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Sikkim Goechala Kasturi Trek

09 Nights/10 Days
Price per person 550 USD 41,500 INR
Difficulty
Difficulty
Difficult to Strenuous
Duration
Duration
10 Days
Maximum Altitue
Maximum Altitue
4940 m / 16,207 ft
Pickup Point
Pickup Point
Bagdogra Airport / NJP
Drop Point
Drop Point
Bagdogra Airport / NJP
Base Camp
Base Camp
Yuksam
Min/Max Age
Min/Max Age
14 to 65 years
Best time to visit
Best time to visit
April to May and Oct to Nov

Trip Overview

Goechala Kasturi Trek is one of the finest less explored trekking routes in Sikkim. It is slightly different from the regular Goechala trek and is also known as the Kasturi Orar trek or Kasturi round trek. This particular trek starts from Yuksam and ends up at Labdang and Tashiding village.

Goechala Kasturi trek follows the same regular trekking trail of Dzongri and Goechala Trek till Goechala viewpoint and divert itself from Thangshing campsite on the way back and head towards Lampokhari, Cahmrey, and Kasturi Orar Campsite before finally reaching Labdang Village.

This trek offers spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains peaks and pristine landscape. It falls exactly opposite the Singalila ridge mountain range and has amazing and captivating valleys and ridges. This trek is especially fit for the trekkers who love challenging and less-traveled routes and prefer to be with raw nature for a bit longer period.

Itinerary

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    Day 1

    Yuksom to Tshoka (3050m/13 km/6-7 hrs) (camping/huts) - L/D

    We begin our trek today through a small village and stop at the Kanchendzonga National Park, check post for checking formalities. Continue to walk through semi-tropical forests, home to a variety of flora and fauna. Crossing the last of the two hanging bridges over rivers Paha Khola and Tshuchey, we arrive at Sachen. Break for lunch and continue to walk to Bahkim. We cross a long old swinging bridge over Prek-Chu, it’s a steep climb of 70 degrees uphill to Bakhim and we continue climbing steeply to the Tibetan Refugee settlement of Tsokha as we trek through pine and giant rhododendron forests. Here we also get our first view of Mt.Pandim (6780m) and Mt. Tenchinkhang which could be seen from all points of our trek. Tshoka itself is a small abandoned village consisting of about a dozen houses and monasteries, inhabited by the Tibetan refugees. O/N camping /huts

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    Day 2

    Tsokha to Dzongri (4030m/9 km/5-6 hrs) (camping/huts) - B/L/D

    Today we continue our uphill journey through the temperate forest till Phedang (3550m), a large clearing in the forest with excellent views of the Kanchenjunga range of mountains. After lunch, it’s a 40 min steep walk, as we reach the ridge’s top, Deorali Dara, or Windy hill which one gets the awesome views of the Sikkim Mountains and its peaks. A nice leisurely hour walks through the rhododendron trees and juniper bushes before we reach Dzongri. O/N camping

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    Day 3

    Dzongri Acclimatization/Dzongrila (4300m/40 mins) (camping) - B/L/D

    Rest day for acclimatization. Rise early at dawn, a 30-40 mins steep hike amidst thin air to Dabla Gang (Dzongri-la or viewpoint) to view the sunrise on Kangchenjunga and the neighboring peaks; Rathong 6683m; Kokthang 6150m; Kabru Dome 6604m and Forked Peak 6116m. Return to camp for breakfast. Free to explore, Day hike to Laxmi Pokhari or take a walk toward the Black peak for acclimatization from where we can see Frey’s peak and the Rathong valley. Return to the campsite. O/N camping.

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    Day 4

    Dzongri to Thangsing (3930m/6 kms/5-6 hrs)(camping) - B/L/D

    The day’s walk starts with a short climb to a ridge followed by a rapid steep descend of 100m to Kockchurung and Prek river. Continue crossing some boulders and climb gently to the campsite of Thangsing for our lunch with a view of Mt. Pandim and Mt. Kanchenjunga. O/N camping.

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    Day 5

    Thangsing to Lamune (4130m/6 km/3-4 hrs) (camping) - B/L/D

    A gentle 2-3 hrs walk to camp at Lamune. While the camp is set up, we take a walk to Samiti Lake, 4453m with Kanchenjunga looming ahead of us. The trail goes past stunted rhododendron bushes, azaleas, and past a prayer wall before ascending a moraine path to a ridge from where you can look down at Samiti Pokhari (4200m) a beautiful and sacred lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks Mt. Kanchandzonga, Mt. Pandim, and Mt. Thenchinkhang. Return to camp for lunch. O/N camping.

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    Day 6

    Lamune to Goechala (4940m/14km/5 hrs) to Thangsing (2 hrs) (camping) - B/L/D

    Early morning excursion to Goechala (pass), one walk along the moraine path by the side of Samiti lake to view the east face of Mt. Kanchendzonga bathed in the rays of the early sun. We cross the ½ km sandy plain known as Zemathang, footprints of Bluesheeps and other animals are common sighting. After 2 hours, we arrive at the 1st viewpoint of Goechala and walk further 2 hours to the 2nd viewpoint to enjoy the close-up views of Mt. Kanchendzonga 8534m. Return to camp for late lunch and later walk to Thangshing campsite or Kockchurung campsite some 30 minutes below. O/N camping.

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    Day 7

    Thansing to Lampokhari to Chamrey (4230m/9km/13km approx/6-8 hrs) (camping) - B/L/D

    Today after breakfast we will continue our trek towards Lampokhari and Chamrey Campsite which is a less Explored trekking trail and destination. This trek route falls exactly opposite the Singalila range of Hills and Mountains. The trail to Labdang adjoining hills falls opposite Singalila Range. The trail passes through the pristine valley of Junipers and Rhododendron from Thanshing onwards till one reaches Lampokhari and further to Chamrey Campsite. O/N camping

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    Day 8

    Lampokhari to Kasturi (3715m/18 to 20 km approx/6-7 hrs) (camping) - B/L/D

    After Breakfast head-on for a Longer Trek to Kasturi Odar campsite. Kasturi means Musk Deer in English and Odar means a Cave. The region has a huge Musk Deer Population and other rare Himalayan Animals and had some Popular Animal caves hence the name of the place is called Kasturi Odar. The trail passes through Alpine valley in a zig-jag and Up-Down trail till one reaches Kasturi Campsite which is a Semi-Tropical region. Kasturi campsite is in the middle of the Semitropical Forest. O/N camping

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    Day 9

    Kasturi to Labdang (1830m/18 to 20 km approx/7-8 hrs) (camping) - B/L/D

    Today the trail is mostly downhill till Labdang Village. The trail descends through Romantic but long downhill valleys. In some places, during the Trek, you will come across the abandoned Campsites of the Sheep Herders. Labdang is a small Himalayan hamlet well connected with a motor-able road and had its own Primary School and health center. Labdang Village is also popular for its rural Homestay. O/N camping/Home Stay

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    Day 10

    Labdang to Tashiding (1740m/12 to 14 km approx/5-6 hrs)(Camping/Hotel) - B/L/D

    Today after breakfast we will trek to Tashiding Village which is Popular for its Powerful and Holy Monastery. Today the trails pass through regular Village footpath and often come across the construction motorable roads. Today one will have the best opportunity to explore and experience the Himalayan lifestyle of the people in small scattered villages. In the evening visit Tashiding Monastery to offer prayers and experience the divine and Peaceful moments.

Trip Highlights

The highlight of the trip is as follow -

1) Yuksam - The first capital of Sikkim and a base camp of famous Goechala Kanchendzonga Trek and several Mountain Expeditions. The Oldest monastery of Sikkim, Dubdi Monastery is located at Yuksam. The Famous Coronation Throne where the first king of Sikkim was crowned by the three religious monks is in Yuksam.

2) Tshoka - A small Refuge settlement at the height of 3000m. A first-day camping point of the trek. From Tshoka one can see a glimpse of towering snow-capped mountain peaks - Mt. Pandim and few others.

3) Dzongri Viewpoint - The most beautiful and ideal viewpoint of high-altitude treks in Sikkim. One can witness a 360-degree view of the Pristine and Panoramic 16 snow-capped mountain peaks and hills. Located at the height of 4250m Dzongri Viewpoint offers sublime and capitative scenery of the entire Himalayan range...

4) Goechala Viewpoint - The closest point to Mt. Kanchendzonga - The guardian deity of Sikkim! The goechala viewpoint provides a sublime and closest view of Mt. Kanchendzonga and Mt. Pandim. One can have the closest look at Thalung Glacier too at the bottom of Mt. Kanchendzonga.

5) Samiti lake - One of the most pristine and holy high-altitude lakes in Sikkim. It lies exactly Infront of Mt. Kanchendzonga and is a treat to witness on a clear sunny day.

6) Laxmi Pokhari (Lake) in Dzongri - A pristine high-altitude lake situated 3 hours walk from the Dzongri Campsite

7) Lampokhari & Chamray - A beautiful campsite located at the pristine valley surrounded by massive mountain rocks on one side and a ridge on the other.

8) Kasturi - A small clearing in the middle of the rhododendron forest.

9) Labdang Village - A small beautiful Gurung village situated at the remotest corner of West Sikkim.

Health and Fitness

You have to be Relatively Fit and Healthy to undertake the Goechala - Kasturi trek. Trekking for 6 to 8 hours a day is one of the most important requirements for this high-altitude trek. Apart from good health condition basic mental preparation is also very important to undertake this Trek.

People suffering from Acute Heart and Lung diseases, Asthma, and High blood pressure are not recommended to take up this trek. 

To complete this high-altitude trek regular exercises like running, skipping, aerobics, Zumba, and long-distance uphill trekking (4 to 5 times a week) are highly recommended. One should start making basic physical preparation at least a month before a trek. These exercises help you during the Trek.

The packing of right and comfortable clothing also makes a difference in the completion of Trek, so it is necessary to be disciplined while packing your clothing for the trip. You can contact us for help with clothing choice and packing!

During the Trek, we provide a basic medicine Kit which includes Medicine for High Altitude sickness, Headache, Diarrhoea, Vomiting, Common Cold, etc. All of our medicine is scientific medicine purchased in India, however, we advised you to bring your small medicinal kit for the trip if possible. 

Trekking/Tour Tips

1. A common tendency among young blood and beginners is to show enthusiasm by walking fast with excitement. Even the experienced sometimes try to show off by walking fast, this is soon exhausting and not recommended. Walk slow - warm up gradually and continue at a slow comfortable pace before pushing yourself a little more.

2. Develop a personal rhythm. Maintain your steps to synchronized with breathing. This will help minimize getting out of breath.

3. Walking in Himalayan trails with loose soil and rocks is tricky. So, avoid stepping on loose soil and rocks and place the foot flat and firm with a better grip. Always follow the rule ‘heel first’ while walking in the Himalaya trail. 

4. Walking in a zigzags manner while ascending on a very steep slope is advisable. While descending walking zigzag is a good technique to avoid excessive pressure on knees and avoid knee pain and blisters.  

5. Avoid stepping on loose stones and soil to avoid an accident.

6. Avoid overtaking fellow travelers on a narrow trail. Only Overtake at comfortable wide space if necessary. 

7. While ascending and descending a slope or over loose stones, leave sufficient space between the next person so that any stone rolling down does not hit trekkers below.

8. Do not run down a slope. Bend knees a little while descending. Dig heels into soft snow or soft ground.

9. Our Himalayan condition is mostly wet so avoid wet grass, wet roots, and the muddy zone which can be very slippery. Be careful while walking on them.

10. Shortcuts on a foot trail should be avoided.

11. Always put-on warm clothing while taking a rest. This will help avoid getting cold, cough and high-altitude sickness

12. Respect the sentiments and traditions of the local hill people.

13. Always carry enough water in your water bottle as water is essential in avoiding altitude sickness.

14. Wear a comfortable and right set of trekking boots, pants, and jackets. Avoid wearing new trekking boots directly for the Trek. Get used to it by wearing it before the trek. Carry all necessary clothing.

 Halts and Rests:

1. While taking a rest, lie against a tree trunk, a big stone, or on flat ground. Place your legs on your bags or any other higher ground. This helps regulate blood circulation.

2. Stop at any comfortable point after the first start to readjust your rucksack, jackets, or to tie a shoelace for better comfort and adjustment.

3. Do not make frequent or prolonged halts. Too many small stops destroy the walking rhythm. Frequent rests are not helpful. You should follow your own rhythmic walking pace and technique to avoid unnecessary tiredness. A stop should be made only at natural stopping points, like on the top of a ridge, or before an ascent, or at a scenic viewpoint.

4. Stop and place yourself on the safer (Mountain) side to give way for the pack animals to pass through. Avoid bags carried by the animals that can push you. Be aware of the yak's horn too. 

Inclusion / Exclusion

SERVICES INCLUDED:

1) HIGH ALTITUDE TREKKING PERMITS/PERMISSION
2) LOCAL ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDE
3) EXPERIENCED LOCAL COOK
4) LOCAL PORTERS
5) PACK ANIMALS
6) 2 MEN TENTS / HUTS
7) KITCHEN & DINING TENTS
8) SLEEPING BAGS
9) MATTRESSES
10) HOT WATER BAGS
11) NATIONAL PARK FEES AND PERMISSION
12) TOURISM FEES AND PERMISSION
13) ENVIRONMENTAL FEES
14) ALL MEALS AND DRINKS THROUGHOUT THE TREK  
15) TABLE & CHAIR
16) BASIC MEDICINAL KITS

SERVICES EXCLUDED:

1) INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC FLIGHT TICKETS
2) TRANSPORTATION TO / FRO STARTING & ENDING LOCATION
3) INSURANCE OF ANY NATURE
4) ALCOHOL AND BEVERAGES
5) TIPS AND GIFTS
6) PERSONAL SHOPPING COST
7) ANYTHING NOT INCLUDED IN INCLUDED LIST        

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

HOW TO REACH YUKSAM?
The closest Airport to Yuksam, Sikkim is PAKYONG AIRPORT & BAGDOGRA AIRPORT. You have to fly either to Bagdogra Airport or Pakyong Airport. From there you can drive to Yuksam with a private reserve vehicle.

Pakyong Airport is around 6 hours’ drive and Bagdogra Airport is around 7 hours’ drive from Yuksam.

WHAT GEARS AND CLOTHING TO CARRY FOR GOECHALA KASTURI TREK?
No matter what season you are planning for the mountains are always going to be cold, rough, and tough so it is absolutely necessary to pack yourself with adequate and proper clothing. Here is the standard kit checklist for the Trek.

Proper packing of the trekking gears is absolutely necessary with eyes on the weight limit. It is important to have a good brand of clothing.

Basic Gears:
Back Pack & rain cover or Duffel bag (50 to 70 ltr)
Day Pack & rain cover (20 to 30 ltr)
Walking stick (1 pair or at least one)
Water Bottle (2 bottles of 2 ltr each)
Thermos flask (1 nos)
Head Light (1 Nos with 4 pairs of batteries)
Gaiters (1 pair)

Upper and Lower Clothings:
T - Shirt (2 to 3 full sleeves). Mostly noncotton
Fleece T-shirt (1 nos)
Thermal Inner-wears or base layers (1 nos or 1 pair) such as long jones
Fleece Jacket (1 nos)
Down, Feather, or Holofil Jackets (1 nos)
Wind and Waterproof jackets & pants (1 pair)
Trekking Pants (1 pair). Comfortable and durable
Short Trekking Pants (1 nos or 1 pair)
Poncho (1 nos)

Headgears:
Woolen cap (1 nos)
Sun cap (1 nos)
Balaclava or scarf (1 nos)
Sunglasses (1 nos) U/V protected and dark

Hand gears:
Waterproof gloves (1 nos)
Woolen gloves (1 nos)

Feet gears:
Waterproof Trekking boots (1 nos) preferably ankle high Goretex, North face, Colombia or Quechua
Snickers or running shoes (1 nos) preferably from any reputed brand
Gaiters (1 nos)
Sandals or flippers (1 nos)
Cotton socks (4 pairs)
Woolen socks (2 pairs)

Personal utilities:
Sunscreen cream
Moisturizers
Hand sanitizers
Toilet papers and wipes
Anti-bacterial powders
Lip balm
Toothbrush and toothpaste

Proper packing of the trekking gears is absolutely necessary with eyes on the weight limit. It is important to have a good brand of clothing.

CAN I EXIT LABDANG / TASHIDING ON THE LAST DAY OF THE TREK DIRECTLY?
Yes, you can if you are looking to reach any other location near Labdang or Tashiding village OR if it is too urgent and necessary. Driving to Airport and Railway directly after the trek is not recommended.

We will advise not to plan to leave Labdang / Tashiding directly after the last day of Trek as it will be too tiring and hectic. Driving at night on the Himalayan road is not comfortable and enjoyable.

The earliest you will reach Labdang / Tashiding on the last day of the trek is around 3 pm so long hours drive thereafter is not possible.

CAN I LEAVE EXTRA BAGS AT YUKSAM AND COLLECT THEM ON THE LAST DAY OF THE TREK?
No, you cannot keep a bag of clothes at Yuksam as you will be finishing up your trek at Labdang or Tashiding village. However, if you have a plan to drive back to Yuksam immediately on the last day of the trek then you can leave the bags at Yuksam. 

You can even keep valuables and cash at our office safely and collect them after the trek.

WHAT DOCUMENTS NEED TO BE CARRIED?
It is mandatory for Indian trekkers to carry identification documents such as VOTER ID CARRD, DRIVING LICENSE, AADHAR CARD, INDIAN PASSPORT. Original documents need to be carried along with 4 pcs PASSPORT SIZE photograph.

Foreigners need to carry INDIAN VISA, PASSPORT & SIKKIM INNER LINE PERMIT along with 4 pcs PASSPORT SIZE photographs.

A medical fitness certificate is also mandatory however this can also be arranged at Yuksam in case you are not able to bring it.

IS THERE CONNECTIVITY DURING THE TREK?
There is no phone connectivity during the Goechala trek. Yuksam is the last village where you can get a phone and internet connection.

At certain specific locations between Yuksam to Tshoka, you can get Vodafone, Airtel, and Jio networks. Even at Tshoka, Phedang Labdang Village, and Tashiding Village, you get a phone network. 

There is no electricity throughout the Goechala Kasturi trek. At Yuksam, Labdang, and Tashding you have electricity

HOW IS THE WEATHER & TEMPERATURE DURING THE TREK?
There are two distinct seasons for doing Sikkim Goechala Kasturi Trek. Mid-March, April to May (Spring) and Mid-September, October to November (Autumn). Normally weather remains good and clear in those given periods however there is no guarantee as weather is extremely unpredictable in our Himalayas and does change within hours and days.

The temperature at each campsite depends largely on each day's specific weather condition.

Spring (Mid-March, April till May)
* Yuksam to Tshoka
Morning and Evening – 12 to 16 degrees centigrade
Day time – 18 to 24 degrees centigrade
Late Evening and Mid Night – 8 to 14 degrees centigrade

* Phedang, Dzongri, and above
Morning and Evening – 4 to 12
Day time – 12 to 18 degrees centigrade
Late Evening and Mid Night – minus 10 to 4 degrees centigrade

Autumn (Mid-September, October till November)
* Yuksam to Tshoka
Morning and Evening – 8 to 14 degrees centigrade
Day time – 16 to 21 degrees centigrade
Late Evening and Mid Night – 2 to 10 degrees centigrade

* Phedang, Dzongri, and above
Morning and Evening – minus 8 to 10
Day time – 2 to 14 degrees centigrade
Late Evening and Mid Night – minus 15 to 2 degrees centigrade

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