Maenam trek:

If you want to include a hike in your Sikkim tour, the Maenam Trek is a short but very productive trail for you. It has fascinating mountain views, albeit not as close as most of the longer Sikkim treks. In contrast, it probably has the widest panorama of Sikkim peaks around you.

Maenam Trek: A short Sikkim trek with rich panoramic views
Maenam campsite during sunrise

About the trail:

Our trail is inside Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, which is in Namchi District (formerly South Sikkim district). Despite its small size of 35 square kilometers, the reserve is rich in biodiversity. Lying between 2200 m and 3350 m altitude, it is particularly rich in medicinal plants and herbs. The temperate forests are also home to a variety of fauna, including the red panda, marbled cat, blood pheasant, magpies, and various sunbirds.

The trail is inside the wildlife Sanctuary

Our trek base, Ravangla, is now a recognised name among tourists. Substantial mountain views and Buddha Park are the major attractions.

Ravangla Buddha Park

The trail starting from the sanctuary gate is a typical Sikkim one. After 15 minutes or so, we leave the main track and take the shortcut going up on the right. Due to poor maintenance, fallen trees, and other factors, we will take mostly the shorter trail that runs perpendicular to the main track. You will get 5 resting points or shades during this moderate climb to the campsite on top of the ridge. The trail is through dense rhododendron and oak forests, culminating in silver firs and other conifers on top.

Trail to Maenam top
A Typical Sikkim forest trail

At the top of the ridge, the trail flattens and splits in different directions. We will camp in a suitable spot for the night. From the vantage points, you can see a series of peaks forming the great Nepal-Sikkim Himalayan range. Starting in the east in Bhutan, the range extends to Sikkim and further west in Nepal. The Siniolchu, Kanchenjunga, and Kabru ranges, as well as Pandim, Rahong, and Janu, are notable peaks. Visit the Maenam Gompa at the top to get a captivating 360-degree view. Sunset and sunrise views are no less rewarding.

Reaching Maenam
Rathing (L) and Kabru group (R) during sunrise
The other side
Maenam Gompa

 Itinerary for Maenam trek: 

Day 1: Start from NJP or Bagdogra (latest by 10 am) and drive to Ravangla (~ 2100 m/6900 ft) in South Sikkim – 125 Km – 5 hours. Accommodation in a lodge/hotel.
Day 2: Trek to Maenam Hill top – Bhaleydhunga area. Camp at a suitable spot ~ 11 Km – 5 to 7 hours. Camp (~ 3150 m/10330 ft). Explore the top and enjoy the sunset views.
Day 3: Visit Maenam Gompa (~ 3220 m/10560 ft) at the top for sunrise views – 360 views of the surroundings – Descend to Ravangla – 12 Km – 5/6 hours. You should reach Ravangla by 2 pm. Drive down to Siliguri/NJP in 4 to 5 hours. Or esle continue to your Sikkim tour/plan.


  • You need to arrive at NJP station/Bagdogra airport/Siliguri latest by 10 am on Day 1. While returning you will reach Ravangla on Day 3 afternoon (around 2 pm).
  • You may also reach Ravangla from other places like Gangtok, Pelling or Yuksom conveniently.

Best time to trek and visit Maenam Wildlife Sactuary:

1) Spring/Summer for Rhododendron season: From mid of March to Mid of May. Flowering starts from early March in the lower elevation, and gradually towards end of spring on higher altitude. Rhododendron and Magnolia are two most famous along with several other wild flower species. Cloudy or misty atmosphere is common during Spring. Although clear mountains views are not uncommon, specially during morning.

2) Autumn/Fall & Winter for clear weather: From mid October to mid of March. In the beginning of October clouds start moving out from this region and weather becomes clearer. November is  particularly known for its crystal clear views of the mountains. Fall colours changing around Gairibas and higher on the trail is another reason to choose this trek in autumn.

Considering the above we would recommend you to visit Maenam Hills between November to March.

Access to Maenam trek base Ravangla: 

To reach the trek base Ravangla, the access in from NJP (railway station)/Siliguri city/Bagdogra airport.

Either you can reach Ravangla independently or we may arrange a private pick up. This cost is NOT included in the TREK FEE.

A Tata Sumo Jeep charges ₹ 6000 one way from NJP railway station or Bagdogra airport to trek base Ravangla. Below is the route showing major points from NJP/Bagdogra to Ravangla.

Route to reach basecamp

 Permit requirements for travelling and hiking in Sikkim: 

Sikkim has some restrictions regarding travelling and special permits are a must to obtain for visiting different areas.

If you are planning for extended holidays/destinations in Sikkim then check complete guide for permits requirements in Sikkim.

 (A) For Indian National: 

(A) For Indian Nationals: No special permit is required for this tour. Carry an original Photo ID card with address proof on it (Aadhar/Driving Licence/Voter ID/Passport but NOT PAN CARD) & 2 photocopies of the same.

 (B) For Foreign National including OCI: 

All foreigners will require Inner Line Permit (ILP) which is recently renamed as Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to enter the boundary of Sikkim. This is issued Free Of Cost at Sikkim check posts while you enter Sikkim by road. This takes 15/20 minutes with the strength of your passport and valid Indian VISA. Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) has to go through the same process as of a foreign national.

Note: Diplomatic passport/ID card holders need to obtain a RAP/PAP directly applying to the  “Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. Of India”, through their embassy/high commission channel.

  • Nationals of Pakistan, Myanmar, Nigeria and China can only apply for ILP/RAP through Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.
  • Do carry multiple copies (both hard and soft versions) of your recent passport size photo and photocopies of your documents (Passport/Visa/ILP) to avoid any showstopper on mountains!
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Why treks with HT?

Highest Point3220 m/10560 ft
Trail Length20 Km

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