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Spectrum Tours » Adventure Tour Indian » Trekking in Darjeeling

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Trekking in Darjeeling

Darjeeling, at 2,134 metres, is West Bengal's primary hill station. Covered with tea gardens and buildings that are a legacy of the days of British rule in India, Darjeeling is still unspoilt and pristine. The region abounds in rhododendrons, primulas and orchids of many varieties. Over 600 species of birds have been recorded in the forests and hills around Darjeeling.

Darjeeling is mainly inhabited by a mix of Nepalis, Lepchas, Tibetans and Bhutias who make excellent trekking guides and porters. The main attraction of Darjeeling, however, is the uninterrupted view that it offers of the magnificent Himalayas.

Darjeeling is accessible through Bagdogra airport, or from the railheads at Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri. A toy-train journey up is a fascinating experience. The best trekking months are April May and October-November. The simplest treks here are for a day, but a longer trail is detailed here.

Darjeeling-Phalut Trek
This is a popular trek for those who have limited time to spare. This trail offers spectacular views of Kanchenjunga and Everest and runs through picturesque tropical countryside. The first day's walk from Manaybhanjan to Tonglu is fairly steep and taxing and zig zags all the way up to the hamlet. Tonglu is well located and offers a breathtaking view of Darjeeling and the Kanchenjunga peak.

The second stage from Tonglu to Sandakphu passes through many steep climbs and steep descents till Kalapokhri. The last part of the hike to Sandakphu is a steep climb and takes about three hours to cover. Sandakphu offers views of Kanchenjunga and Mount Everest, which is only 144 km from here as the crow flies. From Sandakphu the journey to Phalut begins with a steep descent and then levels out, finishing with a steep zig zag ascent to the Phalut tourist bungalow. Located at the tri junction of Nepal, Sikkim and West Bengal, Phalut also offers good views of the mountain ranges of the eastern Himalayas. It is possible to return to Manaybhanjan from Phalut in one day's continuous walking of about eight hours. Alternately, the trekker can cover this distance in two days, breaking trek at Tonglu.

Season: April to May, October to November.
Grade: Moderate.
Duration: 6 days.
Stages: Darjeeling to Manaybhanjan 26 km by vehicle), Manaybhanjan to Tonglu (11 km), Tonglu to Sandakphu (22 km), Sandakphu to Phalut (13 km), Phalut to Tonglu (33 km), Tonglu to Manaybhanjan (11 km), Manaybhanjan to Darjeeling (26 km by vehicle).
Note: Rest Houses and Tourist Bungalows are available at all stages of this trek.

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