Kipepeo

About Meghalaya

Snapshot

  • Best Season: October – May
  • Region: Sikkim
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Activity: Adventure
  • Grade: Moderate
Trip Enquiry

The Goechala Trek is one of the most adventurous and beautiful treks in Sikkim, healing men’s health taking you up close to the Eastern face of Mt. Kangchenjunga . The route passes through some stunning emerald glacial lakes and offers grand views of Mt.Kangchenjunga, click Mt.Pandim, viagra 40mg Kabru, Simvo and Rathong glacier .

The trail runs through moss-laden forests of oak, chestnut, pine, maple, magnolia and rhododendron. This amazingly diverse forest gives us an opportunity to enjoy many beautiful birds like the Redbilled Leothrix, Rufous-vented Yuhina, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Silver-eared Mesia and many more. Equally impressive is the variety of orchids which throng the tree barks.

  • Walk through dense Temperate and Rhododendron forests
  • Get close up views of Kangchenjunga, Mt.Pandim
  • Observe many rare birds
DayDescriptionTimeAlt
Day 1Bagdogra to Yuksom
Pickup from Bagdogra airport and drive to Yuksom. O/n at a hotel in Yuksom
6 hrs1835 m
Day 2Yuksom to Bakhim
Walk uphill following the Rathong River's gorge, through dense mixed jungle with magnolia, rhododendron, ferns and several varieties of orchids. Passing by sweet smelling viburnum we cross the Prek Chu River and then ascend steeply for two or three hours to arrive at the lodge at Bakhim. O/n in tents
5 hrs2745 m
Day 3Bakhim to Phedang
Begin today’s walk by trekking for about one hour up to the picturesque village of Tshoka. Tshoka is home to a colony of Tibetan refugees who have erected a small monastery by a small lake. A fairly steep climb above Tshoka takes you into beautiful rhododendron forests, and you continue along a well-defined uphill path to Phedang . O/n in tents
5 hrs3770 m
Day 4Trek: Phedang to Dzongri
A short gentle climb up gets you to the meadows of Dzongri where you would setup camp offering views of Rathong, Kabru, Khangchendzonga, Simvo and Pandim. O/n in tents
4 hrs4050 m
Day 5Rest Day: Dzongri
Go for an excursion to Lakshmi Pokhari and other glacial lakes around the area.
Day 6Trek : Dzongri to Thansing
The route starts with a gradual ascent offering grand views of Kangchenjunga and Pandim. The route today would be a series of ascents and descents till you finally reach your campsite at Thansing. O/n in tents
6 hrs3925 m
Day 7Trek: Thansing to Lamune
Today’s walk is fairly short to give you plenty of opportunity to rest before tomorrow’s big day. You begin by continuing your walk parallel to the Prek Chu River. Your campsite would be just above the emerald Samiti lake . O/n in tents
3 hrs4280 m
Day 8Trek: Lamune – Goecha La - Thansing
Set off in the early morning (by around 3am) climbing the hill behind the Lake before traversing the moraine and then descending to the sandy bed of an empty lake. You cross the Zemathang plateau under the shadow of Pandim ascending to a height of about 4850 m .

The Goechala Pass is another hour away. You traverse the lake and proceed across a slope, and then on a well-trodden path to our objective, which is festooned with brightly coloured prayer flags. The views of the east flank of Khangchendzonga and the mountains and valleys in the distance are stunning.

From here commence your long descent to Thansing. O/n in tents

11 hrs3925 m
Day 9Trek: Thansing to Tshoka
Leaving Thangsing, you take a different route, avoiding the long climb to the Dzongri Plateau. Descending to the Prek Chu, you circumvent around the jungle to emerge at Phedang. Continue to Tshoka along another steep descent.
7 hrs3015 m
Day 10Trek: Tshoka to Yuksom
Today would mark your final descent to Yuksom . O/n at a hotel in Yuksom
6 hrs1835 m
Day 11Yuksom to Kalimpong After breakfast drive to the quaint hill station of Kalimpong in Darjeeling Hills. Kalimpong is known for its orchid nurseries, Buddhist monasteries and bustling markets. In the evening drive down to Durpi Dara to catch a glorious sunset, after which you can spend some time in the market. O/n at a hotel in Kalimpong 5 hrs
Day 12Kalimpong to Bagdogra Drop to Bagdogra airport3 hrs
[WPCR_INSERT]

 

Snapshot

  • Best Season: October – May
  • Region: Sikkim
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Activity: Adventure
  • Grade: Moderate
Trip Enquiry

The Goechala Trek is one of the most adventurous and beautiful treks in Sikkim, men’s health taking you up close to the Eastern face of Mt. Kangchenjunga . The route passes through some stunning emerald glacial lakes and offers grand views of Mt.Kangchenjunga, Mt.Pandim, Kabru, Simvo and Rathong glacier .

The trail runs through moss-laden forests of oak, chestnut, pine, maple, magnolia and rhododendron. This amazingly diverse forest gives us an opportunity to enjoy many beautiful birds like the Redbilled Leothrix, Rufous-vented Yuhina, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Silver-eared Mesia and many more. Equally impressive is the variety of orchids which throng the tree barks.

  • Walk through dense Temperate and Rhododendron forests
  • Get close up views of Kangchenjunga, Mt.Pandim
  • Observe many rare birds
DayDescriptionTimeAlt
Day 1Bagdogra to Yuksom
Pickup from Bagdogra airport and drive to Yuksom. O/n at a hotel in Yuksom
6 hrs1835 m
Day 2Yuksom to Bakhim
Walk uphill following the Rathong River's gorge, through dense mixed jungle with magnolia, rhododendron, ferns and several varieties of orchids. Passing by sweet smelling viburnum we cross the Prek Chu River and then ascend steeply for two or three hours to arrive at the lodge at Bakhim. O/n in tents
5 hrs2745 m
Day 3Bakhim to Phedang
Begin today’s walk by trekking for about one hour up to the picturesque village of Tshoka. Tshoka is home to a colony of Tibetan refugees who have erected a small monastery by a small lake. A fairly steep climb above Tshoka takes you into beautiful rhododendron forests, and you continue along a well-defined uphill path to Phedang . O/n in tents
5 hrs3770 m
Day 4Trek: Phedang to Dzongri
A short gentle climb up gets you to the meadows of Dzongri where you would setup camp offering views of Rathong, Kabru, Khangchendzonga, Simvo and Pandim. O/n in tents
4 hrs4050 m
Day 5Rest Day: Dzongri
Go for an excursion to Lakshmi Pokhari and other glacial lakes around the area.
Day 6Trek : Dzongri to Thansing
The route starts with a gradual ascent offering grand views of Kangchenjunga and Pandim. The route today would be a series of ascents and descents till you finally reach your campsite at Thansing. O/n in tents
6 hrs3925 m
Day 7Trek: Thansing to Lamune
Today’s walk is fairly short to give you plenty of opportunity to rest before tomorrow’s big day. You begin by continuing your walk parallel to the Prek Chu River. Your campsite would be just above the emerald Samiti lake . O/n in tents
3 hrs4280 m
Day 8Trek: Lamune – Goecha La - Thansing
Set off in the early morning (by around 3am) climbing the hill behind the Lake before traversing the moraine and then descending to the sandy bed of an empty lake. You cross the Zemathang plateau under the shadow of Pandim ascending to a height of about 4850 m .

The Goechala Pass is another hour away. You traverse the lake and proceed across a slope, and then on a well-trodden path to our objective, which is festooned with brightly coloured prayer flags. The views of the east flank of Khangchendzonga and the mountains and valleys in the distance are stunning.

From here commence your long descent to Thansing. O/n in tents

11 hrs3925 m
Day 9Trek: Thansing to Tshoka
Leaving Thangsing, you take a different route, avoiding the long climb to the Dzongri Plateau. Descending to the Prek Chu, you circumvent around the jungle to emerge at Phedang. Continue to Tshoka along another steep descent.
7 hrs3015 m
Day 10Trek: Tshoka to Yuksom
Today would mark your final descent to Yuksom . O/n at a hotel in Yuksom
6 hrs1835 m
Day 11Yuksom to Kalimpong After breakfast drive to the quaint hill station of Kalimpong in Darjeeling Hills. Kalimpong is known for its orchid nurseries, Buddhist monasteries and bustling markets. In the evening drive down to Durpi Dara to catch a glorious sunset, after which you can spend some time in the market. O/n at a hotel in Kalimpong 5 hrs
Day 12Kalimpong to Bagdogra Drop to Bagdogra airport3 hrs
[WPCR_INSERT]

 
North East India Map

 
A fascinating land shrouded in mystery, cure
it’s where the mighty Brahmaputra meets the allure of Khangchendzonga: a hidden jewel whose beauty is yet to be realized by the outside world. North East India spreads over 2, seek 62,379 sq km and consists of seven states popularly referred to as the ‘Seven Sisters’ – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura. They have now been joined by a younger brother, Sikkim, to make a total of eight states.

 

Terrain

Views of Kangchenjunga from Darjeeling

From the lofty ranges of the Eastern Himalaya to the rolling Patkai hills this mountainous region is abound with natural beauty. Khangchendzonga, the guardian mountain of Sikkim emanates its aura throughout this region. The ethereal beauty of these mountains can be best enjoyed by trekking on many of the routes this area has to offer. The snow from these mountains feed some of the mightiest rivers of India like the Teesta, Brahmaputra, Kameng and Dibang. Impressive valleys and gorges have been carved out by these perennial rivers. Abundant deposits of limestone have given rise to an extensive network of caves. The longest cave system in the Indian subcontinent lies in the Jaintia Hills region of Meghalaya.

 

Biodiversity Hotspot

great hornbills in Manas

North East India forms a part of the Indo-Burma diversity ‘hotspot’ which is the second largest diversity hotspot in terms of size and number of species in the world. It is high in endemism and holds a large number of rare species. The forests in the region are extremely diverse in structure and composition and combine tropical and temperate forest types, alpine meadows and cold deserts. Approximately 8,000 species of flowering plants, 700 species of orchids, 63 species of bamboo, 11 primates, 850 bird species, 137 species of reptiles and more than ,3624 species of insects found in these forests and grasslands. It is paradise for naturalists and nature lovers. Kaziranga, Nameri, Namdapha, Singalila, Barsey and numerous other wild life sanctuaries provide a peek into this boon of nature.

 

Cultural heritage

Memba girls smiling

No less rich is the cultural diversity of this land which is home to approximately 178 different tribes. From the Bodos, Kachari, Rhabbas, Meithei hailing from the plains of Assam to the Khasis, Rema, Ahom, Apatani, Mishmis from the hills of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal, every tribe has their own unique customs and traditions giving rise to very vivid and interesting festivals. Major festivals like Bihu, Ke Pemblang, Nongkrem, Durga Puja and Karchi Puja mirror the rich cultural life of this region. People are very fun loving and jovial with dance and song forming an intrinsic part of their lives. Being gifted with skilled hands every tribe excels in craftsmanship with many different arts and crafts practiced over here. The panorama of their craftsmanship spreads from cane and bamboo works, pottery, wood carvings, brass and bell metal works, to various types of weaving.

The mountainous state of Sikkim is situated in the very heart of the Eastern Himalayas. Nestled between Bhutan, store Nepal and Tibet, ambulance it is a picturesque land, diagnosis rich in natural beauty, laden with snow capped mountains, spectacular glaciers, perennial rivers and dazzling lakes. The Teesta river, which originates from the Tibetan plateau, forms the life giving force of Sikkim. Along with its tributary Rangeet they carve out deep gorges as they roar through the verdant valleys. From the banks of the Rangeet to the snow clad mountains, the elevation ranges from 280m to above 7000m covering habitats from sub tropical to the alpine.

Mt. Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world plays a central role in the lives of the local people. Many customs of the populace and history of the area revolve around Kangchenjunga. The Kangchenjunga range running east west along with the Singalila ridge, is also responsible for providing the perfect climatic conditions for biodiversity.

With more than 5000 flowering plants, 500 orchids, 500 species of birds, 650 species of butterflies, Sikkim is truly a biodiversity hotspot. More than 36 varieties of rhododendrons bloom during spring time, transforming entire hill slopes in a riot of colour, aptly earning the status of the state flower. Sikkim is also home to some endangered mammals like the coy Red Panda which lives in the temperate forests while the elusive Snow Leopard is found in the alpine zone.

The history of Sikkim is as diverse as its communities. Lepchas are the oldest surviving tribe in Sikkim. Limboos are also autochthons of the region. The Bhutias migrated here from Tibet over centuries, and gradually acquired prominence, with lands and titles. They brought Buddhism along with them. Phuntsok Namgyal, a Bhutia, was the first consecrated king of Sikkim, given the title of Chogyal in Yuksom (meaning three wise men) by three lamas in 1642. Mahayana Buddhism was recognized as the state religion, and it continued so under all subsequent Namgyal rulers.

The rule of Namgyal dynasty continued for the next 300 years. For 200 years, they had fierce battles with invading armies from Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. These skirmishes continued till the time the British subdued the warring Gorkhas of Nepal in 1817, and signed treaties with both Nepal and Sikkim.

In 1889 the British appointed Claude White as the first political officer in Sikkim, bringing the Chogyal completely under the British rule. In 1947 when India became independent, Tashi Namgyal successfully negotiated Sikkim’s status as a protectorate with Chogyal as the Monarch. However, by 1970 a political turmoil was beginning, demanding the removal of Monarchy in favour of a democracy. The confrontation between Chogyal and the elected government and the events that ensued, led to annexation of Sikkim, which became the 22nd state of India on 16th May 1975.

The mountainous state of Sikkim is situated in the very heart of the Eastern Himalayas. Nestled between Bhutan, dosage Nepal and Tibet, phthisiatrician it is a picturesque land, price rich in natural beauty, laden with snow capped mountains, spectacular glaciers, perennial rivers and dazzling lakes. The Teesta river, which originates from the Tibetan plateau, forms the life giving force of Sikkim. Along with its tributary Rangeet they carve out deep gorges as they roar through the verdant valleys. From the banks of the Rangeet to the snow clad mountains, the elevation ranges from 280m to above 7000m covering habitats from sub tropical to the alpine.

Mt. Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world plays a central role in the lives of the local people. Many customs of the populace and history of the area revolve around Kangchenjunga. The Kangchenjunga range running east west along with the Singalila ridge, is also responsible for providing the perfect climatic conditions for biodiversity.

With more than 5000 flowering plants, 500 orchids, 500 species of birds, 650 species of butterflies, Sikkim is truly a biodiversity hotspot. More than 36 varieties of rhododendrons bloom during spring time, transforming entire hill slopes in a riot of colour, aptly earning the status of the state flower. Sikkim is also home to some endangered mammals like the coy Red Panda which lives in the temperate forests while the elusive Snow Leopard is found in the alpine zone.

The history of Sikkim is as diverse as its communities. Lepchas are the oldest surviving tribe in Sikkim. Limboos are also autochthons of the region. The Bhutias migrated here from Tibet over centuries, and gradually acquired prominence, with lands and titles. They brought Buddhism along with them. Phuntsok Namgyal, a Bhutia, was the first consecrated king of Sikkim, given the title of Chogyal in Yuksom (meaning three wise men) by three lamas in 1642. Mahayana Buddhism was recognized as the state religion, and it continued so under all subsequent Namgyal rulers.

The rule of Namgyal dynasty continued for the next 300 years. For 200 years, they had fierce battles with invading armies from Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. These skirmishes continued till the time the British subdued the warring Gorkhas of Nepal in 1817, and signed treaties with both Nepal and Sikkim.

In 1889 the British appointed Claude White as the first political officer in Sikkim, bringing the Chogyal completely under the British rule. In 1947 when India became independent, Tashi Namgyal successfully negotiated Sikkim’s status as a protectorate with Chogyal as the Monarch. However, by 1970 a political turmoil was beginning, demanding the removal of Monarchy in favour of a democracy. The confrontation between Chogyal and the elected government and the events that ensued, led to annexation of Sikkim, which became the 22nd state of India on 16th May 1975.

The peaceful coexistence of the Lepchas, Bhutias, Limboos and Nepali community characterises the cultural diversity of Sikkim.

Lepcha are believed to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim. They are an animist tribe who worship nature or the spirits of nature. Mount Kangchenjunga plays a very central role in their culture with most of their ceremonies and mythology being based around it.

Limboo is another indigenous community in Sikkim. The word Limboo, which means archer in Nepali, was given to them by the Gorkha community. But the people call themselves Yakthumba which is a combination of three Limboo words, Yak means Hill, thum means place or district, and ba means inhabitant, which together may be translated as “Hill people”.

Bhutias are Tibetans of Nyingma or Kagyu sect who migrated to Sikkim around 17th century. They are also refered to as Denzongpa or inhabitants of Denzong, the Tibetan name for Sikkim. They follow Mahayana Buddhism. Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche as their supreme deity. Losar and Losoong are celebrated are their major festivals. Bhutias ruled Sikkim for 250 years as Chogyals.

Nepali, The people of Nepalese origin constitute 70 to 80 percent of the population of Sikkim. They consist of many ethnic groups like Rai, Gurung, Tamang, Chhetri and Sherpa. The Sikkimese Nepali community worship Hindu gods, following the tradition and culture as laid down by the Vedas. Dussehra, which falls in late September to mid October is their most important festival. They are excellent farmers, and introduced terrace farming in the state.

Gangtok
Pelling

The mountainous state of Sikkim is situated in the very heart of the Eastern Himalayas. Nestled between Bhutan, cure Nepal and Tibet, it is a picturesque land, rich in natural beauty, laden with snow capped mountains, spectacular glaciers, perennial rivers and dazzling lakes. The Teesta river, which originates from the Tibetan plateau, forms the life giving force of Sikkim. Along with its tributary Rangeet they carve out deep gorges as they roar through the verdant valleys. From the banks of the Rangeet to the snow clad mountains, the elevation ranges from 280m to above 7000m covering habitats from sub tropical to the alpine.

Mt. Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world plays a central role in the lives of the local people. Many customs of the populace and history of the area revolve around Kangchenjunga. The Kangchenjunga range running east west along with the Singalila ridge, is also responsible for providing the perfect climatic conditions for biodiversity.

With more than 5000 flowering plants, 500 orchids, 500 species of birds, 650 species of butterflies, Sikkim is truly a biodiversity hotspot. More than 36 varieties of rhododendrons bloom during spring time, transforming entire hill slopes in a riot of colour, aptly earning the status of the state flower. Sikkim is also home to some endangered mammals like the coy Red Panda which lives in the temperate forests while the elusive Snow Leopard is found in the alpine zone.

The history of Sikkim is as diverse as its communities. Lepchas are the oldest surviving tribe in Sikkim. Limboos are also autochthons of the region. The Bhutias migrated here from Tibet over centuries, and gradually acquired prominence, with lands and titles. They brought Buddhism along with them. Phuntsok Namgyal, a Bhutia, was the first consecrated king of Sikkim, given the title of Chogyal in Yuksom (meaning three wise men) by three lamas in 1642. Mahayana Buddhism was recognized as the state religion, and it continued so under all subsequent Namgyal rulers.

The rule of Namgyal dynasty continued for the next 300 years. For 200 years, they had fierce battles with invading armies from Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. These skirmishes continued till the time the British subdued the warring Gorkhas of Nepal in 1817, and signed treaties with both Nepal and Sikkim.

In 1889 the British appointed Claude White as the first political officer in Sikkim, bringing the Chogyal completely under the British rule. In 1947 when India became independent, Tashi Namgyal successfully negotiated Sikkim’s status as a protectorate with Chogyal as the Monarch. However, by 1970 a political turmoil was beginning, demanding the removal of Monarchy in favour of a democracy. The confrontation between Chogyal and the elected government and the events that ensued, led to annexation of Sikkim, which became the 22nd state of India on 16th May 1975.

The peaceful coexistence of the Lepchas, Bhutias, Limboos and Nepali community characterises the cultural diversity of Sikkim.

Lepcha are believed to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim. They are an animist tribe who worship nature or the spirits of nature. Mount Kangchenjunga plays a very central role in their culture with most of their ceremonies and mythology being based around it.

Limboo is another indigenous community in Sikkim. The word Limboo, which means archer in Nepali, was given to them by the Gorkha community. But the people call themselves Yakthumba which is a combination of three Limboo words, Yak means Hill, thum means place or district, and ba means inhabitant, which together may be translated as “Hill people”.

Bhutias are Tibetans of Nyingma or Kagyu sect who migrated to Sikkim around 17th century. They are also refered to as Denzongpa or inhabitants of Denzong, the Tibetan name for Sikkim. They follow Mahayana Buddhism. Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche as their supreme deity. Losar and Losoong are celebrated are their major festivals. Bhutias ruled Sikkim for 250 years as Chogyals.

Nepali, The people of Nepalese origin constitute 70 to 80 percent of the population of Sikkim. They consist of many ethnic groups like Rai, Gurung, Tamang, Chhetri and Sherpa. The Sikkimese Nepali community worship Hindu gods, following the tradition and culture as laid down by the Vedas. Dussehra, which falls in late September to mid October is their most important festival. They are excellent farmers, and introduced terrace farming in the state.

Gangtok
Pelling

The mountainous state of Sikkim is situated in the very heart of the Eastern Himalayas. Nestled between Bhutan, about it Nepal and Tibet, prothesis it is a picturesque land, buy rich in natural beauty, laden with snow capped mountains, spectacular glaciers, perennial rivers and dazzling lakes. The Teesta river, which originates from the Tibetan plateau, forms the life giving force of Sikkim. Along with its tributary Rangeet they carve out deep gorges as they roar through the verdant valleys. From the banks of the Rangeet to the snow clad mountains, the elevation ranges from 280m to above 7000m covering habitats from sub tropical to the alpine.

Mt. Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world plays a central role in the lives of the local people. Many customs of the populace and history of the area revolve around Kangchenjunga. The Kangchenjunga range running east west along with the Singalila ridge, is also responsible for providing the perfect climatic conditions for biodiversity.

With more than 5000 flowering plants, 500 orchids, 500 species of birds, 650 species of butterflies, Sikkim is truly a biodiversity hotspot. More than 36 varieties of rhododendrons bloom during spring time, transforming entire hill slopes in a riot of colour, aptly earning the status of the state flower. Sikkim is also home to some endangered mammals like the coy Red Panda which lives in the temperate forests while the elusive Snow Leopard is found in the alpine zone.

The history of Sikkim is as diverse as its communities. Lepchas are the oldest surviving tribe in Sikkim. Limboos are also autochthons of the region. The Bhutias migrated here from Tibet over centuries, and gradually acquired prominence, with lands and titles. They brought Buddhism along with them. Phuntsok Namgyal, a Bhutia, was the first consecrated king of Sikkim, given the title of Chogyal in Yuksom (meaning three wise men) by three lamas in 1642. Mahayana Buddhism was recognized as the state religion, and it continued so under all subsequent Namgyal rulers.

The rule of Namgyal dynasty continued for the next 300 years. For 200 years, they had fierce battles with invading armies from Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. These skirmishes continued till the time the British subdued the warring Gorkhas of Nepal in 1817, and signed treaties with both Nepal and Sikkim.

In 1889 the British appointed Claude White as the first political officer in Sikkim, bringing the Chogyal completely under the British rule. In 1947 when India became independent, Tashi Namgyal successfully negotiated Sikkim’s status as a protectorate with Chogyal as the Monarch. However, by 1970 a political turmoil was beginning, demanding the removal of Monarchy in favour of a democracy. The confrontation between Chogyal and the elected government and the events that ensued, led to annexation of Sikkim, which became the 22nd state of India on 16th May 1975.

The peaceful coexistence of the Lepchas, Bhutias, Limboos and Nepali community characterises the cultural diversity of Sikkim.

Lepcha are believed to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim. They are an animist tribe who worship nature or the spirits of nature. Mount Kangchenjunga plays a very central role in their culture with most of their ceremonies and mythology being based around it.

Limboo is another indigenous community in Sikkim. The word Limboo, which means archer in Nepali, was given to them by the Gorkha community. But the people call themselves Yakthumba which is a combination of three Limboo words, Yak means Hill, thum means place or district, and ba means inhabitant, which together may be translated as “Hill people”.

Bhutias are Tibetans of Nyingma or Kagyu sect who migrated to Sikkim around 17th century. They are also refered to as Denzongpa or inhabitants of Denzong, the Tibetan name for Sikkim. They follow Mahayana Buddhism. Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche as their supreme deity. Losar and Losoong are celebrated are their major festivals. Bhutias ruled Sikkim for 250 years as Chogyals.

Nepali, The people of Nepalese origin constitute 70 to 80 percent of the population of Sikkim. They consist of many ethnic groups like Rai, Gurung, Tamang, Chhetri and Sherpa. The Sikkimese Nepali community worship Hindu gods, following the tradition and culture as laid down by the Vedas. Dussehra, which falls in late September to mid October is their most important festival. They are excellent farmers, and introduced terrace farming in the state.

Gangtok
Pelling

The mountainous state of Sikkim is situated in the very heart of the Eastern Himalayas. Nestled between Bhutan, healthful Nepal and Tibet, more about it is a picturesque land, rich in natural beauty, laden with snow capped mountains, spectacular glaciers, perennial rivers and dazzling lakes. The Teesta river, which originates from the Tibetan plateau, forms the life giving force of Sikkim. Along with its tributary Rangeet they carve out deep gorges as they roar through the verdant valleys. From the banks of the Rangeet to the snow clad mountains, the elevation ranges from 280m to above 7000m covering habitats from sub tropical to the alpine.

Mt. Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world plays a central role in the lives of the local people. Many customs of the populace and history of the area revolve around Kangchenjunga. The Kangchenjunga range running east west along with the Singalila ridge, is also responsible for providing the perfect climatic conditions for biodiversity.

With more than 5000 flowering plants, 500 orchids, 500 species of birds, 650 species of butterflies, Sikkim is truly a biodiversity hotspot. More than 36 varieties of rhododendrons bloom during spring time, transforming entire hill slopes in a riot of colour, aptly earning the status of the state flower. Sikkim is also home to some endangered mammals like the coy Red Panda which lives in the temperate forests while the elusive Snow Leopard is found in the alpine zone.

The history of Sikkim is as diverse as its communities. Lepchas are the oldest surviving tribe in Sikkim. Limboos are also autochthons of the region. The Bhutias migrated here from Tibet over centuries, and gradually acquired prominence, with lands and titles. They brought Buddhism along with them. Phuntsok Namgyal, a Bhutia, was the first consecrated king of Sikkim, given the title of Chogyal in Yuksom (meaning three wise men) by three lamas in 1642. Mahayana Buddhism was recognized as the state religion, and it continued so under all subsequent Namgyal rulers.

The rule of Namgyal dynasty continued for the next 300 years. For 200 years, they had fierce battles with invading armies from Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. These skirmishes continued till the time the British subdued the warring Gorkhas of Nepal in 1817, and signed treaties with both Nepal and Sikkim.

In 1889 the British appointed Claude White as the first political officer in Sikkim, bringing the Chogyal completely under the British rule. In 1947 when India became independent, Tashi Namgyal successfully negotiated Sikkim’s status as a protectorate with Chogyal as the Monarch. However, by 1970 a political turmoil was beginning, demanding the removal of Monarchy in favour of a democracy. The confrontation between Chogyal and the elected government and the events that ensued, led to annexation of Sikkim, which became the 22nd state of India on 16th May 1975.

The peaceful coexistence of the Lepchas, Bhutias, Limboos and Nepali community characterises the cultural diversity of Sikkim.

Lepcha are believed to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim. They are an animist tribe who worship nature or the spirits of nature. Mount Kangchenjunga plays a very central role in their culture with most of their ceremonies and mythology being based around it.

Limboo is another indigenous community in Sikkim. The word Limboo, which means archer in Nepali, was given to them by the Gorkha community. But the people call themselves Yakthumba which is a combination of three Limboo words, Yak means Hill, thum means place or district, and ba means inhabitant, which together may be translated as “Hill people”.

Bhutias are Tibetans of Nyingma or Kagyu sect who migrated to Sikkim around 17th century. They are also refered to as Denzongpa or inhabitants of Denzong, the Tibetan name for Sikkim. They follow Mahayana Buddhism. Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche as their supreme deity. Losar and Losoong are celebrated are their major festivals. Bhutias ruled Sikkim for 250 years as Chogyals.

Nepali, The people of Nepalese origin constitute 70 to 80 percent of the population of Sikkim. They consist of many ethnic groups like Rai, Gurung, Tamang, Chhetri and Sherpa. The Sikkimese Nepali community worship Hindu gods, following the tradition and culture as laid down by the Vedas. Dussehra, which falls in late September to mid October is their most important festival. They are excellent farmers, and introduced terrace farming in the state.

Gangtok
Pelling

The mountainous state of Sikkim is situated in the very heart of the Eastern Himalayas. Nestled between Bhutan, health Nepal and Tibet, it is a picturesque land, rich in natural beauty, laden with snow capped mountains, spectacular glaciers, perennial rivers and dazzling lakes. The Teesta river, which originates from the Tibetan plateau, forms the life giving force of Sikkim. Along with its tributary Rangeet they carve out deep gorges as they roar through the verdant valleys. From the banks of the Rangeet to the snow clad mountains, the elevation ranges from 280m to above 7000m covering habitats from sub tropical to the alpine.

Mt. Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world plays a central role in the lives of the local people. Many customs of the populace and history of the area revolve around Kangchenjunga. The Kangchenjunga range running east west along with the Singalila ridge, is also responsible for providing the perfect climatic conditions for biodiversity.

With more than 5000 flowering plants, 500 orchids, 500 species of birds, 650 species of butterflies, Sikkim is truly a biodiversity hotspot. More than 36 varieties of rhododendrons bloom during spring time, transforming entire hill slopes in a riot of colour, aptly earning the status of the state flower. Sikkim is also home to some endangered mammals like the coy Red Panda which lives in the temperate forests while the elusive Snow Leopard is found in the alpine zone.

The history of Sikkim is as diverse as its communities. Lepchas are the oldest surviving tribe in Sikkim. Limboos are also autochthons of the region. The Bhutias migrated here from Tibet over centuries, and gradually acquired prominence, with lands and titles. They brought Buddhism along with them. Phuntsok Namgyal, a Bhutia, was the first consecrated king of Sikkim, given the title of Chogyal in Yuksom (meaning three wise men) by three lamas in 1642. Mahayana Buddhism was recognized as the state religion, and it continued so under all subsequent Namgyal rulers.

The rule of Namgyal dynasty continued for the next 300 years. For 200 years, they had fierce battles with invading armies from Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. These skirmishes continued till the time the British subdued the warring Gorkhas of Nepal in 1817, and signed treaties with both Nepal and Sikkim.

In 1889 the British appointed Claude White as the first political officer in Sikkim, bringing the Chogyal completely under the British rule. In 1947 when India became independent, Tashi Namgyal successfully negotiated Sikkim’s status as a protectorate with Chogyal as the Monarch. However, by 1970 a political turmoil was beginning, demanding the removal of Monarchy in favour of a democracy. The confrontation between Chogyal and the elected government and the events that ensued, led to annexation of Sikkim, which became the 22nd state of India on 16th May 1975.

The peaceful coexistence of the Lepchas, Bhutias, Limboos and Nepali community characterises the cultural diversity of Sikkim.

Lepcha are believed to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim. They are an animist tribe who worship nature or the spirits of nature. Mount Kangchenjunga plays a very central role in their culture with most of their ceremonies and mythology being based around it.

Limboo is another indigenous community in Sikkim. The word Limboo, which means archer in Nepali, was given to them by the Gorkha community. But the people call themselves Yakthumba which is a combination of three Limboo words, Yak means Hill, thum means place or district, and ba means inhabitant, which together may be translated as “Hill people”.

Bhutias are Tibetans of Nyingma or Kagyu sect who migrated to Sikkim around 17th century. They are also refered to as Denzongpa or inhabitants of Denzong, the Tibetan name for Sikkim. They follow Mahayana Buddhism. Guru Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche as their supreme deity. Losar and Losoong are celebrated are their major festivals. Bhutias ruled Sikkim for 250 years as Chogyals.

Nepali, The people of Nepalese origin constitute 70 to 80 percent of the population of Sikkim. They consist of many ethnic groups like Rai, Gurung, Tamang, Chhetri and Sherpa. The Sikkimese Nepali community worship Hindu gods, following the tradition and culture as laid down by the Vedas. Dussehra, which falls in late September to mid October is their most important festival. They are excellent farmers, and introduced terrace farming in the state.

Gangtok
Pelling

A land of incessant rainfall and thunderous waterfalls, malady Meghalaya stands true to its Sanskrit meaning ‘The Abode of Clouds’. Beautiful cloud formations against the backdrop of the rich blue sky lend a special charm to the place. During the monsoon fluffy clouds engulf the gentle green hills, sildenafil giving the entire landscape a very surreal effect.

Geologically the state is a part of the Meghalay plateau with altitudes ranging from 150m to 2000m. The central part of the plateau comprises the Khasi hills which has the highest elevations followed by the Jaintia Hills in the Eastern section. The Garo Hills, which fall in the Western part of the plateau are relatively flat, thus having a more tropical climate. The capital Shillong which is also a hill station is often referred to as the Scotland of the Eastand has been a tourist destination since the British ruled the North East province.

Meghalaya is credited with being the wettest state in India with some areas receiving rainfall as high as 1200 cm annually. The little town of Cherapunjee is very famous for it’s world record status of receiving the most rainfall in a calendar month. But it is the little village of Mawsynram which holds the distinction of seeing the heaviest rains.

The Meghalayan subtropical forests have been considered among the richest botanical habitats of Asia. These forests receive abundant rainfall and support a vast variety of floral and faunal biodiversity. A small portion of the forest area in Meghalaya is under what is known as “sacred groves”. These are small pockets of ancient forest that have been preserved by the communities for hundreds of years due to religious and cultural beliefs. These forests are reserved for religious rituals and generally remain protected from any exploitation. These sacred groves harbour many rare plant and animal species. The Nokrek biosphere reserve and the Balaphakram National Park, both in the West Garo Hills are considered to be the richest biodiversity sites in Meghalaya.

Before the state of Meghalaya came into existence, the area was ruled by the independent kingdoms of Jaintias, Khasis and Garos. Not much is know about the origins of any of the kingdoms since none of these tribes had a written script. In the 19th century all the three kingdoms succumbed to British rule and became part of the North East province.

At the time of Indian independence in 1947, present day Meghalaya constituted two districts of Assam enjoying limited autonomy within the state of Assam. The Assam Reorganisation Act which came into effect on 2nd April 1970, gave birth to an Autonomous State of Meghalaya within the State of Assam. In 1971, the Indian Parliament passed the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganization) Act, which conferred full statehood to the Autonomous State of Meghalaya. Meghalaya finally attained statehood on 21st January 1972, having its own assembly.

Meghalaya is dominated by three major tribes namely the Garo who reside in the Garo hills, the Khasi who reside in the East and West Khasi hills and the Jaintia who predominantly reside in the Jaintia hills. The unique feature of all these tribes is that they have a matrilineal society where descent is traced through the mother.

Khasi:
The Khasis are the predominant tribe inhabiting Eastern Meghalaya. They are a sub tribe of a group called Hynniew trep meaning ‘The seven Huts’ in Khasi. The other sub tribes in this group include Pnar, Bhoi , War and Lyngngnam. They are known to be one of the earliest settlers in the Indian sub-continent. But with the approach of the missionaries most of the people have converted to Christianity with very few people following their tribal religion, called variously, Ka Niam Khasi, Ka Niam Tre, or Chnong.

The Khasi men traditionally wore a jymphong or a longish sleeveless coat without collar, fastened by thongs in front, while the women wore what is called the jainsem or dhara. On ceremonial occasions, the men folk appear in jymphong and dhoti with an ornamental waist-band occasionally donning a turban.

Music and dance are an integral part of the Khasi culture , playing a central role in all their ceremonies and festivals. One of the basic forms of Khasi music is the ‘phawar’, which is more of a “chant” than a song, and are often composed on the spot, impromptu, to suit the occasion. Their most important festival is Ka Pom-Blang Nongkrem which goes on for five days . This festival gives thanks to the Lord Almighty for a good harvest along with which the participants pray for peace and prosperity of the community. The festival is celebrated in the month of October or November in the village of Smit.

Jaintia:
The Jaintias who reside in the Jaintia hills draw the same lineage as those from the Khasi. The central region of Jaintia Hills are inhabited by a tribe called “Pnars” while the southern and northern regions and inhabited by “Wars” and “Bhois” respectively. Over a period of time all three tribes have been collectively labelled by the generic name Jaintias. Despite some similarities with the Khasi they have their own unique customs and traditions. Even today many people still maintain their unique religion called Niamtre.

The dress of the various Jaintia tribes is very similar to that worn by the Khasi people. The Jaintias being close to nature emphasis the link between man, his culture and the natural environment in their various festivals. Behdienkhlam is the most important festival of the Jaintias focusing on praying for the property and good health of the people as also invoking divine blessings for a bountiful harvest.

Garo:
The Garos are the indigenous tribe residing in the Garo hills region of Meghalaya. They originally migrated from Tibet thus belonging to the Tibeto-Burman race. They call themselves Achik Mande, literally meaning the hill people. They were an animist tribe believing in their traditionl religion of Songsarek. But with the advent of the American Baptist and Christian missionaries in the later part of the 19th century most of them converted to Christianity. Like the Khasis they too are a matrilineal tribe tracing their descent from the mother’s side.

The Garo dress used to be very simple with the men wearing a loin cloth and the women wearing a piece of cloth around their waist with a blouse or vest on the top. On all festive occasions, the Garos, irrespective of sex, wear head dresses with rows of beads stuck with feathers of hornbill. Rice forms the staple diet of the people but being a tribal community they eat everything from chicken and fish to pigs and wild animals. They are very fond of drinking and mainly consume liquor brewed from rice.

Since farming plays a very important role in the lives of the Garo tribe, most of their festivals are centred around agriculture. Their most important festival Wangala is a post harvest festival, in which Saljong, the god who provides mankind with Nature’s bounties and ensures their prosperity, is honoured.

Shillong
Cherrapunji
Mawsynram
Mawlynnong
Mawphlang