New England Wild Flower Society offers field trips throughout New England and around the world. The Society plans a trip to the Himalayas in 2013.
Himalayas: The Sikkim & Darjeeling
Landscapes and Flora
April 27 – May 11, 2013
Come and explore the spectacular landscapes and flora of Sikkim and the Darjeeling Himalayas! See tea plantations around Darjeeling – of British hill station fame—in the foothills of the Himalays. Ride the World Heritage famed “Darjeeling Himalayan Railroad.”
Visit botanic gardens and orchid gardens, then head to Sikkim which is filled with Old World charm. Learn about the art and heritage of the Tibetan culture of Sikkim.
Then drive toward the high Himalayas through narrow valleys and winding mountain roads, where waterfalls leap into deep gorges, en route to Lachung. This will be our base to explore two spectacular natural areas, the Yumthang “Valley of the Flowers” and the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary which blooms during April and May. Our route is within sight of Kanchenjunga, at 28,169 feet, the 3 rd highest peak in the world. Come join us as we discover the foothills and mountains of Himalayan India with New England Wild Flower Society’s Ted Elliman and an excellent local guide.
• Lloyds Botanical Garden in Darjeeling. Here many alpine and sub-alpine plants grow under conditions similar to their natural habitats in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region. The garden has a section for medicinal plants which are native to the area. More than 60 orchids representing various terrestrial and epiphytic species primarily from Singalila National Park are found in the Orchid House.
• Saramsa Botanical Garden, initially established in 1922 to grow fruits like pineapple, guava, oranges, and lychee for the British officers. In 1940 the Forestry Department introduced the growing of Ipecac from Malaysia for medicine. The Ipecac Garden is still famous today and preserves several orchids, as well as tropical and temperate plants and other blooms in its treasure chest of floral wealth.
• Yumthang , a valley at an altitude of 11, 800 ft through which Lachung Chu flows. The region is within the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary which is fully covered with Rhododendron with more than 36 species, including R. mekongense, which bloom during the months of April to May. Botanize and explore the lower regions of the valley where you can expect to find many interesting species of plant life such as: Meconopsis grandis, the national flower of Bhutan.
• An excursion to Yumesamdong, which is situated at an altitude of 15,000 ft. A valley grazed by yaks and their nomadic shepherds, it is rugged, breathtaking, and one can stop for a hot water spring bath just below the snow clad peaks, which is renowned for its medical properties. Look for colorful lichens, grasses, and hearty plants in the vegetative stage.
• Rumtek Monastery which is the World Dharma Chakra Centre and the seat of His Holiness, the Gyalwa Karmapa, who is the head of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism.
• Kalimpong region with virgin forests in Lava and Loleygaon. There you can spot different orchid species growing naturally. The area is also the natural habitat for Rhododendron Dalhousie.
We invite you to join us!
Discover the great beauty of the Himalayas in Darjeeling and Sikkim
For more trip information, you can download the trip brochure by clicking here. Or contact:
Betchart Expeditions, Inc.
17050 Montebello Road
Cupertino, CA 95014-5435
Tel: (800) 252-4910
or (408) 252-4910
Fax: (408) 252-1444