Darjeeling is one such hill destination in India which is a true wonderland for trekkers. Trekking in this north-eastern hill station is an experience of a lifetime which is just unparalleled. The place is blessed with some of the best trekking trails that will take you to places from where you can relish the stunningly beautiful views of the snow capped mountain peaks like Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjunga, to name a few. Trekking up the hill passing through the lush forests dotted with trees like rhododendrons, oaks, magnolias, ferns and chestnuts is very strenuous and challenging but the output is always rewarding. You will come face to face with the snow covered mountains with the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Himalayas. Simply speaking, trekking in west bengal gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy the natural glory at her best form.

Trekking spots 

 Sandakphu: It is the best and also the most popular trekking route that most adventure travellers opt for. Your trek begins from Darjeeling and ends at Sandakphu located at an altitude of 12,000 ft. You can hire a vehicle from the town till Mane Bhanjyang from where the actual trek starts. Upon reaching Mane Bhanjyang, you trek till Tonglu which offers splendid views of the twin peak of Mount Kanchenjunga and its neighbouring mountain ranges. From there, you trek to Gairibass, then to Kalpokhari, from Kalpokhari to Bikheybhanjyang (10,200ft). It is from here, all your physical and mental strength are put to test. You walk all the way up the steep hill passing through dense jungles of rhododendron and Magnolia trees. Remember, as you proceed climbing up the hill, air also gets thinner which adds more to the challenging trek. But, once you reach your final destination at Sandakphu, all your efforts are rewarded as you get to relish the nature’s pristine glory at its magnificent best. From atop this hill, enjoy the most breathtaking views of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest and other beautiful peaks like Mount Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Lhotse.

Phalut: Phalut is just 21 kms away from Sandakphu. You can start right from Sandakphu and the trek route is also relatively easier. Phalut also offers panoramic views of the Himalayan ranges and dense hills. From Phalut you continue your trek to Ramman, then to Rimbick and from Rimbick back to Darjeeling.

Trekking facilities and guides 
Darjeeling Hill Adventure Tourism Department located below the railway station makes all the arrangements for the trekkers. It also provides necessary equipments and kits that are required for such thrilling expedition. You can hire tents, foam mattresses, sleeping bags and other such equipments from here at reasonable rates. However, with the thrilling activity of trekking getting more and more popular in the hills, many tour operators in the hills have also come up to fulfil the requirements of the adventure seeking tourists. Many of them provide guides and other basic things needed for the trek while some of them even plan the entire trekking campaign for you, from providing accommodation to transport, food, equipments, etc.

Best season for trekking 
Basically, there are two different seasons ideal for trekking in Darjeeling. April-May is the perfect time to indulge in this activity as the weather is very refreshing with occasional short period showers. The best part is that this is the time when flowering plants high up at the hills come to full bloom.

Another best season for trekking in the hills is from October to November. It is the post-monsoon season when days are drier with clear blue sky. You can enjoy picture perfect views of the mountains, hills and valleys around this time. However, as the temperature varies from minimum 1° Celsius to maximum 6° Celsius especially in the higher parts of the hills such as Sandakphu and Phalut, it is highly advised to carry warm clothes along while trekking.

So, if you have immense zeal for this adventure sport and are ready to take any challenge that the steep hills might put in front of you, then a visit to the ‘Queen of Hills’ is an inevitable part of your life.

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