- Grade: Moderate
- Duration: 25 days
- Destination: Nepal
- Activities: Trekking, Kanchenjunga
- Best Seasons: Autumn (September to November), and spring (March to May) are ideal seasons to travel, when there is a clearer views of the mountains, and when the rivers run low.
Located in the eastern–most edge of Nepal, in the Nepal-Tibet border, Kanchenjunga, standing 8,586 meters high, is the third largest mountain peak in the world. Kanchenjunga, in Nepali means, a treasure of five adorned by snow, which represents the five peaks in the region. Kanchenjunga II, the highest of the five, was thought to be the highest mountain in the world until Mt. Everest was measured higher in 1852. The natives consider the mountains to be sacred, and connect the five peaks, each with the five treasures of god, silver, gem, grain, and holy books.
The mountains have their place in the myths and folklores as the dwelling of a mountain deity called Dzo-nga, sometimes called the ‘Kanchenjunga Demon,’ a type of yeti. In 1925, the bipedal creature was also spotted in the mountains by a British geological expedition. Moreover, people of both eastern and western sides of the mountain, in Nepal and Sikkim respectively, share the legend that there is a ‘valley of immortality’ obscured in the upper slopes of the mountains. The trekking in this region was opened in 1988.
Because of the difficulty to climb the mountain from the Indian side, it is an area not much explored, and therefore with its pristine nature preserved till now. Adorned by snow-capped mountains, striking landscapes and serene views, the route also provides a perfect vantage point to explore other great mountains like Mt. Makalu and Kumbhakarna Himal. There are 16 peaks over 7,000 meters in the region. Furthermore, since the trek starts from 1,200 meters to 5,180 meters above sea level, the route also offers a vast difference in climatic and geological regions from deep jungles to icy glaciers.
Popular as one of the most beautiful mountain massifs in the world, Kanchenjunga is located in the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area that is spread over 2,035 square kilometers, and is an abode to snow leopards, musk deer, red panda, and other unique species like impedance pheasants, shy dragon, red-billed blue magpie, and many others. The range of mountains is also the provenance of many different glaciers that morph into some of the famous white-water rafting rivers in Nepal.
Since the route has lesser traffic of the tourists than in some other major trekking destinations, a more intimate chance to delve into the rustic, bucolic lifestyle of the indigenous hill people could be attained. So if you are looking to get off the mainstream trekking track in the Himalayas, and explore some not highly explored and thus an immaculate routes, the Kanchenjunga trek should be our recommendation!