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Sandakphu Trek

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Why Book With Us?

  • Safety
  • Small groups - (6-12)
  • Experience nature
  • Sustainable experiences

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  • 6 Days/5 Nights
  • Moderate
  • 11950 ft./3642 m
  • 12 Participants
  • March-May | October-November
  • West Bengal

Sandakphu Trek Overview

Sandakphu is one of the most loved treks by trekkers of different levels and experiences. Touted as a trek with a grandeur view of the world’s tallest mountains, Sandakphu features on the bucket list of trekkers of all ages. 

Sandakphu offers the view of the world’s tallest mountain, Everest, along with Lhotse and Makalu, the world’s fourth and fifth tallest mountains. While the sight of Everest mesmerises you, Sandakphu is renowned for the magical Mt Khangchendzonga and its peak, popularly known as Sleeping Buddha. The highlight of the trek is the enchanting mountainscape. 

Sandakphu is one of the few Indian treks to experience a tea house stay. The tea houses are warm and cosy and let you experience the diverse local culture and lifestyle.

The trail traverses a dense forest of rhododendrons, bamboo, oak, and pine. Sandakphu is also well known among trekkers as a culturally rich indulgence as trekkers navigate the villages that share the border between India and Nepal. This weeklong trek lets you catch a glimpse of village life in Nepal. 

Sandakphu trek is beyond mountain views. In this culturally rich trek, you can sight a rare Red Panda as the trek traverses Singalila National Park, renowned for Red Pandas and rich flora and fauna.

Sandakphu trek brochure

Inclusions

  • Meals 
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinners (Day 1 Dinner to Day 6 Breakfast)
  • Accommodation 
    • Tents, homestays/dorms
    • Cloakroom charges 
  • Highly Experienced Leaders and Guides 
    • Trained and Qualified Guides
    • Certified Outdoor Leaders
  • Permits
    • National parks and sanctuaries
    • Forest permits and entry fees 
  • Camping Equipment
    • Kitchen tent
    •  Toilet tent
    • Dome tents 
    • Sleeping bags
    • Mattresses
  • Technical Equipment
    • Wilderness Medical Kit
    • Climbing Rope 
    • Climbing accessories
    • Ice Axe
    • Microspikes
    • Oxygen Cylinder
    • BP Meter
    •  Oximeter, thermometer etc.

Exclusions 

  • Cab charges to Jaubari and from Srikhola Bridge – OWLS Basecamps.
  • Transit meals (Day 1 and Day 6)
  • Personal expenses 
  • Offloading charges 
  • Cost incurred due to change in the itinerary 
  • Additional services  (including mules, assistance, health-related support etc.)
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions list. 

 

Sandakphu Trek Itinerary

Day 1 : Pickup from New Jalpaiguri (292 ft.) and drive to Jaubari (6,700 ft.)

The pickup will be available for the participants at New Jalpaiguri. The distance of 110 kms is covered in around 5 hrs. The journey takes you through the beautiful towns of Mirik. The meandering mountain roads pass through small hamlets, pine-covered forests, and tea gardens. The journey is enthralling throughout, and you would not want to miss out on its beauty.

The road journey to Jaubari offers you an array of local restaurants to indulge in some authentic momos and soupy Thukpa. You will reach the base camp in the late afternoon.

Day 2 : Jaubari (6,700 ft.) to Tumling (9,600 ft.)

The trail starts from Jaubari and you will pass through the village and enter the lush green forest. Tumling is a hamlet with very few tea houses. You will stay in one of the tea houses in Tumling. The village has its own charm. With small huts and cottages, the hamlet is quaintly engulfed in absolute solitude. From here you will see the mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga staring right at you.

After reaching the tea house you can explore the village and try to converse with the locals and understand their humble yet fulfilling life.

Day 3 : Tumling (9,600 ft.) to Kalipokhri (10,000 ft.)

You will leave Tumling after breakfast and head toward Kalipokhri. While the trail is a mix of some gradual walking and steep climbs, you will have the company of Mt. Kanchenjunga looming in front of you to keep moving ahead.

Kalipokhri is a hamlet with few houses and derives its name from a small pond in the village. Kali translates to black and Pokhri to a pond. The pond derives it name from the black water of the pond. The pond is revered by the locals as a holy.

Day 4 : Kalipokhri (10,000 ft.) to Aal (11,920 ft.) via Sandakphu (11,950 ft.)

The day starts early as you will have to reach Sandakphu to witness the most beautiful sunrise. The first ray of sun falls on the snowy peaks turning the mountain peaks into different hues. To witness the sunrise and the changing colours of Mt. Kanchenjunga every second is a sight to behold, a memory you will never forget.

After spending some time and immersing yourself in the magic of nature, you will head towards our next halt in Aal.

Day 5 : Aal (11,920 ft.) to Samanden (7,800 ft.) via Phalut (11,800 ft.) (Visit to Gorkhey)

​Today, you will start for Phalut, the next summit point on your trek. It offers the most mesmerizing
and infamous view of the ‘Sleeping Buddha’​. After immersing in the surreal experience of witnessing the spellbinding Sleeping Buddha, formed by the mountains of the Kanchenjunga family, the team heads to Samanden.

Samanden is a picturesque and dreamy village with colourful houses surrounded by pine forests in its periphery. The team heads for Gorkhey village to witness the picturesque landscape of the village.

Day 6 : Samanden (7,800 ft.) to Srikhola Bridge (6,700 ft.) and drive back to New Jalpaiguri (292 ft.)

Today is the last day of your trek and you will reach Shrikhola Bridge by early afternoon. The team will head back to New Jalpaiguri for the onward journey.

How to reach the basecamp of Sandakphu trek?

✈️ Nearest Airport – Bagdogra, West Bengal

🚉 Nearest Railway Station – New Jalpaiguri Railway Station

Jaubhari is the basecamp of Sandakphu trek. Jaubhari is a small village bustling with trekkers and hikers. There are other starting points for this trek in Sepi and Shikhola. You can reach these basecamps via Maneybhanjyang. From here, you can plan your further journey to Sepi or Srikhola.  Maneybhanjang is around 26 km from Darjeeling town. 

To reach the base camp, arrive in Siliguri by train or flight. After reaching Siliguri, look for a shared cab heading to Darjeeling. From Darjeeling, you can hire a taxi to Maneybhanjyang or get on a shared cab from Chowk Bazaar or Gandhi Road in Darjeeling town. 

Private cabs and shared taxis are available outside NJP Railway Station and Bagdogra Airport.  Taxis ply frequently between Siliguri and Darjeeling.

Sandakphu is a 6-day long trek, and we suggest participants reach New Jalpaiguri on Day 0 of the trek, one day before the start date.

Here is a detailed guide to help you plan your travel. 

Travel by Option A – By Air to Bagdogra, followed by road journey to basecamp

The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, near Siliguri. Bagdogra is well-connected and has direct flights operating from all the major cities. You will find cabs outside Bagdogra Airport. The distance between Siliguri and Darjeeling is covered in 3-4 hours. 

Travel by Option B – By train to NJP, followed by road journey to basecamp

New Jalpaiguri Station is the nearest railway station. NJP is well connected by rail with major Indian cities. There are ample shared taxis and private cabs outside the NJP railway station. If shared cabs are unavailable at NJP, travel to Darjeeling More or Junction in an autorickshaw. In both places, there will be enough cabs plying towards Darjeeling town. 

Travel plan C – By air to Kolkata and then bus/train to New Jalpaiguri 

Bus to Siliguri – You can easily book and find your bus options – government (NBSTC) and private Volvo buses from Esplanade, Kolkata to Siliguri. Fares vary from Rs. 850 to Rs. 1000. Board the bus around 7:30 PM on Day 0 to reach on time for your pickup. Then board a cab at 9:00 AM from OWLS pick-up point. 

Train to Siliguri – You can find many trains leaving at night on Day 0, and you reach New Jalpaiguri on Day 1 morning. Board a cab at 9:00 AM from OWLS pick-up point.

Sandakphu Trek Map

Sandakphu Trek FAQ

What is the distance of Sandakphu Trek?

Sandakphu is around 44 km long. If you go further to Phalut, the total distance becomes 65 kilometres. The trek spreads over six days including travel to and from Siliguri where the nearest railway station and the airport are located. 

Is Sandakphu trek suitable for beginners?

Sandakphu Trek is a 6-day long trek. It is categorized as an easy to moderate-level trek. Beginners can also opt for the trek. 

Due to its easy-to-moderate trail, the trek witnesses an increased footfall in winter. Participants between the ages of 8-60 years can opt for this trek. 

How difficult is Sandakphu Trek?

The Trek can be categorized as an easy-to-moderate trek and is completed in six days. The trail is categorized as an easy-to-moderate trail due to the well-laid path. 

The trail also requires you to walk on some steep ascents and descents. It climbs to an altitude of 11,950 ft when you reach Sandakphu

The difficulty of the trek depends a lot on your preparedness. Although the trek is just two days long, come prepared for the trek and work on your fitness a minimum of two months before to trek comfortably. 

What will be the temperature in Sandakphu trek?

Sandakphu temperature dips down to sub-zero at night. The temperature in winter can go down to –3°C  to -4°C. The day temperature remains between 8°C and 12°C.

Check out the monthly Sandakphu temperature here 

What is the best time to visit Sandakphu Trek?

The best time to visit Sandakphu trek depends on the trekker’s preference. Autumn is considered the best season for a magical mountainscape. 

Read more about the best time to visit Sandakphu trek here

Will there be snow on the trek?

Yes, there will be snow on the trail during the winter months. The snowfall in Sandakphu is mild as it is located at a lower altitude compared to other Himalayan treks. During the winter, the snow is sufficient to enjoy the beauty of a winter wonderland. 

 

What is the cost of Sandakphu trek?

Sandakphu trek cost is Rs. 14499/-

The trek cost covers your experience from basecamp to basecamp. The trek cost covers your accommodation, meals at the base camp and during the trek. 

Where is Sandakphu Phalut Trek located?

Sandakphu is the highest peak in West Bengal. Located inside the Singalila National Park, the trek is near the picturesque town of Darjeeling, a former summer escapade for British officials. The trek spreads across the villages along the Indo- Indo-Nepean border. 

Can you go to Sandakphu Phalut Trek on a Land Rover ?

Yes, you can opt to travel on the age-old Land Rovers that came to Darjeeling in the early 50s. Sandakphu is known for having age-old Land Rovers in running condition in the entire world. The trail is famous for the Series Land Rovers, a heritage of  Sandakphu, and also Darjeeling. The Land Rovers run between Maney Bhanjang and Sandakphu. It takes around 4-5 hours to cover a total distance of 32 km between Sandakphu and Maneybhanjyang. 

Can you do Sandakphu Trek on your own?

Yes, you can do the Sanadakphu trek on your own. Easy access to the trail and the availability of tea houses throughout the trail make Sandakphu one of the most loved treks. If you are going solo, book a guide and tea houses. A permit from the forest check post is required since the trek spreads within the purview of Singalila National Park. You can find guides in Maneybhanjyang. The charge for guides starts at a minimum of Rs 1500 per day. 

 

Take the assistance of a guide while booking tea houses and buying permits. 

What is the distance between Manebhanjyang and Sandakphu?

The distance between Manebhanjyang and Sandakphu is around 32 Km. Maney Bhanjyang is one of the starting points of the Sandakphu- Phalut Trek. Sepi, Jaubhari, and Shrikhola are some of the starting points of the Sadakphu Phalut trek. 

Which mountains do you see from Sandakphu Phalut Trek?

From Sandakphu you can get a magnificent view of the Kanchenjunga Range, also renowned as Sleeping Buddha. The mountains appear in such a way that they create the shape of a resting Buddha, hence called the ‘ Sleeping Buddha’. You will witness four of the world’s highest peaks from Sandakphu. Everest, Makalu, and Lhotse appear in their glory, a rare sight you will never forget. 

FAQ

How should I prepare to avoid AMS?

The most important thing to do on a trek to avoid AMS is to drink water, more than your daily intake. Water is an excellent way to avoid AMS. Along with this, you should also have all the nutritious meals we provide on the trek. If you still are sceptical about getting AMS, we would advise you to carry Diamox tablets with you. However, according to the situation your Outdoor leader will advise whether or not you should take it.

I have a medical condition. Can I join the trek?

We encourage everyone to trek, even if or not they have a medical condition. We have an in-house doctor at OWLS with whom you can discuss your medical condition and accordingly, we can help you better prepare you for the trek.

What document do I need to carry?

Please keep the following documents ready before filling out this form

  1. ID proof
  2. Health form (for all participants of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh treks) and (for all participants <15 and > 60 years of age)
  3. RTPCR for children <15 years/Vaccination certificate for adults (for Nepal treks)

Should I bring snacks to eat on the trek?

Although we provide filling breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with morning tea and evening snacks, you can carry some light snacks for munching on the trail. You can carry protein bars, dry fruits, and homemade snacks like Shakkarpara to help you give that extra energy on the trek. 

Who will be leading my trek?

All our Outdoor Leaders are trained and experienced leaders. They have completed basic Mountaineering Course, and are equipped with basic first-aid knowledge. Our leaders are certified Wilderness First Responder course

Do I need to get my medical kit for the trek?

You don’t need to carry your medical kit. If you have your prescribed medications, you need to carry them on the trek

What kind of arrangement is available for accommodation on Sandakphu trek?

On Sandakphu Phalut Trek you will stay in tea houses. If you are trekking on your own there are tea houses throughout the trail. The cost of these accommodations starts at around Rs 300. The meal will be charged per plate. 

You can book the trekker’s hut in Sandakphu and Phalut via GTA Accommodation. The website does not allow you to book the huts online. The contact details are provided on the GTA website. You can call and book your stay for the trek. 

Is there any arrangement for offloading on the trek?

Yes. Communicate your requirement to the trek leaders beforehand, as it will be difficult to arrange to offload at the last minute. The offloading charges will be Rs 350 per bag, and your bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. 

Note: At OWLs, we suggest our participants carry their backpacks and avoid offloading. However, in case of pressing circumstances, you can opt for offloading.

Is there any option to keep our luggage at the base camp?

Yes, you can leave the extra luggage at the base camp. However, do not leave valuables like laptops, jewellery, or any other expensive items in the base camp. 

What will be the toilet facilities on the trek?

The OWLS team will set up a toilet tent near the campsites. The toilets will be dry toilets and you will have to use toilet paper. There will be a pit dug by the team and you will have to cover your nature’s call with dry soil. Avoid using wet wipes, as they are not biodegradable. At OWLS, we thrive to leave no trace in the mountains. 

At the base camp, you will have regular concrete toilets.

What will be the food arrangement on the trek?

In tea houses, you will have authentic local food. The staple diet of locals is rice/roti, dal, and vegetables/meat. If you want to try local cuisines, ask for Gundruk ko jhol, Rayo ko Saag, Kinema, Ishkush, and homemade pickles. Don’t miss the spicy local chilly called Dalle. 

 

What will be the status of the mobile network on the trek?

You will have access to most of the mobile networks at the base camp. You are likely to receive a scanty network on the trail. 

We suggest our participants make important calls while at the base camp. There will be no signals throughout the trek.