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Trekking In Darjeeling Adventure Vacation

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Trekking in DarjeelingAn 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.

Popular Treks

Tiger Hill Trek (Duration - 1 Day).
Route Covers : Chowrasta - 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 via Jalapahar.
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The Singalila Trek (Duration - 4 to 7 Days).
Route Covers : Manebhanjan - 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 Himalayan range.

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 Hut.

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 morning.

Neora Valley National Park Trek (Duration - 4 to 5 Days).
Route Covers : Zero Point (Near Lava) - Alubari - Rechi La - Pankhasari - Lava.

Adventure In DarjeelingDay 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 La Top.

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 the night.

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.

Darjeeling Climate
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.

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