Sandakphu trek, located at almost 12,000 feet above sea level, is considered to be the highest peak in Singalila National Park. At a height of 11,800 feet above sea level, Phalut is the second highest peak in the region. Thus, many trekkers and adventure enthusiasts wonder about how to reach Sandakphu from Kolkata.
During the trek, you can catch glimpses of the tallest four mountains in the world, i.e., Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Everest. In addition to this, you can witness the stunning beauty of the Himalayas, spreading across Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim.
If you visit the location during spring or early winter months, you’ll be able to see a wide range of flowers in full bloom. Orchids, Magnolias and Rhododendrons line the forests turning them into a sheet of red, white and pink. Over 600 varieties of Orchids can be seen in the region.
How to Reach Sandakphu from Kolkata?
Before we explain the route options from Kolkata, let us tell you about the trekking route in brief. When it comes to Sandakphu sightseeing, you’ll find plenty of options. The trekking route is pretty straightforward with a well-defined trail. From Manebhanjan, you need to reach Chitre, which is popular due to its gompa or monastery. There’s also a small restaurant in Chitre serving eggs, tea, momos and snacks in an open field.
The next stop is Lamay Dhura, which is a small town occupied by Tibetan families. Most tourists prefer to take a halt in this location. You can also get homemade tea served with light snacks. Meghma is a small village located right on the Indo-Nepal border. Covered with clouds throughout the year, a walk through this part takes you to Nepal across the border.
Located at 9,600 feet above sea level, Tumling is a small town where tourists stay overnight. At the time of sunrise, you can get clear views of the famous Kanchenjunga range. After Tumling, you enter Singalila National Park, popular for its high altitude, Red Pandas, Rhododendrons and other flora and fauna. At the entrance of the park, you’ll have to show a permit, which can be obtained from the Forest Department’s office.
Sandakphu trek has abundant scenic wonders to make for an amazing trip. Other small towns and villages you’ll visit on the trip include Kalipokhri, Gairibas and Bikheybhanjan. To complete the trek, you’ll need around 7 days, each one offering a different kind of experience and a chance to feel nature up-close.
By Flight – If you wonder how to reach Sandakphu from Kolkata via flight, here’s your answer. Bagdogra is the nearest airport to Sandakphu. It’s near a small town called Siliguri, located approximately 100 km from Darjeeling. The journey between Darjeeling and Bagdogra takes about 2.5 hours by road. If you’re visiting from Kolkata, you can take a flight to Bagdogra, which would take about 50 minutes.
Air India, Jet Airways and Spicejet operate regular flights between Kolkata and Bagdogra. However, you’ll have to check schedules, as they keep changing on a periodic basis. You can also take a flight to Bagdogra from other major cities in India, including Delhi. From the airport, you’ll be able to find a taxi for the hotel without any issues.
By Train – If you want to travel in a train, New Jalpaiguri will be the nearest railway station. It’s well-connected with other cities, such as Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi and Bhubaneswar. Regular trains operate on these routes on a daily basis. When you reach New Jalpaiguri, you can even plan a journey in the famous Toy Train.
By Bus – Regular bus services are available for a journey between Kolkata and Darjeeling or Siliguri. However, a bus journey on these routes can be tiring and exhausting. It’s better to choose another mode of transportation.
By Jeep or Taxi – Once you reach New Jalpaiguri station or Bagdogra airport from Kolkata, you can take a taxi or jeep to reach Darjeeling. This is the most preferred choice of trekkers and backpackers. If you’ve booked a package with a tour operator, everything will be handled, and you won’t have to worry about making these complex arrangements on your own.
Via Darjeeling on Jeep
As mentioned above, one of the most preferred ways to plan a trip to Sandakphu is via Darjeeling. From Kolkata, you can reach Darjeeling via train, bus or taxi. In case you’ve booked a package, professionals will take care of all logistics. They will even organise everything related to your stay and permits.
While travelling from Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri, you will be picked up from the airport or the railway station to begin a memorable journey. With a professional’s help, you won’t have to wonder about how to reach Sandakphu from Kolkata. In case you still want to manage everything on your own, you need to reach Manebhanjan, which is about 75 minutes from Darjeeling via taxi and about 4 hours from Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri.
From here, the base camp of the trek, your journey to Sandakphu trekking trail begins. You can hire a pre-paid taxi from both Bagdogra and New Jalpaiguri to reach Manebhanjan. In fact, shared taxis are also readily available. However, you’ll have to change for a transfer at Sukhia.
When you reach Manebhanjan, you can easily rent a 4-wheel drive, such as a Land Rover, to proceed on your journey. During peak season, it can be difficult to find decent accommodation. Therefore, it’s better to book your stay in advance. Due to plenty of Sandakphu sightseeing options, accommodation options on the entire route remain booked.
For Sandakphu trekking through Singalila National Park, you’ll need a permit, which can be obtained from the Forest Department’s office. If you still wonder how to reach Sandakphu from Kolkata, feel free to get in touch with our seasoned trekkers, guides and support staff to discuss your requirements. We’d be glad to plan everything for you. Please click here.