Whether you are a travel vlogger, or just surfing the net to find your next vacation spot what you are about to unravel would blow your mind! We won’t be talking about top ten destination places, but rather will focus on something more specific. How would you like to go on trekking in the Himalayas! Yes, you have heard it right – “Trekking in the Himalaya’s”. The first thing that might come to your mind when you heard the word ‘trekking’ would be in the Grand Canyon or some rainforest, NOT in the Himalayas right? Well, everything has its own beauty and the Himalaya Mountains doesn’t fall in the line.
We will be talking about two places – Sandakphu and Phalut situated in the Himalayas. So, let’s get started!
Sandakphu | Phalut
Being the highest peak in West Bengal Sandakphu offers superb views of the world’s tallest peaks – Lhotse and Makalu. They are the fourth and fifth highest peaks in the world respectively. The first thing that would come in anyone’s mind if asked about the location of the Himalayas would be Nepal, but there is more than meets the eye. The route of this trek lies along the border of India and Nepal. During a trek, you can find yourself constantly moving in and out of Nepal and India.
Phalut on the other hand, is the second highest peak of West Bengal, India and is located at the border of the Indian states of West Bengal, Sikkim and Nepal.
These gigantic structures stretch through Nepal, India, Bhutan and beyond.
Since we have an idea about the location, aren’t you just thrilled? Well, you’ll be more excited when you hear that trekking in Sandakphu can be done almost throughout the year! The ideal time to visit would be in April, as you’ll get to see those beautiful rhododendron forests sprung back to life. Not only rhododendrons but you will experience hundreds of birds and animals. Ever heard of a red panda? No, right? Well, here if you are lucky you will get to see one.
However, if you are not that of a wildlife person and want to enjoy the serenity of the sunrise of the mountains, then pack your bags in for autumn. Moreover, if you trek later in winter you can even experience fresh snow!
First things first, you need to get settled at a basecamp, because certainly you don’t want to trek with tiredness and fatigue. Make sure your basecamp follows the queue to your trek destinations, or else it would cost you both money and unnecessary time.
It has an altitude of 6400 ft, with a combination of steep and level walks. However, rain can make it more challenging as it can delay your arrival and departure time to your next trekking location. Avoid mountain showers at all costs as it happens usually at post noon. You will have to go through forests along the way to Chittrey and find yourself mesmerized by the beauty of the nature. Magnolias bloom all along the trail from Chittrey to Meghma. Later, after trekking from Meghma to Tongly, it’s a 2 km walk till you reach Tumling. It is situated on the Nepal border and has a few private guesthouses. Last but not the least, as soon as you arrive you will be greeted by the Sleeping Buddha.
Unline Tumling it has a greater altitude of 9450 ft, with a combination of gradual and steep level walks. As you proceed from Tumling to Kalipokhri, you would see the Singalila National park. You can either choose between a hiking trail and a motor road. The motor road goes into Nepal where the hiking trail, would mean to pass through the dense forests and meadows to Gairibas. It’s a small village with a few hotels and guest houses on the Nepal side. The next stop is Kaiyakatta, which is a 4 km road to Kalipokhri (Black Lake) your destination. You will encounter many kinds of birds, along the way and one interesting fact that would amaze you is that all this time you are standing in the border between India and Nepal!
Although it has a slightly greater altitude than Kalipokhri – 10400 ft it has relatively easy trekking path therefore minimum steep level walks. After passing Bikheybhanjang keep an eye for Sandakphu which lies ahead of you. You can again choose between two routes – the left one which goes via Nepal (longer trail with a gradual ascent) or the more popular shorter route with a steep ascent. As you go further you can see huts and tea stalls dotting the Sandakphu landscape.The main attraction of this spot is the 180-degree panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks which is considered the world’s most coveted panoramas. Makalu, Lhotse, Everest and other peaks of the Annapurna range spread out towards the West. However you might face difficulties with your mobile network.
With every passing location, the altitude keeps on increasing right? Well, that is the fun in trekking. Sabargram has an altitude higher than Sandakphu by a thousand feet. You have to be an early bird for this one as you have to cover a lot of land. Remember about the forest of rhododendrons? During summer, it has an immense concentration of rhododendron in full bloom. This stretch takes around 3 to 4 hours till you find yourself at Forest Check Post of Sabarkum
Finally we’re here – Phalut. It has an altitude similar to that of Sabargram and the good news is that you don’t have to carry that much water as there are streams up ahead where you could refill. But why the excitement? Well, you will get to experience the best views of Kangchenjunga in this journey.
The trail from Sabargram to Phalut is a zigzag route stretching 7 km. As you proceed further, you can get magnificent views of the entire panorama of mountains and peaks. If the weather is gloomy, you might have to head straight to Gorkhey. After arriving at Gorkhey, make sure you make a stroll through the village, across the bridge on the Gorkhey river to enter Sikkim. This is something you would remember throughout your life.
Not sure how you are planning up ahead, but our journey sure ended. Thank you for being with us and having the patience to go through the entire article. We all know how much excited you are, in fact who wouldn’t? If you had a misconception about trekking in the Himalayas I hope it all changed. We wish you all the good endeavours for the journey up ahead and don’t forget to post on your daily Insta Story with #trekking. See you soon!