Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary

Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary

Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary
4.5
5:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Monday
5:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday
5:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday
5:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday
5:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday
5:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday
5:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday
5:30 AM - 10:00 PM
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About
Barsey rhododendron sanctuary is located in west sikkim ,you will get to see variety of rhododendron and also the breathtaking view of mt kanchenjunga .
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.5
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Anweshachatterjee
Liverpool, UK210 contributions
Apr 2021
Stayed the night before at Okhrey and drove to Hilley (the starting point of this hike/trek) early the next morning. There is a nominal entry fee at the gate and we reached Barsey within 2 hours and we stopped a lot on our way to take photos. It is a very easy walk. Stayed at the Forest Barrack instead of Guras Kunj. Paid Rs 1200 per person for a basic room with attached bathroom (western toilet but running water was not available all the time) and lunch, tea, dinner and breakfast. Got omelette for lunch and chicken curry for dinner along with the usual rice, dal etc. The man looking after us, going by the name Pusai (means brother in Nepali), was very hospitable. The accommodation over here is basic - so please ensure you can make do with it instead of going there and complaining.

Would love to visit again sometime :)
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sayon s
Kolkata (Calcutta), India84 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
It’s a sanctuary where you can walk around 4km to reach the couple of cottages to stay. It’s a 2-3 hours walk with almost no elevation . It’s an easy for for everyone among flowers and birds.
After trying for multiple years finally went in the month of April for rhododendron bloom. Got a decent amount of flowers and a lot of birds.
Written May 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

avamishra
Bengaluru, India195 contributions
Apr 2015 • Couples
Me and my husband have been to Varsey recently and stayed there for 1 night, that was on 16th April. Our main intention of visiting Varsey was to see the Rhododendrons, but after visiting Varsey we came to know that Varsey is not only famous for the Rhododendrons, but also for its extremely beautiful forest rich with various flora and fauna, splendid view of the Himalayas and for many colorful exotic birds. Instead of going to Varsey directly, we made a stop at Okhrey for one night at Sherpa lodge. Okhrey too is a beautiful hilly hamlet which provides panoramic views of the hills and is a great place for unwinding yourself. Next morning we started for Varsey by a car and it took us around half an hour to reach hilley through the beautiful serpentine road passing through many Rhododendron trees laden with flowers, mostly red and white. Hilley is the point from where trek starts in to the Varsey Rhododenron Sanctuary and it takes around 3 hours to reach Varsey base camp. Before entering the sanctuary one needs to obtain the entry permits that cost Rs 50 for adults on a per day basis and an extra 20 Rs is charged for still camera. The path through the forest is well laid and is kind of a leisurely walk on a fairly plain ground except the last one kilometer which is steep in between. The forest mostly contains bamboo, pine and rhododendron trees and many of them are covered in moss that give the forest an ancient look. The rhododendron trees are so huge that you need to see them to believe and at some places the trees create such a dense cover that even sunlight could not get in. We loved the walk through the forest as we were the only people walking through it our footsteps breaking the absolute silence and it was an amazing feeling. By the time we reached Varsey, weather had become clear and we had a marvelous view of the whole Kanchenjunga range that seemed to be at a stone throw distance and I must say this was the best view of Kanchenjunga we ever had in our lives.

There are 2 stay options at Varsey, one is Guras Kunj and other one is Forest Barrack. We stayed Forest Barrack which has 3 rooms and a dormitory. We took the double bed room with attached toilet that costs Rs 1600 inclusive of food. For other rooms and dormitory, there are 2 shared toilets outside. We even had a look at the rooms of Guras Kunj and they looked better compared to Forest Barrack. It has a dormitory in 1st floor with wooden flooring and 2 rooms in the ground floor that share the same toilet. There is one more double bed room in the ground flor which is nice and has an attached toilet. The dormitory and other 2 rooms cost 800 Rs per head including food and the double bed room with attached toilet costs Rs 2200 for 2 people including food. They even arrange tents outside when there are more people in the peak season and as per my knowledge the tents cost 1600 Rs for 2 people including food. You can book Guras Kunj and Forest Barrack either through Mr M.N. Sherpa of Sherpa Lodge (Mobile: 09735975880) or through Endeavour Tours (Contact Person: Mr S.K Bhaumik, Address: 1, Indra Roy Road, Bhowanipur, Kolkata-700025, Mobile: 98364 64632 / 98311 07246 ) in Kolkata.

There is no power supply at Varsey and so we had to spend the whole night in candle light. The place was quite cold in April and it became even colder at night due to rain. So it is advisable to carry adequate winter wears if you intend to stay at Varsey. Also, carry a torch in case you want to go out after evening. We could not watch the sunrise the next morning as the whole Kanchenjunga range was under the veil of clouds, but after the clouds made way, the view of Kanchenjunga shining in the morning light was an experience that we will cherish all through our lives. We left Varsey in the morning and it took us around 1 and half hours to trek back to the sanctuary gate. As the whole up and down journey takes around 4 to 4 and half hours, you can visit Varsey and come back the same day. But if you want to enjoy the serenity of the place and the sunrise over the Himalayas, then stay there for a night.

Varsey is a beautiful place to see even without the Rhododendrons, but if you are too keen on seeing the Rhododendrons, then the official flowering season is from March to May, March last week to April mid being the best time. Also, make your reservations in advance for stay as it is difficult to get accommodation in the peak season. If you go there anytime apart from the weekends and the holidays, you can directly go and book your accommodation, but be prepared to see very few people. Because when we went there it was a weekday and there were only 4 people in Guras Kunj and 8 people in Forest Barrack including us. For more information on Okhrey and Varsey visit my blog at
http://walkingthebeauty.blogspot.in/2015/05/okhrey-and-varsey-gems-of-west-sikkim.html
Written May 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SM0207
Kolkata (Calcutta), India40 contributions
Mar 2014 • Friends
Barsey . . . at 10,000ft is a rhododendron sanctuary which gives a spectacular view of 1000's of rhododendrons in full bloom during the season of April - May. Also the view of Mt Kanchendzonga is spectacular . Me and my friend traveled to this place during 1st week of March 2014.

To reach Barsey , we traveled to Okhray a small place with a few home stays . Our stay at Magnolia Village Home stay ( Mr Sangay Sherpa - 9609856414 ) was comfortable as the place is decently maintained and Mr Sherpa takes good care of his guests. This place is frequented with lots of birds of various breeds and any bird lover will enjoy this place.

Next day we traveled to Hilley ( 8000 ft ) . This is where the last motorable road ends and from here the Trek to Barsey is 5 Km . ( The trek is mild and can be done by all ) During the season this trek becomes wonderful as you see the rhododendrons in full bloom all around. But since we were there before time , we could see the buds only. There is only one Rest House ( Guras Kunj ) at Barsey and one Forest Barrack at Barsey and hence all arrangements needs to be made before hand if your are planning to stay there . Mr Sherpa can help in this regard. Accommodation at Barsey is very basic and there is no electricity .

Being at 10, 000ft , it becomes freezing cold at night and we had a tough time even with all the blankets and woolens , but the view we got next day morning of Mt Kanchendzonga was breath taking . There are a few short treks of 3- 4kms ( Gurap Tal ) which can be done .

But we had other plans and next day along with our Guide and Porter we left on a 25km trek to Gorkhay . This trek route is quite difficult and one needs to be physically fit . The trek takes you through dense forests and grass lands with spell bounding views around you. But there is no other village / human in habitation before Gorkhay. One option is that you carry tents as there are tenting sites and you can cover the trek in 2 days.

We reached Gorkhay in the evening and put up at Edan Lodge . This is again a small village and no electricity . Next day we spend some time in the nearby forests and spotted some lovely birds. Then we left for another trek of 2 kms to reach a place called Pathrey - where a pre arranged Jeep was waiting for us to take us back .

We had a wonderful time at these places and recommend it to all who loves to see the pristine nature and spend a few days away from the city madness...
Written March 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

malsg
Bengaluru, India25 contributions
Apr 2013 • Friends
I'd been here in April 2013. This is probably the best time to do this trek - with the Rhododendrons in full bloom, the forest looks as if on red raging fire! One can mostly spot red, pink and the white flowers and several other small mountain flowers during this season. What's more, the locals told us that it's the year of the mega bloom, which happens once in 3-4 years only - Lucky us! One can just do the short, easy hike from Hiley to Barsey and back or the longer one upto Dentam valley. I strongly recommend an overnight stay at Barsey and an early morning visit to the Sunrise point (aka) Barsey top to witness a splendid sunrise.

We stayed in Okhrey, drove upto Hiley and then proceeded to Barsey by foot. There is a small restaurant at Hiley where you can have breakfast(prebooked at Okhrey) and then start trekking. It is sad to see a few plastics littered deep inside the forest. The locals are doing their bit to keep the place clean, however it is more on the part of the tourists to not leave behind anything that spoils the environment.

All that said, this is nature at its best for sure. Go experience it! Just make sure you visit the place in March or April. And please don't litter!
Written April 12, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Srikanth M
Bangalore District, India44 contributions
May 2014 • Family
Wow !!!! The number of colours and varieties of Rhodendron we saw still leaves me speechless. You need atleast 1 full day for admiring all the colours and sizes. You better have a good guide with you of you are keen on knowing more about the plans in this region. It is also great place for birdwatching.
Written October 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

indranil m
Kolkata (Calcutta), India99 contributions
Mar 2014 • Friends
Barsey is a short trek from Hilley and takes around 1-2 hours to reach.The trek is through a forest.If you looking for a serene outing and away from busy & noisy life of city please go for it.I went with my friend and stayed at trekkers hut. Please note that this is a remote place so don't expect lavish outing. The hut is having basic amenities but the caretaker and his team is extremely helpful in all ways.We went in Mar'14 & got an amazing feel of snowfall. Great view of Mt.Kanchenjunga from this place under clear sky.Lot of virgin natural beauty is available for exploring.Spend a couple of days in laziness in nature's lap & rejuvenate yourself.
Tips : Mobile connectivity is a problem.
Carry Umbrella always
Electricity is not available but the hut has generator facility.
Caretaker's name is Bandhu
Written June 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pradipta c
Kolkata7 contributions
Mar 2013 • Family
Recently we have made a trip to Barsey, Kaluk, Uttarey and Pelling. From Siliguri, first we went to a place called Sapery Nagi ( just two km. ahead of Okhrey) via Jorthang to stay in Magnolia Village Home Stay. It was an amazing experience. Owner of it had given us a warm welcome in his place with lukewarm water to drink and hot tea with sherpa delicacy "khabja" ( a crispy snacks). After that we had another sherpa speciality "sil roti" with some vegetables. The room was nice and worm, bathroom with geyser was clean. In the evening , he invited us in his bamboo made guest room with fireplace made up of clay ( he informed us that this is type of room where his ancestral sherpa family lived in) with his family. The dinner was great and most important was that Mr. Sherpa had his dinner with us to show respect to the guest. The entire system is run by the family members. In the morning after breakfast, we started for Hilley and he arranged the car for us and we kept our heavy luggages in his place and just carried the cameras and heavy winter garments. It was an amazing experience and the place is worth visiting.
The trekking to Barsey was exceptional. Rooms arranged in Barsey was just basic, but worm welcome was there. Glorious rhododendron and mighty Khanchendzunga just made me speechless, even now I am unable to state the beauty in words.
From Barsey, after trek to Hilley, we went to Kaluk. Though weather didn't allow us to see the beauty of mighty Khanchendzunga, but the tranquillity of Kaluk impressed us. A short trip to Rinchenpong was nice, specially the the Rinchenpong monastery.
Our next point was uttarey enroute Sinsore bridge. Uttarey is truly the sleeping beauty, we were the only tourist on that day. The tranquil landscape will surely impress you. We made a visit to the the Trout breeding centre and the monastery there, they are worth visiting.
From uttarey, we went to well known Pelling. Mighty Khanchendzunga didn't made us unhappy there. From hotel's balcony, we observed the beauty. Beside Khechiperi lake, Khanchendzunga falls and specially the monasteries Sangacholing and Pemyangshy are worth visiting.
Written March 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

monchasha
Kolkata (Calcutta), India13 contributions
From Rinchenpong we hired a vehicle for Hilley. Over at Okhrey we have stayed at a small cosy accommodation named Sherpa lodge. Next morning after our breakfast we proceed for Hilley (the gate of Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary). Hilley to Barsey (the stay) is 4 km only and it is a soft trail between the reds, pinks, yelliws, greens. Stay options are Guraskunj (a stone carved bunglow) and the forest rest house. We are very very very luckey that with the entire Khang-Chen-D-Zongha range we were able to discover the Mount Everest on the extreme right corner. Worth visit. You should try.
Written September 13, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mouti304558
Kolkata (Calcutta), India1 contribution
Apr 2012 • Friends
We were only two so it was quite comfortable for us to travel and trek to Varsey . we had a 7 days of trip to West Sikkim namely Pelling, Uttarey, Kaluk And Okhrey...
coming to Okhrey was a real good decision that we made as there was the scenic beauties and the place was peace. we stayed for two days at Okhrey the local attractions that we went were the Lamasingh, Okhrey Monastery ( ugen thunling Gumpa), Lateytar monastery (pethma choliing Gumpa), Ribdi Monastery, and Anden Gumpa, the other day we went to Varsey 10 Kms from our hotel as we proceeded towards Varsey we did not saw that much of Rhododendrons still we proceeded we finally reached at varsey after 1 hour of walk, as the weather was clear we got the real great view of the Mt. Kanchenjunga and as per my experience that was the view batter than Pelling and after having lunch we returned back to our hotel.
after returning we talked to our hotel owner what else can we do at Okhrey and he suggested us 1. Bird watching. 2. Singhalila trekking (Okhrey, Gurudum, Phalut,Sandphu,Maneybhajyang) Okhrey to Uttarey trekking, Okhrey to Hee Bermoik Trekking.
hotel we stayed http://okhrey.blogspot.in/
www.valleyresidency.com
it was a hotel run by family.
Written June 15, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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