Why This Trek?
The Sandakphu trek is an absolute delight for trekkers as you can see the panoramic views of the mighty Himalayas including four of the highest peaks in the world Kanchenzongda, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu.
Sandakphu is the highest point of West Bengal at 3636m in the district of Darjeeling. This trek follows the famous Singalila Ridge, a prominent spur of high ground that lies at the southern end of a long crest, which runs down from the Kanchendzongha massif and forms the border between Sikkim & Nepal. One of the unavoidable necessities of trekking in Himalaya is that the best views are had from high up but the trek along this ridge, passing through small settlements, is perhaps the one of the most scenically rewarding in the Himalaya. There are spectacular panoramic views of Kanchendzongha, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, Janu (Kumbhakarna), Chamlang, Baruntse, Kabru, Pandim and a host of other peaks all seen in one stretch. In spring the slopes are carpeted with red and pink Rhododendrons. The Singalila National park area has rare species like Red Panda and is a birder’s paradise.
Destinations Covered during Sandakphu Trek : Chitrey , Kalapokhari , Sandakphu
What’s Included :
- 05 Nights Tea house accommodation during the trek on sharing basis ( Quad / Dorm).
- All veg meals from Dinner at Khopidara / Jaubari on Day 1st to Breakfast at Sepi on Day 6th.
- All necessary fees and permits for Indian residence are included.
- Qualified and experienced Trek Leader and support staff.
- Evening Tea with light snacks during the trek.
- Basic First Aid Medical Kit.
What’s Not Included :
- Any Meals during Transit or not mentioned above in inclusion.
- Any expenses of personal nature.
- All fees and permit for Non- Indian Residence are excluded.
- Porter/mule charges to carry your personal bag.
- Anything not mentioned explicitly in the above program.
- Any kind of transport.
- Unscheduled stay due to landslide.
- Cost Escalation due to “Force Majeure” and evacuation charges.
Here’s a short itinerary of Sandakphu Trek:
Day 01: NJP to Chitrey (90 Km drive | 4/5 hours)
Day 02: Trek to Tumling (9 Km | 6 hours)
Day 03: Tumling to Kalapokhri (13 kms trek/ 6-7 hrs)
Day 04: Kalapokhri to Sandakphu (06 kms/ 3-4 hrs)
Day 05: Trek from Sandakphu to Timburey via Gurdum village (15 Km | 7/8 hours)
Day 06: Walk 1 and a half hour to the Srikhola road head and drive to NJP (150 Km | 6/7 hours)
Detailed Sandakphu Trek Itinerary
Day 1: NJP to Chitrey (90 Km drive | 4/5 hours)
On Day 1, we will meet at New Jalpaiguri railway station at 7:00 in the morning for our journey. Today’s journey from NJP to Chitrey will take around 4-5 hours.The drive on the mountain roads meandering through tea estates and perfect pine forests, will take you to a viewpoint at a decent height. Enroute we will stop for breakfast and also get fresh for the rest of the journey. We will reach Chitrey in the afternoon and then you have the day to explore and enjoy the views. In the evening, get briefed about your trek and enjoy ht dinner before you get some sleep.
Day 2: Trek to Tumling (9 Km | 6 hours)
The second day, we will start our trek to Tumling right after a nourishing breakfast. The trek gradient is moderate and inlcudes a steep climb and takes around 5-6 hours. You can fill up your water bottles at Chittrey, Lamyadhura and Meghma. The trek route will move through forests, which will lead to a viewpoint, from where you will be able to see the magnificient gorge below. Throughout the trek, you come across rocky roads and muddy sections leading to a beautiful mountainous grassland, from where the Tonglu peak of the Singalila Range can be seen. En route, you will cross many Tibetan villages, tea shops and buddhist monasteries. The trek route then goes through a meadow again, from where there is a diversion after hiking for approximately 20 minutes, that will take you to the forest for Tonglu/Tumling. This small area lies on the India-Nepal border from where you will be able to se mesmerizing views of Sleeping Buddha.
Day 3: Tumling to Kalapokhri (13 kms trek/ 6-7 hrs)
On the third day, we will follow the same routine of morning exercises, breakfast and a short trek briefing about today’s trek schedule. Today will trek for around 13 kms to Tumling campsite to Kalipokhri. Along the trek route, you will able to see peaks of Kumbhakarna, Kangchenjunga and Simvo in the landscape. Below Kangchenjunga are Koktang, Rathong, Frey, South Kabru, North Kabru, Kabru Forked, Goecha and the ridge of Pandim just ahead of Simvo. The trek route will go through Singalila National Park and will take your directly to Gabrias, a small village and then Kaiyakatta. 2 hours away from Kaiyakatta, you have your destination of the day, Kalipokhri. Pitch your tents and enjoy the dinner.
Day 4: Kalapokhri to Sandakphu (06 kms/ 3-4 hrs)
Today we will go trekking from Kalipokhri to Sandakphu which takes around 3-4 hours, the trek gradient is easy to moderate. The trek is goes through open meadows and beautiful views of snow capped peaks like Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Nuptse, Baruntse, Chamling, Chomolonzo, Machapucchare and other peaks of the Annapurna range . After trekking for approximately 3 hours you will reach the camp, enjoy the delicious lunch prepared by our team and enjoy the views of this trek in the Himalayas.
Day 5: Trek from Sandakphu to Timburey via Gurdum village (15 Km | 7/8 hours)
Today morning, after a hot and nourishing breakfast, you will climb down to Timburey through dense forest that also holds beautiful views of the mountains. This tiring yet beautiful trek is laden with countless species of flora and fauna, that passes through the beautiful village of Gurdum. You will spend the entire night in Timburey.
Day 6: Walk 1 and a half hour to the Srikhola road head and drive to NJP (150 Km | 6/7 hours)
In the morning, after experiencing the beautiful sunrise amidst nature, you will now return to NJP. You will have to walk for one and half an hour to the Srikhola road, from where you will be driven towards NJP station, which will take around 7-8 hours for you to reach. And at around 2 pm you will reach the station, and here we end our journey.
Fitness Required for Sandakphu Trek
At high altitude as the air gets thinner oxygen becomes less abundant. The percentage saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen determines the content of oxygen in our blood. After the human body reaches around 2,100 m (7,000 feet) above sea level, the level of oxygen in our hemoglobin begins to plummet. However, the human body has both short-term and long-term adaptations to altitude that allow it to partially compensate for the lack of oxygen.The Sandakphu Trek is a moderate trek suitable for first time trekker with basic to above average fitness. Trekking Experience: Prior trekking experience is helpful for this trek but not necessary.Fitness Required: The Sandakphu Trek falls in the category of Moderate treks. The trail is fairly laid out path and has very few steep ascends or descends. Water is available through out the trail. But still if you are thinking of your first big Himalayan trekking experience its better to be prepared. Here is the training schedule to prepare for the trek.Our treks are generally planned in a way that on an average you have to cover around 9 Kms in 6 hours although there may be slight variation depending on the terrain. This works out to roughly 1.5km per hour which is equivalent to walking in the plains at 6km per hour.You can train yourself to run 3 kms in 30 minutes as per the schedule given below. Remember always start your training program with stretching and warm up exercises.Follow this training schedule for trekking fitness required.
Week 1: Start with 10 minute of brisk walk and then jog for 10 minutes and finally 10minutes of easy walk.
Week 2: 5 minutes of brisk walk 15 minutes of jog 5 minutes of easy walk
Week 3: 5 minutes of brisk walk 15 minutes of jog 5 minutes of easy walk
Week 4: 5 minutes of brisk walk and jog for 25 min and cool down your body
Things to carry for Sandakphu Trek
- Backpack (Min 55 Ltrs): A good quality backpack from reputed brand and try it before buying.
- Floaters or Sandals: When you are at the base camp they help to move freely
- Trekking Shoes: Always invest in a good quality trekking shoes, we recommend Forclaz 500 by Quechua. They are light weight, good grip, sturdy and easily available throughout India. Read more here How to Find Best Trekking Shoes
- 2 Pairs of Quick Dry Tees and Track Pants
- 1 Pair of good Thermals
- 3 Pair of Socks
- 2 Full Sleeve Sweater or Fleece Jacket
- One Heavy Jacket
- Sun Cap
- One Scarf
- Light towel
- Lip Balm
- Cold Cream & Sun Screen (SPF 40+)
- Water Bottle 1 Lt
- Headlamp or torch with fresh pair of batteries
- Personal Toilet Kit and toilet paper
- Personal Medicine Kit
- Dark Sunglasses
- Basic Lunch Box
- 2 Pair Woolen socks
- Woolen cap/monkey cap
CAMERA with huge memory card and fully charged with extra batteries !!
What is the Sandakphu Trek?
Sandakphu Trek is a moderate high altitude trek done primarily during the pre-monsoon and post monsoon. The trek is situated in the state of West Bengal.
When is the best time to go to for the Sandakphu Trek?
The best time for Sandakphu Trek is during the months of April, May,June, September and October,November, December.
How difficult is the Sandakphu Trek?
Sandakphu Trek is considered by comparison an moderatehigh altitude trek. But you need to have good physical fitness to complete this trek. Doing cardio vascular exercises is very helpful for preparing for this trek. Please check the preparation section to get a better understanding of this.
What are the temperatures during the Sandakphu Trek?
During the Sandakphu Trek temperatures vary between 0-20 degree celcius.There will be considerable variation between night and day and in the direct sun and shade, so it is important to plan accordingly.
How much we have to trek each day?
Normally our trek are designed in such a way that we reach our camp by lunch time and on an average trekking distance is roughly 6-9 Kms each day and it takes around 6-7 hours by an average trekker to cover that distance.
What medicines should I carry during the trek.
Below is a list of basic medicines you should carry for a high altitude trek.
Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
Band aid – 10 stripsGauze cloth – 1 small role
Leukoplast – 1 small roll
Cotton – 1 small roll
ORS – 5 packets
Crocin – 5 tablets
Avomine – 4 tablets
Avil 25mg – 4 tablets
Diamox – 15 tablets
Combiflam – 5 tablets
Disprin – 10 tablets
Norflox – 10 tablets
Digene – 10 tablets
Diamox – 10 tablets
Is Diamox advisable ?
Diamox help in acclimatization but we do not advise it. Please consult your Doctor before taking it.
Who will lead and who all will go along with us ?
All our treks are led by certified & Experienced Trek Leaders/Guides. We believe in sustainable adventure eco-tourism which in effect means that our teams are locally sourced. Other than a Trek lead we in our team will have local Guides, Cook, Helpers and Porters.
How big are the trekking groups ?
We make it a point not to have more than 15 people in a trekking group as we believe that the best way to enjoy adventure is in small sustainable groups.
What is the minimum number of Trekkers required for Fixed Departures ?
Our Fixed departures are guaranteed and a promise to our customer that even if there is a Single trekker we will proceed with the trek at a loss.
I am the only girl in a trek, is it safe ?
We generally have a ratio of Male:Female of about 2:1. Mountains on the whole are much safer than the plains. Lots of solo female trekkers join us and we make it a point that only female trekkers share the tent with other female trekkers.
What thing we need to Carry for the trek?
You can refer to the section things to carry for this information
Can I offload my backpack on a mule/porter. What are the charges for the same.
When you are in the mountains you should be self-sufficient and you should carry your own backpack. The charges to offload a backpack of roughly 9 kg or less is about 300 per day.
Which type of shoes should I buy ?
Good trekking shoes are a must for the Pindari Glacier Trek. Read more at “How to Buy Trekking Shoes”
How many trekkers will be in one tent ?
We generally have 3-man tents were we accommodate anywhere between 2-3 people.
What level of fitness is expected from the trekkers
Good physical fitness as well as mental fitness is required for the Goecha La Trek. This is a trek which can be done by experienced trekkers. To get into optimum level of fitness you can go through our article How to prepare for a high altitude trek.
What is there in Food menu during a trek ?
We server wholesome and nutritious Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Evening Snacks. The food is vegetarian. Vegetarian food is preferable at high altitudes as it is easy to digest.
Is the water on the trek safe?
The advantage of trekking the Himalayas is that your trekking route is filled with fresh Himalayan streams. Your trek leader/guide will direct you to places where you can fill clean water from. We recommend this water but in case you are unsure you can carry water purifying tablets with you.
What type of vehicles are used for transportation ?
We use Sumo/Xylo/Tempo for transportation.
What do you do if we encounter a medical emergency during the trek?
Our team at Renok is trained in handling high altitude emergencies. Apart from being trained mountaineers they bring a wealth of experience with dealing with high altitude illnesses. We carry First aid kitsand oxygen cylinders with us and in case of other medical emergencies we rescue the trekker till the road head. If any additional cost of evacuation is incurred it is borne by the trekker.Also before the trek it’s your responsibility to get a medical fitness checkup by a doctor which certifies you are fit enough for this trek.
Can we change the itinerary?
Renok Adventures LLP reserves the right to change the itinerary depending upon the weather conditions and other factors. If extra cost is incurred due to rescheduling the trekker is informed beforehand and extra cost if any is borne by the trekker. Please note that we operate treks in some of the most remote regions and harshest conditions where unforeseen events may force us to change the itinerary. In such cases, we or your trek leader will suggest the best alternative similar to your original itinerary.
Can you customize a Sandakphu Trek?
Yes Sandakphu Trek can be customised, if you would like to travel independently, you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient time for any number of people. The Cost for privatecustomized trip is fixed on the basis of group size, trek area, duration and trek style.
What if trek is cancelled at the last moment due to ‘force majeure’?
All the arrangements for the tour are pre-planned and prepaid.
We will offer you alternate trek options of similar value depending upon the weather conditions if a trek is cancelled due to ‘force majeure’. In case of non-completion of the tour due to any reason whatsoever there will not be any refund for any unutilized services.
What is your Cancellation Policy
Up to 24 Days :- 95% of Trek/Tour cost will be refunded.
Between 14-24 Day :- 70% of Trek/Tour cost will be refunded.
Between 14-08 Days :- 50% of Trek/Tour cost will be refunded.
Less than 7 Days :- No refund
What is your Rescheduling Policy ?
We will reschedule your trek without any extra charge if this is conveyed to us in writing ateast 1 month before the trek starting date.
Between 07-24 Days before start of the trek :- 30% of Trek/Tour cost will be charged for rescheduling.
Less than 7 days:- 100% of Trek/Tour cost will be charged for rescheduling.
NJP is the base location for the Sandakphu Trek .We have to meet at 6:00 AM at NJP.From NJP we drive to our basecamp.
Reaching NJP by Flights
The Bagdogra Airport is the closest airport to NJP. It is around 20 Km from NJP. Taxis are easily available from Bagdogra Airport.
Reaching by train
NJP is well connected by railway network with major destinations of India because it’s a major Junction.
You can get a list of trains to NJP through this link.
For exact timings & Schedule of trains please check the Indian Railway official site.
Reaching NJP by Road (Bus)
NJP is well connected with comfortable buses run by government and private operators. You can catch luxury and normal buses to NJP from Kolkata