Mount Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world. It is located on the border of Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim.
Kanchenjunga translates to "Five Treasures of Snow" and is named after the five peaks that constitute the Kanchenjunga Himal section of the Himalayas.
The trek to Kanchenjunga base camp is a long journey and depending upon the route taken, it can vary from 10 to 20 days. For adventurous souls, it is suggested that one should take a detour to Chaurikhang and Rathong glacier along the way.
The trek starts with Yuksom, a city of Sikkim which is of cultural and religious significance.Yuksom translates to "the place where three monks meet". Though the city is small and not very populous, it sees a constant influx of pilgrims and tourists who visit the monasteries and trek to Kanchenjunga base. The Dubdi monastery near Yuksom is believed to be the oldest Buddhist monastery in Sikkim. It is said to have been established in 1701 and is located 3km away from Yuksom. It is also close to the place where the three lamas crowned the king of Sikkim in 1641.
When in Yuksom, you might want to try the local alcoholic drink Tongba - fermented millet juice served in a bamboo container (it even comes with a fancy bamboo straw!).
The trail from Yuksom leads to Bakkhim through dense forest cover harboring a diverse array of birds and other small animals. The lush green aesthetic of the diverse flora and rhododendron forests is a wonderful sight to behold. The area is rich in biodiversity and is paradise for nature-lovers. The trail passes along the Prek Chu River, overlooking green meadows irrigated by the river, and rich vegetation growing on the banks. The route may even navigate through a waterfall.
The trail further leads to Tsokha, a rustic colony of Tibetan refugees with quaint cafes and shacks, and continues up to Dzongri through the serene meadows of Phedang.
From there, one has a bird’s eye view of the Kanchenjunga massif, right from the peaks of Siniolchu, Kabru, and Pandim, to Talung and Narsing. The trek finally culminates at Bikhbari, the Kanchenjunga base camp, from where one can see Frey's peak, Koktang, Kabur and Rathong. Advanced courses in mountaineering offered by the Himalayan Mountaineering Instute are also conducted here.
This base camp trek is a must for all trekking enthusiasts. It is an experience that will surely make for some wonderful pictures and long-lasting memories.