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.
How to reach
I was travelling from Delhi to Manebhajyang and it is 45 km from Siliguri and 95 km from New Jalpaiguri.
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.
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.
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.
Manebhajyang - Chitre - Meghma - Tumling - Gauribus - Kalapokhri - Sandakphu - Kalapokhri - Gauribus - Tumling - Meghma - Chitre - Manebhajyang
You must start the trek before 11.00 am for they do not allow you to enter into the National Park later than that.