7 days
Duration
Darjeeling
Destination
5
Min. Groupsize
Trekking
Tour Type

The Singalila ridge trek

Sandakphu to  Phalut in Darjeeling.

Trek along with Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse and a grand Himalayan panorama of more than 20 other peaks. Swing along the border trails between India and Nepal. Walk through the clouds and rhododendron forest, in the Singalila National Park, to climb Sandakphu, the highest peak of West Bengal. At 3636 meters, this is not only the best trek for a beginner, but also stands out from lots of other treks in the Himalayas in terms of views and experience it has to offer.

Of course you will have to make an effort and trek uphill to experience this ‘top of the world’ feeling but we assure you it is definitely worth all the effort.

Sandakphu or Sandakfu or Sandakpur (3636 m; 11,941 ft) is the highest peak in the state of West Bengal, India. It is the highest point of the Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling district on the West Bengal-Nepal border. The peak is located at the edge of the Singalila National Park and has a small village on the summit with a few hostels. Four of the five highest peaks in the world, Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu can be seen from its summit.

From Sandakphu, the best view of the mountain Kangchenjunga is possible, which is called as the Sleeping Buddha or the Sleeping Shiva.

The trek along the Singalila Ridge to Sandakphu and Phalut is one of the most popular ones in the Eastern Himalayas, due to the grand views of the Kangchenjunga range and the Everest range which can be seen from the ridge. This trekking route is  also famous for the seasonal wildflower blooms.

Highlights of the trek :

  • Complimentary stay at Darjeeling & Rimbick ( 1 night each *)
  • Tea house trek

About Singalila National Park

The Singalila National Park, located in Darjeeling district of West Bengal covers an area of 78 km and has an altitudinal range of 2,400-3,650 metres. The National Park shares a natural boundary with Nepal on the west and with Sikkim on the north. The international border between India and Nepal is identified by a 52 km road running from Phalut (3,650 m) down to Manebhanjyang (1,920 m).The National Park is an Important Bird Area and an IUCN Category IIProtected Area.

The Singalila area in Darjeeling was purchased by the British Government from Sibbim Durbar in 1882, and notified a Reserve Forest under the Indian Forest Act 1878. It was notified as a National Parb in 1992 and was also officially opened up for tourism.

Sherpas, Tibetans, Rais,Tamangs, Newars, Lepchas, Chettris, Bahuns, Sunwars, Limbus, Gurungs and Bhujels are the hey ethnic groups in the landscape.

Darjeeling Himalaya is very rich in plant life and is estimated to have about 2,900 species of angiosperms (Das 2011). Singalila National Park has a large number of flowering ground flora of which the Primulas,Aconites, Asters, Arisaema, Meconopsis, Cotoneasters, Geraniums are predominant.

Rhododendrons are regarded by many as the best flowering evergreen plants in the temperate landscape. Sir Joseph Hooker,the famous naturalist discovered 25 new species of rhododendrons in the Himalayas. Singalila National Park has 18 recorded species of rhododendrons.

Singalila National Park has a record of 350 species of birds.
Singalila National Park with its diverse habitats supports a rich community of birds ranging from small sized birds like warblers, sunbirds and flowerpeckers to the relatively larger sized species like Raptors, Magpies, Jays and Thrushes.

Previous trips photo gallery 

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Day 1 - Darjeeling -Manebhanjang - Tonglu/Tumling trek

Wake up early (around 5:30 – 6 am) and reach Manebhanjang. Your trek should start early in order to have a fulfilling adventure tour and panoramic grandeur. This little village is 58km from Darjeeling i.e about 1.5 hours ride and is inhabited by modest village dwellers of the Bhuddhist Sherpa tribe. (If you are a foreign traveller, you will need to make some entries at the Immigration Check Post here). Have some breakfast before starting the trek. Today you will hike up to Tonglu (3070 m), it is 11 km from Manebhanjang and will take you about 5-6 hours to reach. Enroute you shall pass through pine, fir, birch, bamboo glades and reach another tiny Buddhist settlement, Chitre (2530 m). This will be a quite steep uphill climb on a stoned pathway. Crossing Chitre you shall reach a small hamlet Meghma (2900m). You can take a break here and have some local lunch. Don’t forget to interact with the friendly villagers before resuming your trek. You will have two choices now to halt – either at Tonglu or Tumling as the route will bifurcate here which meets again at Tumling. If you want a good view of the mountains then head to Tonglu, just 2 km from here, which commands an excellent view of the entire Himalayan Mountains. If you halt in Tumling then in clear nights you would see dazzling night-lights of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Pasupati town and Siliguri. You can camp here overnight or stay at a homestay, both the options are available.
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Day 2 - Tonglu -Gairibas - Kalipokhari Trek

Try and wake up early to witness the magical golden sunrise behind the Himalaya Range. It will be a rewarding day today as you will enter the famous Singalila National Park (declared Indian National Park in 1992) and discover some exotic plants of the mountain and perhaps even spot a red panda. After breakfast you will begin your easy downhill trek to Garribas (2621 m). This small village is approximately 9km from Tonglu and will take you around 3 hours to reach. Enroute you will pass through the simpler walks of life, a quaint hamlet, their modest farmlands and lots of bamboo glades. You should have lunch at Gairibas and then gear up for a continuous uphill climb to Kalipokhari (3170 m). This is 6km form Gairibas which should take you around 3 hours of hike. If you are trekking in springtime then you will love this hike because you will pass though the blooming forest of rhododendron. At Kalipokhari (Black Lake) as the name suggests you shall find a small dark colored lake amidst pine tress and fluttering prayer flags. Here you also have the option of taking a 2hr jeep ride form Tonglu in case you feel tired (the jeep needs to be organized at Manebhanjang). You could halt overnight in Kalipokhri at a homestay or tent.
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Day 3 - Kalipokhari - Sandakphu Trek

Wake up early in the morning and gear up for the day. Sandakphu, the highlight of the entire Singalila Trekking route also called the ‘paradise of trekkers’ shall be yours today. Sandakphu (3636 m) commands an expansive 360-degree view from the top and a spectacular vista of the entire Himalayan belt. The towering pinnacles in Nepal – Mt. Everest, Lotse, Makalu and Sikkim’s Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Pandim all appear at the horizon in a continuous arc. The foreground valley is surrounded by hills covered with rhododendrons and silver fir trees. But to reach this awesome place you should start early from Kalipokhari. The ridge trail descends till Bikhebhanjang (Valley of Poison) and from here it is a steep climb of 4 km till Sandakphu. It is the steepest slope of the entire Singalila trek ridge and perhaps the most tiring one too but it is equally rewarding. The route passes through thick magnolia and rhododendron forest and it should take you 2-3 hours to reach Sandakphu (Height of the Poison Plant). The poisonous aconite plants are found in abundance in the region and said to have harmed cattle in the past, hence both Bikhebhanjang and Sandakphu have been named after it. You have a choice of lodges, guesthouses and trekkers hut or camping areas at Sandakphu. If the entire uphill trek till Sandakphu seems tiresome, you can also hire a vehicle from Manebhanjang itself. It is a 4-hour journey by jeep and could be a very adventurous ride. From Sandakphu you can choose between a longer or shorter downhill trek. To finish the trek you can take a shortcut route through dense forest and reach Rimbik or you could head towards Phalut.
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Day 4 - Sandakphu - Phalut Trek

You should wake up early to see the golden rays of the morning sun shining on the white snow of Himalayas Mountains. You could stay for one more night at Sandakphu and indulge in the heavenly atmosphere else resume your trek and walk towards Phalut (3600 m). If you think that nothing after Sandakphu might interest you as much then hold on to your thoughts. The trail from Sandakphu to Phalut is one of the most spectacular sights. You will cross through thick rhododendron, oak, pine trees but the burned silver fir forest makes the most of the beautiful and dramatic landscape. You might also spot some yak herds at the lakeside on the way and yes you will not miss a roofless stone house on a small hillock in Sabarkum. The trek is easy and walking on the ridge crest you will cross the Indo-Nepal border and reach Phalut. The distance is 21km and should take you around 6 hours to reach. Mt. Kanchenjunga range appears much closer from here as compared to the rest of the trek. You could halt for the night in the trekkers huts or camps.
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Day 5 - Phalut - Rammam Trek

Wake up early and witness the magical sunrise behind the prodigious Himalaya Mountains. From Phalut the trail descends downhill and will take you though thick virgin forest of chestnut, pines, hemlock and more. After breakfast resume your trek, perhaps take some light picnic snacks too and walk till you reach Gorkhey Khola, a fresh water stream where two small streams meet. Don’t hold back, jump into the running stream and bathe to devour the freshness of this fresh water. You can enjoy your picnic lunch here and resume trekking to Rammam via Samandin. The total distance covered is 14 kms today and should take you around 5 hours to walk. You can halt overnight at Ramman in a local homestay, guest house or a camp.

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Day 6 - Rammam - Rimbik Trek

Today will be the last day of your trek; you will walk 19 kms from Ramman to Rimbik. You can start your trek after breakfast, the road is almost level for 9 kms and then it descends down to reach Sirikhola (river). From here you will hike uphill to reach Rimbik. Enroute you shall pass through quaint hamlets and their farmlands. After reaching Rimbik you could check into a hotel and take a leisure walks around the town in the evening. This extraordinary tale of your long journey to the ‘paradise of trekkers’ ends here. It is time to rejoice and celebrate with friends or locals in Rimbik. Overnight in Rimbik.
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Day 7 - Rimbik to NJP/Bagdogra

Next day after a rested night and good lunch you could head to Darjeeling or Siliguri. Passenger vehicles are readily available in the town.

Fixed Departures for 2018

Oct : 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

Nov: 4th , 11th

INCLUDED Accommodation with breakfast Meals during trekking
Sanctuary and Park Entrance Fees Activity point transfers
LAFL coordinator trekking accommodation in tea-houses
LAFL Service Charges
NOT INCLUDED All beverages (including bottled mineral water) Transport from to Darjeeling and back
Camera fees Meals apart from those during the trek
All insurance All tips
Stay at Darjeeling Personal expenses
Personal medical requirements All not mentioned in the ‘Included’ section

Please note that cancellation charges are calculated of the total amount payable and not of advance amount. If 100% of the amount is not paid while registering, the cancellation policy stands void.

Sandakphu Trek

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