Barsey Trek

This route lies in the southwestern corner of Sikkim. One has to first reach Hilley by road via Sombaria and Okhrey. Okhrey which is about 10 km before Hilley has reasonably priced Homestays which you can book online. It is a good idea to halt overnight at Okhrey before proceeding to Hilley early morning the next day. From Hilley, one has to trek for four kilometres which takes approximately one hour to reach Barsey which is at an altitude of 3049 m (10000 ft).

At Hilley, which is at an altitude of 2744 m(9000 ft), silver firs, hemlocks, magnolia and rhododendrons are found in equal abundance but as one approaches Barsey, the rhododendrons reign supreme and during the month of March they are a riot of red colour. Rhododendrons are however nondescript plants. After short flowering, they return back to their drab existence.

The branches of trees all along the route entwined with each other to form a leafy canopy. Bright sunlight filters through a fretwork of rich green foliage lighting up flowers in splashes of colours. Butterflies of many hues flash like living jewels dancing from flower to flower. Above in the azure sky, big winds send clouds scampering here and there. A group of birds fly in jagged formation trumpeting. Nature itself seems to exult.

At Barsey there is some basic accommodation available in the Tourist Lodge. Alternatively, you can pitch your tent in the courtyard of the lodge. One has to walk a few hundred yards ahead to catch a view of Chiwabhanjang on the Singelila range. Far below the village of Burikhop can distinctly be seen.

From Barsey, Chiwabhanjang can be reached in a trek of about three to four hours.