About Sandakphu & Phalut
Sandakphu Phalut trek is one essential trek that any of the trekkers shall carry out. Sandakphu located at 3636 meters above the sea level is the highest ever point in West Bengal. The trek also covers the Singalila ridge. You will get to see remarkable panoramic views of Makalu, Kanchenjunga, Janu, Everest, Chamlang, Lhotse, Baruntse and a host of Sikkim peaks all seen in one stretch. The famous “Sleeping Buddha” formation of peaks is a delight for all.
You will get to see a picturesque view of mountain ranges in the Nepal Sikkim border. Camping in tents and staying inside tree houses this is the perfect adventure that you were searching for. You will also get to see the famous Singalila National Park which is known for its thick forest covers and Rhododendron blooms. Not just that, you will get to see various kinds of forests like Wet Temperate Forests, Mixed Coniferous Forests, Sub-alpine Birch-Fir and Conifer Forest and Moist Dry Alpine Scrub (Rhododendron and Juniper scrubs) at different altitudes. This is also a perfect trek for a nature enthusiast.
The trees inside these forests are really old, the area itself is damp and wet. There are ferns that hang from the sides of tree trunks and mosses and lichens along the route. Spring makes the place entirely different and beautiful with its Rhododendron blooms and magnolia blossoms. There is a rich plant diversity in the place with not just these magnolias and rhododendrons but primulas, gentians, potentillas, poppies and aconites. Winter does not do much to the forest cover as it is still dense and green, however there is Maple foliage during the fall, making the floor of forest extremely picturesque.
Not just flora, but the forests are known for its rich biodiversity for animals as well. There are Flycatchers and warblers, Sun birds, Thrushes and Babblers, Tits & Fiches which chirp and squeak all the time. Also as said it has many flowers inside the forest, which in turn attracts many butterflies. There are many endemic and endangered animal species including Red Panda, Barking Deer (Kakar), Himalayan Black Bear, Marbled Cat among others.
About the Phalut Trek
Anyone with the idea of exploring either Sikkim or Darjeeling would love this trek. The trek is easy to carry out and could be done by beginners as well as experts. Along the way you will get to see Sleeping Buddha, Famous trio(Everest Lhotse, Makalu), and numerous other ranges.
- An opportunity to see 4 out of the 5 highest peaks of the world
- An opportunity to carryout bird watching
- Spectacular views of sunrise and sunsets
- A rare chance to see the endangered species of Red Panda
- Rhododendron and Magnolia Blooms
- Rich Biodiversity
- The splendid view of ice capped mountains and the grandiose of glaciers of the Pir Panjal range of the mighty Himalayas.
- An opportunity to visit famous Singalila National Park
- you will get to see various kinds of forests like Wet Temperate Forests, Mixed Coniferous Forests, Sub-alpine Birch-Fir and Conifer Forest and Moist Dry Alpine Scrub (Rhododendron and Juniper scrubs) at different altitudes
Key Facts About Trek
- Location: Darjeeling
- Starting from: New Jaipalguri
- Temperature: 10C to15C in the morning; 2C to 5C at night
- Trekking Distance: 80 kilo meters
- maximum altitude: 11925 feet or 3636 meters
- Difficulty Level: Easy
- Nearest Railway Station: New Jaipalguri Railway Station
- Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport
- Accommodation Type: Camping, Hotels
- Food: Nutritious food suitable for trekking
- Best time to visit: Mid March to May
- Duration: 8 Days and 7 Nights
Drive from NJP/Bagdogra to Chitrey
Distance: 90 Km
Time: 4 to 5 hours
You will be picked up from New Jai Palguri Railway station, at morning 10 am. You will be getting a ride till Maneybhanjang that is located at an altitude of 1980 meters. The entire trip would take around 6 hours. You will be following a trail that goes through the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya (Dooars). This slowly gains height. From Maneybhanjang to the trekking base that is Chitrey it takes around 3 kilo meters. This road has many hair pin bends in it. Chitrey is located at an altitude of 2300 meters above the sea level. IT is a small village that is sparsely populated with very few houses and a single lodge. Chitrey also has a Buddhist monastery with a stupa. The sunset from here is spectacular and so is the view of entire Darjeeling that you get from this place. Chitrey has good network connectivity. Your stay for the night is arranged in the Lodge.
Trek from Chitrey to Tumling
Distance: 9 Km
Time: 6 hours
The proper trek starts on this day. The first halt after the trek begins is at Lamey Dhura which is located at a height of 2640 meters above the sea level. Though there is a motorable road of 30 kilo meters between Sandakphu and Maneybhanjang, it is generally not preferred. This is because the road gains in height suddenly and people might experience altitude sickness. You will get to see the Paramilitary camps as you are travelling through the border areas between India and Nepal. Once you reach Meghma you can see that the road is splitting itself into two, we will be opting for the left one. The right one can also take you to Tumling but is comparatively a longer stretch. Walking further for an hour and a half you will reach the destination for the day which is at Tumling, located at an altitude of 2920 meters above the sea level. The trek which is of 9 kilo meters would take around 5 hours to finish. The accommodation is arranged at a tourist lodge in Tumling.
Trek from Tumling to Kalapokhri
Distance: 12 Km
Time: 6 to 7 hours
The sunrise from this place is spectacular and is visible if you choose to wake up early in the morning. You will also get to see certain Himalayan Peaks. The trek would begin soon after the breakfast and you will be heading towards the Check post to the Singalila National Park. It would take around an hour to reach the check post and you will be getting your permits to the National Park from here. Remember to carry your ID cards as you would be provided with discounts in the permit.
The road splits as soon as you enter the check post. Move towards the left road and walk further to reach the village of Jaubari, located at an altitude of 2880 meters above the sea level. The main road further takes you to the village of Ilam, however we will move towards the right take a steep descend through a stony path to Gairibas. Gairibas has certain settlements, a hut for Trekkers and a shop from where you can get tea and noodles.
The road from here will be entering a thick forest. After climbing further for an hour and a half we will be reaching Kaiyakata located at an altitude of 2900 meters above the sea level. You will be able to find a tea stall in this place. You will also get to see forests of birch and conifers. You will also get to witness the Rhododendron blooms. Further walking for an hour or so, you will be reaching Kalapokhri, which is a small pond. Take a right turn from here to reach the halt point of the day at Kalapokhri that is at an altitude of 3020 meters above the sea level. You can see that there are many lodges along the way. Your accommodation is arranged in one of the lodges here and dinner also will be served.
Trek from Kalapokhri to Sandakphu
Distance: 6 Km
Time: 3 to 4 hours
The trek is of short distance on this day but of considerable altitude gain. After breakfast the trek begins and the first point that you reach is Bhikey Bhanjang located at an elevation of 3120 meters above the sea level. You can find tea stall and a forest check post at this place. You can see that the road splits from here and you will have to take the straight road lying ahead to further climb up. There are many Silver firs and Pines along the way. Climbing further for an hour and a half we will be reaching the borders of Sandakphu. You can find many prayer flags along the way. There are many tourists’ huts in this place where your accommodation for the night is arranged. Mobile signals are available though infrequent.
Trek from Sandakphu to Phalut
Distance: 21 Km
Time: 8 to 10 hours
If you are able to wake up early in the morning you will get to see a royal view of the Himalayas and a spectacular sunrise too. The 320 kilo meter long trail from Sikkim to Nepal is visible as a panoramic view. You will get to see Kanchendzongha along with Kabru, Pandim and Janu (Kumbhakarna). To the left of these peaks stands the regal Mount Everest along with Lhotse, Baruntse and Chamlang.
The trek today will take you to Phalut. The trail is 21 kilo meters long. Once you cover around 14 kilo meters you will reach Sabarkum located at an altitude of 3350 meters above the sea level. You will get to see a single tea stall from where you can get noodles and tea. Phalut is located at some 3600 meters above the sea level and has a nice green meadow. There are two options available for accommodation the first is a forest hut and second is a lodge.
Trek from Phalut to Gorkhey
Distance: 15 Km
Time: 5 to 6 hours
It is true that the trek could be completed without visiting Phalut. However it is not preferred by us because the view of mountain ranges from Phalut is unparalleled. And not just that the trail from Phalut would take us to the beautiful villages of Gorkhey and Samandin, Wake up before sunrise and walk for some 20 minutes to reach the top. Morning will be windy and extremely cold. Remember to take your gloves and wear clothes in layers. You will get to see most of the important mountain ranges from nearby. The shape of sleeping Buddha construction made by the mountain rages is picturesque. Janu or Kumbhakarna peak forms the head, Kanchendzongha peak forms the body and Pandim peak forms the toe. After having breakfast we can start the descend towards Gorkhey. The trail is thick with vegetation of bamboo, firs, pine, chestnut, oak, magnolia and hemlock. The place is also full of rare species of birds making it a bird watchers paradise. You will get to see boards that directs you to the village of Gorkhey. Look out for the board and arrow showing the direction for the village Gorkhey which is located at an elevation of 2400 meters or 7900 feet above the sea level. The village also has a stream in it called Gorkhey Khola. Your accommodation is arranged in a Trekkers Hut.
Trek from Gorkhey to Srikhola
Distance: 12 Km
Time: 5 to 6 hours
From Gorkhey we will climb further early in the morning to reach the village of Samandin. The village is kind of well-developed in comparison to others with a school, farming fields and settlements. Walking further one can enter a pine forest. Once we finish the trail through forest you will enter the village of Rammam. Walking further for an hour and a half from Rammam, one will reach Srikhola. Here is where the trekking officially ends. There are many trekkers hut and private lodges. The accommodation is arranged in one of the lodges. There is also a suspension bridge at this place.
Ride to Siliguri/ Darjeeling
Distance: 150 Km (Siliguri, NJP, Bagdogra) 90km (Darjeeling)
Time: 6 to 7 hours (Siliguri) 4 hours (Darjeeling)
After taking ample rest one can proceed either towards NJP Railway station or Bagdogra Airport via Rimbick. However if you want to spend more time along this way you can go to Darjeeling or Gangtok.
Your stay is arranged by us. There would not be any camps inside Singalila national park. However there are homestays along the trail where you will be staying.
All the meals during the trek are provided for. The food would be vegetarian and nutritious. You might be provided with egg during certain days. Snacks, coffee, tea and soups are also provided. One will get three meals a day.
- Other Inclusions
- An exemplary guide to ensure your safety
- Specialised cook
- Support staffs
- Packed animals and Porters
- All the required permits and the entry fees is covered.
- A First aid medical kit consisting of the required and essential medicines.
- All the taxes are also included
- Safety equipment
- Camping Charges
- Tips to the staff, money to porters and transportation from the airport or railway station to the base is not covered for.
- Any food item that one needs like Soft drinks or Chocolates shall be purchased at one’s own expenses. We will be providing meals.
- In case if the trek gets delayed, the extra expenses shall be taken by the traveller for accommodation, food etc.
The nearest airport is at Bagdogra. The airport is located at some 10 kilo meters away from Siliguri. You can get plenty of vehicles from the airport to Siliguri. The place is also accessible through bus routes. By train you can get down at the station called New Jaipalguri, some 5 kilo meters from Siliguri. The best thing to do perhaps is to come till Kolkata and then get a train or bus towards Siliguri.