- Location: Sikkim, India
- Significance: Mountain Trek
- Attraction Type: Himalayas, Forests, Wildlife, Rhododendrons, Snowy Peaks, Monasteries
- How to Reach: Reach Yuksom in Sikkim. You can reach Yuksom from Siliguri in West Bengal via Bagdogra Airport. Transfers are easily available. You can reach Bagdogra Airport from Netaji Subhash Bose International Airport in Kolkata or Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.
- Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport
Kanchenjunga is considered to be one of the most difficult peaks to conquer. However, it is also the most rewarding of experiences. For travelers who find mountaineering expedition to the Kanchenjunga too daunting a proposition, there is the opportunity of trekking to the Kanchenjunga base camp.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Overview
The excellent scenic beauty, the beauty of lines of rhododendron that you see on your trek, the solemn hidden monasteries and opportunities to meet the highland inhabitants on the way make Kanchenjunga one of the most beautiful treks to undertake. Kanchenjunga itself is extremely beautiful, with its brilliant massif hanging like a snow wall against the sky. On a clear day, Kanchenjunga can fill you with a wonder and awe like few other mountain peaks can. There are two ways you can approach the Kanchenjunga base camp, through Nepal and through Sikkim in India. The one through Sikkim is more popular because of the comparative ease and the better scenic views that this route offers. Many mountaineering and trekking companies in Sikkim operate Kanchenjunga base camp expeditions. The route takes 10 days to cover, and usually begins and terminates at Yoksum, the land of the three lamas, where the Sikkimese royalty first started their reign.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Itinerary
The itinerary is enlisted below:
- Day 1: You journey will begin at Yuksam, or alternatively from Pemyangtse or Gangtok. Yuksam is West Sikkim’s most fascinating trekking region, and has a great historical value. You can explore the historical sites and other areas of interest before beginning your trek at a height of 1780 meters.
- Day 2: On day two, you arrive at Bakkhim. The beautiful forests with its wealth of rhododendron, magnolia, ferns and thousands of orchids will enchant you. You can also see some of the wonderful wildlife of the region including beautiful birds, and monkeys. You will cross the Paha Khola bridge, the Prek Chu River and then ascend to Bakhim. The ascent is steep it will take about two to three hours. Overnight stay at Bakkhim.
- Day 3: The trek gets increasingly steeper and more difficult with time. On this day, you trek for only 4 hours and cover a distance of 5 km. The time is needed to acclimatize with the increasing altitude. Overnight stay at Phedong.
- Day 4: One of the most beautiful days of trekking. You will find yourself above the 4000 meters mark, as you start trekking from Phedong. Beautiful views of Rathong, Kabru, Koktang, Simyo, Pandim and the mighty Kanchenjunga will present itself. Finally you will reach Dzongri, where you will find excellent views of the Kanchenjunga massif and a number of other major upper Himalayan peaks.
- Day 5: Wake up early and Dzongri, and catch the sunrise on the Himalayan peaks. This is excursion day. You take a detour to Laxmi Pokhari, another great place to get excellent views of some of the most beautiful peaks. Return to Dzongri at the end of the day.
- Day 6: This day’s trek is not that steep, as you descend from Dzongri for about half and hour and reach a crossroad. Take the left turn and go downwards till you reach Zamlingang. Follow the flat trail till you reach Bikhbari.
- Day 7: Ascend to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp, where the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Darjeeling provides training for advanced mountaineers. Catch close views of Frey’s peak, Koktang, Kabur and Rathong. Return to Bikhbari.
- Day 8: Return on the previous trail from Bikhbari to Bakkhim.
- Day 9: Trek to Dubdi monastery after your lunch, and check out the ‘hermit’s cell’, the oldest monastery in Sikkim. Descend to Yuksom.