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Walking The Colorful Woods – A Rhododendron Trek To Sandakphu

rhododendron sandakphu trek

I had been wanting walk the Sandakphu trek route since a while. The aim was not to do it during the best time to visit Sandakphu, that is during one of the dry months when the sky is clear and you get great views of Sandalphu from multiple places on the trekking trail itself. My plan was to do this trek when the mountains are laden with rhododendron blooms. Ruchi also had liked the idea. So, after a gap of around 3 years, she too was ready again to put on her trekking shoes and head to the Himalayas. Her last trek was the Hampta Pass trek back in 2014.

Rhododendron Trek To Sandakphu
All geared-up & Ready for the rhododendron trek To Sandakphu

Sandakphu Rhododendron Trek

Being in the mountains is a feeling that is very hard to put to words. We felt the same happy feeling as we started our walk from the tiny village of Maneybhanjang, after a quick lunch of momos. We of-course registered ourselves first, at the guide & porter’s office in the village and paid our Sandakphu trek guide fee there. Then, we started our walk towards Chitrey, a small Nepali village with just 4-5 houses and our halt for the first night. The weather was foggy for most parts and all we were hoping for was a clear sky the next morning.

Chitrey village Sandakphu
Fog-covered Chitrey Village

Since there was still some daylight left, after a quick bowl of Maggi prepared by our ever-so-funny host Phunstok, we headed out for a walk to the village monastery. The monastery is a little downhill from our homestay so we had to retrace our steps for a hundred meters or so. This time, however, the walk was much relaxed and without our heavy backpacks.

Chitrey Monastery
Around the Chitrey Monastery
Around the Chitrey Monastery
Around the Chitrey Monastery

Chitrey To Tumling – A Colorful Trail

The previous night, it rained crazy. It was so heavy that we could not even see the water-tap right outside our room, through the window panes. It was absolutely fantastic weather to sleep, especially after a sumptuous dinner. We were already having our doubts about whether we will be able to start our journey the next morning. The rain was that crazy.

On the way to Tumling from Chitrey
On the way to Tumling from Chitrey

The day, however, was bright and beautiful. We decided to move ahead after a heavy breakfast. Our guide Sange too had come and by 9 AM, we were ready to leave. Unlike yesterday, we did not take the paved road today. Instead, immediately after leaving our homestay at Chitrey, go on the trail on the Nepal side.

Chitrey to Tumling, Sandakphu
Chitrey to Tumling, Sandakphu
Sandakphu Chitrey to Tumling
The train falls in Nepal while the road is in India
sandakphu rhodendoron trek
The rhododendrons had just started to bloom
sandakphu rhodendoron trek
For a little color change, Sandakphu Trek in April

It got windy and foggy, soon after we left Chitrey and then Upper Chitrey behind and reached higher. It became significantly tougher to go ahead with every step. But the views too kept getting better and better. Deep valleys on one side and dark gray meadows on the other – it at times seemed a little too surreal.

Far-flung Nepali villages
Far-flung Nepali villages
The rhodendorons are blooming
The rhododendrons are blooming
We took numerous breaks to enjoy the surroundings
We took numerous breaks to enjoy the surroundings

Sandakphu Rhododendron Trek – Best Time to Visit

The whole agenda of our trek was to see the trail in the colors of the rhododendrons and hence we had chosen to do this Sandakphu trek in April over October or the months after that. While for many, the best part of the Sandakphu trek was to be able to see the sleeping Buddha and we too would have loved to experience the same, we decided to leave it for some other time and chose to see the colors of the mountains this time around.

rhodendoron sleeping buddha
The faint sighting of the Sleeping Buddha

But as it turned out, we were a little too early in the trek. At least by a week, if not more. When we were there, the blooming had just started. To be honest, we were a little disappointed because of this but since there was nothing much we could have done about it, we decided to look at the brighter side. There was hardly anybody else on the trail. So we were able to actually enjoy being one with nature.

rhododendron trek
The colorful trail of Sandakphu
rhodendoron trek Sandakphu
Colors on the way
The colorful trail of Sandakphu
Our guide Sange leading the way

to be continued here!

13 thoughts on “Walking The Colorful Woods – A Rhododendron Trek To Sandakphu”

  1. That’s my guy. What a pleasant narrative. Makes me visualise the journey per se as I read it. I wish to have few rides with you whenever it could happen my bro.

    1. Thank you bhai. I am glad that you liked it. Plan a trip to this side of the country, be my guest and I promise to take you riding, to some pristine locations of the North East 🙂

  2. Enjoyed Reading The Blog, Really Explains Everything In Details, The Blog Is Very Interesting And Effective.
    Some might think that ditching all your modern comforts, friends, family and beloved belongings from back home sounds like misery, but there is something about travel is that infects most with happiness. Perhaps Its The Freedom Of being On The Road With No Deadlines Or
    Chores, Or The Everday Discovery Of New Destinations, Foods, Cultures And Friends, But Travel Is A Great Way To Realign And Find Balance In
    Your Life, Resulting In A Happier, Healthier You!!
    Thank You And Good Luck For The Upcoming Blogs.

  3. This blog is very much helpful..I gather lots of information about sandakphu-trek. I really want to go there to visit those beautiful places.

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