A small camping trek in the southwestern part of Sikkim, on the border between West Bengal and Nepal, traveling through an area full of nature, with an abundance of flora and fauna. The itinerary mainly passes through the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, walking through forests and climbing the Singalila mountain range. A great itinerary to include in a trip to Sikkim
5 days’ trek
Highest altitude 3733m
Highest altitude overnight 3100m
Local mountain guide English-speaking
Meals and overnight in camping tent during the trek
Accommodation in hotel/guest-house in Okhray and Uttarey
Perhaps you will not make a trip to Sikkim to do only this trek, but it is a good option route to include it in a larger trip through Sikkim. Walking through the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, also written as Varsey, amidst forests that are considered the best in Sikkim that are a natural corridor that connects the Singalila Natural Park with that of Kanchendzonga.
This small trek covers an area with a great wealth of fauna and flora, highlighting, naturally, the rhododendrons, which in spring burst with their large flowers, mostly reddish, but also of other colours since there are different kinds. In the final section, the trek goes up to the Singalila mountain range, with a very good view of Kanchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world, the valleys and mountains of Nepal to the west, including Everest, and West Bengal to the south.
It is a trek of low or moderate hardness, suitable for practically everyone who likes nature and walks in the mountains. There is also a shorter two-day version that takes you from Hilley to Dentam or of course you can also just visit Barsey and come back to Hillay in one day or spending a night in Barsey.
Located, together with Darjeeling, on this small wedge between Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, Sikkim was the last state to become part of the Indian confederation and still maintains a strong personality. It is considered part of what is known as “Great Tibet”, that is, those territories that share the same Tibetan culture, with Buddhism being its main religion. The oldest population group is the Lepchas, followed by the Tibetan Bhutias, however, from the 19th century there were migratory movements from Nepal, becoming the majority population group and Nepalese being the main and official language of Sikkim.
The villages are located at a certain altitude, often in passes between two valleys, far from the mighty and unpredictable rivers, so they all have impressive views. Winding roads, but in good condition, make their way through these valleys and mountains, where sometimes you must descend into the deep valley to cross to the other side of the river and climb again until you find that destination you saw so close from your starting point. As you have already guessed, the orography of Sikkim and Darjeeling is complicated, marked by two great rivers, the Teesta and the Rangit, the latter also being the one that marks the border with West Bengal before joining the Teesta at Rongpu.
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