A small grazing pasture in the North Sikkim district of Sikkim, the Yumthang Valley has grown to fame and recognition amongst trekkers and nature lovers as the ‘Valley of Flowers” for the beautiful flowers that bloom here by the dozens each year, including the rhododendrons that are famous here.
The Yumthang Valley is located at an elevation of 11,693 feet, at the short distance of 150 kilometers from the state capital Gangtok and very close to the hill station Lachung, bordering Tibet. The Valley boasts of wonderful views of the neighboring Teesta river as well as the hills and trees around it. Yumthang is much sought after for trekking as well as adventure sports such as skiing.
The Yumthang Valley has a mild climate leaning towards the colder side due to its elevation. Summers last from March to June and are comfortable and pleasant. Monsoons are often heavy and frequent over here, and rather hazardous. The winter season, which lasts from October to February, is extremely cold during the peak time, which temperatures averaging 7 degrees Celsius.
Best Time to Visit
Although this valley is worth visiting all year round, the best time to visit Yumthang is during the late winter and spring season, leading up to the onset of summer. These constitute the months of October to May. This way, one can enjoy the best of the pleasures of the winter, such as winter sports, and also have an excellent experience of the flowers in full bloom during the spring. However, extreme cold means that this area should be avoided in December and January.
Attractions/Things to do
One can visit Yumthang to connect with the beauty of Mother Nature. The area is a patch of untouched beauty and makes for a wonderful break amongst the flowers. The Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is found here. Flowers found here include twenty-four different species of the rhododendron, which is honored as the state flower, the primula, poppy, iris and many others. One can also participate in challenging physical activity such as trekking and skiing. One can also witness the simple lifestyles and traditions of the local Sikkimese inhabitants. The Chungthang countryside and the Kanchenjunga National Park is another breathtaking experience worth having.
How to Reach
Yumthang is a remote location and can only be accessed by road or on foot. The nearest settlement to Yumthang is Lachung, which is two hours away from Yumthang and connected to Gangtok and other major locations. The Sikkim State Road Transport Corporation and other private bus and taxi services will take one to Yumthang. The closest airport is the Bagdogra Airport at a distance of four and a half hours from Yumthang, while the closest railway station is the Darjeeling Railway Station at a distance of 171 from Yumthang.
Distance from Major Cities
- Gangtok – 130 kilometers
- Darjeeling – 193 kilometers
- Siliguri – 210 kilometers
- Guwahati – 638 kilometers
- Kolkata – 771 kilometers
- Delhi – 1674 kilometers
- Hyderabad – 2134 kilometers
- Ahmedabad – 2286 kilometers
- Chennai – 2407 kilometers
- Mumbai – 2440 kilometers
- Pune – 2461 kilometers
- Bangalore – 2723 kilometers
Accessibility And Accommodation
Since Yumthang is a small hill station that must preserve its natural beauty, there is only one permanent residence over there, that is, the forest rest house. Most visitors spend the night in the neighboring Lachung, where many comfortable resorts, hotels, lodges and homestays can be found, and travel to Yumthang, which is merely two hours away.