The Sandakphu is the culminating point of many trekking routes in the Darjeeling-Sikkim region.
At an altitude of 3,636 m, it is located at a distance of 58 km. from Darjeeling. Maneybhanjan, at an altitude of 2134 m., is the gateway to the Sandakphu-Phalut region. Trek to Sandakphu starts from Maneybhanjan, a small town. - can be reached from Siliguri via Ghoom or via Mirik.
Sandakphu is resplendent with the ethereal beauty of magnolias, rhododendrons, primulas and other sub-alpine flowers. It also contains more than 600 varieties of orchids. Sandakphu may be visited at any time of the year. The monsoon months of July-August is not suggested. Phalut may be avoided in winter.
The first lap till Chitre passes quite steeply uphill on a good stoned path through lush greenery of pine, fir, birch forests and bamboo glades. It takes about an hour and half to reach Chitre (2530 m). Crossing the Buddhist settlement of Chitre reach Meghma. The trail bifurcates at Meghma. The right uphill route leads to the trekkers hut at Tonglu (3070m) in India. The trail in the left passes through Nepal. The roads meet again at Tumling (in Nepal).
Tonglu is famous for the view of the snow-capped peaks of the Singalila range and the Kanchenjunga range. Tumling on the other hand is a salubrious night halt with assorted lodges dotting its sedate green environs. The lights of the towns of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Pasupati, Siliguri and other settlements can be viewed in a clear night.
The next day's trek from Tonglu or Tumling is rewarded with a wide variety of flora, fauna and avifauna as you enter the Singalila National Park. The trek route passes through the Indo-Nepal border. The area is also the house of wide varieties of Rhododendron and the playing ground of Red Pandas. Reach Goiribans (9 km. 2621 m) through Joubari (in Nepal). After some break move on to second nights halt at Kalepokhri (4 km from Goiribans, 3108 m, in Nepal). The trek from Tumling to Kalepokhri takes about 5 hours. At Kalepokhri there is a small crystal lake surrounded by pine trees and prayer flags. The dark color of the water in the lake leads to the name of Kalepokhri (Kale = Black & Pokhri = Lake).
As the third day of trek unfolds, you realise that Sandakphu is within a short striking distance now (9 km app) leaving behind Bikevanjan(5 Km from Kalepokhri). But hold your breath. You will be negotiating with an uphill climb today. After a tough trek will leave you panting and gasping, you will reach Sandakphu (3636m), the highest point in West Bengal. As soon as you reach Sandakphu, you will realise why it is called the paradise of trekkers. The views of four of the five highest peaks in the world.... Everest, Kanchendzonga, Makalu and Lhotse along with numerous other snow capped peaks great us in the morning. A day's halt at Sandakphu allows trekkers to view the surroundings.
From Sandakphu there are several trekking options available to the tourists. You can go down to Rimbik directly by a shortcut route through dense forests via gurdum & Sreeekhola.
Phalut (3600m) 27Km from Sandakphu leaving behind Sabargram. From Phalut you can go Three ways. One is going down to Rimbik via Sabargram & Molley, another is Going down to Rimbik via Gorkey & Rammam. Rimbik is the road head on the other side of the trek. From here you will be taken to your next destination. With the Third way you can reach utture at Sikkim by crossing the Singalila Pass.
Trek path of Sandakphu - Phalut