Sandakphu Trek Or By Car: Know From Team That Goes Each Year
Sandakphu Trek Or By Car: Know From Team That Goes Each Year
58, GT Road, Howrah, 711201, Kolkata, India
Sandakphu is an amazing destination at the edge of Singalila National Park in West Bengal, near the Indo-Nepal border. The peak is the highest point of the state of West Bengal. Sandakphu used to be a trekkers paradise now it is fast gaining popularity among common travelers too. With the new roads being constructed till Gairibas which is almost half of the Sandakphu trek, it is becoming more accessible. We believe with more and more tourists coming in Sandakphu stands to gain a lot more popularity across the country. It is not easy to ignore what’s on offer from nature here.
It starts from the base camp in an ethnic Sherpa village named Joubari, in the India-Nepal border. The road that leads to this place runs through lush green tea gardens and villages. At a height of 6400 ft. or 1951 meter, it is a good place to rest for the day and acclimatize.|
Day 2: Tumling-
The second day, the trek takes you to Tumling. Tumling is a small village and sits at a height of 9450 ft. or 2880 meter. It takes approximately 6 hours to reach this place. The trek is moderate, with a steeper climb for the initial part, followed by gradual ascent, some downward slope and level walks in the later part. You can start in the late morning or early afternoon, especially if you are going in the monsoon season. The journey takes you through thick forest for the initial part. After the first initial climb, you can get a nice view of the village valley below. After that, the gradual climbs take you through a wild valley of flower that blooms in spring.
In the last part, often you have to walk around or on the motor roads, and find the occasional sight of cars carrying tourist to Sandakphu or Phalut. There are a number of nearby night stay options in both the India and Nepal side of the village. If the weather is free from fogs, you can see the “Sleeping Buddha” very well from here.|
Day 3: Kalipokhri and Gairibas-
On this day, you will need to trek to Kalipokhri, and the whole trail offers a magnificent mountain view. The final destination lies at a height of 10400 ft. or 3170 meters and it takes 5-6 hours to reach this place. After a gradual ascent, you reach Gairibas in a downward slope. After that, there is a steep ascent, followed by a level walk to the motor road. At the start, the “Sleeping Buddha” and Mount Kanchenjungha welcomes you in the journey when the fog curtains are removed. You may go via the motor road, but the hiking trail is more scenic and passes through forest and verdure meadows.
Before Gairibas, there is a small hillock which shows the way ahead to Sandakphu. Take a break in Gairibas for the steep climb ahead, and pay the entry fee in the check post in here.
The road to Kalipokhri is actually on the Indo-Nepal border and it is a heaven for birdwatchers. The motor roads lead to Kalipokhri, which is a holy black lake here, and bathing in it is prohibited. There is a small Buddhist Monastery on the bank of the lake too.|
Day 4: Sandakphu Summit-
On the fourth day, you trek to the summit, the highest point and the destination of the trek, at a height of 11950 ft. or 3640 meters. It takes around 3 hours to reach the place. This moderate trek has gradual ascent for the first part, a steep ascent followed by a winding path by the motor road.
You will have the option to choose the route from Bikheybhanjang while gazing towards Sandakphu in front of you. One route goes by Nepal, takes more time but it is a gradual ascent. The shorter route zigzags up the hill with a steep ascent. Before entering Sandakphu, the two trails merge.
There are a few tea shops in here, along with the highly coveted 180-degree panoramic view of the great Himalayan peaks. In the west, you will find the Makalu, Lhotse, Chomo Lonzo, Machchi Pucchare and Everest, the highest peak of the world.
In the front, you can see the Sleeping Buddha and the holy mountain Kanchenjungha. Three sister peaks lie in the northern direction and in the east, you can see Chomo Llhari, one of the highest peaks of Bhutan.
Only in this place, you may find a weak mobile network while the trail is entirely devoid of any cellular reception.
On the fifth day, the descent begins. The trek is moderate because you have to cover a lot of ground, so you should start early too. The roads are rocky, and there are few ascents which are tough in monsoon season. On this day, you have to stay in Sabargram at night at a height of 11807 ft. or 3599 meters.
You can see a huge variety in the scenery on the way, from mountain ridges, meadows and deep forests. In April-May, the bloom of the Rhododendron colours up the forests and mountainsides. You have to get your entry tickets checked in Thukumb check-post on the way. The trek takes 7-8 hours to complete when you reach the Forest Check Post of Sabarkum. The campsite is just by this place.|
Day 6: Phalut to Gorkhey-
This route takes you to Gorkhey via the second highest peak in West Bengal i.e. Phalut. It is an easy to moderate route that takes around 6 hours to complete. There is an initial descent from Sabargram followed by gradual upward slopes, and downward inclination before Phalut. There is a steep descent just before Gorkhey. This route provides an amazing Kanchenjungha view along with a nice panoramic view from Phalut.
There are very few stay options in there, so for the night stay, you have to come down in Gorkhey, especially if the weather is not clear. There is a deep forest on the way with a few openings with Mountain View. After the steep descent through the fields to reach Gorkhey, walk by the village across the bridge on Gorkhey River and enter Sikkim, for the beautiful nature experience on the path.|
Day 7: Ramam-
On this day, you will come down to Sepi via Ramam. It is an easy trek with a few ascent and descent, mostly with level roads. You will pass Samamden and Ramam, two quaint and picturesque mountain villages where you can take a break and enjoy the beauty of the place. You will cross a bridge at Srikhola to reach Sepi, at the height of 6230 ft. or 1900 meter. Have your lunch there and take a car to get back to New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra for your journey back home from there.
From Rammam you can easily take a car to New Jalpaiguri or your next station.