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Yumthang Valley

An Alpine valley in North Sikkim known for its exquisite natural beauty, Yumthang is a popular tourist destination of Sikkim. Situated at an elevation of 11800 feet above mean sea level the valley offers a breathtaking landscape combining alpine meadows, rhododendron forests and snow peaks of Himalaya with Lachung River cutting across it.

Yumthang, 'the valley of flowers' as popularly described by the tourists, is a land of more than hundred species of rhododendron, Primula and Magnolia, which are on full bloom during April-May. The entire valley sees an unforgettable combination of colour that mixes with the vast field of snow. To protect the variety of rhododendron a sanctuary named “Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary” has been declared by the forest department here.

With close proximity to Tibet Yumthang gives a view of a stunning array of peaks all around it. There is a hot springs near the valley where the warmth of the sulfur rich hot water can be felt even in freezing temperature.

Near Yumthang

Katao

Just before you reach Yumthang valley, a diversion from the main route will take you to Katao, a frozen glacier close to Chinese border. Although the place is a restricted territory, the mesmerizing beauty of the place lure a number of tourist to Katao. The trip to Katao from Lachung is organized by a mutual understanding with the Police and the Cab driver.

Yumesamdong

About 34 kms further from Yumthang through the gorge formed by Lachungchu river, you will reach zero point of Yumesamdong. The Chinese boarder is just about 5 kms from here. Further north are the locations of several high altitude lakes such as Tso Lamu and Sanlapchu Cho, there are also several mountain passes to Tibet such as Sesa la and Donkia La (La means Pass). But tourists are not allowed to go beyond Yumesamdong zero point from where you can see the perennial glacier around you.

Accessibility:

Yumthang can be reached from Gangtok (140 kms). The journey through the lush green Sikkim landscape with moist forests, spectacular gorges of mighty Teesta and small Lepcha villages on the remote Himalayas is a enticing one. Since there is no tourist accommodation at Yumthang, your first day of travel will end at Lachung, the last village in North Sikkim at an altitude of 8000ft. The valley of Yumthang is visited in the next morning from Lachung covering a distance of 24kms.

The villagers are mostly permanent Tibetan settlers who have been leaving in the high mountain for centuries. The last name of Lachungpa indicates the village of their origin. With increased tourism movement, today Lachung is home to people from different places including Sikkimese, Nepali and people from the plains who mostly work in the hotels here.

Notes for planning a tour

Due to its closeness to Chinese border, the army maintains close control on visitors to this area. Individual direct booking and travel is not possible. North Sikkim can be visited by booking a package tour only. Such tours include your permits, transport, sightseeing and hotel arrangement. We do organize such tours on a regular basis. Please submit a query form and our executives will get back to you regarding a tour.

Foreign tourists has more severe restriction. They can visit only Yumthang valley and not beyond. Visitors from some countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. are not allowed to visit North Sikkim. For further information consult our travel experts.

The shortest tour is of 1 night 2 days. You start from Gangtok on first day and stay overnight at Lachung. Next day morning you visit Yumthang valley and return to Gangtok by the afternoon. This tour is often very hectic and we do not recommend this. You should spend two to three nights at Lachung to enjoy the beauty in a relaxed way and also see all the places mentioned here.

Accommodation

There is no tourist accommodation at Yumthang Valley. The only accommodation is at a forest bungalow which cannot be booked for tourists. All tourists stay at Lachung and visit Yumthang as part of a day tour. For accommodation options at Lachung, check the relevant page.

Map of Yumthang Valley

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