Earlier called Santapur, meaning a place for saints, Sandakphu is located at a height of 3,636 metres above sea level. It’s the highest trekking route in the state of West Bengal. A trip to Sandakphu provides you with mesmerizing views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Makalu. Due to its scenic beauty and height, many people wonder about the overall Sandakphu trek cost. In this post, we’ve discussed a sample itinerary to give you an idea about what’s included in a package, and an approximate Sandakphu trek cost cost estimate.
Located in Singalila National Park, Sandakphu is also called a trekker’s paradise. With stunning views of exotic fauna and flora, reaching the summit is a celebration for trekkers and backpackers from around the world. A trek to this part of the country gives you new perspective about the sheer size and beauty of the Himalayas. It’s highly recommended to plan this trip under the guidance and supervision of an experienced Sandakphu trek guide.
Located at 11,941 feet above sea level, Sandakphu trek is in the Darjeeling district. It has been famous for its perfect setting right in front of scenic landmarks, such as Lhotse, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and Everest. Sandakphu also gives you a chance to witness the beauty of several other peaks in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim. Apart from the scenic beauty in the region, you can also explore the perfect blend of Indian and Nepalese culture, tradition and cuisine.
This trek is also famous for its diverse range of fauna and flora, which contrast the snow-capped peaks and dense forests. In this region, you can find over 600 varieties of Orchids, which is the most in a single geographic region in the world. During spring season, Orchids are in full bloom, and turn the entire forest into a sheet of white.
Since Sandakphu trek route takes you through Singalila National Park, you cross several meadows, grasslands and trails. You can even spot rare species, such as Red Pandas and Pangolins. Singalila National Park is also home to a wide variety of birds.
Sandakphu Trek Cost
Through this trek, backpackers and trekkers find an equal ratio of difficult and easy sections. As compared to other treks in the region, this one is considered to be easy. In fact, if you’re a beginner, it’s one of the easiest mountain expeditions in the Himalayas. The key highlights of the trip include Sleeping Buddha peaks, Singalila National Park, Red Panda, Rhododendrons, Stargazing and 4 tallest mountains in the world.
Your Sandakphu trek guide will ensure you don’t miss a thing. You can even use the motor road to reach Sandakphu by car. While 50% of the road is well-constructed, the other half is a mud road. However, you can still trek on this route, which has plenty of trekkers’ huts and guesthouses.
There’s another exciting route to reach Sandakphu and Phalut. You can walk through the dense forest in Singalila National Park. From the first day of the trek, you’ll get mesmerizing views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Since there’s no habitat in the forest, you’ll be able to soak in the calming silence. This trail offers the perfect trekking experience. The approximate Sandakphu trek cost is around INR 10,000, which depends on inclusions, facilities etc.
Day 1 – New Jalpaiguri to Chirtrey – You need to start the journey from New Jalpaiguri railway station. From here, you’ll drive to Chitrey, which is a very small village located in the dense forest region of the Himalayas. The distance between New Jalpaiguri and Chitrey is about 100 km, and it takes 4-5 hours to cover the journey. During your stay in Chitrey, you can explore colourful Buddhist monasteries and Stupas.
Day 2 – Chitrey – Tonglu & Tumling – On the second day of the trip, you need to climb through the dense forest to reach Tonglu. On this stretch, you’ll come across several small hills and peaks. In addition to this, you’ll also have to cross a meadow, which will take about 20 minutes to trek. Tonglu peak is located right on the Indo-Nepal border. You’ll spend the night here.
Day 3 – Tonglu to Kalipokhri via Jaubari and Kaiyakata – Waking up to the sunrise in Tonglu will give you magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjunga. From here, you’ll leave for Jaubari, which is about 15 km away. The hike begins with an ascend, and takes a steep descend until Jaubari. You’ll be able to reach Jaubari within a couple of hours. From here, you need to hike on a steep trail for about 1.5 hours, before reaching Kaiyakata.
At Kaiyakata, you can take a break for snacks and refreshments. Your expedition for the day will end when you reach Kalipokhri. It’s a 2.5 hours trail with moderate ascends. This village has a beautiful black lake. You’ll be able to spot Buddhist prayer flags from quite some distance. As per legend, the lake doesn’t even freeze during winter season, which gives it black colour.
Day 4 – Kalipokhri to Sandakphu – This is the most important day of your trek. From Kalipokhri, you need to cover 6 km to reach Sandakphu. On this stretch, you’ll gain maximum height, and need to cross some steep ascends. On reaching Bikeybhanjan, you’ll be at a height of 11,929 feet above sea level.
Once you’ve relaxed for a while, you can start the journey for Sandakphu. The elevation will keep increasing throughout the route. Over time, you’ll start walking slowly, not due to fatigue, but to witness the stunning beauty of the region. Before reaching Sandakphu, you’ll have to cross three mountain peaks. On the final stretch of the trek, the path takes a zigzag pattern.
Day 5 – Sandakphu to Srikhola via Gurdum – On this day, you need to start climbing until Samandin village. The next village on this stretch is Ramam. Both villages allow you to witness the simplistic mountain lifestyle and culture. On reaching Ramam, you can start descending towards Srikhola. Stay overnight and relax.
While seasoned trekkers want to trek from Srikhola to New Jalpaiguri, others prefer a trip by the car. Your journey will end in New Jalpaiguri, from where you can leave for home with lifelong memories. If you want more details about Sandakphu trek cost, feel free to get in touch with our team of seasoned trekkers, guides and support staff. Just click here.