Monday, April 30, 2012

Sikkim: Day Walks and Short Treks


Short Treks/ Day Walks There are a number of short one day and half day treks in Sikkim which are suitable for visitors who do not have the time to do the longer treks. 


1 Rabangla (2100 m) to Mainom Top (3200 m)
Time: one day Level: Moderate
Ideal Season: October to mid December and mid March to end May.
Location: South Sikkim
Getting there and out
By Road: The town of Rabangla is about three hours drive from Gangtok on the main highway that connects Gangtok with the district headquarters of West Sikkim Gyalsing. There are SNT bus services between Gangtok and Gyalsing, which leave in the morning (7 am) and go through Rabangla. The route would be Gangtok-Ranipul-Singtam- Temi Tarku-Rabangla. Alternatively, there are share jeeps from the jeep stand above MG Road and the Tourist Office. It is also possible to approach Rabangla from the other direction i.e. from Pelling or Gyalsing by taking a bus or a jeep- the time taken would be about two hours from Pelling and the route would be Pelling-Gyalsing-Legship-Kewzing-Rabangla. It is also possible to approach Rabangla from Siliguri by taking a bus or a jeep to Namchi (three hours from Siliguri), the district headquarters of South Sikkim and then taking a jeep from there (one and a half hours from Namchi). There are small hotels and lodges to stay at Rabangla, the best one being the cute Mt Narsing Resort with its wooden cottages. on the hillside.
Route: Walk through the main Rabangla bazaar past all the shops on both sides and follow the jeepable road for about 20 minutes. This is the road, which eventually leads to the Ralang monastery. The road begins to climb and after about 20 minutes there is a sign to the right proclaiming the entrance to the Mainom Wildlife Sanctuary. The trail now leaves the jeepable road and begins to climb steeply through the forest.. The four-hour steep climb along a well-trodden path brings the trekker to the top of Mainom, which towers above the town. During he spring season , especially March and April the rhododendron display is quite spectacular. On a clear morning the hill top has a view of the peaks of the Kangchendzonga range. The way down should not take longer than two hours.
2 Damthang (1650 m) to Tendong (2600 m)
Time : one day Level: Easy to Moderate
Ideal Season: October to mid December and mid March to end May.
Location: South Sikkim
Getting there and out
By Road : The town of Damthang is located fourteen kilometres away from Namchi, the district headquarters of South Sikkim on the Gangtok-Namchi (via Temi) road. It would be accessible from Gangtok on the Gangtok- Namchi bus or jeep service and the time taken would be about three hours. Damthang is also one hour away from Rabangla and so this trek can be combined with the Mainom trek described earlier. In fact, it is better to stay at Namchi or Rabangla and travel to Damthang to do the trek as there is no suitable accommodation at Damthang.
Route: Above Damthang, overlooking the South District headquarters of Namchi, there is a small flat stretch of land at an altitude of 2600 metres surrounded by lush green ancient forest, which is popularly known as the Tendong Hill. Follow the main road from the small town of Damthang heading northeast and then take the trail through the dense forests of the Tendong Sanctuary . Historically, this has been a place of recluse for Buddhist Lamas who spend years in meditation amidst the silent peaks. The view from the top of the Tendong Hill is something to be remember as it spans across plains of Bengal to the majestic heights of the Himalayan ranges.. The climb to Tendong takes about three hours from Damthang. Tendong is a fine viewing point: to the east is the Chola peaks, to the west Kanchendzonga and the Singalila range, to the north east can be seen the peaks of the North Sikkim plateau including Gurudongmar. The way down should take about an hour and a half.
3 Hillay (2750 m) to Barsai ( 3000 m)
Time : half day Level: Easy Ideal Season: March and April
Location: West Sikkim
Getting there and out:
By Road: The Barsai Rhododendron Sanctuary lies in the south west corner of the West Sikkim district., spread over 104 sq. km, across the razor sharp Singalila Range, which forms the natural international border with Nepal. Barsai is approachable from Hilley. Hilley is about an hour from Sombaria, which is about an hour’s drive from Jorethang. Siliguri to Jorethang will be about three hours and Gangtok to Jorethang about three and a half hours by share jeeps. It is not possible to reach Hilley directly from either Gangtok or Siliguri unless you book a full jeep. A Trekker's. hut exists in Barsai amidst the Rhododendron forests at 3, 000 metres commanding a glorious view of the Kanchendzonga  Range. For tourists on a shoe string budget, dormitory facility with bedding is also available. The booking can be done from the Tourism Department, Gangtok or directly at Barsai if rooms are available.
Route: The bridle path from Hilley to Barsai heads due north along the Singalila ridge with views of the mighty Kanchendzonga right up ahead. The distance is around four kilometres and being a gradual climb should take about an hour and a half. It is possible to leave Hillay in the early morning and be back by lunch time but it is more interesting to stay at Barsai for a night to see the views and also enjoy the rhododendron forests. During March and April this part of the trail is ablaze with rhododendron blossoms and is a delightful day walk with stunning views.
4 Pemayangtse to Sangacholling Monastery
Time: half day Level: Easy
Ideal Season: October to May Location: West Sikkim
Getting there and out
By Road: The town of Pelling is about six hours drive from Gangtok. There are SNT bus services between Gangtok and Pelling, which leave in the morning (7 am). The route would be Gangtok-Ranipul-Singtam- Temi Tarku-Rabangla-Kewzing-Legship-Gyalsing-Pelling. . Alternatively, there are share jeeps from the jeep stand above MG Road and the Tourist Office. It is also possible to approach Pelling from Siliguri by taking a bus (SNT from the SNT Bus stand 11.30 am or a share jeep depending on the availability of passengers. The time taken would be around 5 to 6 hours. The route then would be Siliguri-Teesta Bazar-Melli-Jorethang-Legship-Gyalsing-Pelling. There are numerous hotels in Pelling and its is usually an acclimatization stop for a day before the Dzongri trek.
Route: This is a walk from Pemayangste to Sangacholling following the ridge, which joins the two monasteries. From Pemayangtse monastery follow the main road to Pelling which will take about half an hour of easy walking. The road is flat and on a good day there are brilliant views of the peaks right across the valley. From Pelling village walk upto the Pelling playing field cum helipad and then follow the trail on the southern side of the field. There is now a stiff one-hour walk upto Sangcholling. On a clear day the Darjeeling ridge can be seen to the south. To the north is visible all the peaks of the Kangchendzonga range as well as some of the most important monasteries in west Sikkim perched on the hill tops to the north and east, including Khechuperri, Pemayangtse and Dubdi.

1 comment:

  1. Certianly, valuable information, traveling shortly this place just for hiking.

    ReplyDelete

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