The biota of Yumthung Valley presents a paradisiacal spectacle. The scenery leaves an everlasting imprint on the visitors’ heart and soul. The Yumthang Valley or Sikkim Valley Flowers Sanctuary is home to a wide range of flora and fauna blanketing the meadows and adorning the banks of the river. It is situated in North Sikkim and is close to the Indo-China Border at a distance of approximately 130 km from the capital Gangtok.
Located at an elevation of 3,564 m (11,693ft.) there are hardly any trees in the valley. Rather, the vast meadow is sheathed by over 20 types of rhododendrons which is also the state flower. The valley encompasses the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary within its vast meadows. The sanctuary, apart from being home to over 40 different types of Rhododendron species, is also a habitat for birds like Wood snipe and Hoary-throated barwing. During the flower season, the valley adorns a multicolor sheet of flowery gown that will leave beholders fascinated. Mere words fall short to describe the spectacular scenery this valley presents and one need only to visit to comprehend the beauty. Besides the flower keeping you company, cattle graze in the meadows during particular times of the year and this is known as Yaylag pastoralism, giving us a mirror image of those western meadows and valleys we see on the telly. This picturesque composition includes a river nearby along with a natural hot spring within the valley.
The myriad of flowers dancing under the summer sun is a view to behold. However, something this grand does not come easy and it is an arduous journey to reach Yumthang Valley via Lachung. Since it is in proximity to the Indo-China border, tourist movement is controlled in this area. A permit is required to visit the valley. Even if one is granted a permit, it is not until nine in the morning that the journey is confirmed after the vehicle you booked receives a green signal. Weather changes and landslides are frequent in this area, which is Mother Nature’s way of controlling traffic.
Travel to Yumthung valley comes in tour packages. Lachung is the only place close to Yumthung valley that has proper accommodation facilities ranging from modest hotels to 4-star resorts. The hotels are booked as part of the package tour. So, you need to choose your package wisely keeping in view the expenses and the number of days to spend under unadulterated atmosphere. Overnight stay is a necessity as the journey itself takes 6 to 7 hours and it gets dark quite early in this area. Yumthung valley is just 40 minutes ride from Lachung, and allows tourists to immerse themselves in the beauty for most of the day. The flowering season starts in late February and is in full bloom by mid-June. Mid-April to Mid-May is the best time to visit the place and the weather is pleasant during this time. The valley is shut during December to March due to heavy snowfall.
There are other places in and around Yumthang worth visiting. Zero point or Yumesamdong is about 23 km from Yumthang. One can witness the vast flat Tibetan plateau at a distance. Other spots like Lachung Monastery, Chungthang, Lachen Monastery and Yumthung River are an hour or two ride away from Yumthang valley and Lachung. If you are all set to visit Yumthang and inhale the bounteous beauty, call WeCare Holidays and get ready to immerse yourself into the flowery meadows.