Tinjure- The sunrise through Kanchenjunga!

19th Oct 2017
Photo of Tinjure- The sunrise through Kanchenjunga! by neha ballal
Day 1

Almost everyone comes to Sikkim to enjoy being in the midst of the mighty Kanchenjunga while visiting monasteries and eating momos. Of course, when compared to the lives we live in most cities breathing the polluted air this itself is refreshing but hidden away from the hustle bustle of the main city of Gangtok is a little heaven called Tinjure.

Tinjure is a small trek up from Fambong Lho Wildlife sanctuary which is 45 minutes from Gangtok. The magic of this trek happens once the sun sets and we see the city of lights below and then when the sun rises over the magical snow-capped Himalayan peaks.

We took a taxi from MG Marg to the sanctuary for 300/-. Once at the base you need to get a permit which costs 55/- a day per person.

Armed with our backpacks which consisted of our sleeping bags, warm clothes, packets of chips, bread, biscuits and a lighter we started climbing up the hill by 3.30 in the noon. (better if you start by 2)

It is a leisure walk as the whole route is laid out for you with a chiseled stone pathway. We encountered numerous amazing trees, some as tall as the Eiffel tower, some as wide as an elephant, some forming a cave which lets us walk through its roots, all while catching glimpse of the snow-capped peaks now and then.

One of the huge trees we encotuner

Photo of Fambonglho wild life Sanctuary, Dikchu - Rang Rang Rd, L. Mangshila, Sikkim, India by neha ballal

As it was winter time light was fast wading and the stone path came to an end. (after about 2 hours for a leisure slow walker). All we could now see was a growth of bamboo ahead. As the only source of light we had was from the flashlight of our phones we were quite lost. Everywhere we shone our torch it looked like a dead end. So, what was left to do was crawl into the bamboo jungle. Oh, what an experience it was.

Walking through caves formed from roots

Photo of Tinjure- The sunrise through Kanchenjunga! by neha ballal

After what felt like for ever we finally emerged from the bamboo jungle victorious only to find out we were still lost. After scrambling around for a while singing/playing loud music, to keep the animals away and to keep us alive and going, we finally found a path which looked like it was tread on. So we marched ahead until we finally made it to the watchtower just at around 6 when it was almost completely dark.

Photo of Tinjure- The sunrise through Kanchenjunga! by neha ballal

The whole of Sikkim feels like it is lying below you, glittering like diamonds that have been sprinkled all over. The glistering light of the city below and the stars above.

All you have to do is get a fire lit, be warm and you can see the stars shining both above and below you. Catch a shooting star every now and then. See galaxies. See all the little towns in Sikkim which light up the mountain peaks like the star on a Christmas tree.

Photo of Himalayas by neha ballal

We did make a mistake (or not) in not carrying a tent though. At around 10 we left the warm fire below and decided to sleep on the top floor of the watch tower to keep ourselves safe from the animals of the jungle. Since we decided safety from animals > warmth we froze that night. Sleeping on the top there were no trees to block (what we completely forgot to expect)- the cold blowing wind. As night crept in and we crawled into our sleeping bags, the wind started blowing with gusto. We did not have anything to block the wind as we were sleeping in the open and it was COLD!

Us trying to sleep in our sleeping bags amidst the wind

Photo of Tinjure- The sunrise through Kanchenjunga! by neha ballal

5-o-clock in the morning: The most amazing sunrise of my life. It starts with you being able to see the Kanchenjunga -white as snow at dawn. Then the golden rays of the sun start hitting the peaks. Slowly you can see the white turn into golden orange, one by one all the 5 peaks visible depending on their height get lit up, like one lighting a deeya on a dark night. It hardly lasts for a couple of minutes before it all turns into the white snow-capped peaks you see during the rest of the day but the feeling you get watching it is something you can’t explain. You just feel it.

It is worth being out in the cold for the warmth you feel looking at the sun rays hit the peaks.

The golden tips. The orange sky. The red ball of fire. The dark mountains. Sunrise.

Sunrise through the Kanchenjunga

Photo of Tinjure- The sunrise through Kanchenjunga! by neha ballal
Day 2

After seeing this if you head a little further down the other side of the hill, you catch a wider glimpse of the Kanchenjunga range.

Photo of Gangtok, Sikkim, India by neha ballal

We met some forest guards on the way back who looked surprised that we spent the night there without tents questioning us with a chisso chaina? ( wasn't it cold) . Yes it was chisso but I guarantee it is all worth it, just make sure you chose a right day when clouds don't block the view. Because without the sunrise by the Kanchenjunga range by the day and the view of the city of stars below during night, this trek is nothing.

If you do stay the night and see the sunrise, Ramro cha!

A time lapse of the sunrise
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