DAY 5 – YUMTHANG VALLEY, ZERO POINT
Today was another beautiful day. The first thing that I do these days when I get up in the morning is to peep out of the window. The view is spectacular. I could see the snow capped mountains and River Teesta flowing nearby.
the plan is to see Yumthang Valley and Zero Point. We all were very excited to
play in the snow at Zero Point. When you book a North Sikkim Package, Zero
Point is normally not included and you have to pay extra to the driver for covering Zero
We first drove to Zero Point – Yumesamdong which is around 15,500 ft above sea level. The drive to Zero Point is through the Yumthang Valley also known as the Valley of flowers. In April, this whole valley is supposed to be carpeted with flowers especially rhododendrons. In November, the valley was bare but it had its own beauty.
point is covered with snow throughout the year. Our car cuts through the
chilling winds, climbing higher and higher through the curvy roads where snow
was scattered here and there. The road to Yumthang Valley and Zero Point is good and therefore preferred over Gurudongmar Lake by people who are
running short on time.
|En route Zero Point|
The road took a sharp turn and then all of a sudden there is a change in panorama – high mountains covered with pristine white snow under the ivory blue sky. The view from here is simply breathtaking. If there is heaven on Earth, then this is very close to it.
reaching this point, we felt that this was the last outpost of civilization. This
is where the road ends. There was no road beyond this point. Sher Khan (Our
driver) told us that the government is planning to make a road from here
connecting Gurudongmar Lake.
|View - Drive to Zero Point|
|En route Zero Point|
There was snow everywhere and cold wind was breezing past our ears. Calm and quiet, time seems to stand still here, like nothing ever changes. Absorbed by the aura of its sheer beauty we walked, slipped and threw snow balls at each other. We played and took loads of pictures in the snow. These are the pictures that will be remembered forever.
|Playing in the snow|
You can rent out gum boots at nominal rates at Zero Point. We wished to spend more time here but soon realized that everyone was feeling very cold in the snow and the chilly winds has started causing headaches to few.
|At Zero Point|
|With Locals at Zero Point|
Zero Point is a must visit – it is more beautiful than the valley. We spend a little more than two hours here and then we drove back to Yumthang Valley. While heading back we gave a lift to a lady who had a stall at Zero Point till Lachung. She told us that by afternoon it becomes unbearably cold at Zero Point and thus everyone comes back to the village.
We could see the Teesta River flowing down. This was the Yumthang Valley. We have to climb down to see the river from close by. Here you can walk by the river bed, talk to the river that has been running with you everywhere, whether it is in Gantok or Lachen or Lachung. It is your constant companion.
|Shades of colour|
|At Yumthang Valley|
|Teesta at Yumthang Valley|
|Gompa near Yumthang Valley|
Our drive back to the car was silent. Nikhil, Pramod and Preeti were not feeling well. They were looking forward to a short nap. I was busy looking out of the window and admiring the natural beauty here.
We reached our hotel and had our lunch. We had an option of going to Mt. Katao but no one was up for it. After a while I noticed that the weather was becoming bad. There was fog everywhere and nothing was visible outside our window. We decided to rest as tomorrow again we will be spending hours in the car heading back to Gangtok.
Points to remember:
- As the sun sets early here start your day early.
- There is no accommodation at Yumthang Valley or Zero Point. The nearest village where you can find accommodation is Lachung.
- Only SUVs are allowed for excursion to Zero Point, Yumthang Valley.
- Book an Innova, bolero or a Xylo for a comfortable travel.
- To visit Zero Point you have to pay extra to the driver. Zero Point is a must visit – it is more beautiful than the valley.
- You can also see Mt. Katao for which you have to pay extra to the driver.
- Please carry warm clothes including sweater, jacket, cap, mufflers, socks and gloves. Wear shoes and not sandals or chappals. It is very windy so don’t forget a warm cap for covering your head and ears.
- There is snow at Zero point so dress accordingly. You can rent gum boots at Zero Point at very nominal rates.
- Be easy on steps and avoid brisk walk or running at high altitudes as the oxygen level is low.
- If you are feeling mountain sickness have chocolate of popcorn. It helps.
- Sikkim is plastic free zone. Please don’t litter and maintain the beauty of nature.
- Trivia: One maggi at Zero Point cost Rs 50 and 30 ml Old Monk cost Rs 30.
- Expense of the day:
For 4 ppl
Excursion to Zero Point