Sikkim, one of the tiniest states in India but is definitely a prized Jewel. This is the home of the Khangchendzonga and many other holy mountains ranging from 5000 to 7000m+. Although a lot of people visit Sikkim to view its snow mammoths, what is also thoroughly enjoyed is the dense jungles filled with such diversity along the way. The Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary is a large forest that covers some 10 sq. km area home to several species of Rhododendron, Primula, Magnolia, Oaks, and Pine. It lies at an altitude range of 2200 to 4100m and supports an amazing variety of bio-diversity.
Walking through the sanctuary, one can encounter various kinds of forests: Sub-Tropical Forests, Mixed Broadleaf Forests, Conifer Forests, and Alpine Meadows. Hundred of bird species make this sanctuary their home. This is also the habitat of the red panda, which is a threatened species. This is a great small trip for people looking to just enjoy their time in the outdoors with some awesome forest topped with some stunning Himalayan scenery.
You may have heard that the views of Kanchendzongha are breathtaking from Barsey. You will get a full view of the major peaks of Sikkim including Pandim, Rathong, Kabru group (North-South and Dome), Kumbhakarna (Jannu), Tinchenkhang and more. All through this 104 sq, Km spread Rhododendron Sanctuary has more to offer than the high mountain views. According to Sikkim forest Dept (http://www.sikkimforest.gov.in/docs/IBA/sk1.pdf) it’s a vital corridor connecting the Kanchendzongha National Park (KNP, same as Kanchendzongha Biosphere Reserve) to its north with the Singalila National Park of West Bengal to its south. The gentle walk from Hilley to Barsey inside the pristine jungle is probably one of the finest in Sikkim. More than 250 cm of rainfall and above 2000 m of altitude makes the prevailing climate of this area wet and cold and hence proved ideal for its dominant floral genus Rhododendron to grow rapidly and diversify. April and May are the best months to visit this place if Rhododendrons, a lot of them, fascinate you. With the onset of spring Rhododendrons start blooming all around the terrain and stay till mid-May, till monsoon takes over.
When you visit a jungle, certainly you can expect to catch some of its wildlife. For birders, this place is no less than a paradise. This sanctuary harbours one of the elusive species on earth, the Red Panda. Consider yourself lucky though, if you come across one though. These shy creatures are not particularly fond of us, to say the least, and try their best to stay away from any kind of human interaction! If you want a relaxed family vacation away from the touristy crowd with a pinch of adventure spread over it, this trip might be just what you’re looking for. Staying in a simple village homestay or Trekkers Hut inside the jungle is certainly not a luxury but indeed positive gateway than usual ones.
Any trip rated as a ‘Beginner Trek’ is an ideal first step into the world of trekking in the Himalayas. The trips are short – generally under a week – in moderate altitudes with gradual altitude gain. A typical day will involve 4-5hrs of hiking on mountainous trails with an odd day over 6hrs. Most beginner treks in the Indian Himalayas are camping trips where overnight accommodation will be in tents. You will be accompanied by our camping and kitchen staff throughout the trip. In Nepal, all our stay and accommodation on the trail will be in tea-houses.
This trek suits individuals looking for their maiden trek in the Himalayas or families which want to introduce their young ones to trekking.
Arrive Bagdogra. Drive to Pelling (2100m) (6 to 7 hrs)
Drive Pelling to Uttarey (1850m) (1 hr). Trek to Chitre (2610m) (3 to 4 Hrs)
Trek Chitre to Kalijhar (3400m) (2.5 to 3 Hrs). Excursion to Phoktey Dara (3500m)
Trek Kalijhar to Achalay (3 to 4 Hrs)
Trek Kalijhar to Achalay (3 to 4 Hrs)
Trek Deoningali Dhap to Barsey (2750m) (4 to 5 Hrs)
Trek Barsey to Hilley (2600m) (2 to 3 Hrs). Drive to Kalimpong (5 -6 Hrs)
Drive Kalimpong to Bagdogra (3.5 hrs)
- Experienced English speaking guide.
- Transport to and from Darjeeling
- All necessary paperwork and permits in Mountain and National park (entrance and permit fees)
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
- Accommodation during the trek at guesthouse/lodge or family homestay
- Bed Tea
- Evening Tea
- Hot water for drinking
- Our guide will carry a comprehensive medical kit including high altitude sickness tablets
- Medical examination (if required) and vaccination costs
- Visa costs
- Personal expenditure i.e. soft drinks/beer on the trek, extra snacks for the trek.
- Meals in Darjeeling before or after the trek Travel insurance