Singalila to Sandakphu Trek is one of the popular trekking routes encompassing the areas southwest of Dzongri. We trek several days along the Singalila Range, the lesser mountain chain that rises from the northern hills of Darjeeling and extends to converge with the Kanchenjunga massif.
The Singalila range demarcates the western borders of Sikkim and Darjeeling with Nepal. As we trek through this razor-edged borderline ridge, spectacular views abound on both sides with rare species of rhododendron in bloom (at the right season), and an occasional herd of yaks with its herder will be our only source of contact along the trails for quite a number of days.
Arrive at the Tribhuwan International Airport where you will be welcomed by Trek Himalayan
representative and transferred to your Pre-booked hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free until evening
when you’ll enjoy a welcome drinks with your guide and introduce to each other. Overnight in
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning to begin your city tour of Kathmandu. You will
visit Pashupatinath temple, a Hindu pilgrimage site, and possibly view cremation ceremonies along the
banks of the Bagmati River, Boudhanath, and the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal & continue drive to
Patan Durbar Square to take in ancient Nepalese architecture and end your tour after a lunch. Then, you
will visit the Patan museum. Overnight in Kathmandu
After breakfast you will be transferred to Tribhuvan Domestic Airport for the flight to Bhadrapur. Upon
arrival at Bhadrapur airport you will be driven to Gangtok along the river Teesta through the SikkimBengal border town of Rangpo. The drive takes about 4 hours. Check in hotel in Gangtok and relax.
After early morning breakfast you will go local sightseeing tour of Tashi view point, Ganesh Tok and
Hanuman Tok, Rumtek Monastery, Droul Chorten, Research Institute of Tibetology, Directorate of
Handicraft & Handloom & back to Hotel or Lunch on the way. After lunch you will continue sightseeing
to Ban Jhakri falls, Ranka Monastery and flower show. In the evening you may stroll around the market
area. Overnight in hotel
Today we make an early departure from Gangtok by jeep to the trekking starting point in West Sikkim.
We drive through winding roads across valleys and over hills donned with a variety of flora. We swoop
down to cross the wild Rangeet River before climbing steeply up to Pemayangtse (2,100 m.), situated
dramatically on an airy ridge with a panorama of Himalayan peaks ahead. After crossing some
spectacular bridges to the road-head at Uttarey (2,000 m.), we spend our first night in a trekking lodge.
We thread our way up and over the highest reaches of the Singalila Ridge, which forms the border
between Sikkim and Nepal. We may meet the occasional yak herder along the trail. We pass through a
rich forest cover, swathes of rhododendrons, open ridges, sacred lakes and remote passes. Our first day
takes us to Chiwa Bhanjyang. An easy trail follows gently through rainforest until a final steep ascent.
Overnight at camp
This is an attractive setting to acquire some essential early acclimatization. An excursion to the nearby
Singalila Peak at 3500m will give us valuable acclimatization and some excellent views of the
surroundings. Overnight at camp
A gentle uphill walk through forest and then over a more exposed hillside brings us to prayer flags
adorning our first pass and views of distant mountains. As we gradually gain elevation we will appreciate
the previous day’s acclimatization. The occasional yak herder’s hut is the only sign of habitation as we
look down far below to the rice fields and cardamom plantations. Our camp is in a remote and sheltered
hollow below the ridge.
Early morning wake up and we walk onto the ridge to have the spectacular sight of sunrise on both Mt
Everest and Mt Kanchenjunga. Throughout the day we descend and climb, maintaining a steady height,
spiraling from one side of the ridge to the other until a rough steep ascent takes us across a pass. Beyond,
the trail wends its way steadily through rhododendrons and past several Hindu shrines where a second
easier pass drops down to our camp close to a shepherd’s summer settlement. If we are lucky, we made
encounter Blue Sheep on the high craggy mountainside.
Today we walk easily on a good trail through forest until we begin a steady rise up a wide valley where
we catch our first closer view of the entire Kabru range dominated by Mt Pandim (6,691m). A further 2
hours of ascent will get us to our camp with Everest and a host of other Khumbu giants dominating the
distant skyline. Overnight at camp
Now we are in high mountain country and the forests lie far below. For the past two days we have been
walking in Nepal and today we pass the sacred lake of Lam Pokhari, which marks our entry back into
Sikkim. A little snow underfoot can be expected as we climb to our first pass, the Danphe Bhir La at
4,530 meters, the Pass of the Pheasant. From here it is possible to see the whole of Sikkim with the view
stretching out well into Tibet and Bhutan. A further hour’s contouring and a small ascent reveals the Kag
Bhir La (the Pass of the Crow) where we may be lucky enough to view a panorama of Himalayan peaks
including Kanchenjunga. Reluctantly, we then must head downhill making a steep descent to our riverside
for overnight camp
We leave our lovely meadow camp to climb through forests of sweet smelling silver fir and
rhododendrons. Soon we are in high mountain terrain again. Look out for the brightly colored Danphe
birds (Impeyan Pheasant), which nest in the high crags around the Kamsey La, 4,200 m. As we drop
down into the meadows of Kokling, we are already looking up at our next pass of 4,300 m. that we reach
with a steady ascent up a steep crag to a skyline dominated by the dizzying pinnacles and icy cliffs of
Kanchenjunga. Once again we end the day’s hike with a steep descent to our campsite by the Tikip Chu,
which has its source high on the Rathong Mountains. Overnight at camp
Today our route joins the regular trail up to the Goecha La. A steady climb through ancient fir forest,
juniper and rhododendrons gradually opens out to the summer pastures of Dzongri. Another high camp,
but we should be well acclimatized by now probably in contrast to some of the trekkers we meet who
could be on day 3 of their Dzongri Trek at 4,000 m., ‘the headache zone’!
Today we walk down hill to Kokchulang where we are likely to meet other trekkers making us look back
in retrospect towards really appreciating the peace and solitude of our last few days. We move easily up
the valley passing the busy trekkers campsite of Thangsing to our own riverside camp a short distance
below the Samiti Lake.
We walk steeply uphill to the crest of the ridge behind the lake and emerge dramatically into a harsher
world of higher Himalayan scenery. In the foreground glaciers and snowfields suddenly look accessible
and behind, the gigantic snow peaks loom close, especially on nearby Mt. Pandim, soaring over our
heads. We move on more easily through this spectacular alpine terrain into our final high camp nestled in
a sheltered green hollow, a little below the Goecha La.
After breakfast we make excursion towards the Goecha La which lies at almost 4, 940 m. During the
excursion we can see an awe-inspiring Himalayan landscape of tumbling glaciers, pinnacled ridges and
soaring peaks dominated by the mighty bulk of Kanchenjunga towering above, but the view from our own
‘summit’ is incredibly stunning. Then, we return to our high camp for a welcome breakfast. After
breakfast we proceed to Thangsing where the air feels wonderfully rich at just 3,600 m. We make a long
day of around 10 hours walking depending on how much time we spend for excursion at Goecha La.
Overnight at camp
Today we follow the traditional route back to the main valley. Tshoka is an enchanting little Tibetan
settlement perched on a mountain spur. It will be our first encounter on this trek with permanent village
life. Overnight at camp
Today we retrace steps towards Yuksum on the final day of the trek. The trek is easier as the trail is
mainly downhill. Overnight in hotel
After an early breakfast we drive to Darjeeling – popularly known as the Queen of the Hills. It offers
spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges including Mt Everest and Mt Kanchenjunga. It is famous for
tea gardens, breathtaking valleys and scenery. The route is scenic and the drive is enjoyable. Overnight
stay in hotel
Early morning wake up and make an excursion to Tiger Hill to view sunrise over Mt Kanchenjunga (if
weather permits). On the way back we visit Ghoom Monastery, Batasia Loop. After breakfast we begin
sightseeing tour of Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park & Himalayan Mountaineering Institute,
Tenzing & Gombu Rock, and Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center & Tea Estate. Afternoon we visit Rock
Garden & Ganga Maya Garden. Overnight stay in hotel
After breakfast we drive to Bhadrapur (India-Nepal border town) and fly back to Kathmandu. Rest of the
day you are free to relax or go shopping Overnight in hotel
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