The breath taking natural beauty of this valley along with the base town of Lachung has been compared to Switzerland time and again, albeit as a less populous tourist destination. Visitors to the Yumthang Valley are awestruck by the sheer splendor of the Rhododendron trees that flower between March and May.
The valley is awash with red, purple and pink during this time and the one’s keen to learn more about it are welcome to visit the ‘Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary’ nearby. The peaks of Pauhunri & Shundu Tsenpa forming a backdrop to River Teesta is exhilarating while having a comforting and healing bath at the ‘Yumthang Hot Spring,’ just prior to entering the valley is truly rejuvenating. An uphill journey to Yumesamdong better known as the Zero Point is indeed rewarding for its majestic beauty with the tourists getting to see three winding rivers meeting the snow clad mountains from afar. This is the place where the roads come to a stop. The International Border ahead is closed to visitors.
It is necessary to carry ‘Protected Area Permits (PAP)’ while visiting the valley. The permits can be obtained from the Tourism Department at Gangtok. A fee will be levied by the tour operator in addition to the sightseeing costs. The amount is variable depending on the services rendered.
Best Time to Visit
It is worth visiting Yumthang Valley in April and May as it is the time when the Rhododendrons bloom. However, people wishing to see the mountain peaks in their majesty are advised to visit after September when the skies are clear. The cultural festival of Losar takes place in February to March every year and many tourists choose this time to reach the valley.