The northern part of the state of West Bengal is covered by the Himalayas, which provide ample mountaineering and adventure sports opportunities. Those who are beginners or have relatively less experience in the activity may go on the Sandakphu trek as it is quite easy. Your guide or tour representative will pick you up from New Jalpaiguri, and then you will drive to the village of Chitrey. Look at the bewitching peak of Kanchenjunga from here before starting your mountaineering excursion.
With this Sandakphu trekking package, you get a chance to cross the border and enter Nepal, and meander back to India while following the winding trail. During most of your journey, your eyes will feast at views of sky-touching mountains covered with snow. The trail will take you through forests of pine at lower altitudes, and those of oaks, deodars, pindrow firs and morinda spruces at higher elevations. On the way to Tumling, you arrive at a picturesque alpine meadow, offering views of mountains nearby. At several halts, scenic sunrises over the Himalayas will leave you spellbound, and the spell will only be broken by even prettier sights. From Tumling, you may also get to see the magnificent Mount Everest if the weather allows you. The final approach to Sandakphu peak will be the toughest due to the rapid gain in altitude, but also the most rewarding. Just as you reach the summit and look at the stupefying view, you will forget all about tiredness.
Sandakphu trekking will bring a well-balanced ratio of easy and tough sections as the path will keep climbing and descending. All said and done, it is one of the easiest mountain expeditions that you can undertake in the region, and is perfect for you to get better at hiking. At your lodgings near the summit, you will enjoy a little felicitation to celebrate the ascent, and the next few days will be spent solely in hiking downhill. In Rimbik, where your trip will end, you will have another round of celebration; this time with a scrumptious dinner, warming bonfire and good music.
Day 01: NJP (New Jalpaiguri) to Chitrey
On your arrival at New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP), meet a tour representative and drive towards Chitrey. This little village is located in a thickly forested area, at an altitude of around 7218 feet in the Himalayas. The distance between NJP and Chitrey is roughly 100 KM, and the drive will take around 4-5 hours. Explore the colourful monastery and Buddhist Stupa of the village.
After arriving here, transfer to your lodging and rest. In the evening, meet the porters who will carry your luggage during the Sandakphu trek, and during dinner, get briefed about the journey by your guide.
Day 02: Chitrey (8858 feet) to Tonglu/ Tumling (9022 feet) (6 km)
Begin Sandakphu trekking early in the morning after a nourishing breakfast. You will first climb through pristine pine forests, and after a while, you will reach a viewpoint at a good height. Stop here for a 10-minute break and look at the town of Darjeeling below. All along the hike, you will be able to see snow-covered peaks to your right or in the north. Post clicking some photos, trek down and cross two small hills. At the end of this walk, you will reach a beautiful mountainous meadow, from where the Tonglu peak of the Singalila Range can be seen.
The path again climbs from the meadow, and after hiking for approximately 20 minutes, you will take a diversion through the forest for Tonglu/Tumling. This little settlement lies on the India-Nepal border, and after you arrive here, retire for the night at your lodging.
Day 03: Tumling (9022 feet) to Kalapokhri (9875 metres) via Joebari and Kaiyakata (14 km)
Wake up at dawn to watch the mesmerising sunrise over Mount Kanchenjunga.
Post a delicious breakfast, begin the next phase of your journey. This day, your Sandakphu trekking package will bring you to Nepal.
Pass through the international border on your way to the town of Joebari, about 15 KM from Tumling. If the weather is clear, you may get a glimpse of Mount Everest before you recommence your hike from Tumling. You first experience a good ascent for roughly an hour, and then encounter a descent till the town of Joebari is reached. Stop here and take a short break from walking continuously. From here, the trail comes down steeply, and in about 1.5 hours, you reach the border check-post in Gairibans, back in India. Once again you start gaining altitude from here, till you reach Kaiyakata. Stop here for a comforting lunch before going further.
Post lunch, continue the expedition for approximately 2.5 hours along a trail with moderate elevation gain, and reach the village of Kalapokhari. There is a small lake in the area, from where the village gets its name. The waters of the pond appear black, and it is said that even in the severest of winters, it does not freeze. This belief has given the lake a mysterious aura and it is revered by locals. On arriving here, head to your lodging and stay overnight.
Day 04: Kalapokhri (9875 feet) to Sandakphu (11929 feet)
Wake up early in the morning and travel towards the lake to witness a pretty sunrise. After watching the phenomenon, return to your lodging for breakfast. Post enjoying your meal, start your ascent to Sandakphu, which is at a distance of about 6 KM from here.
This stage of the Sandakphu trek brings the highest amount of altitude gain. Today you start at about 9875 feet and walk to a height of roughly 11929 feet above sea level. After climbing continuously for around 2 KM, reach the place called Beekaybhanjan and stop here to take a break.
After relaxing at this tranquil spot, restart your excursion to Sandakphu peak. You will walk pretty slowly for approximately 4 KM as the elevation keeps on increasing till you reach the top. As the hike will be tiring, you will take breaks at regular intervals. Before reaching Sandakphu, three mountain peaks will have to be crossed, and as you cross the third, your destination will be quite near. The final approach to the destination is difficult as the path keeps turning in a zigzag pattern after every 30-40 metres, and the trail is also steep. Once you reach here, you will get a wonderful feeling and all the tiredness of the tough trek will slowly fade away. Look at the views from up here and do not forget to take photos of them.
After a while, transfer to your lodging for rest.
In the evening, mark the success of your arrival at the highest point in the state of West Bengal with a small celebration, and then stay overnight at this place.
Day 05: Sandakphu to Srikhola via Gurdum (7500 Feet- 16 km/7 - 8 hours)
Relish a tasty breakfast and start climbing towards Samandin Village. Explore the picturesque village and continue towards the next village Rammam. Descend towards Srikhola and stay overnight.
Day 06: Srikhola to Bagdogra/NJP ( 5 - 6 hours drive )
Have a good breakfast early in the day and drive to NJP/Bagdogra airport. Your fabulous trip will finally come to an end here and you will return home with some wonderful memories.
Departure dates for 2016 :
15th April 2017
23rd April 2017
30th April 2017
7th May 2017
14th May 2017
Transportation Cost : 8500 vehicle cost both ways payable by trekkers on shared basis depending on the final total no of trekkers going on a particular batch. It is much preferred if the transport cost is paid on spot .
A minimum of 6 persons required to operate the trek. In case minimum group strength is not met , we have the right to cancel/ suggest alternate trek option. Should you not wish to avail the alternate trek option, you will be refunded full amount of the trek )
Region: North Bengal
Duration: 06 days
Max Altitude: 12,000 Ft.
Approx trekking kms: 48
Best Time to go: April - June, October - January
Arrival: Participants are required to reach NJP or Bagdogra latest by 08AM
Departure: The drive from Darjeeling to NJP or Bagdogra will take around 4 to 5 hrs so its better to book air tickets or train tickets which are departing in the late evening .
1. The accomodation on this trek trail are very basic with no attached toilet facility, no hot running water facility.
2. Rooms arein dormitory style and often trekkers will ahve to stay on quad share basis. Twin share rooms are not available on this trail.
3. It will be good if trekkers go with an adventurous bent of mind on this trek.
1) All accommodations on triple/ Quad sharing during trek days.Accomodtaion will be basic in quality with common toilets and no hot running water.
2) All meals (bed tea,breakfast,lunch,evening tea,dinner )
3) All permits(entry into Singalila national park)
4) Local guide for the whole trek
5) Services of an experienced Local Guide for the whole trek (Chitrey to Srikhola)
Participants can book personal porters for carrying personal baggaes if they want for the whole trek at an additional cost per day per bag basis .
Transportation can be arranged depending on the group size. The charges for the same payable directly to the transporter.
1). Government service tax 9.0%
2). Air/Train fare
3). Anything not mentioned under the head inclusions.
4). Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary / stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, road blocks and / or any factors beyond control.
5).Transportation from NJP to NJP as per group arrival/departure details.
6). Porters---Participants can book personal porters if they want for the whole trek at an additional cost of INR 3000 per porter.