Phalut or Falut (3600 m) is the second-highest peak of West Bengal – India Part of the Singalila Ridge in the Himalayas, it is located at the border of the Indian states of West Bengal and Sikkim and the country of Nepal. It is located inside the Singalila National Park. A small bunkhouse is near the top of the peak and is administered by the Indian army. Singalila Pass is 17 km away from Phalut.
The indigenous tribes surrounding the mountain peak are known as Falutians by outsiders. Falutians have a 300-year history of worshipping the mountain peak and believe that Phalut is an omniscient god. They refer to the mountain peak as “Omna Re Ay”.
Singalila ridge trek is one of the oldest treks in the world to view the amazing Eastern Himalayan range. This particular ridge trek will not only allow you to see remote Indian Himalayas but also parts of Nepal. It is considered to be one of the most scenic trekking routes of the Eastern Himalayas offering panoramic views of the world’s highest mountains –i.e. Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga right till the peaks of Bhutan. The trek starts in the Sherpa village of Manebhanjang and from throughout the trek you weave in and out of Nepal, through the Singalila National Park, across mountain ridges and picturesque villages. If you are, a flora and fauna enthusiast then March/April is a great time to go to see the rich varieties of rhododendron and orchids.
The northern part of the state of West Bengal is covered by the Himalayas, which provide ample mountaineering and adventure sports opportunities. Those who are beginners or have relatively less experienced in the activity may go on the Sandakphu trek as it is quite easy. Look at the bewitching peak of Kanchenjunga from here before starting your mountaineering excursion. With this Sandakphu – Phalut trekking package, you get a chance to cross the border and enter Nepal and meander back to India while following the winding trail. During most of your journey, your eyes will feast at views of sky-touching mountains covered with snow. The trail will take you through forests of pine at lower altitudes, and those of oaks, deodars, pindrow firs and morinda spruces at higher elevations. On the way to Tumling, you arrive at a picturesque alpine meadow, offering views of mountains nearby. At several halts, scenic sunrises over the Himalayas will leave you spellbound, and the spell will only be broken by even prettier sights. From Tumling, you may also get to see the magnificent Mount Everest if the weather allows you. The final approach to Sandakphu peak will be the toughest due to the rapid gain in altitude, but also the most rewarding. Just as you reach the summit and look at the stupefying view, you will forget all about tiredness. Sandakphu – Phalut trek will bring a well-balanced ratio of easy and tough sections as the path will keep climbing and descending. All said and done, it is one of the easiest mountain expeditions that you can undertake in the region, and is perfect for you to get better at hiking. At your lodgings near the summit, you will enjoy a little felicitation to celebrate the ascent, and the next few days will be spent solely in hiking mixture of downhill & casual uphill. In Timburey, where your trip will end, you will have another round of celebration; this time with a scrumptious dinner, warming bonfire, and good music.
Sandakphu, being the highest peak in West Bengal, offers grand views of the world’s tallest peaks. Lhotse and Makalu, the fourth and fifth highest peaks in the world stand tall at 8,516m and 8,463m, trying to outdo the world’s tallest peak. But how can they? After all, the Everest stands between them, towering over everything!
On the other hand, Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak, stands with its family at 8,586m.
The Kanchenjunga cluster is famously called The Sleeping Buddha, thanks to its appearance. Mt. Kumbhakarna forms the head and face of Buddha, while Kanchenjunga forms the upper body. The other peaks that make up The Sleeping Buddha are Kokthang, Rathong, Frey, Kabru South, Kabru North, Simvo, Mt. Pandim, Tenzingkhang, Joponu, Narsing.
The route of this trek lies along the border of India and Nepal. In fact, one constantly moves in and out of Nepal during the trek. The mighty mountains, of course, know no boundaries. They stretch through Nepal, India, Bhutan, and further.
Do the Sandakphu trek in April for the rhododendrons
This trek can be done almost throughout the year save for monsoon months. But April is one of the best months to do the trek thanks to the rhododendron forests that burst to life!
Not just rhododendrons, you get to see hundreds of birds and other animals. If you get lucky, you could even spot the elusive red panda!
If you want clear mountain views, then choose autumn
The months of September, October, and November offer crystal-clear mountain views and you can enjoy the glorious sights of sunrise from Sandakphu and Phalut. If you trek later in winter, you can even experience fresh snow at Sandakphu!
Darjeeling – Tumling via Chitrey
Drive from Darjeeling to Chitrey (1Hr 2 0min) drive. From where it is a pleasant 7km walk on an undulating path and through stunted rhododendron forests passing meadows and meeting villagers with glimpses of Kanchenjunga all along the way to Tumling (2070m) which looks across to Darjeeling with views of Kanchenjunga.
Tumling – Gairibas – Kalpokhari
It’s a pleasant walk with continuous views of Kanchenjunga as we walk along a wide rough jeep track past the village of Tumling to the Nepalese border at Jaubari. Kanchenjunga appears at almost every bend making this walk even more delightful. Descend to the village of Gairibas village after which we climb for about an hour to Kanyakatta ( lunch stop) before continuing along the ridge on a gentle trail before the final short climb to climb to camp at Kalpokhari which scenically located by near a black (kala) lake ( Pokhari) at 3100 meters. (5hrs.)
Kalipokhari – Sandakphu
After a pleasant hour’s walk with good bird spotting potential till Bikaybhanjang (3346m) it is a further two hours and a steady pull up to Sandakphu. The jeep road winds up steeply and we take the shortcuts up this hill. The reward at the top is a remarkable panoramic view of Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse and the other, lesser peaks of Sikkim and eastern Nepal. From Sandakphu, there are remarkable sunset and sunrise views of Everest, Makalu, Chamlang and Kangchenjunga. If anything, the views from the Singalila Ridge are indeed the most special.
Sandakphu – Phalut
Early start for the short walk to a prominent viewpoint for the magnificent sunrise and then back to our camp for breakfast. Today’s trek is up to Phalut, this trek is on one of the most spectacular sections of the Singalila Ridge. Up and down, but never anything too demanding. There are ever-changing views of the snow-capped Himalaya to the north and North West. One of the finest day’s walking to be found anywhere in the world.
Phalut – Gorkhey
Say goodbye to the views of Kanchenjunga and the eastern Himalaya, as we descend for 5 hours – another beautiful day of walking through rich forests of Rhododendrons and Magnolias with great birdlife to Gorkhey.
Gorkhey – Timburey
Another wonderful walk as you pass several villages of different Nepali ethnic groups – the Rais, Tamangs, and Sherpas. Terraced fields and villages dot the landscape and smiling faces greet you as you pass through the villages. Descend to Sirikhola for lunch. Continue through forests and past villages to the picturesque hamlet of Timburey(2030m) 6 hrsGorkhey – Timburey
Another wonderful walk as you pass several villages of different Nepali ethnic groups – the Rais, Tamangs, and Sherpas. Terraced fields and villages dot the landscape and smiling faces greet you as you pass through the villages. Descend to Sirikhola for lunch. Continue through forests and past villages to the picturesque hamlet of Timburey(2030m) 6 hrs
Timburey – Darjeeling
After breakfast, it is a casual downhill to till Sirikhola, after you cross suspension bridge walk to till Sepi family run homestay. After refreshment drives back to Darjeeling.
Trek & Service Ends.
- 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