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Uttarey To Varsey Trek

Discussion in 'Sikkim' started by Debapriya Deb, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    Uttarey to Varsey trek is one of the most popular long distance trekking trails in India. It has made its own place in the tourism map of Sikkim. Nestled on the Singalila Range of Eastern Himalayas, the trek from Uttarey to Varsey offers impeccable mountain landscapes. Dotted with colorful rhododendrons, magnolia, oak and pine trees, it is aptly named as the Valley of Flowers trek.

    Introducing Uttarey and Varsey:

    Uttarey is a beautiful valley surrounded by undulating hills, waterfalls, streams and verdant forests. Located in the West Sikkim district, this virgin paradise has a calm, silent and serene atmosphere. The Sikkim tourism board has taken initiatives to promote Uttarey as an Eco-Tourism circuit. That's precisely the reason why the nature lovers are attracted to this little sleepy hamlet.

    Varsey, also spelled as Barsey, is famous for its Rhododendron Sanctuary - one of its own kind in the entire country. It lies between the Singalila National Park towards the South and the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve in the Northern end, at an elevation of over 10,000 feet. The sanctuary is a colorful riot of over 40 different species of rhododendrons and it is spread across a vast expanse of 104 square kilometers of land. This tiny uninhibited region has no motorable access, so trekking is the only mode to arrive at this pristine locale.

    Uttarey serves as the origin point of this popular trek, while Varsey is the final destination.

    Best Time for Uttarey - Varsey Trek:

    The place offers a pleasant climate and the temperature remains moderate in all the seasons. For trekking enthusiasts, February to April is considered as the best period to plan your Uttarey - Varsey trek. It's during this period of the year that rhododendrons and orchids bloom, bringing the place back to its most stunning outlook.

    How to Reach Uttarey?

    Uttarey is easily accessible by road from Siliguri in West Bengal. For the railway travellers, New Jalpaiguri station is the nearest rail-head. You can hire taxi/cab from Siliguri or New Jalpaiguri to reach Uttarey, situated at a distance of around 150 KM. If you are using public transport, then there are buses available from Siliguri's Tenzing Norge Bus Stand to Pelling or Gezing. You need to catch another bus from Peling (or Gezing) to arrive at Uttarey.

    The Trekking Trail from Uttarey to Varsey:

    Varsey is situated at a distance of 64 KM from Uttarey and the entire stretch makes an interesting long distance trekking trail which is not only popular among the Indian trekkers, but also a favorite for the foreign tourists. A variety of flowering plants dot the entire route and make it a truly fairytale walk.

    Uttarey to Varsey Trekking Route: Uttarey - Achhaly - Kalijhar - Danra Barkhey - Deoningali Dhap - Varsey.

    The duration for Uttarey-Varsey trek is usually 5-7 days, with night halts in the nature camps located at the remote villages on the way.

    Given below is a possible trekking itinerary from Uttarey to Varsey spread over a period of 5 days. It would require 4-6 hours of trekking everyday and the rest of the time can be spent to explore the surrounding areas that the Mother Nature has blessed with both her hands.

    Day 01: Uttarey to Achhaly

    It's a 5 hours trekking route from Uttarey to Achhaly that mostly involves upward climb. The scenic route passes through Kagyud Monastery, Mangheem Thegu, and Laminey Pokhari. Chirping of birds will be a constant companion. Nature camp at Achhaly village is the perfect spot for an overnight halt.

    Day 02: Achhaly to Kalijhar

    Another 4-5 hours walk will take you to Kalijhar. You can get a clear panoramic view of Mount Kanchendzonga on this stretch. You will come across lots of blooming magnolia and rhododendrons, which give it an enchanting outlook.

    Day 03: Kalijhar to Danra Barkhey

    Situated at an altitude of over 12,000 feet, this is the highest point that you will encounter on your Uttarey to Varsey trek. You can reach Danra Barkhey after a hike of 6 hours from Kalijhar via Phoktey Danra. It's an amazing place to catch magnificent views of sunrise. The place also offers 360 degree panoramic view of the Mount Kanchendzonga surrounded by Mount Everest, Makalu, Nuptse, Lutsey and Dhaulagiri ranges. So make sure to spend a night at the camping site here to catch the sunrise and the snow-clad Himalayan peaks in the following morning.

    Day 04: Danra Barkhey to Deoningali Dhap

    In terms of elevation, Deoningali Dhap is located around 2000 feet below Danra Barkhey, so from here, the downward walk begins. As you will be approaching Deoningali Dhap, you will notice a subtle change in the landscape with tropical forests dominating the vista. If you are lucky, then you could spot some of the rare Himalayan endemic species, including the elusive Red Panda, during the trek.

    Day 05: Deoningali Dhap to Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary

    The last segment of the trail from Deoningali Dhap to Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is perhaps the most scenic stretch. It mostly involves walking along the soft plain terrain through the forest areas. It falls in a bio-diversity hotspot zone that serves as the home to different species of flora and fauna. It's not unusual to come across wild animals on this stretch. Himalayan tree bear, red panda, rabbits, spotted, musk deer and wild cats are frequently spotted by the trekkers at Varsey. The splendid natural surroundings of Varsey with dazzling rhododendrons, orchids, variety of birds and sprawling tea gardens will leave you awestruck.

    Tourist Attractions Around Uttarey and Varsey:

    DzoPelling is the most renowned tourism destination in close proximity to Uttarey. It is also a good base for visiting Pamyangtse, Kaluk, Dentam Valley, Changey Falls, Hee Bermiok, Chaaya Taal and Rinchenpong.

    Notable tourist attractions around Varsey include Dentam, Hilley and Soreng. Ravangla too is not too far away. Mangbrue Gompa, Ralang Monastery, Bonn Monastery, Rayong Sunrise Point and Maenam Hills are a few of the popular tourist attractions near Varsey.

    Departure from Varsey:

    Hilley is the nearest hamlet to Varsey that has motorable roads. Shared jeeps are available from Hilley to Jorethang. From Jorethang, both buses and jeeps are available to take you back to Siliguri.

    Popular Trekking Organizers for Uttarey-Varsey Trek:

    1. Uttarey Eco-tourism Development and Service Co-operative Society - Contact No : +91 9593783550
    2. Clubside Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd. - Contact No : +91 0354 2254646
    3. BonVoyage Leisure - Contact No : +91 353 2004553

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