What would you do if you find yourself admist the forests walking through the colorful Rhododendrons in full bloom? You would be thinking this to be straight out of Movie isn’t it? A perfect set up with pure bliss surrounded by Himalayas and trekking through thick forests . Well this is what we are talking about the Rhododendrons Trek also known as the Varsey/ Barsey.It is one of the most sparkling treks with variety of species of Rhododendrons blooming. The trek is an eye opener which will leave you speechless .
The entrance to the Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is very fascinating and it falls in the Singalila Ridge trek . Hilley is the starting point of the trek. The trek is relatively easy which is of 4.5km and is doable for all. The trail has easy gradient and gradually climbs to a height of 10,000ft where you will get to witness the stunning Kanchenjunga Massif. The route passes through oak trees, pine , Rhododendron forests, mosses and ferns. In order to get an entry to the Sanctuary , you will have to get the tickets. The tickets are easily available as you will find guides standing in front of the entrance. The entire trail is well marked and the sanctuary is endowed with various flora and fauna and endangered species like the Himalayan red Panda, Himalayan Giant Squirrel, Pangolin, Himalayan Black Bear, Jackal , Wild boar and Langur.
Blue Rhododendron is very rare in Sikkim. It is a treat to the eyes for adventure enthusiasts and travelers, if you are lucky enough to see the blue Rhododendron . Those who are keen on bird watching , it is the perfect place to spot exotic birds here.
You will be trekking through Rhododendron forests and trees with flowers of various colors – white, pink, red sparkling brightly around the corners. The trek will take to a tranquil hill top where the trekker’s hut is named- Guras Kunj. The place is beautiful because of the vibrant aura. Once you are at hilltop, you will be welcomed by the awe inspiring views of Kanchenjunga.
Dreams and journeys
wake me up
In the middle of far away mountain glory
Winds and glacier lake once sojourned in my life
One day I will tread away from everyone,
Meeting the gods of mountains and passes
To make my memoirs echo through my voices!
The Barsey is a spectacular and a heavenly place for nature lovers.
Trek details- 4.5km
Gradient level- Easy
How to reach Varsey?
The nearest airport is Bagdogra and the nearest Railway station is New Jalpaiguri. Either of the places you can book a cab and head off to Hilley(the starting point of the trek)
Alternative route- You can take an auto from NJP to Jorethang bus stand in Siliguri. From there you can take a shared taxi to Jorethang. In Jorethang you will get a shared vehicle to Okhrey. You will get lot of vehicles / shared taxis which will go to Hilley. Okhrey is a quaint village on the way to Hilley.
Where to stay in Barsey?
There are lot of hotels available in Barsey.
1. Trekker’s Hut -Guras Kunj
Best time to Visit:
The best time to do the Varsey trek is in March and April because Rhododendrons are in full bloom. You will come across colourful Rhododendrons along the trail.
Day 1: Take a taxi from NJP/ Bagdogra to Okhrey via Jorethang. Either stay at Hilley or Ohkrey. You will find hotels at both the places. Hilley is the starting point of Rhododendron trek .
Day 2: Start early for the trek which is relatively easy and halt at trekker’s hut – Guras Kunj.
Day 3: Witness the beautiful mountain ranges. Explore the place around and then return back to Hilley. You can book your tickets to Siliguri or Gantok.
A suggestion :
You can also drive to one of the picturesque tea gardens in Northeast India that is Temi Garden located in Ravangla, South Sikkim. It is the best estates in the country and world. Because of the taste and the quality of the tea, it has ascertained name and fame in the international market.