Why Goechala in Sikkim is a most romantic 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!
There are a couple of other romantic moments from the Goechala trek that come to my mind.
At 15,000 feet, standing on the ledge of a mountain at five in the morning, I was as close to Mt Kanchenjunga as you can possibly get without climbing it. I had been trekking since three in the morning. Staring up at the summit of the third highest mountain of the world, the night slowly started to give way to day. On my right was the inky blackness of night with the moon still bright. On my left, magically out of the dawn sky, a sunbeam touched the summit of Kanchenjunga. In the golden light a plume of snow blew off the summit. Silhouetted in the dark background of the late night, watching the summit of Mt Kanchenjunga light up still stands as the most romantic sunrise of my life.
I learn these days that the spot is called sunrise point. Back when I did the trek it had no name. Trekkers just stopped there at five in the morning to witness this magic.
On the Goechala trek the 14,000 feet Samiti lake is another romantic spot that haunts me. When I reached Samiti the unusual deep blue waters of the lake startled me. I could never imagine waters with such colours. Stepping closer to the shore, I thought the colours would disperse. I was wrong. Even five feet from the shore the colour of the water was the same turquoise blue. Like a swimming pool I could clearly see through the deep blue waters to the bottom of the lake. I stood for a long time mesmerized by the romance of the place.
That night, I woke up at two (we had to leave at three for Goechala) and walked to the shore of the lake. In the rarified air, the moon shone brighter than ever. On the surface of the still dark waters of the Samiti lake was the full reflection of Mt Pandim. I could see every snowy fold of the mountain in that reflection. Emotions overcame me and tears welled in my eyes. For the first time on a trek I wished I had a company to share this moment.
The Goechala trek is filled with romantic moments like these: The glacial valley of Thansing, the quaint village of Bakhim, the walk from Dzongri to Kockchurang – it just goes on.
Indiahikes teams are trekking to Goechala in the month May. Take advantage of this expedition to experience a truly romantic trail – the kind of which you will not see again. The mountains in Sikkim are very different. Take a look at the Goechala website for more details.
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