Trekking In The "Valley Of Fire"
Sikkim or Denjong - the 'Valley of fire' - a wedge between Nepal in the west and Bhutan on the east - has some of the finest mountain and ravine sceneries in the world. A trek into Kanchenjunga group, the third highest in the world, fully repays the trekkers' efforts. The clouds play a dramatic symphony as the traveller beholds vapour boil up silently out of the deep valleys taking fantastic shapes and suddenly the silence is broken by the sound of bells. Further a whiff of burning Juniper steals the breath-a sudden puff of air blows aside the curtain of mist and fog revealing the threshold of the holy monastery - one of 67 in Sikkim.
The lovely scene of the joys of the trek to the head monastery at Pemayangtse in western Sikkim of the Nyingma-Pa, the red sect of Tibetan Buddhism followed by the religious state of Sikkim. Not only it is worth a visiting for its monastery where one can view the many idols and carvings, but also from here one can explore the unspoiled charms of the mountain views and begin a trekking adventure into Yuksom, Dzongri and beyond. Though trekking into the trek into the western part of Sikkim is more demanding and is recommended for experienced trekkers attempting to go up to 5,486m.
Sublime Trekking Into West Sikkim
Trekking routes around the Kanchenjunga a National park start from Pemeyangtse and run through terraced fields of barley and tablelands of Apple orchards, then onto moss laden lush green forest of Pines, Firs, Giant Magnolias, Rhododendrons, Spruce and orchids - a naturalist's paradise.
One comes across crystal clear streams running through the lap of the Himalayas, clouds of Butterflies and Moths - sparking, fluttering and displaying their dazzling colour and personality. Intermingled with this is the chirrup, twitter and peeping of exotic Himalayan birds. As one climbs on with patience and pains are rewarded by the Sikkim Himalayas; Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Jopono and Narsing are some of the peaks that appear as a background to the scene.
Cloaked in granite and thickly hooded with ice, they offer the most fascinating, charming and awe-inspiring close-up view of the Sikkim mountains. Looming up in the north is the legendary and mythical "Country God of Sikkim" and its "Five Treasures"- the guardian of the whole world, in all its celestial height and glory. An almost supernatural vision of ethereal beauty not to be equalled in the whole world on either side of the majestic mountain are other peaks of smaller-stature.
One gazes on a sheer slope of mountainside some 6,705m in depth, a gigantic mass of the earth's surface whose foot lie in deep gorges while the summit pierces the skies. One can never miss the sunrise and sunset on these mountains. Further up the trail climbs up precipitously upto Goencha - La at a height of 5,486m from where the mighty Kanchenjunga can be explored - no longer looming at a distance - and sample the many glacial lakes - emerald green, rivers flowing down the sacred mountain rivers of ice and snow. Truly trekking here is the sport of man's discovery and contact with nature.
The best time to trek is through April to May and October to
November. For non-hikers the Sikkim National Transport runs on the
motorable road from Gangtok to Jorethang and Namchi West, Gyalsing and
Pemayangtse as well as to Mangan. C.P.W.D. and S.P.W.D. Dak Bungalows take
care of the traveller.