Thursday 17th of April 2014

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Goechala: a romantic high altitude trek in the Himalayas


Trekking in Sikkim is very different from trekking in any other part of the Indian Himalayas. The mountains, the trails, the people and the culture is in such sharp contrast to the rest of the country that for any trekker the Goechala trail is a must-do.

The Goechala trek in Sikkim is also one of the most romantic trails the Indian Himalayas has to offer -- the enchanting walk through the Tshoka Rhododenderon forests, the vast Dzongri and Thansing meadows, the startling blue waters of Samiti lake, the looming presence of Kanchejunga and Pandim, the icy trail to Goechala make lots about the trek very romantic.

 
What trekkers say about their Goecha la trek experience

Goechala trek

Sunil Jugulkar from November 2013 Goechala trek batch writes:

Goecha La, the word brings a surge of happy emotions to my mind every single time it is mentioned. Being my first multi-day trek, I wasn't sure what to expect, apart from the the fact that it was going to be difficult. However the trek surpassed all my expectations. The mountains were higher than I'd ever seen, the climbs harder than what I'd ever done, and the weather colder than what I'd ever experienced.

Read more


Kamal Das from October 2013 Goechala trek batch writes:

Our second camp day-Tshoka. It's evening time, we are done with our lunch already, after a brief visit to the monastry and the lake aside we were back at our campsite. Our campsite is on a hill cliff in front of which we had a valley view with layers of hills till the horizon and behind the snow capped peaks of Mt. Pandim, Mt Zapno, Mt.Tenzing and Mt. Lamalamuney greeting us.

Read more


Chandra Dhayalan from April 2012 Goechala trek batch writes:

I have never done a trek before, so Goechala was my first trekking expedition. The team was a good combination of some novice and experienced trekkers. Myself being novice got several tips from team members regarding what to do and what not to do. The support staff were awesome, they even made a birthday cake at Tshoka for one of our team mates.


Goechala trek

Chandra Dhayalan from April 2012 Goechala trek batch writes:

I have never done a trek before, so Goechala was my first trekking expedition. The team was a good combination of some novice and experienced trekkers. Myself being novice got several tips from team members regarding what to do and what not to do. The support staff were awesome, they even made a birthday cake at Tshoka for one of our team mates.
Read more


Goechala trek

Krishanu Majumder from May 2012 Goechala trek batch writes:

It is 4:45 A.M. All of us are standing in the viewpoint one, spellbound by the gorgeous Kanchenjunga, panting and waiting for the sunrise. Even now, while writing this trek report, a strange thought keeps coming to my mind. I should not have come back from there. Such was the beauty of the place.
Read more



Goechala trek

Meghali from May 2012 Goechala trek batch writes:

The GoechaLa is a moderately difficult trek in Sikkim, being a good choice for trekkers in the east. Two things that should be kept in mind before planning this trek are, firstly, choosing the right time for it (late April to May) so as to be able to see the Rhododendrons in full bloom and avoid extreme temperatures and secondly, to have a high level of physical stamina in order to survive the 5 and a half days of tough climbing.
Read more


Vipul Jani who did the Goecha la trek in May 2011 writes,

"Over all, It was an amazing experience for me. The trek has been fanastic. Our team was wonderful and co-operative. The highlights were obviously Dzongri Top and first view point on way to Goecha La. We could not go beyond first view point but there are no regrets as we were very much dependent on weather. The trail between Tsokha and Phedang, specifically the wooden section in between rhodedendrons on both sides was awesome.
Read more


Bhupendrasing Rajputh writes,

" This was my first trek of long spell and that too in the Himalaya's. So I was in the mixed state of mind throughout the trek. Although the trek route was visited by many trekkers and we found many more enroute (to & fro), every moment was new challenge for me and that's how  I enjoyed the trek.
Read more


Vijay Zala who did the Goecha la trek in May 2011 writes,

"The locations and campsites selected were beautiful also the trek routes were awesome. Our teammates were fantastic - I have never been in trekking with such a nice team. All basic arrangements were nicely planned and managed - particularly food, trek timings, emergency plans, safety cautions..
Read more

 

Trekking in the rain

 

Nandita Singh shares some tips on equipping onself for trekking in the rain.

 

While many people abort their camping plans when rain surprises them, others see it as an opportunity to make an unforgettable, special and challenging experience.

Read more

 

 

Green Trail


 

Izzat Ansari says 'Hello all green trekkers!

Many of you have arisen to the call to be part of the Green trails management team while trekking and to ensure that the trails are left cleaner than they are found. While every volunteer deserves to be mentioned and applauded we would like to present some of your efforts here and highlight some of the feedback received.

Sanjay Guhathakurta was one such crusader who, along with Soumen and Kuntal,  threw himself wholeheartedly into ensuring that his team of Goechala September 29 made a noteworthy difference to that trail. He started by actively enlisting the support of the team on the forum interactions...and outlining some of the steps they could take and material that would be required.

The following are extracts of his response and feedback after the trek:

Sachen Campsite had trash and litter all around and took 3 hours to clean the place along with Soumen. Now the trail and the campsite both are clean and free of trash (atleast for some days) We have secured the water source and cleaned the campsite for good.

"Picking up wafer, biscuit, and chocolate wrappers and chewing gum always remains in my list when ever I go to the Mountains. Its a pain to my eyes and simply cant be "okay" with it."

The Goechala trail had maximum litter from Yuksom to Sachen and from Sachen to Thoshka. Armed with cotton recyclable bags, plastic gloves and khurpis the attack on the litter began.

So how did they do it?
Read more here...

 

 
Best of Goecha la

Here are some awesome clicks shared by our trekker Samujjwal Sahu who trekked in October 2013.

 

Goechala trek

 

Goechala trek

 

Goechala trek

 

Goechala trek

View his entire album here...

 

Goecha la Photo Contest

First Prize: Shanker - Sept/Oct 2012 photo contest

Goechala trek


Second Prize: Arun - Sept/Oct 2012 photo contest

Goechala trek

 

 

Why Goecha la in Sikkim is a most romantic trek

 

Goechala trek

 

Arjun Majumdar writes about the Goechala trek and tells why it is one of the most romantic trails in the country.

I have never been as enamored by a trek as I have been of the Goechala. It is the most romantic trek that I have done. There are lots in the trek that make it romantic. On a long stretch between Tshoka and Phedang the trail climbs under a canopy of red rhododendrons in full bloom. Never have I seen a trail turning red the way it did on this trek. It was as if the trail was on fire! Rhododendrons bloomed in every direction I looked. Even the sunlight that seeped in was red through the filter of the flowers!

Read more

 

Memoirs of the past --- A trek diary by Vinita Chhatwani

 

Goechala trek

 

Doing a well know trail has its own ups and downs.--- We initially planned to venture to Zemu glacier in Sikkim but because of permissions issues the plan had to be cancelled. Since we were just three of us we decided to do the well-known Goechala trek. I had been to Dzongri 9 years back in 2004 which was my first Himalayan trek and had wonderful memories of the trek. Several things have changed in the years but one thing that is still unchanged is the splendour and the profuse forests along the Goechala trail. In all Goechala is a wonderful trek, beautiful dense forest, waterfalls and magnificent views of Mt Khangchendzonga, Mt Pandim, Mt Tenzing , Mt Narsing, Kabru group of peaks and many more. Read more..

 

An Ode to Goecha la --- An amateur's trek diary

 

Goechala trek

 

Nagendra Kumar blogs about his experiences of Goecha la trek in April 2012.

 

The steep descend tested the strength of our thigh muscles and took us to Kokchurang which was in a valley sort. Trekkers hut surrounded by tall pine trees and fresh water stream nearby was a scene of bollywood flick from eighties. After a rest for a while, once again we moved ahead and crossed to wooden bridges, stones and climbed further for an hour and half to reach Thansing. Read more

 

 

Trek Fees


Goechala Trek

Rs 12,650

per person (Yuksom to Yuksom)

A service tax of 3.09% applicable on the trek fees

What the trek fee includes, excludes and Cancellation charges

 

18 Apr to 28 Apr (Full)

25 Apr to 5 May (Closing)

26 Apr to 6 May (Full)

03 May to 13 May (Closing)

10 May to 20 May (Full)

17 May to 27 May (Full)


*Find out who can trek at a concession

Central government employees can avail special casual leave for trekking the Goecha la trek, write to info@indiahikes.in for the application kit..

Contact Us

Registered Trekkers call:
9590363344
(9.30 AM - 7.00 PM   Mon-Sat)

New Enquiry call:
7676823355
(9.30 AM - 7.00 PM   Mon-Sat)
or write to us at:
info@indiahikes.in


Trek Calendar

Other Indiahikes Treks

Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Drive from NJP to Yuksom 5,670 ft (6 hrs)

Day 2: Trek starts at Yuksom 5,600 ft to Sachen 7,150 ft

Day 3: Sachen 7,150 ft to Tshokha 9,700 ft via Bhakim 8,600 ft

Day 4: Tshokha 9,700 ft to Dzongri 12,980 ft via Phedang 12,000 ft

Day 5: Dzongri 12,980 ft to Dzongri top 13,675 ft , then to Thansing 12,900 ft via Kokchurang (12,000 ft)

Day 6: Thansing 12,900 ft to Lamuney 13,600 ft

Day 7: Lamuney 13,600 ft to Goecha La 16,000 f) via Samiti Lake 14,100 ft, then back to Thansing

Day 8: Thansing to Tshokha via Phedang

Day 9: Tshokha to Yuksom via Bhakim and Sachen

Day 10: Leave Yuksom early morning and reach NJP by 4.00 - 5.00 pm

Day 11: Buffer Day *

* Trekkers are advised to keep an extra buffer day for the Goecha la trek. The buffer day may be required if there is bad weather on the scheduled trek days. If the buffer day is utilised then trekkers have to bear an additional cost of Rs 1600/- towards the trek fee. This money will be collected only if the buffer day is required and to be paid to Indiahikes trek leaders on location.

Trek Facts

Difficulty 
Moderate-Difficult. See link for details.

Trail type
Cricular trek. Returns back to the base camp.

Altitude
Goechala 16,000 feet (4880 mts).

Rail head
NJP (New Jalpaiguri). NJP can be easily reached from Kolkata or Delhi by train.

Nearest Airport
Bagdogra is the nearest airport. It is 25 kms away from NJP or Siliguri. Note: NJP and Siliguri are sister towns and not separated from each other. There are no hotels or accommodation at Bagdogra. Auto/taxi ply frequently between Bagdogra and Siliguri

Base Camp
Yuksom near Jorethang in Sikkim

Best Season
April last  week to June end; Mid September to October end. It is also possible to trek in Nov and Dec but gets dry and very cold.

Temperature in May, Jun.
Day: 15° to 25°C. Night: 8° to 15°C. Temp at highest camp, Dzongri: Day 7°C to 15°C. Night: 3° to -2°C.

Temperature in Sept and Oct.
Day: 13° to 20°C. Night: 2° to 7°C. Temp at highest camp, Dzongri: Day 3°C to 10°C. Night: 3° to -4°C.

Rain
Rains start end June until mid September. Approach road landslides/blocks common in late August and early Sep. Usually repaired in a few days.

Snow
Stretch after view point 1 could be under snow in early May. Eases out by June. Light snow cover in Sep/Oct on the higher reaches.

Preparation
Physical preparation mandatory. See link for more details.

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