ST/02: 04 days Neora National Park Trek To Rache la

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  • Max Elevation 3152 m. Views of Khangchendzonga and Chola Range
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Period: Nov to Apr
  • Best for flowers in bloom: Feb- Mar
  • Best for views: Nov

Himalayan forest Trek, through the uninhabited Neora Valley to the 3,152-m high Rechela Pass at the Tri-junction of West Bengal, Sikkim and Bhutan.

The Chola Range borders Sikkim and Tibet. This ridge with its 4700 M high fabled NatuLa and Jalepla passes, has been crossed by mule and yak caravans trading between India and Tibet from times immemorial. On the South of this range lies the RacheLa pass. This was the opening through which caravans of yore traded between India, Sikkim and Bhutan. At this spot was also held an annual fair. Here everything from Yaks to herbs, and prayer wheels to beads were exchanged. Rachela offers grandstand views of the Chola Range.

The Neora Valley offers, flora from the subtropical to the alpine, wildlife, and more than 200 species of birds. The return trek is via the picture postcard Rishi Valley.

The Trek begins and ends at Kalimpong. Pick up from Bagdogra, Darjeeling or locations in Sikkim can be arranged with overnight stop at Kalimpong.

We will pick you up from Kalimpong and drive you to Lava, 2100m, through pristine forests to spend one night at lava exploring the Buddhist monastery. On the second day, we will drive to the top of Hill 2400 m- where the jeep road ends to start our trek. Making a rapid descent to the Neora River Valley at 1650 meters, we walk through bio diverse virgin forests to steeply climb to our first camp at 2000 meters. On the third day we make an early start to enable clear views. Taking the steep forest trail, we will reach the 3050 meters high Rachela in just 2 ½ hours of steady climbing. On the return we divert to the Rishi River Val!ey, inhabited by the various friendly ethnic Lepcha, Nepali & Bhutia hillfolk.

Over two days we will be walking through lovely forests, cardamom plantations and picture postcard hamlets, for a nature and culture experience. The trek terminates, at the Changey Waterfalls, which drop for more than 200 feet, in three parts, one of which is a natural channel cut into a rock face. We return to Kalimpong on the fifth day to end the trek tour.


Day 01: Kalimpong- Lava, 2100 m


The 02 hrs drive is along the ancient trade route between India and Bhutan – once a mule track but now a paved highway. Climbing steadily from 1400 meters to 2000 meters, we will pass through the small bazaar town of Algarah,and Lava, 2100 m through some of the finest virgin forests in this region.

Lava is a small bazaar amidst forested hills. It originated as a halting place for trade caravans going to Bhutan. It was fortified during the Bhutan rule, and latter the British captured and destroyed the old fort. A Buddhist monastery of the same period has been expanded and is active. It is fast developing as a focal point for Eco-tourism.

Upon arrival check in at hotel/ guest house/ home stay. Explore the surrounding forests and visit the nature interpretation centre of thje Forest department. Take a tour of the Buddhist Monastery and attend evening prayers.

Overnight at Lava in hotel / guest house / home stay.

Day 02: Drive Lava- Zero Piont, 2500- trek to Alubari, , 2400 M ( Neora Valley)

Drive along a forest road to rech the road ending point ( also called Zero point) at 2400 Mtrs. We start our Nature trek by walking steeply downhill, through a variety of bamboo’s to Neora River at an altitude of I650 M. Thereafter we will trek for 03 hrs to the head of the valley through bio diverse sub Himalayan forests and flora, to our Camp at Alubari, 2300 meters. Overnight in camp.

Day 03: Trek Alu Bari – Rachela, 3152 m – LamPokhri, 2000 m ( Rishi Valley)

A 06 hrs Nature trek to the Rachela Tri-junction and thereafter down to the Rishi Valley. First a stiff climb to a ridgeline at elevation. 2600 M, followed by a steady climb along the ridge, through bamboo, Rhododendrons, Magnolia and other vegetation, takes us to the 3152-M, high Rachela Pass, and the Tri-junction. The trekking time is 3-4 hrs.

The Rachela pass at an elevation of 3152 M, is virtually the tri-junction of Sikkim, Bhutan, and Bengal. In the past it was the focal point for trade routes Standing at the treeless tri-junction, you see the old mule tracks, and four major ridges dividing the valleys of Neora, Rishi, Jaldhaka, and Rangli. Both the Chola Range and the Singalila with Mount Khangchendzonga are visible, including the passes of Chola, Natula, and Jalepla, opening into Tibet.

Start trekking down to the Rishi Valley, through forested slopes, to reach our Lam Pokhri, campsite, in 3.30 hrs. Overnight in camp, on the banks of this holy lake, at an altitude of 2000 M. ( near Mulkharga camp).

Day 04: Trek Lam Pokhri – Goltar Rodge 1800 m – Change Village, 1400 Mtrs.


Interesting 06 hrs Nature and culture trek through the upper reaches of the Rishi valley. The trail descends into deep valleys and crosses over two steep ridges. We pass through picture post card country, of forests, cascading streams, cardamom plantations, and friendly hamlets, The elevation varies between 1200 to 1800 M. We camp overnight in a small village with opportunity to interact with the locals.

Day 05: Trek to Changey falls. Drive to Kalimpong

A short trek of 3 ½ hours to the road head near Changey falls. We first descend to the Rishi Valley floor, and then view the Changey falls to finally climb up to the road head where we transfer to a jeep to drive back to Kalimpong via Lava in 2 ½ hours.





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