Dr. Shiladitya Pujari
Take an astonishing visit once in the Hilley Varsey of Sikkim. An excellent trekking trail is waiting for you. No, no, do not be scared at all. You do not have to go for too many things to do this trek and also you do not have to take medicines. But when you come back, you will find that it is impossible to forget about its unforgettable moments captured by your eyes. You can remember all the curves of the trail, you can feel the velvet under the feet, and you can remember different colorful canvas of different species of Guras and vast variety of other flowers. Well, Guars is the mountainous flower known as Rhododendron.
The trekking trail I am talking about is the famous Hilley Varsey trek route through the Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Sikkim.
To reach there, you have to come to Hilley. Then you have to walk about 4 km from the check post of Varsey Sanctuary. That’s your trekking. Normally it will take a couple of hours. But if you have a passion for photography, it will take a lot of time. Because you cannot ignore taking beautiful pictures on your way.
How to go:
You have to come first at Jorthang from New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri either by bus or car/shared jeep. Busses for Jorthang are available from Tenjing Norgey Bus Stand, Siliguri. From Jorthang, you will have to take another vehicle that will bring you to Okhrey. Okhrey is the entry point for Hilley and Varsey.
Now tell me when, and where:
- To reach Varsey, you have to go to Hilley via Okhrey. It will be better if you stay one night at Okhrey. Okhrey is a wonderful serene place. A small township, a few houses on the slopes of hills. There is a small school and a monastery also. The views that you see from here are amazing. From Okhrey you can also see some other places. The height of the Okhrey is about 9000 feet, the height of Varsey is 1000 feet more.
- The distance of Hilley from Okhrey is 9 km. Come to the Hilley in the morning by car. Take your permit at the checkpost of Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and enter into the Varsey trekking trail. Two ways you can do it. One, you can ask your car outside for waiting till you return after completing the trek. Or, you can stay inside the Varsey that night. In the same way the car will be there the next day.
- Start your trekking from the Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary Checkpost. This is really a great experience. If this is the first trekking in your life, then from there you will start planning again for your second one. You will get absorbed in trekking. And if you say about Guras, you can get all kinds of it, and in all colors. Besides, there are more. This 4 km stretch will be even more kaleidoscopic in the presence of all kinds of birds. That’s a long list. In addition to Gurus or rhododendron, there are Magnolia, Hemlock and Silver Farr team. You will be gifted with a breathtaking view of mighty Kanchenjunga massif away during the trek.
- Varsey is actually located in the Singalilla Ridge, which has created the natural boundaries of India and Nepal. On your route you will reach Phutedhara, Sourong and Hi barmoike. If you want a little more, you will reach Singalilla Pass from this place, from where you can also get a route to Falut.
- There is a great resort to stay amidst the sanctuary. It’s known as Garus Kunj. It will be an excellent experience if you stay a night there.
- From Varsey, you will come to the Varsey top within 10 minutes walk. From here you can see Mt. Kanchenjunga in a 180 degrees wide canvas. The sunset in the west will refine you. There is the famous Sandakfu trekking route in the west.
- After completing the wonderful trekking, come back to Okhrey. You can go to some great places from here. From Jorthang, if you go to the left side crossing the Rangit River, you will reach Okhrey. The road is on the right, is going to Pelling.
- Following the same road via Okhrey, after a while, you will discover yourself in an unusual natural environment. Just green and green everywhere. And the mountains, rapped with the clouds. This is calls Soreng.
- Going further from Sørang, the road will come to end. This is called Dodak. From here you can see Varsey, and will reach Hilley within a couple of hours from here.
- Although a little distance, you can see two wonderful places.. One is Chiavanjan and the other is called Hee Patal. These two places are very nice.
Oh, yes, here is all about your dream trek route and other beautiful fairytale places. Actually each and every inch, every corner is mesmerizing in Himalayas. How do I say, that this mountain is good to see, and that river is not like this? How do I fix this, the flowers of this mountain are better, and the birds are not good at all? I just lost my words, forget to blink my eyelids, I see every moment, and I keep on absorbing this beauty. And the mind is filled with unimaginable joy.