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Yumthang Valley, Sikkim: Breathtaking Terrain, Rhododendrons and Snowline

Yumthang Valley

Yumthang Valley is the hidden paradise of natural beauty in the mountains of north Sikkim. Also known as Himalayan Valley of Flowers, the gorgeous Yumthang Valley houses a unique fusion of flora, fauna and nature’s various spectacles. This mountainous region is rare and exotic in nature. Its a place where the tree line ends.It is one of the favourite tourist spots for those who prefer a serene surrounding in the lap of snow clad mountains and serenity. 

Travlers who’ve been to Yumthang Valley are of the opinion that it changes in geographic character every season. Its beauty transforms constantly with the passing months. No wonder its terrain is capable of forming some of the most splendid backdrops for professional photographers and artists.

If Yumthang Valley is to be described in one word, I’d say – Breathtaking!!

Yumthang Valley

Milestone: Yumthang & Lachung. Photography by Meena Gurung

Yumthang Valley: An Overview

State Sikkim
District North Sikkim
Elevation 11,800 ft
Climate Cold
Famous For Rhododendron Flowers
Mode of Travel Road
Best Time to Visit March to June
Nearby Place Lachung
Nearest Airport Bagdogra Airport, West Bengal

Yumthang Valley

Yumthang Valley is the hidden paradise of natural beauty. Photography by Alok

How to Reach Yumthang Valley ?

The only way to reach Yumthang is via road. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal. You need to reach Gangtok from airport which is around 150 km away from Yumthang. After reaching, you can rent a vehicle to Gangtok for 1500-2000 rupees. You can also reach via train till New Jalpaiguri railway station and continue to Gangtok by taking a taxi which is available outside the railway station.

You need to take another taxi from Gangtok, which is available on sharing basis, to reach the valley. It is advisable to contact a local travel agency in Gangtok for your travel & stay in Yumthang as they know the roads better and the roads are quite narrow and meandering.

Yumthang Valley

The only way to reach Yumthang is via road. The nearest airport is Bagdogra . Photography by Divya

 Best Time to Visit the Yumthang Valley

Yumthang Valley sees the highest number of visitors during the months of March to June. I visited the place in the month of April when the temperature was not very low and I was lucky enough to see the valley painted in colourful rhododendrons. The valley is closed from December to February due to snowfall and road blockage. So make sure you don’t plan a trip during that time of the year. Else, a beautiful chance to witness nature will be lost.

Yumthang Valley

Best time to visit Yumthang Valley is between March to June. Photography by Naveen M.S.

Accommodation Options in Yumthang Valley

Hotels and accommodation are not available in Yumthang. The nearest place for accommodation is Lachung which is 26 km and an hour drive from Yumthang. It is a small village in the grand valley and lies between Gangtok and Yumthang.

Homestays and hotels are available in Lachung where both food and accommodation is provided along with decent facilities. Some famous names include Le Coxy Hotel, Yarlum Resort etc. Le Coxy is a good place to be with a home-like environment and a community gathering of the guests around the bonfire happens every evening.

Yumthang Valley

The nearest place for accommodation is Lachung. Photography by Chinmay Mandawat

Exploring Yumthang Valley: A Personal Experience 

 I started from Lachung to Yumthang early in the morning and the breathtaking Rhododendron forests on both sides of the road is so exhilarating that for a moment I felt like I never want to go back.  After the Rhododendron trail, I proceeded towards the Zero point beyond which vehicles are not allowed and you have to continue on foot. Trekking up the snow-clad mountain at 14,562 feet is one experience which one shouldn’t miss while at Zero Point.

Yumthang Valley

The entire terrain in and around Yumthang Valley is awe inspiring. Photography by Abu Yusuf

Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary of 24 Species

Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary lies within the Yumthang Valley. It is extremely rich in natural vegetation and consists of various species of plants . The chief attraction, however is the Rhododendron trees that are found here in plenty. There are around twenty four different species of Rhododendrons here. Due to these rhododendrons, the entire valley looks absolutely stunning. There are also trees like like Potentillas, Saxifrages, Primulas, Aconites, Poppies, Gentians etc.

Yumthang Valley

Yumthang Valley of Flowers comprises of many varieties of flora. Photography by Rohan Chaudhary

Zero Point

Zero Point, in Yumthang Valley is the last region before beginning of the snowline. It is located at an altitude of 17500 feet and is a 6 hour journey from Gangtok. So it is recommended that you acclimatize yourself before getting here. Else, you might feel a shortness of breath as well as altitude sickness.

The journey to the zero point is enriching with a lovely view. Zero Point point itself doesn’t have much landscape views except small frozen pieces of stream but the overall journey definitely beautiful.

Yumthang Valley

Zero Point is where the snow line begins. Photography by Sreshti Verma

Why Should Every Traveler Visit Yumthang Valley at least Once ?

The snow covered peaks and the greenery itself is reason enough to be in Yumthang Valley. The region is spectacular when it comes to landscapes. On one side there is partially snow covered mountains while on the other side a river is flowing with lush green pine trees growing on its banks. The locals say that it is one of the tributaries of the mighty Teesta river. Go there as there is nothing like Yumthang! This place has its own unique essence and aura.

Before I visited Yumthang, I thought only Uttarakhand has the famous Valley of Flowers. But, I would suggest you to make your travel plan to Yumthang too if you want to witness a valley full of blooming Rhododendrons of around 24  species and other varieties of exquisite wildflowers.

Yumthang Valley

The snow covered peaks and the greenery itself is reason enough to be in Yumthang Valley. Photography by Hari Prasad Nayak

Eating Options Near Yumthang Valley

Once you reach Yumthang valley, eating at the local dhabas on the parking junction is a must. I took thukpa and momos, then went on to explore the souvenir shops around and bought some take-back-home gifts

Yumthang Valley

Eating near the snowline is an experience in itself. Photography by Atharva Vaidya

Important Things to Carry on your Yumthang Valley Trip

Remember to carry  warm clothing in the form of jackets, hoodies, pullovers, snow boots and gloves as Yumthang Valley remains partially covered with snow throughout the year. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Carry water with you which has previously been boiled.

Yumthang Valley

Dress up warm and keep yourself hydrated at all times. Photography by Anurag Aggarwal

Travel Advice for First Time Visitors to Yumthang Valley

Reaching Yumthang will require break journeys and you might encounter bad road condition during rainy season but then to witness such heavenly beauty, such endurance is worth it. Try planning a trip for at least 2 nights to explore the place throughout. Depending on your budget you can plan. The package for 2 nights including food starts from 7000 rupees. Do not forget to carry plenty of cash as there are no ATMs around. Also, carry enough warm clothes, it is cold over there even during summer. Never ever plan a trip during winter. The temperature will be very low, sometimes below zero degree centigrade and the Yumthang Valley is usually closed during winter due to heavy snowfall and low temperature.

Yumthang Valley in Pictures

Yumthang Valley

Icicles on the way to Yumthang Valley. Photography by Adam

 

Yumthang Valley

The sacred flags all along North Sikkim are a delight to observe. Photography by Soumya Prasad

 

Yumthang Valley

Visit Yumthang Valley once and this place will own you forever. Photography by Neha Bhambhurdekar

Happy Wayfaring 🙂

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mawlynnong
Pronomika Roy
Pronamika Roy is a Corporate Alliance Manager by profession and a trained dancer by passion. She loves to sneak out once or twice in a month to some new destination. She loves travelling and always carries a book along with her while travelling as she loves reading a good novel when surrounded by nature.

Yumthang Valley  Yumthang Valley

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