Sandakphu Phalut Trek
Sandakphu Phalut Trek
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Sandakphu Phalut Trek: An unforgettable trek in Darjeeling with an impressive view of the four highest mountains in the world!

The Sandakphu Phalut Trek, nestled in the Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling with views of the majestic Himalayan range, is an 80-kilometer-long trek that stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty that awaits adventure enthusiasts. The Sandakphu Phalut trek is not just a simple hike in Darjeeling; it’s a trek route that runs along the spine of the Singalila Ridge, offering an unparalleled view of four of the highest mountains in the world.

Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling
View of the Kanchenjunga Range on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek from Sandakphu

The Splendor of the Everest and the Kanchenjunga Range Unveiled

The Sandakphu Phalut Trek is an exhilarating trail in Darjeeling that starts from the border town of Manebhanjyang and winds its way through the enchanting tiny hamlets of Tongloo, Tumling, and Gorkhay. The trek is renowned for its panoramic views of the world’s highest peaks, including the iconic Mount Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and the majestic Kanchenjunga.

As you traverse the picturesque Singalila Ridge, you’ll be treated to breathtaking Himalayan views from the vantage points of Sandakphu and Phalut. The trek covers a significant portion of Singalila National Park, making it a must-do for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

Sandakphu Phalut Trekking
Everest Range as seen on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek from Sandakphu

The thrill of summiting Sandakphu and Phalut

The highlights of the Sandakphu Phalut Trek are reaching the summits of Sandakphu and the lesser-explored Phalut, the two highest peaks in the state of West Bengal. Standing at an elevation of 3636 m, Sandakphu rewards trekkers with a 360-degree panoramic view of the majestic Himalayan range. Phalut, on the other hand, known for its vast grassy meadows, provides a serene and less-crowded alternative to savour the breathtaking Himalayan views.

Sandakphu Phalut Trek
Tongloo Trekkers Hut and Kanchenjunga Range on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek during Autumn

How long is the trek?

The Sandakphu Phalut Trek is 80 km long, beautiful, enchanting, and a simple route to trek near Darjeeling. There is so much to see, learn, and experience from the trek, which involves six days and an average of 10 km of trekking per day from start to finish. And when you reach Sandakphu and Phalut, you simply sit back and enjoy the beautiful Himalayan views found nowhere else in the Himalayas.

The best seasons to trek in Darjeeling

In Darjeeling, two seasons stand out as the best time to embark on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek.

Spring, from March to May, transforms the Singalila Ridge into a vibrant canvas of colorful blossoms. Rhododendrons, magnolias, and orchids paint the landscape in hues of red, pink, and white, creating an enchanting tapestry for trekkers to witness. The weather during this season is a trekker’s delight, with mild temperatures and clear skies that provide unobstructed views of the snow-capped peaks.

As autumn sets in, from October to November, the weather remains pleasant, the air becomes crisp, and the horizon becomes clear after three months of monsoon rain, allowing trekkers to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Himalayas.

Winter treks in Darjeeling, although challenging, offer a completely different experience. The mountains are covered in a blanket of snow, creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere. The crisp air and the dazzling white landscapes make the Sandakphu Phalut Trek a surreal trekking experience.

Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek
Kanchenjunga Range on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek in October: Marc Kannegiser & Family 2019

Trekking on the oldest trekking trail in India: Unforgettable Cultural immersions 

Beyond the physical challenges and scenic vistas, the Sandakphu Phalut Trek offers trekkers the chance to trek on the oldest and finest trek route in the Indian Himalayas, dating back to eighty years. More so, it also provides an opportunity to interact with the welcoming locals in the charming villages along the way. So, discover the unique culture of Darjeeling, taste local food, and forge connections that add a rich layer to your Himalayan adventure.

Sandakphu Phalut Trek: A Camping Trek

Hikers looking for a more private trekking experience away from the crowd of the trekker’s huts and lodges. We organize customized camping treks on demand for a group of not less than two people on a date of your choice. Replete with twin shared sleeping tents, supported by a cook and his two kitchen helpers providing hot-cooked meals.

Sandakphu Phalut Trek
Kanchenjunga Range and the trekking trail from Sandakphu to Phalut

Starting and ending Point of the Trek

Maneybhanjyang, 26 km and an hour’s drive from Darjeeling, located at the base of the Singalila Ridge at the India-Nepal Border, is the trek head for the Sandakphu Phalut Trek, while Rimbik 3-hour drive to Darjeeling is the ending point of this trek.

Please Note: In order to avoid the Jeep tracks from Manebhanjyang, the Sandakphu Phalut Trek can also be customized to start the trek from Rimbik. In this case, Rimbik, a three-hour drive from Darjeeling, is the starting and ending point of this trek.

Sandakphu Phalut Trek
The Everest Range as seen from Phalut on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek with Bart and Kathy from Germany

Short Alternative Trek to the Six-Day Sandakphu Phalut Trek

If you are short on time and the six-day trek is a bit too long, then the Sandakphu Gurdum Trek is an idle fit. This short trek climbs up to Sandakphu and drops down by way of Gurdung to end the trek in Rimbik.

Trekking through Gorkhay and Samamdin—picture-perfect villages

Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling
Gorkahy Village on the 5th day of the Sandakphu Phalut Trek

A special mention must be given to the picturesque villages of Gorkhay and Samamdin, the two beautiful villages on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek.

Situated on a small clearing inside Singalila National Park, it is surrounded by pine forests on all sides, with a small river cutting through it. These tiny villages of Gorkhay and Samamdin are the two best places to look out for as you trek down from Phalut.  Two beautiful villages to sit down in and relax after trekking for five days at a stretch.

Sandakphu Phalut Trek
Phalut Trekkers Hut on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek

Experience Trekking along the Indo-Nepal Border

The Sandakphu Phalut Trek is a truly unique trekking experience that takes you along the mesmerizing Indo-Nepal border in Darjeeling. This extraordinary trail leads you through a captivating journey, alternating between India and Nepal, from Manebhanjyang to Sandakphu and Phalut.

The constant shift of the trekking trail between these two countries offers an exceptional cultural immersion, making this trek in Darjeeling a truly unforgettable experience. It’s no surprise that this six-day trek is widely renowned as the ultimate trekking package in India.

A Six-Day Journey of Discovery

Embarking on this six-day trek in Darjeeling, trekkers are treated to a unique blend of natural wonders and cultural immersion. The trail leads through diverse terrains, from dense rhododendron forests to alpine meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers. Each day offers a new challenge and a fresh perspective, making the Sandakphu Phalut Trek a true Himalayan odyssey.

Hiking in the Singalila National Park

Nature enthusiasts are irresistibly drawn to the Singalila Ridge, not only for its breathtaking mountain vistas but also for its rich birdlife. Singalila National Park, nestled along the Sandakphu Phalut Trek route, offers a spectacular display of rhododendron blooms during spring. This natural spectacle adds to the allure and magnificence of the trek, captivating hikers and bird watchers alike.

Moreover, the Singalila National Park seamlessly extends into Nepal, where it is known as Tinchuley Forest. This lush expanse is home to an estimated thirty red pandas, making it a prime location for red panda treks and tours. With its diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes, the Singalila Ridge and its surrounding areas promise an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Darjeeling Sandakphu Phalut Trek
Birds in Singalila National Park. Photo credit to Mr.Noel Foning & Birds of Darjeeling & Eastern Himalayas

For a single Trekker 

We have group departures leaving at intervals. Join a group on the dates given below.

Trekkers carry their day pack only with their personal items in it and walk at their own pace. The main baggage will be carried by porters or ponies.

Accommodation and Food on the trek route

The Sandakphu Phalut Trek is a lodge-based adventure in Darjeeling that provides accommodation in charming trekkers’ huts and cozy lodges along the picturesque route. Immerse yourself in the local culinary delights, savoring traditional dishes like dal, bhat (rice), and flavorful vegetable curry during your stay.

As you start the 4th day of the trek from Sandakphu towards Phalut, it’s crucial to ensure you carry an abundant supply of water, as this stretch of the route in Darjeeling does not offer any available water sources. Stay prepared and hydrated to fully enjoy this unforgettable trekking experience.

Packing List for the Sandakphu Phalut Trek

Back Pack (50 l): A large backpack to pack in all your clothes that you will need for the trek., while at the same time being comfortable for the porter to carry. A total weight of 12 kg per person is allowed. Beyond this, the charges will be extra as extra porters will have to be recruited.

For day hiking: breathable light T-shirts, light trekking pants, comfortable ankle-high trekking boots, and cotton or woolen socks.

Carry a day pack (26–30 l) to put in all your personal items. Your day pack should contain a light outer shell waterproof/windproof jacket, a light fleece jacket, and sunglasses, as the sun is strong in the mountains. Carry in your day pack a water bottle and an umbrella, as we sometimes get light showers in the afternoon.

You should also carry in your daypack a personal medical kit. The kit should contain Band-Aids in case of blisters, Diamox for altitude sickness, and medicines like Tylenol for headaches, Paracetamol tablets for fever, Loperamide for loose motions, and water-purifying tablets. Also, include in your medical kit Crepe Bandages in case of sprains.

Toiletries: Wet wipes, two rolls of toilet paper, sunscreen lotions (50 SPF), vaseline or lip balm, toothpaste, and a toothbrush.

Evening Use: a down jacket for evening use or a couple of thick fleece jackets; thermal inner wear for night use. Woolen Caps and gloves; Head Lamp

Sleeping Bag: The lodges on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek do not have room heaters; therefore, carry with you down sleeping bags that can withstand a minus degree of temperature. Especially in Sandakphu and Phalut, it gets windy and cold. Though the trekker’s huts and lodges do provide woolen blankets.

Mobile Connectivity and Power

When trekking along the Sandakphu Phalut Trail on the Indian side, it’s essential to note that there is no electricity available. However, the Trekkers Huts are equipped with solar lights. To ensure you have enough power for your devices, we recommend charging your camera batteries and mobile phones in Darjeeling before embarking on the trek.

If you find yourself in need of charging facilities while at the trekker’s hut in Sandakphu, please be aware that this service will incur an additional cost. Please also note that, due to the absence of electricity, room heaters are not available in the huts.

On the Nepal side of the trail, lodges do have access to electricity, providing a more convenient stay for trekkers.

During the trek from Tongloo to Sandakphu and Phalut, mobile connectivity may be unreliable, with fluctuations in signal strength. While Airtel network users may find limited connectivity from Tongloo, it’s important to be prepared for potential challenges in making and receiving calls along the trail.

We hope this information helps you prepare for a safe and enjoyable trek along the Sandakphu Phalut Trail!

Important Trekking Tips to remember for the Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling

  • Get Comfortable Hiking Boots: Keeping your feet comfortable is a basic need while trekking. Therefore, purchase a pair of Ankle High comfortable hiking boots and try these boots and break into them before you come for the Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling so that you do not get blisters while on the trek.
  • Buy Proper Socks for Long Hikes: Socks also play a vital role while trekking on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek. You can find socks that are designed for trekking and hiking long distances. These socks are well worth buying to give extra bounce and protection to your feet while trekking.
  • Train well. Just because the Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling is moderate in nature, do not forget to train on different terrain. Remember, you are trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas, and you will be trekking to Sandakphu and Phalut at an altitude of 12,000 feet. Therefore, take long walks, run, cycle, swim, or engage in any other physical activity that will improve your stamina and fitness.
  • Please remember to keep your muscles in good shape. Remember to stretch after your long walks. You should focus on your calves, quads, hamstrings, hips, and back.
  • Practice with your backpack and pack your bags accordingly. Your main baggage will be carried by porters and pack animals. But you will need to carry a day pack with you to put in all your essential items, like a camera, a water bottle, your personal medical kit, an umbrella, a light fleece, and a wind stopper.
  • Bring Proper Clothing: Make sure to bring along warm clothes, woolen caps, woolen gloves, a sun hat, waterproof gear, and other essential items needed for the Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling. It is essential to include in your baggage first-aid kit, water bottle, water purifying tablets, sunscreen lotion, Vaseline, sunglasses, etc.
  • Acclimatize Properly: It is essential to acclimatize properly while on the Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling, as you will be trekking to higher altitudes to prevent altitude sickness. Take regular breaks and spend extra nights at higher altitudes to give your body time to adjust.
  • Respect the Local Culture: Darjeeling and the Singalila Ridge are home to the local people of Darjeeling and Nepal, who have their own unique culture and traditions. Respect their beliefs and culture, and be mindful of the impact that you will have on their environment.
  • Stay Hydrated: It is important to stay hydrated at higher altitudes to avoid altitude sickness. Therefore, drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Trek Slowly: The Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling is not a race. So take your time, enjoy the scenery, and do not push yourself too hard.
  • Prepare for the weather. The weather in the mountains can be very unpredictable. Therefore, be prepared for rain, snow, and cold weather.
  • Be flexible. Weather and other conditions can change very quickly. Therefore, be flexible with your plans and be prepared to adjust your itinerary accordingly.

TRIP FACTS

  • Type of Trek:  Tea House Trek
  • Total number of days: 10 days.
  • Number of Days on the Trek: 7 days
  • Minimum Number of Persons: 2 persons.
  • Starting and Ending Point: Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border.
  • Best Season: March-June and October-December.
  • Trek Availability:   Join a Group on the Dates Shown below
  • A customized private trek can also be arranged for a minimum of two people on request on a date of your choice.
  • The itinerary given below is a sample to give you a general idea.
  • In order to avoid the Jeep tracks from Manebhanjyang, we can also start the Sandakphu Phalut Trek from Rimbik.
  • But we are also flexible enough to start the trek as per your choice.
  • Just let us know, and we will customize the trek itinerary as per your needs.

Group Departure dates: 2024

08–17 February 2024 22 February–02 March 2024
07–16 March 2024 28 March–06 April 2024
04–13 April 2024 18–27 April 2024
02–11 May 2024 16–25 May 2024
18–27 September 2024 02–11 October 2024
16–25 October 2024 06–15 November 2024
27 November–06 December 2024 11–20 December 2024
21–30 December 2024 (Christmas Trek)

SANDAKPHU PHALUT TREK  ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive at Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border. Drive to Darjeeling. Overnight hotel stay.

Day 2: Acclimatization Day in Darjeeling.

Day 3: Drive to Maneybhanjyang (1981 m/1 h). The Sandakphu Phalut Trek begins. Trek to Tongloo. Stay in a homestay or trekkers’ hut in Tongloo.

  • Maney Bhanjyang (1981 m) to Chitray (2800 m/2 km/2 hours).
  • Chitre to Lamedhura (2830 meters; 2 kilometers; 1 hour).
  • Lameydhura to Meghma (2900 m; 4 km; 2 hrs).
  • Meghma to Tongloo (3070 m/4 km/2 hrs). a 4-kilometer uphill trek on the first day of the Sandakphu trek.

Day 4: Trek Tongloo/Tumling to Kalpokhari (3100 m/15 km/5 hrs). Overnight stay at a lodge (all meals included).

  • Tumling to Tongloo (2970 m; 1 km; 30 minutes).
  • Tumling to Gairibas (2620 m/9 km; 4 hrs).
  • Gairibas to Kayakatta (2800 m/1 km/1 h).
  • Kayakatta to Kalpokhari (3100 m/4 km/2 hrs).

Day 5: Trek Kalpokhari to Sandakphu (3636 m/6 km/4 hrs). Trekkers’ Hut overnight stays.

  • Kalpokhari to Bikheybhanjyang (3120 m/2 km/1 h).
  • Bikheybhanjyang to Sandakphu (3636 m/4 km/3 hrs).

Day 6: Trek from Sandakphu to Phalut. Overnight Trekkers Hut.

  • Sandakphu to Thukim: 7 km
  • Thukim to Sabarkum: 7 km
  • Sabarkum to Phalut: 7 km

Day 7: Trek Phalut to Ramam. Overnight Home Stay (All Meals Included)

  • Phalut to Gorkhay: 14 km
  • Gorkhay to Samamdin: 1 km
  • Samamdin to Ramam: 5 km

Day 8: Trek from Ramam to Rimbik (2331 m/10 km/4 hours) Drive to Darjeeling. Overnight hotel or homestay (B/B only).

Day 9: Trek Ramam to Timburey (2300 m/8 km/4 hours). Overnight Homestay.

Day 10: Drive to Bagdogra Airport, NJP Rail Station, or the Nepal border for final departure. End of the Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling.

How much does the Sandakphu Phalut Trek cost?

  • Sandakphu Phalut Trek Cost : US$880 per Person
  • Cost for Indian Nationals : Kindly Request Quote in Rupee

What is included and excluded in the cost?

COST INCLUDES:

  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts in Darjeeling.
  • Twin-share rooms in lodges with mattresses during the trek.
  • Fully organized trek services with guide, porters, and ponies
  • Fixed three meals a day during the trekking period.
  • Road transport as per itinerary by car or Jeep.
  • Services of an English-speaking guide.

COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Sleeping bag; personal clothing or equipment.
  • Lunches and dinners during hotel stays in Darjeeling.
  • Bottled or alcoholic drinks
  • Tips, client insurance, and evacuation costs during the Sandakphu Trek Period
  • Any expenses of personal nature

What is the booking process?

Once you decide to do the Sandakphu Phalut Trek with us, you will need to deposit a minimum amount to ensure your participation in the trek. Once we receive the advance amount, we will notify you and confirm your place in the trek. You can pay the balance amount on arrival, or it can also be deposited two weeks before the start of this trek in Darjeeling.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

  • Minimum Charge: (Deposit Amount is non-refundable in case of cancellation of the trek due to closure of National Park, weather, etc., or canceled by the depositor.)
  • Less than 7 days of trek date: 50% of trek cost.
  • On or after the trek start date: no refund if the trek is aborted or shortened for any reason.

Note: The above-given itinerary is a sample intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors, such as weather, road conditions, the physical ability of the participants, etc., may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participant’s safety, comfort, and general well-being.

(All relevant terms and conditions apply.)

  • Sandakphu Phalut Trek Cost : US$890 / PERSON
  • Indian Nationals Kindly inquire within for quotes in Indian Rupee

COST INCLUDES:

  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts in Darjeeling.
  • Twin-share rooms in lodges with mattresses during the Sandakphu Trek.
  • Fully organized trek services with guide, porters, and ponies
  • Fixed three meals a day during the trekking period
  • Road transport as per itinerary by car or Jeep.
  • Services of an English-speaking guide.

COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Sleeping bag; personal clothing or equipment.
  • Lunches and dinners during hotel stays in Darjeeling.
  • Bottled or alcoholic drinks
  • Tips, client insurance, and evacuation costs during the Sandakphu Trek Period
  • Any expenses of personal nature

(All relevant terms and conditions apply.)

 

 

 

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