Arjun Majumdar writes about the Goecha La trek. He says it’s the most romantic trek in India and explains why.
I have never been as enamoured by a trek as I have been with Goechala. It is the most romantic trek that I have done.
There are lots of things on 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 turn red the way it did on this trek. Rhododendrons bloomed in every direction I looked. Even the sunlight that seeped in was red, through the filter of flowers!
This flowery trail took me up to 15,000 feet, where, 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. Watching the summit of Mt Kanchenjunga light up still remains 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 water 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 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 trek to Goecha La in the months of April, September, October and November. 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.