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How To Reach Yumthang Valley
The Yumthang Valley situated in the northern regions of Sikkim, popularly known as the ‘Valley Of Flowers’, is a breathtaking landscape of colorful blooms and rolling hills that is located around 120 km from the capital of Gangtok. It is located at an altitude of 3500 m and features a variety of spectacular Himalayan flora and fauna.
Reaching the serene slopes of Yumthang Valley requires a permit because of its close proximity to the Indo-Chinese border, which can be obtained from Gangtok. The closest settlement from Yumthang is the charming village of Lachung, which is the usual stopover for accommodation for all those visiting the valley. While getting to Yumthang may prove to be an arduous task for some, rest assured your ultimate destination will make it worth all the trouble.
Here is a detailed account on the most convenient ways to reach Yumthang Valley.
The closest airport from Yumthang Valley is the Pakyong Airport near Gangtok. However, it only became operational in September 2018, and currently connects Gangtok to only Guwahati and Kolkata. People traveling from other regions are required to first journey to Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, from where one can catch a cab or prepaid taxi to Gangtok, which is located around 120 km away. Proceed from Gangtok to Lachung through a cab change, which will add another 4-6 hours to your journey. It usually takes an entire day to reach Yumthang Valley after landing in Bagdogra.
For those choosing to travel by train, the closest railhead is the Darjeeling Railway Station. It connects to most major cities in India, and is located around 98 km from Gangtok. Road travel between Gangtok and Darjeeling is very convenient with a number of bus services and cabs available for hire. Some travellers may also choose to travel via New Jaipalguri Railway Station, which is located around 190 km from the capital, and is accessible through buses and taxis. From Gangtok, a cab change is required to proceed to the village of Lachung, from where Yumthang is a mere 2-hour drive away.
While reaching Yumthang Valley requires mostly road travel after getting to Gangtok, the actual road to Yumthang is a treacherous terrain, with trails perpetually engulfed in fog and dusk that approaches early, causing total darkness in the area. The nearest village of Lachung is located roughly 110 km from the valley and takes around two hours to get to Yumthang, with well connected options of taxis and buses available.
As part of a tourist group, most of the worthwhile locations in Yumthang will be covered on your day trip to the valley. It is usually a four-wheel-drive or ten-seater vehicle that is used for these excursions. Walking around the colorful blossoms and strolling through the tranquil landscapes on foot will prove even more rewarding than exploring the scenic areas within the confines of a vehicle.