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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Thangu Valley


The village of Thangu is home to several nomadic tribes. Alpine trees are scattered across the slopes offering Thangu valley a must-visit region. Make sure to carry snacks and water if planning to do a short trek in Thangu Valley. Also, respect the privacy of the locals and do not harass them for photographs. They’re friendly people and must extend the same courtesy during passing their villages.

What to see

As you enter the valley of Thangu, be prepared to witness the blood pheasant, the state bird of Sikkim in all its glory. The state bird of Sikkim is hard to miss what with the bright red feathers crowning its neck, chest, and forehead. These majestic creatures inhabit regions of higher elevation, and Thangu valley situated at an elevation of 13,500 ft is a birdwatcher’s heaven in the summer months.
Four rivers flow through this pleasant valley. The main one being the River Teesta whose waters shine in the sunlight as you stroll past alpine fields. Lassur, Chopta, and Thangu rivers make their way through here. So, if you’re looking for a perfect short trek, Thangu Valley is the place for you.

When to reach

If you’re planning a trip between October and March, be prepared to witness Thangu valley covered in white. This valley, because of its high altitude, is nearly always covered in snow and as you ride down towards it, the view is bright and pristine. While this is not the usual time to visit Thangu valley, it surely is the most peaceful and you can have the place all to yourself.
However, the best time to visit Thangu Valley is between March and June. That’s when the snow begins to melt and lush green vegetation grows up from the ground. Thangu is magically transformed into a summer dream. If you want to explore the birds and animals of Thangu, the summer months are ideal.

How to reach

In order to get to Thangu, you first need to travel to the northern town of Lachen, around 110 km from Gangtok. From Lachen, it is a 30 km ride to the village of Thangu. Make sure you hire a vehicle well in advance, preferably in Gangtok, since Thangu doesn’t have jeep hiring options.
Thangu doubles up as the rest point for those interested in treks to Chopta valley, Muguthang, and Green Lake. Make sure you spend some time at Thangu adaptable to the high altitudes. The village of Thangu is well connected to Gangtok and getting there shouldn’t be too much of a trouble.
Since Thangu is a restricted area a special permit from the tourism office is required. This pass can be arranged from the North District Headquarters at Mangan, or Gangtok.

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