About Sandakphu Trek

The Sandakphu Trek is a captivating tour across the breathtaking Eastern Himalayan vistas. The majestic Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu are just a few of the highest peaks that can be seen from there, along with other breathtaking panoramas that are well known.

The trip begins in West Bengal, India's lovely village of Manebhanjan, and leads you through various landscapes, from dense rhododendron woods to alpine meadows covered with vibrant blossoms. The walk meanders past charming communities, each presenting a distinct cultural experience. You'll come across welcoming locals and their way of life along the road.

Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu are among the four of the world's five highest peaks that can be seen from this location in stunning panoramas. The walk typically lasts 5 to 6 days and travels through various environments, including thick woods, quaint villages, and high-altitude meadows. It's a fantastic journey for novice and seasoned hikers seeking breathtaking Himalayan scenery.

Sandakphu Trek Facts

The Sandakphu trek is not ordinary; it is full of scenic beauty, monumental landscapes and green nature. Sandakphu trek is one of a kind; if you are still not convinced, here's a list of fun facts that will surely change your mind:

  1. The hiking route travels through both India and Nepal, giving you the chance to see two nations and cultures in one trip.
  2. A large amount of height is gained during the walk as you go from a starting point of about 1,500 metres (4,920 feet) to Sandakphu at 3,636 metres (11,929 feet) and Phalut at 3,600 metres (11,811 feet).
  3. The weather can vary quickly, from sunny days to sudden cloud cover and mist. This variety heightens the trek's appeal and sense of adventure.
  4. The walk includes both ascents and descents and offers a variety of rewards and difficulties while exploring various terrains.
  5. The Sandakphu Trek is regarded as a moderately difficult trek, appropriate for novices with average fitness levels.
  6. Four of the five highest peaks in the world—Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu—can be seen in unmatched detail from Sandakphu. A unique vantage point presents these magnificent peaks in a panoramic view.
  7. The Kanchenjunga range has the "Sleeping Buddha" moniker because it resembles a reclining Buddha from Sandakphu. It is a breathtaking natural phenomenon that attracts both hikers and photographers.
  8. Trekkers can travel through two nations in one trip thanks to the hiking route's proximity to the Nepal-India border. The trail traverses both countries, presenting a variety of scenery and cultures.

Sandakphu Trek Route

The Sandakphu Trek in India's Darjeeling district travels a beautiful path through the Singalila National Park. An overview of the average trekking route is shown below:

Manebhanjan,by Koustav2007 and licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0


  1. Manebhanjan: It is the starting point. Manebhanjan, a small village situated at an elevation of roughly 2,100 metres (6,890 feet), is where the walk often starts. It acts as Singalila National Park's entry point.
  2. Tonglu: You travel to Tonglu (or Tumling), located at an elevation of roughly 3,050 metres (10,006 feet), on the first day of the walk. While travelling through woodlands, you might catch vistas of the magnificent Himalayan range.
  3. Kalipokhri: You must hike from Tonglu to Kalipokhri, about 3,140 metres (10,302 ft). The trail provides sweeping views of the surrounding mountains as it travels through rhododendron forests.
  4. Sandakphu: The next stop is Sandakphu, which is the trek's highest point at roughly 3,636 metres (11,929 ft). You can see the "Sleeping Buddha" formation and the breathtaking views of the four tallest peaks from here.
  5. Phalut: The trail continues to Phalut, located at an elevation of roughly 3,600 metres (11,811 feet), following Sandakphu. Large, broad fields and breathtaking scenery are hallmarks of the journey to Phalut.
  6. Gorkhey: From Phalut, you go down to this charming settlement, located at a height of about 2,000 metres (6,562 feet). The trail offers a variation in landscape by traversing woodlands and crossing rivers.
  7. Rammam: Rammam, at an elevation of roughly 2,560 metres (8,399 feet), is reached by continuing on the trail. The hike provides tranquil valley vistas.
  8. Rimbik: The last part of the trek takes you to Rimbik, a village at an altitude of approximately 2,286 metres (7,500 feet). Sandakphu Trek ends here. 

Sandakphu trek is one of the most complex and challenging trek routes in the Himalayas due to its challenging climbs, moderate descents, and diverse terrain. Before starting your trek, it is recommended to check the latest weather conditions and route availability from local authorities or hiking organisations, as these are subject to change.

Brief Itinerary of the Trek

The Sandakphu trek should ideally be 6 to 6 days long; here is a brief itinerary that may provide better insight for planning your tour. 

Day 1: Manebhanjan to Tumling

Start your trek from Manebhanjan, the gateway to Sandakphu.

Trek to Tumling, a charming village with panoramic views.

Distance: Around 11 km, Time: 6-7 hours.

Day 2: Tumling to Kalipokhri

Trek through lush forests and picturesque landscapes.

Reach Kalapokhri, known for its sacred dark lake.

Distance: Around 12 km, Time: 6-7 hours.

Day 3: Kalapokhri to Sandakphu

Continue the trek with stunning views of the Himalayas.

Reach Sandakphu, the highest point of the trek, offering spectacular vistas.

Distance: Around 6 km, Time: 3-4 hours.

Day 4: Sandakphu to Phalut

Start early to catch the sunrise from Sandakphu.

Trek to Phalut, the second highest trek point, has panoramic views.

Distance: Around 21 km, Time: 8-10 hours.

Day 5: Phalut to Rammam

Descend through beautiful landscapes and forests.

Reach Rammam, a serene and peaceful village.

Distance: Around 14 km, Time: 6-7 hours.

Day 6: Rammam to Rimbik

Trek through picturesque villages and terraced fields.

Reach Rimbik, the endpoint of the trek.

Distance: Around 14 km, Time: 6-7 hours.

This itinerary is an outline of what your trek should look like. However, you can make changes and modifications at your convenience and situation. 

Best Time to Visit Sandakphu

The best time to visit Sandakphu is spring (from March to May) and fall (from September to November). Spring and autumn are the best seasons for visiting Sandakphu, as they provide the best weather conditions, clear skies, and spectacular views of the Himalayas. Here is a summary of what to expect in each season:

Spring is the most popular time for trekking in the Himalayas due to the vibrant blooms of rhododendrons in the forests. The daytime temperatures are comfortable, and the nights are cool, making it a great time to wear warm clothing. The sky is usually straightforward, giving you a panoramic view of the mountains and the changing foliage. 

September to November is considered the best time for trekking due to clear skies and good visibility. The weather is generally mild, with pleasant daytime and cooler nights, making it an excellent time to hike without extreme temperatures. The scenery is rich in colour, with the mountains in the background.

Both of these seasons provide unique trekking experiences and stunning views, which is why they are the time of year most trekkers prefer. However, it is essential to note that these months are also viral. If you want a quieter trek, consider visiting during a slightly off-peak season. Early spring or late autumn are good times to visit.

It is essential to plan your trip carefully, check the weather forecasts, and make all necessary arrangements with your local guide or trek organiser for a safe and pleasant trek.

Places to Visit in Sandakphu Trek

Sandakphu trek consists of visiting several stunning places and landmarks. All these places are either on the trailhead or near Sandakphu. Here's a list of places to stay on your trek to Sandakphu. 

  • Darjeeling: A famous hill station known for its tea plantations, panoramic views of the Himalayas, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Manebhanjan: The starting point of the Sandakphu trek. Before your tour, you can explore this small town and its local markets.
  • Tumling: A picturesque village along the trek route, offering stunning sunrise views of the Kanchenjunga and other peaks.
  • Bikeybhanjan: This is the last point, after which you reach the beautiful town of  Sandakphu. It is surrounded by diverse flora and high peaks that motivate you to reach your final milestone.
  • Kalapokhri: This village is known for its dark-coloured lake, considered sacred. It's an exciting spot to visit during the trek.
  • Meghma: Another charming village on the trek route, providing a serene environment and lovely views.
  • Phalut: The second highest point of the trek after Sandakphu, offering panoramic views of four of the five highest peaks in the world.
  • Rimbik: The endpoint of the Sandakphu trek, from where you can either trek back or arrange transportation to other destinations.
  • Kurseong: Another lovely hill station near Darjeeling, known for its tea gardens and pleasant climate.
  • Singalila National Park: You'll pass through parts of this park during the trek, home to various flora and fauna, including the elusive red panda.
  • Chitrey Monastery: Located near Manebhanjan, this monastery offers a peaceful atmosphere and beautiful views.
  • Lepchajagat: A small village known for its eco-friendly homestays and stunning views of the Kanchenjunga range.
  • Batasia Loop: If you're visiting Darjeeling, this famous railway loop offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the town and the mountains.

You can visit a wide variety of locations both before and after the Sandakphu trip; here are just a few. Every place has its unique charm, sightseeing opportunities, and relaxation opportunities. Always remember to build your travel plans on the amount of free time you have and your interests.

What To Pack For Sandakphu Trek?

The Sandakphu trek is a moderate trek that is suitable for beginners. Most of the trail is flat and follows motorised roads. However, there are some steep inclines along the path that run through the national park that will test your stamina. The trek usually lasts for 5-6 days in a range of changing temperatures. Therefore, having the right gear for a comfortable walk is essential. Here's a list of items you should carry for a smooth trek: 

  • Clothing:  

You can carry several layers of clothing, some of which are Thermal tops and bottoms that are moisture-wicking to keep you warm. Fleece jacket or sweater for extra warmth. Windproof and waterproof jacket for protection from rain and cold winds. Trekking Pants that are quick-drying and comfortable to walk in. Lastly, underwear and socks for warmth and protection from blisters. 

  • Footwear: 

Trekking boots are sturdy, comfortable, waterproof boots with good ankle support—a pair of comfortable camp shoes or sandals for resting at camp.

  • Backpack: 

A durable and comfortable backpack with a rain cover to carry your belongings.

  • First Aid Kit: 

Adhesive bandages, antiseptic cream, pain relievers, blister treatment, prescribed medications, and basic medical supplies.

  • Food & Water:

High-energy snacks like trail mix, energy bars, and nuts. A refillable water bottle or hydration system to stay hydrated.

  • Hat and Sunglasses: 

Protecting your face from the extreme temperatures you might face on the trek is extremely necessary. Carrying a hat and sunglasses would be beneficial, along with some lip balm and sunscreen for preventive measures. 

  • Sleeping Gear: 

A good quality sleeping bag rated for cold temperatures. A lightweight sleeping mat or inflatable pad for insulation from the ground.

  • Headlamp/Flashlight: 

A reliable headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries for navigating in low light conditions is essential to carry. 

  • Personal Items: 

Identification, cash, personal toiletries, a small towel, and other essentials.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How long is the Sandakphu Trek?

The Sandakphu trek is 11,930 feet, which is approximately 14 kilometres. 

  1. Are there any medical facilities along the trek route?

Yes, there are several small medical clinics along the trek.

  1. How is the weather during different seasons on the trek?

The Sandakphu trip can be done in three different seasons, each with a different temperature. The ideal time to visit the trek would be from these two seasons, with temperatures ranging between 8 and 15°C from May to April and 5 to -8°C from October to December; the climate is thought to be pretty cool.

  1. What wildlife can I expect to encounter during the trek?

The Sandakphu Trek takes you through many ecosystems and allows you to see various species. Listed below are some of the animal species you could encounter while hiking: 

  • Red Panda
  • Himalayan Black Bear
  • Barking Deer
  • Himalayan Mongal
  • Clouded Leopard 
  • Yellow-Throated Marten

These are just some of the unique species you will witness there; however, hidden in the trek is much more wildlife and nature to encounter. 

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