Lachung-Yumthang (11,800 ft.)-Lachung (24 km /1 hour drive one way)

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

After breakfast,drive to Yumthang. The road runs along the valley with snow capped mountains rising high up on either side. The journey is lit up with flaming rhododendrons and other mountain flowers. A visit to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, the only place where R. niveum, the state flower of Sikkim is found.

The entire stretch to Yumthang valley and beyond to Yumesamdong have hillsides covered with white R. ciliatum, purple R. niveum, R. arboreum, and forests of R. hodgsonii and R.thomsonii, all growing in their native habitats . Here you are in rhododendron heaven. Yumthang is a wide valley where the local herdsmen from Lachung camp bring their yaks and cattle during summer.

Return to Lachung and overnight.   

Day 08 Lachung-Gangtok (approx. 123 km | Time: 6 Hrs.)

MEAL: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Day 09 Gangtok-Bagdogra- U.S or an extention

MEAL: Breakfast

Transfer to airport and fly back home or extend your trip to Nepal or India.

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