I've Uncovered A DIY Trek In West Bengal That Has The Best Views Of The Kanchenjunga

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Chatakpur Tiger Hill Trek

Photo of Chatakpur Tiger Hill Trek by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

If you are looking for spending a weekend trek amidst the a refreshing and unexplored jungle trail, then Chatakpur to Tiger Hill trek should be definitely be on your list. Chatakpur Tiger Hill Trek will take you on an enchanting jungle trail through the lovely and isolated village of Chatakpur and all the way to the Tiger hill while passing through the alluring Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary. And the bonus is the wonderful view of the Kanchenjunga and Everest peaks from the Chatakpur watchtower. Believe me, the views of the mountain ranges are totally out of the world.

Photo of I've Uncovered A DIY Trek In West Bengal That Has The Best Views Of The Kanchenjunga 1/1 by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)
Source: Wikimedia

The trek passes through the beautiful organic orchards and dense forests to reach the Tiger hills. From the Tiger Hill, you will get a breathtaking view of the Darjeeling town. And if the weather is clear, then you can get the magnificent views of the Kanchenjunga ranges. From the Tiger Hill, the trek goes downhill to Darjeeling passing throughthe pretty Senchal Lake and the charming Ghum Monastery.

Photo of Tiger Hill Sunrise Observatory, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Trek Route:

Day 1: Sonada to Chatakpur

Time Taken: 2 – 3 hours

Distance: 7 km

From Siliguri, take a car to reach Sonada. At Sonada, you have to enter the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary. There is a well-marked trail by the Forest Department towards Chatakpur. There is a jungle trail that reaches all the way to Chatakpur village. You will be definitely enchanted by the silence of the forests only to be disrupted by chirping of birds. The trail passes through organic farms and orchards and finally meets a motorable road. This is the road by which you can visit Chatakpur by road. The trail gradually ascends to Chatakpur. On reaching, you will encounter a picturesque village among lavish green forests.Chatakpur is a perfect place for nature lovers. It is a small village consisting of around 20 families. There are a couple of homestays where you can spend the night. If you want to camp here, then prior permission is required from the Forest Department. You can get fabulous view of the Kanchenjunga ranges from here. You will be greeted not only the views of the mountain ranges, but also by the chirping of the beautiful Himalayan Birds.

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of I've Uncovered A DIY Trek In West Bengal That Has The Best Views Of The Kanchenjunga by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

After reaching Chatakpur, you can spend the rest of the day walking around the village and enjoying the nature. There is a watchtower at Chatakpur where from you can get the views of the mountain ranges.

Photo of I've Uncovered A DIY Trek In West Bengal That Has The Best Views Of The Kanchenjunga by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Day 2: Sonada – Tiger Hill – Chowrasta (Darjeeling)

Time taken: 7-8 hours

Distance: 20 km

The best way to start your day at Chatakpur is by viewing the wonderful sunrise over the snowy Kanchenjunga ranges. The watchtower is located just 10 km ahead of the village from where you can get the grandiose view. After fulfilling your senses of watching the sunrise, start your trek towards the Tiger Hill. From the watchtower, there is a dense forest trail that will take you to Tiger Hill through the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary. You have to reach the adjacent forest ridge – that is the Tiger Hill, your destination for the day. It is an uphill trek of 7 km and takes about 2 to 3 hours. Be aware that there are multiple trails towards the Tiger Hill and you can easily get lost in the forest paths. So it is recommended to take a local guide with you.

Photo of I've Uncovered A DIY Trek In West Bengal That Has The Best Views Of The Kanchenjunga by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Flora and Fauna at the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary:

The dense canopy of the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is also the house to a variety of wildlife and birds. You would be actually amazed to see the diverse birds during the first couple of hours at the trek. You will see birds like the Himalayan Bulbul, Blue magpie, warbler and the Verdant Flycatcher are quite commonly seen. As for wildlife, if you are lucky enough, then you can view the Great Himalayan Black Bear, mountain leopard and the barking deer. Don’t, worry, these animals are of rare sight, but it is always advisable to remain careful.

Warbler | Source: Flickr

Photo of Senchal Forest, West Bengal, India by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

At the last section of the climb, you will view the green stretches of Tiger Hill. As you reach the Tiger Hill, you will get a panoramic view of the snow clad mountains and the river valley below. You will see the Kanchenjunga ranges dominating the entire scene. You can also see the Everest, Makalu, Pandim, Kabru, Kumbhakarna ranges. It is such a rewarding view after the trek.

Photo of I've Uncovered A DIY Trek In West Bengal That Has The Best Views Of The Kanchenjunga by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Spend some time at the Tiger Hill and then start your trail downwards towards Darjeeling. The path is an easy downhill trail and you will soon reach Jorebungalow and come across the motorable road. You can take a jeep to Darjeeling if you want to. Otherwise, the trek to Darjeeling is very picturesque through oak and rhododendron forest. You will also come across the serene Senchal Lake. The trek will finally take you to Jalapahar and then down to Chowrasta.

Photo of I've Uncovered A DIY Trek In West Bengal That Has The Best Views Of The Kanchenjunga by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Trail type: The trail is well-marked and follows the jungle trail.

Duration: 2 days

Base Camp: Sonada

Photo of I've Uncovered A DIY Trek In West Bengal That Has The Best Views Of The Kanchenjunga by Amrita (Tale of 2 Backpackers)

Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit is from October to April. Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary remains close from June 16 to September 15.

December and January are the best time to view the snow clad mountain ranges as the weather remains clear during that time.

How to reach Sonada, the base camp:

Nearest Railhead: New Jalpaiguri (NJP)

Nearest airport: Bagdogra

From Bagdogra or NJP or Siliguri, you can take a shared jeep towards Darjeeling and get down at Sonada.

1 Comment(s)
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Hi Amrita, Thanks for sharing a DIY trek. Can I do this on my own in December.
Mon 11 27 17, 02:49 · Reply (1) · Report
Hi Anusha, you can do this trek in December. But it is recommended to take a local guide.
Tue 11 28 17, 01:04 · Report