Sandakphu Trek: A Love Affair With the Himalayas

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Sandakphu is the highest peak in the state of West Bengal and the only trek from where you can see four of the highest peaks in the world, including Everest and Kanchenjunga. It lies on the border of India and Nepal, which makes it an even more interesting destination.

The five-day trek begins from a small village on Nepal border—Manebhajyang. You traverse through different terrains each day. There are meadows, thick forests full of rhododendron trees and the Himalayan snow-clad peaks.

Photo of Sandakphu Trek: A Love Affair With the Himalayas 1/4 by Rohit kumar Singh Jadon

How to reach

I was travelling from Delhi to Manebhajyang and it is 45 km from Siliguri and 95 km from New Jalpaiguri.

By rail

You will have to reach New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri. Once you are there you can get shared cabs easily for Darjeeling costing around Rs 150. From Darjeeling you can get shared cabs to Sukhiapokhri for Rs 50. From Sukhiapokhri you can get shared cabs to Maneybhajyang.

By air

You will have to reach Bagdogra airport, which is 10 km from Siliguri. You can get autos and cabs for Rs 250 to Siliguri from the airport. Once at Siliguri you can get shared cabs till Maneybhajyang as mentioned above.

Photo of Sandakphu Trek: A Love Affair With the Himalayas 2/4 by Rohit kumar Singh Jadon

Difficulty level

Sandakphu is located at an altitude of 11,930 feet. It happens to be one of the more popular treks since the terrain is not too rough. The trek is considered to be of easy to moderate difficulty, because the trail is well laid and well marked.

Taking a guide for this trek is mandatory as per the government rules. You can hire a guide from Maneybhajyang under Rs 1200 per day. You will also have to get a permit to enter the Sangilila National Park for Rs 100. You will also have to pay an additional Rs 100 to get a permit for your camera.

Trek route

Manebhajyang - Chitre - Meghma - Tumling - Gauribus - Kalapokhri - Sandakphu - Kalapokhri - Gauribus - Tumling - Meghma - Chitre - Manebhajyang

Photo of Sandakphu Trek: A Love Affair With the Himalayas 3/4 by Rohit kumar Singh Jadon

Itinerary

You must start the trek before 11.00 am for they do not allow you to enter into the National Park later than that.

Photo of Sandakphu Trek: A Love Affair With the Himalayas 4/4 by Rohit kumar Singh Jadon
Day 1

Manebhajyang - Chitre - Meghma - Tumling (11 km / Five hours)

The trail very much remains on the road only or just adjacent to it. For first few kilometres, you have to walk on the road, taking tiny shortcuts till you reach Chitre. After Chitre you reach Meghma and through the meadows you reach Tumling.

Photo of Tumling, Nepal by Rohit kumar Singh Jadon
Day 2

Tumling - Gauribus - Kalapokhri (14 km / Six - Seven hours)

From Tumling you take a diversion from the road and head to the Nepal side of the trek. The trail goes through a thick forest of Rhododendrons, the beauty of which will mesmerise you. You reach the Singalila National Park check post at Gauribus and the trail is all uphill from here to Kalapokhri.

Photo of Kalipokhri, West Bengal, India by Rohit kumar Singh Jadon
Day 3

Kalapokhri - Sandakphu (6 km / Four hours)

The trek on this day is very steep and demanding compared to the rest of the days.

Photo of Sandakhphu, West Bengal, India by Rohit kumar Singh Jadon
Day 4

Sandakphu - Kalapokhri - Gauribus (15 km / Six hours)

This is a downhill trek till you take the same route you came up on.

Day 5

Gauribus - Tumling - Meghma - Chitre - Manebhajyang (16 km/ Seven hours)

This is the easiest day of the trek. Almost like a leisurely walk.

Photo of Manebhanjyang, Nepal by Rohit kumar Singh Jadon

Expenditure

The total expenditure from Delhi to Sandakphu and back is Rs 20,000 including air travel, food, hotel and public transportation.

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