Yumthang Valley

The famous Yumthang valley in North Sikkim lies 140km north of Gangtok. Lachung provides the base for exploration of Yumthang, the valley of flowers. Situated at an altitude of 11800 ft ( 3564m) with a close proximity of Tibet, Yumthang is a unique place where the tree line ends, but rhododendron and primula still bloom covering the whole area in a surreal shade.

Yumthang Valley also offers views of a stunning array of peaks with Pauhunri and Shundu Tsenpa. The best season for visiting the valley starts in late February and continues up to mid June, when thousands of colourful flowers are in full bloom. However, to enjoy a clear sky and brilliant view of snow-capped mountains, the September – December season would be ideal. During the summer months, villagers take their cattle to these heights to graze (a practice known as yaylagpastoralism). In view of increasing number of tourists, there is possibility of environmental degradation in the near future.

A cabin set against the mountains in Yumthang Valley

Stunning snow capped mountains in the region

A view of the valley in summer

The Valley has an astounding, over 24 species of Rhododendrons which paint the Valley red in spring. Rhododendrons are shrubs or trees, and different species of Rhododendron cover different large stretches of the Valley. In spring, the Valley looks like a collage of little forests of different colors. The flowering of Rhododendrons is over by May end. During monsoons, starting in June, the Valley blooms with all kinds of tiny Himalayan flowers, like the Primroses, Cinquefoils, Louseworts and Cobra-lilies. This is a much more enchanting scenario, but takes a keen viewer, with an eye for detail, to truly appreciate. A number of hot springs are scattered in the valley providing an unexpected opportunity to feel the warmth of the water even in freezing temperature. Rich in sulphur these springs are believed to have miraculous healing power.

Glacier fed streams in the region

Yumthang at its best - in winter

The valley of flowers starting to bloom

There is no accommodation available at the valley. Visitors may stay at Lachung from where the valley is about an hours drive. Accommodation in Lachung is basic and can not be compared to other destinations in Sikkim. Lachung has been described as the “most picturesque village of Sikkim” by British explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker in his definitive, The Himalayan Journal (1855). Skiing is conducted in Phuni near this town. The region has been opened to tourists during the recent years although trekking is still not allowed. Tourism infrastructure in the area is still very basic but fast improving. The road to Yumthang from Gangtok follows the Teesta River, crossing a spectacular gorge over the Rang Rang suspension bridge. The last major town is Chungthang about from where Lachung is an hours drive where tourists stay overnight.

A peek into valley life in the warmer season

A majestic view of the valley

The picturesque Lachung Village

The experience of visiting Yumthang Valley should not be missed. From the beautiful drive through breathtaking forests, the awe-inspiring views of the mountain ranges and peaks, the added attraction of staying at the wonderful hamlet of Lachung, and finally the incredible Yumthang Valley itself – tour operators in the area ( who are your only option for visiting locations in North Sikkim ) generally offer a 2 night, 3 day package, and with a little care in picking one with a good reputation – you can surely count on having one of the most pleasurable and memorable holidays of your life.

Another breathtaking view of the region

 

7 comments to Yumthang Valley

  • M BALAKRISHNAN

    This place is so exiting and wishes to travel as early as possible.

  • amit

    i just can`t believe what we have in our india i belong to himachal and just thought that my state is awesome ,still hav`nt seen it to it`s full extent ,but the pictures depict something not less than heaven.i wish to visit it.

  • Aditya Choudhary

    This is absolutely wonderful. Breathtaking. This will make sure even Uttarakhand,Himachal and Kashmir was left gaping for space. North East India is a tourists paradise.I hope our govt sees that it becomes a peaceful place and a place where tourists can flock without fear.

  • Thomas raju

    Beautiful pictures.very relaxing.Thanks to God.

  • suman dey

    Gantok to Yumthang Valley road condition is very poor/bad show be care full

  • BRM Reddi

    Yumathang valley is a paradise on earth, particularly in late june it is very colorful with plenty of flora blossoming. In fact if one has time and if the military officials permit, both Latchen and Latchung axis are a treat to watch, go upto geelagong , pass thangu and enjoy the Sila patthar and also the hot springs and the lake near Pt 4652.If health permits i wish to go once again upto the chineese post.

    BRM Reddi

  • Sumit

    why do people in India, waste their money to visit Switzerland, new Zealnad, etc. while India already has many exotic places all around. Govt did never take steps to promote tourism in these places.

Leave a Reply

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>