How to reach Yumthang? The Valley of Flowers
Yumthang Valley in Sikkim is also called the Valley of flowers. The valley is situated in the nest of a himalaya in the high altitudes. It is around 356m metres or 11693 feet above sea level. One needs to travel about 150kms from the capital Gangtok by road to reach Yumthang. The place is covered with snow round the year. The name Valley of flowers is very well suited for this place. One can see the whole valley blooming with different coulours during the flowering season. A place called zero point is present in Yumthang, which is the highest point one can go.
The most beautiful view one can find in Sikkim is here. Over twenty four species of rhododendron blooms in the valley. Rhododendron is the state flower of Sikkim. The best time to visit Yumthang is february to June if you want to encounter the carpet bloom of the multicolored flower like a rainbow. This place if the birth place of river teesta. One of the river teesta tributaries starts its journey right from here. Due to the heavy snowfall, permits to visit the place is restricted from December to March.
Travel to Yumthang by Air
Actually there is no way that you can reach Yumthang just by air and a short road trip. You need to infact get to Gangtok first. In Gangtok you will need to stay couple of days to acclimatize yourself with the altitude. One can get the permits in the meantime. Here is our guide with details on how to travel to Gangtok. You can continue reading to know about the details on how to reach Yumthang.
Yes, there is an airport in Sikkim. The pakyong Greenfield airport is currently in very pre operational stage. There are couple of flights in a week and it is very hard to get a ticket in your desired schedule. We do expect the condition to improve in future but till then it is suggested to not go for Pakyong airport but rather opt for Bagdogra airpport which has flights in abundance.
Travel to Yumthang by Train
It is absolutely not possible to reach Yumthang directly by train. The nearest railway station is about 250 kilometres away from Yumthang. In fact, we suggest you to reach Gangtok first then continue your journey to Yumthang. Due to low oxygen content you will need to take extra care and read our Guide for visiting high altitude areas in Sikkim. We have given detailed instuction on how to reach Gangtok by train in our Guide. Once you Reach Gangtok then Road is the only option available to reach to the beautiful valley of Flowers.
Travel to Yumthang by Road
Now Road is the only way to reach Yumthang. The distance from Gangtok to Lachung is around 120 kilometers. It takes around four hours minimum to reach Lachung. You can read our full guide on how to reach lachung in details.
From lachung , Yumthang is few kilometers. You can go on a round trip from Lachung to Yumthang in less than 3 hours with ample stoppage time including. One can get a shared Taxi in consultation with travel agents. They will hook you up in a group and the cost to reach Yumthang will be tremendously low as compared to other option. If you do not have any budget constraint then you willwant to book a full Cab and get going. You will need the permit to visit the place. You cannot and possibly should not take your private vehicle to Yumthang. Howevere you can bring your private vehicle till Gangtok.
In fact road is also the best option to reach Yumthang if you are on a vacation or a leisure trip. The beautiful valley and numerous waterfalls and marvellous scenic beauty will give you an experience of a lifetime. The drive from Gangtok to Yumthang will take a route via Lachung. If you are planning a trip to Yumthang then you will need to halt at Lachung. Yumthang valley from Lachung is just a few kilometres away. The morning visit will be the best one. Once the sun comes up the place gets quite covered with fog.
Things to Remember while travelling to Yumthang
There is no ATMs in the area, so it is a must to carry cash in hand. Howevere most of the vendors do accept upi or other forms of online payments. But it is not advisable to be absolutely cashless here.
The Valley and its sorrounding area is under the control of army. So it is required to carry a permit issued by the Tourism Office, Gangtok or Sub Divisional Magistrate of Chungthang. Travel agent will help you grab one.
The area being in the high altitude with very less oxygen, you are advised to carry some medicines and avoid travelling with elderly or kids. Also climate acclimatization is necessary.
The roads are very stiff and crooked. You may encounter motion sickness. You are thus advised to carry the meds for motion sickness and common cold. This will help you go long way.
Have a great trip to Yumthang !