A shorter version of the Sandakphu Trek that will allow you, on the one hand, to enjoy the experience of walking through the Singalila mountain range hiking by the border with Nepal and enjoying spectacular views of Everest, Makalu and Kanchenjunga. Alternatively, this itinerary is ideal to include in a trip, either longer or shorter, through Darjeeling, Sikkim … or the whole of India, Why not?
4 days’ trek (plus 1 day to drive back to Darjeeling)
Highest altitude 3636m
Highest altitude overnight 3636m
Local mountain guide English-speaking
Meals and overnight in lodges during the trek
Transfers in private vehicle
The Singalila National Park, where this itinerary takes place, is located west of Darjeeling, dominated by the Singalila mountain range that runs along the border with Nepal. Its highlight is Sandakphu which, at 3636 metres, is the highest peak in West Bengal. The main route of the Sandakphu Trek lasts about 7 days, but here is a shortened 5-day version, which is actually 4 hiking days, plus the return day to Darjeeling. A small trek with lush nature and fully mountainous terrain with deep valleys and rushing rivers, with altitudes above 2000 metres and Kanchendzonga (Kanchenjunga) always on the horizon. An ideal itinerary to insert into any Sikkim and/or Darjeeling trip, which you can tailor-make to suit you.
Part of the route has a rough-track suitable for off-road vehicles, and the trek route combines sections on the track and sections where it goes through the footpath.
If you ask what Darjeeling is, most will answer that it is a tea. And it is true, Darjeeling tea is one of the best known in the Western world, mainly through its marketing by the British. And naturally, its name comes from the area where it is produced.
Darjeeling hills are occupied by tea plantations. Darjeeling produces different varieties of black tea which are still treated and fermented by the traditional method and most, if not all, meet organic production standards, without chemicals or pesticides. The conditions in Darjeeling are perfect for an aromatic tea due to the type of soil and the amount of rain. Tea production is the primary economy of the valley and tea tourism has been growing and developing in recent years.
Darjeeling is in the northwest of West Bengal, bordering Nepal and southern Sikkim. However, its terrain and population are much more closely related to that of its northern neighbour. With a mixed population of Nepalese, Tibetans, Bhutias and from other origins, and with Bengali and Nepali (as in Sikkim) as its official language, Darjeeling is now an autonomous region within the state of West Bengal. However, the question of becoming a state of one’s own or joining Sikkim is always on the table, especially given the difference, both geographically and culturally, with the rest of the state.
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