Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek
Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek
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Unforgettable Adventure Awaits: The Sandakphu Trek Package in Darjeeling

Sandakphu Trek is a hike in Darjeeling that not only challenges your physical abilities but also nourishes your soul with captivating beauty and unforgettable experiences. An incredibly rewarding adventure set amidst the picturesque location of the Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling. This trek is not only an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature but also to witness breathtaking views of the world’s tallest mountain range, making it a heartwarming and fulfilling experience for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

The Sandakphu Trek is a harmonious blend of beauty and challenge, a moderate five-day and 57-kilometer trek, and Sandakphu is the epitome of this trek in Darjeeling. And as the trail gently cleaves through the Singalila Ridge covered with rhododendron flowers,Sandakphu Trek, with its gorgeous view of the world’s four highest mountains, will surely awaken your senses.

Set in the lap of the Himalayas and famed for its moderate trail and great mountain views, the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek is a treat to your senses for a refreshing break. A promise of the glorious Himalayas, an eye-opener for hikers. A cultural wonder that can be undertaken even during the winter months.

Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling
Everest Range on the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek

How difficult is the Sandakphu trek?

The Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling is achievable for individuals with a moderate level of physical fitness and those who are accustomed to long hours of walking. It’s important to note that the trek covers an average distance of ten kilometers per day, so some preparation is necessary. However, with the right level of fitness and preparation, completing this trek is not a big task.

Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek
Kanchenjunga Range seen on the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek

Starting and Ending Points of the Trek

The Sandakphu Trek starts from Manebhanjyang, a small border town located twenty-six kilometers and an hour’s drive from Darjeeling.

Singalila National Park’s office is located at the end of the town, and the Foreigners Registration Office and the Guides Office are at the entrance of the town. Sandakphu is 58 km from Darjeeling and 32 km from Manebhanjyang.

Rimbik, 57 Km to Darjeeling a small, bustling farmers town with a Bank, Police Station, a few Hotels and an ATM, is the ending point of the five-day Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling

Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling
Kanchenjunga Range seen on the Sandakphu Trek from Tongloo Ridge with the Tongloo Trekkers Hut in the foreground

Accommodations on the Trek

Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek is a tea house lodge-based trek.

There are Trekkers Huts with basic facilities in Tongloo, Gairibas, and Sandakphu run by private individuals. There is also a small homestay in Tongloo, run by a local family. Other than these, there are comfortable and better options just a kilometer away at Tumling, but these lodges are all on the Nepal side of the Sandakphu Trail.

Each trekker’s hut has four to five rooms. Each room is made up of four to five beds, a common washroom, and a restroom. Comfortable mattresses, quilts, and blankets are provided in these trekkers huts and lodges.

Besides these trekkers’ huts on the Indian side of the border, there are a number of lodges on the Nepal side too, with better facilities.

As of the 2023 season, all trek operators have been notified by the Department of Defense, Government of India, that foreign trekkers on the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek will not be allowed to stay overnight in the lodges on the Nepal side of the trekking trail.

Food on the Trail

As you traverse the route to Sandakphu, you will have access to traditional Indian food at tea houses, lodges, and trekker’s huts. For those seeking a more diverse dining experience, some lodges also offer specialized delights upon request.

A typical breakfast in these trekkers huts and lodges consists of simple yet satisfying options such as porridge, bread and butter, and eggs prepared to your liking, whether they be an omelette or boiled. Additionally, chapatis (flour bread) or Tibetan bread for a diverse culinary experience will also be served.

Lunches and dinners are mainly rice, Dal (lentil soup), vegetable curry, and vegetable soup. Sometimes chowmein and noddle soup will also be served.

Evening tea with biscuits will be served every day on arrival at the lodges or Trekkers Huts.

Water can be found abundantly along the breathtaking Sandakphu trek, and this water is safe for consumption. However, it is advisable to bring along water-purifying tablets for added protection. Alternatively, bottled mineral water is readily available for purchase at the tea houses and trekkers huts.

The best season to trek

The ideal time for the Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling is from March to May. During this period, the weather is perfect for trekking, and the trail is adorned with vibrant rhododendron flowers. For a delightful experience, mid-March to April is recommended, as it offers daytime temperatures ranging from 10 to 18 degrees Celsius and clear mountain views. Nighttime temperatures typically range between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius.

It’s important to note that by May, there may be an onset of monsoon clouds bringing rain, which can obstruct mountain views. Therefore, it’s advisable to carry a raincoat or umbrella during this time.

If your priority is spectacular mountain views, then October and November are considered the best months for the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek. October has mild temperatures suitable for trekking, while November sees a drop in temperature but remains dry overall.

What to Carry 

Put all your clothing and other items that you will need for the Sandakphu Trek in a haversack (50–55 liters). This baggage will be carried by porters or ponies, therefore, please be kind enough to keep the weight of the baggage at 15 kgs.

Carry a day pack (26 to 30 liters) for day use. Your Day Pack should be big enough to accommodate a water bottle, a rain jacket or an umbrella, light fleece, and a wind stopper.

Also include your personal medical kit in your day pack. Carry medicines for fever, dysentery, anti-acid tablets, pain killers, crepe bandages for sprains, waterproof band-aids for cuts and toe blisters, and antiseptic cream, vaseline for chapped skin, moisturizer, sunscreen lotions (50 SPF recommended), and polarized sun glasses to ensure the safety of your eyes from the sun’s glare.

Trekkers carry their day packs only with their essential items and walk at their own pace.

Clothing

For your trek to Sandakphu, you’ll experience varying temperatures throughout the day. Daytime temperatures range from 10°C to 18°C, so it’s best to pack light trekking pants or track pants along with quick-dry t-shirts for daytime use.

As you ascend to higher altitudes, the evening temperature in Sandakphu can drop to between 5°C and 10°C. To stay warm and comfortable, be sure to bring warm woolen or thick fleece clothing as well as a down jacket. Don’t forget thermal inner wear, woolen gloves, and balaclavas for added warmth during cooler periods.

To ensure safety on uneven terrain along the trail, opt for comfortable ankle-length trekking boots. It’s essential that new boots are broken in before your trek for maximum comfort throughout your journey.

Additionally, high-quality trail running shoes can also be suitable due to the wide track of the trail on the Sandakphu Trek.

Power and Mobile Connectivity

There is no electricity on the entire Sandakphu Trek Route on the India side of the trekking trail. The trekker’s huts in Tongloo and Sandakphu are solar-powered. Therefore, you can charge your camera batteries and mobile phones in the trekker’s hut for a price.

However, on the Nepal side, the lodges have electricity. Therefore, power-related benefits are available in the private lodges.

Mobile connectivity fluctuates once you leave Tongloo and is therefore not to be relied upon. Airtel and Jio networks are available from Tongloo and Sandakphu; other than these places, mobile networks are non-existent.

In contrast, the mobile network coverage on a Nepali SIM card is just superb. If you have a Nepali SIM, then you can also make video calls from Tongloo, Kalipokhari, and Sandakphu.

Features and Benefits

The Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek is the perfect way to spend a weekend in Darjeeling. The trek is well-tailored and 57 km long, and it is perfect for first-time trekkers. The trekking trail is also well-defined and easy to follow. The views from Sandakphu are absolutely breathtaking.

Non-Technical and An Introductory Trek in Darjeeling

The Sandakphu Trek is an introductory, non-technical trek in Darjeeling for novice trekkers. while at the same time, without taking a lot of time, showing you just enough to introduce you to the art of trekking and hiking that will convince you to take long treks in the near future. Also, Sandakphu Trek gives you more than expected without going to the extreme.

Also, the simple and clearly marked trail makes the Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling a very popular beginner trek. This is an ideal trek for someone looking for an introductory trek in the Himalayas. And with good reason, this trail with no technical difficulty is the best hiking trail in Darjeeling for beginners.

A Trail for Nature lovers and bird watchers

An added attraction of the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek is that the trail passes through Singalila National Park. This, in turn, makes it attractive and inspiring among bird watchers, botanists, and, on the whole, nature lovers too. And as the trail meanders through the rich natural reserves of Singalila National Park, the Sandakphu Trek allows you to witness nature in its best form. while also giving you a glimpse into the local culture.

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

What makes Sandakphu Trek special?

The beautiful Himalayan scenery that you can see with your own eyes is a sublime experience that you can get from the Sandakphu Trek. Sandakphu, the highest point in Darjeeling and in West Bengal, India, is perhaps the most popular paradise for trekkers from the world over. Mainly because it is a time-friendly trek and, of course, because of the great mountain views that this trek presents.

Trekking in Darjeeling
Snow-covered Sandakphu and Kanchenjunga Range on the Sandakphu Trek

A short and scenic trek in Darjeeling

The Sandakphu Trek offers views of Everest and Kanchenjunga spectacular beyond words. At 11,920 feet above mean sea level, Sandakphu is nature’s gift, where there is a positive vibe. But the aura that the Sandakphu trek oozes makes one hang around there more than one intended. Darjeeling is a genuine wonderland for trekkers and hikers planning to do a short trek.

Talk to us if you have any doubts. Our experienced outdoor adventure team is always ready to help you. Our team will assist you throughout the process, from when you decide until you return from the trek.

Essential Tips for Trekking the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trail

1. Foot Comfort: Prioritize comfortable ankle-high trekking boots and break them in early to prevent blisters during the trek.

2. Socks Matter: Invest in trekking-specific socks to provide extra protection and comfort for long distances.

3. Varied Training: Train on diverse terrains, including hills, as you will encounter a range of terrain while trekking through the foothills of the Himalayas.

4. Muscle Care: Remember to stretch your calves, quads, hamstrings, hips, and back after long walks to keep your muscles in good shape.

5. Pack Wisely: Utilize a day pack for essential items such as warm clothes, woolen caps/gloves, sun hat, waterproof gear along with first aid kit & other necessities like water bottle/purifying tablets etc.

6. Acclimatization Is Key: Adjust gradually by taking regular breaks and spending extra nights at higher altitudes, Stay Hydrated

7. Respect Local Culture

8. Trek at Your Pace: Remember that it’s not a race – take time to enjoy the scenery without pushing yourself too hard.

9. Weather Preparedness: Be ready for unpredictable weather conditions including rain,snow,cold temps

10. Flexibility is Key: Always be flexible with plans; be prepared to adjust your itinerary based on changing weather or other conditions.

These tips are crucial preparations before embarking on this rewarding adventure through one of India’s most breathtaking landscapes. Sandakphu Trek offers stunning views which makes up an unforgettable experience!

What is the booking procedure?

You will have to deposit a minimum amount to confirm and ensure your place on the trek. The balance amount must be paid either on arrival or can be deposited a week before the start of the Sandakphu Trek. However, once you decide to do this trek with us, we will send you details about the payment mode.

Sandakphu Trek Cancellation Policy

  • Minimum Charge (Deposit Amount will not be refunded if the trek is canceled due to strikes, closure of National Park, etc., or canceled by the individual concerned).
  • Less than 15 days of the trek or tour date: 50% of the trek cost.
  • On or after the trek or tour start date: There are no refunds if the trek or tour is aborted or shortened for any reason.

TRIP FACTS:

  • Style of Trek:  Tea House/Lodge Trek
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Number of Days on the Trek: 5 Days
  • Trek Grade: Moderate to Easy
  • Minimum number of Participants: 2 Persons
  • Highest Point: Sandakphu (3636 m)
  • Highest Sleeping Altitude: Sandakphu (3636 m)
  • Starting and Ending Point: Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border
  • Best Season:  March-June and September-December
  • Trek Availability:  Join a Group on the dates given below
  • Climate: Days are normally warm. Nights can at times be (generally) freezing, and in winter, even below the freezing point. Monsoon showers in the summer (heaviest in July and August). Sometimes even in spring and autumn.
  • A customized private camping trip can be arranged for a minimum of two people on request on a date of your choice

GROUP DEPARTURE DATES FOR DARJEELING SANDAKPHU TREK 2024

08– 15 February 2024 22–29 February 2024
07 – 14 March 2024 28 March – 4 April 2024
04– 11 April 2024 18 – 25 April 2024
02 – 09 May 2024 16 – 23 May 2024
18 – 25 September 2024 02 – October 2024
16 – 23 October 2024 06 – 13 November 2024
27 November – 4 December 2024 11 – 18 December 2024
21 – 28 December 2024 (Christmas Trek)

Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek  Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Bagdogra Airport, NJP Rail Station, or Nepal Border. Drive to Darjeeling (1686 m/90 km/3 hours). Overnight Hotel.

Day 2: Acclimatization Day. Walking tour of Darjeeling. Overnight Hotel.

Day 3: Drive to Maneybhanjyang (1981 m/1 Hr). Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek Starts. Trek to Tongloo or Tumling (3001 m/13 km/5 hours). Overnight Trekkers Hut/Lodge

  • Manebhanjyang (1981 m) to Chitray (2800 m/2 km): Steep uphill on a wide Tarmac Jeep track.
  • Chitray to Lamedhura (2810 m/2 km): Slightly uphill on a thin trekking trail.
  • Lamedhura to Meghma (2900 m/4 km): Slightly uphill, sometimes on a thin trail and sometimes on a rough Jeep track.
  • Meghma to Tongloo (3070 m/4 km): Steep uphill on a wide cobblestone jeep track.

Day 4: Trek Tongloo to Kalpokhari (3100 m/15 km/6 hours). Overnight Lodge.

  • Tongloo to Tumling (2970 m/1 km): an easy downhill trek on a thin trail.
  • Tumling to Jaubari ( 2750 m/4 km): Easy Trek on a wide Track
  • Jaubari to Gairibas (2620 m/5 km): a downhill trek on a rough stone jeep track.
  • Gairibas to Kayakatta (2800 m/1 km): the first 45 minutes are uphill and then an easy trek on a level track.
  • Kayakatta to Kalpokhari (3001 m/4 km): easy trek till Kalipokhari on a wide Jeep track.

Day 5: Trek Kalpokhari to Sandakphu (3636 m/6 km/3 hours). Overnight Trekkers Hut/Lodge.

  • Kalpokhari to Bikheybhanjyang (3030 m/2 km): Km) uphill on a rough, wide track.
  • Bikheybhanjyang to Sandakphu (3636 m/4 km): Steep uphill till Sandakphu on a Jeep track.

Day 6: Trek to Gurdung (2700 m/10 km/4 hours). Overnight Lodge. downhill trek through the jungle.

Day 7: Trek Gurdung to Rimbik (2331 m/13 km/5 hours): First 45 minutes downhill on a thin trail through villages. Cross the river and then take a lonely trek through the Black Forest until you reach Rimbik, where you pass through a village.

End of Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek. Drive back to Darjeeling. Overnight Hotel.

Day 8: Drive to Bagdogra Airport/New Jalpaiguri Rail Station/Nepal Border for Final Departure. End of  the Trek
An extension can be made to Sikkim, Bhutan, or Nepal.

How much does the Sandakphu Trek cost?

  • Sandakphu Trek Cost: US$630/Person
  • Indian Participants: Please request a quote in Indian rupee.

What is included and excluded in the cost?

Sandakphu Trek Cost Includes :

  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts.
  • Four-Bed or Five-Bed Rooms in Trekkers Huts
  • Twin-share rooms in private lodges with mattresses during trekking.
  • Fully organized trek services with guides, porters, and ponies.
  • Fixed three meals every day during trekking.
  • All road transport is as per itinerary by car or Jeep.
  • Service of an English-speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees to monuments visited.
  • All Permits for Darjeeling.
  • Airport Transfers.

Sandakphu Trek does not include:

  • Sleeping bag
  • personal clothing/equipment
  • Lunches and dinners during hotel stay in Darjeeling
  • Bottled or alcoholic drinks
  • Tips
  • client insurance,
  • evacuation costs
  • Any expenses of personal nature

Note: The above 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 Trek Cost : US$630/Person
  • Indian participants, kindly inquire within for quotes in Indian rupees.

TOUR COST INCLUDES:

  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts.
  • Twin-share rooms in lodges with mattresses during trekking.
  • Fully organized trek services with a guide, porters, and ponies.
  • Fixed three meals every day during trekking.
  • All road transport is as per itinerary by car or Jeep.
  • Service of an English-speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees to monuments visited.
  • All Permits for Darjeeling.
  • Airport Transfers.

DOES NOT INCLUDE:

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

(All relevant terms and conditions apply.).

 

 

 

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