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NJP (railway station) – NJP (railway station)
Approx 90 Kms.
Moderate To Difficult
This is our first day of the journey, we would expect you to meet our team at NJP Railway station at 9 am. It may take up to 8 hours from NJP railway station which is in West Bengal, and it is the nearest railway station as well. At Yuksom, which is a small establishment in West Sikkim, this town has a very old connect with the Sikkimese culture, we would have to do a formal entry in the forest department to make sure you carry your Id proof and a couple of passport size photographs with you, our trek leaders will help you with getting the permissions done. Yuksom is a very clean and beautiful town and you may explore the market area and the monasteries. Accommodation in hotel/ guest house.
Today we will start early around 8 am in the morning after breakfast, the trail goes off the village immediately and it is a quite open area so to avoid the sun’s heat we will try to get into the cool breeze of dense forest shade, there are a couple of bridges to cross which are very old and strong metal bridges. Once you enter into the Kanchenjunga national park gate you will notice the trail climbing up and the valley forest getting dense. In approx. 2-3 hours we will reach Sachen and from here a steep section of trail will take you to Bhakim which will not take more than one hour, we will camp overnight at this place.
The trail is a gradual ascent today and we will start at a comfortable time in the morning. Initially, the trail is a steep ascent for at least 1 to 1.5 hour, which then eases off into a very comfortable walk for 200 meters and again it rises up into the gradual climb that will take you to Tshoka. Tshoka is a very -small but beautiful establishment, having 7-8 huts and a small monastery next to a small pond. There are a couple of tea shops at Tshoka where you may sit and enjoy the view of Yuksom valley over the sip of hot tea and if you are lucky enough you may get to see the first sight of high rises of Kanchenjunga massif take more than one hour, we will camp overnight at this place.
Today we have to gain a significant elevation, our day will start with some exercise in the morning to prepare us for the trek. After breakfast we will head onto the trail that goes over the pond next to the monastery, the trail rises up gradually before you reach Phedang and continues to gain elevation before you finally reach the Phedang top. We will rest here for some time as the trail ahead is a very easy walk followed by a descent and again a small section of gradual ascent before we reach the large meadows of Dzongri. Dzongri is also a very small establishment with a couple of wooden huts.
Today is our rest day, not in terms of activities but in terms of gaining altitude so we would walk across this land of lamas and explore this beautiful landscape. In the morning after breakfast, we will head towards Dzongri top which will take approx. one hour for us to reach, it is a very beautiful spot with a panoramic view of the whole valley and high mountain peaks of Kanchenjunga massif. Dzongri top stands at an altitude of 4209 m from sea level, we will spend some good time at this place before returning to our camps.
Today’s trek will start with a gradual descent, and the distance to cover is long so we will try to start early. The walk is an easy one in the beginning and the beautiful landscape of Dzongri meadows is intoxicating in its own way, which soon starts to show the colours of rhododendron all over the place. The trail then follows a very sharp descent to Kockchaurang where you will spot small huts that are there to accommodate any visitor of the park. We will follow the trail further and then the steep ascent to Thansing begins. The distance is just 2 km from here to Thansing and soon you will find yourself in a vast meadow of Thansing with a small hut at the start if it. We will pitch our camps here for the night.
The mornings can be really cold at Lamuney yet the view of mt. Pandim is something that can bring anyone out of there sleeping bags. It can be noticed from this day that the trail is becoming more barren and rocky as we will proceed further into the valley. The terrain changes significantly but the gradient stays gradual which soon changes into a very steep ascent that will directly take you to the campsite of Lamuney, the whole trail from Thansing to Lamuney is dominated by the view of mt. Pandim. Accommodation in tents.
We will start early in the dark hours of the morning, depending on the condition our trek leader will decide what time is best to start. The distance is very long today and it might be a walk of 12-14 hours. While on the trail we would reach a point at the break of dawn where you will see a heavenly view of the sun rising on the summit of the Mt. Kanchenjunga. This dawn break on the top of Kanchenjunga is the sight that drives most people to put all the efforts to reach up to this point, and the view will leave an impression for the life on your mind. We will try to go up to the farthest point possible keeping the time in mind. After spending a good amount of time at the viewpoint we will start our journey back to Kockchaurang, following the same trail. Accommodation in tents.
After a relaxing start we will embark on a long trek for this day that will take us back to the campsite of Tshoka. We will follow the same trail that we used while ascending. On reaching the campsite you may relax at Tshoka and now is the time you may go to any tea shop and enjoy the locally brewed beer named Tumba, but make sure if you try it you consume it for trying purposes only.
The final day on the trail is an easy one as we walk through the forest and follow the route to Sachen and Bhakim and finally reaching to Yuksom. Accommodation in the guest house.
We will leave after breakfast and our vehicles will drive you to NJP railway station. Our journey on this memorable trek ends here.
It is not impossible still we suggest that one should have an experience of any other high-altitude Himalayan trek and camping in cold conditions.
There are not too many ATM on the route to Base Camp Goecha la, as the establishments are quite distant from each other. We suggest you carry some cash with you.
*NO ATM AT BASE CAMP YOKSUM.
Goecha la lies in west Sikkim region and it is totally safe for girls and women for trekking and exploring, people are courteous and our team at STH will take utter precautions to keep you from any harm. We have special all women groups which are led by female trek leaders & other female staff.
The slopes of Sikkim are covered with thick dense forests and also home to some rare species in the world like snow leopard, Black bear, Himalayan Monal, Red panda, and many other species of birds and reptiles can be spotted here.
Goecha la can be done in the months of Pre Monsoon and Post Monsoon only as in the winters it gets extremely cold and inaccessible due to snow, and in monsoon season Sikkim region is known to be on of the wettest places in India that adds to no view of mighty Himalayan peaks.
Please Carry a photo identity card and passport size photos with you. While traveling from NJP to Yuksom forest officers may or may not ask for it at the time of entry. Trekking in Kanchenjunga requires an inner line permit, that we will help you to get.
Yuksom has a small market with a couple of cafes and small shops for daily necessities. We suggest you keep yourself prepared in advance.
Yuksom has a reception for Vodafone and BSNL networks, Vodafone network reception can be unreliable at times. If the weather is clear you can get mobile networks of Bsnl, Vodafone & Airtel at “Tshoka campsite”.
It is allowed in Kanchenjunga national park however, a permit charge is to be paid for the camera before entering the Park.
Sikkim is a very organized state and the people of Sikkim are among the best communities in India, traveling in Sikkim is an experience worth having. Many monasteries can be seen with the silent chanting going on, that adds to the relief of being in a quiet place.
For a detailed fitness routine: http://www.steptohimalayas.com/fitness-&-health/
The start and end point of the trek are Yuksom, a township in Sikkim. There are no direct buses or trains to this place. The only way to reach this place is by hiring a jeep or taxi from NJP/Siliguri. The jeep ride from NJP to Yuksom will take about 6-7 hours. We provide an early morning taxi from the taxi stand at NJP Railway Station.
By rail: To reach New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP). it is located 150 km from Yuksom. There are a number of trains from Delhi to NJP that you can board like Avadh Assam Express, Ndls Njp Sf Express.
By air: The nearest airport to NJP is Bagdogra Airport, about 170 km from Yuksom and 18 km from NJP. There are direct flights from New Delhi to Bagdogra. The jeep ride from Bagdogra to NJP will take about 45 mins. to reach. For a backward journey, the taxis are easily available from NJP to Bagdogra/Siliguri. Plan flight tickets accordingly.
ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried) and Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried) are the mandatory documents required for the trek.