Sandakphu Phalut Trek which is a trekkers paradise and also the highest peak in the state of West Bengal where we get to witness four of the highest peaks Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt.Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu. It lies on the India-Nepal border so all the camp sites are actually in Nepal. So i decided to trek through this scenic trail in winters with two of my friends.
How T0 Reach:
I travelled from Kolkata, so i took a overnight volvo to Siliguri and from Siliguri i took a shared cab towards Darjeeling where i was picked up by Nagen Bhaiya through whom i booked my trek and dropped at Gurdum.
The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP). Once you are at NJP you can easily get shared cabs to Darjeeling which costs Rs 150. From Darjeeling you can get shared cab to Sukhiapokhri and then from Sukhiapokhri to Maneybhajan via shared cab.
You need to reach Bagdogra Airpot, which is 11km from Siliguri. You can get shared cabs from Bagdogra to Siliguri and from there you can get shared cabs for Darjeeling.
Majority of the trekkers trek till Sandakphu and don't opt for Phalut but i would reccommend every trekker to include both in their itineraries to enjoy the vast landscape and the beautiful hidden villages beside Sandakphu. Though its a moderate trek but don't get overshadowed by the difficulty as its over 80km long and there's a part where it requires good stamina to walk for 21km a day for the trek especially in the winters when the conditions are really harsh.
Day 1 - Gurdum To Tumling (11km)
Day 2 - Tumling To Kalipokhri (13km)
Day 3 - Kalipokhri To Sandakphu (6km) , Sandakphu To Aahl and back ( 4-6 km )
Day 4 - Sandakphu To Phalut (21km)
Day 5 - Phalut To Gorkhey( 15km)
Day 6 - Gorkhey To Sepi (11km)
Things To Carry:
As i was trekking there at end of December, I knew conditions could really be challenging. So i carried 2 pairs of upper fleece, 2 pairs of bottom fleece, 3 pairs of trekking trousers, one down jacket, one waterproof jacket, 4 pairs of socks, pair of gloves, along with winter cap, ballaclava, pair of thermals, trekking pole and a sunscreen protector, sanitizers, medicines.
Guides and Porters:
Its mandatory to take a guide for getting a permit to enter Singalila National Park. You can hire a local guide at Highlander Guides & Porters welfare Association. Guide charge per day is Rs 1000 and for Porter is Rs 1100 per day. The guide will take care of everything for you let it be food or permits etc.