There are many hiking trails in east Sikkim—some of them popular, some unheard of but known only to the locals—that you can discover every week. This is a guide to the Teenjurey hike trail that runs inside the Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary in East Sikkim.
HOW TO REACH FAMBONG LHO WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
A popular hiking trail is the Nampung trail inside the Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary. It is 20 km from Gangtok city (a half-hour drive). You can hire a cab from Children’s Park Taxi Stand at MG Marg, Gangtok, or book it through a travel agent. An entrance fee is charged for all visitors, so carry an ID card such as Adhaar card or voter ID card.
Cab cost: To and fro will cost INR 1500 (500 to go and 1000 to come back with the same driver. The driver will drop you off and pick you up at a designated time given by you).
Entrance fee: INR 55 per person
Document to carry: ID card
The 5 km long Nampung Trail winds its way up the sprawling 51 sq km mountainous terrain that constitutes the Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary. The continuous upward path comprises stones and mud, and bamboo bridges built over small streams. At some places, you might have to duck under or precariously go around massive tree roots, which adds to the adventure. You will come across bamboo thickets that form a beautiful arch over the path; fallen bamboo branches across the trail are common. Areas where the foliage is dense are dark and wet, so be careful where you’re stepping. A recent development that’s taking place is that they’ve started paving the trail with interlocking tiles at certain places.
This wildlife sanctuary is also home to a number of birds such as the Satyr Tragopan, Hill Partridge, Red-tailed Manila, Yellow-browned Tit, and Red-headed Bullfinch.
Wildlife here includes the Himalayan brown bear, red panda, barking deer, yellow-throated marten, and Himalayan striped squirrel. Bears can be found in dense areas, so it’s advisable to stick together if in a group or join one. You can also carry a stick for protection.
Halfway up is a resting shed where you can refuel and take in the views of the snowy mountains. The trail ends at Tinchuley Viewpoint. There is a watch tower here where you get a 360-degree view of the hills and mountains. You can see most of Gangtok town, south Sikkim, and parts of north Sikkim from here.
WATCH VIDEO: Teenjurey Hike
Things to listen/observe/do while on the trail:
1) Among the many trees, look out for the huge gnarly-looking oak trees. Their roots are fascinating.
2) Discover artificial salt licks (mineral licks) placed at various locations for animals.
3) Look out for interesting birds
4) Listen for the hoof sounds of the goral (small goat-like mammal).
5) Make a wish as you pass under the roots of the heritage oak tree (you’ll know when you see it).
Time taken to reach the top: 2-2.5 hours
Time taken to reach back: 1.5-2 hours