Mount Kanchenjunga Facts

An Overview of Mount Kanchenjunga Facts


It rises with an elevation of 8,586 m in a section of the Himalayas called Kanchenjunga Himal bounded in the west by the Tamur River, in the north by the Lhonak Chu and Jongsang La, and in the east by the Teesta River. Mt Kanchenjunga is the third-highest mountain of all on earth only to Mt Everest(8,848m) and Mt K2(8,611m). Kanchanjunga sometimes spelled as Kanchenjunga or Kinchinjunga translated means “The Five Treasures of Snow ”, as it contains five peaks, four of them over 8,450 meters. 


You’ll catch landscape variations from alpine woodland to subtropical forest, sparkling peaks, stir glaciers and rocky hills. The area has diversified flora and is home to endangered species. You’ll get to taste organic foods, as well as observe local ethnic traditions.


It’s one of the long hikes around the Himalayas, so it’s for travelers who love to stay a long in the laps of nature. It’s an untouched gem of eastern Nepal. This trek is an opportunity to explore the less traveled trails of the Himalayas. If you have this place in your bucket list, you’re not supposed to just wait for it. It’s a worthy pick.

Mount Kanchenjunga Facts that you should know before going on this expedition:

It is a mountain of the Himalaya range which lies partly in Nepal and partly in Sikkim, India. Three of the five peaks –  Kanchenjunga Main, Central, and South – are on the border between North Sikkim and Nepal while the rest of peaks( Kanchenjunga west and Kangbachen) are in Nepal’s Taplejung District. Respective heights of these five peaks are:

                                 Mount Kanchenjunga Main: 8,586 meters feet

                                 Mount Kanchenjunga West: 8,505 meters 

                                 Mount Kanchenjunga Central: 8,482 meters

                                 Mount Kanchenjunga South: 8,494 meters 

                                 Mount Kangbachen: 7,903 meters 


The name Kanchenjunga is derived from four words of Tibetan origin, usually rendered Kang-chen-dzo-nga and interpreted in Sikkim as the “Five Treasuries of the Great Snow. The Tibetan words are: Kang (Snow) Chen (Big) dzö (Treasury) nga (Five) which refers to the name of five different peaks. These treasures would represent the five repositories of God, namely gold, silver, gems, grain, and holy books. In Sanskrit, Kanchenjunga was derived from the words Kanchana (gold) and Ganga (the river that flows in the region), which means “the river shines like gold”


According to facts, until 1852 Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586 m) used to be considered as the highest mountain in the world even higher than Everest. Later,  calculations made by the British Great Trigonometric Survey in 1849 concluded that Mount Everest was the highest peak of the world. After that, it was officially announced in 1856 that Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world.


In 1955, Joe Brown and George Band were the first to scale the Mountain. Kanchanjunga and followed by Norman Hardie and Tony Streather on 26 May. In 1983, Pierre Beghin made the first solo ascent which was accomplished without the use of supplemental oxygen. And later In 1998, Ginette Harrison became the first woman to reach Kangchenjunga’s summit.


Amid  various Mount Kanchenjunga facts this one is quite interesting.The summit is considered so sacred by the people of Sikkim,  even Joe Brown and George Band that climbed the mountain a stopped a few feet from the top to respect this belief.

Kanchenjunga is one of the least reached trekking trails of Nepal, due to its geographically difficult and remote location.


According to mountaineers, Kanchenjunga is not only one of the tallest mountains in the world, but also the most dangerous one. The Kangchenjunga is the second least scaled peak of the 14 peaks over 8,000 meters (26,247 feet). In fact, the Annapurna is the only 8,000 meters peak which has been less climbed than Kangchenjunga. Mt Kanchenjunga does not have an “easy” route as the threat of an avalanche is high. It is located at eastern Himalaya, so it receives the brunt of the monsoon moisture which can cause avalanches anytime. 


To add on Mount Kanchenjunga facts,There are four climbing routes to reach the top of Kanchenjunga, three of which are in Nepal from the southwest, northwest, and northeast, and one from northeastern Sikkim in India. The northeastern route from Sikkim has been successfully used three times. But, this route has been closed for expedition since 2000 by the Indian government due to a low succession rate.  All these routes to the top of Mt Kanchenjunga are not the easiest ones.


During the trail to Mt Kanchenjunga, you will also get to experience walking over the glaciers. Rongbuk, Zemu, Kanchenjunga, To Lam Bau, Rambang are some of the main glaciers around this area.


Kanchenjunga conservation area of Nepal is the protected area that preserves and serves the intact Biodiversity. The region includes beautiful rhododendron, pine, and juniper forests, rich vegetation, and high alpine passes. Moreover, You will see several rare wildlife like Musk deer, Red Panda, Snow-Leopard, Blue Sheep. Additionally, you will also see abundant species of bird-like Shy Dragon, Impedance Pheasant, Red-Billed Blue Magpie. 


This area provides a clear and panoramic view of peaks like Mt. Everest (8,848 m), Mt. Lhotse (8,516 m), and Mt. Makalu (8,210 m) and several others. You will also see towering heights of Mt. Rohtang and Kabru above a glacier on the Nepal-Sikkim border. And, sunrise from Kanchenjunga’s view point is so surreal and exotic that it can enrich every visitor’s eyes and soul.


In Myth, the area around Kanchenjunga is said to be a shelter to a mountain deity, called Dzö-nga or “Kangchenjunga Demon ”, a type of yeti or rakshasa. Some British expeditions also encountered that strange creature which was labeled as Yeti by locals. It’s just a myth that only the past has its answer.


Major Highlights of Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

  • Mt Kanchenjunga (8,586m)- the third highest peak in the world 
  • Four other brother peaks: Kanchenjunga West, Central, South, Kangbachen
  • Kanchenjunga Conservation Area- Enriched of rare biodiversities
  • Kanchenjunga, Rongbuk glacier and others
  • Beautiful landscapes and tropical forest
  • Culture and lifestyles of Gurung and Limbu ethnicity 
  • Exploring the less explored region
  • Sunkissed views of mountains


How to get to the Kanchenjunga base camp?


There are two ways of reaching the Kanchenjunga base Camp(KBC) ie road and airways. But, you will have to start from Taplejung(Gateway to Kanchenjunga) no matter which way you choose. The real adventure kicks off from there.


Via Roadways: 

Visitors can choose roadways which start from Kathmandu and ending up in Taplejung. It takes around 24 hours to complete the bus ride. Alternatively, you can book a flight to Biratnagar or Bhadrapur(takes about 45 min) and take a bus from there to Taplejung( 8-9 hr bus ride).


Via Airways: 

If you want it fast then pick the flight and fly. There is one flight each day from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur. It takes around 1 hr to reach Bhadrapur.




Perfect time to go for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek


The best time to trip this trek is Spring (March, April, May) and Autumn (September, October, November). During these times, the weather and temperature will favor your side. You can pour eyes and hearts into the serenity of this place. Whereas, Winter and Monsoonare not the favorable seasons to trek in any of base camp trek in Nepal. The whole time routes are filled with snow and slippery ice.


Spring( March- Late May)

Spring is the most suitable time in Kanchenjunga Base Camp to go trekking, as the weather is clear and the view is hypnotic. As its peak season the route can get more crowded than ever for trekking. If you missed the Autumn this is the only choice that you have left.


Autumn( September- December)

Another best period to visit Kanchenjunga Base Camp is between late-September and mid-December. The weather during Autumn is more stable and clear allowing scenic views. You will enjoy white mighty mountains below the clear blue sky. It’s an alternative for missing out on the Spring season.


Permits required for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek


Trekkers have to obtain a trekking permit from Nepal Tourism Board to visit KBC. They also need to purchase a Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit ( KCAP).  There are some rules to be followed by every visitor:

  • Should be in a group( at least 2 people)
  • Should be accompanied by a licensed guide 
  • Should hire a local trekking agency to get trek permit


Permit Cost

Kanchenjunga region is a restricted area that needs a permit for visiting. The cost of a permit for restricted areas is USD 10 per pax per week. Another is the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit(KCAP) costing: NRS 2000 per pax.


Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Duration

It’s one of the longest treks in Nepal, ranging from 20-26 days to complete.The travel duration can be shortened by choosing airways over roadtrip. Those who want to breathe in nature for a while  this is the best deal for them. You will also get to explore most of Nepal in one single trek.


Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Itinerary 

The below listed is itinerary for your Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek based upon the duration of 24 days. It’s the shortest way possible to complete Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. 


Day 01:       Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to the hotel. (1365m)

Day 02:       Kathmandu sightseeing and trekking permit preparation

Day 03:       Fly to Bhadrapur and drive to Illam

Day 04:       Drive to Suketar and trek to Lalikharka (2260m)

Day 05:       Trek to Khesewa (2120m.)

Day 06:       Trek to Mamankhe (1785m.)

Day 07:        Trek to Yamphudin (2080m.)

Day 08:        Trek to Tortong (3000m.)

Day 09:        Trek to Cheram (3870m.)

Day 10:         Acclimatization day at Cheram (3870m.)

Day 11:         Trek to Ramache (4580m.)

Day 12:         Trek to Yalung base camp and trek back to Cheram (4500m.)

Day 13:        Trek to Sele La (4290m.)

Day 14:         Trek to Ghunsa (3595m.)

Day 15:        Trek to Khambachen (4050m.)

Day 16:        Trek to Lhonak (4780m.)

Day 17:         Trek to Ghunsa (3475m.)

Day 18:        Trek to Amjilosa (2308m.)

Day 19:         Trek to Chirwa (1270m.)

Day 20:        Trek to Phurumbu (1550m.)

Day 21:         Trek to Suketar

Day 22:         Drive back to Bhadrapur

Day 23:         Fly back to Kathmandu

Day 24:         Departure day


Checklist for Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Here are some important things not to miss out on the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek:


  • Clothes and Footwear
  • Trekking Boots
  • Warm Slippers
  • Few pairs of inner wears
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Warm hat that covers your ears
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Trousers and T-shirts
  • Sleeping Bag and Tent
  • Trekking Poles
  •  Warm Gloves
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Sunglasses, torchlight and water bottle
  •  Extra pair of prescription glasses if you are bespectacled
  • Toiletries
  •  First Aid Kit
  •  Altitude sickness – Diamox and medicines – Headache, Stomachache
  • Water purification tablets
  • Sports watch
  •  Medial kit


But the essentials can vary depending on where, where, and how you choose to go on a trek. If the weather is too cold you’re probably wearing heavy clothes. So,The colder the temperature, the heavier the bag will be.


Difficulty level on Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Kanchenjunga Base Camp is one of the highest altitude treks in the world. You have to walk for several days in a high altitude region. Walking at such height regularly can cause you breathing problems. You will need good health, high fitness and fixed determination to achieve the feet.  It’s not that difficult if you follow some guidelines and. A healthy individual can easily make it to base camp. Altitude Sickness and Unpredictable climate can trouble its visitors sometimes. But if you want to turn your shape, you will surely find that change after the trek. 


Cost of Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

The cost can vary from USD 2000 –  USD 3500 depending upon trekking agencies’ cost structure. Cost includes expenses like transportation, accommodation, food, guide and also the cost of Permit and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Permit(KCAP). You will need an extra bag of money if you are a shopaholic.


Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Accommodation

Kanchenjunga has some organic teahouses and tourist huts for accommodation along the route. These places will not comfort you like the multi-star hotels but they will provide you the best cup of tea and stunning view. During night, you can also count if you want to. Oh what a night that will be, possibly the best night of your life. 


Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek Food

The food you will be eating in Kanchenjunga is local, simple and most of all organic. As it’s a less visited trekking spot so you may not find food as in other popular trekking sites. The foods are cooked with fresh ingredients coming right from the field. You can just get lost in the smell of food. Lentils and Rice and instant noodles are the most common food you will get served there. You can also get MOMO, Pasta, and Macaroni but in very few places only.


You can also bring snacks, chocolate bars, and drinks with you if only you have enough space left in your bag.