Sandakphu trek, rightly called the highest peak in Singalila National Park, is a scenic wonder. It offers stunning views of the four tallest mountains in the world, i.e., Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Everest. On this trek, you can soak in these amazing experiences under clear skies. Your Sandakphu trek guide will make necessary arrangements and provide you with all the help to explore this beautiful region. Sandakphu attracts backpackers and trekkers from around the world, and gives you a chance to build lifelong memories.
From several viewpoints on the trail, you can get clear views of the Kanchenjunga Range. Since it’s the third highest peak in the world, you can be assured of amazing views, including the famous ‘Sleeping Buddha’, which is a cluster of peaks forming the shape of a sleeping Lord Buddha. In this cluster, Mt. Kumbakarna gives an impression of a human face with a well-defined nose structure, and Mt. Pandim looks like the feet. With a professional tour operator and a guide managing everything, you don’t miss such details on the trek.
Singalila National Park has several species of flora and fauna. Throughout the journey, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of rhododendrons, magnolias and orchids. If you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to spot Red Pandas, a rare species. Sandakphu trekking is not just a usual trekking experience, but takes you close to nature in an unparalleled manner.
A lot of guides planning and organising treks are informed about certain spots where Red Pandas can be sighted. You may even be able to capture a few photographs to take back home. It’s worth mentioning that the entire trail is located on the Indo-Nepal border, and you will be crossing sides quite a few times. Though Sandakphu is a long trek, it’s relatively easy. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the easiest treks near the Himalayas. However, you should still consult an experienced Sandakphu trek guide.
Highlights of Sandakphu Trek
During the trek, you will cover several snow-covered trails, forest areas, grasslands and monasteries. Locals will greet you with smiling faces, and huge snow-capped mountains will form the perfect backdrop for everything. According to seasoned trekkers and backpackers, post-monsoon season is the perfect time to visit Sandakphu, but we’ll get back to this later in this detailed Sandakphu trek guide.
To give a brief, the month of September allows you to have clear views without any rains. The weather is also favourable, and makes it easier for you to complete the trek. The period between February to April is also an ideal choice to plan a visit. During these months, rhododendrons are in full bloom, and the entire region looks like a sheet of pink and red. Spring season is also the perfect time to spot Red Pandas. Here’s an overview of the key highlights of Sandakphu trek.
Stunning Views of Snow-Capped Peaks – On a trek to Sandakphu, you’re able to soak in all kinds of experiences. To reach the basecamp, you even pass the ancient Old Silk Route. Moreover, you can’t miss the impeccable hospitality of the people of Sikkim and Nepal. Beautiful teahouses and trekkers’ huts are visible along the trail. The dense grasslands and forest areas of Singalila National park will keep you mesmerized throughout the journey. Panoramic views of snow-capped peaks in the Annapurna and Kanchenjunga ranges will be one of the key highlights.
The amazing views of Mt. Makalu will look stunning. At 28,838 feet above sea level, it’s one of the highest peaks in the world. From Sandakphu summit, you can view this range close to Mt. Everest. Sunset is the best time to stop for a view. Lhotse, the south peak, is an integral and a beautiful part of the Everest Range. It even forms a well-defined Sandakphu trek route.
The highest peak in the world, Mt. Everest, is visible over other snow-capped peaks. Carrying your binoculars will be a good idea. It will allow you to catch close-up views of the mountains. Apart from these, several other peaks will look breathtaking and mesmerizing. You’ll be amazed at every step, looking at the untapped nature, and getting respite from your usual life.
View the Kanchenjunga – The high peaks in the Kanchenjunga Range are a cluster of snow-clad mountains. Every morning, when sunshine drops, each peak looks different and amazing. The magnificence of this beautiful range can’t be explained in words. One look outside your camp will reveal the beauty of the ‘Sleeping Buddha’, a cluster of snow-capped peaks in unending glory. Your Sandakphu trek guide will help you spot the right peaks at the right time.
According to experienced trekkers, sunshine makes the peaks change colours from gold to amber. This gives you a beautiful panoramic view of the Himalayas. One of the most scenic treks, Sandakphu is the perfect opportunity for beginners to feel nature up-close, and experience the beauty of trekking in the mountains.
Magnolias and Rhododendrons – As mentioned earlier, Sandakphu trek allows you to witness different colours of spring. White magnolias and pink-red rhododendrons are abundant in the entire region. Whether you’re ascending, descending or walking on level trails, you’ll see beauty at every step in the Singalila National Park. All the colours form the perfect palette to give you a festive feel. Therefore, spring is one of the best seasons to visit Sandakphu.
Spot Red Pandas – Naturally shy, Red Pandas are spread across Singalila National Park. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot a few. These charming but elusive animals hop around the forest, and you can spot them on trees. An experienced Sandakphu trek guide can help you spot them during spring season.
Kalipokhri – Popularly called the Black Lake, Kalipokhri is a small settlement. The beauty of this place is mesmerizing, and gives it the tag of being a picturesque location on the trek. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and Kanchanjunga in the backdrop, the view will be etched deep in your memory. It’s one of the most beautiful stretches on the Sandakphu trek route.
It’s worth mentioning that Kalipokhri is located in Nepal. The region is occupied by Buddhists, and provides you with solace and peace. You’ll be able to notice Buddhist prayer flags from quite some distance. This location should be a part of your Sandakphu trekking package.
Unlike most treks in the Himalayan region, Sandakphu trek has a mixed terrain. It’s a relatively easy trek, with several simple ascends and descends. However, you should take necessary precautions to ensure your overall safety. You should even prepare yourself for altitude sickness. Prior to leaving for the trek, you should work on improving your fitness level for at least a week.
Sandakphu Trek Difficulty
According to most trekkers, difficulty is a subjective concept. In most cases, it depends on weather conditions, fitness level of the trekker, terrain and other factors. If you consider various factors for Sandakphu trek, you’d notice that it’s easier compared to other treks near the Himalayas. The average distance of the trek is 32 km, if you complete the entire circuit. However, this trek is also doable in a car or a Jeep, which cuts off several kilometres from the total distance.
Just like any other high altitude trek, it’s important to get acclimatized. Therefore, once you’ve reached the basecamp, it’s better to rest for a day or two. Needless to say, this trek will also test your stamina and endurance. With proper guidance and right approach, you won’t experience much issues. Your Sandakphu trek guide will always be there to help.
Sandakphu Trek Best Time to Visit
As mentioned earlier, Sandakphu is the highest peak in the beautiful and famous Singalila National Park. Thus, Sandakphu trek weather is a crucial factor in ensuring a good trip. Though the trek is open throughout the year, two periods are considered to be amazing to plan a visit. During summer season, nature lovers should plan a visit, while the autumn season is perfect for viewing high peaks under clear skies.
From the month of April to June, the region sees orchids, magnolias, rhododendrons and other species of flowers in full bloom. Thus, the entire valley is covered in a sheet of pink and red. On the other hand, clear skies give a huge advantage from October to December. It allows trekkers to see high peaks without any obstruction.
Every year, tourists start visiting this scenic wonder from March. In the summer season, temperature remains close to 15 degree celsius. If you plan a visit in this season, it allows you to avoid freezing cold temperatures. However, if you like snow, January or February is the ideal time to plan trekking with a Sandakphu trek guide.
If you’re planning a visit in winter months, it’s important to make necessary preparations. You should carry the right kind of trekking gear, clothing and footwear. According to experienced guides and trekkers, beginners should plan a trek during summer months. It offers a comfortable and a safer trekking experience.
Sandakphu trek is the perfect mix of several scenic wonders. It’s one of the most scenic and exciting trekking experiences. Some beautiful villages and towns you’ll visit on the trek include Jaubhari, Gairibas, Bikheybhanjan, Kalipokhri and Manebhanjan. Your Sandakphu trek guide will help you throughout the trek. The average duration of the trek is 7 days.
By Flight – In case you’re planning to visit the region via flight, Bagdogra will be the nearest airport. Located about 100 km from Darjeeling district, it’s near a beautiful town called Siliguri. To reach Darjeeling from Bagdogra, you’ll need about 2.5 hours. Bagdogra airport is connected with major cities via regular flights.
Major airlines, such as Spicejet, Jet Airways and Air India operate flights to Bagdogra. It’s worth mentioning that schedules can vary, and you need to book a ticket in advance. Once you reach the airport, you’ll be able to find a cab without any problems.
By Train – If you want to take a train, New Jalpaiguri will be the closest railway station. It’s very well-connected with major cities in the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Kochi and Kolkata. Several trains operate on these routes every day. On reaching New Jalpaiguri, you can even take a ride in the world-famous Toy Train.
By Bus – Most trekkers won’t recommend a bus journey in this region. It can be exhausting and tiring. However, bus services operate daily between Kolkata and Siliguri or Darjeeling. For shorter routes, a bus journey is fine, but for longer ones, it’s better to take a train, a taxi or a shared jeep.
By Jeep or Taxi – When you’ve reached Bagdogra airport or New Jalpaiguri railway station, it’s easy to take a jeep or a taxi to reach Darjeeling. Most backpackers and trekkers prefer to take this mode of transportation. In case you’ve booked a Sandakphu trekking package with a professional tour operator, you won’t have to worry about logistics. Everything will be handled, and you’ll be helped in every way possible.
Via Darjeeling on Jeep with a Sandakphu Trek Guide
As mentioned earlier, one of the most comfortable and exciting ways to visit Sandakphu is in a Jeep. Once you’ve reached Kolkata, New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra, you can take a taxi or bus to reach Darjeeling. If you’ve booked a Sandakphu trekking package, professionals will take care of everything. In fact, they’ll even handle things related to permits and accommodation options.
When you’re travelling from New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra, you’ll be picked up by a professional Sandakphu trek guide to embark on a memorable and exciting journey. With help from a professional tour operator, you won’t have to worry about reaching Sandakphu in a hurry. Everything will be managed properly. However, if you still want to manage things on your own, it’s a straightforward journey. But it can be tiring and exhausting.
The base camp of the trek is in Manebhanjan. It’s a small village about 4 hours from New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra and 75 minutes from Darjeeling. From here, your trekking experience begins. You can even hire a pre-paid or shared taxi from New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra. Most trekkers prefer a shared-taxi, since it helps cut costs. However, a shared taxi requires you to change in Sukhia for a transfer.
After reaching Manebhanjan, you can simply rent a jeep or a 4×4 wheel drive, such as a Land Rover. It’s worth mentioning that Sandakphu is packed with tours during peak season. Therefore, it’s important to book an accommodation in advance. The region has plenty of sightseeing options, and your guide will help you choose a comfortable stay.
Fares & Costs
If you’re planning Sandakphu trekking by car, it’s important to consider a few expenses. In this section of the Sandakphu trek guide, we’ve tried to give a clear idea about costs. If you leave New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra to reach Manebhanjan in a small car, you may have to spend somewhere around INR 3,000. In case you’re travelling from Darjeeling, INR 50 will be sufficient for a jeep ride. A small car from Darjeeling costs around INR 1,200.
Manebhanjan to Tumling – Overnight cost for a Land Rover is around INR 1,800
Manebhanjan to Sandakphu – Overnight cost for a Land Rover is around INR 4,800
Manebhanjan to Phalut – Overnight cost for a Land Rover is around INR 7,500
Most tour operators charge around INR 1,000 per night for a Land Rover. You also need to consider the national park’s entry fee, which is INR 100 for Indians, and INR 200 for foreigners. Charges for vehicle entry are INR 100. If you want to carry a digital camera, you’ll have to pay INR 100, while a video camera ticket charges around INR 400.
On this entire route, you can find numerous places to stay. Lodges and guesthouses are abundant in several villages, such as Tonglu, Gairibas, Sandakphu and Phalut. You can also book trekkers’ huts in Meghma, Tumling, Jaubhari, Gairibas, Kalipokhri and Sandakphu. A lot of trekkers plan an overnight stay in Tumling. In this region, most lodges and guesthouses give amazing views of the high peaks. It can be the perfect stop on your Sandakphu trekking route.
It’s worth mentioning that most accommodations in Sandakphu offer basic amenities. Thus, you shouldn’t expect anything fancy. There’s no electricity, and everything runs on solar power. You won’t be able to enjoy facilities like phones, TV etc.
You can also book a room or a bed in a GTA lodge. In order to make the booking, you need to visit the GTA tourism office. A lot of tour operators book your accommodation in a private lodge. In addition to this, the tour package also includes meals and transport. Depending on the preferences and budget, you can even get the trip customized. Renok Adventures has been conducting tours to Sandakphu for quite some time. If you want to get in touch with our team of experts or an experienced Sandakphu trek guide, please click here.
Located at a steep height of 11,929 feet above sea level, Sandakphu is considered to be the highest trekking route in Singalila National Park. As compared to other treks in the Himalayas, this one is relatively easy. However, you can’t ignore the significance of high altitude and unpredictable weather conditions. It’s important to take necessary precautions. To cover the total Sandakphu trek distance, you should plan the trip with a professional tour operator.
Detailed Overview of Sandakphu Trek Distance
A journey to Sandakphu is possible on foot as well as by car. In order to give you a clear idea about the total distance, we thought we’d share a sample itinerary of the route. This will give you a better understanding of the distance you need to cover in stretches. Your journey will start from Jaubhari, which is one of the most beautiful basecamps for a trek.
You can reach Jaubhari from Bagdogra, if you take a flight, or from New Jalpaiguri, if you’re travelling in a trail. On the drive to Jaubhari, you’ll cross numerous villages, mountain roads, tea estates and towns bordering the Indo-Nepal border. You’ll reach Jaubhari within 5 hours.
Jaubhari to Tumling – On this stretch, you need to cover some steep ascends with level walks. Muddy areas and rocky trails will welcome you to the forest terrain. You’ll even walk through some meadows. On this Sandakphu trek route, it’s better to be accompanied by an experienced guide. From Jaubhari, you need to climb the main road, which leads to a trail reaching Chitrey. This is a steep climb of 3 km, which takes 3.5 hours to cover.
Near the end of this stretch, you’ll have to cover a steep walk for approximately 10 minutes. You’ll notice an upward motor road, located adjacent to two small shops. This takes you on a trail to Chitrey Monastery. Buddhist prayer flags will be visible from some distance.
From this point in the journey, the uphill walk will get more difficult. For trekkers, steps have been constructed until Lamyadhura. Clear views of the dense forest are a delightful sight from Lamyadhura. In fact, it’s one of the most beautiful parts of the entire trek. Your next stop will be Meghma, which requires a trek on a steady incline, with simple walks and motor roads.
Walking for 1.5 hours will take you to an SSB check post. Once you’ve got the permits checked, you can walk to the Buddhist Monastery. The road ahead will have three routes. You need to take the straight one, which takes you to Tonglu via Meghma. It’s an easy flat walk on a well-constructed motor road.
Tumling to Kalipokhri – From here, you can choose from a hiking trail and a motor road. Needless to say, the motor road takes you through an easier route to reach Garibas. However, your Sandakphu trek guide would recommend the hiking trail. It’s a scenic route with dense forest and meadows.
Through the forest, you’ll have to hike for 5 km to reach Garibas. This stretch climbs gradually, and takes you to a peak in Sandakphu. From this point, you walk through a meadow after a steep descend of about 10 minutes.
On your right hand side will be India, while the scenic peaks in Nepal will be visible on the left hand side. In order to reach Garibas, you’ll have to descend for 40 minutes. Kaiyakatta is approximately 2 km from this place. 1.5 km is a steep climb, while the remaining stretch is easier to cover. As mentioned earlier, to cover this entire Sandakphu trek distance, you can even take the motor road.
Once you’ve reached the top, you’ll have to descend for 10 minutes. You can even take a stop for lunch. Kalipokhri is 4 km from Kaiyakatta. A level motor road makes the journey easier. Moreover, vehicles aren’t allowed on this road. Within 2 hours, you’ll reach Kalipokhri.
Kalipokhri to Sandakphu – This stretch of the journey is a steep incline of 4 km. The trail is zigzag, and you’ll have to choose between two routes. While the left one is longer, it’s also easier. The right one is the shorter route, but has several steep ascends.
The shorter route is way more scenic, and most trekkers prefer this trail. Within 15 minutes, you’ll notice India and Nepal’s trails converge, and once again break-up. Throughout this stretch, you can soak in mesmerizing views of the majestic Himalayas.
Sandakphu to Sabargram – On this part of Sandakphu trek route, you’ll have to walk through ridges and meadows. A few slopes will welcome you with strong winds. This part of the trail is lined with rhododendrons. You’ll have to ascend in the north-east direction for 20 minutes, post which, a 10 minute ascend takes you to another easy descend. This will keep happening for the next 1.5 hours.
Sabargram to Gorkhey – To reach Gorkhey via Phalut, you’ll have to cover a 7 km stretch. It takes about 2.5 hours, and you’ll encounter gradual descends and level walks every 15 minutes. Post this, there’s a steep climb of approximately 1 km. Once you notice the trekkers’ hut, you’ll have to walk a steady climb of 1 hour to reach Phalut.
From Phalut, the descent takes you through the dense forest. You’ll reach Gorkhey in 10 km, which is a difficult and a steep ascend to the village. Your Sandakphu trek guide will take you through meadows and grasslands.
Gorkhey to Sepi – In order to reach Sepi, you can walk through Ramam. On this stretch, you’ll be covering several ascends and dense forest areas. You’ll also pass a small village called Samamden. Once you reach Ramam, you’ll only notice descends until Srikhola. You need to take the motor road for 40 minutes. After having lunch, you can leave for New Jalpaiguri.
The total Sandakphu trek distance is 31 km from Manebhanjan. One of the most beautiful treks in the country, Sandakphu offers panoramic views of the Himalayas. Renok Adventures has been conducting tours to Sandakphu for quite some time. To discuss your requirements with our team or to know more about Sandakphu trek distance, please click here.
Located at 11,929 feet above sea level, Sandakphu trek height is the maximum for any trek in West Bengal. Set in the beautiful Darjeeling district, the route starts from a small town called Manebhanjan, which is located at a height of 7,054 feet above sea level. Though the difference seems steep, it’s still considered to be an easy trek with several level walks, descends, and a few steep ascends. Manebhanjan is the gateway to Sandakphu and Singalila National Park.
From New Jalpaiguri, which is the nearest railway station, and Bagdogra, the nearest airport, it takes about 4 hours to reach Manebhanjan via road. The route takes you through Mirik. In case a direct taxi isn’t available from the airport or the railway station, you need to reach Mirik for a transfer.
It’s worth mentioning that shared taxis aren’t available at the Bagdogra airport. Manebhanjan is about 26 km from Darjeeling, and it takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to complete the journey in a taxi. Most trekkers reach Manebhanjan one day prior to the trek. This allows them to relax and stay overnight in a homestay or a hotel.
From Manebhanjan, the total distance to Sandakphu is 32 km, which can be covered within 3 days. If you’re able to trek for about 9 hours per day, you can even reach Sandakphu in 2 days. Most trekkers take 3 days to complete the journey, while soaking in panoramic views of the Himalayas.
Sandakphu trekking also allows you to trek further to Phalut, which is about 21 km away. This usually takes an additional day. Though the entire journey is easy, it can seem long and tiring. From Sandakphu, you can take the same route to return. However, most trekkers prefer an alternate route.
This one takes you through Gurdum and Srikhola before reaching Rimbik, where private and shared taxis are readily available for a return transfer. A lot of seasoned trekkers and hardcore backpackers proceed to Phalut, and soak in even more views and memories before returning home. If you’re planning a round trip or full circuit to Sandakphu, it will take about 5 days, depending on your fitness level and weather conditions. Despite the steep Sandakphu trek height, this one is suitable for anyone with above average fitness level.
Sandakphu Trek Height Impacts Your Choices
For a trek at such high altitude, you need to have a clear idea about weather conditions, essential clothing, food, medication etc. We’ve tried to give some information about these aspects to ensure you have a great time on the trek. The best season to visit Sandakphu is from April to May, when you can see orchids, rhododendrons and primulas in full bloom. Weather remains pleasant and clear skies allow you to view the majestic Himalayas without any issues.
The period from October to November is also quite popular among trekkers. During this period, it’s better to plan the journey with an experienced Sandakphu trek guide. Though visibility is good, occasional snowfall and bad weather conditions may cause some problems. A professional guide ensures your safety, and lets you have fun without experiencing any problems.
These days, Sandakphu trekking is a popular choice even in the winter season. From December to February, temperatures can be freezing, and you’ll need to pack heavy woolens, sleeping bags, snow boots etc. Usually, only seasoned trekkers and hardcore backpackers plan a trip during this period.
It’s worth mentioning that Singalila National Park remains closed from June to September. Animal breeding and monsoon season can cause serious trouble during this period. However, you can trek up to Tumling, a small and beautiful village, during these months. After a 1 km walk from Tumling, you can see the entry to Singalila National Park. Here are some other things you need to consider while planning Sandakphu trekking.
Clothing & Accessories – Due to Sandakphu trek height, it can be cold even in the summer season. Thus, you should carry jackets and woolens. During winter season, gloves, caps and heavy woolens are required. In addition to this, you should carry a raincoat, trekking shoes, extra pair of socks etc. You should also carry a trekking stick, and essential medication.
Lighting – Sandakphu is a remote area without any power or electricity. After Tumling, you’ll notice only a few villagers using generators and solar panels. Electricity is only consumed for some time at night, post which you need to use candles. Hot water is a very precious commodity, and should not be wasted. It’s provided in small buckets.
Food – Delicious but simple food will welcome you to the forest. Noodles, bread, dal, rice and a few light snacks will make a major portion of your meals. You shouldn’t expect anything fancy in this part of the world. However, bottled drinking water, packaged snacks and alcoholic beverages are available throughout the route.
Sandakphu Trekking Experience
In case you’re a beginner, you should go slow and save some energy for difficult ascends. It’s important to take a break every few minutes. Your Sandakphu trek guide will walk ahead of you all the time. This keeps you protected against wildlife and bad road conditions. Due to prior experience, your guide can predict changes in weather and other usual problems you might come across.
Some people believe that trekking downhill is easier. However, that’s not always the case. The downhill trail can have steep gradient, and you may find it difficult to dodge the tricky terrain. Thin ice cover in winter season and dry leaves in autumn can make the route slippery. It can even take a toll on your ankles and knees.
Last but not the least, consuming alcohol on Sandakphu trek route can cause several problems. Since you’ll be at an altitude of approximately 12,000 feet above sea level, your body needs abundant oxygen. Alcohol can cause problems like headaches and dehydration. It’s never a good idea to consume alcohol on a trek.
Renok Adventures has been conducting and organising tours to Sandakphu for quite some time. If you’re planning a Sandakphu trek or want to know more about Sandakphu trek height, our seasoned trekkers, guides and support staff will be glad to help you out. To discuss your specific requirements about the trek, get in touch. Please click here.
Popularly called the ‘Paradise of Trekkers’, a Sandakphu trek by car takes you through several valleys, meadows, forest and grasslands to the highest peak. From here, you can soak in the mesmerizing views of the four tallest mountains in the world. These include Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Kanchenjunga.
One of the most popular and scenic treks in the state of West Bengal, Sandakphu is at a height of 11,930 feet above sea level. It’s considered to be the highest trekking route in West Bengal. A trip to Sandakphu makes you realize the grandeur of the Himalayas. In this region, nature has a different meaning, and the hardship you endure to complete the journey will be worth the effort.
Unlike other trekking routes in the region, this one is relatively easy. It’s not only covered by young adults, but even older people with good fitness. Though road condition isn’t very good, Sandakphu is still accessible in a Jeep or a 4×4 car. The trek takes you through Singalila National Park, home to the rare species of Red Panda. While following the mountain ridge, you stay right on the Indo-Nepal border.
Meaning ‘Height of the Poison Plant’, Sandakphu has been given this name due to the presence of poisonous aconite plants growing near the peak. A Sandakphu trekking experience is unmatched, and allows you to explore the region at your own pace. With the backdrop of the north-eastern Himalayas, you’ll be definitely mesmerized.
Sandakphu Trek by Car
In order to cover Sandakphu trek by car, you’ll need to consult a professional tour operator. With an experienced trekker and guide, you won’t have to worry about logistics, such as entry permits, tickets, stay, guide, vehicle etc. Everything will be organized for you, and you’ll be picked up from either Bagdogra airport or New Jalpaiguri railway station, depending on your convenience.
However, if you want to manage everything on your own, it’s better to visit Manebhanjan, which is about 4 hours from New Jalpaiguri/Bagdogra, and 1.5 hours from Darjeeling. Your journey to Sandakphu/Phalut will start from here. You can easily get a pre-paid taxi from the airport or the railway station.
It will take you straight to Manebhanjan. To cut cost, you can even hire a shared taxi, which requires a transfer at Sukhia. Sandakphu trek route is pretty straightforward, and you wouldn’t experience any major issues. On reaching Manebhanjan, you can hire a 4-wheel drive for the journey to Sandakphu and Phalut.
During peak season, it can be quite difficult to find a decent accommodation. Thus, it’s important to book your stay in advance. Once again, if you’ve booked a package with a tour operator, you won’t have to worry about these things.
In order to enter the forest area, you need to take a permit from the Forest Department’s office. Near Tumling, the Sandakphu trek route passes through Singalila National Park. The Forest Department’s office is on the roadside before an uphill road starting from Manebhanjan. You need to pay an entry fee to trek through this trail. The permit can also be taken from the park’s entrance near Tumling.
Fares & Costs
For Sandakphu trek by car, you need to consider certain expenses. We’ve tried to give you an idea about approximate fares and cost you can expect. From Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri to Manebhanjan, a small car will cost around INR 3,000. If you’re travelling from Darjeeling, it will take INR 50 for a shared Jeep ride. A small car from Darjeeling will cost about INR 1,200.
From Manebhanjan to Tumling – A Land Rover for a round trip will cost INR 1,800 plus night charges
From Manebhanjan to Sandakphu – A Land Rover for a round trip will cost INR 4,800 plus night charge
From Manebhanjan to Phalut – A Land Rover for a round trip will cost INR 7,500 plus night charge
Night halt charges for a Land Rover will be approximately INR 1,000 per night. The entry fee for the park is INR 100 for Indian nationals, and INR 200 for foreigners. The vehicle entry charge is INR 100. To take a still digital camera, you’ll have to pay INR 100, and for a video camera, charges are INR 400.
Along the route, you’ll find several places to stay. Trekker huts and lodges are abundant in Phalut, Sandakphu, Gairibas and Tonglu. You can even book a private lodge or trekker hut in Sandakphu, Kalipokhri, Gairibas, Jaubhari, Tumling and Meghma. Most trekkers plan to stay overnight in Tumling. Most lodges and guesthouses in this region give stunning views of the peaks. Moreover, it’s a great stop enroute Sandakphu trekking.
It’s important to understand that most accommodation options in Sandakphu offer basic facilities. There’s no electricity, and solar power can only provide enough energy for some hours at night. You shouldn’t expect facilities like TV, phones etc.
If you plan to book a bed or a room in a GTA lodge, you need to visit the GTA tourism office. Most tour operators book your stay in a private lodge. Moreover, the package also includes transport and meals. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can get the trip customized.
Clothes to Carry
Sandakphu and Phalut are located at high altitudes. Thus, they remain pretty cold throughout the year. During early spring and winter season, temperature can drop below zero without any fair warning. It can be freezing and chilly. Therefore, throughout the Sandakphu trek route, you need to take necessary precautions. Depending on the time of travel, you need to carry woolens and warm clothes. A jacket, windcheater, trekking shoes, cap and raincoat are a must.
If you’re looking to plan a Sandakphu trek by car, our team of seasoned trekkers and support staff will be happy to help. We have been conducting and organising tours to Sandakphu for quite some time. Depending on your requirements, we can customize the perfect package for you. To get in touch, please click here.
With a height of 11,929 feet above sea level, Sandakphu is the highest summit in the famous Singalila National Park. Compared to other treks in the region, Sandakphu trek difficulty, is considered easy. However, the high altitude can cause problems and weather conditions may change frequently. Therefore, you need to take necessary precautions. It’s highly recommended to plan your trip with a professional tour operator.
Sandakphu Trek Difficulty
In order to explain the Sandakphu trek difficulty level, we thought it would be best to share a sample itinerary with information about the route. The journey starts from Jaubhari, which is considered to be the most scenic basecamp. The closest railway station is in New Jalpaiguri, while the nearest airport is in Bagdogra. A drive from both these locations takes you through mountain roads, villages bordering Nepal and several tea estates. It takes about 5 hours to complete the journey.
Jaubhari to Tumling – This route takes you through level walks and steep ascends. A few rocky trails and muddy areas make the trek quite difficult. You even have to walk through meadows. In this part of the route, a Sandakphu trek guide definitely helps. From your stay in Jaubhari, start climbing the main road, and you’ll notice a trail leading up to Chitrey. A steep climb of approximately 3 km, you can finish the journey within 3.5 hours.
Nearing the end of the trail, the walk will get steep for about 10 minutes. Against two small shops, there’s an upward motor road, and a trail leading up to Chitrey Monastery. You’ll be able to notice the Buddhist prayer flags from quite some distance.
From here, the difficulty level increases and the trail goes uphill. Until Lamyadhura, you’ll even find steps for the climb. On reaching Lamyadhura, the forest gives you clear views of a meadow. It’s one of the most scenic parts of the Sandakphu trek route. In order to reach Meghma, you’ll have to follow a steady incline, with some motor roads and leisurely walks.
In about 1.5 hours, you’ll reach an SSB check post. After getting your permits checked, you can walk straight to the Buddhist Monastery. A short walk from here brings you to a fork. The straight road goes up to Tonglu via Meghma. It’s a flat walk on a motor road, which takes you to Tumling, right on the Indo-Nepal border with some guesthouses.
Tumling to Kalipokhri – From Tumling, you can either choose a motor road or a hiking trail. If you want to minimize Sandakphu trek difficulty, take the motor road, and reach Garibas via Jaubari (different from the basecamp). The hiking trail is a lot more scenic with meadows and dense forests.
Garibas is about 5 km from Tumling through the forest. The trail gradually climbs and takes you to a high point in Sandakphu. From this point, it descends for about 10 minutes, and takes you through a beautiful meadow.
On the right hand side, you can see India, while Nepal is on the left hand side. With a 40 minute descend, you’ll reach Garibas. After a short break, you can proceed to Kaiyakatta, which is about 2 km away. It’s a steep climb of 1.5 km. You can even take the motor road to soak in the scenic views of Nepal.
After reaching the top, your Sandakphu trek guide will ask you to descend for about 10 minutes. Here, you can stop for lunch. From Kaiyakatta, Kalipokhri is about 4 km. It’s a level motor road where vehicles aren’t allowed. It’s one of the most scenic routes, and you’ll reach Kalipokhri lake within 2 hours.
Kalipokhri to Sandakphu – After reaching Bikheybhanjang, you should take a short break. From here, Sandakphu trek route is a very steep incline of about 4 km. The entire stretch is zigzag, and you need to choose between two routes. The left one is longer, but takes you through gradual ascends. The right one is shorter, but has steep ascends.
Assuming your fitness level is adequate and considering the shorter route, you’ll have to walk for about 15 minutes before India and Nepal’s trails converge and break-up. Tea stalls and huts are abundant in this region. You can soak in the panoramic views of the Himalayas.
Sandakphu to Sabargram – Since you need to cover a lot of distance, it’s important to start early in the morning. If you’re wondering about Sandakphu trek difficulty on this stretch, you’ll be walking through meadows and through ridges. There are a few slopes with strong winds. During April and May, the entire trail is lined with rhododendrons.
In the north-east direction, you’ll have to descend for about 20 minutes, before a 10 minute ascend takes you to another descend. Over 2 to 3 hillocks will have gradual descends and ascends. Within 1.5 hours, you’ll reach the Thukumb checkpost.
Sabargram to Gorkhey via Phalut – From Sabargram to Phalut, it takes 2.5 hours to cover a 7 km zigzag stretch. After every 15 minutes, you’ll notice level walks and gradual descends. Post this, you’ll have to cover a steep 1 km climb. After a while, you’ll notice the trekkers’ hut. From here, Phalut is a steady climb of approximately an hour.
Phalut only has an SSB camp, a Forest Department guest house and a GTA trekkers’ hut. From this point, you can get clear views of the majestic Himalayas. If the weather permits, your Sandakphu trek guide will ask you to proceed to Gorkhey on the same day.
From Phalut, the descent begins and takes you through the forest. In about 10 km, you’ll reach Gorkhey, which is a steep ascend to the village. It takes you through some fields and meadows with multiple openings.
Gorkhey to Sepi – To reach Sepi, you can take the route via Ramam. The stretch takes you through steep ascends and forest areas. On the trail, you’ll pass Samamden, which is a beautiful village with lush fields and wooden huts. Next to the SSB check post, you’ll find a tea house, where you can take a break.
From the dense forest, the stretch from Ramam to Sepi takes you through several descends. After crossing a wooden bridge in Srikhola, you need to walk on the motor road for about 40 minutes. After a lunch break, you can leave for New Jalpaiguri. With a professional tour operator, vehicles for your departure will already be available. If you’re looking to plan Sandakphu trek, you can get in touch with our seasoned trekkers and support staff. Please click here.
West Bengal is home to some of the most scenic tourist spots in the country. Kolkata, also called the City of Joy, is a cultural and an exciting place to visit. Similarly, Darjeeling is a beautiful hill station offering mesmerizing views of lush landscapes. For wildlife lovers, Sundarbans is an excellent choice. While these places are scenic and charming, nothing comes close to the magnificent Sandakphu. Relatively unexplored and offbeat, Sandakphu is a great choice for any adventure or trekking lover. In this post, we’ve discussed everything about Sandakphu best time to visit.
Sandakphu trekking allows you to soak in amazing views of the meadows, valleys and snow-clad mountains. On a pleasant day, you can even catch glimpses of the four tallest mountains in the world. If you’ve always been fascinated by rural gems hidden deep within trekking trails, Sandakphu will seem delightful. Before planning a visit, it’s important to get a clear idea about the best time to visit.
Sandakphu Trek Best Time to Visit
Sandakphu is considered to be the highest peak in Singalila National Park. Therefore, weather plays an important role in planning a good trip. Like most trekking routes, there are two seasons to visit Sandakphu. Though the trek is open throughout the year, summer and autumn provide you with exceptional views of the mountains and let you explore the region without any harsh conditions.
From April to June (Sandakphu trek best time to visit), the entire valley sees a bloom of Orchids, Rhododendrons and other species of flora. This turns the entire valley into a sheet of red and pink. The second season, from October to December, lets you view the mesmerizing peaks under clear skies. Most Sandakphu trekking tours are conducted during this period.
Tourists start visiting Sandakphu from March. During summer season, temperature may be somewhere around 15 degree celsius. A visit during this season helps you avoid chilly weather in night time. On the other hand, if you like to explore the region when it’s snowing, a trip in January or February will be ideal.
To cover this trek during winter season, it’s important to prepare yourself with the right kind of footwear and clothing. According to seasoned trekkers, beginners should stick to summer season for a comfortable trekking experience and clear views of the mountains. October is one of the best months to plan your visit. Here’s also some useful information to give you a clear idea about Sandakphu trekking route, which would help you plan the journey.
Sandakphu trek is one of the most scenic and thrilling adventures in the country. Following the north ridge, it takes you close to Nepal, and allows you to explore the culture and traditions in both countries. While ascending on the ridge, you come across impressive views of snow-clad mountains. The Himalayan region forms the backdrop of everything else. You’d be able to view Lhotse, Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu.
Apart from experiencing incredible views, you’re even welcomed by a wide range of fauna and flora along the Sandakphu trekking route. While hiking through the forests, you’ll pass several areas with rhododendrons, bamboos and magnolias. The key highlight of the trip will be to spot a Red Panda. Naturally shy, Red Pandas move freely in Sandakphu.
In addition to this, the trek also takes you through military checkpoints, teahouses and hamlets. Sometimes, you’ll even cross the Indo-Nepal border without even realizing it. Throughout the trek, you’ll notice a well-defined trail. Depending on your experience and background as a trekker, you can either book a tour or hire a private guide.
Sandakphu Trek Best Time – The Experience
The average time taken to finish Sandakphu trek is approximately 7 days. The journey starts from Manebhanjan, the base camp of the trek. From here, you embark on an upward journey. It’s better to start early in the morning, and walk through forests blooming with magnolias, rhododendrons and spruce trees.
On reaching Sandakphu, your fatigue and exhaustion won’t matter. During Sandakphu trek best time, clear skies will allow you to witness the stunning beauty of snow-capped mountains. The spellbinding views in Sandakphu are unmatched by any other treks in the country. Thus, this scenic location attracts trekkers and backpackers from around the world.
The entire Sandakphu trek route is a maze of scenic wonders, making you feel delightful at every step. In this region, you’ll find over 600 varieties of Orchids. In fact, it’s the largest concentration of Orchids in any geographical area in the world. These flowers are in full bloom from May to June.
As mentioned earlier, you can hire a private guide or porter in Manebhanjan. However, it’s always better to plan the journey with a tour operator. This way, you don’t have to worry about safety or other issues. Travelling in a group also allows you to explore everything in a much better way. While going through Singalila National Park, experienced tour operators can also guide you on spotting elusive animals and flowers.
Without a doubt, the most picturesque part of the trek runs right through the heart of Singalila National Park. In order to pass through the forest, you’d need a permit from the Forest Department. Its office is located on the outskirts of the base camp in Manebhanjan. From this office, you can even book overnight stays in trekkers’ huts.
If you’re planning to embark on a journey of several scenic wonders, you should start preparing your health and fitness for the trek. Though relatively easy, 7 days in the forest can be exhausting. As mentioned above, it’s better to plan this trek with a professional tour operator. This allows you to plan the trip under the guidance and supervision of experienced trekkers and guides.
Renok Adventures has been conducting and organising Sandakphu treks for quite some time. We ensure you have a great time on the trip, while giving prime importance to your safety. If you want to get in touch with our seasoned trekkers and support staff to know about Sandakphu trek best time to visit and discuss your requirements, please click here.
Considered to be the highest peak in the Singalila National Park, Sandakphu trek offers mesmerizing views of the tallest four mountains in the world, i.e., Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Kanchenjunga. On Sandakphu trek 2019, soak these experiences and more under clear skies, and with a team of seasoned trekkers, guides and support staff. Sandakphu is one of the most beautiful trekking routes in the country, and attracts tourists from all parts of the world.
From Sandakphu viewpoints, Kanchenjunga Range is clearly visible. Being the third highest peak in the world, clear skies ensure you’re able to view ‘The Sleeping Buddha’, a cluster of peaks that seem to form the shape of Lord Buddha. Mt. Kumbakarna forms a human face with a protruding nose, while Mt. Pandim forms the feet. On a Sandakphu trek package, an experienced guide can show you and make you understand all these interesting details.
The Singalila National Park is home to a wide range of wildlife species. Since Red Panda is Sikkim’s State Animal, it’s among the most famous sightings. It’s also a rare specie, and you can only catch a glimpse if you’re lucky.
Hopefully, your guide will know a few spots where you can spot the Red Panda, and maybe capture a photograph for home. Sandakphu trek route is right on the Indo-Nepal border. Interestingly, while on the trek, you’ll cross the border quite a few times. Since Sandakphu is a long trek, it’s important to follow forest regulations and instructions given by your guide.
Highlights of Sandakphu Trek 2019
Sandakphu trek 2019 covers a wide range of snow-covered tracks, monasteries, forest trails and grasslands, all surrounded by smiling faces of locals and huge mountains. According to experts, post-monsoon season is the best time to visit Sandakphu. After September, you can expect clear skies to soak in mesmerizing views of the peaks.
The period between February to April is also a good season to plan a visit. During this period, rhododendron flowers are in full bloom, and give you a chance to catch stunning views of the landscape. You’re also more likely to spot Red Pandas in these months. Here’s an overview of other highlights you can expect on the trip.
Panoramic Views of High Peaks – A Sandakphu trek package offers many different things. On your journey, you pass the Old Silk Route to reach the base camp. The hospitality of the people of Nepal and Sikkim is also worth mentioning. Along the way, teahouses line the trail, and you’re amazed by the green haven of the famous Singalila National Park. The key highlight of your trip will be the panoramic views of the high peaks of Kanchenjunga and Annapurna ranges.
Mt. Makalu, one of the highest peaks in the world, stands tall at 27,838 feet above sea level. It’s visible close to Mt. Everest, and the best time to view this range will be around sunset from the Sandakphu summit. The South Peak, also called Lhotse, is a part of the Everest Range, and forms a properly marked climbing route.
Everest, the highest peak in the world, towers above the other mountain ranges. Don’t forget to carry your binoculars to catch close-up views of the snow-capped mountain. Throughout the journey, more such peaks will take your breath away, and keep you soaked in enchanting views of raw nature.
Vision of Kanchenjunga – The Kanchenjunga peaks are an entire cluster of snow-capped mountains, and had to be listed separately. As the sunlight streams upon the snow-clad mountains, you’ll witness the magnificence of this majestic range.
In the morning, look out of your camp as the range reveals ‘The Sleeping Buddha’, a cluster lying in relentless glory. As you approach the summit on the Sandakphu trek route, the peaks start getting bigger and you’ll be left speechless with their beauty.
At the time of sunrise, you can see the peaks changing colours between amber and gold, to give you a clear vision of the Kanchenjunga range. This prized trek in the state of West Bengal makes for the perfect opportunity to capture photographs and cherish lifelong memories.
Magnolias and Rhododendrons – On a Sandakphu trek package, you’ll witness several colours of spring. Pink-red rhododendrons and white magnolias line the trail, and even sweep the ascends. When it comes to walks in Singalila National Park, these colours give you a festive feel. Thus, visiting this destination during spring season is an ideal choice.
Look Out for Red Pandas – As mentioned earlier, Singalila National Park is the natural habitat of Red Pandas. These elusive but charming animals keep moving inside the forest and hop around on trees. Naturally shy, it can be quite difficult to spot a few without the help of an experienced trekker or guide.
Kalipokhri (The Black Lake) – The famous Kalipokhri settlement has been built around a very small lake by the same name. Meaning ‘black water’, this lake is one of the most picturesque locations on the trek. Set amidst beautiful mountainous terrain with Kanchenjunga in the background, you’ll never be able to forget the view.
The settlement is located within Nepal, and you can see signs of the Buddhist community living in peace. Prayer flags have been tied around the lake, and flutter in strong winds throughout the day. Be sure to include this spot in your Sandakphu trek package.
It’s important to understand that Sandakphu trek has a mixed terrain. It’s considered to be an easy trek with simple ascends and steep descends. However, you still need to take necessary precautions to ensure your safety. It’s also important to prepare for altitude sickness, and work on your fitness before embarking on the journey.
Difficulty Level of Sandakphu Trek 2019
According to seasoned trekkers, the difficulty of a trek is a subjective concept. It depends on the health, fitness and strength of a person. However, considering other factors, Sandakphu trek is relatively easy. With gradual decline, you’ll find many steep descends. The average distance of the trek is 10-11 km (one-way). Weather changes are frequent, and evenings can be foggy.
In order to get acclimatized to the climate, it’s better to rest for a day after reaching the base camp. Sandakphu trek 2019 will definitely test your endurance and stamina. However, with the right approach and proper guidance, you won’t experience any issues. If you’re looking to plan a trek in the coming season, feel free to get in touch with our team of experts. Just click here.
The north-eastern Himalayas are known for their stunning beauty which spreads across the horizon. Sandakphu is the highest trekking route in the state of West Bengal, and attracts tourists from all parts of the world. This region provides ample opportunities for mountaineering and adventure sports. A Sandakphu trek in December is perfect for beginners too. However, the harsh cold is something that might seem like a deterrent. With help from professional tour operators, you can plan an amazing trip to this beautiful destination.
In the month of December, winter sets in, and makes it difficult to cope up steep ascends. However, since it’s an easy trek, you don’t need to worry much. The steep ascends are perfectly complemented by easy descends throughout the journey. On average, it takes about a week to complete the trek. Sandakphu weather in December can be unpredictable, and therefore, it’s highly recommended to plan this trip under the supervision of seasoned trekkers and guides.
Sandakphu Trek in December
Chilly winds encompass the entire region in the month of December. The average Sandakphu temperature in December ranges between minus 2 degree celsius to 8 degree celsius. Nights can be even colder. Thus, it’s important to carry warm clothes and appropriate trekking gear. You also need to take necessary precautions to tackle the cold.
It’s worth mentioning that the trek is close to the Indo-Nepal border. Thus, you get a chance to explore the perfect mix of culture, cuisine and traditions. Moreover, you’d also cross the border quite a few times. The trek takes you through some villages that are a part of both countries.
On the trek, you’ll be mesmerized by the stunning beauty of Annapurna and Kanchenjunga ranges. You’ll even pass through various species of trees, such as pindrow firs, paks, morinda spruces etc.
For a Sandakphu trek in December, Renok Adventures can help you make necessary arrangements, and even plan the entire journey. Our team of seasoned trekkers, guides and support staff makes sure you have a thrilling experience. To get in touch, please click here.
The stunning beauty of the north-eastern Himalayas is most profound in the northern region of West Bengal. Backpackers and trekking enthusiasts from around the world visit this region for all kinds of mountaineering activities and adventure sports. Beginners with less or no experience in these activities are recommended a Sandakphu trek in November. As compared to other trekking routes in the region, this one is relatively easy. It’s the best way to explore the amazing beauty of the Himalayas.
Due to pleasant Sandakphu weather in November, you can take a balanced approach to trekking. The steep climbs complement the easy descends, and allow you to complete the trek within 6-7 days. According to seasoned trekkers, this is one of the easiest and most beautiful treks in the country.
Sandakphu Trek in November
In the month of November, winter sets in, bringing chilly winds to the region. However, views are clear, and you’re able to view the Annapurna and Kanchenjunga ranges. The average Sandakphu temperature in November ranges somewhere between minus 1 degree celsius to 8 degree celsius.
Since the trek is located close to the Indo-Nepal border, it gives you a chance to explore culture, cuisine and traditions of both countries. In fact, you also tend to cross the border quite a few times. The trek even passes through a couple of villages which are a part of both countries.
On the journey, you will even catch views of snowy mountains, pass through dense forests and explore several species of trees, such as morinda spruces, paks, pindrow firs and more. Overall, a Sandakphu trek in November offers a thrilling and exciting experience.
Renok Adventures has been conducting tours to Sandakphu for quite some time. If you want to plan a trek in November, get in touch with our team of seasoned trekkers, support staff and guides. Please click here.
Singalila Ridge Trek, also popularly called Sandakphu trek, is one of the most scenic trekking options in eastern India. In fact, it’s the highest trekking route in West Bengal, and attracts tourists from all parts of the world. If you want to soak in the stunning beauty of the majestic Himalayas, this trek will be an excellent choice. With views of the four tallest peaks in the world, a Sandakphu trek in October is thrilling and delightful.
In the month of October, winter starts setting in, and you get a chance to explore the region under clear skies. The pleasant Sandakphu weather in October makes it a good period to plan a trip. During this period, you’ll find trekkers from around the world on some unexplored trails and amidst dense forests. However, it’s still recommended to consult a professional tour operator for the trip.
Sandakphu Trek in October
On your journey from Manebhanjan, you even cross the Indo-Nepal border a few times. The proximity of Sandakphu to the border gives you an opportunity to witness the perfect mix of Indian and Nepalese culture and traditions. While walking on the trail, you’re often right at the border between the two countries. Interestingly, Tumling and Sandakphu towns are part of both countries.
The average Sandakphu temperature in October ranges between 0 degree celsius to 10 degree celsius. Nights can be even colder. Due to the chilly weather, you need to carry warm clothes and appropriate trekking gear. A professional tour operator can help you make the necessary preparations.
On a Sandakphu trek in October, you can catch clear views of the Annapurna and Kanchenjunga ranges. Several high peaks, including the Everest, are easily visible. Without a doubt, Sandakphu trek is one of the most beautiful trekking routes in the country. You even pass through several forests with silver firs, magnolias, rhododendrons and drumstick primulas. If you want to plan a trek, get in touch with our seasoned trekkers and guides to discuss your requirements. Just click here.