ST/01 : 04 to 07 Days Kalimpong Nature & Culture Treks

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Description

Sikkim & Darjeeling Trekking Adventures

   

   

We provide fully serviced treks with good camping equipment. Our trek leaders are experienced, efficient and reliable. All speak English.

Wholesome meals, varied cuisine and caring service are the basis of our personalized service.

Local guides, sherpas, yak men and porters are handpicked from local villages to provide reliable service.

TOUR DETAILS

Kalimpong- Samthar- Neora Valley treks

This is a trek based at the Samthar Farm House, far from crowds. at a comfortable altitude with easy walking trails. Explore the remote mountain countryside. Forests, river valleys, ethnic hamlets, and terraced cultivation. Meet people in their homes and fields. Minimum 04 days. Includes sightseeing at Kalimpong. River rafting , and para gliding available as add-on.
Trek tour starts & ends at Kalimpong. Pick up from Bagdogra/ New Jalpaiguri/ Darjeeling, Gangtok or other locations in Sikkim with overnight stay at Kalimpong can be arranged.

Also available

  • Version1: 05 nights /6 days
  • Version 2: 04 nights/5 days
  • Version 3: 03 nights/ 4 days
  • Version 4: 02 nights /3 days

Trip summary

A fascinating Nature, culture and village lifestyle exploration tour in the Kalimpong region. Walk through remote hamlets inhabitant by Lepcha, Nepali and Bhutias who live in harmony as an integrated community, even though they are practicing Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.

Stay for 06 days in 04 different atmospheric home stays and support Responsible Village Tourism Project Awake & Shine which includes a Primary School at a remote Himalayan village. Daily treks along easy village trails at an average elevation of 1500 m. Forests, terraced cultivation, temples, ethnic homesteads and stunning views. A chance to meet people, in their homes and fields, and support a cause, whist staying in comfort,also included is sightseeing at Kalimpong.

 

ITENERIES

Day 01: Bagdogra- Kalimpong, 1400 m ( or pick up from Darjeeling/ Gangtok/ W Sikkim)

kalimpong

    

Arrive Bagdogra. Met by car with driver.

Drive 80 Kms in 2.30 hrs through the scenic Teesta River Valley. In the last 14 kms the road ascends to the “Raj” hill station of Kalimpong – perched on a ridge at 1400 m.

Check in at home stay/guest house / hotel.

Kalimpong, is an exotic town of beautiful people, mystical and enchanting? Ruled by Bhutan for 155 years, and annexed by the British in 1865, it was developed as a center of the wool trade with Tibet. This trade flourished until the Chinese took control of Tibet, in the 1950’s The Lepchas, who were the original inhabitants, were subjected to Bhutanese, Tibetan, British, and Nepalese influences. A gentle and docile people, they have almost lost their identity, and are now called “The vanishing tribe”. However history has left behind a fascinating ethnic blend of Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepalese people. Here Buddhism rubs shoulders with Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. Gumpas, churches, temples, monasteries, monks and missionaries; all coexist in a jovial and tolerant society. Flower and orchid nurseries, colonial bungalows, churches of the “Raj”, and Buddhist monasteries are there to explore. A quaint bustling bazaar, is a Pandora’s box of surprises? Kalimpong is a wanderer’s delight. Buddhist tankhas, hand beaten silver, Bhutanese weaves, Chinese lamps, hand crafted paper, Lepcha daggers, Nepali Khukaris and Buddhist masks, are some of the shopping attractions. The Wednesday and Saturday “Hat”, or village market, brings together people from surrounding areas, selling an amazing variety of products.

In the evening take a walking tour of the interesting bazaar. Overnight at your hotel./ Gurudongma House.

Day 02: Kalimpong

Walking cum car tour with guide, visiting Buddhist Monastery and view point, Catholic Church designed like a Buddhist Gompa, Hindu temple, Flower and Cacti nurseries, Hand- made paper factory, Dr Grahams homes , Daleo Hill view point, and more.. Explore the bazaar.

Available on request:

Para Sailing trip for birds eye view of Kalimpong and surroundings
2-3 hrs river rafting trip

Overnight at home stay / guest house / hotel.

Day 03: Kalimpong, 1400 m – Lava, 2100 m – Lolegaon, 1700 m: drive cum trek to Samthar, 1400 m

   

Drive 35 Kms, in 1.30 hrs along old trade route to Tibet passing through virgin forests to Lava, a small bazaar and village, at an altitude of 2100 m amidst forested hills. It originated as a halting place for trade caravans going to Bhutan. It was fortified during the Bhutan rule, and captured and destroyed by the British during the Anglo-Bhutan War. A Buddhist monastery of the same period has been expanded and is active.

At Lava you can view the Rachela Pass, which opens into Bhutan, and visit the Monastery.

Drive 6 Kms through forests to Budhist Gompa, 1700 m to start your 3 hrs trek, through hamlets, terraced cultivation, forests cascading streams to terminate at a village bazaar, 1600 m from where you drive just 9 kms to the heritage forest to start Trek 2. Enjoy nature at its best, and see the incredible variety of flora. After a picnic lunch and a visit to over 100 years old heritage forest, take a short down hill trek, descending from 1900m to 1600 m, in 02 hrs. Walk through the heart of the forest, to a forest Village, cross a mountain stream, and reclaim your car, for the last 06 kms to the Samthar Farm House, 1400 m. (www.Astonishingindia.com > Sikkim & Darjeeling> Samthar Farm house)

Scenic and relatively remote, The Samthar Valley, at an elevation of 1500 Meters, is surrounded by forested hills, mountain streams, and terraced cultivation. The inhabitants are a blend of various ethnic groups-Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepali. The original Lepcha tribals lived in the valleys. They were woodsman, and utilized the forest resources to live off the land. Knowing no religion, they worshiped nature spirits. When the Bhutanese ruled this land, many were converted to Buddhism. Latter the British rulers brought in Christian missionaries, who converted some of them to Christianity. Hinduism arrived with the Nepalese settlers, who taught the Lepchas to farm the land. Today the ethnic groups are fused together in harmony. They have adopted Nepali as a link language, yet maintained their diverse cultural identity. It is an ideal place to peep into lifestyles of this fascinating hill community. It also has diverse flora, well-developed mountain agriculture, forests, and river valleys.above all it offers breathtaking views of the Panorama of snows.

 

The Samthar Farmhouse is an old Lepcha house built of stone and timber, converted by General “jimmy” Singh for comfortable living, whilst maintaining its ambience. It has a lovely nature garden with scenic views.

Day 04: Samthar Valley Village Lifestyle Trek

   

Early morning sunrise views ,Weather permitting, you see the entire panorama of snows – Khangchenganga group of peaks, Simvo, Siniolchu, Lama Anden, Chomoyomo, and Paunhari, and then in an easterly arc the passes of Chola, Natula, and Jalepla, leading into Tibet.

After breakfast, your local guide will take you by village paths for a exploration of the valley, with its mixed Christian Lepcha and Hindu Nepali hamlets. Pass through forests, terraced cultivation and homesteads.. Meet people in their homes and fields, visit Awake & Shine Primary School and get a glimpse of rural lifestyles. Divided in two parts with lunch at Samthar farm House the trek takes 04 hrs. Overnight at The samthar Farm House.

Day 05: Samthar- Khola Gari trek

Day trek to the Lower samthar valley called Khola Gari . A steep descent through terraced farm land and forests dotted with homesteads. Mountain streams flow down to the valley to join the Samthar River. Khola Gari is located on a shelf spread out just above the Samthar River. It is a mixed community of Lepchas and Nepalis who are mainly agriculturist growing paddy, millet, buck wheat, maize, vegetables and oranges. You have a chance to visit households, meet the people and enjoy a local meal. In the afternoon take a steep trail to climb out of the valley and return to the Samthar farm House by a different route. The overall walking time is about 4 hrs. Overnight at the Samthar farm house.

Day 06: Samthar- Yang Valley trek

Day trek to Yang Valley to visit over 100 years old Yang Gompa ( Lepcha temple).

Terraced cultivation, good views, forests and ethnic homesteads. 4-5 hrs trekking with picnic lunch. Return to Samthar farm house for overnight.

Day 07: Trek Samthar – Teesta Valley – Drive to next destination

Today you will exit the Samthar Valley by trekking down to the Rilli Valley. The trail descends steeply from 1400 m to 300 m in 04 hrs to reach the confluence of the Rilli and Teesta rivers. Crossing the Rilli over a log / suspension bridge, or by wading across, you will cross the the Teesta River over a bridge recently constructed on the dam site.

Transfer to your car and drive to Kalimpong (45 minutes) / Darjeeling (2.30 hrs)/ Pamayangtse in Western Sikkim ( 4 hrs)/ Gangtok( 3.30 hrs) / Siliguri ( 1.30 hrs) / Bagdogra airport ( 2.30 hrs) / New Jalpai Guri Rail station ( 2.30 hrs).

Alternative: Drive to Bagdogra in 03 hrs. Option is along fair weather road usually open Nov to March ( May be Oct and Apr also ?)

Modified Versions

Version1: 05 nights /6 days: Delete Day 6

Version 2: 04 nights/5 days: Delete Day 1 & 2 ( start from Kalimpong)

Version 3: 03 nights/ 4 days: Delete Day 1, 2 and 6 ( Start from Kalimpong)

Version 4: 02 nights/ 4 days: Delete Day 1,2, 5 and 6 ( start from Kalimpong)

END OF TOUR.

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