Yumthang Valley Overview
If you are visiting Sikkim and don't think that you will make it again in a long time to come, then do pursue a visit to Lachung, Yumthang Valley and Zero Point in North Sikkim. Why? Because you may not again see such stunning views of snow mountains and rivers anywhere else. Dr. Joseph Hooker in his 'Himalayan Journal' of 1855 mentioned that Lachung and Yumthang are the two most picturesque places in the whole of Sikkim and had even compared them to valleys of Switzerland.
Yumthang Valley is world famous for its rich variety of flowers and rare fauna and is known as the Valley of Flowers, considered as a mecca for nature lovers and botanists from all over the world. The Yumthang valley provides a great array of Flora –fauna and is an only one of its kind place where tree line vanishes. It is grazing pasture and bounded by the Himalayan Mountains in the north Sikkim. Yumthang Valley is situated at 148 kms from Gangtok and at the height of 1180 feet from sea level.
The whole Yumthang valley becomes colorful and air becomes scented with the aroma of flowers as the valley gets filled with endless flowerbeds furnishing pleasing view of grassy plains covered in colorful flowers and a river flowing from the green slopes in the spring season. There is an old temple of Lord Shiva a few kilometres away from the valley, from where one can have a breathtaking view of the entire Yumthang valley. Also there is a vegetation free mountain known as Yumesamdong at a height of about 16,000 feet and it’s the last point from where one can see the Chinese border. You can also see a variety of animals like Yaks, Shingba Rhododendron, primulas, poppies, iris etc., here and also there is a village called Lachung which is one of the oldest villages of Sikkim and retains an era old charisma and culture of the state. A visit to this valley is an unmatched experience, which can only be felt only by visiting this place and spending some time here, it cannot be explained in words.
Situated in North Sikkim, Yumthang Valley is a paradise on earth, which is full of natural wonders and picturesque beauty. It is home to a zillion flowers, spectacular mountains & a serene river, and is often also called as the ‘Valley of Flowers’ like the one located in Uttarakhand. Needless to say, its breathtaking and magical surroundings make it a must-visit place for every traveler.
It also happens to be situated at what is called "the tree-line", the altitude above which there are no trees. This makes the Yumthang Valley unique in that it has trees and Rhododendrons, and yet abounds in tiny, low-growing Himalayan flowers. The Valley has an astounding, over 24 species of Rhododendrons which paint the Valley red in spring. Rhododendrons are shrubs or trees, and different species of Rhododendron cover different large stretches of the Valley. In spring, the Valley looks like a collage of little forests of different colors. The flowering of Rhododendrons is over by May end. During monsoons, starting in June, the Valley blooms with all kinds of tiny Himalayan flowers, like the Primroses, Cinquefoils, Louseworts and Cobra-lilies. This is a much more enchanting scenario, but takes a keen viewer, with an eye for detail, to truly appreciate.
How to visit
Only vehicles from tour operators who are registered with Sikkim tourism are allowed. Visit to Zero Point requires additional cost for vehicle. You need to take a tour package from an authorized tour operator of Sikkim. Click here for some of such well known
I would suggest that on the second day, start early in the morning and first visit Zero Point. This is because the weather conditions there can change any time and in the afternoon the visibility may not be as good as in the morning. On your way back, visit Yumthang Valley and Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. Also visit the small local market in Yumthang and scan through the small stalls selling clothes and knick knacks. Try out some noodles or omelet and tea.