Sandakphu Trek – 2024
2 March to 9 March 2024
Sandakphu Trek is a very simple trek which offers a unique opportunity to sight FOUR OUT OF FIVE HIGHEST SUMMITS in the world, Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu and best views of Mt. Kangchenjunga. Mt. Kangchenjunga is also known as the “Sleeping Buddha” or the “Sleeping Shiva”, in this part of the world. Sandakphu (3,636 m. / 11,929 ft.) is the highest point of the Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling district of the state of West Bengal, India; on the West Bengal – Nepal border. Situated at the edge of the Singalila National Park, Sandakphu is a small village with a few hotels.
The heavenly experience of walking through the forest of blooming rhododendrons, giant magnolias, spruce and a wide range of amazing orchids is something you will find nowhere else. The trekking route passes through Singalila National Park which is another attraction of this trek. The park boasts rare animals like Red Pandas and Pangolins & a wide variety of birds. Watching the sunrise from the vantage point of Sandakphu is a mesmerising experience, never to forget. One can see the Mt. Everest massif in the Mahalangur range, in which the highest and the 4th highest peak, Mt. Lhotse, stand majestically. One can see the famous landmarks such as South Col, Lhotse Face very clearly with the help of powerful binoculars. We always have company of the Mt. Kangchenjunga Massif throughout the trek. It stands majestically on the borders of Nepal and India.
The Sandakphu trek offers one more unique experience of walking in India and staying for the night in Nepal. The trail continuously criss-crosses the international border of India and Nepal.
After getting down at Bagdogra Airport or NJP railway station; we get transferred to a small laid-back hotel in Kuresong for the night. The next day we drive to Maneybhanjang, the starting point of the trek. From here we trek to Tumling, which offers fantastic view of Mt. Kangchenjunga massif. After witnessing beautiful Sunrise, we trek to our next destination of Kalipokhari, the dark or black lake. The next day we trek to Sandakphu, the highest point in West Bengal. After watching the breath-taking Sunrise, we start our return journey and trek to beautiful village of Gurudum. After breakfast the next day, we walk a short distance to village of Srikhola, from where we will drive down to Darjeeling. The trek will be over after a day’s rest at Darjeeling.
Day 1: Bagdogra to Kuresong
Fly in to Bagdogra (126 m. / 412 ft.) – the only airport for North Bengal. Drive directly to Kuresong (1,458 m. / 4,864 ft.) (40 Kms) and check in at Hotel (L, D….). Stay in Hotel Cochrane or similar hotel.
Day 2: Kuresong to Tumling
Drive to Maneybhanjang (2,134 m. / 7,106 ft.) (43 Kms) Then trek to Tumling (2,970 m. / 9,744 ft.) 11 Kms. Around 5 to 5 ½ hours of walk. (B, L, D.) Overnight stay in Shikhar Lodge or similar lodge.
Day 3: Tumling to Kali Pokhari
Tumling to Kali Pokhari (3,186 m. / 10,453 ft.) 15 Kms. Around 6 to 7 hours of walk. (B, L, D.) Overnight stay in Tsong Lodge or similar lodge
Day 4: Kali Pokhari to Sandakphu
Kali Pokhari to Sandakphu (3,636 m. / 11,929 ft.) 8 Kms. Around 3 to 4 hours of walk. (B, L, D.) Overnight stay in Sunrise Lodge or similar lodge.
Day 5: Sandakphu to Gurdum Village
Sandakphu to Gurdum Village (2,239 m. / 7,346 ft.) 10 Kms. Around 3 to 4 hours of walk. (B, L, D.) Overnight Home stay.
Day 6: Gurudum Village to Darjeeling
Gurudum Village to Srikhola (2,103 m. / 6,900 ft.) 5 Kms. Around 1 ½ to 2 hours of walk. From here drive to Darjeeling (2,042 m. / 6,700 ft.) (60 Kms) and check in at hotel. (B, L, D.) Stay in Hotel Villa Everest or similar hotel.
Day 7: Darjeeling
Rest day in Darjeeling. Optional sightseeing can be arranged. (B, L, D.) Stay in Hotel Villa Everest or similar hotel.
Day 8: Darjeeling to Bagdogra
After breakfast drive from Darjeeling to Bagdogra (70 Kms) in 3 hours’ time. Catch a flight back home. (B….)
TOUR COST: (Ex – Bagdogra Airport / NJP Railway Station)
INR 57,000/- per person (On twin sharing basis) (Group of 14 paying paxs and above)
INR 59,000/- per person (On twin sharing basis) (Group from 8 to 13 paying paxs)
The initial booking amount for the tour is INR 19,000/-
1 Night in Hotel Cochrane or similar in Kuresong at the beginning of the trek. (On twin sharing FB Basis)2 Nights in Hotel Villa Everest or Similar in Darjeeling at the end of the trek. (On twin sharing FB Basis)
Accommodation on twin sharing basis during trek; in Tea Houses or home stays (These are not as good as in Nepal. They provide very basic facilities to stay.)
Arrival / Departure transfers from Bagdogra airport to Kuresong and from Darjeeling to Airport.
Private vehicle (Innova type SUV) with driver for 5 days. (Between Bagdogra – Kuresong – Maneybhanjang drop, Srikhola – Darjeeling to Bagdogra & One additional day for Sightseeing in Darjeeling) (4 to 5 people + Driver in a vehicle)
All entrance fees for the parks during trekking.
An English-speaking guide, Assistant guide (Depending on group size) along with necessary number of porters. (For the Sandakphu part)
Enough number of horses for 5 days trek or Jeep to transport the common luggage.
Daily wages for porter and guide along with meals and accommodation.
One sleeping Bag will be provided for the trek.
One duffel bag, 1 One-day backpack, cap and hip pouch. (One kit per person)
All meals 3 times a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) (As has been mentioned in the itinerary)
One Barbecue evening in Gurudum Village.
During trek, boiled purified water.
To and fro travel cost to Bagdogra Airport / NJP Railway Station.
Insurance Charges for any kind of insurance.
Emergency helicopter evacuation and any medical treatment cost.
Any expenditure of personal nature like drinks, mineral water, hot water for drinking, beverages, hot shower, phone charges, any tips to drivers, hotel staff, laundry, porters, Sherpas etc.
In the event of any delays due to flights, weather condition, Pandemic, Political or Social unrest – the entire cost of extra days like accommodation, food, extra transportation etc. will be required to be paid by the participant directly on the spot.
Any additional expense incurred due to any reason beyond control of Add-venture India and its associates; like change in itinerary due to Pandemic, flight delays, road blockage, landslides, bridge breakage and any other natural calamity or incidence like strike, curfew etc. on which Add-venture India and its associates do not have any control.
Anything which is not mentioned in the “COST INCLUDES”.
Govt. service tax applicable at prevailing rates. (At present 5%)
GENERAL INFORMATION OF THE TREK:
(As we want to give a clear understanding of the ground realities; we request you to go through all the information carefully and also request you to clear all doubts before booking the trek / tour.)
1. No visa is needed for Nepal entry for Indians. A VALID Photo ID like Passport / Driving License / Aadhar Card / Election card will be required for all Indian citizens. The passport should be valid for at least for 6 months after completion of trek.
2. Carry 3 coloured passport size photographs.
ABOUT THE ROUTE AND TRAVEL TO AND FROM MANEYBHANJANG:
1. Bagdogra Airport / NJP Railway station are the nearest entry points for Kuresong / Darjeeling.
2. We will arrange a transport to Maneybhanjang from Bagdogra Via Kuresong. In the return journey similar transport will be arranged from Srikhola to Darjeeling & then to Bagdogra.
3. We will use Innova or a similar SUV type vehicle. There will be 4 or 5 persons in one car along with the driver.
4. This whole travel will be in the mountainous region and will be subject to landslides and disruptions. The roads are winding and will be rough at many places.
5. Maneybhanjang is the place from where the actual trek will start. This is an easy trek. This trek is ideal for children above the age of 10 years, for beginners and first timers. We will be walking only for 4 to 5 hours daily. (On an average) On the trek we will reach the highest point of 3,636 mt. / 11,929 ft.
6. As the trek will be in high Himalayan ranges, the weather conditions will be unpredictable. Due to bad weather conditions sometimes some parts of the itinerary can need some change. Add-venture India reserves the rightto make such changes if needed and the decision of the group leader accompanying the group will be held final in such circumstances. In such circumstances we might have to compromise on guesthouses / hotels / campsites / itinerary and will have to adjust to the given situation. No refund of any sort will be given in such circumstances.
7. The hours of travel mentioned in the itinerary are to the best of our information. The heights of various towns mentioned are also to the best of our information.
8. During trek the luggage will be carried by porters / ponies / jeep and so only 15 Kgs per person is allowed.
9. Please avoid carry bags and hand bags.
LODGING AND BOARDING:
1. We will be staying in a 3-star hotel on twin sharing basis in Kuresong and in Darjeeling. This stay will be on full board basis. The cost includes 1 night stay before the trek and 2 nights stay after trek. But this can change if the itinerary changes due to reasons beyond our control. Extra payment will have to be made; in case we incur any extra expenditure.
2. On trek we will be staying in tea houses or guest houses available at that location. At some places we will also do home stays. These accommodations are very simple and provide basic facilities. Most of the guest houses will have common toilets, situated outside. Bathing facilities will not be available at most places. Rooms will not have heating facilities.
3. Three course meals will be served during the trek. The food served will be hygienic and basic. It is advisable to have vegetarian food as there are no refrigeration facilities available on the high camps. The menu will be fixed, as the food will be prepared in the tea houses.
ABOUT HEALTH PROBLEMS:
1. This trek takes us to high altitude which can create some problems for our health. We may experience some symptoms of high-altitude sickness like headache, loss of appetite, nausea, breathlessness, loss of sleep. Slowly everybody will get acclimatised to the high altitude. This may take a day or two depending on individual.
2. If a person does not get acclimatised properly then there will be a chance that some serious complications like AMS (Acute Mountain sickness), HACE (High altitude cerebral edema) OR HAPE (High altitude pulmonary edema) can develop.
3. Drinking plenty of water will help in acclimatisation. (Around 4 to 5 liters a day) Taking Tablet Diamox can help. (Ask your doctor before taking it. People allergic to sulfa should avoid it.)
4. “Health Certificate” – Everybody must have a health certificate from their doctors. It shall be addressed as “whom so ever it may concern” This is to certify that Mr. / Mrs. /Ms. ……….. is physically fit to undertake trek to Sandakphu, starting from date ………. He / She can undertake this high-altitude trek which involves a height gain to the altitude of about 12,000 ft. (Proforma will be given by us.)
5. It will be advisable to follow the instructions of the leader of the group.
6. Any expenditure incurred by us, for a particular guest due to any medical reason or any other reason or for any emergency evacuation, will have to be borne by that particular guest.
7. Add-venture India will not provide any type of insurance for any type of loss. It is highly recommended that everybody gets insured for travel and trek. It will also be very important that every member confirms that the insurance covers the helicopter evacuation if needed. Also ensure that the insurance policy will be valid in Nepal and for such a trek.
BOOKING CONDITIONS & FINANCIAL OUTLOOK:
1. In Nepal, Indian currency notes of 500 denomination are prohibited and should not be carried.
2. At the time of booking the guest will have to pay ` 19,000/- per person. This will be non-refundable. The trek / tour booking will be considered confirmed only after the client has paid the initial booking amount mentioned for that particular trek / tour along with the personal information form. This will be non-refundable.
3. 50% of the trek / tour cost shall be paid 45 days before the departure date and remaining amount shall be paid 30 days before the departure date.
4. Extra services and charges which are not included in “Tour Cost Includes” of trek / tour brochure such as rail and air fares, hotel bookings, and / or any other similar services will be confirmed only after receipt of 100% advance payment.
5. Booking will be considered confirmed only after all the booking conditions have been fulfilled. If any default takes place in the above said payment schedule, the booking will not be considered confirmed.
ABOUT EXTRA PAYMENTS:
1. Personal Porter charges: Normally the charges will be in the range of ` 1,200 to ` 1,400/- per day per porter.
2. Personal expenses like tips, mineral water, soft drinks, phone calls etc.
3. The trek / tour is made more comfortable by the hard work of our Sherpa staff. After seeing their commitment and hard work almost every time guests tend to ask about tips. The amount and whether to contribute or not, will be a voluntary decision and not mandatory.
4. Few guest houses may have battery (any battery e.g. mobile camera, handy cam, I pod etc.) charging facility but it will be available only after paying extra money.
5. Hot water bathing facilities will be available at some guesthouses on extra payment.
Our standard cancellation policy is as follows:
45 days before departure: 5% of tour cost will be collected as cancellation charges + Air Tickets cancellation charges. (If we have booked the air tickets)
45 to 30 days before departure: 20% of tour cost will be collected as cancellation charges + Air Tickets cancellation charges. .(If we have booked the air tickets)
30 to 15 days before departure: 40% of tour cost will be collected as cancellation charges + Air Tickets cancellation charges. (If we have booked the air tickets)
15 to 7 days before departure: 60% of tour cost will be collected as cancellation charges + Air Tickets cancellation charges. (If we have booked the air tickets)
7 to 0 days before departure: 100% of tour cost will be collected as cancellation charges + Air Tickets cancellation charges. (If we have booked the air tickets)
Note: If we have incurred any cancellation charges on any other service provided to the client, all cancellation charges for those services will have to be borne by the client; over and above the Standard Cancellation charges.
RISKS AND LIABILITIES:
1. Add-venture India, Mumbai will not be responsible for any changes in itinerary due to reasons, which will be beyond their control. Add-venture India, Mumbai will hold the right to make changes in itinerary, in case of reasons beyond their control. No refund will be given in such a case.
2. We do not include Mediclaim or any insurance fees in the cost. The client should get the insurance policy on his or her own.