The advent of spring infuses a completely new life in the temperate slopes of the Sikkim Himalayas. Entire slopes are transformed into a color pallet of rich reds, yellows and pinks. The air is thick with the fragrance of the blooming rhododendrons.
The Barsey Rhododendron trek covers the higher reaches of the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary in West Sikkim, which houses 13 different varieties of rhododendron species. Entire hill slopes are covered with Arboreum, Falconeri, Barbatum, Hodgsoni and Campanulatum, the most commonly found rhododendron species in this sanctuary. The flowering season also attracts a plethora of bird species making it a delight for bird watchers. The panoramic views of the Kangchenjunga range further add to the spectacular beauty of this trek.
Bagdogra to Okhrey
Pickup from Bagdogra airport and drive to Okhrey. O/n at Sherpa Lodge in Okhrey.
Trek: Hilley to Lasune
A 45 minute drive from Okhrey gets you to Hilley, the starting point of our trek. From here your trek commences over an undulating path through a mix of bamboo and rhododendron forests teeming with birds, getting us to Barsey – our lunch point. Continue walking through the enchanting forest till we reach our campsite at Lasune. O/n in tents.
Trek: Barsey to Jorebotey
Today’s walk is a long but easy one, mainly through rhododendron and mixed temperate forests. Your path would be dotted with blood red and pink shaded rhododendron Arborium forests, brought to life by chirping of birds.
A short climb towards the end will get you to your campsite, which offers a stupendous view of the Kangchenjunga range. O/n in tents.
Trek: Jorebotey to Thulo Dhap
Continue traversing through hemlock and rhododendron forests, accompanied by the mighty Kangchenjunga. A final one hour climb will get you to a beautiful meadow where you set camp.
Trek: Thulo Dhap to Chewa
A steep climb gets us to the top ridge of the sanctuary, just above the tree line. The mighty hemlocks give way to slopes filled with Rhododendron Setosum bushes. We traverse the U shaped valley from where we get grand views of Kangchenjunga on a clear day. Put up our campsite on the Indo Nepal border outpost of Chewa Bhanjyang. O/n in tents.
Trek: Chewa to Uttarey, Drive to Darap
Our final descent through the dense forests gets us to the blissfully tranquil Uttarey village. After having lunch at Uttarey, drive to Darap village. O/n a homestay in Darap
After breakfast drive to Khecheopalri, a tranquil lake nestled in the midst of verdant forests. From here drive to Yuksom, the first capital of Sikkim. In the evening visit Pemayangtse monastery. O/n at a homestay in Darap.