- Rebekah Bell
Melbourne, Australia Jan 1970Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek (India) ( Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek (India))5 " " Following the touring we completed the six day Sandakphu trek along the border of Nepal and Darjeeling, India. Unlike the treks in Bhutan, which are wilderness treks where you have to camp each night, the Sandakphu trek was a cultural tea house based trek. While the terrain for the Sandakphu
Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek (India) [caption id="attachment_12530" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok, Sikkim[/caption] Following the touring we completed the six day Sandakphu trek along the border×
Rebekah Bell[caption id="attachment_12530" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok, Sikkim[/caption]
Following the touring we completed the six day Sandakphu trek along the border of Nepal and Darjeeling, India. Unlike the treks in Bhutan, which are wilderness treks where you have to camp each night, the Sandakphu trek was a cultural tea house based trek. While the terrain for the Sandakphu trek was much easier than the trekking terrain in Bhutan, the Sandakphu trek was really enjoyable because of all the interaction with the local people along the way. Our very experienced guide, Dawa, seemed to know someone in every village and we were welcomed into people’s houses wherever we went, which was very special. This experience was all the more heightened as we trekked during the Diwali festival period and got to participate in the different traditions on each night of the festivities. The views over the Nepali, Indian and Bhutanese Himalaya were amazing and the sunset and sunrise walks when staying at Sandakphu were stunningly beautiful.[caption id="attachment_12547" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Vista of Mountains while trekking from Kalipokri to Sandakphu[/caption]
After a good clean up at the terrific hotel in Darjeeling we spent the remaining few days of the journey touring Darjeeling and surrounding areas, which was really interesting and great to experience a place written about by so many. Knowing that the journey was over, the transfer to the airport in West Bengal was perhaps the worst part of the adventure.[caption id="attachment_12551" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Surreal view of landscape from the summit[/caption]
The Wind Horse team in Sikkim and Darjeeling was as supportive as the Wind Horse team in Bhutan. It was great to meet Sonam, the local manager, during our time in Gangtok. Our guide during this stage of the journey, Dawa, is an extremely well experienced mountain and culture guide who had an enormous amount of knowledge of the areas we travelled to. He is a wonderfully funny and compassionate person who continuously went out his way to make sure that we had a wonderful experience.[caption id="attachment_12554" align="aligncenter" width="733"] Historical Toy train (Darjeeling)[/caption] [gallery order="DESC" ids="12534,12535,12536,12537,12538,12539,12541,12540,12532,12533,12542,12544,12543,12545,12546,12547,12548,12549,12550,12551,12552,12553,12554,12555,12556"]
- Micheal Blondel & Group
Paul Huvelin Sainte Foy les Lyon, France Jan 1970We have had the chance that everyone had a good experience of mountaineering treks and kept smiling all over these holidays. ( We have had the chance that everyone had a good experience of mountaineering treks and kept smiling all over these holidays.)5 " " TID 8529 (31 Oct to Nov 15) 2014 - Blondel Group -Sandakphu trek (Guide Anthony) After a former trip in the Annapurnas in Nepal, our group of 6 friends wanted to spend some time in discovering the Indian Himalaya. We have been travelling for a little more than a fortnight with
We have had the chance that everyone had a good experience of mountaineering treks and kept smiling all over these holidays. TID 8529 (31 Oct to Nov 15) 2014 - Blondel Group -Sandakphu trek (Guide Anthony) After a former trip in the×
Micheal Blondel & Group
TID 8529 (31 Oct to Nov 15) 2014 - Blondel Group -Sandakphu trek (Guide Anthony)
After a former trip in the Annapurnas in Nepal, our group of 6 friends wanted to spend some time in discovering the Indian Himalaya. We have been travelling for a little more than a fortnight with your company, and we have achieved a nice trip at the nepalese boarder, nearby the majestuous Kanchenjunga.
Two parts had been pointed in the program we had dealt with you: one as trekking on Singalila range, the other as visiting the old buddhist temples of the former Sikkim kingdom. Actually we have travelled within this global feature and we have been spending a nice time in West Bengal and Sikkim, since we wanted first to be secure and in good health with your help.
8 months before our holidays, we had spent a few weeks in building with you, by e-mails, a specific program, that included the spots we intended to look at and the way we wanted to perform it. It's because of your awareness of our wishes that we had chosen to deal with Windhorse. And we got a good satisfaction when regarding your attention.
As we feared for the cold of this period of November, we had ordered for the trek time a guide and a lot of twin rooms in lodges, that you had confirmed to be hired in your different mails and finally on March 17th (attached file). Every member of the group had prepared his equipment as for a semi cold trail, avoiding to carry too heavy bags.
We have been astonished as discovering on arrival in Darjeeling that we had to sleep under tents, and we have even thought of breaking our contract...
I must say that you have taken in charge two nights in lodges, in Sandakphu, the highest point of the trek and one very cosy in Rumbick. We have appreciated too the ability we have had to stay in lodges nearby our tents and have dinners inside in the evenings...and the last but not the least, to get footwarmers every night outside.
I must say that your guide and the whole team have taken care of us as friendly as possible, and we keep a real gratitude for their good and smart service. The very tasty and miscellaneous cooking has been really appreciated.
On the way to Sikkim (Pelling and Yuksom) and back to Bagdogra, all has been perfectly achieved, for the organization of the journey and for the hotels as well.
As things have occurred in the best manner, we still recommend you to keep in mind the agreements taken on their lodging...We have had the chance that everyone had a good experience of mountaining treks and kept smiling all over these holidays.
A special thank for Anthony who has been in charge of our group in these indian holidays, and stood friendly at our sides.
Greetings from France...
Sandakphu Singalila Trek
Gentle trek in Darjeeling on Singalila ridge
- Trekking along the ridge in Singalila National Park
- Stupendous views of Kanchenjunga in the east and Everest range in the west.
- Birds, and other fauna and rich flora.
- Remote villages along the border of Nepal, Darjeeling and Sikkim
- Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim
- Historical Darjeeling and its colorful streets markets
Sandakphu Trek is quintessential trek in eastern Himalayas and hardly any trek in the world can boast of impeccable views of world’s 5 highest mountains and other Himalayan ranges in a single canvass. Its versatility are its forte in term of different routes one can pursue to summit the pinnacle of Singalila range– Sandakphu (3636 m). Besides its unparalleled view from summit, the trek is adorned with other natural landmarks. If, its rich foliage pulsates with varied form of wildlife so are the villages vibrant with tradition, culture and people’s congeniality. Over the year, if natural trails outgrown into paved road yet air is crisp and fresh smell of flowers in spring is as before. When one treads upon the forest trail, its either the birds chirping or disturbed fallen leaves in ground that breaks the silence. A rendezvous of these elements such as balanced blend of forest trail hikes and over paved road, traditional villages, friendly locales, unparalleled mountain views, vegetation, wild life etc make it a classic trek.
The trek unraveled leisurely from Dhotrey – relatively new trailhead that grows progressively in terms of trek gradation and other advantages but before that visit to historical Darjeeling, it sets the tone with mixture of cultural attractions visit combined with short hikes. The trek traverses on its own pace a few villages, a view from Sandkhaphu that opens up grand vista of Himalayan ranges on a clear day, scenic ridge hike on the way to Molley and forest hikes through Ramman and Sirikhola. Finally bringing the curtain the down on the trip in Siliguri – a commercial hub and gateway to Northeast India.
Day 1: Arrival-Drive to Darjeeling.(2042m/67kms/3-4hrs)
Upon arrival at Bagdogra airport, meet our representative and transfer to Darjeeling. Once away from crowded traffic perimeter in airport area, you will be greeted with vibrant foliage of foothill and as we climb up the hill, the drive gets more scenic even though it entails maneuvering sinuous curve however the view behind overlook beautiful vast plains of Siliguri till Kurseong. From here the gradient get gentle till historical and enchanting town of Darjeeling. If time permits, we can walk through iconic pedestrian high road –Chowrastra and also circumambulate the mall road.
Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 2: In Darjeeling
Today, full day in Darjeeling encloses a mixture of cultural attraction visit and short hikes – arguably serving as a gentle preface to the Trek. We’ll begin with short walk to visit Padmaja Naidu Zoological Park – it houses some exotic animals such as shy Red Panda, elusive Snow Leopard and Royal Bengal Tiger and some other Himalayan animals. Within its periphery, visit Himalayan mountaineering institute’s museum. Further short walk of 20 minutes take you to Tibetan Refugee Center – a rehabilitation center designed for Tibetan refugee whilst their exodus. Its sale emporium boast of finest Tibetan handicraft. Tea Factory visit is optional. After early lunch, we’ll start a short hike from Chowrastra, it traverses first through predominantly Tibetan settlement area call Tungsung followed by Alu bari (meaning Potato field locally) till Jorebungalow. The trail is on paved road crossing many roadside houses and takes around 2 hours to cover 8 km. Subsequently, drive to Ghoom to visit oldest monastery in Darjeeling -Yiga Choeling monastery -. Later in the afternoon take a joy ride on the UNESCO World Heritage toy train until Ghoom which makes en-route stop at the Batasia Loop. Evening free to stroll or browse for shopping through the town. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 3: Drive to Dhotrey(43km/2-3hrs)-Trek to Tumling. (2926m/8kms/3-4hrs)
Today primarily will be the gentle introduction to this iconic trek however before that it entails drive for almost 3 hours to cover 43km till Dhotrey. So it will be blend of drive and trek. The drive portion passes through narrow road but scenic with thickets of conifer and pine vegetation. And among a few smaller towns it traverses, Manebhanjang stands out, as it is base camp for conventional route. Unlike conventional one, we begin trek from Dhotrey, using this section, avoid steep climb at first day itself and also exposes to more natural elements. The trail follows gentle gradient through rhododendron forest till Tonglu (3088 m), which requires 6 km to cover. Followed by 2 km hike over mostly gradual and descending trail until Tumling –It’s a small Sherpa village with handful of houses, more often engulfed in fog, conceding an impression of above the cloud village. However, on a clear day provides magnificent views of the Kanchenjunga range. Overnight in Trekkers lodge.
Day 4: Trek to Kalipokhari.(3169m/15kms/5 hrs)
Wake up early in the morning to observe the fabulous view of the sunrise over the mountain ranges. After breakfast we trek through the Singalila National Park to Kalipokhari via Gairibas. The trail goes through bamboo glades and farmlands with quaint little villages inhabited by warm and friendly people often crisscrossing the borders of India and Nepal frequently. From Gairibas the ascent is gradual until Kalipokhari, locally known as the black water pond. Overnight in trekkers lodge.
Day 5: Trek to Sandakphu. (3,636m/7kms/3-4hrs)
After breakfast we hit the trail once again, the trail from Kalipokhari gradually ascends until Bikhey Bhanjyang, from here it is a steep ascent through rhododendron and pine forests until Sandakphu. Sandakphu is the highest point (3636m) in the Singalila range and provides uninterrupted 180o views of the entire Himalayan range including Mt Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Chomolhari, Pandim, Three Sisters, Kumbhakarna etc. After lunch rest of the day is free to explore around. Overnight in trekkers lodge.
Day 6: Trek to Molley.(3150m/18kms/6-7hrs/Descent-800m)
Wake up early to experience the enchantment of the sunrise of the Himalayan peaks. At first the peaks turn into pink, red and finally the entire face of the mountain peaks turns into golden hues. Climb up to the viewpoint, a small hillock nearby and look at the entire Himalayan range open up before you. Return back for breakfast, after breakfast we hit the trail once again towards Molley. Today the hike is the longest, the route from Sandakphu to Sabargram is almost gradual with a few ascent and descent across meadows and rhododendron forest and stunning mountain views all along the way. At Sabargram we take a short break and continue further towards Molley, a small village with a fine stretches of flat land good enough for camping (optional). Overnight in trekkers lodge.
Day 7: Trek to Rammam. (2453m/15kms/6hrs/ Descent-320m approx.)
After breakfast we continue our journey towards Rammam our next destination. The trek is a steep descent and it goes through the Singalila National Park with dense pine, rhododendron forests and thick bamboo bushes where you have the chances of sighting the rare Red Panda among the bamboo groves. Overnight in trekkers lodge
Day 8: Trek to Sirikhola (12 km/2 hours)-Drive to Siliguri (126 km/ 4 hours)
Today the trek portion is relatively easy however drive portion is long; the first part of the trek is almost level and then descends to the bridge at Sirikhola. At Sirikhola, board on to the waiting vehicle and drive to Siliguri via Mirik. However the drive is quite scenic passing through several tea estates until we reach Siliguri. Siliguri offers wide range of good hotels, which might be one you feel earned after the trek and also proximity to airport can be added advantage especially considering the traffic snarl in the areas.Overnight in Siliguri.
Day 9. Departure.
After breakfast drive to the airport for your departure flight homewards.
In general, Sandakphu Trek is quite versatile especially for private trip, as it can be manoeuvred in different versions – for instance it can done using conventional route, also using classic Land Rover vehicle for certain section of area to cover time. Below is sample outline itinerary, starting in reverse, using vehicle to cover distance and solely trek oriented specifically for those who have less time.
Day 1: Arrive in Bagdogra and transfer to Darjeeling.
Day 2: Darjeeling sightseeing.
Day 3: Drive to Rimbik, and hike for 2 hours to Sirikhola.
Day 4. Sirikhola – Rammam
Day 5: Rammam – Molley
Day 6: Molley – Sandakphu
Day 7: Hike downhill till Kalipokri for 2hours, further 2-3 hrs to Tumling and Dhotrey and drive to Siliguri.
Day 8: Departure -transfer to airport/Train Station for onward journey.
Even for the beginner, doing the trek in reverse shouldn’t pose any acclimatisation and altitude related issues as this itinerary gradually builds up for the summit – Sandakphu (3636m).
Group SizeMax 10 members
MealsAll meals during the trek. Breakfast and dinner during the tour in Gangtok and Darjeeling.
Trip AccommodationSome of finest hotels during the tour and in Village Inns during the trek.
RouteDarjeeling -Dhotrey - Tumling
Kalpokhari- Sandakphu -Molley
Rammam - Sirikhola -Siliguri/Bagdogra.
Trip TypeEasy to moderate trek
Trip SeasonsAny date. Best from Mar till May and from Oct till Dec.Please note Singalila National Park remains close from July 15 -Sept 15, thus no trek during this period.
Best MonthsApril, May, October, November
Good MonthsMarch, September
Lean MonthsJanuary, February, June, December
Not RecommendJuly, August
Prices & Dates
From US$1000 Per Person based on the group size.
|Start date||End Date||Remarks||Status|
- Accommodations in listed hotels and in lodge/home stay/tents during the trek
- Dinner & Breakfast included while on tour and all meals during the trek.
- All transportation by good quality private vehicle.
- Entrance fees to the monuments
- English Speaking guide.
- Travel permits etc
- During the trek: Accommodation will be arranged at simple lodge/Home stay with all meals and beverages. Pack animals to carry luggage, Basic Medical Kit. Trekking staffs include Guide and horseman.
- International flights.
- Sleeping Bags (optional but recommended).
- Travel / Medical Insurance (recommended).
- All personal expenses including optional tips/gratuities, bar/beverages, telephone, laundry, gifts and other personal expenses.
- Any additional cost of changing a confirmed itinerary by our own choice or due to your own health/medical reasons, or forced upon by Inclement weather, flight delays, political situation or other conditions beyond our control.
- All other cost not listed in “included” section.
Hotels in Darjeeling
Hotels in Siliguri
Nima Dhondup Bhutia is the senior most guide for Darjeeling, Sikkim and Doars Tour. From past political turmoil to changing tourism scenario in the region, he has seen it all from close quarter. His career as guide started from 1980, and going great gun still. His experience along with amicable nature and soft-spokenness brings forth a subtle difference in every tour that he conducts.
He was born and brought up in Tibetan Self-help camp in Darjeeling, when it was still quaint and serene towns unlike now. He still remember fondly the days of yore and growing changes that the time dictates. He graduated from one of prestigious school – Mt Hermon school in 1977. You will still find vestige of old school of English in his accent.
Dawa Lama hails from queen of hills – Darjeeling. He is well versed in cultural aspects but his love for mountains, wilderness of Trek is more profound. For his love for the trek, he treaded many paths less travelled. He feels at peace and at home in mountains and he believes that being in mountain is being close to his root and to his very existence. To give wings to his passion, he enlisted in mountaineering course in H.M.I. Darjeeling and disaster management course and completed in flying colours after one and half years .
Following the tradition, he started as a a cultural guide in 2008, simultaneously, he was pursuing his degree course also and completed in 2004. His early education was in school run by Jesuits father. He grew up watching the sun rises at far horizon of eastern Himalayas from Tiger hill, which still is one of his favorite place.
Reviews / Testimonials
- Rebekah Bell
Melbourne, Australia Jan 1970
Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek (India) [caption id="attachment_12530" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok, Sikkim[/caption] Following the touring we completed the six day Sandakphu trek along the border
- Micheal Blondel & Group
Paul Huvelin Sainte Foy les Lyon, France Jan 1970
We have had the chance that everyone had a good experience of mountaineering treks and kept smiling all over these holidays. TID 8529 (31 Oct to Nov 15) 2014 - Blondel Group -Sandakphu trek (Guide Anthony) After a former trip in the