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Trekking in Eastern Himalayas
Bhutan Chomolahri Base Camp
Bhutan Druk Path Trek
The Singalila Ridge Top Walk
Nepal around Annapurna
Nepal Mustang Trek
Nepal Everest Base Camp
North Sikkim Kanchenjunga Base Camp

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The Singalila Ridge Top Walk

Trek Highlights

The trek on the Singalila Ridge is widely acclaimed as one of the classic walks of the Himalayan foothills, giving panoramic views of the world’s third highest mountain, Kanchenjunga 28168 ft /8586 m, her satellites, and on a clear day, Everest herself. The walk essentially follows a well-defined ridge that is more elevated than the other foothills that lie between it and the main Himalayan range. Sunrises and sunsets are particularly spectacular.

This itinerary has everything you could possibly want - touches of luxury in old fashioned hotels of character, brisk exercise in the Himalayan foothills on a classic trekking route, a ride on Darjeeling’s world-famous mountain railway and some interesting road journeys.

Darjeeling

Straddling a ridge in the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya at 7,592ft/2,134m and surrounded by tea plantations on all sides, Darjeeling has been a popular hill station since the British established it as an R&R Centre for their troops in the mid 1800s. The industrious Brits, not averse to mixing a little business with pleasure, recognized that the quality of the soil and the mild climate were ideal for tea cultivation and the forested hill slopes were soon denuded of their cover and planted with this most lucrative revenue earner. These days, people come here to escape from the heat and humidity of the North Indian plain. You get an indication of how popular Darjeeling is from the 70 or so hotels recognized by the tourist office and the scores of others which don't come up to their requirements. Here you will find yourself surrounded by mountain people from all over the eastern Himalaya, who have come to work, to trade or - in the case of the Tibetans - as refugees. Mother Teresa spent her early years as a nun here, with the sisters at Loreto Convent and Lawrence Durrell was educated at the prestigious St Joseph's College.

Kalimpong

Kalimpong, 74 km east of Darjeeling and 72 km north of Siliguri, is a bustling and rapidly- expanding, although still relatively small, bazaar town set among the rolling foothills and deep valleys of the Himalaya at an altitude of 4,100ft/1,250m. It was once part of the lands belonging to the rajas of Sikkim, until the beginning of the 18th century when it was taken from them by the Bhutanese. In the 19th century it passed into the hands of the British and thus became part of West Bengal. It became a centre for Scottish missionary activity in the late 19th century.

Until the outbreak of the Sino-Indian war in 1962, Kalimpong was one of the most important centres of Indo-Tibetan commerce, with mule trains passing over the 10,827ft/3,300m-high Jalepla mountain pass. The Kalimpong-Jalepla road was the largest all-weather route between the two countries. With relations improving between India and China, Kalimpong will probably lose its trans-border business to Gangtok, in Sikkim. The main crops grown locally are ginger and cardamom. Kalimpong division was once densely-forested, but widespread tree felling has left large areas denuded. There are still some areas where tracts of forest still stand, including along the left back of the Teesta River and in the environs of Lava and Richila.

Kalimpong's attractions include three gompas, a couple of solidly-built churches, a sericulture centre, orchid nurseries and the fine views over the surrounding countryside.

Route Chart

Delhi - Bagdogra – Darjeeling – Maneybhanjang – Meghma – Kalapokhari – Sandakphu – Molley – Phalut – Rammam – Rimbick – Kalimpong – Bagdogra - Delhi


Day by Day Itinerary

Day 01: Arr. Bagdogra – Drive to Darjeeling

  • Overnight Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer from Bagdogra airport to Darjeeling. The drive takes four to five hours, firstly through a few tea plantations and jungle and thereafter up into the foothills above the Indian plains.
  • Overnight at Hotel. .

Day 02: At leisure in Darjeeling.

  • Today you will be free to relax and explore this fascinating town.
  • Overnight at Hotel.

Day 03: Drive to Maneybhanjang and trek to Meghma. (8,793ft/2,680m),

  • Drive about 1½ hrs to Maneybhanjang.
  • From here you begin the trek. The trail passes quite steeply uphill on a good path through evergreen forest and bamboo glades.
  • You stop for lunch at Chitray (8284ft/2525m) where there is a 70-year-old monastery, belonging to the Nyingma-pa sect.
  • You continue uphill for about 2-3 hours until you reach camp at Meghma.
  • Today’s walk should take around 5 hours.
  • Camp overnight.

Day 04: Trek to Kalapokhari. (10,453ft/3186m). 5-6 hrs

  • From Meghma it is a beautiful walk along a well-defined undulating path with views of Kanchenjunga at every bend. The path goes past tiny settlements and the little village of Kanyakatta to Kalapokhari.
  • A fairly easy walking day of about 5-6 hours.
  • Camp overnight.

Day 05: Trek to Sandakphu. (11,926ft/3,636m). 5-6 Hrs.

  • You begin by trekking 4 kms to Kalapokhari. This is a crystal lake, surrounded by pine trees.
  • Then you ascend for about another 4 kms as far as Bikhebhanjang (10,978ft/3,346m). You will now reach the magnolia and rhododendron forests around Sandakphu, from where you will get a magnificent view of some of the world's most magnificent mountains, including Everest on a clear day, Kanchenjunga and Makalu.
  • Camp overnight.

Day 06: Trek to Molley. 5-6 hrs. 14km.

  • The trail follows along a ridge through chestnut, oak and silver fir, with commanding views of the Himalaya all along the route. Molley is a small village in the alpine-like forest.
  • Camp overnight.

Day 07: Trek to Phalut. (11,808ft/3,600m). 5 Hrs. 8kms.

  • This is a fairly easy walk to the tri-junction of Sikkim, Nepal and Bengal. This is the main and best viewpoint for the spread of mountains to the north. The afternoon is free to explore or just gaze at the mountains.
  • Overnight camp.

Day 08: Trek to Rammam. (8,396ft/2,560m). 5 Hrs. 12km.

  • A gentle walk in a hidden valley, passing through the villages of Gorkhey and Samaden en route. This is an easy descent, with the weather getting warmer with the decrease in altitude. There should be orchids and a full range of spring flowers in view.
  • Overnight camp.

Day 09: Trek to Rimbick (7,498ft/2,286m). 6 Hrs. 18km.

  • For the first 9 km or so this trek is along fairly level paths until Sirkhola, a well-known bird-watching centre.  From here the path begins a gentle gradient down to Rimbick, the largest town in the area. It is possible to see Darjeeling from the town.  Camp overnight.

Day10: End Trek, drive to Kalimpong.

  • It is a fairly long drive back to Kalimpong (approx 7-8 hrs) and you will arrive after a lunch stop at Sukhia.
  • Overnight at Hotel.

Day 11: Drive to Bagdogra, fly to Delhi

  • Again an interesting drive descending from the foothills to the Indian plains. Plenty of monkeys in the forest near the Teesta River and wild elephants are not unknown in the jungle fringing the hills. (4-5 hr drive).
  • On arrival in Delhi you will be transferred back to the Hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or perhaps go shopping in the emporiums around Connaught Circus.
  • Overnight at Hotel.
 
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