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Sandakphu-Phalut Trek, Darjeeling

playing hide and seek with Kanchenjunga & Everest...

Darjeeling – the queen of hills has a special place in the heart of nature lovers and no wonder that it has of the most beautiful treks in the India as well as in the Himalayas. Sandakphu-Phalut Trek is a unique trek in the Himalayas where your soul will feel at home. Dense Rhododendron Forest, thick Maligo (Local bamboo) forest, Lush green meadows, Numerous species of birds, Sighting chances of endangered Red Panda, Picturesque Himalayan villages, Smiling mountain people – the list will go on and you haven’t heard about the biggest attraction of this trek! Yes, the view of four of five highest mountains in the world – all in a single panoramic view. This is the few places on this places where you can see an exotic view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. So why waiting! Join us for this beautiful trek and take your Himalayan experience in another level.

*Remember that the shorter duration of this trek can also be done if you have lesser time. However, this is the recommended itinerary by our guide and followed by the most of the trekkers. Please contact us if you want to go for a customized option for this trek.


Detailed Itineraries


Day 1 : Delhi/Mumbai - Bagdogra (by plane) - Darjeeling (2130 m) by car – 70 km, 3 hrs

After breakfast leave your hotel and reach the airport to catch the flight for Bagdogra. Upon arrival meet with our representative at the airport and transfer to Darjeeling. The distance is 70 km from Bagdogra and it takes around 3 hrs drive to reach Darjeeling. Spend the evening at leisure. Overnight stay in Darjeeling.

Day 2: Darjeeling - Maney Bhanjan (2134 m) 25 km, 1.5hrs - Tumling (3070m) 11km, 6/7 hrs

Enjoy the beautiful morning in Darjeeling. After breakfast drive to Maney Bhanjan (34 km, 2 hrs) which is the starting point of the trek. Foreign guests need to do an immigration entry here which take only 15 minutes. Once the trek starts the trail climbs up steeply through deep forest. After walking for 45mins you can see some Buddhist prayer flags and a big Chorten -this is Chitrey. The beautiful Sleeping Buddha formation of Kanchenjunga and another group of mountains can be seen from here. After Chitrey we take a small trail into dense malingo (Small bamboo) forest up to Lamaydhura, a small hamlet. The funny part of this trek is that sometimes you walk in Indian side and sometimes in Nepal side. There is no border fencing here just some area pillar for marking. After Lamaydhura the walk becomes more beautiful as you see the view of Kanchenjunga on your right side. After 1 hr of the walk, we will reach a small settlement – Meghma. Tumling is just 1 hr walk from here and you will enjoy this walk. Once you reach Tumling you will be amazed to see the view of Kanchenjunga. Don’t miss the sunset view from Tumling. Overnight at Tumling.

Day 3: Tumling (3070 m) - Kalapokhri (3081 m), 13km 6/7 hrs

We will wake up in the early morning for the sunrise view. It will be cold outside but the beauty of the sunrise will definitely warm your heart. Experiencing this grand view we will return to our place. After having a hearty breakfast we will start our trek for Kalapokhri – our stop for today. It will be all decent up to Gairibas, a small village in Indo-Nepal border then the trails goes up to Kaiyakata. From Kaiyakata to Kalapokhri the trail is gradual and it goes through the dense forest. You will enjoy this forest walk. Though rare but there is a chance of sighting Red panda here. Kalapokhri is distinguished with a small pond in the beginning of this small hamlet. You can see Sandakphu from here. You can’t see greater Himalayan mountains from here but the sunset of Kalapokhri has its own charm. Overnight stay at Kalapokhri.

Day 4 : Kalapokhari (3081 m) – Sandakphu (3636 m) – 6km, 4 hrs

It will be an easy start today. The initial 2 km, up to Bikeybhanjan will be a gradient walk. After Bikeybhanjan it will be steep climbing of 4 km until we reach Sandakphu. Once we start ascending you will see Mt. Kanchenjunga on your right side. As it is the highest mountain in this vicinity you will get almost like a bird’s eye view while climbing up. It takes around 2 hrs to reach at Sandakphu from Bikeybhanjan. The primary attraction of Sandakphu is the panoramic view of world’s four of five highest mountain peaks. You can also see Mt. Chomolhari, Bhutan’s highest peak from here. Other than these highest mountains of the world there are some 7000 meter plus mountains you will find in the landscape like Nuptse, Baruntse, Kabru north, Kabru south etc.
In the afternoon we will go for the summit walk of Sandakphu. The 360’ view from the Sandakphu peak is something you will cherish forever. If one side has greater Himalayan peaks then the other side has beautiful villages of Nepal. You can also see Darjeeling town as well as plains of West Bengal from here. Spend the evening at leisure. Overnight stay at Sandakphu.

Day 5: Sandakphu (3336 m) – Phalut (3600 m) 21km, 8 hrs

Today we wake up early to see the sunrise from here. There is one word that can describe the beauty of this phenomenon – Magical! Not only Kanchenjunga, the first sunlight on the Mt. Everest also looks fantastic. Witnessing this spectacular view we quickly return to our place and get ready for the journey. After having a hearty breakfast we start our journey for Phalut – our stop for today. The distance of Phalut from Sandakphu is around 21 km and it will be the longest walk of this trek. But the best part is that most of the time it will be like a ridge walk and you will walk on the meadow. The panoramic view of Kanchenjunga, Everest, Makalu and other peaks will continuously will you up to Thakung. After Thakung we walk through dense Rhododendron forest up to Sabargram where the area is marked with a forest check post. During spring time when Rhododendrons bloom this area looks really spectacular. From Sabargram Phalut is just 6 km away and it takes around 2.5 hr to reach there. The view from Phalut is also very nice and during the sunset, the landscape looks dramatic. Evening at leisure. Overnight stay at Phalut.

Day 6: Phalut (3600 m) Gorkhey (2500 m) 14km, 5 hrs

Phalut top will be just 20 min of walk from the place you are staying. To watch the sunrise we have to start early. You might feel that it’s the same sunrise just like you saw from Sandakphu but you have to wait until the Sun comes out completely to see the specialty of Phalut. Once the Sun comes out look at the Kanchenjunga, you will clearly distinguish the massiveness of the mountain and why not! it’s just 11 km flying distance from here. We will quickly come back to our place and get ready for our journey. Today our stop will be at Gorkhey, a picturesque village in this National park. Another exciting part of today’s journey is that we will walk through the dense forest of Malingo (a kind of small bamboo) most of the time. You will love this walk today. Once you reach Gorkhey you will fall in love seeing the beauty of the village. For the first time in this trek, you will see two beautiful streams – Gorkhey Khola and Rammam Khola. In the afternoon go for a village walk or relax yourself sitting on a rock beside any river. Overnight stay at Gorkhey.

Day 7: Gorkhey (2500 m) to Sepi (1800m) 21 km 5-6 hrs

Your wake up in the morning with the gurgling sound of two rivers – Gorkhey Khola and Rammam khola. After breakfast, we will start for Sepi where our trek will end. We will pass through the picturesque Samanden village. After the village, the trek route descends to a stream and then it goes uphill to reach a beautiful village name Rammam. After Rammam the route becomes flat and then descends to Srikhola and finish our trek at Sepi.
We will have our lunch here and then drive to Darjeeling (4hrs). Overnight staying in Darjeeling.

Day 8: Adieos !!!

You can spend an extra day and go for Darjeeling Sightseeing or transfer to Sikkim, Bhutan, Dooars, NJP Railway Station or Bagdogra airport for your onwards journey.

Cost Includes:

  • All airport/hotel transfers.
  • Accommodation in 2 star, 3 star or 4 star hotel on twin sharing and single sharing with CPAI plan (Room+breakfast) basis in Delhi (optional) and Darjeeling.
  • To and fro air tickets between Delhi airport (DEL) and Bagdogra airport (IXB) which is optional.
  • Accommodation and 3 meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) during the trek.
  • Morning and Evening Tea with snacks every day during trekking.
  • Professional and highly experienced English/Hindi speaking local mountain guides.
  • All expenses for guide and porters.
  • All necessary permits needed for the trek except still and video camera charges.
  • *Note : Freshly prepared nutritious meals will be provided during the trek. Most of the vegetable dishes, Dal we provide during trek are purchased from local farmers. You will have Indian and Nepali cuisines for your lunch and dinner mostly.

Cost Excludes:

  • Any kind of personal expenses such as telephone call, battery recharge, shopping, hiring extra porter, beverages etc.
  • Your travel insurance.
  • Any personal gear and expenses for the trek.
  • Any kind of insurance which covers medical or emergency evacuation, lost and theft expenses etc.
  • Tips for trekking staff and driver. (Tipping is expected, but it is not mandatory).
  • Additional costs or delay cost which may happen due to landslide, bad weather condition, Any itinerary modification keeping in mind the safety concern, illness, Change of government policy, Strike etc or any reason which is out of management’s hand.
  • Anything that isn’t in the ‘include’ list.

Things to carry:

  • Comfortable and warm clothes.
  • Good quality trekking shoes, slippers and extra pair of socks.
  • Rain jacket.
  • Sunscreen lotion or any other skin moisturizers.
  • Water bottles, backpack and energy bars/snacks.
  • A pair of sunglasses.
  • Cap or hat.
  • Personal toiletries and basic medication (if any).
  • Headlamp (with spare batteries).

Advisory

  • Climatic conditions in the high altitudes vary from the plains; take adequate time to get acclimatized to high altitudes.
  • Pay heed to the guide or instructors to enjoy a safe and sound trekking experience.
  • Do not consume alcohol or any other intoxicants during the trek.
  • Avoid trekking during the nights.
  • Carry basic medications and a first-aid kit during the tour.
  • The trek takes place through Eco-friendly zone; do not encourage littering the local sites or campsites.
  • While visiting any religious sites do not hurt the local sentiments of the places.
  • You can book personal porters for carrying your personal baggages for the whole trek at an additional cost.

Frequently Asked Question

What is the best season for Sandakphu-Phalut trek?

You can visit almost anytime the year except for the Monsoon (Jun 15 – Sep 15) but to be specific there are 2 best seasons for the Sandakphu-Phalut trek. 1) The Spring season starting from April to mid-June and if you visit this time you will be amazed to see beautiful Rhododendrons and Magnolias are bloomed everywhere.

2) The post monsoon season is starting from mid-September to mid-November. During this time the sky remains clear for days and you can get a clear view of the mountains.

The Winter season stats actually from late December. You can visit that time and experience another exotic snowbound view of Sandakphu which very people have seen. But remember to trek in the winter you need to come up with good physical and mental preparation. The time for monsoon is from mid-July to mid-September. During monsoon, the national park stays close.

Is there any chance of getting snow?
If you visit during winter (Jan-Mar) there is much chance of getting snow/ice after Lamaydhura.
What about the wildlife?
Sandakphu-Phalut trek is in Singalila National Park which is famous for rich flora and fauna. The large animals are the Asiatic black bear and Common Leopard in the National Park, however, they are very less seen in the trek routes. No wildlife attack on trekkers has been recorded so far. But it’s not advisable to go for unguided walks in the National Park.
Tell me about the difficulty of this trek?
The level of difficulty for the Sandakphu-Phalut trek is EASY with the mixed sections of steep and gradual ascents and the trail passing through the alpine trees and forest covers. Please note that “EASY” is a generalized classification and as it’s a high altitude trek trekkers are expected to join with full mental and physical preparation.
What about the food and drinking water during this trek?
Nutritious veg meals along with the egg dishes and safe drinking water will be provided throughout the trek.
Can you tell me which type of shoes should I carry for this trek?
Please do not carry the normal sports shoes. As you need the good traction during the trek a pair of good trekking shoes is a recommended choice.
Tell me about the clothing and equipments needed for this trek.

Remember the temperature is cold throughout the trek with the possibilities of rain. We highly recommend that you carry woolen clothes, thermal inner wear, windproof jacket, Raincoat etc. It will be a sub-zero condition at the nights of Sandakphu and Phalut, so prepare accordingly. Use layers for better insulation and don’t wear tight clothes.

If you have more questions then please let us know. We will be happy to assist you.

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