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Sandakphu Phalut Trek - 7 Days

Sandakphu Phalut Trek
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Sandakphu Trek, rightly called the highest peak in Singalila National Park, is a scenic wonder. It offers stunning views of the four tallest mountains in the world, i.e., Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Everest. On this trek, you can soak in these amazing experiences under clear skies. Your Sandakphu trek guide will make necessary arrangements and provide you with all the help to explore this beautiful region. Sandakphu attracts backpackers and trekkers from around the world, and gives you a chance to build lifelong memories.

Sandakphu, literally means ‘Peak of the poison plants’. The nomenclature can be accredited to the bloom of some poisonous genus of plants nearby. One is the ‘Aconitus’, a perennial shrub, the roots of which have been used as medicine since time immemorial while its bright purplish-blue flowers and leaves can be lethally toxic if consumed imprudently. Another is the ‘Himalayan Cobra Lilies’ which also abound the area.

Sandakphu is a prominent name in the trekker’s world as a light-moderate trek. It is the summit of the Singalila Ridge and the National Park, at an elevation of 11,930 ft. Which also makes it the highest point in the state of West Bengal.s so special.

From several viewpoints on the trail, you can get clear views of the Kanchenjunga Range. Since it’s the third highest peak in the world, you can be assured of amazing views, including the famous ‘Sleeping Buddha’, which is a cluster of peaks forming the shape of a sleeping Lord Buddha. In this cluster, Mt. Kumbakarna gives an impression of a human face with a well-defined nose structure, and Mt. Pandim looks like the feet. With a professional tour operator and a guide managing everything, you don’t miss such details on the trek.

Singalila National Park has several species of flora and fauna. Throughout the journey, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of rhododendrons, magnolias and orchids. If you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to spot Red Pandas, a rare species. Sandakphu trekking is not just a usual trekking experience, but takes you close to nature in an unparalleled manner.

Best Time to Visit Singalila to Sandakphu Trek

Mid-March to June end & Mid-September to Mid-November

Spring is the best time to go for trekking as wildflowers and rhododendron are in its fullest bloom. Also, trekkers can explore the place during the monsoon too, but there is a higher risk of the landslide during that season.

Trekkers should avoid going for trekking during the monsoon as the trails get slippery and roads remain blocked due to torrential rains. In the winter season, the trekking is often impossible as it snows heavenly and trails become inaccessible and weather quite foul.

Since trekking requires covering large distances, usually by walking up and down hills and mountains, it is necessary that the trekkers should be physically fit. Altitude acclimatisation is thoroughly necessary as the air gets lighter and with lower oxygen beyond Singalila.

WEATHER DETAILS

In the initial days of the pre monsoon season (Apr-Jun) there will be snow along the trail which generally melts by end April. Days are going to be sunny and warm (14-22 °C) while the night temperature at the highest campsite would be in the range of 0-12 °C. In the post monsoon season (Sep-Nov) there is possibility of snow towards the end of the season, which also melts very fast. The days are sunny with temperatures hovering around (12-20 °C) and the evenings start getting cold with the onset of October and nights are comparatively colder (-2 to 8 °C).

Day 1
NJP/Bagdogra to Kopidana( 85 KM / 5 hrs. Drive)

Day 2
Kopidana to Tumling (9,700 ft / 11 km)

Day 3
Tumling to Kalapokhri (10400 ft / 14 km)

Day 4
Kalapokhri to Sandakphu (11929 ft / 6 Km)

Day 5
Sandakphu to Sabargram ( 11,800 ft / 13 km)

Day 6
Sabargram to Gorkhey via Phalut ( 7,546 ft / 21 km)

Day 7
Gorkhey to NJP/Bagdogra via Sepi (15 Kms walk+5 Hrs drive)

Day 1: NJP/Bagdogra to Kopidana

  • Drive:  84 KM
  • Altitude:6,400 ft.
  • Time taken: 4-5 hours drive from NJP. (Pick up from NJP station at 10:00 am)
  • Stay: Accommodation in Tea house

From all over India wherever you are coming from should report at base camp, Bagdogra is the nearest airport which is approx. 110 km far from base camp. It is going to be a 5-hour drive from NJP railways station to Kopidana. You can enjoy the enchanted beauty and Indo-Nepal border view.

Day 2: Kopidana to Tumling

  • Altitude:9,700 ft
  • Trek: 11 Km / 5-6 Hrs
  • Trek gradient: Moderate
  • Stay: Overnight stay in tents / Tea house.

Destination set for tumbling through the forest range we’ll be in upper Chittrey after 2 house walk. As it comes in most rainy states so trekker should carry there Ponchos and raincoats & good quality shoes which helps you to walk in snow and mud at the same time. Day 2 might be a bit patchy & muddy cause of rain which is not a surprise in rainforest state. This state covers 20866.88 km forest range which is one of the largest parts of the forest in India. After a while on the top of village hill starts blinking somewhere between the oak and Maple leaf, parabola staircases will continue on the midway of Chittrey to Meghma jungle. After reaching at Lamyadhurab jungle journey has to be completed. Crossing up SSB office will reach Tumbling.

Tumbling is where the border between trekking in Nepal and India blurs and we cross the Indian National borders and enter into Nepal after crossing a check-post. The Visa/IDs need to be kept handy at the borders for checking and acts as a formality before crossing the International Borders.

Day 3 : Tumling to Kalipokhri

  • Altitude:  10400 ft
  • Trek: 14 Km / 6-7 Hrs
  • Trek gradient: Moderate
  • Stay: Overnight stay in tents / Tea house.

The day will start with a warm cup of tea & full of enthusiasm for “SLEEPING BUDDHA” the view will allow asking you the sun is coming out from Buddha’s next door. Two options are available through convince or to trek, today’s stop will be in Kalipokhri. Jobari & Gairibas has bazar culture it’s a mix-up with Indian & Nepalese cause it’s putting in the border, the distance of Gairibas is 5 km from Tumbling. Kalikantha will take 2 hours for 2km and take you to a black lake. Where a small hill cap is looking like a hat. You can collect the memory and & have rest after refreshment.

Day 4 : Kalipokhri to Sandakphu

  • Altitude: 11929 ft
  • Trek: 6Km / 3-4 Hrs
  • Trek gradient: Easy – moderate
  • Stay: Overnight stay in tents / Tea house.

Walk from Kalipokhri to Sandakphu is about 4 Hrs, we start a gradual ascend for the first 30 minutes followed by a steep ascent for about an hour, and finally, a rippling path on the motor road.

A panoramic view of Sandakphu summit can be seen right in front of you as you reach Bikheybhanjang, though the summit is 4 KMs of another jaunting walk. The summit to Sandakphu is through a zigzag path for an hour before the view opens up to the magnificent snow-covered mountains, these are not just mountains they are the tallest ones on our planet. On a clear day, snow-covered peaks of Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Nuptse, Baruntse, Chamling, Chomolonzo, Machapucchare, extending to the Annapurna family can be seen. We break for the day with this view in tents/tea houses.

Day 5 : Sandakphu to Sabargram

  • Altitude: 11,950 ft to 11,807 ft
  • Trek: 21 Km / 7-8 Hrs
  • Trek gradient: Moderate
  • Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water from Sandakphu, as water is scarce on this route. Sabargram has an open pond close to the Forest Post.
  • Stay: Overnight stay in tents / Tea house.

Your body gets set after day 4 according to temperature. Today we’ll cover the big distance. After a while the while narrow steep will merge into road & then after 2 hours journey takes you at Thukumb Check post. Throughout the journey more clicks beyond the reality while exploring. 4-5 hours trekking exercise gives you the result as a beautiful place for staying. Sabargram, seems like a rooftop of a building & watching an animation movie in HD quality. Because everything is clear like a diamond clear the only sound as far as you can listen is wind flow.

Day 6 : Sabargram to Gorkhey via Phalut

  • Altitude:11,807 ft to 7,546 ft
  • Trek: 16 Km / 6-7 Hrs
  • Trek gradient: Moderate
  • Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. You can refill your water bottles from a stream ahead of Phalut.
  • Stay: Overnight stay in tents / Tea house.

From Sabargram we head to Phalut in a serpentine trail for about 2 Hrs, from where you can get best views of Mt Kanchenjunga. You will reach Phalut by climbing steadily for about 7 KMs. Phalut is a small grassland with minimal habitation as there not many opportunities for farming. If the weather is clear you can enjoy the panoramic view of the world’s highest peaks, and if the weather is not clear we would head straight to Gorkhey.

From Phalut we descend all the way down 10kms through the forest and small settlements. You reach Gorkhey after a steep descend through the step farms. Gorkhey is a small village situated next to Gorkhey River where you can relax and spend your evening getting lost in the serenity of nature.

Day 7 : Gorkhey to Sepi via Samanden and Ramam. Depart from Sepi

  • Altitude: 7,546 ft to 6,234 ft
  • Trek: 15 Km / 4-5 Hrs
  • Drive: 140 Km/ 5 Hrs (you’ll reach NJP between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm.)
  • Trek gradient: Easy
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water with you today

A fresh emotional though about to going back will create nostalgia cause you get used to watching new experiences since last 6 days. The journey will keep continuing towards Sepi via Ramam the place here we have to reach today. Craftsmanship is visible through wooden shelters, Bridges and animal huts. After crossing the river by SSB office Srikhola will come & then finally you’ll find yourself in last stoppage Sepi.

We will reach Sepi by lunch and depart to NJP/Bagdogra from here on a 5 Hrs drive, feel free to plan your onward trip accordingly.

The Trip Cost Includes

  • Accommodation – Stay in Tea house (Day 1)
  • Food all along the Trek(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a cup of coffee or tea)
  • Transport NNJP / Bagdogra to Kopidana and Sepi to NJP / Bagdogra
  • Food as per menu on the trek
  • Forest Permits/Camping Charges , if any
  • Tents, Sleeping bags, mats,Technical equipment
  • Safety Equipments.
  • First Aid Medical Kit(Your Trek Leader will carry the Medical Kit but we also advise to bring yourself for your own use, as far as possible)
  • Trek guide, cook, helpers, porters & mules for carrying common luggage.
  • Services of a Mountaineering qualified & professional Trek Leader.

The Trip Cost Excludes

  • Expenses to and from the base camp
  • Meals during road Journeys.
  • Porter/Mull to carry personal luggage.
  • Insurance.
  • Any expense of personal nature.
  • Any expense not specified in the inclusion list.

Trekking Gear

  • A rucksack with rain cover
  • A water bottle or a hydration pack
  • A Hand/Head Torch with spare batteries
  • UV Protection Sunglasses
  • A trekking pole

Clothing:

Since it is a high altitude trek, at least 3 layers of clothing is mandatory. A full sleeve shirt, a fleece jacket, and a padded jacket are imperative. An additional layer (Thermal bodywarmers) for the evenings in the high altitude campsites are strongly recommended

  • Quick Dry Warm lower or Track Pants - 2
  • Full sleeves T-shirts - 2
  • Thermal Bodywarmer Upper & Lower - 1
  • Fleece Jacket - 1
  • Padded Jacket -1 (Goose down or feather is preferable)
  • Full sleeves sweater - 1 (Needed if you feel cold at high altitudes despite 4 layers)
  • Rainwear (Jacket & Pants) - 1
  • Thick woolen socks -  1 pair
  • Cotton socks - at least 2-3 pairs
  • Undergarments - 1 for every day of trekking
  • Pair of Warm Gloves - 1
  • Woolen cap - 1

Footwear

  • Hiking shoes (Preferably ankle high) -1
  • Pair of lightweight Slipper/Sandals - 1 pair.

Toiletries

    • Sunscreen lotion, lip balm, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, toilet roll, cold cream, small towel.
    • Anti-fungal cream: Carry an antifungal cream if you are sensitive to sweating and prone to skin irritations around genitals or groin area due to lack of bathing.
    • For women:
      • Tampons or sanitary napkins,
      • 2-3 zip pouches to dispose off non-biodegradable waste
      • Vaginal wash to avoid any irritation due to lack of bathing.

Miscellaneous

    • Water bottle
    • Camera (optional)
    • Personal medicine kit. Though our trek leaders carry a fully equipped first-aid kit, make sure you consult your doctor before the trek in case you have any special ailment.
    • Dry fruits, energy bars

Fitness Required

The Sandakphu Trek falls in the category of Moderate treks. The trail is fairly laid out path and has very few steep ascends or descends. Water is available through out the trail. But still if you are thinking of your first big Himalayan trekking experience its better to be prepared. Here is the training schedule to prepare for the trek. Our treks are generally planned in a way that on an average you have to cover around 9 Kms in 6 hours although there may be slight variation depending on the terrain. This works out to roughly 1.5km per hour which is equivalent to walking in the plains at 6km per hour. You can train yourself to run 3 kms in 30 minutes as per the schedule given below. Remember always start your training program with stretching and warm up exercises.

Flexibility

Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.

Fitness exercises

  • Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 25-30 mins or Walk continuously for 10 km (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better)
  • Hold your breath for 40 seconds
  • 3 sets of Climbing 30 – 40 steps in one stretch
  • Push Ups – 10
  • Lunges & Squats – 15 X 2 sets

Monitoring health on a trek

Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and action will be taken immediately.

On the trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects a day.

  • Oxygen Level
  • Pulse Rate 

High Altitude Medical Kit

Your trek leader will also be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, DexamethasoneYour Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high campsites for any emergency situations.

Acclimatisation in high  altitude

This is one of the most important aspects of travelling in the high Himalayas and cannot be ignored or set aside. Acclimatisation basically means our body adjusting to lower levels of oxygen (rarefied air) & reduced air pressure as me move up. In case one does not acclimatise properly there are chances of the person facing extreme discomfort and this can be fatal in extreme cases. While there is no set route to getting properly acclimatised there are a general precautions and steps that one can take to initiate good acclimatisation.

By Flight – In case you’re planning to visit the region via flight, Bagdogra will be the nearest airport. Located about 100 km from Darjeeling district, it’s near a beautiful town called Siliguri. To reach Darjeeling from Bagdogra, you’ll need about 2.5 hours. Bagdogra airport is connected with major cities via regular flights.

Major airlines, such as Spicejet, Jet Airways and Air India operate flights to Bagdogra. It’s worth mentioning that schedules can vary, and you need to book a ticket in advance. Once you reach the airport, you’ll be able to find a cab without any problems.

By Train – If you want to take a train, New Jalpaiguri will be the closest railway station. It’s very well-connected with major cities in the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Kochi and Kolkata. Several trains operate on these routes every day. On reaching New Jalpaiguri, you can even take a ride in the world-famous Toy Train.

By Bus – Most trekkers won’t recommend a bus journey in this region. It can be exhausting and tiring. However, bus services operate daily between Kolkata and Siliguri or Darjeeling. For shorter routes, a bus journey is fine, but for longer ones, it’s better to take a train, a taxi or a shared jeep.

By Jeep or Taxi – When you’ve reached Bagdogra airport or New Jalpaiguri railway station, it’s easy to take a jeep or a taxi to reach Darjeeling. Most backpackers and trekkers prefer to take this mode of transportation. In case you’ve booked a Sandakphu trekking package with us you won’t have to worry about logistics.

Price From INR11,750 INR10,000/person
10,000
Total 10,000 INR

Trip Facts

  • West Bengal
  • 7 days
  • Easy To Moderate
  • 12,000 Ft.
  • Day time: 8°C-15°C; Night time: -5°C-5°C
  • 45-50 Km
  • Rhododendron forest, alpine meadows, rocky
  • October to April
  • 10-15 trekkers
  • New Jalpaiguri (NJP) to New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
  • Meals while on trek (Veg + Egg)
  • Home Stay, Camping
  • New Jalpaiguri, West Bengal
  • Bagdogra, West Bengal

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