Sandwiched between the Eastern Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal, the state of West Bengal is home to over 90 million people. The fourth most populous state of the country still emanates the ghost of the East India Company through its glorious architecture and vibrant culture. Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal also served as the capital of the British Raj for many years. From the snowy cover of the mountains, dense green forests, crowded cities, historical villages and towns to the glittering blue sea, West Bengal has it all. Offering all kinds of thrilling experiences, the state is a paradise for adventurers. Ideal for trekking, these are the 5 best treks that West Bengal has to offer:
1. Sandakphu Trek
Providing one of the most gorgeous views of Mt. Everest, Khangchendzonga, Makalu and Lhotse from the highest peak of West Bengal, Sandakhpu peak, at 12,000 feet, Sandakhpu trek is fun and less challenging than the other trails. Going through beautiful valleys filled with orchids, pretty rhododendrons, pines and spruces, the trail also traverses through the Singalila National Park providing a most stimulating experience. Ideal from the months of April to June or September to November, this trek takes about 7 days to cover.
2. Singalila Ridge Trek
Running towards the majestic presence of Mt. Khangchendzonga towering at 8586 metres, the Singalila Ridge Trek is the most picturesque of all the trails. Beginning close to Darjeeling and going through Sandakphu, Phalut and the Singalila Peak at 3695 metres, which is the highest point of the ridge, the trail carries on towards the beautiful region of Kalimpong. A short and easy trek of 6 days, the Singalila Ridge Trek offers a gentle experience with the Himalayan mountains.
3. Neytham Holy Cave Trek
A fun trekking experience combined with pleasant views of the grandness of Mt. Kangchendzonga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Kabru, and many other surrounding ranges is provided by the Neytham Holy Cave Trek. Generally beginning from the Bagdogra airport or by a train ride to Labdang Gurung Heritage village, this trek leads to Lhari Nimphu Holy cave, which is a small paradise itself. Further it heads to Dhoopi and Borong Hotspring. Going up to Rabangla, and then from there a short drive to Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri culminates this short and sweet trek. Lying in both Sikkim and West Bengal, this trek lets you experience the lush greenery and beauty of both the states.
4. Bamonpokhri Jungle Trek
Beginning from Garidhura, which lies 30 kilometres from Siliguri, this trek goes through the dense reserve forest of Bamonpokhri jungle with the Rungsung River flowing just beside it. Coursing through the gorgeous tea gardens with a cacophony of chirps in the air of a wide variety of birds, the trek is short, easy and provides a refreshing experience.
5. Phalut Trek
Starting from Sandakphu, Phalut trek is a 21 kilometres long trail till the final destination of Phalut. The terrain is easy to walk and the starting and end points lie at the same altitudes, making them the two highest peaks of the Singalila range. Taking you through a dense forest of pines, spruces, oaks, chestnuts, with the sweet scent of magnolias and the shrubs of rhododendrons wafting in the air, this trail offers a magnificent view of many of the highest peaks in the world like Mt. Everest, Mt. Kangchendzonga and several other snow-capped beauties of the majestic Himalayas. This trek can be covered in about 6 days from Darjeeling.
The land of greenery and at the same time a crowded urban site, West Bengal is well known for its natural beauty, exotic wildlife, wild adventures and hidden sites waiting to be explored. The above 5 treks give a thrilling and unique experience of West Bengal.