Hiking around Uttarey West Sikkim India

Nilanjan Patra

Photographs: Santanu Chakraborty
Category: Trekking, Hiking
Date of Publication: Dec 31 , 2011

And finally we reached Uttarey valley, the base camp of adventure tourism on 3rd January, 2011 just before evening. It is a flat top valley covering a wide mountain range of Himalaya in the west Sikkim. Our car stopped in front of green valley resort beside horizontal grassland after covering 165 kilometer from NJP. The villages of Uttarey are scattered around this wide valley and the deep Himalayan forests desperately enter with all its beauty into the highland. As soon as we landed up from the car, the chilling cold of smoky mysterious evening cached ups us. However we, nine guys from Kolkata started our journey by a car form NJP railway station in the very morning with nine rucksacks for Uttarey. It was a lovely shiny day. After crossing Jorthang bazaar at near about 12, we took the way along the river Rangit. The sky-blue water of the beautiful Rangit was sparkling and roaring marvelously in the glossy winter. After some time our car turned to the left on the way to Rinchenpong and the majestic snow covered ranges of Himalya welcomed us. We were touching some wonderful pleasant villages like Hee, Bermiok, kaluk etc. which has become tourist spot for echo-village-tourism and ideal for the village-staying with deep green forests, flora and the harvested valley. Some of these places here are still untouched by tourists. One can stay at Rinchenpong just because of the stunning view of Mt. Kanchenjongha which is very nearer as compared to the other places of Sikkim. When we were passing through Rinchenpong, the spectacular Mt. Kanchenjongha attracted our eyes though the entire route up to Dentam. The road after crossing Singshore Bridge was quite different and forests became denser.

uttrey west sikkim

Mainly adventure loving people come here for trekking, mountaineering, hiking, bird watching etc. Kanchenjongha base-camp trek, Singalila- Kanchenjongha ridge trek, Singalila-pass trek starts from here. Uttarey is also popular for its pleasant lonely surroundings with beautiful Himalyan heritage villages. Versey rhododendron sanctuary, proposed Tenzing Hillary Park are at the distance of 30 minutes from Uttarey valley. One can also opt for forest hiking from here. Echo village staying is also accomplished here in several heritage villages around Uttarey.

By the way, we came here for Sinagalila-pass terk via Achaleydara and Phokteydara. For arranging necessary trekking items, guide, porter, permits would require a day. We planned to spend the whole day for drifting around Uttarey. The first night at green valley resort was really freezing us despite the fact that we all enjoyed it. The morning came with an exhibition of the bluish green glossy landscapes which were hidden from us. The grass-ends, leaves, wooden roof all were covered with white frozen dew drops which were sparkling with enlightenments of the Sun-ray. As per our plan we started a day hiking for mainbas falls after having breakfast. The mainbas falls is inside a hidden place of a deep forest. We had to explore it because there was no such trek-trail. The main difficulty was to cross the river simphok khola and to find out the way to get the falls. We were walking beside the river bank. After 20 minutes we got the trout fish rearing centre. Some beautiful streams were crossing our path and jumping into the simphok magnificently. Few of them were hard to cross as they were wide and deep and the path was continued with one or two stem. After one hour we got the entrance of the Versey rhododendron sanctuary. There was no bridge to cross the river simphok and no indication where to cross. So we faced a tough situation. After doing so many calculations we got into the flooded simphok and crossed carefully all its streams which were flowing in different way. Then we were caught by dense forest and we had to find a small stream (coming from the mainbas falls) which meets the river simphok. After 20 minutes we found the stream and the hard working started to climb against the flow of the recently discovered stream through the thick dark jungle. No space was there to make a trail beside the stream. For all the time we were to climb through the stony path through the middle of the flowing stream. It was really tough task to find out and to make a way to climb when the stream suddenly falls down dangerously from a steep surface. The stream was covered with some poisonous plant. Touching such plant causes dangerous pain on skin. Eventually after one and half hour climbing we explored the wild mainbas falls. It was a great feeling to discover it without taking a local guide. Afterward we came back to the Uttarey valley just before the evening. In addition this hard experience really helped us a lot to prepare ourselves physically and mentally before our main trek.

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