Trekking In Darjeeling
internationally acclaimed Hill Resort, picturesquely covered with lush tea
garden and old colonial buildings, Darjeeling is veritable paradise for
nature lovers as well as adventure enthusiasts especially trekkers.
Popularly known as the 'Queen of the Hill Stations', Darjeeling
abounds in thick oak, rhododendrons, primulas, ferns, magnolias and variety
of orchids. Besides, over 500 species of birds make the ambience of forests
and hills musical with their soothing sounds.
Set at an altitude of 2,134 mts above sea level, Darjeeling offers some of
the best treks of the world which trek lovers shouldn't miss. Trekking
in Darjeeling takes you to the places from where you can feel the proximity
of stars or the cool blue sky. In addition, during your trekking expedition
you come face-to-face with the enchanting snow-clad mountains and closely
experience the grandeur of the Great Himalayas.
Most of the trek routes in Darjeeling are easier, you need not to be a
professional climber, you just need to have the will to walk along the
narrow routes of the hills and an enthusiasm to view the serenity and
sublime of the mountains.
Tiger Hill Trek
(Duration - 1 Day).
Route Covers :
Toong Soong - Aloo Bari - Jorebungalow - Senchal - Tiger Hill.
The one day trek starts from Chowrasta in Darjeeling (2,134 mts), pass the
settlements of Toong Soong and Aloo Bari. Away from the mad rush of
Darjeeling, the greenery around Aloo Bari will refresh your mind. You can
also see Aloo Bari's old monastery. Further head towards Jorebungalow,
enroute you will cross some tiny hamlets, inhabited by the Bhutias, Tamangs
and Rais, who have their roots from Tibet. Stop here for meal, enjoy local
delicacies like momos, gundruk with rice and the sel roti with dum aloo.
From Jorebungalow, you have two options to reach Tiger Hill. You can either
walk up to the motorable route or you move further outside the town into
wilderness. After a two hours climb, you will reach Senchal Lake, enroute
you see miniature shrines. Just before reaching up to the top of the Tiger
Hill you will come across a creek from where you can see the terraces of
Tiger Hill and the old temples above. Climb another easy kilometre and you
will reach atop the Tiger Hill. If you wish to see a wonderful sunrise, camp
overnight at Tiger Hill, where abundant water as well as camping space is
available. On your return, either catch a jeep or walk down to Darjeeling
The Singalila Trek
(Duration - 4 to
Route Covers :
Jaubari - Sandakphu - Phalut - Ramam - Rimbik.
Day 1 : Manebhanjan to Jaubari :
Usually classified as an
easy-moderate trek, the climb starts from Manebhanjan at the bazaar. As you
walk down the main road, there is a steep hill with a short-cut trail to the
left. Take this short-cut route and start climbing the hill to Chitre. After
a climb of 1.5 hrs above Manebhanjan, you reach the monastery of Chitre.
After 3 hrs climb from Manebhanjan you reach Megma, take tea or other
refreshments at tea shops. Megma to Jaubari climb will take around 2 hrs,
walk to the village where accommodation options are available. Overnight
stay at Jaubari.
Day 2 : Jaubari - Sandakphu :
Start your climb from
Jaubari, there is an arrow marked 'Sandakphu' take the right hand
fork at the crossing, which proceeds due north-east. The trail drops for
about 30 minutes to Gairibash and then climbs a hill for about couple of hrs
through the forest and then descends to Kala Pokhari (2,950 m). From Kala
Pokhari, climb further for two hours and then descend to Bikhey Bhanjan
(3,350 m). Stop at Bikhey Bhanjan for refreshments as the steep climb to
Sandakphu begins here. Finally, after a stiff climb of 1.5 hrs you will
reach Sandakphu. Overnight stay in Sandakphu in any of the Trekkers'
Huts and bungalows.
Day 3 : Rest Day at Sandakphu :
Spend the day at rest to
have the splendid views of the mountains namely - Everest (8,848 m),
Kanghendzonga (8,586 m), Janu (7,710 m), Lhotse (8,501 m), Makalu (8,475 m),
Chamlang (7,319 m), Baruntse (7,129 m) and many other peaks of Nepal
Day 4 : Sandakphu - Phalut :
Sandakphu - Phalut walk
covers a distance of around 21 kms and takes 6 - 8 hrs. The climb initially
proceeds north and then heads north-eastwards. This climb is the most
picturesque part of the trek as it provides magnificent views of Nepal
Himalayas and also the Kangchendzona mountain. After a climb of 5 hrs, you
reach Sabarkum, continue your walk northwards, keep the Sangalila Ridge on
the left for Phalut. The one hour trail crosses through a series of zigzags
till you reach the Trekker's Hut. From the hut, the Phalut summit is 20
minutes, reach Phalut and enjoy the breathtaking views of the mighty peaks
all around. Spend overnight at Phalut.
Day 5 : Phalut - Ramam :
From Phalut, the route descends
steeply for about 2 hrs and reaches the meeting of two streams called the
Gorkhey Khola. Nestled amidst thick, lush and green forest, this a good
place to take in dip in the river and cool off, as there is a about 1.5 hrs
climb ahead to Samandin. From Samandin, the road descends to a small stream
and again ascends south for another couple of hrs to Ramam Trekker's
Day 6 : Ramam - Rimbik : Ramam -
Rimbik is an easy trek
and takes 7 to 8 hrs, the first 2.5 hrs is on a level pathway through the
forest. A paradise for birdwatchers, this part of the trek provides you a
good chance to see birds like tree pies, redstarts, whistling thrushes. As
the trail leaves forest, it goes steeply downhill, due south for about an
hour till it crosses the Sri Khola Stream. From here, the road runs uphill,
crosses forest and field till it reaches Rimbik (2,296 m), about 1.5 hrs
away. Overnight stay at Rimbik, head back to Darjeeling or Siliguri next
Neora Valley National Park Trek
(Duration - 4 to 5 Days).
Route Covers :
(Near Lava) - Alubari - Rechi La - Pankhasari - Lava.
1 : Zero Point - Alubari :
Take a drive on the Lava-Damdim Road, an 8 km
drive on this road will take you to Zero Point. Start your walk from Zero
Point, look for the trail going downhill on the left towards the pump house.
After a walk of about one km, you will reach the Neora river. There is a
pipeline, walk along the pipeline towards the north-west for a couple of
kilometres until you reach Jaree -Butee, a flat piece of land. Alubari is
just 3 kms away from Jaree - Butee. Spend the night at Alubari camp which is
situated close to the river.
Day 2 : Alubari - Rechi La :
This day walk out of Alubari
Camp, past an old wooden bungalow, heading north. From this point, the path
heading north-east enters dense oak and rhododendron forest. Climb uphill
for about 4 kms, the trail is full of fallen leaves and goes in northward
direction through fir and hemlock forest. Before reaching Rechi La, turn
towards east to reach the Rechi La Bungalow. From here, Rechi La can be
reached by walking back and following the trail northwards. A short walk of
10-15 m will take to the top of Rechi La (3,152 m). Overnight stay at Rechi
Day 3 : Rechi La Lake - Rechi La :
Today morning, take the
trail that goes past the Rechi La Bungalow towards the eastern side. The
trail passes three ridges and goes 4 kms down towards the villages of
Todey-Tangta. It will take more than 2hrs to cross the three ridges and
descend. On the right hand side of the trail is Rechi La Lake, the waters
are clear and the reflection of the blooming rhododendron on its surface is
an unforgettable sight. Also, look for the pugmarks of leopards, gorals and
other wild animals. Return to Rechi La by following the same route. Spend
Day 4 : Rechi La - Pankhasari :
Follow the same trail from
Rechi La Top to reach Alubari. Just before reaching Alubari, take the road
that bypasses the camp and follows the main Pankhasari ridge uphill in a
south-westerly direction. A couple of kms away from Alubari Camp, the area
is known as Pankhasari Camp. The flat ground provides a good site for
pitching tents, spend the evening on the riages's slopes for hearing
the soothing voice of hill pat ridge and satyr tragopan.
Day 5 : Pankhasari - Lava :
Today trek downhill, due
south-west, follow the Pankhsari Ridge through the oak forest and then
pine-fir to reach the Pankhasari Check Post on the Lava-Zero Point track.
From Pankhasari to the check-post takes around 2 hrs, from the check-post
return back towards Zero Point for some birdwatching. The trail is mostly
downhill and there is only one bridle path going down in a general
south-westerly direction. The trek from the bridle path to Lava is easier.
Stay at Lava overnight or return back to Kalimpong the same day by taxi.
Essential Gears Required
Essential Gears you need to carry include clothes suitable for low tropical
area to high mountain ranges (woolen clothes, shorts or pants to heavy
pull-over, wind cheater, woollen caps, gloves, raincoat), sufficient food,
mineral water, a comfortable pair of shoes (shorts shoe or hunter boots),
first aid kit, tents, sleeping bags, foam mattresses, air pillows, quilts,
torch, trek maps etc. If you don't carry some of the essential gears,
D.G.H.C (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council) Adventure Tourism, below the
railway station can arrange the equipments for you.
The climate of Darjeeling remains cold and chilly most of year. You can go
for trekking in Darjeeling in two seasons, the first one starts in mid-March
and closes around the first week of June. The second season begins around
last week of September and continues till December. During this period, the
climate is quite cold and you may observe snowfall in certain regions.