Kanchenjunga Trek Day to Day Itinerary
Depart Home country
Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the Hotel for overnight stay
Fly to Bagdogra and Drive Darjeeling After breakfast, we drive to the domestic terminal of the airport. The flight to Bagdogra runs parallel to the Himalayas and if the weather is clear, we have views of all of the Himalayan giants; including Nanda Devi and Panch Chuli, and then all of the Nepalese 8000meter peaks; Dhaulagiri, the Annapurnas and Manaslu, Cho Oyu, Everest, Makalu and then the massive bulk of Kangchenjunga, just as we come in to land. From Bagdogra, it is a four-hour drive to Darjeeling. At first, we drive through flat rice fields and Assam tea plantations, before the road starts to climb into the foothills of the Himalaya. Darjeeling, built on top of a ridge, faces the Himalaya and is a popular tourist destination for Westerners and Bengalis alike. The thickly forested land was originally acquired by the British in 1833, who introduced tea growing and promoted the settlement as a Health Resort. 150 years on, Darjeeling is now a thriving and busy town but retains links to its past in the form of the remarkable and gracious Himalaya Hotel near to the city’s main bazaar. We spend the night at this comfortable hotel.
Darjeeling Darjeeling, situated at an altitude of 2,134m, was developed by the British as a hill resort to escape the heat and rains of the plains. In the 1840s, tea plantations were introduced in the area. At the center of the town is the Mall, Darjeeling’s commercial street, lined with souvenir shops which leads to Chaurastha, a square with a bandstand and several antique shops. The Observatory Hill is perhaps the oldest built-up site in Darjeeling. On Birch Hill to the north stands the Shrubbery, the residence of the Governor of West Bengal and further down along the Birch Hill Road is the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute previously headed by the late Tenzing Norgay. A museum displays the equipment used on the first successful expedition to Mount Everest. The nearby Zoological Park specializes in high-altitude wildlife – yaks, Himalayan black bears, pandas, but is also has four Siberian tigers. Below, the tea estate of Happy Valley is one of the best in Darjeeling and can be visited every day except Sundays and Mondays. Dominating the Mall is the Planter’s Club, where planters from all over the area meet, particularly on Sundays. The Lloyd Botanical Gardens were laid out in 1878 on land donated by the owners of Lloyd’s Bank. They present a collection of Himalayan and alpine flora. Nearby is the Tibetan Refugee Self- Help Centre with its temple, school, hospital and a shop selling carpets, textiles and jewelery.
Mount Kanchenjunga can be seen from Observatory Hill but a much better view of the peak is from Tiger Hill, 10 km south of Darjeeling. On the way back, you can stop at Ghoom, a small Tibetan monastery by the roadside, built in 1875 and housing a 5- meter statue of Lord Buddha.
Uttaray Transfer: Darjeeling to Uttaray (2000m). An early departure from Darjeeling by jeep to the trekking area in West Sikkim. Six exciting hours through winding roads across valleys and over hills clad with a variety of vegetation. We swoop down to cross the wild Ranget river before climbing steeply up to Pemayangtse (2100m), perched dramatically on an airy ridge with a panorama of Himalayan peaks ahead. After crossing some spectacular bridges on the way, we stay at Uttray (2000m). Here we spend our first night in a trekking lodge and meet local guides who will accompany us on our trek. Overnight in Lodge
Chiwa Bhanjyang Trek: Uttaray to Chiwa Bhanjyang – 6 / 7 hours (3295m). For eight days we thread our way up and over the highest reaches of the Singalila range, which forms the border between Sikkim and Nepal. We only meet the occasional yak herders as we are beyond permanent settlements. The name given to places around here however exotic it may sound to your ear, are basically associated with their purpose, such as high pasture passes and ridge point. We pass through a rich forest cover, swathes of rhododendron, open ridges, sacred lakes and remote passes. Our first day trek takes us to Chiwa Bhanjyang (3100m). An easy trail rises gently through rainforest until a final steep ascent for the last couple of hours bring us to the Nepalese border and our first camp. Overnight camping
Chiwa Bhanjyang Rest: Acclimatization Day – Excursion – 5 / 6 hours. This is an attractive setting to acquire some essential early acclimatization. A hike to the nearby Singalila peak at 3500m will give us valuable acclimatization and some excellent views. Overnight camping
Dhor Trek: Chiwa Bhanjyang to Dhor – 6 / 7 hours (3830m). A gentle uphill traverse through forest and then over a more exposed hillside brings us to prayer flags adorning our first pass and view of distant mountains – a taste of what is to come. As we gradually gain height 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 plantation. Our camp is in a remote and sheltered hollow below a ridge. Overnight camping
Pare Megu Trek: Dhor to Pare Megu – 6 / 7 hours (3965m). Rising just before dawn, a five minute walk onto the ridge may reveal the spectacular sight of sunrise on both Everest and 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 winds its way steadily through rhododendron and past several Hindu shrines where a second easier pass drop down to our camp close to a shepherd’s summer settlement. Look out for a blue sheep on the high craggy mountainside. Overnight camping
Lam Pokhari Trek: Pare Megu to Lam Pokhari – 4 / 5 hours (4100m). We walk easily on a good trail through woods until we begin a steady rise up a broad valley where we catch a closer view of the entire Kabru range dominated by Mt. Pandim (6691 m) . A further two hours of ascent will get us to our camp with Everest and a host of other Khumbu giants dominating the distant skyline. An afternoon of rest and acclimatization. Overnight camping
Gomathang Trek: Lam Pokhari to Gomathang – 5 / 6 hours (3850m). Now we are in the high mountain country and the forest 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 4530m , “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 camp. Overnight camping
Pangden Trek: Gomathang to Pangden – 7 / 8 hours (3900m). We leave our lovely meadow camp to climb through forests of sweet smelling silver fir and rhododendrons. Soon we are in the high mountain terrain again. Look out for the brightly colored Danphe birds (Impeyan Pheasant), which nest in the high crags around the Khmasey La 4200m. Overnight camping
Trek Pangden to Bikhbari – 5 Hours. The trail first ascends steeply for about an hour till we reach a crossroad. The trail on the left goes down to Zamlingang. We follow the trail to the right, which is a gradual till we reach camp. Overnight camping
Dzongri 7/8 hours (3990m.) Excursion to Chaurikhang and Rathong Glacier and Upon Return to Bikhabari Trek to Dzongri (7-8 hours)(Khanchnajunga Base Camp) It is a gradual ascent all the way to the base camp. This is the Kanchenjunga Base Camp, which is also the site where the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Darjeeling conducts its advanced mountaineering courses. You can get close views of Frey’s peak, Koktang, Kabur and Rathong. Return to Bikhbari and continue days trek to Dzongri. A steady climb all the way up to Dzongri. Early risers can get up before dawn to climb to a vantage point on a ridge above the campsite to watch the sunrise on Khanchenjunga, Kabru, Pandim, Rathong, and many other peaks of the Kanchenjunga range. Overnight camping
Lamune Trek: Dzongri to Lamune – 6 / 7 hours(4000m). After a slight gradual ascent at the start, we will reach a beautiful alpine terrain with massif mount Pandin and some other peak in front of us. We move easily up the valley passing the trekkers campsite of Thangsing to our own riverside camp a short distance below the Samiti Lake. Overnight camping
Goechala – (4940m) Trek: Lamune to Goechala – back to Thangshing – 7 / 8 hours. Today we begin well before sunrise in the clear cold morning air probably at around 3am to 4am. 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. Mighty Mount Kanchenjunga is always in front of you ! We move on more easily through this spectacular alpine terrain and after a final ascent reaches ‘Goechala’ — (the locked gate). Later straight back to Thanshing. Overnight camping
Tshoka – (3050m) Trek: Thangshing to Tshoka – 5 / 6 hours. Today instead of going back via Dzongri, w
Yuksom Trek: Tshoka to Yuksom – 5 / 6 hours. Our final trekking day; freewheeling downhill almost all of the time. We descend through rainforests rich with bird life and flowers, across spectacular bridges spanning cascading rivers whose sources are high in the mountains we have so recently left behind. Tired and elated we arrive in Yuksom. This will be our last evening with the trekking crew, so we will be celebrating our achievements, and a final thank you to the local staff. Overnight hotel.
Kalimpong Transfer: Yaksum to Kalimpong. After breakfast transfer from Yaksum to Kalimpong via Tashiding Monastery. A drive of about 5/6 hrs. Evening walk around the colourful town of Kalimpong. Located just 80 kms from the Airport and Railheads, at an altitude of 1,250metres, it has a moderate climate ranging from between 15°C to 25°C in Summer and 7°C to 15°C in Winter, offering year round comfort. Kalimpong was ruled by Bhutan for 155 years, and was annexed by the British only in 1865, after which it flourished as a centre of wool trade with Tibet. Here Buddhism rubs shoulders with Hinduism and Christianity. Monasteries churches, temples, monks and missionaries coexist in a jovial society. The quaint bustling bazar, is a wanderers delight, and a surprises containing Buddhist thankas, hand beaten silver, Bhutanese weaves, Chinese lamps, Lepcha daggers, masks etc. Kalimpong also famous for orchids and exotic flora, old colonial bungalows, and above all the panorama of snows.
Bagdogra Airport and Fly to Delhi. After breakfast transfer from Kalimpong to Bagdogra Airport a drive of about 4 hrs. Upon arrival board flight for Delhi. You will be met upon arrival in Delhi and transfer to hotel for over night stay or late night departure
Fly Onward destination. You will be transferred to the International airport as per your schedule International flight for homeward destination.
Arrival in home country
Travelers note: Each day we will try to have some free time so one is not always on guided tour. While we often eat meals together, they will not be pre-arranged which will allow us the flexibility to eat at local establishments or at more preferred hours. Hotels are subject to change.
I feel the monasteries of Sikkim are unlike any other.We learned a lot, had a memorable and exotic experience and loved meeting all the people we did! They all worked so hard to make our experience the great time it was, especially Yatish. Thank you for all your advice during the time we were arranging […]