Sandakphu : Winter Trek

  • Mountain
  • Trekking
  • Tent / Trek Hut
  • Meals included
  • Altitude
  • Photography

Destination

Dothrey – Tumling (via Tonglu) – Kalipokhri – Sandakphu – Phalut – Gorkhy – Sirikhola

Trip at a Glance

The trip will start and end at NJP / Bagdogra Airport.
Minimum group size is 8 to 10.
The daytime temperature records between 8°C to 15°C whereas the night temperature ranges between -5°C to 5°C.
The trekking distance in Sandakphu is 47 km.
The maximum altitude of the Sandakphu trek, popularly known as “Trekker’s Wonderland” is 11, 941 ft.
The difficulty level of the trek is easy to moderate.
Withdraw money from ATM at New Jalpaiguri (NJP), as there are no ATMs on the trekking route.

Activities and Highlights

Clear sky offers upfront view of Sleeping Buddha and no chance of rain.
During winter, most of the trek routes are covered with snow.
Snow changes the landscape of Sandakphu making it a more perfect picture.
You will get a chance to camp under the brilliant night sky.
During the trek, you will come across the snow peak Mt Everest which is said to be the mythical stairway to heaven.
You will witness the majestic sunrise on Sleeping Buddha.

The name, “Sandakphu” is derived its name from the poisonous aconite plants that grow near the peak. Sandakphu means "Height of the Poison Plant".
The highest point of West Bengal is Sandakphu, located at 3636m in the district of Darjeeling. This is a easy to moderate high altitude trek through the Singalila Ridge.
Want to see 4 of the World’s highest 8000 m peaks with your own eyes? The Sandakphu trek is an easy trek and considered an absolute delight for trekkers and has spectacular panoramic views of the highest peaks of the mighty Himalayas namely; Kanchendzongha, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, Janu (Kumbhakarna), Chamlang, Baruntse, Kabru, Pandim and a series of other peaks.
This trek en routes the famous Singalila Ridge, which houses the Singalila National Park, established in 1986 has area that have rare species like Red Panda and is also called a birder’s paradise. It is a paradise for wildlife photographers, nature lovers, and adventure enthusiasts. The park covers an area of 78km2 and has an altitude of 2400 to 3650 m. it shares a natural borders with Nepal and Sikkim.
For them, who want to go that extra mile, Sandakphu Winter Trek holds some amazing beauty in itself.

DAY 01: NJP / Bagdogra to Dothrey : 100.8 km | 4-5 hours

From NJP / Bagdogra, you will be arriving at Dothrey, at the backdrop of majestic Kanchenjunga winding through the tea estates.
Dothrey will be your base Camp for the trek.
Spend the night at Dothrey and prepare yourself for the adventure ahead.

Day 02: Dothrey to Tumling (via Tonglu) : 4 hours

You will wake up in Dothrey, a picturesque village and gear up for the trek ahead.
After breakfast, you will start for our trek from Dothrey to Tumling.
The distance covered will be 5 km and the trek will be around 4 hours.
To reach Tumling, you need to reach Tonglu at an altitude of 10,130 ft. From Tonglu, you will step down to an altitude of 9,600 ft at Tumling.
Tumling is situated on the Nepal border where the day’s trek ends.
If the sky is clear, then you can have a breath-taking view of majestic Sleeping Buddha from Tumling.
Rest after the first day of trekking at Tumling Trek hut.

Day 03: Tumling to Kalipokhri : 13 km | 6-7 hours

Wake up early for a breath taking view of Sleeping Buddha and experience the changing colour of the mountain in the first rays of the Sun. The entire Kanchenjunga range will open up in front of you, taking your breath away.
You can bring out your camera and capture the stunning view of Kumbhakarna, Kanchenjunga and Simvo in the background. Just below the Kanchenjunga, you can enjoy the view of Koktang, Rathong, Frey, South Kabru, North Kabru, Forked, Goecha and the ridge of Pandim. Between Goecha and Pandim, is the Goechla which is also a popular trekking destination of Ghumakkad.
After breakfast, as you start your trek from Tumling to Kalipokhri, you will enter the Singalila National Park. The hiking trail goes through dense forests and meadows. During the day’s trek, we will reach Kalipokhri at an altitude of 10,400 ft.
You will directly reach to Gauiribas, 5 km away from Tumling. From here, you can see Sandakphu standing tall before you. After a small descends, from this point you will land in a beautiful meadow with majestic view of valleys. You will find India and Nepal on your right and left side consecutively. Take photos at the India-Nepal border to cherish the trekking memories with your loved ones.
Gauribas is a small village where you will find the entry check post for Singalila National Park.
The final destination for the day is Kalipokhri at a distance of 6 km from Gauribas. Bird lovers can spot different species during their hiking through this patch.
After 2-3 hours of trek you will reach a bean shaped black lake surrounded by waving Buddhist prayer flags. This lake is called Kalipokhri, which means “Black lake”.
Rest here for the night in your Trek Hut.

Day 04: Kalipokhri to Sandakphu : 6.5 km | 3 hours

Wake up at the wee hours of morning and flex your muscles with your cameras. After breakfast, get ready for the day’s trek.
The trail from here to Sandakphu is a steep incline of 4 km with zig-zag up the hills. During the day’s trek, we will reach Sandakphu at an altitude of 11,950 ft.
An hour of steep ascent will bring you to a place where the routes from India and Nepal converge.
On reaching Sandakphu, 1800 panoramic view of Himalayan peaks will take your heart away. This is one of the most famous panoramas of the world, will give you clear view of Makalu, Lotse, Everest, Nuptse, Baruntse, Chamling, Chomolonzo, Machapucchare and the entire Annapurna range. The Sleeping Buddha lies before you. On the east corner, you can see Chomolhari, the highest peak of Bhutan rise above all the others.
Spend the night in the lap of the tallest mountains in the world. During night the temperature in this region dips to sub zero levels.

Day 05: Sandakphu to Phalut : 21 km | 7 hours

Wake up early in the morning. Our today’s trek is from Sandakphu to Phalut at the altitude of 11, 950 ft.
The trail from Sandakphu to Phalut is through a zig-zag route. There are a series of gradual descents and level fields. The scenery will you speechless as you walk your way upto Phalut, one of the loftiest peak in the Singalila range. Phalut is a small grassland with minimal or no vegetation. If the weather is not clear on this day, you might have to head straight to Gorkhey.
Spend the night at trekkers hut.

Day 06: Phalut to Gorkhey : 15 km | 5-6 hours

Wake up early in the morning. Our today’s trek is from Phalut to Gorkhey at the altitude of 7, 546 ft.
From Phalut, you begin to descend. The trail passes through forests with many openings. While descending you will be able to view various peaks like Pandim, Narsing, etc. Continue on this trail for 10 km to reach Gorkhey.
Bring your cameras and make sure you walk through the village across the bridge on the Gorkhey River.

Day 07: Gorkhey to NJP (via Sirikhola) : 13 km | 4-5 hours

Wake up early in the morning. Our today’s trek is from Phalut to Gorkhey at the altitude of 3,572 ft.
After breakfast, start early from Gorkhey and proceed to Sirikhola. This trail is first downhill trekking becomes more downhill as we go towards Sirikhola.
From Sirikhola, we will bid farewell to the majestic Kanchenjunga and start our journey towards NJP / Bagdogra.

Accommodation will be provided in trekker’s huts / camps / home stay / tents.

Inclusions

Expert trek leader and support team.
Accommodation – Complete accommodation in trekkers hut / camps / home stay / tents.
All foods while on trek – Veg. and Non Veg.
All necessary permits and camping charges.

Exclusions

All transits (NJP/ Bagdogra to Dothrey and Sirikhola to NJP / Bagdogra) – Upon request this can be organized with additional charges.
Food during transit.
Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
Any air fare/ bus fare/ train fare.
Anything not specifically mentioned in the inclusion section.

Prepare Yourself

Sandakphu is an easy to moderate trek and requires long distance walking and good amount of cardiovascular endurance.

Things to carry

Clothes and Shoes
Trekking Shoes.
Three warm layers.
Three trek pants.
Three collared T-Shirts.
Thermals.
Accessories
Sunglasses.
Suncap.
Synthetic Hand Gloves.
Balaclava.
Socks (2 pairs).
Headlap LED Torch.
Trekking Pole.
Poncho.
Others
Daypack.
Toiletries.
Two water bottles.
Plastic covers.
Personal Medical Kit
You are advised to carry your personal medical kit and also consult your doctor.
Required Documents
It is mandatory to carry Photocopy of an identity proof and two copies of recent passport size photograph.
The travelers need to carry a medical certificate duly signed by a doctor.

What is the style of accommodation provided in this trek?

Sandakphu trek provides accommodation in trekkers hut / camps / home stay / tents.

What will be the temperatures be like during this trek?

During winter trek, the day temperature will range from around 8-15°C whereas the night temperature drops down to -5°C.

Will there be snow on this trek?

Yes, you will find snow in your trekking route.

How do we reach Dothrey?

Ghumakkad can organize pick up vehicle from NJP / Bagdogra to Dothrey, the Base Camp. This transport cost (approximately Rs. 3500 per vehicle) is to be borne by the trekkers.

How do we get back to NJP / bagdogra airport after the trek?

Ghumakkad can organize pick up vehicle from Sirikhola to NJP / Bagdogra. This transport cost (approximately Rs. 5500 per vehicle) is to be borne by the trekkers.

Can I hire a porter for my personal stuff?

If you inform us while booking, Ghumakkad can organize porter / porters for you separately at an additional cost.

Who will be with us for the trek from Ghumakkad?

There will be a qualified trek leader, trek guide & porters will be with you through out the trek.

Can I consume alcohol during the cold night?

Alcohol is extremely dangerous in cold, especially on high altitude. It doesn’t make you warmer; instead it opens your body pores making you colder. Hence, consumption of alcohol is extremely prohibited during the trek. Also smoking is not allowed during the trek.

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