Yumthang

Why To Go

The Yumthang Valley, popularly called ‘Valley of Flowers’ is located in the north Sikkim district of Sikkim state, with lush greenery, river, hot springs, meadows and pastures and enclosing the Himalayan range.

The valley is one of the upcoming tourist spots in the state of Sikkim and is known for its greenery which is dotted with colourful flowers of various kinds. The valley is located at an altitude of over 3500 metres from the sea level. The little valley of Yumthang is also known for its rhododendron forests, which has over 24 species of flowers. In fact, there is a rhododendron sanctuary quite nearby where the flowers blossom with rich hues of colours to cover the valley, beautiful sight to experience…

A tributary of the river Teesta flows past the valley of Yumthang. Tourists come from all over the world to visit the town between October and May, mostly on their way to the Yumthang Valley and the Lachung Monastery. The valley is located 140 km from Gangtok.

Travel Tips

Make sure you plan your trip during the best time to visit Yumthang so that you have the most impeccable experience possible. However, if you want to enjoy a clear sky and brilliant view of snow-capped mountains, then the time of September – December would be an ideal time to visit this place. Another good time to visit Yumthang is from February to May when the colourful flowers are in full bloom and you can experience the Losar festival, too. The flowering plants are in full bloom then and the terrain looks exquisitely beautiful. Make sure you carry warm cloches as the weather can get really cold up there. Don’t forget to carry your essential toiletries and medicines especially the one for high altitude sickness. Carry enough cash with you as ther are no ATMs in Yumthang. Prefer staying for a night at Lachung and begin your journey to Yumthang only early in the morning, as the evening gets darker and foggier quite early at around 5:30p.m. here. Make sure your shoes are sturdy enough. If you are not too comfortable with the food in the hills, you can carry your own munchies or find a decent restaurant in Sikkim. It is not advisable to travel here in winter. The entire valley gets snow covered and the village is closed down.

Things To Do

The Yumthang Valley is best known for its natural beauty. The valley is popularly known as ‘the valley of flower’. Explore the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. Visit the zero point. There are a large variety of flowering plants in the valley that adorn the landscape. The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is one of the popular tourist spots. That has 40 different varieties rhododendrons. However it is not only rhododendrons that are found here. Since the valley is situated close to the China border, the whole area is under the control of the army. The other trees that you can see in the sanctuary are Aconites, Saxifrages, Primulas, Potentillas, Poppies, and Gentians. There are also several species of animals and birds that can be found in the forest here. Some of the ones that you might come across are Goral,Tigers, Serow, Spotted Linsang, Hill Partridge, and Blood Pheasant. The valley is also a popular destination for skiing. You can enjoy Himalayan cuisines like rice and momos which are available all across Sikkim.

Getting Around

Cars are the best way to move around once you have reached the Yumthang Valley. Jeeps can be easily hired from the nearby towns. You can also get cars from the local car renting facilities. In case of short distance travel, walking is the only way.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

If you wish to take a flight to Yumthang, the Pakyong Airport near Gangtok is the closest airport. This airport became operational since September, 2018 and currently connects to Guwahati and Kolkata only. From the airport, hire a cab or a prepaid taxi and reach Yumthang. Alternatively, you can reach Bagdogra Airport and from there reach Gangtok via taxi or hired cabs and then reach Lachung through cab change. Generally it takes around a day to reach from Bagdogra to Yumthang valley.

TRAIN

Lachung Railway Station is near to the city if your are planning to have a train journey. Upon reaching the station, you can take any of the public transports and make your way to Lachung before leaving for Yumthang. Alternatively, you may travel to New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, which is around 190 km from the capital and then reach to Yumthang via taxi or buses, which is just 2 hours drive.

ROAD

There are direct bus routes between Gangtok and Yumthang. You can take a taxi or a jeep from any of the nearby important towns which will take you directly to the hill station here. You can take a cab from Siliguri to Yumthang. The distance between Gangtok and Yumthang is about 150 km. The quickest route is to go to Gangtok and from there take a jeep to Lachung. From Lachung you can take a jeep to Yumthang after you have stayed there for the night. Lachung is roughly 110 km from Yumthung and takes 2 hours app. to reach the town.

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Surrounding Attractions

The Yumthang Valley Shiv Mandir is one of the nearby spots of tourist attraction. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the northern part of the valley. Visit the beautiful tiny village of Lachen that would captivate your mind with its breathtaking views. The rive Yumthang Chu is another spot that would refresh your soul. The hot water springs here are also quite popular amongst tourists and are great spots if you are looking to have a picnic. Located at an elevation of 15,000 ft. and 23 km away from Yumthang, the place Zero point where the road ends and you can behold the meeting of three rivers and snow clad mountains is a must visit.
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