Sandakphu Phalut Trek
Trek along with Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse and a grand Himalayan panorama of more than 20 other peaks. Swing along the border trails between India and Nepal. Walk through the clouds and rhododendron forest, in the Singalila National Park, to climb Sandakphu, the highest peak of West Bengal. At 3636 meters, this is the best trek for a beginner.
With grand views of four of the World's highest 8000 meter peaks - Mt. Everest ( 8850m, 1st), Kanchenjunga ( 8586m, 3rd), Mt. Lhotse (8516m, 4th) and Makalu (8481m, 5th), Sandakphu trek is not just about it. The panorama of the Annapurna range including a glimpse of the Fish Tail mountain, locally known as Macchapucchare, Baruntse and the Kanchenjunga family of mountains forming the Sleeping Buddha.
The trails boasts of lots of wild life as it falls under the area of Singalila National Park. During spring season, the route is beautified by the rhododendron forests.. Sandakphu trek is also beautified by the local villages of Darjeeling district and Nepal. Its a border line trek between India and Nepal, and we keep swinging between the regions and villages of Nepal and India. The best part of it is, its an easy trek and considered the best of the Himalayan routes to start a multi day trek in the Himalayas. Sandakphu at 3636 meters is also the highest point of West Bengal. No other treks in India can boast of what Sandakphu Phalut trek can offer. We top it up with the pleasant, comfortable and welcoming Lepcha hospitality. Lepchas are the intrinsic tribes of that region.
Day 1:Maneybhanjyang (2040m ) to Tumling (2830m ), 9 kms, 4 - 5 hrs.
We start the day with fresh air of the mountains and get ready for our first day of trek. We leave after having breakfast and hit the trail amidst forests straight away to reach an opening marked with Buddhist Prayer flags and a small chorten. This place is Chitrey. If we wish, we break for tea in a small shop and then leave for Meghma through forests. During spring, this route is covered by rhododendron flowers.. Mostly, this area remains misty most of the times. We break for hot lunch at Meghma after which, its an easy walk to Tumling, where we rest for the day.
Day 2: Tumling (2830m ) to Kalapokhari (3180m ), 8 kms, 4 - 5 hrs.
Today, early morning we wake up and leave for sunrise view. Our heart flies out to the mountains as we see the Sleeping Buddha ( Kanchenjunga range of mountains shaped up and appearing as The Sleeping Buddha) being lighted up with the early morning rays of the sun. With a panorama of more than 16 peaks, its a grand view to our eyes. Kanchenjunga, the 3rd highest peak of the world dominates all.. We can also see Mt. Everest from here from a little hidden corner. After satisfying our eyes with the dramatic views of the mountains, we come back for tea and freshen up to get ready for our trek for the day. We leave after breakfast and as soon as we leave, we enter into the Singalila National Park. Our trek route is beautiful today through the forest offering us a chance to see lots of wild animals while we reach Gairibas, a village in Nepal. We might chose to break for tea and then head to Kayakatta, a 2 KM gently steep climb. From there to Kayakatta is almost a flat walk of 4 kms to Kalapokhari - Black Pond, decorated with Buddhist prayer flags. where we rest for tonight. Watch out for wild animals and birds in the entire trek trail today.
Day 3: Kalapokhari (3180m ) to Sandakphu ( 3636m ), 6 kms, 2 - 3 hrs.
Today, we start bit easy as we have very short distance to cover. Its an easy walk initially before hitting the steep climb to Sandakphu for the last 2 kilometers. Keep an eye for Kanchenjunga and Kumbhakarna on your right while walking through the beautiful landscape. Atb 3636 meters, this is the highest point of West Bengal and is shared between India and Nepal. From here, you can see more than 20 peaks of Everest and Kanchenjunga range and that of Bhutan.
Day 4: Sandakphu ( 3636m ) to Phalut ( 3600m), 21 kms, 5 - 6 hrs.
We wake up before morning to climb up to a hill top to watch the Sunrise lightening up the peaks. You can see Mt. Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Chamling, Chomolonzo, Everest Three Sisters, Kanchenjunga family of moutains and other high peaks of Sikkim and Bhutan. Its a breathtaking view from here. Once satisfied with the views, we return to freshen up and get ready for our long, but the most beautiful and easiest trek to Phalut. The sight of Everest on our left keeps us motivated on the entire trail. On a clear day, we can see the Annapurna range of mountains including Macchapucchare - the Fish Tail Mountain. The trail is beautified by forests, alpine meadows with yaks and sheeps grazing, flowers and high snowy peaks of the Nepal Himalayas.
Day 5: Phalut ( 3600m) to Gorkhey(2286m), 8 kms, 3 - 4 hrs
Today is the day we watch the mountains up close from the Sunrise View in Phalut. The early morning rays of the sun turns the peaks into a golden mountains glowing with might !! Each of the peaks have their own beauty and presents itself in its own aura to catch your eyes and take away your heart !! We spend enough time to soak in the beauty of the mountains into our Mind, Heart and Soul. The mountains has the power to get you lost into your own world of thoughts as you enjoy seeing it. Though you will never be satisfied with such views of the peaks, and from such a close distance, we will leave once we feel we should for breakfast and then head out for our easy descend to Gorkhey. We leave bit late for our easier trek through beautiful forests to Gorkhey - one of the most beautiful Hamlet you can find in the Himalayas. Its a perfect hamlet with village, villagers, rivers, domestic animals, wild animals, trees, flowers, village kids, lots of birds.... amidst the mountains !! Our trek will not be complete if we wont spend a relaxing night here. The beauty of the place however will not let you relax though !!
Day 6: Gorkhey to Sri Khola (17 km)
Sri Khola to Rimbick, and back to Darjeeling by Jeep