Sandakphu or Sandakfu or Sandakpur is the dreamland for all the trekkers. From Darjeeling, the distance to Sandakphu is 58kms (26km up to Manebhanjan). Situated at an altitude 11,929ft (i.e. 3,636 meters) Sandakphu is the highest peak in the state of Ilam, Mechi, Nepal and West Bengal, India. It is the highest point of the Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling district on the West Bengal-Nepal border. Sandakphu means ‘Height of poisonous plant’ derives its name from the poisonous plant that grows on the hilltop. Offering the best of the views of the Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu, it has got all the reasons to be known as the wonderland for all the trekkers. Trekking through the forests of flowering rhododendrons of numerous types, giant magnolias, spruce and wide range of amazing orchids. There are over 600 varieties of orchids in this area, the largest concentration in any single geographical area in the world. You can see them bloom in spring.
There are two ways to reach Sandakphu. One can take a car or trek. The route for trekking starts from Manebhanjan and passes through many areas before reaching the final destination. The best thing about the trek is that, the view of the ranges stays with the trekker throughout the trek. You don’t have to wait for a day; the first clear view of Kanchenjunga is seen on the very first day of the trek, at Upper Chitrey. And Kanchenjunga plays hide and seek with you throughout the trek. After a tired and torturous hike, all your tiredness melts just at a look at the Kanchenjunga! However, you can also take a jeep from Darjeeling or Manebhanjan and head to this wonderful destination for a jeep safari that you may have never experienced before and beware the car ride will be really bumpy since it’s a trekking route you won’t be seeing any well maintained road. There is no particular season to trek your way towards Sandakphu every season has its own magic. If you love colors, visit Sandakphu during the springs. See the rhododendrons bloom in a riot of colors. The whole path will be blasting in red, pink and white. Sandakphu will bear a dreamy look in the monsoons. With the clouds hanging just above, you will be transported to the misty and dreamy land. October will give you the best view of the ranges. The sky will be clear and Kanchenjunga will appear with all her glory in front of you. And if you love snow, visit Sandakphu during December and January. The path will be covered with snow and you might even see a few frozen waterfalls on the way! Sandakphu will itself be snow covered during this time. Apart from being wonderland for all the trekkers Sandakphu is also a paradise for all photographers from mesmerizing sunrise and sunset to a sky full of star with a view that tends to take every trekker’s breath away Sandakphu has got all of it.
You may be a trekker, traveler, photographer or just a nature lover Sandakphu is haven for all those who crave to feel and see the beauty of Mother Nature. You need to endure a moderately difficult trek in order to reach the summit, but you will be rewarded with awesome views of the snow capped mountains.
The Batasia Loop
Darjeeling Toy Train
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute
Lloyd's Botanical Garden
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
The Rock Garden
Neora Valley National Park