Sandakphu Revisited

Date of Journey: 27 December, 2008

Duration: 9 Nights 10 Days

Trail Length: 35 km

Highest Altitude: 11929 Ft. (Sandakphu)

Team Members: 9

Nilanjan Patra, Supratim Mukherjee, Avijit Sur, Manojit Ghosh, Sanjib Mondal, Kaushik Das, Abhishak Denre, Abhishak Kundu, Jit Banerjee

Guide: 3

Shyam Tamang, Jeevan Chetri (Mentor), Ram Charan (Driver)


Date: Dec, 27, 2008

Night stay: Train

Trail length:

Highest altitude:

On December 27th breaking our shackle of fear and unknown we put our first step into our long awaited desire of wandering. Everyone gathered at sealdah station for Tista-Torsa Express, which was scheduled to start for NJP at about 1:40pm.

Day 2: NJP TO Manebhanjan

Date: Dec, 28, 2008

Night stay: Hotel at Manebhanjan

Trail length:

Highest altitude: 7,054 ft

Train arrived at NJP station around 3.45am. After finishing our daily routine quickly at waiting room in station and with a light breakfast we went in search for transportation to manebhanjan.

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It took around couple of hours to reach our destination. After finishing our lunch we went for a walk to get familiarized with the climate, meanwhile we had our discussions for next day activities at Nepal. We went for an early sleep at night after a long day.

Day 3: Mabebhanjan TO Tumling

Date: Dec, 29, 2008

Night stay: Nila Di's Sikhar Lodge (Tumling)

Trail length: 12 Km

Highest altitude: 10131 ft

Manebhanjan - Chitre - Tonglu - Tumling.

This was our one of the best days of our trekking life as we encountered almost everything in this trail a rookie trekker could have ever dreamed of. Manebhanjan to chitre we walked through motor able road. Main point of attraction at chitre was an ancient Buddhist Gumpha where yearly food and clothes were distributed among all devotees and their families. dream wanderlust, nature, trekking, travel, sandakphu, tumlingHaving our lunch there we headed uphill leaving motorable road aside through densely foggy mountains. Forest was so quiet and calm only we could able to hear our footsteps. After walking for few hours we reached a small village called tongly, a cup of tea there given us refreshment of the day. We started afresh and moved towards Tumling, but on our final stage of our tail suddenly climate changed her nature with heavy snow fall. There were mixed reaction among us as we are experiencing snowfall for the first time still it was quite a fun. Soon this fun turned into nightmare as we were wet and exposed to extremely low temperature, soon we reached nila di's lodge. At night we tried Thumba (local Liquor), it was extremely delightful and very convenient for those extreme temperature. Dinner was equally good there.

Day 4: Tumling To Kalipokhri

Date: Dec, 30, 2008

Night stay: Village Stay in Kalipokhri

Trail length: 13 Km

Highest altitude: 10,203.4 ft

Tumling - Singalila Checkpost - Gairibas - Kalipokhri.

We woke up early in the morning to experience sunrise on mountain for the very first time, anxiousness given us just enough warmth to cope up with outside cold and bird view of kanchanjangha ranges added a different flavor in our trekking menu. dream wanderlust, nature, trekking, travel, sandakphu, kalipokhriSoon we marched towards kalipokhri in search for more surprises. On our way we came across Singalila Check post and there after gairibas. Trail from Checkpost to Gairibas was through intense forest with full of snow around on a shinning bright morning. Intense and vibrant colours all around us with cracking sound of pug marks on fully snow coved trail given us strange feeling of joy and happiness. By the time we reached Kalipokhri it was almost evening, spent that night in a village hut enjoyed some nice local food, homemade thumba, and followed by an intense performance from villagers with local music and dance eventually we participated in this celebration.

Day 5: Kalipokhri To Sandakphu

Date: Dec, 31, 2008

Night stay: Sunrise Lodge at sandakphu

Trail length: 4 Km

Highest altitude: 11929 ft

Kalipokhri - Bikebhanjan - Sandakphu.

Morning started with spectacular view of frozen Kalipokhri (Name of the sacred lake) under red sky. Lately we visited a sacred cave, which according to villagers those who went inside never came back, so we dropped our plan to sneak into it as we have lot many beautiful place left to see. dream wanderlust, nature, trekking, travel, sandakphu, sunriseAt around 9 am completing our delicious breakfast we stepped into our final hurdle to sandakphu top , even though it was only 4 km but still inclination was almost 45 degree. As we gather altitude in cloudy atmosphere beautiful frozen pine trees on either side of the road welcomed our presence. At around 2 pm we reached Sandakphu through Bikebhanjan where we had our last snacks finding it we realized we were starving so had warm Khichri (Indian food) along with omelet. Although we received some nice proposition from our fellow members to continue our grand feast considering our limited economy in mind we had to drop the plan. Afternoon was full with activities like playing volleyball with armies in army camp, as expected we didn't stand a chance, then a long walk uphill to feel the silence of nature. Extreme chillness compelled us to get back to our pavilion earlier than we thought, so we decided to have a candle light dinner with all the other travelers staying in that lodge, fortunately we managed to gather a good crowd of mixed nationalities. That was a spectacular night it's one of the best 31st night a team could ever dream of, hearing different viewpoint and experiences of different travelers in their respective life changed our perception of travelling forever. Blood boiling enthusiasm, determination, four woolen blankets with our existing warm cloths lost their battle with -20 degree ambient temperature hence we kept shivering throughout night.

Day 6: Sandakphu To Gurdum

Date: Jan 1, 2009

Night stay: Gurdum Village

Trail length: 14 Km approx

Highest altitude: 7185.039ft

Sandakphu - Gurdum

What we experienced following day morning was a mind boggling New Year surprise which can't be expressed in words. From Sandakphu viewpoint almost 270 degree majestic line of site where entire Himalayan mountain ranges were just in front of us Mount kanchanjangha in lead role followed Makalu three sisters and so on deep inside NEPAL and on the other side orange line on the furthest horizon of oceanic cloud decorating the path of new year daylight. dream wanderlust, nature, trekking, travel, sandakphu, gurdumSoon one among the White Mountain peak turned red (which was identified as EVEREST , light hits the highest one first) similarly on the other side a small red ball of fire was slowly emerging out melting white clouds. We couldn't move an inch for more than an hour looking at nature changing its color from red to yellow on either side. At around 9 am after completing our breakfast we moved towards gurdum village. This trail was comparatively difficult than what we had experienced so far due to its stiff downhill through singalila forest. One our way we were chased by wild yak somehow managed to get rid of it. Finally we reached gurdum at around 3 pm and we were so amazed to find that insanely beautiful village enclosed with mountains. Entire village was filled with orquideas and various flowers from afternoon to late evening we cherished its beauty. At night we had our best dinner in this trip.

Day 7: Gurdum to Srikhola

Date: Jan 2, 2009

Night stay: Srikhala Trekkers Hut

Trail length: 6km approx

Highest altitude: 6035.104987 ft

Gurdum - Srikhola

We woke up late as there wasn't any viewpoint due to its location surrounded by mountains. At around 10 am after finishing our breakfast it was the time to move on so we said good bye to this pretty village and followed the path to srikhola. Around 1.30 am we put our steps on srikhala Village. dream wanderlust, nature, trekking, travel, sandakphu, srikholaIt is situated on the bank of river srikhola, roaring sound of river is loud enough to keep everything under her control. We finished our lunch on a rock in the middle of flowing river. While having dinner at night we had our usual discussion and decided to visit pelling next day. At night we stayed in the haunted Srikhola Trekkers Hut. This hut was separated from the village by an avalanche so availability of power and water wasn't there hence we had to carry water and necessary items with us by crossing through avalanche.

Day 8: Srikhola to Mirik

Date: Jan, 3, 2009

Night stay: Hotel at Mirik

Trail length: 5km to rimbik rest by car

Highest altitude: 6035.104987 ft

Highest altitude: 7,200 ft

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From srikhola to Rimbik we walked for 45 mins there after we headed for Mirik by Ram Charan's Car. He is a knowledgeable person to provide us lot of valuable information about those places along with his lifetime experiences. On our way we have came across widely spread tea gardens of Darjeeling (Darjeeling Tea is equally renounced in international market as well). By the time we reached Mirik it was already evening, travelling time was almost 7 to 8 hours. While having our dinner we planned for Mirik side scene.

Day 9: Mirik to NJP

Date: Jan, 4, 2009

Night stay: Train

Trail length:

Highest altitude: 7,200 ft

Highest altitude: 7,200 ft

The main point of attraction at pelling is Khecheopalri/Khechuperi Lake holy to Buddhists and ancient Pemyangtse/Pemyangshi Monastery. So initially we went to Pemyangtse/Pemyangshi Monastery where we spend some valuable time observing and realizing ancient sculpture and architecture. There after we spent rest of the day at Khecheopalri/Khechuperi Lake. We finally hired a vehicle for NJP station which took few hours to our destination.

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