Travel

SANDAKPHU- A Paradise to all adventure lovers

Sandakphu-a paradise to all adventure lovers
Written by Banani Chakraborty

Sandakphu- a paradise to all adventure lovers, perched at almost 12000 feet high wherefrom we can see a vast range of snowy Himalayan peaks. Also, it is at the borderline with Nepal. Therefore, it has a luring appeal to the adventurist as well as the tourists.

As there are plenty of Himalayan Cobra Lilies, therefore this place is also famous as a “mountain of poisonous peaks”. Moreover, we will see almost 600 varieties of orchids here.

Sandakphu is a paradise not only to all adventure lovers but also to all nature lovers. In the first place, it is the only place in the world that offers awe-inspiring views of 4 out of the 5 highest peaks in the world. In all honesty, we will find no match for this spectacular view. This is one of the prime attractions of Sandakphu and Phalut.

Sandakphu-a paradise to all adventure lovers.

In the first place, it, perhaps, offers the best possible views of the beauty queen, the 3rd highest peak of the world, mount Kanchendzonga. Tourists can enjoy charming as well as unspoiled vistas of the entire Kanchendzonga range. This enchanting beauty is simply thrilling and heart-throbbing. It is a true paradise due to its serenity along with abundant natural beauty.


However, this place is still an offbeat destination.

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Sandakphu Height:

Indeed, Sandakphu is not only the highest point in the Singalila range but also in West Bengal. Its height is 3636 meters(11930feet).

Phalut, at an elevation of 3600 meters(11811feet), is the second-highest area in West Bengal.

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Sandakphu A paradise to all adventure lovers

Source Google Image

Weather: Temperature of Sandakphu:

  • January-March: –  50 C to 6o C
  • April-May: 60 C to 120 C
  • June-September monsoon season.
  • October-December 10 C to 60 C

The distance of various places from Sandakphu:

Sandakphu to

Sandakphu Attractions:

Sandakphu offers abundant pristine natural beauty. From here we can see the enchanting Himalayan peaks. Most importantly, we can see a heart throbbing and the most beautiful high altitude snowy Himalayan peaks around 3600. In all honesty, the awesome panoramic view from almost everywhere, will bring boundless delight and provide boundless happiness.

Kanchenjuna from Sandakphu:

Tourists can see the best possible view of ‘Sleeping Buddha’ or ‘Sleeping Shiva’ from here. This is the best possible way to enjoy the magnificent beauty of Mighty Kanchenjunga.

4 Highest Peaks visible from Sandakphu:

All the tourists will enjoy the beauty of the highest four peaks in the world barring the second highest peak Karakoram or K2. Most importantly Nepal is the abode of Mount Everest, the highest of the peaks in the whole world and it attracts the tourist of the whole world.

These four peaks are

  • Mount Everest-8848 meters, the highest.
  • Kanchenjunga-8586 meters, the 3rd
  • Lhotse-8516, the 4th and
  • Makalu-8462, the 5th highest in the world.
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 Other peaks visible from Sandakphu:

In fact, we can see a heart throbbing and the most beautiful high altitude snowy Himalayan peaks around 3600 from Sandakphu.

Apart from the above 4 panoramas of peaks, there are some more which we can see from here. They are:

  • Baruntse (7220m),
  • Chamlang (7319m),
  • Nuptse (7861m),
  • Jupono (5650m).
  • Chomo Lonzo (7818m),
  • Kabru N (7353m),
  • Frey (5853m)
  • Kabru Forked (6100m),
  • Talung (7349m),
  • Rathong (6679m),
  • Pandim (6691m),
  • Koktang (6147m),
  • Simvo (6812m),
  • Kabru Dome (6600m),
  • Tenchenkhang (6010m).

In the first place, these amazing snowy peaks belong to Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. However, we will see such a wide range of Himalayan mountains from Chaukori.

Everest Family:

With the first rays of sunlight, we can see astounding views of the dazzling peaks of Mount Everest group in Nepal. Further, we can see the beautiful Lhotse, Makalu and Chamlang, standing just like snow-wall. It is impossible to forget the beautiful sunrise and sunset from here. Sunrise is more beautiful as the weather remains more clear at dawn.

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Phalut:

Phalut is another beautiful place near Sandakphu and it is in the border of West Bengal, Sikkim, and Nepal.  Therefore, we will be able to see all the above-mentioned peaks also from here. By the by, the tribes living here are “Phalutians”. They are very simple and easily mix up with tourists.

The enthralling beauty relieves us from the day-to-day stress of monotonous life and brings fresh waves of joy and thrill in life. Therefore, it will act as part of stress management techniques.

Furthermore, this joy adds positivity to our attitude.

Singalila National Park:

As this region is in the Singaleela Range, so we may see “Chamri Gay”, a yellow-throated martin, various red pandas, etc. Moreover, hundreds of known and unknown birds with their colours and chirps are mind-blowing and entertaining. Tourists will experience easily varieties of flora and fauna of this wonderful Singalila National Park. Numerous and colourful flora, as well as fauna, will help to forget the journey lag.

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Trekking:

In fact, it is the best way to enjoy the natural beauty of Sandakphu. At first, the trekking route is mostly very easy.  Females also can easily trek here. Even the children will enjoy this trek. Most importantly, the motorable road and the trekking trails overlap several times. Hills and forest with its rich flora and fauna are obviously mind-blowing and fascinating. It will definitely improve our love and relations as we are spending a long stretch of time with joy.

Additionally, it is one of the trekkers’ paradise-like Munsyari the little Kashmir. In fact, Sandakphu offers numerous attractions and appeals to all adventure lovers of the globe. Furthermore, this joy adds positivity to our attitude.

Most importantly, it will easily come among the list of top ten offbeat hill stations in India.

Tourists must try to visit such destinations like Kolakham, Kalimpong, West Bengal and Shitalakhet, Kumaum, Uttarakhand.

However, tourist shows less interest to visit this place perhaps for lesser publicity or inconvenience. Moreover, they think that it is a trekking trail. Therefore, they tend to avoid this serene and tranquil hamlet.

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Suitable Time to Visit Sandakphu

  • The best time to visit this area in April and May. At this time the temperature normally remains between 6-15 degree celsius. Added to this, we will see flowers of rhododendrons and some more orchids blooming in full swing.
  • Rhododendron in full bloom is unbelievably colourful, attractive and spectacular The striking red colour of the flowers of rhododendrons is scintillating and thereby eye captivating along with mind-blowing.
    Rhododendron in full bloom is unbelievably colourful,in Sandakphu

    Source Google Image

  • We may see more than 600 varieties of orchids and flowers like Rhododendrons, silver furs, pines, magnolias, etc. here.
  • One can also visit these places in October to early December. In this time temperature generally, remain between 0-6 degree celsius.
  • In the monsoon from June to September, the area is not good and safe for the tourists

HOW TO REACH:

By Air:

The nearest airport is Bagdogra.

By Train:

From Kolkata, at first, come to NJP Station. The best train is Darjeeling Mail) / Padatik Express, Kanchan Kanya Express (all from Sealdah Station).

By Bus:

NBSTC, SBSTC, CSTC or other buses up to TENJIN –NORGE Bus Terminus.

Then we will go to Manebhanjan from there with a hired car or by public transport-bus or local jeep. If possible we will go via Mirik from Siliguri. The entire route is scenic and enchanting. We will see stretches of heart-throbbing tea gardens on the hills on both sides of the road.

Mirik is another wonderful tourist destination.

However, we will try to visit around Mirik or if possible stay one night at Mirik. Here we may witness beautiful orange orchards along with apple orchard.


N.J.P. to Manebhanjan is about 80kms. From N.J.P. or Bagdogra, it will take almost 8-9 hours to Sandakphu. Therefore, we have to start early morning.

 Most importantly, Singalila Land Rover Association controls the land rover journey for this route at a fixed rate. There is no advance booking.

Besides our main journey starts from Manebhanjan (2130m/ 7000 ft.). Therefore, we will follow the route which goes through

Chitre(8340 Ft.)- distance 3km, will take 15 minutes and known for monastery or gompa.

Lamay Dhura(8792 ft.)-3.5km, 20 minutes and hamlet of Tibetan families.

Meghma(9510 Ft.)

This small village is about 4km away and will take 10 minutes. As ‘Megh’ or cloud covers it always, so the name is Meghma. To tell the truth, the place justifies its name. Besides Nepal area starts from here. We need no permission here.

Tumling(9600 Ft.)

Around 2 km, 5 minutes, hilly village and serene hamlet. Besides some tourist thinks this place is ideal for night shelter. Therefore, they stay here for a night. Indeed, Singalila National Park starts almost from here. Buy entry pass from the check post for further proceeding. Most importantly, we may see the famous Red Panda, Pangolin, etc. high altitude animals here.

Kalipokhri(3186m, 10000 ft)-

Around 14kms and takes 30 minutes. It means ‘Dark Lake’.

Sandakphu-around 6 km, time 25 minutes.

Tourists prefer staying 1-2 nights at Sandakphu. Then go to Phalut (about 21kms). It takes 2 hours approx. from Sandakphu. The path is relatively flat, narrow and uneven.  The vehicle moves very slowly. 

Where to stay in Sandakphu?

Hotels in Sandakphu:

  • In Tumbling, Shikhar Lodge,
  • In Sandakphu, Sandakphu Trekkers Hut (99031-74074); Buddha Lodge (97360-84992) Hotel Sunrise (90070-09061)
  • In Sandakphu, Sherpa Chalet. From here you get the excellent views of the peaks.
  • Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Lodge in Phalut.
  • Because hotels and amenities are very limited in the hotels of Sandakphu and Phalut. Therefore, we have to choose from them.

As it is no electric Zone so the hotels and Lodges use solar systems for a fixed hour at night. Consequently, television, etc. are not available here.

Mobile connections are more or less available.

Besides charging phones and cameras is a problem here.

Tourism Centres Tour Operators -A Kolkata agent book lodges, hotels and cars. Phone: 9903480648.

ADVICE:

Firstly, we shall carry enough warm clothes– (2-3 layers at-least), depending on the tour time.

Additionally, we will carry a flask and electric kettle and dry food and necessary medicines.

Not to mention, that we will always drink purified water—Bislery, Kinley, Aquafina—if possible carry from N.J.P. It is so because we will get a good supply there till Manebhanjan. From there it may cause a problem.

In all honesty, we will use sanitizer for cleaning hands before taking our food.

Most importantly, we must wear sunscreen for the protection of our skin. Furthermore, we may use rose water as a natural moisturiser because our skin tends to dehydrate.

If anyone has skin problems like acne be very careful. Besides, women with flawless skin should take adequate protection.

Sandakphu and Phalut Trek:

As a matter of fact, this is a very easy trek route. If anyone willing to have trekking experience, then this is perhaps the best for the beginners in India. Even, the females, as well as children over 10 years, can also trek here.

Trekking route from N.J.P. Station:

A brief itinerary of this trekking route from N.J.P. Station.

Day1: NJP to Chitrey by car- 90km-4/5 hours.

Day2: From there trek to Tumling-9km-4/5 hours.

Day3: Trek to Kalapokhri-12km-6/7 hours.

Day4: Reach Sandakphu -6km-3/4 hours.

Day5: Trek to Phalut-21km8/9 hours.

Day6: Sunrise at Phalut -1 hour, afterwards trek down to Gorkhey-10km-4/5 hours.

Day7: Trek to Srikhola-12km-5hours, from there by car to NJP/Bagdogra-150km, 6hours or Darjeeling- 90km-4hours.

Sometimes, this trek route begins from Maneybhanjang and goes through Chitirey, Meghma, Tonglu, Tumling, Gairibas, Kala Pokhri and Bekhey.

There are direct cab services from NJP/ Bagdogra to Manebhanjan.

Day-1: Manebhanjan to Tonglu (11kms), 6-7 Hours.

    •  Manebhanjan 7,054ft (also known as Mane Bhanjyang),
    • Chitre  8,340ft (another3kms from Manebhanjan, ), 1.5- 2-hour
    • Lamaydhura: 8,792ft (further 3kms, ), 1.5-2-hour
    • Meghma  9,514ft (further 3kms,), 1.5-2-hour
    • Tonglu (2kms from Meghma), 1-1.5-hour

Day-2: Tonglu to Kalipokhri (15kms), 6-7 Hours.

From Tonglu, you should start your trek early next morning.

    •  your next destination is Tumling which is about 2kms away.
    • Tumling – 9,600ft (2kms further from Tonglu, ), 1 -2 hour
    • Jhaubari – 9,186 ft (6kms from Tumling), 3-3.5 hour
    • Gairibas -8,600ft (1km from Jhaubari, ),0.5-1 hour
    • Kalipokhri- 10,400ft (6kms from Gairibas) 3-4 hour

Day-3: Kalipokhri to Sandakphu (6kms), 3 Hours.

    •  Bikheybhanjang (2kms from Kalipokhri), 1 hour
    • Sandakphu 11,929ft (further 4kms from Bikheybhanjang,) 2.5-3 hours

Day 4: Sandakphu to Phalut.

Day5 – 7: Onward and Return treks from Sandakphu.

In the first place, trekkers must carry all suitable luggage. Moreover, they will make all the proper arrangements and settings before the start of the journey. Additionally, they will make prior physical check-up so that they can bear the pressure of trekking.

For Sandakphu trek contact no. is 91-33-22254723.

However, This virgin place is real heaven with an awesome, mesmerizing beautiful view of Kanchendzonga.  The sunrise and sunset are splendid. It is amongst the best places for nature lovers.


This type of tour will bring enjoyment as well as provide us with tremendous motivation for more tours.

As you cannot provide sufficient time or money, so choose a suitable place for the weed-end tour.

Most importantly, the tranquillity, as well as the heavenly beauty of snow laded gorgeous peaks, will remain in our memory forever.

Remembrances of these sweet memories will cause not only deep sleep but also sound and sufficient sleep.

Because you are an adventurist and lover of nature and genuine tourist. Therefore, you must visit SANDAKPHU and PHALUT.

Most importantly to visit here at least once in your lifetime, will give you good memories of worth visiting.

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Banani Chakraborty

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