Trek to this mystical monastery in North Sikkim 

Tripoto
Photo of Trek to this mystical monastery in North Sikkim by Amrita

Tholung Monastery Trek is an easy trek in North Sikkim, but the beauty that you encounter in the trek is quite rewarding. Sikkim is no doubt a nature’s paradise. North Sikkim is the least populated region in Sikkim and also the most enchanting regions. Tholung Monastery is located in the sparsely Lepcha populated Dzongu area. Dzongu is said to be the only Lepcha Reserve in the whole country.

The trek route is through the dense forests and cardamom groves of the Dzongu area. You will pass through stunning sceneries and beautiful agriculture lands and the sparsely populated Lepcha villages. The trail is easy, but is surrounded by precipitous cliffs and immensely beautiful views. As you walk towards the monastery, the mountains keep you company. You will hear the mellifluous chirping of the birds as well as the gushing sound of the waterfalls. Though not very difficult, the awards of the trek are quite impressive.

Tholung Monastery itself is an amazing place. This quaint and small monastery has a mystical charm to it. Standing at an altitude of 8000 ft, the monastery was founded in the 18th century by Lhatsun Chenpo Lama who was deployed to preserve spiritual relics and ancient manuscripts and keep them safe from the Gorkha invaders. The monastery is thus a treasure trove of ancient Buddhists relics and manuscripts, religious scriptures belonging to the earlier Lamas and Chogyals as well as many holy artifacts. These treasures are put on display for the public once every three years in Kamsil Ceremony under the supervision of the government of Sikkim. Here is a guide about how to do the Tholung Monastery Trek.

Photo of Trek to this mystical monastery in North Sikkim  1/1 by Amrita
Tholung Monastery | Source: http://www.sikkimeccl.gov.in
Day 1

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Gangtok – Lingza

For the Tholung Monastery Trek, you have to reach a place called Lingza. It is almost a 6 hours drive from Gangtok. Lingza or Lingzey is a amll village where the road ends set among the green paddy fields. This is the base camp for the trek. After reaching Lingza, you can visit the Lepcha homes and explore the place. If you are coming to Lingza on your own vehicle, you can stop by Kabi Lungchok and Phodong Monastery as well.

Day 2

Day 2: Lingza – Tholung

After breakfast, start your trek towards Tholung. It is a moderate hike amidst the cardamom fields and a few Lepcha villages on the way. After you start the hike, you will soon come across a river that will stay with you till you reach Tholung. You can take a break and have your lunch at Changey. After a trek of about 6 hours through the dense forests and cardamom groves, you will finally reach Tholung at an altitude of 8000 feet.

Day 3

Day 3: Explore around the Tholung Monastery

This day is more of a buffer day and is used for relaxing. Explore the region around the Tholung Monastery. Once you are at the monastery, you will clearly understand why the Sikkimese chose this place to safe keep their ancient treasures. Because of its vantage location, it was also easier to guard the place. You can also visit the Sacred rock known as Devta Dhunga.

Day 4

Day 4: Tholung – Tingvong

Start from Tholung towards Tingvong in Upper Dzongu. The trail is beautiful through the forests. Tingvong is a beautiful village at the fringes of the Kanchenjunga National Park. The village is also known for birdwatching. You get to see a large number of exotic Himalayan birds here. You can stay at a homestat at Tingvong for the night.

Day 5

Day 5: Tingvong – Gangtok

Return to Gangtok from Tingvong.

I would recommend you to stay for a couple of days more and explore Tingvong and the Dzongu Valley. Tingvong itself is immensely beautiful dotted with pretty Lepcha houses amidst paddy and cardamom fields. There is also a monastery at Tingvong. You can also explore the regions of Lower Dzongu like Passingdang.

PS: If you want, you can also trek to Upper Dzongu and then towards Kishong. It will take 2 more days.

Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita
Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by Amrita

Best Time to Visit:

Mid March to May and mid October to mid December

How to reach

Pakyong is the nearest domestic airport to Gangtok. But flights to Pakyong are limited and currently only operated from Kolkata and Delhi. The nearest major airport is at Bagdogra and the nearest Railway Station is at New Jalpaiguri. From both Bagdogra and NJP, you have to come to Gangtok. From Gangtok, you have to take another car to Lingza.

Be the first one to comment