Kishong Lake Trek

enquire nowDescribed by the National Geographic Adventure - Sikkim is the new Nepal “Small but beautiful” is how Sikkim’s Tourist Bureau describes this Buddhist kingdom, the 22nd state of India. Nestled in the inner range of the eastern Himalayas, the country is so mountainous that only twenty percent of the land is habitable. Most Sikkimese live in the shadow of Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, and revered by the Sikkimese as their protective deity.


In Sikkim you will experience the grandeur of magnificent mountains, lush valleys, swiftly running rivers, and a peaceful people. The original inhabitants of this rugged land were the Lepchas or Rong-pa, the ravine folk from Assam, who now live in harmony with the Khampas from Tibet and Nepalese from neighboring Nepal. Sikkim, a prosperous and a wonderfully diverse state, has much to offer both in terms of beauty and spirituality. Like the few mountain kingdoms on the planet, Sikkim was virtually cut off from the world for centuries, and remained isolated for some time even after it was absorbed into India. The official government census of only ten years ago reported that among the 400,000 inhabitants there were more yaks than telephones. Without a doubt this is changing, and one cannot stress enough the advantage of seeing now, what may be a vanishing culture.

Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Gangtok are our jumping-off points for our tours to Sikkim. Explore Sikkim on these itineraries or call to plan your private journey Trek to Kanchenjunga Sikkim, bounded by Tibet to the north, Bhutan to the east, Nepal to the west and the plains of India to the south, was a Buddhist monarchy until recently. Travel to Sikkim became restricted soon after it was inducted into India in the early seventies, and only now Sikkim is slowly opening up for tourism. Ranging from 3000 feet to 28,000 feet elevation and located in the monsoon belt, Sikkim has orchids growing in a rainforest climate and majestic snow-capped mountains. The original inhabitants were the Lepchas or Rong-pa, the ravine folk from Assam, who now live in harmony with the Khampas from Tibet and Nepalis from neighboring Nepal. Sikkim, a prosperous and a wonderfully diverse state, has much to offer in terms of both beauty and spirituality. The great climber-writer Fosco Maraini, who strived mightily to enter the country in the 1950s, felt repaid for his efforts when he first saw Gangtok. “It is at the end of a motor-road,” he wrote, “but all the same you feel out of the world. The whole thing is a fairy tale.”On this expedition, we combine interacting and meeting local people and exploring monasteries with a moderately strenuous trek towards the base camp of the third highest mountain in the world - the mighty Kanchenjunga. Five Treasures of the Snow, as the mountain is known locally, is a mere thirteen meters shorter than K2, the second tallest mountain in the world.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01 Gangtok  to Dzongu via Dikchu ,  4 hours 120 km
Jeep Safari through the buffer zone of the KNP) it really looks as if we are travelling back in time through narrow bridges and deep forest to the Lepcha Reserve . Evening we will stay in a homestay Evening at leisure

Day 02 LingjhaVillage to chana village  5 hours trek via bey ( 10 km)
(1500 meters to 2500 meters – 5  hours aprox)  and camping at Chana village one of the remotest in the world. Today we start the trek after offering pooja at the monastery with the Lamas. The entire theme of this adventure would be rediscovering the Lepchas through spiritual connection so this will be a pure pilgrimage trek. I am attaching a paper written on Lepchas .

Day 03 (2500 meters to 3200 meters – 4 hours aprox)
Chana to Tholung village on at Tholung 4 hours acclimatization day since after this we are going to be in the higher Himalayas. I will have to find out the altitudes after consulting the DFO as India does not give maps to the area since its too close to China . Its basically the last of the big Himalayan Mountains before you reach the Tibetean Pleatue. This area is a secret zone and this is some of the things we come across - The Tholung Secret Valley is located in the shadow of the Mt. Siniolchu and Lamo Angdang Peak looking down to its mighty land Dzongu, the land of Lepcha’s. This is virtually an uninhabited valley with a miniscule population (less than 50) of Lamas, yak herdsmen, cow and sheep graziers. Glaciers, snow clad peaks, alpine lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, bio-diverse forests, cascading rivers and streams, twittering birds, and yaks are all there. Hiding in the deep forests, and in the rocky uplands are musk dear, Barking deer, Red fox, Himalayan Tahr and many more.As one walks towards Tholung, the surrounding mountains on the top of which ice clings tenaciously even during the summer seem to close in. on reaching Tolung one can understand why the Sikkimese chose this place to keep the relics here out of the reach of the invading Nepalese. Because of its vantage location it was easy to guard hence this place was selected for relics.Significance of Tholung Secret Zone: The Tholung valley has long featured in the legends and lore of the people of Sikkim. Its name literally means “the hiding place of relics”. It is worth describing it as a secret landscape, found in all wild form. The secret place starts right before reaching Tholung monastery. Some of the important holy sites are Dumlong Nay, Tholung Monastery, Shingi Badong, Khongcha Ch, Thegyong Buti Na, Kishong tsho and lungdok nay which falls along the nature trail. These places are still visited by pilgrims from far corner of sikkim and adjoining states. Dumlong Nay is a local protecting diety of the secret land is worshiped before reaching Tholung Monastery. Guru Labtsen Chenpo who came towards Tholung in order to explore the possibility of hiding the treasures was even held back by this local deity. On a request he was allowed to visit the valley on a condition that he will be responsible for all kind of treasures that will be hidden in the land. Hence it is believed to be a protecting diety of the secret landscape. The local pilgrims take bow (permission) before entering Tholung premises.Tholung Gumpa was first built in the reign of Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal in the early 18th century. It contains rare and valuable scriptures and artifacts of other monasteries that were brought here for safety during the invasion of Sikkim by the Nepalese during late 17th and early 19th century. A brass Chorten within the monastery contains the ashes of one of the incarnates of Lama Latsun Chenpo, the patron saint of

Sikkim. All the relics are kept sealed in thirteen boxes under the supervision of the government of Sikkim. Once every three years in the month of April the relics are shown to the public in the monastery complex which is believed to be holy and a blessing of Guru latsun Chenpo.Shingi Badong It is believed to a path leading to hell, one cannot go to this place alone in the, the roaring sound of the river in the dark dense forest keep frightening. It is also worshiped by the devotees as a holy place.Thegyong Buti Nay, the rong ( Lepcha’s ) believe it a integrated holy place. A cliff is blessed with a holy water falls dropping down which is believed to be water dropping down from the hair of Guru Padma Shambhava (ever living Buddha). Just in 5 meter is a hidden cave where a water flows from a tunnel looking down. This is too a holy water ( theu) that one can take back home. A treasure box inside the rock is believed to be a home of precious treasure. According to the legend, when Guru Lhatsen Chenpo tried taking out the treasures for Tholung Monastery, it automatically locked itself and the hand mark of both the hands can still be seen in this box. The log and key for the same box is about 3 meter below on a rock. Just below this is a line of holy treasures books exactly looking like the holy books lines up in the monastery. One can make out it is a text books by just looking at the rock. The devotees seek the blessing of the holy text book from this spot. A sexual organ of female is also depicted on the rock. This is believed to have super natural power for couple seeking desire children. The local devotees visit this place to specially request for a desired child. (son or a daughter). The one having son can seek for a daughter and the one having daughter can seek for son.

Day 04 (3200 to 3800 meters - 5 hours aprox)
Tholung to Gikithang campsite 5 hours trek in the Kunchunjunga Biosphere reserve . Great chances to see wildlife and rare birds. o/n Camp

Day 05 October 18th Thursday Gikithang Campsite to Keshong lake(3800 to4500 meters 5hours aprox)
A five hour trek leading us to this really beautiful lake which is holiest of the holy . We will camp here and start our forays with the accompanying Shaman who would guide us through his stories and rituals.

Day 06 ( 4500 meters to 5000 meters)
Keshong lake rest day inside KNP: This is a reserve rest day to explore the amazing biosphere reserve which will soon be declared a world heritage site. We will go up to the higher reaches of the mountains till we are allowed to have a great view of mountains.

Day 06 Keshong to Tholung :
From Keshong we will have a long downhill walk to the Tholung Campsite . Come back the same way we came stopping at the hot springs for some natural therapy. Khongcha Chu is a holy hot spring located deep inside the oak forest. It is visited by many different bird during the absence of human being. Hot spring are believed to be holy as they cure skin diseases, this of one for the visiting devotees of Tholung Monastery. It is very new to human interference and the volume of the outlet is huge. The local devotees visit to get blessing of this holy spring water, some even takes shower with the spring water.

Day 07 Tholung to LIngthem
Today we come all the way to civilization to the last connecting road. The day would be spent ina beautiful village of Lingthem with the head of the village who runs a homestay. From tholung we can trek through bamboo groves and terraced rice fields to Lingthem village. The trek offers breathtaking views of the Mt Khanchendzonga, worshipped as protector and the original source of all life by the Lepchas. The village is located in the heart of an alpine forest and also has a monastery. A unique form of rural Sikkimese Nyingma Buddhism is practised here The Lepchas have a rich cultural heritage, and are very proud of it.  For centuries, our way of life and traditions has been passed down from one generation to another.

Day 8: From Lingthem to Gantok
Optional - Today we will visit a traditional Shaman experiencing the unique prayers of the Lepcha’s . A day with shaman and a village trek . Sit with story tellers in the evening. See cultural program today as well. We will also see some of the most amazing traditional rice cultivation practices . Music and dance are an important part of Lepcha culture. It bonds us emotionally to each other and the nature. You can experience a glimpse of this. A Cultural Show of local folk songs and dances will be arranged. The Lepcha youth take pride in giving you this insight into their culture and will participate with enthusiasm and vigor to make their show a success.

Dates and Prices

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