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Goecha La is not just a destination to be conquered to satisfy the adventure thrill but has a unique history that Sikkim believes in wholeheartedly.

Besides being a pass for the Tibetan Nepalese to enter India during the primitive times, it is said to be the gateway leading to the spiritually incarnated Hidden Caves of Mt. Kanchenjunga, where if one enters has no coming back, as the life inside the Hidden Caves is heaven, fulfilled with happiness and desired wishes, given one has to leave all attachments to start the journey for this new life.

Brief Itinerary: Goecha La Pass

Day 1 – Walk begins, Yuksum (1900mts) to Tshoka (2200mts)

Day 2 – Tshoka to Dzongri- la (4000mts)

Day 3 – Dzongri-la – Dzongrila top (4200mts) – Thangsing (4300mts)

Day 4- Thangsing to Lamune (4500mts) – One of the most beautiful walks!

Day 5 – Lamune – Goechala top (5000mts) to Cocuchurung (4700mts)

Day 6 – Cocuchurung to Tshoka (3000mts)

Day 7 – Tshoka to Yuksum (1900mts)

Detailed Itinerary of Goecha La Trek

Day 1: Yuksum (1900mts) to Tshoka (3050mts)

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Distance: 17km

Time: 7hrs

The NH 10 breaks into a small human settlement, Yuksum, the first capital of Sikkim, where the first consecrated “CHOGYAL” established his throne (now known as the ‘Coronation Throne’) called Yuksum.

The roads of this village are like interwoven fabric, where it functions as a road literally at one time, a plaza the other, a shopping arena, a sit-out, a walkout, a children’s play area or in simple words – a kaleidoscope of activities.

The same roads lead you to the various 1-day hiking trips to the pristine locations of the monasteries, significant Sikkimese historical monuments, like Dudbi Monastery, other lakes, and sceneries of this Himalayan belt.

Passing through the last lying mountain villages and countryside, one enters the lush green forests of the Kanchenjunga National Park, where the colour of the trees and flowers becomes brighter, water becomes neon and the air lighter.

If one is lucky enough, they can get to see Red Pandas in their natural habitat at this altitude, the state animal of Sikkim. Crossing the last bridge from the mystic four, an indication of the uphill to Tshoka (3050mts), nature treats you by-passing Bakhim (2700mts) by a perfect tonic to the eyes and the lungs.

Monochromatic layers of mountains and the dotted villages left behind, a scale of distance with a unit of time.

Day 2: Tshoka (3050mts) to Dzongri – La (4200mts)

Difficulty: Moderate – Tough

Distance: 8kms

Time: 7 hrs

Atop Tshoka, a steep ascending wooden pathway with rich alpine flora and rhododendron shrubs culminating in the snowy slopes of Kanchenjunga National Park will rest at Dzongri (4320mt) via Phedang (4000mt).

It takes almost 7 hours to cross these 8kms for this unforgettable panorama of snow peaks surrounding, cutting across in an arc 270 degree through the azure sky. The landscape is incidental. It is the trekkers that change.

Day 3: Dzongri – La (4200mts) to Thangsing (4320mts) via Dzongri Top (4500mts)

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 14kms

Time: 5 hrs

It is a delicacy as the trekkers have it, to wake up as early in the morning to the enjoy the beauty of mountain peaks by climbing to Dzongri top (4500mt) from where they can get a panoramic view of Kabru (7353m), Ratong (6678m), Kanchenjunga (8534m), Koktang (6147m), Pandim (6691m), Narsingh(5825m) all blissfully bathing in the pure sunrays turning from pink to crimson to yellow on one side, and the shear clouds resting like a lake in between the mountains, revealing the insignificant glittering lights of Darjeeling and Yuksum on the other.

After breakfast, get ready for the 14km descend into the magical gateway valley of Kanchenjunga. After this charged up the Himalayan drama, Thangsing(4300mt), is the entrance to the valley, flanked by mountain ranges on both sides where the cattle graze and a stream directly from the pure melting snows passes by.

Due to this change in topography and altitude, they would see a change in the flora, landscape and the smells surrounding the entire valley.

Day 4 – Thangsing (4320mts) to Lamune (4500mts)

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 6kms

Time: 3 hrs

It is a straight 6-7km easy walk from Thangsing, to Lamune (4500mt). It is meditative, the surroundings filled with high mountain deities and devils looking down at the new visitors. The trekker’s footsteps are magnetically pulled by the Kanchenjunga peak right at the center of the valley as a vantage point.

Lamune which is an open-air monastery, into the wild making it a perfect place to camp, with a river flowing, Mt. Kanchenjunga with its theatrical presence, mounted like a God, silence absorbing the landscape and a few happy mountain goats making their way in the grasslands is the last halt for Goecha-La.

Day 5 – Lamune (4500mts) to Cocuchurung (4300mts) via Goecha La (5050mts)

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate to Tough

Distance: 9kms

Time: 5 hrs

Goecha-La view-point, an island surrounded by snow-covered ranges, silences the mind and focuses the thoughts. Trekkers get to breathe in the blessed saturated chill air and zoom in the crisp details of the mountain crevasses and architecture. It is as insignificant you spot yourself, Mt Pandim(6691mts) on your right will affirm it.

You would see the devotion impounding in the guide’s eyes whilst praying to Mt.Kanchenjuga for yet another successful trip. Descending back through Lamune to the romantic location of Cocuchurung (4700mt), it is the time to celebrate with thongbas, a Nepali cuisine, and some Nepali hit songs.

Day 6 – Cocuchurung (4300mts) to Tshoka (3050mts)

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 9kms

Time: 5 hrs

The route from Cocuchurung to Tshoka is a part of the Sangalila trek, by-passing the barren and high altitude terrains of Dzongri, trekkers enter into the pristine evergreen forests of rhododendrons and other ecosystems thriving with the background music of the falling waters. Passing through Phadeng, we retrace our steps to Tshoka with a warm welcome by the trekkers who would be retracing your footprints.

Day 7 – Tshoka (3050mts) to Yuksum (1900mts)

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 17kms

Time: 5 hrs

In full delight and glory and a detached mind, we walk over the low altitude forests again. Breathing the smoked alleys(narrow passages) of villages, understanding the civilization after the arduous and sincere 9 days of walking into the wild, are one of the reflective moments.

Package Cost: Goecha La Trek

For Indians: ₹16,000 per person ( min. 6 pax)

For International Tourists: $45 per day per person

(5% GST Applicable on above prices)

Inclusions:

  1. All meals from starting of the trek to the end. The meals are standard.
  2. All permits for the trek
  3. Entire trekking staff from kitchen to porters/ mules and guides. *Guides are mandatory.
  4. Tents, sleeping bags, and all trekking equipment.

Please Note:

  1. All payment has to be done before the trek starts.
  2. Once the trek has started, please discuss everything with your trip leader about your health awareness and your capacity to walk.
  3. In case of any emergency please follow the instructions of the guide.
  4. Pickups and drops can be arranged on request all over North-East India/ Bhutan and Nepal
  5. Feel free to connect with us on the contact details given below.

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By Abhishek Saraswat

Abhishek (@himalayan_gypsy) is a travel photographer and blogger known as Himalayan Gypsy over the internet. Academically from an engineering background and born the Himalayan valley of Dehradun, he found himself in love with nature and ever since he has been on a journey to travel India and showcase the beauty of the country through his pictures, motivating and encouraging people on the go to feel the same and also take responsibilities to conserve our rich heritage, culture and environment. He is a Certified Digital Marketer and a Travel Influencer who is efficient to create visually appealing content for Travel Brands, Property Owners, Cafes and other Product Shoots. He also specializes in running Facebook & Instagram Ad Campaigns for Brand Awareness, Brand Promotion and Online Reputation Management.

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