North Sikkim is full of Picturesque locations! Zero Point aka Yumesamdong is one of them. The Natural Beauty of Zero Point compels tourists from all over the world to visit here again and again. If you are planning to escape the city life then a combined tour to Lachung, Yumthang Valley and Zero point in Sikkim can be the best holiday destination for you!
It is worth to mention that the valleys of Sikkim are compared to the valleys of Switzerland by many travelers. Zero Point along with Lachen and Yumthang is an extremely attractive travel destination.
Yumesamdong, also known as Zero Point is situated at an altitude of 15,300 ft above sea level. It is 23 km from Yumthang and it takes about one and a half hours to reach from a vehicle. It the place where the civilian road ends and you can’t drive further. However, the road from Yumthang is quite bad and the journey is tiresome. But, I suggest bearing the pain because the reward is worth it!
Snow can be found all over the year. This place is also used as grazing grounds by nomadic shepherds during summer months. You can get the view of Yaks roaming in the snow and grazing in the small stretch of snow-clad grassy land.
Zero Point is blessed with beautiful snowcapped mountains blooming flowers, and breath-taking of its beauty which mesmerizes every traveler on their tour to North Sikkim. Also, Zero Point is much cooler than Yumthang, Lachen as it is situated at high altitude.
Altitude Sickness is common as this place is located at high altitude. Smelling Camphor, Chewing Ginger helps. Local also sells Pop-corn to mitigate altitude-related sickness. Tourists with small babies and people with breathing problems should avoid visiting Zero Point.
There are also some shops which sell maggie, hot drinks, soft drinks, and some other hot snacks. Try spicy Aloo Dum and Chana Chat for sure!
Moreover, Try to visit Zero Point in the morning as the weather is usually clear and you can have the best sightseeing in the area. In afternoon, the weather usually becomes foggy and it hinders your experience.
However, You have to pay additional money to Visit Zero Point!
Besides Zero Point, It is advised that Lachung, Yumthang, and Lachen should be visited first. So let us know about them.
Lachung- The Paradise In Sikkim
Lachung is a hill station in the North Sikkim district. It is situated at an elevation of 2,900 meters bordering Tibet. Lachung means ‘Small Pass’ in the local language. This beautiful town is 125 km from the state’s capital, Gangtok.
The way to Lachung is along the river Teesta and your journey will be in the pleasant surroundings as the numerous waterfalls and mountain springs will welcome you on the way. After reaching Lachung, explore the village a bit as it is full of natural beauty!
The Lachung Monastery is also a tourist spot here. It has many ancient statues and murals which is worth seeing. The Town also has Carpet Weaving Center which shows the ethnic sight of how village women weaving the most exquisite woolen carpets. It opens only on weekdays.
You can also enjoy fishing in the two nearby rivers Yumthang Chu and Puniya Chu. But Fishing demands extra time! Choose Fishing on your travel plan when you have ample time.
During winter the town is usually covered in snow. Lachung is also the base camp for Rhododendron Valley Trek which starts from Yumthang Valley and ends at Lachen Valley. The best time to visit here is between October and May.
You can explore the beautiful town of Chungthang on the way to Lachung for a few hours as this place is rich in natural landscapes. The mesmerizing beauty of the confluence of the rivers Lachung and Lachen Chus is a scene to watch. These rivers finally join the famous Teesta River. Chungthang Monastery is also a mesmerizing landmark which is surrounded by stone houses and huge edifices. The Chungthang Monastery also has a huge collection of Buddhist Paintings that are rare to find elsewhere. There is also a sacred stone named Naydo, nearby Chungthang which is believed to have the holy footprints of Guru Padmasambhava.
After the Lachung, the next place to visit is Yumthang Valley, which is about 25 km from Lachung and it takes around 1.5 hours’ drive to reach there. You should start your journey early in the morning after the overnight stay at Lachung.
Yumthang Valley is 25 km from Lachung and it takes around a 2-hour drive to reach here from Lachung if weather permits! This valley is located at an altitude of 11,800 ft. This valley is also called ‘Valley Of Flowers‘. You can find this valley filled with colorful Rhododendron flowers. As far can your eyes can go, you will see the valley full of vibrant colors. The Rhododendron flower usually blooms between March and May.
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
Shingba Flower Sanctuary is a notable place to visit in Yumthang Valley. This Flower sanctuary spreads over 34 sq km and has 38 diverse varieties of Rhododendron Flowers. Some of the great species of this flower include the Arboretum, Grande, Nivale, the state flower, etc.
The State Forest Department organizes International Rhododendron Festival annually from March to May, when the flowering season is on the peak.
Hot Water Spring
It is an amazing destination to visit. This Spring is accessed by a small pathway which exists before the entrance of Flower valley. Even in cold temperatures, you can get hot water here! Scientists found that this water is rich in Sulphur and has amazing healing power with numerous medicinal values. Local authorities directed the water into two pools in which tourists can take a bath and fresh-up themselves. You can also visit the Shiva Temple which is 7 km from the hot spring in North direction.
Best Time To Visit Zero Point, Yumthang and Lachung
The best time to visit Yumthang Valley is between April and May as at this time You can witness Colorful valleys filled with Rhododendrons.
If you want to explore local culture and tradition then you can visit Lachung between February and March as at this time locals celebrate Losar Festival. In the first week of December, the monks at the Lachung Monastery perform Mask Dance which is also worth seeing. However, if you want to witness natural beauty then visit here between October and May.
You should visit Zero Point between March and May as at his time there is a conjunction of the best time to visit in Yumthang Valley and Lachung.
The tourists need Protection Area Permit (PAP) from the local authorities to visit Zero Point, Yumthang and Lachung as these areas are near International Border and controlled by the Indian Army. You can get the permits from Gangtok Tourism Office, Chungthang Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s Office District Administrative Center at Mangan, or at District Administrative Center at Mangan. If you are with a tour operator then they will organize the permits for you.
How To Reach
The best way to travel Zero Point, Lachung and Yumthang are by road. The vehicles registered with the Department of Sikkim Tourism are allowed to take tourists to these places. It is advised to book for tour packages as they are well aware of the local roads and climate. However, You can take personal vehicles provided your vehicle qualifies local norms.
I would suggest that first reach Lachung from Gangtok by road. Then have an overnight stay in Lachung. Next Day, first, reach Zero Point as weather conditions are usually clear at this time. Visit Yumthang Valley and surrounding areas of interest while returning from Zero Point.
Necessary Items To Carry
These places lie in the mountainous region. Hence, Warm Clothes are necessary. Moreover, carry an overcoat, a pair of gloves and snowboots for Zero Point. You can borrow them from Yumthang Market. But be aware as shopkeepers at Yumthang ask unreasonable prices so it is advised to Bargain with them. Also, carry excess cash as these places lack ATMs.
Do not forget to carry General Medicines and medicines related to altitude sickness.
Watch this video to know more about the place.
More Places To Visit Near Zero Point, Lachung And Yumthang
1. Seven Sisters Waterfall
This waterfall lies on the Gangtok – Lachung National Highway. This waterfall will surely leave You Speechless. The lush green hills tumbling on the top enhances the beauty of this cascade.
2. Mt. Katao
This place is nearly 28 km from Lachung. This Mountain is one of the best location for Adventure seekers. You will also find lush green forests along with beautiful valleys of Rhododendrons, poppies with few beautiful waterfalls on the way to the top.
3. Gurudongmar Lake
Gurudongmor Lake is one of the most beautiful and Pristine lake of Sikkim. This lake lies at an altitude of 5,183 meters near the Indo-China border. This lake is among the major source of water for river Teesta. The water of the lakes believed to be sacred by Hindus. This lake is 115 km from Lachung Bus Stand.
Lachen in local language means big pass. This beautiful town is nestled at an altitude of 2,750 meters. This town is 27 km from chunthang. This village is ideal for adventurous backpackers and travelers as this place offers unmatched natural views. This place is approximately 47 km from Lachung Bus Stand.
5. Chopta Valley
Chopta Valley is a wonderful tourist destination for nature explorers. This Valley is about 30 km from the Lachung Bus stand. This valley nestled at an altitude of 15000 ft. The tree line began to fade from here and You will start noticing Tundra Vegetation. The aroma of flowers blends with the cool atmosphere making this place serene and delightful.
Sikkim is the Switzerland of India! It is one of the best places on Earth to visit. Everywhere you can find tall mountains full of scented flowers. The place of Lachung, Yumthang and the Zero Point is worth to visit.
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If you are Travel Fanatic then check out my recent post on Seasons Of India. On that post, I mention the places to visit in India according to Months.