The most fascinating part of this Trip is Sandkfu Trek of 7 days . Overall ~74KMs , trails between India-Nepal-India, That was fun. Apart from Trek, There was plan for Bengal safari and Darjiling visit too , will come to this part at the end .
Trip Route Followed?
Pune->Bagdogra->Siliguri->Sandakfu Trek Route-> Darjiling->Bagdogra->Mumbai.
I had a flight from Pune to Bagdogra and stay was at Siliguri as I was having plan for Bengal safari.
Sandakfu Trek Itinerary was -> pickup from NJP railway station to Jaubhari-> Tumbling (~10Km)-> Kalipokhari(12km)->Sandkfu (7.5km)->Sabargram(12km)-via.Phulet -Gorkey (21km) ->Sepi (11km)
This is Moderate level trek and I think Must DO trek but yes you must be fit enough to walk 6 days with almost more than 10km. The main essence of this trek is the 5th and 6th day of trek. You can have glimps of essence through this video of sleeping Buddha.
Thanks to Kaushik and Sneha to suggest to do this trek with Indiahikes organization in Sep 2019, One of the best organizations I can say safely.
1st Day – NJP to Jaubhari
NJP – ‘New Jaipaiguri’ in the North Bengal and Jaubhari is in sikkim.
1st Day of Trek was to reach basecamp at jaubhari India. (there is Jaubhari in Nepal too). We started from Siliguri to NJP railway station ~12km via cab, both sides of road were full of tea estates. Mountains were popping up from clouds. In between we stopped by tea House for lunch and I noticed most of the homes nearby were having Bonsai plants, nurseries. , This Drive was ~5hrs.
After resting awhile, on tea time, we met with trek leader Gautam to collect all documents, rented gears, all trekkers Introductions,health card, created small groups with captain into it etc and then we got introduce with greenTrail with Yellow bag and a tiny instrument ‘Oximeter’ which stayed with us the whole trek for health checkup and yellow bags to collect plastics garbage on the way as much as possible which was quite an impressive thought by IH.
2nd Day-Jaubhari to Tumbling ~9450ft
Tumbling is in Nepal . Today was the first hiking day of trek of ~10km. Our daily schedule on trek was to have first tea (black/milk) then breakfast and then to start for hiking.
We started ~9 AM after basic warm up and the first 3 hrs was steep climb from beautiful dense forest and in addition we caught by rain which has added additional challenge to the trail .
Next remained trail was gradual ascend/descend/ lower walks. We reached ~4 PM to our tea house stay via Meghma village.Weather was still not good, everybody was tired and was not that happy because of rain, wet clothes/shoes, Everyone had leech bites but got to learn many things.
3rd Day – Tumbling to Kalipokhri (10400ft)
Finally, cloudy weather has allowed us to have some beautiful small moutains view . On the way you will find a variety of flowers, stupas and small waterfalls.
Towards the end of trail there was a kalipokhri lake which was in India and across the road we had homestay which was in Nepal .
After all refreshment ,few of us went to see sunset at 5 pm by that time it was whole dark.
Soup to Dinner Time we had enough chit chat , played few games and then after dinner we called for a Day and by 8 we were in bed.
4th day – Kalipokhri to Sandkfu
We started for our trek to Sandkfu which was 6 km and then 1.5 km to a homestay at Aal . There was view point to get first glance of all moutains . All were very excited to have that view .We had waited from noon to evening then Gautam had given us Demo of plugging unplugged of tents.
5th day – Sandkfu to sabaragram
This was ~12Km trek, walk to remember and to reach your destination. You will see the whole Kanchenjunga Range, seven sisters, Everest range. Luckily we got that view in the morning. Here is a small video for the same.
6th Day -sabargram to gorkey via. Phalut
Beauty of today’s day cannot be put in pictures or in words. You must see it and I think this was best season to feel this beauty of Phulet . This was a long walk through a long meadows . It was my first time to experience meadows for Kilometers and it was ravishing ,unforgettable.
Till gorkey village it was almost 21 km trek , last few hours you will be walking through dense forest and steep descent. As a result of the day , blisters to many people but nothing to worry , we were having Gautam .
7th Day – Gorkey to Sepi
While a stay at Gorkey , We took a walk Across a Gorkey river bridge to step in Sikkim .
Today was last day of trek via forest ,Ramam, samamden villages ~11 km. At the end of trek there is a srikhola bridge after which there was ~30mins walk on motor road to reach our lunch point and where we have called off sankdfu trek.
You can spent more days around in doing West Bangal safari, sikkim tour, Darjeeling sightseeing . I had planned for Bengal Safari before treks starts and Darjeeling after trek finished.
Unfortunately , Oct 2019 didn’t stop raining so safari was not done as very limited tourist and they won’t do safari if there are not more than 10 People. I am sharing below park rates and safari Timings.
I spent one day in Darjeeling to have a toy train ride.. I had booked ticket online but booked train got cancelled so bought ticket on the spot. It was ~2 hr journey till Darjeeling to ghum via Batasia Loop and back to Darjeeling station.. At ghum you have Museum which is basically toy train history and Batasia Loop is a small garden ,war memorial,flowers and it was introduced to handle some engineering requirement for the toy train to be able to handle a steep gradien. Honestly , if you had been to any other hill station and did toy train ride then you can skip this
You can Enjoy other places like Tiger hill point ,shopping, Singalila national park.
That’s set from my trip, I hope you it will help you to plan better.