Yumthang Valley is situated at an altitude of about 11,800 ft, is a paradise for nature lovers, surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains located in the North Sikkim district, in the state of Sikkim. The valley is bounded by the Himalayas and is located 150 km from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. Lachung is the nearest place to the valley, which provides a base to stay and explore the valley. The picturesque road from Lachung and Yumthang is lined with rhododendrons on both sides that bloom during the months of April and May giving the valley its name of the valley of flowers. Rhododendron and primula bloom covering the whole area in a surreal shade. It also offers view of a stunning array of peaks with Pauhunri and Shundu Tsenpa. A number of hot springs are scattered in the valley providing an unexpected opportunity to feel the warmth of the water even in freezing temperature. These springs are believed to have miraculous healing power. In addition to a vast green meadow, lush green forest abounding in Pine and silver fir trees throngs the place. While driving towards the valley, one can see cascading waterfalls and streams.
Due to its proximity to the Chinese boarder the region was inaccessible to common tourists, both Indian and foreign. Tourist needs special permission to visit this place.
One of the major tourist attractions of Yumthang Valley includes Chungthang, the Sikkim countryside. Apart from that, visitors can explore nearby places like Lachung and Kangchendzonga National Park alongside the valley.
Best time to visit
The best season for visiting Yumthang valley starts in late February and to mid-June, when thousands of colourful flowers are in full bloom. However, to enjoy a clear sky and brilliant view of snow-capped mountains, the September – November season would be ideal. Yumthang remains closed between December and March due to heavy snowfall. Since this is a mountainous region, there can be dramatic changes in weather. So, visitors should always be prepared adequately. It is always useful to carry rain gear and clothing in layers. Comfortable, sturdy walking boots are also necessary.
There is no accommodation available at the valley. Visitors stay at Lachung from where the valley is about an hour’s drive. Over the last few years several hotels and resorts have come up in Lachung.
To reach Yumthang Valley by air, the nearest airport is Bagdogra in West Bengal. It is 124 km from the valley and connected to the three major cities of Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. The airport is connected to Gangtok by helicopter services.
Rail service is also available from major cities in India such as Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati to New Jalpaiguri. Gangtok is nearly 15 km from this place by road.
The road to Yumthang from Gangtok follows the Teesta River, crossing a spectacular gorge over the Rang Rang suspension bridge. The last major town is Chungthang from where Lachung is an hour’s drive where tourists stay overnight.