Trek to Khedi

Undertaking the trek on Gangtok’s Western horizon, prompted me to explore the other mountains surrounding Gangtok. Why not visit Khedi at 2800 metres perched on at a vantage point on the mountain towards the South East direction from Gangtok? This mountain lies straddled between the Rolepchu and Takchamchu. Khedi itself offers breathtaking views of the Chinese Border and Nathula and was en route on a less-trodden trade route to Tibet via Menla and the Changu Lake till 1960.

The takeoff point for Khedi is Pastanga at 1400 metres which is a 30 kilometres drive from Gangtok via Ranipool and Assam Lingzey. From Pastanga a trail of moderate climb through the thick forest of oak and magnolia trees takes you to ChauriKharka in about 3 hours. Chauri Kharka at about 2000 metres is nestled in a beautiful meadow. The only habitation here is a shepherd’s hut where you can if you like rest and have a cup of hot milk.

From here onwards the vegetation profile changes dramatically. Rhododendron trees and a Malingo variety of Bamboo become in abundance.  A steep climb of about an hour and a half and you are Dobatey – which means two ways in Nepali. Before reaching Dobatey you can get glimpses of the Palace and Deorali areas of Gangtok town. From Dobateythe track bifurcates- one going towards Khedi and the other towards RametayDara and onwards to Machong near Pakyong.

From Dobatey to Khedi is a trek of a moderate climb lasting three hours which includes visits to two small lakes PothiPokhari and BhaleyPokhari both located at two separate bifurcations about 200-metre distances each from the main trek route. Khedi is a huge undulating stretch of land on the mountaintop. The Nathula Pass with the bright Red Conference Building of the Indian Army can clearly be discerned from here. And on the western direction waves of mountain form a front drop to the mighty  Kanchendzonga range. It is worth halting overnight at Khedi for which you would have to carry tents.