Kanchenjunga

Kanchenjunga

Kanchenjunga early in the morning viewed from Tiger Hill, Darjeeling, Credit: DC Assam

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Some trips stay with you forever for the memories you make, sceneries you witness, and how the journey makes you feel. If you are searching for a moderate trek route to explore in India, the beauty of Kanchenjunga awaits your footstep. 

Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world. The name means ‘The five treasures of the high snow’. With an elevation of 8,586 m, the Kanchenjunga rises in the Kanchenjunga Himal in the west of the Tamur River. 

Kanchenjunga is a superb holiday destination in the east Nepal region. The National Parks, natural beauty, and rich forest culture make Kanchenjunga worth a visit. 

Overview 

The third highest mountain range in the world is very sacred to the people of Sikkim. The name Kanchenjunga symbolizes the five treasures – Gold, Silver, Gems, Food grains, and religion of the people. 

Climbing the Kanchenjunga is not an easy thing. Mountaineers with years of experience face difficulties in reaching the summit. Even sighting the mountain can get difficult if you do not know the right time to visit. Most of the time, the snow-capped mountain seems invisible behind the clouds. But if the sky is clear, you can witness the peak from different parts of Gangtok.

Hanuman Tok

A Hindu temple located at a little height in Gangtok, the Hanuman Tok is the capital of Indian State Sikkim. By the name, it is a place to worship Lord Hanuman and also a viewpoint to witness the beautiful Kanchenjunga. 

Ganesh Tok

The main attraction is the Ganesh Temple with a beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga.

Tashi Viewpoint

It is one of the most popular destinations to witness sunrise and sunset. It is a favorite spot for tourists to understand the mountains closely. From here, the Kanchenjunga is visible clearly along with other monasteries of the Gangtok. 

Things to Do

As the mist creeps in, the lanes of Gangtok reveals their surreal self to the visitors. It is the home of snow leopards, Assamese Macaque, and the Himalayan Black Bear.

The silvery cascades cover almost every route to the Kanchenjunga. Tea estates, plantations, and a variant plant species attract adventurers from all around the world. If you are a true seeker of nature, you will end up loving every corner of the trip from sightseeing to trekking. 

Besides the Kanchenjunga expedition, read along to know the tourist attraction on the way to the Kanchenjunga peak. 

The Peace Pagoda

Peace Pagoda and Japanese Temple
Peace Pagoda and Japanese Temple

Mountains are known for the peaceful ambiance and disciplined lifestyle of the locales. The Peace Pagoda of Darjeeling adds a little more to the place preaching Buddhism and peace.

The slope of Jalaphar Hills is a short distance scenic beauty in the city of Darjeeling. It displays the four avatars of Lord Buddha including the Maitreya Buddha. 

It was built for over 20 years under the initiative of Nichidatsu Fuji. The place is open to everyone irrespective of caste, creed, nationality, and race with zero entry fee from 9 am to 6 pm.

The Ghoom Monastery

Ghoom Monastery
Ghoom Monastery

They say monasteries are the place for discipline that preach peace and order. 

Built-in 1875 by the lama Sherab Gyatso, the Ghoom Monastery is the largest in Ghoom. It is located 8 km away from Darjeeling. 

Locales believe the place where Buddha used to visit on his own. It has a 15 feet tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha that creates an awestruck scenic beauty amidst the mountains. 

From the rich historic background, it is believed that the Monastery preserves rare and precious handwritten Buddhist manuscripts since the old days. 

Anyone can enter the premises of the Ghoom Monastery without paying any fee from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening. 

Tiger Hill

Tiger Hill, Darjeeling
Tiger Hill, Darjeeling

You can hike or trek to Tiger Hill if you want to get the real taste of the mountains. Either way, it is a short drive from Darjeeling town. 

Tiger Hill is an amazing destination for sunrise and sunset with a majestic view of the Kanchenjunga. During the season, hundreds of visitors get up as early as four in the morning to see the beautiful sunrise from the hilltop. 

The wind at Tiger Hill is strong enough to make you shiver at any hour of the day. Since the route to the Hills is amidst the forest, it is safe to reach as long as the sun is up. With an entry fee within Rs. 50, your eyes can witness the lofty ranges in Darjeeling. 

Tea Plantation

Tea in Darjeeling is famous all over the world. Why keep the trip incomplete without visiting the tea plantations of Darjeeling?

More than 86 gardens are present in Darjeeling that is the real producer of the famous Darjeeling tea. Take a guide for an amazing trip to the tea estates and the process of tea making. 

The estates of this region are significant for the Terai and Dooars variety tea. All the varieties of tea are available in the region with a price of Rs. 5 to Rs. 10 depending on the size you are having. 

The place is a heaven to the Tea lovers at any time of the day. You only pay for the tea bill you consume as the entry is entirely free of cost. 

Batasia Loop

Batasia Loop, Darjeeling
Batasia Loop, Darjeeling

If someone talks to you about a morning in the cities and how alive it is, tell them what you witness in the mornings in Batasia Loop. 

By 9 in the morning, the shopkeepers of the area, with their little stalls wraps up at the quickest speed on the railway lines, making way to the Toy Train in the little loop. 

The railway track spirals around itself through a tunnel making way to the hilltop. Since its inception, it has been a tourist spot with fantastic scenic beauty without an entry fee. 

Kanchenjunga National Park

Kanchenjunga National Park, Sikkim
Kanchenjunga National Park, Sikkim

It is the largest national park in Sikkim covering a total of 850 sq km along with North Sikkim. 

The park is ecologically untouched which makes it a safe home for rare species of animals. Barking deer, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, and red panda are some of the animals which you can witness in the trip of the Kanchenjunga expedition. 

The beauty is not only confined to animal life. The Kanchenjunga National Park is home to rich vegetation of maple, oak, fir, birch, and willow. The alpine grasses, shrubs with higher altitudes give birds their own home. 

You will hear the beautiful sounds of the birds at the routes to the Kanchenjunga Mountain. Some of the famous species are blood pheasant, satyr tragopan, Himalayan Griffin, osprey, and some more. 

Whether your trip plans a trek or normal sightseeing, the Kanchenjunga National Park is a must-visit on the route. 

Kanchenjunga Falls

An hour or more drive from Pelling will take you to the twin cascade waterfall of the Kanchenjunga. The sound of waters fills the silence of the mountains from a nearby distance to the falls. 

It is a lovely sight to witness with the water flowing down the large granite rocks, down to the valley. On your way to Yuksom, stop by to see the beauty of the Kanchenjunga Falls.

Mount Siniolchu

Mount Siniolchu, close to the Kanchenjunga, stands tallest along with few others in Sikkim. The 6888m mountain is located near the Green Lake Area.

Author and Mountaineer Douglas Freshfield described the Mountain as ‘the most superb triumph of mountain architecture and most beautiful snow mountain in the world’.

Siniolchu is snow-capped almost throughout the year. Its natural beauty has mesmerized tourists, authors, and painters to relocate its charm into their artistry. 

Mount Pandim

Another breathtaking mountain that falls near the Kanchenjunga is Mount Pandim. It is one of the tall peaks of Sikkim with a height of about 22010 feet. 

You can get a beautiful view of the mountain from the Dzongri top that is close to the hill range. 

If you wish to explore the mountain, you can join the expeditions in April and May or in September. 

Mount Pauhunri

Sikkim is one of the dream destinations for mountain lovers. The border of Sikkim and Tibet features Mount Pauhunri at a distance of 75 km from Kanchenjunga. 

Though the range does not fall on the route of Kanchenjunga, explorers find it a must-visit place for at least once in a lifetime. The vegetation here is not similar to a regular mountain location. It is variant and diverse that you must witness with your own eyes.

Kanchenjunga Trekking Options

The Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek is a very famous expedition that most professionals look up to. It is a 26-day tour to the land of snow with continuous walking by your trekking stick. It covers a total of 220km, away from tourists and crowds or the locales.

You would need a local guide to trek to the Kanchenjunga to gain permission to the routes. The trek takes the trekkers to both the base camps on the north and south side of the mountain. So, take your friends to this snow land and adventure.

The Kanchenjunga Base Camp route passes via the Arun Valley, one of the most beautiful trekking regions in Nepal. It is also one f the highlight of the Kanchenjunga conservation area that covers a total area of 2035 kilometers.

Summary of the trek

You will begin the trek at Taplejung that is a 45-minute flight from Katmandu to Bhadrapur. From Bhadrapur, you have to take a jeep to Birtamod then to Taplejung. From there, the journey to the North Base Camp begins.

  • Day 1 to 3: you will arrive at Katmandu. Take a rest. Fly to Biratnagar and drive ahead to start the trek.
  • Day 4 to 24: The whole trek up to the Kanchenjunga Base Camps
  • Day 25 to 26: Travel back to Katmandu. You will get a spare day to rest then depart for your address.

A walk around the Kanchenjunga will visit you to the North and South Base Camps. The route begins by the Northern side of Kanchenjunga to witness the almighty Tent Peak, Cross Peak, and Nepal Peak before the Kanchenjunga ranges become visible.

Additional Points 

Prepare your trekking gears before you leave for the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek with all excitement. First, get a sturdy pair of trekking boots with sufficient winter wears. The wind might be a little harsh. Carry windcheater, fleece jacket, down jacket, thermal wear, trekking trousers, shorts, and 2-3 t-shirts. Gloves are optional depending on your cold tolerance. Do not forget the belongings and a decent rucksack for a comfortable trek.

Remember to stay hydrated while climbing the altitude. If you are trekking at night time, remember to carry headlights and be safe.

Best Time to Visit Base Camp

The best months to trek the Kanchenjunga Base Camps are from March to May and September to December. During these months, the weather is safe to travel.

March to May is usually summer on the plains. Mountains experience very pleasant weather during this time. Approx temperature revolves around 15 degrees Celsius. At night, the temperature may fall around 8 degrees Celcius.

From mid-September to Mid October is the autumn in the mountains – What poets and authors mesmerizing to sit and talk about life! You will witness the leaves brown waiting for the winter.

After mid-October, the temperature falls to 2 degrees or fewer during the day. Nights witness minus degrees with snowfalls.

It is advised or never treks or travels to the mountains during monsoon from the plains. There is a risk of landslides. The trails also get slippery, increasing the risk of injury and death.

How to Reach Kanchenjunga Base Camp

New Jalpaiguri is the nearest railway station approximately 150 km away from Yuksom. From the station, you can take a bus or car to Pelling or Gangtok from where you have to take a bus directly to Yuksom.

If you are traveling by air, take a cab from Bagdogra airport directly to Yuksom.

Conclusion 

Trekking in India is just catching its flavor. Some multiple routes and camps are awaiting the footsteps of explorers. Start the journey with Kanchenjunga to get a powerful experience and cherish the beauty of the mountains.  




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