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Darjeeling Tea Garden Trek: A hiking trail inside tea plantations, along a river, from one village to another
There is no shortage of treks in India going to high altitudes, offering stunning peak views, lakes, pristine forests, alpine meadows, and so on. In fact, one or more of these are the USPs of most of the popular and even off-beaten trails.
But the vibrant Indian Himalayas have to offer more—a different set altogether. For that, you do not need to go to high altitudes or spend long days in the mountains, which may be physically demanding for some of you. However, we are all nature lovers and probably like to travel and explore untouched or unique trails. So here is a brand new and rare trail that blends the cultural and natural beauties of the lower Himalayas.
Why is our trail so special?
So here is our proposed trail that is inside Darjeeling district, West Bengal, and not far from Darjeeling city itself. We start from Majua village, which is 5 km downhill from Maneybhajung town—the trek base for the famous Sandakphu Singalila Ridge trek.
This is a relatively low-altitude trail, i.e., why you see tea plantations. At the same time, it is very Himalayan. You get the flavour and essence of the eastern Himalayas; its very charm Here, we try to highlight the reasons:
Being low in elevation, between 1200 and 1600 m, this trail is soft from a weather perspective, and you can visit this trail throughout the year, apart from the monsoon months between June and September.
Our easy and relaxed hike starts with a downhill walk from Majua to the meandering little Rangit River, to a village called Dangia. The walk is among broadleaf and bamboo forests. It is essentially the evergreen forests of the lower eastern Himalayas, comprising the ecoregion and biodiversity hotspot. On the way we cross Arubotey village. We stay in a neatly crafted homestay just beside the river.
From Dangia, we cross the river, and the first stretch of hiking inside the tea garden starts. It is a short but steep climb inside the tea plantation to our next destination, Mim. We have the option to stay beside the tea garden in a cosy homestay, or you may like to experience the stay inside Mim Tea Garden itself (optional, at an additional cost). This place has stunning views of Kachenjunga and other high mountains. Here we will visit the tea processing unit and taste the essence of the finest Darjeeling tea.
From here onward, we will walk more stretches of tea gardens, some of the oldest in Darjeeling, namely Pembong, Tumsong, Lingia, and finally Mariabong. The walk is gradual, a mix of gentle ascents and descents through tea plantation slopes. If you like to indulge yourself in a classy tea estate stay, then we may take a halt at Tumsong. An upscale tea boutique with a colonial heritage. We continue our hike inside tea plantation to reach our final destination, a strategically located lodge just beside the Marybong tea garden. Today we will walk approximately 4 to 5 hours.
Suggested itinerary for Darjeeling Tea garden trek:
Day 1: Drive from NJP/Bagdogra (latest by noon) to Majua via Maneybhanjyang (90 km, 4 hours). Homestay accommodation.
Day 2: Trek to Dangia via Arubotey. 3 to 4 hours of walking. Homestay accommodation is beside the Little Rangit River.
Day 3: Trek to Mim Tea Garden (2 to 3 hours). Accommodation in Mim Heritage inside Tea garden (upon availability) or homestay accommodation just beside Mim Tea Plantation.
Day 4: Trek to Marybong Tea Garden via Pembong – Tumsong and Lingia gardens: 4 to 5 hours hike. Lodge accommodation is just beside the tea garden.
Day 5: Drive back to NJP/Bagdogra (80 km, 4 hours) or continue your tour towards Darjeeling (25 km, 1 hour or so) or Sikkim via Jorethang.
- You need to arrive at NJP station, Bagdogra airport or Siliguri city by noon on Day 1. While returning, you will reach NJP or Bagdogra by noon or early afternoon, as per the above itinerary.
- You can reach from or return to Darjeeling to trek base and endpoints in an hour or so.te
Duration: 3 days of trekking. NJP/Bagdogra to NJP round trip in 5 days. 3D/2N tour from Darjeeling to Darjeeling.
Prerequisite: Easy walk for all nature lovers.
Trail Length: 20 Km
Highest Point: Maenam Top ~ 3220m m/10560 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)
- 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.
|New Jalpaiguri railway station (NJP)/Bagdogra airport
|12:00 noon or earlier for a prompt departure to Majua (Day 1)
|Approximately 12 noon to 1:00 PM (Day 5)
How to reach Ravangla (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 ₹ 4500 one side which can accommodate 5 to 6 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)
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 6 pm in the evening. You can take any train after 7 pm. Accordingly arrange your homeward journey.
TREK FEE: ₹ 21,500 per person (Majua to Marybong) + 5% GST
The above cost is for a minimum of 2 persons. For 4 persons and above the TREK FEE will be ₹ 17000 + 4% GST per person.
4 night’s accommodation in a homestay or lodge on a twin sharing basis as per the itinerary.
All meals during the trek (from Day 1 dinner to Day 5 breakfast, B, L, D)
Excellent Trekking Guide, who will be a local to this particular area having sound knowledge of the trekking trails around. He will be able to communicate in simple English. Cost covers his food and accommodationn during the trek.
Tea tasting and visit to the tea processing factory/unit at Mim Tea garden.
Any permit fee, forest levy required for the trek.
Basic Medical & First Aid kit.
Transportation from NJP/Bagdogra to trek base and return. One way Tata Sumo fare is approximately ₹ 4500. We may arrange, you pay directly to the driver in cash.
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. Transfer of luggage is possible from Majua to Marybong by car with additional cost.
Any tips or gratuity to the HT support staff or guide.
Anything that is NOT mentioned in the “Inclusions” or personal in nature.
- 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.
- “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]