Sandakphu

Sandakphu, offbeat destinations in Darjeeling

‘Trekkers wonderland’ Sandakphu, perched at the hem of Singalila National Park at an altitude of 3636mt Sandakphu offers the most astounding view of snow capped Himalayan mountains. Sandakphu is the highest point of West Bengal. The name Sandakphu means the “Height of the Poison Plant”. It is because of the poisonous aconite plant growing in abundance at Sandakphu. To venture upon the highest point of West Bengal Sandakphu while being accompanied by the glorious the five highest peaks of the world Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Everest and Mt. Pandim have become the Holy Grail for many adventurer and veteran trekkers.

The outwardly trek towards Sandakphu start from a Manebhanjan or the junction of many stupas, a small transit town which is known for being the gateway towards Singalila National Park. If starting from Manebhanjan, the route passes by Chitre, Meghma, Tonglu, Tumling, Gairibas, Kalapokhri and Bikheybhanjan to reach Sandakphu. From Manebhanjan one can also hire 1950's made Land Rovers which climb up to Sandakphu and go till Phalut. The journey on Land Rover is not quite smooth on the rough mountain roads but the enthralling view of the Himalayas is worth every bump on the road. The Singalila Trek towards Sandakphu has become one of the famous treks in the Eastern Himalayan region due to the grand vistas of Kanchenjunga range and Mt. Everest range. The unmatched experience and thrill whilst trekking through a land of virgin rhododendron forests, alpine valet and rare species of animals and orchids on the higher altitude ridge of Darjeeling Himalayas with the view of daunting Himalayas has made trekking towards Sandakphu an unforgettable experience which has made the trekkers and nature lover coming back for more. Even if you are not a nature person the lush green rolling meadows with the back drop view of lofty mountainous valley, trekking trail through the wild blooming flowers and lastly the breath taking panoramic view of the snow kissed mountains can make any non believer fall in the love with Sandakphu. Whether you are trekking or riding a vintage cab, finishing the journey with an epic vista of the snow capped mountain which is known as the Sleeping Buddha or the Sleeping Shiva lets you see the glory of the Mother Nature at its prime stage.

Trekking through the exquisite forest of blooming rhododendron and pine tree with the backdrop view of the mountains whilst spotting some rare animals like red panda and barking deer is an experience which has lured many travelers in Sandakphu.

Best time to visit Sandakphu

There are two great seasons to visit Sandakphu. The first such season is April until May when the temperature is pleasant and flowers like rhododendrons and orchids bloom in full whilst covering the valley in the beautiful shade of red. And then October to early December, when the temperature is bit chilly indicating the start of winter, is best to get an unparalleled view of the snow peaks in a clear blue sky from Sandakphu. It is best to avoid the monsoon season since the land becomes more prone to landslides.

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