North Sikkim- God’s own paradise 

A piece of land where the earth meets the sky, untouched by many explorers, that’s the mystic land North Sikkim.


Although the largest of the four districts in Sikkim, it is the seventh least populous district in India.  Foreign and domestic people need special permit to travel here and can be visited only via government recognized tour operators. Popular for its amazing biodiversity, North Sikkim is like a stupendous stairway leading from Mangan to Tibetan Plateau.

This article is about my journey to North Sikkim. Consider this as part one as I intend to visit there few more times.
Five days planning of mine wasn’t enough to explore all the places but I tried to cover most sought-after destinations. Let’s begin then..

Bagdogra is the nearest airport to reach Gangtok by flight. The airport has an office for Sikkim tourism. One can get the Sikkim tourism map from Bagdogra airport as this will be extremely useful guide.


From the Airport till Gangtok we can hire either a shared taxi or a reserved one to Siliguri, from where many options are available to reach Gangtok. In Siliguri, there are many tour operators who provide good packages with negotiable prices. This packages include accommodation, traveling and food. It’ll take approximately 4 hours to reach Gangtok from Siliguri. Share taxi’s are always tightly packed and traveling will be uncomfortable at times. En route Gangtok, there are many waterfalls, popular among them is Seven Sister Waterfalls.


Gangtok, also known as High hill, is the capital of Sikkim. Located at a height of 1,870 metres, this city is wreathed in clouds and provides a stunning view of Himalayan ranges. One of the many things that make Gangtok beautiful is its people. People in Gangtok are very polite and friendly.
Hotels are available at convenient rates and they will provide the entry permits to visit various places in North Sikkim. It is recommended to carry at least six photographs and any identity card to apply for permits.
Trip was planned in such a way to prioritize Gurudongmar lake on the first day, followed by Yum thang valley, Zero point .
The journey from Gangtok to North Sikkim itself is an adventure considering the tortuous roads and quickly changing heights. Also one must be alert every second as stone pelting and landslides can happen anytime.


The drive from Gangtok to North Sikkim is an amazing experience. Initially it is covered by tropical vegetation on either sides and while going upwards we can see many rivers that run through deep gorges.

Gangtok to Chungthang to Lachen to Gurudongmar lake

Chungthang is a little town in a lush basin ringed with high mountains. It’s horizon is high and limited as it is deep, and the sun rises later and sets earlier here. Chungthang town is at an altitude of 1,750 metres and marks the confluence of Lachen and Lachung rivers. Entry of private cars is blocked at Chungthang.
Lachen is 28 kms away from Chungthang and is surrounded by apple orchards and wild flowers. Further north of the Lachen valley are the lands few visit, where the lake gurdongmar is located.


Gurudongmar Lake, is one of the highest lakes in the world, located at an altitude of 17,800 ft (5,430 m). It is a lake which is considered sacred by both Buddhist and Sikhs. The lake is named after Guru Padmasambhava, who is regarded as founder of Tibetan Buddhism.
The oxygen level here is less and one need to be extremely careful as breathing problems might happen anytime.



Lachen to Chungthang to Lachung to Yum thang valley, Zero point 

The journey from Chungthang to Lachung is a soul refreshing experience. The distance between these two is about 22 kms. The tortuous roads brings to sight a mountain torrent cascading down the hill slope, each sparkling waterfall glistening against the deep green of the forest.

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Lachung village offers basic accommodation and it’s included in the initial tour package. Towards yum thang, it is the only place to stay.
It’ll take about 24 kms from Lachung to reach Yum thang. Popularly known as “Valley of flowers”, it’s inhabited mostly by yak herders and is popular for hot springs.

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While going further up, Zero point is located. It’s one of the most sought after tourist destination.IMG_3089

Trip itinerary

Four days and five nights.

{Bagdogra airport -> Gangtok -> Lachen -> Gurudongmar lake -> Lachen -> Lachung -> Yum thang valley -> Zero point -> Gangtok –> Bagdogra airport}

***END***

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4 thoughts on “North Sikkim- God’s own paradise ”

  1. Saw your query on fb solo travellers page and scrolling down the comments came to the link to your blog. Excellent post and lovely photographs. Need some details as I’ve been wanting to go solo to Sikkim. Did you use public transport all the way? Which agent did you contact? All the best for your future travels.

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    1. Hi. Thank you so much for your comments. Enroute North Sikkim we can only use private hired taxis. If you need more details, do email me at rkrnikhil@yahoo.in or text me 9769198718 I will give you more contact details. Special permits are required to access North Sikkim which is mostly controlled by govt recognized tour operators in Gangtok.
      Regards/Nikhil

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