The Dzongri Trek is a short high altitude trek in Sikkim. It is located in the Himalayas between the China to the North, Bhutan to East and Nepal to the Eastern frontier. Sikkim is considered to be the crowning glory of Himalayas. This is a hidden gem in the North-Eastern region where trekkers get captivating views of the beautiful landscapes and variety of wildlife. This trek is called ‘Walking in Paradise’ which is a traveler’s delight. Trekkers come across the snowy white peaks all around Dzongri, with the streaks of green and gold. See the different species of rare animals and birds that creates an urge to explore the region deeper. Trekkers experience sustained excitement as they come across valleys and deep gorges all through. All adventurists and nature enthusiasts look forward for this trek even though this location is remote. Trek through the forests of Rhododendrons and the valleys covered with lichen and moss. Trekkers can also go for a birding expedition and see the Bharal (Blue sheep).
About Yuksom Dzongri Trek:
Dzongri trek transports trekkers to the heart of the enchanting landscape of Sikkim. Trek through the harsh terrains and undergo challenging and wonderful trails. This trek gives some views of the splendid peaks – Kabru (7,353 m), Ratong (6,678 m), Kanchenjunga (8,534 m), Koktang (6,147 m), Pandim (6,691 m) and Narsingh (5,825 m). Trekkers see the waterfalls, sunset points like Tiger Hill in Darjeeling that are rare astonishing sights. Dzongri trek is classified as moderate and provides majestic sights of valleys and mountains. The temperature may go below freezing point anytime during the year. The trail passes through dense forests of Sikkim Himalayas until the highest point of Dzongri at 5000 m from where one can see the beautiful Kanchenjunga peaks. Also, see the beautiful lake of Khecheopalri – it is believed to be a place where the birds don’t allow any leaves to fall on the lake. This trek starts at Yuksom. The chirping of birds and beautiful view of the lakes is really a wonderful experience for trekkers to start the Dzongri trek.
Highlights of Trek To Dzongri:
- One of the short high elevation trek.
- Traverse through some of the most beautiful valleys and see the splendid view of the Himalayas.
- Relax watching the snow covered peaks, small rivulets and streams.
- Admire the beauty of the peaks of Kabru, Ratong, Kanchenjunga, Koktang, Pandim and Narsingh.
- Be with nature to its fullest watching waterfalls, exotic flowers, forests and meadows.
- Explore the ancient Pemayangtse Monastery – oldest monasteries in Sikkim.
- Spend some time with the locals and know about the culture and tradition
- See the beautiful tea gardens on the way.
Key Facts about Dzongri Trek:
|Region||North East Region – Sikkim, Himalayas|
|Duration||11 Days 10 Nights|
|Ideal Time||The best time to visit this place is in Summer (April- June) as the region is warm, sunny and pleasant. In Autumn cool winds blow. During monsoon the region receives heavy rainfall and is not suitable for visit.|
|Temperature||The day temperature is warm, pleasant and salubrious and ranges between 15*C-20*C and in the night it drops to -3*C with heavy snowfall.|
|Level||Moderate. Trekkers need to be physically fit. Suggested to undergo regular exercises, cardio vascular programs before undertaking this trip. Should be free of ailments. This trek is a little bit technical trek, and trekkers should have deep knowledge of mountaineering expertise.|
|Total Distance||50 Kms|
|Maximum Elevation||Dzongri trek starts at a minimum elevation of 9689 ft at the Mt. Bhakim and reaches a maximum of 4000 m at the Dzongri pass.|
|Weather||The best time to visit this place is in summer as the temperature is warm and pleasant and ranges between 15*C-22*C. In winter the temperature drops to -4*C and the region receives heavy snowfall.|
|Communication||Most of the prepaid mobiles do not get signals, and many times only intermittent signals. There are lot of PCO and landline booths available for communication. After crossing Yuksom and Jorethang, connectivity is completely lost till Legship. In case of emergency only satellite communication and VoIP communication works.|
|ATM Point||The last ATM point is at Jorethang before the trek starts.|
Arrival in New Jalpaiguri / Bagdogra Airport – Kalimpong – Drive – 80 Kms – 3 Hrs – After arriving at New Jalpaiguri/ Bagdogra, trekkers are taken to Kalimpong. After arrival at Kalimpong check into the hotel for overnight stay.
Kalimpong – Yuksum – Drive – This will be an exciting drive through the winding passes and terrains of Kalimpong to finally come to Yuksom. Enjoy the day at Yuksom and in the evening just take a short walk around the Ani Gompa.
Yuksum – Sachen Camp 2,750 m – Trek – 14 Kms – Trek from Yuksom to Bakhim through the dense forests of Oak and pine trees and cross the beautiful river of Prek Chu. Continue to trek uphill till reaching Sachen. Overnight stay will be at camps.
Sachen – Bakhim – Tshoka Camp 3,050 m – Trek to Bakhim and cross the dense forests of Mangolia and Rhododendron trees. See the small village of Tsokha and the beautiful peaks of Pandim, Aralunchong, Lamba-Lamini. Overnight stay will be in wooden huts at Tsokha.
Tshoka to Dzongri Camp 4,020 m – Trek to Dzongri that takes around 5 hours. Walk through the thick Rhododendron forests and see 400 different species of beautiful flowers. After reaching Phethang trekkers enjoy the natural beauty of the region. Continue the trek and reach Dzongri in the afternoon. Overnight stay will be in huts.
Excursion to Laxmi Pokhari – Enjoy the enchanting views of sunrise over the peaks of Khangchendzonga, Kabru, Pandim, Rathong which is sure to enthrall all. After having breakfast take a short trip to Laxmi Pokhari and witness the beauty of the region. Overnight stay will be at huts in Dzongri.
Dzongri to Tsokha – Trek – See the beautiful peaks of Kabru (7353M), Ratong (6678 M), Kanchenjunga (8534 M), Koktang (6147 M), Pandim (6691 M), Narsingh (5825 M) atop Dzongri. Trek further till the ridge of Singalila and arrive at Dzongri. Overnight stay will be at huts.
Tsokha to Yuksom – Trek – This is a rapid descent of 1300 m and takes 7 hours to reach Yuksom. Enjoy an evening party and bid adieu to the trekking staff and porters. Overnight stay will be at hotels.
Yuksom – Pelling – Drive – After having breakfast drive from Yuksom to Pelling. (West Sikkim). See the wonderful lake of Khecheopalri – Strange but true – an unique feature is birds here do not allow even leaves that trees shed to fall into the lake. Overnight stay will be at hotels.
Pelling to Darjeeling – Road – 110 Kms – 4 Hrs by Road – After a heavy breakfast drive through the beautiful route between Pelling and Darjeeling. Reach Darjeeling by the evening, and spend some time at the shopping mall. Overnight stay will be at the hotels.
Drop at Bagdogra Airport- Early in the morning trekkers see the beautiful views of the sunrise from the Tiger Hill. The adventurous trek comes to an end and they carry pleasant and memorable thoughts of this trekking experience. They proceed to their destinations and are dropped at the railway station / bus stand and airport.
Some of the inclusions of the trek are:
“The Yuksom Residency” and “Red Palace” located in the heart of Yuksom bazaar, truly reflect culture and heritage with all modern amenities and Sikkim’s unique architecture. These hotels are located amidst the calm and green environment with the backdrop of the Himalayas. The hotel has the following facilities:
- Luxury rooms
- Bar and restaurant
- Lawns / garden with good views.
- Meditation hall
- Doctor on call.
- Cocktails and banquets
- TV with satellite dish.
- 24 hour hot and cold water facilities.
- Ample car park
- Conference rooms
- Library and gift shops
The staff here deliver a hospitable, friendly and are responsive to the traveler’s needs. They ensure timely and personalized service, comfort and luxury.
Online travel portals offer lot of choices to book accommodation at desired prices, preferred time and conveniences. Besides, on early bookings travelers can avail discounts and offers. Some of the other recommended hotels are:
|Hotel Himalayan Retreat and Resort||3 Star|
|Hotel Red Palace||4 Star|
|Hotel Limboo Homestay||4 Star|
|Hotel Dikiling||3 Star|
|Hotel Tashigang||4 Star|
|Hotel Baichung Palace||3 Star|
|Hotel Yangrigang Yuksam||4 Star|
|Hotel De Regency||3 Star|
|Hotel Him Sagar||4 Star|
|Guptaji’s Hotel||4 Star|
|Ejam Residency||4 Star|
|Hotel Valley View||4 Star|
|Hotel Yuksum Residency||3 Star|
|Summit Newa Regency||3 Star|
|Hotel Parodzong||4 Star|
|The Holiday Inn||4 Star|
|Hotel Kingstone||3 Star|
The staple food of this region is rice and maize. The cuisine is prepared with pulses, bamboo shoots, wild flowers, nettle leaves and mushrooms. The vegetarian dishes are Momos, Thupka, Seal Roti, Niguru, Churppi, Chang, Rice, Dal, Tomato Achhar, Til Ki Aloo, Gundruk. The non-vegetarian dishes are Phagshapa, pork, beef, fish and Pakku (Mutton Curry). Lot of dairy products like cheese, butter are consumed. The crops cultivated here due to altitudinal variations are potato, finger millets, buckwheat, barley and soybeans. Consumption alcoholic drinks is high. Lot of pickles, beverages and soups are also consumed as accompaniments to the meal. The cuisine of this region always keep the body warm and gives lot of heat and energy to the body and be physically active.
The other inclusions of the trek are:
- Trekking guide, yaks, cook and porters.
- Trekking permit
- Khangchendzonga National park fees and Sikkim royalty.
- Medical kits, oximeter and oxygen cylinder during the tour.
- 2 Nights Guest House / Homestay accommodation in Yuksom on quad / triple sharing basis.
- Airport drop from Darjeeling.
- Qualified and experienced Trek Leader and support staff.
- Trekking Equipment like sleeping bags, mattress, tents, utensils.
- Transportation from New Jalpaiguri – Yuksom – New Jalpaiguri.
- Meals during transit or in Yuksom.
- Any fees and permits for foreigners.
- Luggage carrying charges
- Any expenses of personal nature.
- Cost incurred on account of evacuation charges.
- Anything which is not a part of our inclusions.
- Luggage carrying charges.
The Bagdogra Airport is the nearest airport that is 12 Kms from Siliguri and 135 Kms from Yuksom. This airport has good connectivity to all major metros and other cities. Besides, international connection to Bangkok is also available. There are lot of taxis and bus services available outside of this airport to reach anywhere within Sikkim.
The New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is the nearest railhead that is 150 Kms from Yuksom. There are trains to different destinations from here. There are lot of taxis / bus services to Yuksom from this railhead. Travelers should leave New Jalpaiguri, by atleast 11 AM as it takes 7 hours to reach Yuksom (through Jorethang). Travelers should see that they reach Yuksom before night sets in as the roads are poorly lit.
There are lot of buses operated by The Sikkim Nationalized Transport (SNT) and private buses, to reach different parts within the city. This is well connected by the highway 31 A, to the cities of Siliguri, Kalimpong and Darjeeling. There are frequent bus services connecting these cities to Yuksom.
How to Reach:
Reaching Yuksom is a little bit tough. Travelers have to take the route of either Siliguri, Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri. This highway passes through the National Highway (NH-31A) now called (NH 10). Bagdogra and New Jalpaiguri are situated at a distance of around 150 Kms from Yuksom with a travel time of around 6 Hrs. There are lot of shared jeeps / cabs for this purpose.
- The roads are poorly lit so traveler should avoid night journey and ensure that they reach Yuksom before night 7 pm.
- Gangtok – Yuksom- The distance is 125 Kms with an approx. travel time of around 5 Hrs.. The roads are little bit curvy and hence should drive very carefully.
- There are lot of taxis/ shared jeeps that connect the following places of Gangtok- Kalimpong, Kurseong- Mirik- New Jalpaiguri- Siliguri. Shared taxis usually are available for sightseeing, and other local sightseeing tours- but they are full during the holiday season.
- The distance between Pelling – Yuksom is 40 Kms with a travel time of around 2 Hrs.. Travel time may vary due to the road condition, and also the different travel routes that buses take.
- The North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) operates buses from The Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus at Darjeeling, Lebong Cart Road near Chowk Bazaar. Daily services are available between Darjeeling and Siliguri.
- The bus terminus is about 8 km from the New Jalpaiguri station. There are lot of taxis / buses/ auto / cycle rickshaws for reaching this bus terminus at Siliguri.
- The distance between Yuksom and some prominent destinations are :
Distance From Major Cities For Dzongri Trek:
- Pelling-Yuksom: 40 Kms / 1 Hrs
- Siliguri-Yuksom: 145 Kms / 5 Hrs
- Bagdogra-Yuksom: 152 Kms / 5 Hrs
- Legship- Yuksom: 36 Kms / 1 Hr
- Jorethang-Yuksom: 61 Kms / 3 Hrs
- In case travelers want to reach Yuksom on the same day they should be in Siliguri before 12 pm.
- In case travelers do not get shared jeeps immediately after reaching Jorethang, they can break the journey and travel on their own for smooth and comfortable travel. There are jeeps from Jorethang to Yuksom but are few and irregular.
- After 3 pm in the afternoon there are hardly any cabs to Yuksom from Jorethang. Travelers should go to Legship and should wait for jeeps to go to Yuksom.
- There is also a helicopter services between Bagdogra – Gangtok (operated by Sikkim Tourism development Corporation) , and there are two trips daily. Depending on the weather conditions, the flying time is around 35 minutes. It can carry only 5 persons, but one seat is blocked for VIP/ emergency till 24 hours prior to the departure.
- In case the booking of the travelers come under emergency, the booking is waitlisted – They will call back for confirmation later. There is a restriction on luggage and the persons can carry maximum 10 Kgs of luggage (no hand baggage). Only 2 services – ie. one in the morning and other in the afternoon are available.
Some of the basic essentials recommended for dzongri trek are:
- Comfortable footwear (trekking shoes, slippers, sneakers -with good grip, thick sole, wind cheaters).
- Comfortable warm clothes (water proof linings, jackets)
- Inner garments
- Extra socks
- Snow/ normal gloves
- Muffler/ Scarf
- Thick fleece jackets or sweaters
- Ruck sack/ Extra polythene bags (for carrying wet clothes).
- Warm T-shirts (full sleeve)
- Light micro fleece pullover
- Sleeping bags
- Backpack and Daypack (to carry daily essentials).
- Trekking pants (water resistant, for extra warmth 2).
- Full sleeve woolen pullover / Sweaters
- Thermal inner wear/bottoms/ Woolen cap
- Thick woolen and cotton socks (4-5 pairs).
- Trekking poles.
- Gore-Tex jackets
- Raincoat/ rain cover
- Towel/ small / Camp towel/ sarong
- Duffel bags down/ synthetic camp booties
- Headlamp/flashlights with extra batteries
- Insulated water bottle/ Hydration pack/ one liter water bottle (plastic lining).
- Sun glasses/ goggles.
- Sunscreen lotion, moisturizer, lip balm and skin ointment.
- Sun hat/ baseball cap
- Video camera.
- Extra passport photos
- Wind and rain gear with hoods
- Money pouch/ belts
- Energy bars and drinks.
- Mobile charger and power banks
- Torch / Flashlight (with extra batteries)
- One pair cotton trousers / shorts
- Personal toiletries and medication
- Medications for common ailments:
- Diamox- To prevent acute mountain sickness
- Dexamethasone- One strip
- BP tablets as necessary
- Crocin- for fever
- Vitamin tablets for energy
- Avomine- to prevent motion sickness
- Avil- for allergies
- Combiflam- Painkiller
- Disprin- Headaches
- Norflox TZ and Lomofen- Diarrhoea
- Digene- for acidity
- Omez/ rantadine- antacids
- Crepe bandage- 3 to 5 meters
- Guaze- 1 small roll
- Band aid- 10 strips
- Cotton- 1 small roll
- Oral Rehydration solution fluids- 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches and sprains).
Some guidelines to follow for dzongri trek are:
- Climatic conditions in the high altitudes differ from those of that in the plains hence, trekkers should take enough time to get themselves acclimatized to the high altitudes.
- Listen to the Guide’s instructions and follow the guidelines given by him for a safe, smooth and enjoyable trekking experience and to prevent mishaps.
- Refrain from using earphones as trekkers cannot hear the guide’s instructions.
- Avoid carrying expensive jewelry/ gold accessories.
- Do not pluck flowers and create any disturbance in the vicinity of the trek.
- Refrain from consuming alcohol or any other intoxicants during the course of the trek.
- Do not bring any sort of non- biodegradable materials.
- Trekkers should always keep themselves hydrated.
- During extreme snowfall, carry goggles to prevent blindness from the bright reflection of the sun’s rays.
- Carry sugar and energy bars to keep the sugar levels balanced and ensure that they do not drop.
- Carry matches, spray or deodorants to keep away from the danger of wild animals.
- Carry identification proof.
- Dress religiously and modesty while visiting temples.
- Avoid carrying snacks and junk food
- Travel in small groups.
- For extra porters, an extra fee is to be paid (Presently Rs.250/-), per day to avail their services, and to carry the personal belongings throughout their trek.
- In case trekkers prefer their own sleeping bags they can buy new sleeping bags from the store.
- One can even opt for personal trekking gear and an extra oxygen at an additional cost.
- Proper waste disposal.
- Respect local cultures and be sensitive towards the wildlife.
- General precautions and steps should be taken for altitude acclimatization, with the assistance of the trek guides.
- Always pack light and carry only the essentials
- Do not use disposable plastic water bottles, plastic-wrapped items
- Do not roam and trek during nights.
- Consult a physician to know whether the individual is fit enough to undertake the trek.
- Do not litter the local sites or campsites as the whole trek takes place through eco- friendly zones.
- Physical and mental preparation is essential, be ready to trek in high altitudes. Trekkers should be ready to trek in high altitude terrains and face rough weather and trek in harsh climate.
- Trekking crew is essential since they may help in dealing with any sort of emergencies that arise on the way.
- Getting a proper insurance is necessary and it should cover medical rescue evacuation in case of emergencies. It is advisable to have safety backup like oxygen pressurize altitude chamber in emergency cases.
- To prevent frostbites from extreme freezing temperatures, wear proper trekking boots and socks to keep warm.
- Always carry a couple of pairs of thermal innerwear.
- Avoid wearing more than one pair of socks/tight fitting clothes to have good blood circulation.
- Wear track pants instead of denim jeans.
- Vision and contact lenses- A spare will help in case the one in use is damaged.
- Suture Kit- Kit is for use by local health care providers and requires a letter from the doctor on a letterhead stationery.
- Medical / Clinical Items:
- Syringe Kit- ( for diabetics)
- Medical alert tags, necklace, bracelets ( for emergency identification)
- Antifungal ointments
- Insect bite ointments
- Bandages- Multiple sizes, adhesive tape and gauze
- Moleskin or molefoam for blisters
- Elastic compression bandage wrap for sprains and strains.
- Disposable gloves
- Digital thermometer
- Scissors and safety pins
- Eye drops
- Cotton swabs
- Oral rehydration drops
- Health insurance cards and policy waiver.
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination – If in case the trip needs travelers to take completed International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis card or medical waiver.
- Copies of all prescriptions- Be sure to have copies of all prescriptions that have generic drug names. Also, carry prescriptions for eyeglasses/ contact lenses and other essential medical supplies.
- Photo Identity ID card, PAN, Driving License, Voter ID (better to carry copies for submission to any higher authorities).
- Disclaimer form to be duly filled and signed by a certified trek leader.
- Contact details
- Travelers must carry cards having contact numbers and e- mail-id of their friends/ relatives in case of any emergencies.
Weather Conditions During Yuksom Dzongri Trek:
The best time to undertake Dzongri Trek is between March – June as the temperature is warm and pleasant with clear and sunny skies or after monsoon and in the autumn season during September – November.
Winter (December – Mid March):
The winter season receives heavy snowfall. The day temperature drops to -20*C. The entire region is inaccessible. Not a good time to visit. During this time there are rarely treks are undertaken. Trekkers should have a mountaineering expertise when undertaking trek during this season. The treks which take place during this extreme climatic conditions may fail.
Monsoon (July – September):
This region experiences heavy rainfall, and the roads are blocked during this season. The trails are muddy and slippery. This season is also prone to risk of landslides and other natural calamities. Certainly not recommended for trek.
During this time the climate is warm, pleasant and salubrious. The day temperature ranges between 20*C-25*C with cool winds blowing, sunny and clear skies. At nights the temperature ranges between 8*C – 15*C. In Dzongri the temperature is between 7*C – 15*C and it drops to -4*C at night. This season gives a more clear view of the Himalayas and the meadows come back to life afresh with greenery all around and Rhododendrons blooming all over. Ideal for visit.
Autumn/ Spring (October – November):
During this time the temperature is warm and pleasant between 15*C-20*C. Variety of flowers in different colors – ie. Crocus, Dahlia, Nerine, Sternbergia, Cyclamen Hederifolium, Winter Aconite, Snowdrop, Cyclamen Coum, Gladiolus Murielle, Rhododendrons, Orchids and Roses are in full bloom. The hues of these flowers is a visual feast. Bushes, hues of grass in red color, variety of vegetation, flora and fauna blossom and different species of animals come out during this time (snow leopard, birds, butterflies, snow bears). All in all, another perfect season for visit.
This trip is one of the best treks in the North Eastern part of India close to China filled with breathtaking views of Himalayas, a unique lake besides endless scenic beauty of nature at its best!