Sandakphu or Sandakfu or Sandakpur is the dreamland for all the trekkers. From Darjeeling, the distance to Sandakphu Trek is 58kms (26km up to Manebhanjan). Situated at an altitude of 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 Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu, the tour to Sandakphu 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 a 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.
Trekkers can start the journey from Darjeeling, Mane Bhanjang or even from Chitrey. Those who prefer to stay overnight at Darjeeling should wake up early and start driving towards Maneybhanjang that acts as a base for the trekkers trekking to Sandakphu. There are a few trekker's huts and small hotels in Manebhanjan where travellers can spend a night for the next day trek. While trekking, here are the places trekkers will get to see on the way.
Trekkers who want to avoid the sheer climb at the quite beginning of the trek can drive few kilometers more to reach Chitrey within a short span of one and half hours through pine, fir and birch forest. Travellers can even decide to stay overnight at Chitery as the places have an accommodation facility in the form of a homestay and the trekkers' hut. Apart from the beauty of nature and surrounding lush greenery, the monastery of Chitrey is one of the prominent attractions here.
Just about 3 km ahead of Chitrey, Lamey Dhura is a tiny yet splendid hamlet. From Chitrey to Lamey Dhura, trekking is going to be quite adventurous. Sounded by snow-peaked mountains and lush greenery, Lameydhura can be an ideal place to have some rest. Here in the village, there are some cottages selling hot tea and snacks for the exhausted trekkers to help them get refreshed.
Meghma is another 3 km trekking distance away from Lamey Dhura. This splendid hamlet spans over a larger area covered with verdant meadows. In the village, the trekking route divides into two. One leads to Tonglu which is located at an elevation of 3070 meters. The other one on the left leads to Nepal. A Buddhist Monastery located in Meghma is the major attraction trekkers will love to visit.
2 km ahead of Meghma, Tonglu is one of the prominent hilly settlements travellers will get to see on their way to Sandakphu. Located on the foothills of the Himalaya, Tonglu looks like a piece of paradise with its great exhibition of natural beauty and the splendid view of Kanchenjunga. The sound of the colorful flags fluttering in the wind is too soothing to hear to the trekkers.
Tumling is another awes trucking hamlet trekkers can explore. The village is located 2 km upwards from Meghma through the left route. It is in Nepal and acts as a night halt for the trekkers. Just like Tonglu, the lush greenery of the village captivates the soul of the visitors. Furthermore, if the night is clear, the village offers a great view of the lights coming from Darjeeling, Kurseong, Pasupati and any other nearby villages. From here, trekking towards Sandakphu is all about witnessing a vast variety of flora and fauna as the checkpoint for Singalila National park will be just 1 km distance away.
Situated in Nepal and approximately 5 km away from Tumling, Jourbari is a small hamlet with a police check post. There are several shops here and also some accommodation in the form of huts for the trekkers those who want to spend a night prior to resuming their trek to Sandakphu. The unearthly view of nature and the complete serenity is the major temptation of this secluded hamlet.
Not more than 3 km from Jourbari, Gairibans is another pictorial hamlet trekkers go through on their way to Sandakphu. Located at the India-Nepal border and inside the Singalila National Park, Gairibans is located 2621 meters above sea level. Several trekkers' huts are built here to provide accommodation facility to the trekkers. Often, they prefer to stay overnight in this village in order to reach Sandakphu in 2 days. The trekking routes from Gairibans goe uphill for a few kilometers until the trekkers reach the hilltops. Another few kilometres of trekking lead them to a magnificent village called Kaiyakatta.
From Gairibas, Kaiyakatta is approximately 2 km more distance away. The village acts as a great destination to sip a cup of tea from the stalls. There is a story behind the name of this village. According to some locals, A Marwari businessman uses to run a business here. He was not trustworthy at all used to deprive the locals to keep most of the profits for himself. Because of this, the villagers got furious and a person in anger beheaded the businessman. Since then, the place is named Kaiyakatta where "katta" means cutting or killing. From here, one route is gone through a village namely Kalipokhri.
Merely 3km from Kaiyakatta, Kalipokhri is a village in Nepal situated at an elevation of 10,400 feet above sea level. Nestled on the top of the ridge, the village provides a unique panorama of daunting mountain peaks to the trekkers. There is a small lake with deep black water in the village. The village got its name from the pond where "Kale" stands for black and "Pokhri" stands for the lake. Surrounded by the prayer flags and the pine trees, the lake is certainly a visual treat to the eyes.
2km from Kalipokhri and an approximately 40 minutes trek will lead the trekkers to Bikey Bhanjan. The trekking route from Kalipokhri to Bikey Bhanjan is full of pictorial sights. On the way, travellers can have rest at a place named Chowri Chowk. Trekkers will also encounter another hamlet whose name signifies the "Valley of Poison" as a large number of poisonous plants can be seen here. Bikey Bhanjan is the last village prior to reaching Sandakphu.
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. Here are the possible transportations you can use:
If you are planning to visit Sandakphu Trek by train, New Jalpaiguri is the nearest Railway station (NJP). NJP has a connection with other major railway station of Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, etc. So, after reaching NJP, trekkers require to hire a taxi to reach the base of Sandakphu trekking.
Bagdogra is the nearby Airport of Sandakphu Trek. The distance between Bagdogra Airport and Sandakphu is approximately 115 km. Direct flights are available from all the major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, etc.
Reaching Sandakphu by road is the most convenient way. Many Private and Government buses are available from Siliguri to Maneybhanjan via Sukhiapokhri. Buses are also available from Kolkata, Siliguri and Darjeeling. Thi s mode of transportation is not recommended as it is quite tiresome and exhausting.
Hiring a car or taxi is the most suitable choice. If you book a complete tour package from North Bengal Tourism, everything will be managed by us so that you can enjoy your tour without indulging yourself in the complex arrangement process.
Due to its high altitude, the weather of Sandakphu Trek stays always cold. Sometimes the temperature can go down to zero during any seasons. Here is how the weather of Sandakphu will stay during your tour from January to December.
During the month of January, the temperature ranges from -5° Celsius to 6° Celsius. It is one of the coolest months and this is the less crowded time for trekking.
The temperature in February ranges from -6° Celsius to 7° Celsius. Due to its chilled weather, you should carry warm clothes along with you. Moreover, heavy snowfall happens during this time.
During the months of March to April, the temperature ranges from -2° to 12 ° Celsius. Sandakphu Trek from March to April is going to be a memorable one as the weather is charming and the blooming rhododendron can be seen here.
The climate from May to June ranges from 6° to 15° Celsius. During these months, the weather of Sandakphu is pleasant and quite charming. Snowfall does not happen in these months. But it is advisable to carry raincoats and an umbrella.
The temperature of Sandakphu sticks around 7° to 16° Celsius in the months of July and August. These are not the idle months to have a trekking tour in Sandakphu.
September to December is considered to be an idle time to have a trekking tour at Sandakphu. The weather and temperature become quite bearable and pleasant. The breathtaking vista of blooming rhododendron and snow-peaked Kanchenjunga is what you will observe during your Sandakphu Tour.
There is no particular time or 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. However, it is advisable to avoid the monsoon season since the land becomes more prone to landslides.
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.
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.
Apart from being a wonderland for all the trekkers, Sandakphu is also a paradise for all photographers from mesmerizing sunrise and sunset to a sky full of stars with a view that tends to take every trekker's breath away Sandakphu has got all of it.
If you have planned to have a tour and wondering about the price, the Sandakphu Trek Cost will be about 500 to 700 per day per person including foods. Moreover, the complete tour cost is more than that including accommodations, meals and cars.
From the budget offering to the deluxe one, Sandakphu has all kind of accommodation options available. With the help of North Bengal Tourism, you can book an entire tour package with cars, accommodations and meals just by contacting us.
You may be a trekker, traveller, photographer or just a nature lover Sandakphu is a 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. So, wait no more! Make a holiday schedule and explore this trekking paradise with North Bengal Tourism's tailor-made tour packages.
Q. How do I get to Sandakphu?
Rented cabs are available to reach Sandakphu from New Jalpaiguri. Buses also use to ply from Siliguri to Manebhanjan vis Sukhiapokhri. From here, Sandakphu can be reached by trekking.
Q. What is the best time to go for the Sandakphu trek?
There are two most preferred seasons to go for the Sandakphu trek. The first season starts from April to May when the temperature ranges from 8 to 15 degrees. The second season starts from October to early December when the temperature ranges from -5 to 5 degrees.
Q. Is Everest visile from Sandakphu?
Not just Everest, other mountain peaks such as Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu can be seen from this trekkers' paradise.
Q. Is there snowfall in Sandakphu?
Yes, snowfall can be seen here. Snowfall usually starts here towards the end of December and lasts till, the end of January.
Q. How do I prepare for Sandakphu Trek?
The trekking to Sandakphu is moderately difficult. One has to prepare for a month by walking 5 to 6 km daily and doing free-hand exercise in order to stay fit. Moreover, while trekking, always wear warm clothes, jackets and boots to stay warm in the intense cold.
Q. How far is Sandakphu from Darjeeling?
The approximate distance from Darjeeling to Sandakphu is around 58 km.
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