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Trekking in Darjeeling, West
Trekking in Darjeeling - Sandakphu Trek|
Maximum - 14 Days
About This Trek:
Trekking into Sandakphu in Darjeeling starts off from an altitude of 1,524
meters (5,000 ft) and gradually climbs up through forests of
rhododendron, giant magnolias, natural beauty of this trek, spruce and other trees of sub-alpine
region and more than 600 varieties of
orchids-the largest to be found in one geographical area in the
world. For flora worshippers, the months of April and May are the
best time of the year for the trek while for those who have an
insatiable thirst for a view of the mountains, the best months are in
The view from this beautiful place is unsurpassed by any view anywhere.
Where else can be seen 180 degrees of snow-capped mountains which includes Everest, Makalu, Lhotse,
Kumbhakarna, Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari in one single stretch of
snows-an ethereal beauty. It is easy to understand why people
leave hearth and home, traveling sometimes thousands of miles
to walk through ripples of terraced fields of maize, rice, millet and
barley, leaving the last traces of civilization far behind.
I t i n e r a r y
All the treks of Darjeeling (West
Bengal India) is connected by 'our coach'
Batasia-Barahatta (1,744 meters or 5,725 ft)
It is a two-hour drive from Darjeeling to Batasia, the starting
point of the trek. The first two hour trek is a slow ascent up the dirt road and trail
to Dhodre, 2,438 meters (8,000 ft) where it is time for lunch and a
short rest. It is then downhill all the way through forests and
streams to Paimajua from where after another hour's walk down-hill
the village of Barahatta is reached. Here camp is set in the village
school ground. The descent has offered lovely views of surrounding
valleys and ridges and steep terraced hillsides.
Barahatta-Rimbik (2,286 meters or 7,500 ft):
After breakfast an early descent leads to crystal clear waters of
the Lodoma Khola, where it is hard to resist a dip and a wash.
It is a steady climb for the rest of the day through open country
and field of millet, potato and corn. The Nepalese are in a majority.
The Rimbik Forest Bungalow provides a good view of Darjeeling.
Amidst the emerald green of the forest filled with several kinds of
orchids and close to the bungalow is the site for the camp.
Rimbik-Raman (2,453 meters or 8,000 ft):
The day starts with an hour's steep descent to the Siri Khola
(stream) through forests teeming with hundreds of species of birds,
including the colorful Himalayan Monal, the Emerald Dove, the
Maroon Oriole and others. After the river is crossed, begins the stiff
climb through towering forests of exotic, moss laden trees-
rhododendrons, silver firs, pines, spruce, chestnuts, oaks, giant
magnolias and hemlocks as well as through open country fields.
The camping site is near the forest bungalow at Raman.
Raman-Molle (3,590 meters or 11,803 ft):
A pleasant three hour morning walk takes one to the top of the
Singalila ridge, where a corresponding change in the vegetation
with the altitude is discernible with the forest gradually giving way
to the stark landscape of dead trees. A couple of hour's walk
northward after lunch leads to rolling open country and the first
glimpses of Everest and the Kanchenjunga ranges. The camping
site is at Molle.
Molle-Phalut (3,599 meters or 11,811 ft):
Always in sight of the Himalayan peaks, an excursion to the
northernmost point of the trek at Phalut and back, takes three hours
each way. With the beautiful valleys of Nepal on one side on those
of Sikkim on the other, the vegetation is of the alpine class-an
undulating ripple of dwarf rhododendron bushes and shrubs of
poisonous aconite. Forming the junction of Nepal, Sikkim and
West Bengal, Phalut along with Pamyangchi and Sandakphu, is
considered one of the most rewarding places to visit.
Sandakphu (3,638 meters or 11,929 ft):
It takes a full day's walk along the ridge to Sandakphu-the
culmination of the trekking adventure at its highest. At a distance of
58 km from Darjeeling, Sandakphu is a window to one of the finest
views of the snowy mountains from the mighty Everest in Nepal, to
the revered Kanchenjunga in Sikkim and the legendary Chomolhari
in Bhutan. Everest is 144 km from here as the crow flies. The sunrise
and sunset over the mountains is a spectacle, one cannot afford to
The deadly aconite plant grows thick just below Sandakphu, the
loftiest peak of not only the Singalila Range, but of the whole district;
it is there, it might seem, to protect this green tableland, from human
exploitation. Indeed, all is quiet, all is calm and but for a stray
shepherd, not a soul can be seen,
As one approaches Sandakphu, the wild elemental grandeur of
the snows begins to assert itself, till the climax is reached at
sunrise, when it soaks the snow laden peaks in crimson and mauve,
orange and gold. Kanchenjunga and Everest are seen in all their
glory against the background of an azure sky speckled with lazily floating, fleecy clouds.
The whole snowy range of Bhutan, Sikkim
and Nepal, about 320 kilometers in length, a wonderful square mass
of mountains looking like a wall of snow, is visible, but the gigantic
height and breadth of towering Kanchenjunga, with its attendant
peaks, Karbu, Janu and Pandim dominates the scene; Everest,
(8,848 meters or 29,028 ft) graceful and majestic, 160 kilometers
away, soars above, peeping shyly from the northern horizon with
Lhotse (8,500 meters or 27,890 ft) on the right and Makalu (8,482
meters or 27,824 ft) on the left.
Sandakphu is a trekker's paradise, the narrow road leading from
Darjeeling is jeep-able to Maneybhanjang, about 26 km from the town and 11 km
from Tonglu (37 km to the west of Darjeeling). Mules, hired in Darjeeling, carry
the food and warm clothing to Tonglu from Maneybhanjang. After resting for a
night in Tonglu, the Dak Bungalow crowns the Summit of the peak, the trekkers
proceed to Sandakphu passing through magnificent forests of Oak, Magnolia,
Chestnut and Rhododendron; woods, overflowing with a wealth of vegetation,
abound in moss-covered and creeper bound giants of the forest, the dimensions of
which inspire awe. The night is spent in a Dak Bungalow or Youth Hostel, afloat
in the clouds.
Sandakphu-Tonglu (3,070 meters or 10,074 ft):
It is a pleasant day's walk descending slowly through villages,
the population of which is mostly Sherpa - the hardy, generous and
famed people steeped in Himalayan lore for their indispensable role
as fearless guides. After stopping for lunch at one of the Sherpa
villages, Tonglu is reached by evening.
(1,969 meters or 6,458 ft):
The final descent to Maneybhanjang takes only three hours,
passing an old monastery which is worth visiting for a look it the
Tibetan statues. From Maneybanjang, you have a 26km ride by jeep to you hotel in Darjeeling.
It has been a rewarding venture brimming with scenic delights.
Newars are the original inhabitants of the Nepal Valley
possessing their own language, script and literature. Besides being
good painters, they are also wood-carvers, sculptors and metal
workers. Best known, however, the world over-the Sherpas, originally
from Solo Khumbu, plucky mountaineers who won undying fame
after the conquest of Everest by Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Said the
London Times of Tenzing, inhabitant of Namche Bazaar, "...He is
obviously and indisputably one of Nature's gentlemen. He has an
inborn ease and elegance that would cause a flutter in many a
London drawing-room ...... In spite of his international fame, and
although before the final assault, he had climbed higher than any of
the Europeans of expedition, he retained his modesty throughout,
and was as willing to help in the menial tasks of camp life as to share
the fiercest dangers of Everest's summit". The eloquent tribute can
relatively apply, in parts, to all the gallant Sherpas. Tenzing Norgay
is no more with us but world will remember till the end of this earth.
In the memory of this hero of Everest Central Bus Terminus at
Siliguri has been named as Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus and Hill
Cart Road linking Darjeeling with Siliguri has been renamed as
Tenzing Norgay Road.
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