How beautiful can nature be? However nature can be best observed and enjoyed when it is in its truest form. Uninterrupted nature can be a wonder and if you are in search of any such place then I have an option for you. The Yumthang Valley is one such place where you can enjoy the undisruptive flow of nature. Located in North Sikkim this breathtaking place is like a paradise for nature lovers. With rivers, mountains, hot water springs and flowers blooming this is one of the examples of nature and its beauty at its best.
If you are someone who loves exploring nature and wants to get soaked into nature then this place is a must visit for you. Furthermore a place like this would be the ultimate place for relaxation for a traveler. So keep on reading this article if you want to know about the Yumthang Valley. In this article I will mention every piece of information that you might need to plan a trip there. So read up till the end.
About Yumthang Valley
Lovingly also known as the Sikkim Valley of Flowers, the Yumthang Valley is like a scenic spot with beauty tucked in at every corner. Located at a higher elevation of around 3,564 metres above sea level, this place is a nature sanctuary. Furthermore the valley is dotted with an exquisite variety of flora that makes the location even more promising. Almost around 24 species of Rhododendrons can be seen here during the blooming period. Along with that you can also spot many Himalayan flowers and herbs here as well. Whenever you are in North Bengal this place should be a must visit in your itinerary.
Location: North Sikkim, Sikkim, India
How to reach Yumthang Valley
If you are travelling in a flight the nearest International airport is Bagdogra Airport which is 219 km away from Yumthang Valley. From there it takes around 8 hours to reach Yumthang Valley. However the Gangtok Airport is the nearest airport to Lachung. You can take any local form of transport to reach Yumthang Valley from there.
NJP is the nearest railhead which is around 215 km away. From there the Yumthang valley is an 8 hour drive. However the Lachung Railway Station is the nearest railway station to reach Yumthang Valley.
If you are interested in travelling via road then it is best to travel via Gangtok. You can get options to hire a cab or car or jeep and also avail shared rides to reach Yumthang Valley. Distance between Gangtok to Yumthang Valley is 127 km.
Best time to visit Yumthang Valley
Technically this valley is a year round destination. According to the weather the Yumthang Valley Temperature is mostly pleasant. And during the winter months of December and January it can be a little too chilly because of the higher elevation. Winters here are chilly with temperature ranging from 6 degrees to -11 degrees. In summer the temperature remains between 7 degrees to 16 degrees. But if you are interested in visiting the place during the blooming period then February to June is the ideal time to visit this beautiful place.
However if you want a more clear view of the sky then the ideal time to visit here can be from September to December. You can even enjoy the look at the snow capped mountain during this time as well. Furthermore if you are interested in the cultural aspect of a particular place and want to explore the local lifestyle and tradition of the people there then the best time to visit there would be from February to March. During this time the Losar Festival happens. The local people wear their traditional outfits and organize many cultural programmes so that would be a nice experience for sure.
Where to stay in Yumthang Valley
There are no hotels in the Yumthang Valley itself. Travelers who travel there usually stay in Lachen or Gangtok and make a trip to the Yumthang Valley. The distance between Lachen and Yumthang Valley is around 72 kms. Most of the visitors prefer staying here only because of the close proximity with the place. You can get a good number of options for staying in Lachen and Gangtok.
Major tourist attractions near Yumthang Valley
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
Located inside the valley the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is a home to 24 species of Rhododendron which is also the state flower in Sikkim. Furthermore the scenic beauty at this place is unbeatable. So make sure you are visiting there.
The Zero Point is about 25 km away from the Yumthang Valley. This place is located at an altitude of 15,000 feet. Furthermore the location is not accessible for transport as the motorable roads end here. The beautiful snow covered area almost looks like a dream for sure. For the people who love adventure and enjoy the thrill of higher elevation, the Zero Point can be a paradise for them.
Lachen and Lachung
You cannot miss visiting Lachen and Lachung when you are visiting the Yumthang Valley. These places are exceptionally beautiful and you can literally get engrossed in the natural beauty. Furthermore these places also serve as the base points to reach the Gurudongmar Lake and Chopta Valley. The distance is also really close to the Yumthang valley so do not miss visiting these scenic spots.
Yumthang Chu is a river that comes on the way to the Yumthang Valley. The water glistens in the day light and also gives an all encompassing view of the whole surrounding. Overall the whole experience is a treat to the eyes with the crystal clear water and the view surrounding it. It would be a nice experience to visit this particular spot.
One of the most popular places in Sikkim is the Hot Spring. The water of this spring is loaded with medicinal properties and rich in sulphur content. It is believed that the water has healing properties and soothes the body and mind both. You can enjoy taking a dip in this water for sure.
Food in Yumthang Valley
Do not expect the place to serve you a variety of food. The cooking process and the whole food system there is different because of the higher elevation. Furthermore this makes the food options here very limited. But you don’t need to worry because the traditional Himalayan cuisine of Noodles, Momos, Rice and Maggie are available. Everything that you will have there is mostly served hot and the cold weather makes the piping hot food even more delicious. So do not forget to try the local food there.
Things to remember before visiting Yumthang Valley
- The area of Yumthang Valley is very close to the China border. Therefore a special Protected Area Permit is required to visit here. You can collect that either from the District Administrative Center at Mangan or Gangtok Tourism Office or from Chungthang Sub Divisional Magistrates’ Office. However if you are booking a package tour then the tour planners can arrange it for you as well. So take a note of that.
- Take a note of the weather and road conditions before travelling to Yumthang Valley. Both of these have the ability to make or break your travelling spirit.
- Yumthang Valley is a cold area so make sure you are carrying enough warm clothes with yourself.
- This Valley is located at a higher altitude that makes it unsuitable for people with breathing difficulties. Furthermore people with physical restrictions or ailments like heart disease should consult their doctor before visiting here.
- Make sure you are carrying your essential medicines and other necessities because the area is not easily accessible and you will not get shops easily everywhere.
- If you are travelling to Yumthang Valley from Lachen or Lachung make sure you start early so that you can explore the Yumthang Valley and around for the whole day and return by the evening. After 5:30 pm it usually gets dark and foggy there so it is better to return by that time.
- Try to carry enough cash as a lot of vendors deal in cash there. Also you are not going to get ATMs easily there so it will be convenient to carry cash with yourself.
- Do carry some light snacks and food like chips, cakes and biscuits for some quick munching. And if you are not comfortable eating the local food it would be easy for you to eat something when you are hungry at least.
- Carry your sport shoes as you might have to walk around quite a bit. So a comfortable pair of shoes will help you in this matter.
A location like Yumthang Valley is like a versatile place. You can relax here and remove all your worries. From enjoying the exotic flora to enjoying the weather, the beautiful villages nearby to breathtaking mountain view, from snow capped peaks to lush greenery and colourful bloom, the versatility is unmatchable. This is one of the places that can be an ideal retreat for travelers, backpackers and adventure lovers. If you are someone looking for a place away from the hustling city, tucked in nature, then this place can be the ideal spot for you.
Furthermore, a location like this can be the breath of fresh air in your life that you have been looking for. Enjoy the captivating natural beauty and majestic views. I am sure your mind, body and soul will be refreshed all at once. Do let me know when you are planning to visit this amazing place. Also let me know if this article was helpful for you in planning your trip to this beautiful place. I would love to know your view. And do come back to share your experience with me as well after you are done exploring this gorgeous location.