India is one of the most intricate and rewarding dramas unfolding on earth. It is impossible not to be astonished by India. Nowhere on Earth does humanity present itself in such a dizzying, creative burst of cultures and religions, races and tongues. Every aspect of the country presents itself on a massive, exaggerated scale, worthy in comparison only to the superlative mountains that overshadow it. Perhaps the only thing more difficult than to be indifferent to India would be to describe or understand India completely. Set apart from the rest of Asia by the supreme continental wall of the Himalayas, the Indian subcontinent touches three large bodies of water and is immediately recognizable on any world map.
After breakfast, drive to the domestic airport to take flight for Bhadrapur. It takes 40 minute to reach Bhadrapur. On arrival, meet/assist with our Sikkimese Representative. Then, drive to Gangtok (1666 m, 5 hrs approx.). Transfer to the hotel.
Morning, visit Tsuklakhang Monastery (better known as Royal Monastery). The Royal Chapel of the Chogyals is the main centre for prayers with an assembly hall in the centre and large depository of Buddhist scriptures and literature and contains altars which are orated with Buddha, Bodhisattvas and Tantric deities. Tsukhalang Palace which served as a location for coronation, marriages and victory ceremonies among Sikkim royalty. Later, visit Cottage Industry, Research Institute of Tibetology. After lunch, visit Dodrul Chorten. Do Drul Chorten is the most significant and perhaps the biggest stupa in Sikkim. Located near Gangtok, Do Drul Chorten makes a major part of the itinerary in the East Sikkim. In 1945, this holy stupa was built under the direction of Late Truslshi Rimpoche, who was the head of Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Do Drul Stupa was built in compliance with the desire revealed by Dud-Zom Rinpoche in 1944. Later, drive to Rumtek and visit world famous Rumtek Monastery. It is known as the world’s richest monastery and is home to the community of monks and where they perform the rituals and practices of the Karma Kagyulineage. A Golden Stupa contains the relics of the 16th Karmapa. Opposite that building is a college, Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies.
Drive to Lachung, situated at northeast of Sikkim. It is at an elevation of about 3,000 m and at the confluence of the Lachen River and Lachung Rivers, tributaries of the River Teesta. The word Lachung means "small pass". Lachung was a trading post between Sikkim and Tibet, after which it was closed down. Most of Lachung's inhabitants are of Lepcha and Tibetan descent. During winter the town is usually covered in snow. Lachung is also the base camp for Rhododendron Valley Trek which starts from Yumthang Valley and ends at Lachen Valley. The main attractions of Lachung tourism include the Lachung Monastery, which is also known as the Lachung Gompa, and the Yumthang Valley, which is about 25 km from the town. The Lachung Monastery is a very old monastery, built in the year 1880.
Yumthang Valley is a grazing pasture surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains in the North Sikkim district of Sikkim, India. It is at an elevation of 3,575 m above sea level at a distance of 150 km from the state capital Gangtok. It is also home to the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, and has over twenty-four species of the rhododendron, the state flower. A tributary of the river Teesta flows past the valley and the town of Lachung, the nearest inhabited centre.
After breakfast, drive back to Gangtok (150 km). It takes 5 hours to cover the distance by car. On reaching, transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day free.
Drive to Pemayangtse (5 hours approx.). Visit Pemayangtse Monastery, the premier Nyinmapa Monastery in Sikkim and the Rabdentse Palace ruins. Pemayangtse means the "sublime lotus" was built in the 18 century and follows the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism. A must see for a visitor to Pelling is the "Zangdopalri" or vision of paradise housed within the confines of an entire room in the monastery. The late Dungzim Rimpoche or head monk built it single handedly over a period of seven years after seeing visions of paradise in his dreams. View the majestic Khangchendzonga peaks looming right in front of you (weather permits).
Breakfast in the hotel. Later, visit Sangachholing Monastery. This is the second oldest monastery in Sikkim built in the year 1695 by Lhatsun Namkha Zigme situated on a hill amidst thick pine forest opposite to Pemayangtse monastery. The admission in this monastery is limited to the families from Bhutia, Lepcha who are Buddhist by faith and the ethnic communities of Sikkim. Exursion to Khechopalri Lake, also known as the "Wishing Lake" as locals believes any wish made here comes true. Also enroute visit the Khangchendzonga falls.
In the morning after breakfast, drive to Bagdogra Airport to take flight for onward journey. It is a journey of 155 km and it takes 6 hours drive approx. On reaching, check in to the airport terminal and depart from Bagdogra.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
- Henry David Thoreau
Get lost and feel the mystic energy of the Himalayas with Shiva Treks