Phalut is a table top on the Singalila ridge of the Himalayas located on the same trekking trail as Sandakphu. Its distance from Sandakphu is 23 kilometers which takes around 7 hours to trek. Phalut means a bare table top mountain and is 3600 meters in height. The Singalila ridge is a famous spur lying at the southern end of a prolonged crest running down from the Kanchenjunga massif forming the Sikkim and Nepal border. Trekkers love to climb the various ridges of the Himalayas not only because it throws lot of challenge to them but also because of the scenic beauty of the surroundings. The route along the high ridge through small settlements is absolutely spellbinding.
How to reach Phalut
Phalut can be reached easily by a jeep from Sandakphu which is the highest point in Bengal. You have to reach Chitrey to start the trek and it can be reached from the NJP station by jeeps and cars or by jeep from Ghoom railway station in Darjeeling. If you are availing the Ghoom route, you will reach the Sukhiapokhri town from where you have to arrive at Maneybhanjung by jeep and then walk up the steep road to Chitrey for 2 kilometers.
Accommodation in Phalut
Tourists interested to relish the scenic beauty can stay at the hotel, The Lost Valley at Samaden. But trekkers generally put up at Phalut, by availing of the D I Bungalow, the Trekkers’ Hut of DCHC or the Bunkers, 12 in number offered by the Youth Hostel of Phalut. The trekkers usually put up at bunkers from the hostel for a heavy dose of adventure and relish it all the way to the peak. Also there is another Tourist Lodge and Didis Trekker Hut available on the route from Sandakphu to Phalut. You can take rest and have a meal at Molle on the same route.
Trekking Routes in Phalut
The trekking route itinerary includes traveling to Manybhanjyang from where the trek starts.
Date 1: Start walking uphill from here to arrive Tonglu (3020meters) and camp there for the night. On the way you might be carried away by the attractive sight of magnolias and rhododendrons.
Day 3: Trekkers start walking for Sandakphu from Kalpokhri after breakfast. Sandakphu is the highest point from where you can view various peaks like Everest, Lhotse, Makalu of the Himalayan range including the Kanchenjuga massif. It takes about 3 hours to reach Sandakphu (3636meters).
Day 4: Begins by taking the trail from Sandakphu to Phalut. Enjoy the scenery and spot the ‘Sleeping Buddha’ peak formation during the walk. Reaching Phalut takes 7 hours.
Day 5: The nest morning climb atop Phalut to witness the spectacular sunrise over the Himalayas and the start downwards from Phalut through Gorkhey and Rimbik. This trails offers bird watching opportunities as you pass through the beautiful valley of Samanden crossing the Srikhola Bridge to arrive at Rammam and eventually Rimbik village.
The best time to trek the Sandakphu-Phalut route is during April and May.