Tholung Monastery Kishong Lake Trek
Tholung Monastery Kishong Lake Trek
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Tholung Monastery Kishong Lake Trek: A trek to little-visited Tholung Valley & Kishong Lake

Tholung Valley Trek
Crossing the rickety Bamboo Bridge enroute to Tholung Monastery

Embark on an unforgettable hike through the Tholung Valley in North Sikkim, leading to the ancient Tholung Monastery and the sacred Kishong Lake. With altitudes ranging from 7000 to 14,800 feet, this moderate-to-strenuous trek offers breathtaking views and can be completed in just five days.

Located in the Dzongu Region of North Sikkim, the Tholung Manastery Kishong Lake trek leads to the ancient Tholung Monastery and the holy Kishong Lake, situated at an altitude of 4500 m above mean sea level. With altitude varying between 7000 feet and 14,800 feet, this can be graded as a moderate to strenuous trek.

Tholung Valley in North Sikkim is the stronghold of the ethnic Lepcha tribes, who live in small villages amongst the densely forested slopes high above and around the Tholung Monastery. The Tholung valley also forms a buffer zone for Kanchenjunga National Park.

The Tholung Monastery and the holy Kishong Lake Trek are among the lesser-known hiking trails in North Sikkim. Being an off beat trek route is also not as popular as the Goechala Trek or the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek in Sikkim. Moreover, Tholung Monastery Kishong Lake Trek is also less frequented by outsiders due to the permit formalities, as Tholung Valley and Kishong Lake area fall in the restricted area of North Sikkim.

Highlights of the Trek

Highlights of the Tholung Monastery Kishong Lake Trek in North Sikkim is the Tholung Monastery nestled cozily at an altitude of 8000 feet, and the Kishong Lake surrounded on all sides by the high mountains, secluded, and remote. Tholung Monastery houses rich artifacts and relics brought in from other monasteries from all over Sikkim for safekeeping during the invasion by the Nepalese Army in the late seventeenth century and the early nineteenth century.

Tholung Monastery Trek
Tholung Monastery

This ancient monastery was built at the beginning of the 18th century by Chogyal Phuntshok Namgyal II, the then King of Sikkim. Once every three years, these artifacts are displayed to the general public during the festival of Kamsil, which falls in the month of April.

Trekking to Kishong Lake

The other significance of the Thoulng Monastery Kishong Lake Trek is the hike up this beautifully forested valley where yaks graze below the snow-capped mountains of the Kanchenjunga range and to the Holy Kishong Lake. At an altitude of 4500m above mean sea level and surrounded by the white snow-capped mountains of the Kanchenjunga Range, a trek to this lake is a pilgrimage that trekkers look forward to. Also, Kishong Lake is of immense religious value to the Lepcha Tribe of North Sikkim; they believe that Kishong Lake shows the way to heaven, and their ancestors also originated from this lake.

Tholung Valley Trek
Kishong Lake at 4550m on the Tholung Valley Trek

Getting there and away

Singhik, or Lingshya, about four-hour drive and 68 km from the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is the trek head for this trek. Singhik and Lingshya are two small villages situated around the slopes of the Tholung Valley, consisting of a few houses belonging to the ethnic Lepcha Tribe of North Sikkim. Few homestays have sprung up now as more people are seeking secluded trekking destinations.

Best Time to Trek in North Sikkim

March to April are recommended for the Tholung Monastery Kishong Lake Trek in North Sikkim. Not only for the wonderful views and the Kamsil Festival, which is held here on the grounds of the Tholung Monastery, but also for the different colors of the rhododendrons and the wild flowers that bloom here during spring.

Sikkim is blessed with natural beauty and the Himalayas. Therefore, October to December is a good time to trek here for the wonderful views and also for the experience of trekking and living among the ethnic tribes of North Sikkim.

TRIP FACTS:

  • Trek Grading: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Type of Trek: Camping/Tents.
  • Duration: 9 Nights/10 Days
  • Maximum Altitude: 4500m
  • Best Season: March-June and October-November.
  • Starting Point:  Bagdogra Airport/NJP Railway Station/Nepal Border.
  • Ending Point: Bagdogra Airport/NJP Railway Station/Nepal Border.
  • Tour Availability: Only private treks are available on request for a minimum of 2 people.
  • Minimum 4 participants required for treks to operate for Indian Nationals
  • Note: Three months of notice are required to process permits for North Sikkim.

THOLUNG VALLEY TREK ITINERARY
Day 1: Arrive Bagdogra Airport/NJP Railway Station/Nepal Border. Drive from Bagdogra to Gangtok. Hotel(B/B).

Day 2: Full day of sightseeing around Gangtok, including Rumtek Monastery. Hotel (B/B).

Day 3: Drive north of Gangtok to Mangan and on to Singhik (63 km/3 hours). Enroute, visit Podong Monastery. Overnight home stay.

Day 4: Enjoy early morning views of the Kanchenjunga range from Singhik. Drive from Singhik to the roadhead at Lingsha. Start the trek to Tholung Valley. Trek to Tholung Gompa (3200 m/12 km/6 hours). Camping.

Day 5: Trek Tholung Gumpa to Gikithang ( m/6 hours). Camping

Day 6: Trek Gikithang to Kishong Lake (4500 m/6 hours). Camping

Day 7: Trek Kishong Lake to Tholung (5 hours). Camping

Day 8: Trek Tholung to Lingthem (4 hours). Overnight Home Stay

Day 9: Drive Lingthem to Gangtok (68 km/3 hours). Overnight Hotel

Day 10:  Drive to Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border for Final Departure. End of the trek.

  • Tholung Valley Trek Cost: :US$1800 per Person
  • Tholung Valley Trek Cost for Indian Nationals : Please request quote in Indian Rupee

Note: The above itinerary is a sample, intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors, such as weather, road conditions, the physical ability of the participants,etc., may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participants’ safety, comfort, and general well-being.

Recommendations: The trek is strenuous and demands good physical form. A physical fitness check-up is recomended.

(All relevant Terms & Conditions apply)

 

  • THOLUNG VALLEY COST : US$1800 per Person
  • THOLUNG VALLEY COST FOR INDIAN NATIONALS: Please request for quote in Indian Rupee

TOUR COST INCLUDES:

  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts.
  • Twin share tent with mattress during camping/trekking.
  • Fully organized trek services with guide, porters, and camping equipment.
  • All fixed three meals every day during trekking or camping.
  • All road transport is as per itinerary by car or Jeep.
  • Service of an English-speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees to monuments visited.
  • All Permits for Sikkim.

DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Sleeping bag; personal clothing or equipment.
  • Lunches and dinners during hotel stays.
  • Bottled or alcoholic drinks.
  • Tips, client insurance, and evacuation costs.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature.

(All relevant Terms and Conditions apply.)

 

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