Sandakphu Trek : 04 Nights / 05 Days
Location : Sandakphu is the highest point of West Bengal State, located at an height of 3636 mtr from the sea level
Best time For Sandakphu Trekking : October to Mid December and Mid February to June. Summer is full of Rhododendron bloom, which make the hill more beautiful. During winter visitors can enjoy the snowfall. The towering Mount Kanchenjunga stand high on its north. Mount Everest, Makalu and Lhotse are distinctly visible on a clear day
Sandakphu trek itinerary :
Day 01 : NJP / IXB to Maneybhanjan
Maneybhanjan is the gateway to Singalila National Park and Sandakphu trek / tour. Maneybhanjan is a small hamlet and at an altitude of 2150 metre or 7100 ft above the sea level. It is located just on the International border of India and Nepal and the border is demarketed by a small drain covered with a culvert. In local dialect the meaning of Maneybhanjan is “ A valley of ancient stupas”.
For acclimatization it is required to stay one night in Manybhanjan before proceeding to Sandakphu.
Day 02 : Maneybhanjan to Tonglu / Tumling ( 3050 Mt) – 11 Kms.
From the beginning of the Sandakphu trek, the road is almost stiff and seems to throw the challenge to the trekkers. But once habituated the road has become most friendly offers the view of spell bound natural beauty and gradually climbs up through forests of rhododendron, giant magnolias, spruce and other trees of sub-alpine region and not to mention, more than 600 varieties of orchids – the largest to be found in one geographical area in the world. After 03 kms from Maneybhanjan there is a short break in Chitrey. From Chitrey the road goes to Meghma, which lies under the cloud cover and where the clouds are worshipped as mother deity. The main road bifurcates from Megham and one leads to Tumling ( Nepal) and the another to Tonglu ( India). Both the road pass through the dense jungle and hill sides covered by wild flowers. From Tonglu the view of Mt. Kanchenjunga and its surrounding snow capped hills are fully mesmerizing.
Day 03 : Tonglu / Tumling to Sandakphu ( 3636 Mt.) – 24 Kms
Very early morning watch the sunrise on Mt. Kanchenjunga. Tonglu offers the rare impression of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim and Kumbhkarna, which is called Slipping Shiva or Slipping Buddha by local people. From Tonglu / Tumling road leads to Gairibus ( 2621 Mt.), which is 09 kms down way and takes around 3 hrs to reach. After a little break road starts going upward and proceeds to Kali Pokhri ( 3170 Mt.) through Singalila National Park.
Singlalila National Park is the highest National Park is West Bengal, which spreads over 2400 mt to 3650 mt. above the sea level and covers on an area of 79 sq. Kms. This virgin forest offers the spectacular view of the Himalayan mountains and enriched mainly by alpine, changes with the range in altitude. Trees found in this national park are Rhododendron, Magnolia, Oak, Hemlock, Silver Fir, Juniper, Mailing Bamboo etc and number of wild animal like Leopard, Red Panda, Barking Deer, Pangolin etc. It also hosts of varieties of birds like Cuckoo, Hornbills, Pigeons, Golden Eagles and large number of Migratory Birds.
There is a small lake in Kalipokhri which holds the same name, The colour of the water of the lake is surprisingly dark and considered to be sacred by the local people. The lake is fenced by Buddhist prayer flags and gives the view of Sandakphu Peak.
Beekay Bhanjan is around 2 kms away from Kali Pokhri and also known as the “ Valley of the Poisonous Plants”, as large number of Medical plantation are here. The most arduous and challenging part of the route starts from Beekay Bhanjan and offer the 06 kms ordeal. But after crossing this part all the tiredness of stiff climbing vanish once the road ends suddenly on the top of the Sandakphu Hill, the highest point of West Bengal and offers one of the most fascinating panoramic view of some of the world’s highest mountain summits covering 270 degree on entire North.
Day 04 : Sandakphu to Sri Khola – 18 Kms
After watching one of the most stunning sunrise on Mt. Kanchenjunga from Sandakphu in the very early morning it is time to descend to Sri Khola. Strenous trek route passes through dense forest of Rohododendron, Magnolia and Oak and Dead Valley ( this valley named Dead Valley after the fire broke and entire tree lines of this area were burnt down ) to Sri Khola, which is named after a beautiful wild stream. Sri Khola is surrounded by dense forest, orchids and home of numerous birds. Sitting on the bank of Khola or Stram after a tiresome day trek is really soothing.
Day 05 : Sri Khola to Rimbick ( 2268 Mt.) – 06 Kms
An easy trek route of 6 kms from Srikhola to Rimbick can be covered by a simple leisure walk. From Rimbick transferred to Maneybhanjan or Darjeeling ( 54 Kms). Tour End.
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