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Sikkim’s wild north | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Sikkim's wild north

Personal tour of Sikkim – Hiking and Culture



Anzahl Nächte in festen Unterkünften

14 x

Anzahl der Nächte im Zelt

no tents

Maximale Höhe



By arrangement

Short description

This tour through India offers a comprehensive adventure. From the flight to Delhi, youwill travel along the Himalayas to Bagdogra and on to Sikkim. The capital Gangtok attracts visitors with its bazaars and cultural highlights.
We will make adventurous excursions to waterfalls and historical sites. Trekking tours to nomads in the Lhazar Valley and to the Yule Khangtse Glacier are a highlight, as are visits to monasteries in Rumtek and a shamanic ceremony. The adventure is characterized by impressive landscapes, cultural encounters and spiritual moments.


  • Visit the nomads of North Sikkim
  • Trekking: nomadic life, glacier, lake, river
  • 4-day trekking up to max. 4570 m.a.s.l.
  • Sikkim’s monastery culture & Buddhist heritage
  • Shaman dance ceremony in the aboriginal village

Travel program

Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch(L), dinner(D)

Day 1

Flight to Delhi

The direct flight with Swiss (subject to availability) will take us to Delhi, the capital of India, in just over 7½ hours. After arrival, passport control and baggage collection. Our local partner will be waiting at the exit with a sign. He will organize the transfer to the hotel.

Overnight stay at the hotel in Delhi. Flight time 7½ hours

Day 2

Flight along the Himalayas

On day 2 of our journey we will fly along the Himalayas to Bagdogra. In fine weather, we can see the 8,000 meter peaks of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Everest and Kangchendzönga.

We will first travel through the lowlands, then we will cross a dense forest area and the Tista River, whose source lies in the border area with Tibet in northern Sikkim. Our travels will offer a varied ride past terraced rice fields and lush green subtropical forests. We will pass tiny hamlets, bustling villages and deserted jungles which are inhabited only by communities of monkeys.  We will then reach the town of Gangtok, which is built on a hillside. This is the capital of Sikkim.

Overnight stay in a hotel in Gangtok (1,650 m). Flight time 2 1/2 hours. Travel time 5 hours. (B, L, D)

Day 3

Gangtok – The capital of Sikkim

After the long tour so far, we will take it easy today. We will set off on foot to the Gangtok bazaar, where we can enjoy the hustle and bustle and maybe even make a deal or two. The Institute of Tibetology has one of the finest collections of Buddhist literature, as well as a large number of thangkas, bronze figures and cult objects. From there, we will continue to the Do-Drul Chörten.


Traditional crafts are taught at the Cottage Industries Institute. Traditional wood carvings, textiles and bamboo items are also available here.

Overnight stay at the hotel in Gangtok (1,650 m). Travel time 1 hour. Hike 1½ hours (B,L,D)

Day 4

Magnificent waterfalls in a wild mountain landscape

On the way north, we visit the famous Tashi viewpoint, from where we can enjoy a particularly beautiful view of Kangchendzönga if the weather is good. At Kabi we will stop at the historically important village of Lungchok. The monoliths placed here by the indigenous people mark the brotherhood covenant that the Lepchas made with the Bhutias who immigrated from Tibet in the 15th century. Every year, this sacred place serves the Lepchas as a venue for shamanistic rituals in honor of medicinal herbs. The journey then continues past the impressive “Seven Sisters” waterfall. The north of Sikkim is the least populated region and the culture of the Bhutias and Lepchas is still very authentic here. The Bhutias and Lepchas are proud of their culture and Buddhist ceremonies play a very important role in people’s lives.

The journey will continues through idyllic, wild mountain landscapes, past terraced fields and dense forests to the Kagyu monastery of Phodong and the newly renovated Nyingma monastery of Labrang, where we will stop to have a picnic. The overgrown ruins of the former royal fort are located between the two monasteries.

We will continue our tour and reach the village of Lachen in the late afternoon.

Overnight stay in a homestay in Lachen (2,700 m) Travel time 6 hours (B,L,D)

Day 5

On to the last village before the Tibetan border

On day 5 we will drive from the village of Lachen through wild mountain landscapes towards Tangu, the last settlement before the Tibetan border. After about an hour’s drive, we will hike up the valley along the mountain stream, past lonely hamlets, potato fields and pastureland. We will cover the last part of the route by vehicle. Surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery, we can  enjoy the spectacular panorama, listen to the murmur of the mountain streams and discover the alpine vegetation. If you still haven’t had enough, you may set off on a 1½ hour hike into the idyllic Chopta Valley or uphill into a side valley to the small hermitage where the French woman Alexandra David-Neel meditated in the early 20th century. This hike will take around 3 hours.

Overnight stay in an easy homestay in Thangu (3,950 m)

Drive time 2 hours. Hike 3-6 hours

Day 6

Trekking to the nomads in the Lhazar Valley

In the morning we will drive a short distance to the starting point of our trek. In about 3 hours, the path will take us over a mountain ridge (approx. 4,570 m) into the enchanting Lhazar Valley, which rises up to 4,400 meters in elevation. The nomads call themselves “Dokpas” much means something like “originating from Tibet”. They came to Sikkim as nomadic refugees from Tibet, where they still continue their traditional way of life with their yaks and sheep.

Hike approx. 4 hours. Overnight stay in camp at 4,400 m

Day 7

Day hike in the Lhazar Valley

We will discover the idyllic Lhazar Valley and enjoy the beautiful landscape.

We will take the time to chat with the nomads. If you like, you can take a hike along the Jachu River, which meanders through the valley, to a lake.

Overnight stay in the camp at 4,440 m Hike approx. 2-4 hours (B,L,D)

Day 8

To a glacier viewpoint at 4,570 m elevation

After breakfast, we will go on a hike to the Yule Khangtse glacier. The route leads continuously uphill from the camp to a viewpoint, where we will see the glacier and enjoy the fantastic view. We will have a picnic lunch before heading back to camp, which will take about an hour.

Overnight stay in the camp at 4,400 m, hike approx. 3 hours (B,L,D)

Day 9

Back to civilization

We will hike back to the trekking starting point where our vehicles will be waiting for us and take us, to drive back to Lachen, with many great impressions in our heads.

Even to this day, there are still traditional houses made of rammed earth and wood in Lachen. We will move into our rooms with a local family. Unless a power outage paralyzes the boiler, we once again can enjoy a warm shower and a real be. We will eat in the cozy kitchen by the heated oven and have the opportunity to look over our hosts’ shoulders as they cook for us.

We will toast our successful trek with a “Chang”, a home-brewed beer made from millet.

Overnight stay in a homestay in Lachen at 2,700 m; hike approx. 3 hours (B,L,D)

Day 10

The monastery of Lachen, return to Gangtok and on to Rumtek

We will return from the far north to East Sikkim. During the drive, we will once again be able to enjoy the fantastic mountain panorama with its densely forested slopes and can reflect upon the many impressions of the last few days.

We will then past through the familiar and lively town of Gangtok, we will then head over to Rumtek, on the opposite side of the valley.

Overnight stay in the hotel in Rumtek (1,350 meters). Travel time 6-7 hours (B,L,D)

Day 11

Sikkim’s indigenous people and a shaman ceremony

On day 11, the Kagyu monasteries of Rumtek are on the program. His Holiness, the 16th Karmapa, head of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhism, lived here from 1959 to 1981. After fleeing to Sikkim due to the Chinese invasion of Tibet, he received asylum, land and support from the King of Sikkim to build the new monastery in Rumtek. His home monastery in Tsurphu in Tibet served as a model. During the 16th Karmapa’s lifetime, the monastery was an important pilgrimage site for Tibetan Buddhists. The 16th Karmapa is one of the most important reincarnations in the Tibetan Buddhist world and the head of the Karma Kagyu school. The Karma Kagyu school is one of the four main branches of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama is the head of the Gelugpa (Yellow Caps) school.

We will follow a road lined with prayer flags, you arrive at the original old monastery of Rumtek, built in 1734. It exudes a wonderful sense of tranquillity and is situated on a mountain ridge with fantastic views of the hills and fields of Martam. A small shrine in an adjoining room is dedicated to the protector of the Kagyu school, Mahakala. However, the figure is covered due to its powerful effect.

In the afternoon, we will take a hike on narrow paths across the terraced rice fields to a small indigenous settlement. We will walk through the village and gain an insight into village and rural life. We will be invited to visit the village shaman in a house built on stilts. Here we will be allowed to witness a ceremony and enjoy a cup of tea together.

Overnight stay at the hotel in Rumtek (1,350 meters). Travel time 1 hour. Hike 2-4 hours (B,L,D)

Day 12

Flight from Bagdogra to Delhi

This morning we will drive to Bagdogra, where our journey come to a full circle. From here we will fly back to Delhi, where we will have a day room in a hotel. We will have the opportunity to freshen up for the return flight and eat at the hotel.

In the evening, we will drive to the airport, where we will check in for our return flight to Switzerland.

Day hotel in Delhi. Travel time 5 hours. Flight time 2½ hours (B,L,D)

Day 13

Return back to Switzerland

After midnight, departure for Switzerland, where we will land in Zurich early in the morning.

We will return with many impressions and experiences in our luggage.

Flight time 8½ hours

Your adventure

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The times given are generally pure driving or walking times. Breaks, stops etc. are also included. The times given are average values based on experience, but may vary depending on road, trail and weather conditions, the fitness of the participants or for other reasons.
The altitude data (for trekking tours) are based on satellite data. These may vary due to walking alternative routes, climbing additional viewpoints, detours due to weather or trail conditions, etc.
We expressly reserve the right to make changes to the program (due to road, trail and weather conditions, flight delays, instructions from the authorities, water levels or occurrence on the trekking route, etc.)!

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