5D/4N
Duration
Easy
Grade
5.5/10
Physicality
32 Km
Trail Length
3350 m/11000 ft
Highest Point

Bajre Dara trek:

Upcoming Bajre Dara trek dates: Starting on 18th and 25th Dec from NJP/Bagdogra (5 D/4N).

If a new and offbeat trail in Eastern Himalayas seems tempting to you, then Bajre Dara trek in Sikkim should top your bucket list. Moreover there ain’t many trekking trails in Sikkim, so this panoramic trail will surely be interesting to you.

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Bajre Dara Trek: Fresh Sikkim trail with great mountain views

 Itinerary: 

Day 1: Start from NJP or Bagdogra (latest by 9 am) and drive to Melliaching Gompa (1920 m) in west Sikkim, via Pelling and Darap – 150 km – 7/8 hours and trek to Pangreytar (1950 m)– 1.5 Km – 30 minutes. Camp.
Day 2: Trek to Bhanjyang (2250 m) via Goru Jurey – 8 km – 5/6 hours. Camp.
Day 3: Trek to Bajre Dara (3350 m)– 9 km – 6/7 hours. Camp.
Day 4: Trek to Khecheopalri Monastery (1970 m) via Bhanjyang and Lamathang – 15 km – 6/7 hours. Trekkers Hut.
Day 5: From here drive to NJP / Bagdogra – 150 km – 7/8 hours or to Pelling (if you have additional holidays) – 24 Km – 1 hour.

Note:

  • You need to arrive at NJP station/Bagdogra airport/Siliguri latest by 8 am on Day 1. While returning you will reach NJP/Bagdogra on Day 5, in 7/8 hours time. You may book your train/flight after 6 pm on Day 5 or later.
  • It may be convenient to arrive on Day 0 and get a good sleep for the night in Siliguri (the main city of Bagdogra/NJP) and then start fresh on Day 1. Similarly you can stay in Siliguri on Day 5 and move out anytime the next day.
  • Last ATM is in Pelling. Better to withdraw any cash in Siliguri or earlier.

About the trail:

Kanchenjunga dominates the skyline of West Sikkim, so is on this trail. In fact the view from the campsite is breathtaking. On a clear day, you can see the snow clad giants of Kanchendzongha massif, Kabru  North and South and Dome, Pandim, Kumbhakarna/Janu along with other peaks. You will see fairly close up views of Kanchenjunga and surrounding high mountains of Sikkim from Bajre Dara top and from many stretches of this pristine hiking trail.

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Bajre Dara: A fascinating trail in west Sikkim
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Kanchenjunga and Kabru (on left)) from Bajre Dara camp

Dara in Nepali means Ridge. Bajre means the place where thunder strikes frequently. Remnants of thunder stricken, burnt out, dead tree trunks still stand on top of the ridge from which the name Bajre Dara comes from.

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Thunder struck trees towards top

This ridge having its top elevation at ~ 3350 m/11000 ft. The trek starts from Melliaching, a quaint village, 17 Km away from Pelling town. On the other side of the ridge you can see the foot shaped Khecheopalri lake, nestled into the rolling hills. This sacred lake is believed to be wish fulfilling one.

On Day 1 you will reach Melliaching in a  7/8 hours drive from NJP/Bagdogra. The motor road goes till the monastery located at the top of the ridge above the village. From here we walk 15/20 mins on a gentle flat trail to our campsite Pangreytar. This is a beautiful campsite with fantastic mountain views during sunrise and sunset.

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Melliaching village: The last village on the way to basecamp
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Trek begins
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A resting place on the way with great views
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Pangreytar

From Pangreytar we will gradually climb to a hump called Gorujorey of which the last half an hour is moderately steep. From this point we will descend to our next campsite Bhanjyang nestled inside the forest.

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Valley view while climbing from Melliaching side
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Opening inside forest
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Foliage around Bhanjyang campsite

From Bhanjyang we have a moderate climb to Bajre Dara initially inside Rhododendrons and then through the bamboo forest. On a regular day it should take 6 to 7 hours to reach the campsite at Bajre Dara. Afternoon times can be often misty and foggy, especially in Sikkim/Eastern Himalayas. However morning views are usually clear with splendid views of Kanchenjunga and surrounding snowy mountains.

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Trail inside bamboo forest
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Fog engulfed in the afternoon.
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Sunrise from campsite

From Bajre Dara top we will descend to the other side towards Khecheopalri lake. We will take the same route till Bhanjyang and from here we will take a different route to get down to Lamathang village. After crossing a stream we will climb a short ridge to reach Monastery above the lake.

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Khecheopalri lake seen while getting down from top
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Cardamom plantation at Lamathang
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A small stream after Lamathang

The trek ends on the top of the ridge around 500 ft/150 m above Khecheopalri lake and just beside the Monastery called by the same name. Our Trekkers Hut is just beside the Gompa and you will get aerial views of the lake if you walk around. The motor road goes till Monastery and next day we will pass through the lake while returning on Day 5.

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Khecheopalri Gompa
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Trekkers Hut beside the Monastery
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Khecheopalri lake

So we hope that there are good enough reasons to choose Bajre Dara trail as your next trekking destination in Sikkim Himalayas.

 Bajre Dara trail: An option for  experienced or a newbie hiker: 

The best part is that hardly people are aware of this trail. Most possibly you won’t come across any other group apart from your team while hiking. This makes it different from common and popular hiking trails. According to the locals, Himalayan Black bear, Musk deer, Barking deer are not uncommon on this route.

Alike experienced hikers this trek is also suitable for beginners. Although you need to be in good physical condition to complete the trail comfortably. Its around 1400 m/ 4600 ft of altitude gain, split in two days of hike. Some parts of the hike includes narrow and steep climbs around Gorujurey, where you might have to scramble to negotiate the slope. Here is our complete list of Sikkim and Darjeeling treks to explore in eastern Himalayas.

 Altitude and distance profile graph for Bajre Dara trek 

Here you will get a pictorial representation of the trail for your understanding.

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Bajre Dara trek: Altitude and distances of major points

Best time for Bajre Dara trek: 

Being in Eastern Himalayas (Sikkim/Nepal border) this area observes longer monsoon. Clouds start to hover from April and prolong till October beginning. There are two distinct seasons when this year trek is particularly beautiful:

1) Spring/Summer for Rhododendron season (Mar to May): From mid of March to Mid of May. Flowering starts from early March in the lower elevation, and gradually towards end of spring on higher altitude. Rhododendron and Giant Magnolia are two most famous along with several other wild flower species. Cloudy or misty atmosphere is common during Spring. Though clear mountains views are not uncommon, specially during morning.

2) Fall/Winter for clear weather (Oct to Feb): From mid October to end of February. In the beginning of October clouds start moving out from this region and weather becomes clearer. November is  particularly known for its crystal clear views of the mountains.

From June to September, the trek is closed due to Monsoons.

 Reaching NJP/Bagdogra and to trek base Melliaching, West Sikkim: 

We will arrange a pickup  from NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri to Melliaching and a drop to NJP/Bagdogra. This will be shared by the team members on actual basis and to be paid directly to the driver. A Tata Sumo/Mahindra Bolero Jeep charges ₹ 7000 one way. One such car can accommodate up to 8 people. This cost is NOT included in the TREK FEE.

To reach the trek base Hilley the access in from NJP/Siliguri/Bagdogra. For details on how to reach nearest railways station/airport and move to trek base independently/public transportation check the details in GETTING THERE TAB. Here is an idea of the route to reach base camp Melliaching.

route-map-from-njp-siliguri-to-bajre-dara-base-camp-melliaching
Route map from NJP to trek base

 Permit requirements for travelling and hiking in Sikkim: 

Sikkim has some restrictions regarding travelling and special permits are a must to obtain for visiting different areas.

If you are planning for extended holidays/destinations in Sikkim then check complete guide for permits requirements in Sikkim. Note that even Indians need Protected Area Permit (PAP)/Special permits for visiting entire North Sikkim/Nathu La etc. and parts of East and West Sikkim. Also it will help those people who want to travel independently in Sikkim.

 (A) For Indian National: 

(A) For Indian Nationals: No special permit is required for this tour. Carry an original Photo ID card with address proof on it (Aadhar/Driving Licence/Voter ID/Passport but NOT PAN CARD) & 2 photocopies of the same.

 (B) For Foreign National including OCI: 

All foreigner (some relaxation to Nepalese and Bhutanese citizens) will require Inner Line Permit (ILP) which is recently renamed as Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to enter the boundary of Sikkim. This is issued Free Of Cost at Sikkim check posts while you enter Sikkim by road. This takes 15/20 minutes with the strength of your passport and valid Indian VISA. Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) has to go through the same process as of a foreign national.

Note: Diplomatic passport/ID card holders need to obtain a RAP/PAP directly applying to the  “Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. Of India”, through their embassy/high commission channel.

https://www.sikkimtourism.gov.in/Public/TravellerEssentials/pap

  • Nationals of Pakistan, Myanmar, Nigeria and China can only apply for ILP/RAP through Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.
  • Do carry multiple copies (both hard and soft versions) of your recent passport size photo and photocopies of your documents (Passport/Visa/ILP) to avoid any showstopper on mountains!
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Duration: 3 and a quarter days of hiking; NJP/Bagdogra to NJP  round trip in 5 days.

Prerequisite: Comfortable for experienced hikers. Beginners need to be physically fit to climb ~ 2000 m/6500 ft

Grade: Easy

Physicality: 5.5/10

Trail Length: 32 Km

Highest Point: Bajre Dara top 3350 ~ m/11000 ft

Seasons: March to May (Spring/Summer) for Rhododendron bloom. Oct to Feb for clear mountain views (Fall/Winter).

Further Option: From Khecheopalri lake you can hike to Yuksom in 5/6 hours time furhter continue on Sikkim Monastery trail.

Access: Trek starting and end points are at Melliaching and Khecheopalri lake, West Sikkim.

Rail station: New Jalpaiguri (STN Code: NJP)

Airport: Bagdogra (Code: IXB)

 Map:

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  • At present direct booking from website is disabled. You can get all the information in your email by submitting the Enquiry Form available on the page.
  • You need to reach NJP/Bagdogra on Day 1 morning (latest by 10 am) or the previous night. Return to NJP on Day 5 evening by 6 pm. Arrange your tickets for inward journey and return accordingly.
DEPARTURE LOCATION New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP)/Bagdogra airport
REPORTING TIME 10:00 AM for a prompt departure to Melliaching (Day 1)
RETURN LOCATION NJP/Siliguri/Bagdogra
RETURN TIME Approximately 6:00 PM (Day 5)
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How to reach Melliaching (The trek base):

Depending upon the trek members we will arrange a pickup and drop from NJP/Bagdogra/Siliguri to trek base and return. We will arrange the pick up and drop, you pay directly to the driver.

Typically a Tata Sumo/Mahindra Maxx/Bolero charges ₹ 6000 one side which can accommodate 6 to 8 people. This is NOT included in the TREK FEE and to be payable directly to the driver/owner.

Nearest Rail station: New Jalpaiguri (Station Code: NJP)

Nearest Airport: Bagdogra (Airport Code: IXB)

There is no direct or shared vehicle to the base camp. If you want to reach Melliaching by public transportation then you need to reach Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus/Payel cinema hall in Siliguri. Then take a shared jeep to Pelling. From here you need to reserve a car to Melliaching.

For the treks in Sikkim and Darjeeling , one has to reach the city of Siliguri (considered the corridor to the North-East) in West Bengal.

The nearest Railway Station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP), 5 Km from Siliguri and the airport Bagdogra is 10 Km.

You can fly or by train reach Siliguri from Kolkata ( good for the trekkers coming from South/central or Western India) or Delhi as per your convenience from any part within India.

Direct flights are available from New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore. All the flights to Bagdogra reaches late in the morning or early afternoon. It becomes difficult to reach the trek base like Yuksom/Hilley/Uttarey on the same day unless a car is booked (takes around 8 hours to reach). One can stay the night in Siliguri and start the travel to the trek base next morning. It is better to reach Siliguri by flight/train to Kolkata and then take an overnight train to NJP unless you are coming from northern India.

From Kolkata to Siliguri:

1) By train:

There are several overnight trains running between Kolkata (Howrah or Sealdah) to NJP. Day trains are also available.

From airport (Dumdum, CCU) , Sealdah railway station is 15 Km and may take 1 to 2 hours depending upon the time you travel. Howrah is 17 Km and may take up to 2 hours during the heavy traffic in the rush hours. Howrah and Sealdah are only 5 Km apart, though it may take an hour to travel. Pre Paid taxi booths are available.

DARJEELING MAIL – Train No. – 12343 (Very good option to reach NJP in the morning. Starts around 10 pm in the night and reaches NJP 8 am in the morning.)
PADATIK EXPRESS – Train No. – 12377 (Very good option to reach NJP in the morning. Starts around 11 pm in the night and reaches NJP 9 am in the morning.)
KANCHANKANYA EXPRESS – Train No. – 13149 (Starts at 8:30 pm in the evening and reaches NJP 7:30 am in the morning)
SHATABDI EXPRESS – Train No. – 12041 (Day train, starts 2:15 pm in the afternoon and reaches NP at 10:20 pm in the night. There are hotels/lodges outside the railway station at a walking distance of 5 minutes. Otherwise book an auto rickshaw/taxi to Siliguri, which takes around 15 minutes. There are several hotels around Siliguri Junction/Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus/S.N.T (Sikkim Nationalised Transport stand).

There are other trains also of which some run daily and some on particular days of week.

Avoid booking wait listed (WL) tickets in AC classes (1A/2A/3A) or Chair Car (CC). Book Sleeper class (SL)/Second Sitting class (2S) tickets which have normally more seats/berths and hence much better chance to get confirmed.

2) By flight:

From Kolkata(CCU)  take a flight to Bagdogra (IXB). From airport book a taxi to reach Siliguri which is 10 Km away.

From Delhi to Siliguri:

1) By Train:

Following trains are good to reach NJP and run daily.

DIBRUGARH RAJDHANI – Train No. 12424 (arrives NJP late in the morning @ 10:45 am)
NORTH EAST EXP – Train No. 12506 (arrives NJP @ 8:20 am in the morning)
BRAHMAPUTRA MAIL – Train No. 12424 (arrives NJP at 5 am in the morning. But this train runs late frequently.

Always avoid booking wait listed (WL) tickets in AC classes (1A/2A/3A) or Chair Car (CC). Book Sleeper class (SL)/Second Sitting class (2S) tickets which have normally more seats/berth and hence much better chance to get confirmed.

2) By flight:

From Delhi (DEL) take a flight to Bagdogra (IXB). From airport book a taxi to reach Siliguri which is 10 Km away.

For night stay in NJP/SIliguri:

Trekkers reaching on the previous day before the journey to the actual trek base need to stay the night in Siliguri/NJP. There are several options in Siliguri for spending a night while staying in Standard or Budget accommodation. It is better to reach to the centre of Siliguri called Siliguri Junction (adjacent to Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus and Sikkim Nationalised Transport/S.N.T Bus terminus). It takes 30 minutes from Bagdogra or 15 minutes from NJP. There are hotels 5 minutes walking from NJP also.

Return from NJP/Bagdogra:

Normally you reach NJP/Bagdogra from any trek base  by 5/6 pm in the evening. You can take any train after 7 pm. Accordingly arrange your homeward journey.

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  TREK FEE: 9800 (Melliaching to Melliaching) + 5% GST  

Book for 5 persons or more and get flat 10% Group Discount on TREK FEE.

Inclusions:

1 night’s accommodation at Melliaching (Day 1 ) in lodge on a sharing basis.

 All meals during the trek (from Day 1 dinner to Day 5 breakfast). Regular Indian style nutritious vegetarian food during the trek (including occasional eggs), breakfast packed/hot lunch (depending upon the time you reach a campsite), snacks, dinner along with coffee/tea/soup.

Excellent Trekking Guide, who will be a local to this particular area and has profound knowledge of the trekking trails around.

 Specialised Cook, Support staff, Porters/Packed Animals for carrying the central logistics of the trek.

Stay in tents (3 persons dome or ridge shaped tents) on a sharing basis during the trek.

Camping equipment like Sleeping bag, Carry mattress, Gaiters, Micro spikes/Crampon. (Bring your own sleeping if you have a high altitude specific personal Sleeping Bag. This is always better for hygienic reasons.)

Kitchen tent, dinning tent and toilet tent as required during the trek.

All permit fee, camping charges, forest levy required for the trek.

 Basic Medical & First Aid kit.

Travel insurance cum Accidental Insurance Policy covering high altitude trekking tours (For Indian nationals it is included in the TREK FEE, up to 60 years of age). It covers your trek as well as your return journey to NJP for a travel duration of  7 days.

Exclusions:

Transportation from NJP/Bagdogra to trek base Melliaching and return. One way Tata Sumo fare is ₹ 6000, maybe shared by 5/6 fellow trekkers. We can arrange, you pay directly to the driver, sharing equally with the fellow trekkers.

We assume that you will carry your personal Rucksack/Backpack with all your personal belongings. If you want to offload your Rucksack and be carried by Porter then you need to pay  an additional ₹ 1500 for the entire duration of the trek. The Rucksack should not weigh more than 10 Kg.

 Any tip/gratuity to the HT supports staff.

Anything is is NOT mentioned in the “Inclusions” or personal in nature.

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Booking:

  • We assume that you have read and understood our “Terms & Conditions” (https://himalayatrekker.com/terms-and-conditions) before Booking a trek/tour.
  • To reserve your place in a scheduled Fixed Departure trek or a Customised/Private trek pay 25% of the TREK/TOUR FEE as the initial “Booking Deposit”. You can pay by Net banking/Draft/Cheque/Credit/Debit/AMEX cards. This will ensure your participation in the desired trek and we will reserve your place in the scheduled date. You need to pay the remaining amount at least 15 days before Trek Starting Date.
  • If you book a Trek/Tour before 14 days or less from Trek/Tour Starting Date, you need to pay the full TREK/TOUR FEE.

 Cancellations:

  • “Booking Amount” i.e.25% of the TREK/TOUR FEE is Non-Refundable at any stage.
  • If in case you are not able to make it due to unavoidable reason(s), we provide you avery flexible choice of Shifting to another trek within next one year. One year is counted from the starting date of the trek/tour you booked initially with us.
  • In case you postpone your trip you need to informminimum of 15 days before the trek/tour starting date. (Though we suggest to inform us earlier if known)
  • In case you postpone a trek/tour before 15 days of the scheduled Trek/Tour Starting date or prior, you may shift to another group of the same trek/tour scheduled in the same season or within next one year. You may shift to another suitable route also. For changing any, you need our approval first. Your request must be in written communication through your registered email with us.
  • If you cancel/postpone a trek/tour from14 days to 8 days before tour starting date, your Booking Amount is Non-Refundable. We will not take any request of shifting dates. We will charge 50% of the amount as Cancellation Charges and process refund of remaining 50%. You may also shift to another group within next year but 25% Booking Amount will be deemed as Cancellation Charge and the rest amount will be transferred to the shifted group.
  • If you cancel a trek/tour 7 days (i.e. a week) before Trek/Tour Starting Date or later, there will be NO REFUND.
  • In case of any unforeseen incident including but not limited to natural calamities like flood, earthquake, landslide, forest fire or any political unrest, if we are compelled to cancel the trek/trip, you will be entitled to redeem the full amount for the same/similar kind of trek/trip within next one year.

If you need more clarifications write in to [email protected]

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