Unforgettable Yumthang valley of flowers
We reached Yumthang valley around 8.30 in the morning. There were very few visitors in the early morning. It was a clear day and the view was nothing less than magical and unearthly.
Yumthang Valley West side (Click on the image to expand)
The huge valley was surrounded by rugged mountains capped with snow. There were very few signs of human habitation. The only sign of civilization is a forest rest house with green roof almost matching with rest of the valley. This is the rest house where we had stayed in our last visit more than thirty years back. Apart from the rest house, there are a couple of temporary huts, perhaps used by yak grazers. It is indeed heartening to note that the valley has been left almost untouched by civilization for over thirty years we last saw it.
The road from Lachen passes though left side of the valley and goes up to Zero point. There was no large tree in the middle of the valley. But on both sides there were deep forests of conifers going up to a certain height beyond with there are steep black rocks and snow gullies.
Lachungchu flowing through Yumthang valley
The Lachungchu river flows through the middle of the valley. The glacier fed water was crystal clear and not very deep with lot of stone boulders.
Yumthang valley with Chorten
A small white-colored chorten far away in the valley marked the presence of local Tibetan habitation.
Looking towards North of Yumthang valley
North side of the valley gives a wonderful view of distant snow capped mountain peaks with conifer forests in the foreground.
Chorten at Yumthang
There is a white Buddhist chorten beside the road with colourful prayer flags fluttering in the cool morning breeze.
Yumthang Chorten with Primulas in the foreground
The valley is a vast green meadow with different kinds of ground flora. Purple coloured primulas were dancing happily.
Primulas are similar to Primrose and over 50% of its varieties are from Himalayas region. A close look at a violet colored primula revealed its beautiful but complex structure.
Lachungchu river bed at Yumthang
Though the Lachungchu river bed was wide its water stream was thin.
Yumthang Chorten, looking towards South from where we came
Looking towards the way we came, the snow-clad hill ranges turned leftwards to surround the valley.
Ground flora in Yumthang valley
The small yellow flower at our feet proudly looked up at us.
Para Sports at Yumthang
Some army personnel were practicing para sports against the mountain backdrop. A jeep was dragging a parachute by a long chord and causing the parachute with a person fly up in the air.
Yumthang Valley facing North-East (Click on the image to expand)
On right side of the valley there are deeply forested hills.
Yumesamdong or Zero point is about 26 km from here at an altitude of 15300 ft near the Tibet border. The tour operators usually take tourists up to Yumthang but can go up to Zero point at some extra payment. We chose to enjoy Yumthang valley.
On return journey we retraced back the path through the rhododendron forest back to Lachung and had lunch. We returned back to Gangtok in the evening.