A popular trekking option in the Himalayas of India’s north-east, Sandakphu offers a soul-stirring view of some of the world’s tallest peaks brought up in a singular grand frame! Mt. Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, and Lhotse grace the skies as we go through diverse colorful mountain topographies on this journey. In the summer sweetness, you are going to find a riot of redness in these corners, in addition to giant magnolias, spruces, and a variety of orchids vibrantly blooming and setting the trails aglow. The Sandakphu mountain summit is the highest in the state of West Bengal, forming a part of the Singalila Range. Much of this trek takes place on the trails of the Singalila National Park, famous for its wildlife. Another wildlife attraction here are the pangolins, keep your fingers crossed so that you are fortunate to spot some! Birders too might want to keep their lenses and bird spotting instincts ready, for there is nothing more enchanting a vision to find endemic Himalayan birds in the midst of nature here. Though in recent times, much of the way up to Sandakphu has been covered with motorable road, the unique charm of this trek doesn’t seem to grow old for die-hard Himalaya lovers.
An iconic trek set in the backdrop of the enchanting Kanchenjunga cluster in most parts, this trip offers a momentous panorama of some of the world’s highest peaks assembled all together in magnificent frames. Sandakphu is greatly sought among mountain aficionados as much as for the stunning snow peak panoramas as for the loveliness of nature. Varied avifauna, trails through one of India’s most biodiversity-rich national parks- the Singalila National Park, the seat of Buddhist culture, and a cross-country experience of zigzagging across the Indo-Nepal border richen this trek experience. Famously called ‘The Sleeping Buddha’, the Kanchenjunga massif with other peaks flanked to its two sides rises brilliantly over the scene. If you consider yourself sufficiently mountain savvy, identify Mt. Kumbhakarna, Rathong, Frey, Kabru South, Kabru North, Simvo, Mt. Pandim, Tenzing Khang, Japan, and Narsing in the picture-perfect sunrise view of the Sleeping Buddha from Sandakphu summit. This trek is a big hit especially in the summer around April for the blushing red and pink sprinkled woods of rhododendrons. Look out carefully, for the elusive red panda can be camouflaging in the thickets!
At the maximum, the Sandakphu trek takes to a height of 11,926 ft. upon reaching the summit of the Sandakphu Mountain located in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, the highest in the state and one of primary prominence in the Singalila Range.
The most popular season of visitation in the entire Singalila Mountains is in the summers, during the months of March and April when the weather is pleasant, with the temperatures hovering around 15-degree centigrade. If you are a snow lover, target the Sandakphu Trek post-January, prepared with appropriately layered clothing.
By Air: Bagdogra Airport, at 15 mins driving time away from Siliguri is the airport nearest to Sandakphu Trek basecamp, well connected to Mumbai and Delhi among many other cities.
By Rail: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) is located 8 km away from Siliguri, and enjoys fairly good connectivity with most major cities and towns of India.
By Road: There are different points of connecting to Siliguri by road transport and accessible by West Bengal State Road Transport Corporation buses as well as some private travel services.
Are There Any Shops Available On the Sandakphu Trek?
You can find shops and utility stores throughout the trek as this route happens to be fairly enjoying commercial tourism.
Altitude Sickness is not very common on the Sandakphu Trek, though adequate attention to fitness and health during and prior to the trek is required. If you are apprehensive of coming under the weather at high altitudes, take medical consultation and go on a course of acetazolamide medicines.
Expect the Sandakphu Trek to be moderately trafficked especially during the summer and autumn months.