Region: Darjeeling Himalayas
Duration: 13 Nights 14 Days
Destination covered: Delhi – Darjeeling – Yuksam – Bakkhim — Phedang – Dzongri – Bikhbari — Rathong Glacier – Kanchenjanga Base Camp — Delhi
Altitude: 5000 m above sea level
Grade: Moderate plus
Best Time: June to mid October
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Arrive Delhi, where you will be met and transfered to your hotel. (Hotel B&B)
Day 02: Delhi – Bagdogra (by plane) – Darjeeling (2130m) by car.
Morning transfer to the airport to catch the flight to Bagdogra. Arrive Bagdogra Airport and drive to Darjeeling, charming 4-hour journey, through Assam tea plantations and tiny villages takes us to Darjeeling. Built on top of a ridge, Darjeeling faces the Himalaya and is a popular destination for Westerners and Bengalis alike. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 03: Darjeeling visit.
We could take an early trip to Tiger Hill to see the sunrise. Afterwards we visit the famous Ghoom monastery that enshrines an image of the Maitreya Buddha (the coming Buddha). Later on we can visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and tea plantations. Overnight in Darjeeling.
Day 04: Darjeeling – Yuksam (123 kms/6-7 hrs) (1780 mts /5838 ft)
In the morning drive to Yuksam via a beautiful valley. On the way you will find dense forest, lush green meadows, waterfalls and much more. Upon arrival at Yuksam set out camp for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 05: Yuksam – Bakkhim (16 kms/5-6 hrs) (3005 mts/9856 ft)
We walk gently uphill, following the Rathong River’s gorge, through dense mixed jungle with magnolia, rhododendron, ferns and several varieties of orchids, brightly colored birds, and the occasional monkey. After an hour or so we cross the Paha Khola bridge, (1,733 mts /5685 ft). There is a swimming spot by a waterfall (for those who dare!) after two hours, and we can stop for lunch by a bridge over stream. Passing by sweet melling viburnum we cross the Prek Chu River and then ascend steeply for two or three hours to arrive at the lodge at Bakhim. We will either stay in the Tourist Hostel, or sleep in our tents. This hostel is often occupied by Himalayan Mountain Institute students on rock-climbing courses. This is a long trekking day and you should expect to be pretty tired by the time you arrive at Bakkhim. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 06: Bakkhim – Phedang (5 kms/4 hrs) (3483 mts/11425 ft)
We begin today’s walk by trekking for about one hour up to the picturesque village of Tshoka. Tshoka is home to a colony of Tibetan refugees who have erected a small monastery by a small lake. A fairly steep climb above Tshoka takes you into beautiful rhododendron forests, and you continue along a well-defined uphill path to Phedang (approx. 2/3 hours from Tshoka). Today we will be doing a shorter trail since we will be gaining much altitude. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 07: Phedang – Dzongri (4 kms/3 hrs) (4030 mts/13218 ft)
Another short day’s walking today as we are now treading above the 4,000-meter mark. We will be setting up camp by lunchtime and suggest that you spend a relaxed afternoon acclimatizing. A brief climb beyond brings you to a meadow where we can pitch our tents in a campsite with views of Koktang, Rathong, Kabru, Kanchenjanga, Simvo and Pandim. As usual on trek the choice of campsite depends on many variables, one of the most important is the close supply of water.
You will get spectacular views of Khangchendzonga, Siniolchu, Kabru, Pandim, Jopuno, Koktang, Talung and Narsing. The trail from here levels up to Dzongri. Dzongri also offers you the most fascinating close up view of the Khangchendzonga massif and other Himalayan peaks. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 08: Dzongri (4030 mts/13218 ft)
Excursion to Laxmi Pokhari.
Early risers can get up before dawn to climb to a vantage point on a ridge above the campsite to watch the sunrise on Khangchendzonga, Kabru, Pandim, Rathong, and many other peaks of the Khangchendzonga range. Full day excursion to Laxmi Pokhari. The trial first goes through rhododendron bushes and pasture land for about an hour to Chamaray. From here it is a gradual ascent to Laxmi Pokhari, a big lake cupped in a deep crater. Here you will get good view of Khangchendzonga range, Pandim, Narsing, Kabur, Kabur dome, Koktang etc. If you reach Laxmi Pokhari early and feeling physically fit, an excursion towards Kabur rock will be a rewarding experience. Back to Dzongri. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 09: Dzongri – Bikhbari (12 kms/4-5 hrs)
The trail first ascends gradually for about half an hour & then descends till we reach a crossroad. The trail on the left goes down to Zamlingang. We follow the trail to the right, which is a flat walk throughout. Dinner and over night stay at the camp.
Day 10: Bikhbari (Excursion to Chaurikhang and Rathong Glacier (Kanchenjanga Base Camp)
It is a gradual ascent all the way to the base camp. This is the Kanchenjanga 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 from here. Return to Bikhbari. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 11: Bikhbari – Bakkhim
In the morning trek back to Bakkhim with packed breakfast. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 12: Bakkhim – Yuksam
In the morning trek back to Yuksam.
After lunch trek to Dubdi monastery, ‘the hermit’s cell’, which is situated on the top of a lofty hill one thousand feet above Yuksam. The fir-clad mountains behind provide a dramatic background. Founded by Lhatsun Chempo in 1701, it is the oldest monastery in Sikkim. After visiting the monastery descend to the site where the first King of Sikkim was crowned in 1641 by three lamas. Dinner and overnight stay at the camp.
Day 13: Yuksam – Darjeeling
After breakfast drive to Darjeeling. Evening free to explore the local market. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 14: Darjeeling – Bagdogra – Delhi
In the morning transfer to Bagdogra airport and from here catch a flight for Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi airport transfer to International airport to catch you’re onwards flight.