Sandakphu, India: Exploring Paradise on Earth

The incredible view of the snow-capped peaks and the lofty green valleys all around make Sandakphu one of the most sought-after tourist destinations of West Bengal, India. The highest point of the state is more popular among adventure lovers. Though you can reach the place by car, the best way to explore the place is to depend on your feet. Sandakphu trek can be a rewarding experience and it is an easy trek that even beginners can attempt.

Your starting point will be a small hill town called Manebhanjan. You can come to this place by car either from NJP (if you come by rail) or from Bagdogra (if you come by flight). Coming to this small town will give you an essence of the simple lifestyle of the local people. Though not a popular tourist destination in itself, this small place can take you far away from the din and bustle of the city.



You can start your trek from Manebhanjan. You can hire a guide and porter from here. On your way to Tumling, your next destination you will come across places like Chitrey and Meghma. The name Meghma is aptly given. As soon as you reach here you will be spellbound to see the cloud kingdom in front of you. Take a walk in the cloud and pay a visit to the local monastery before you move on.



You can stay in any of the trekker’s huts in Tumling. The local people are friendly and you can expect comfortable accommodation in their houses (the trekker’s huts are nothing but a part of the house used to offer accommodation to guests).



The next day you should start early to reach your next destination Kalipokhri. It is a 12 km journey but you will not fill bored or tired for a single moment. You can halt at places like Jaubari and Gairibas. Nature around is so beautiful that you will not even realize when you have reached your destination. Kalipokhri is believed to be a sacred lake. It is said that all your wishes will be granted if you pray for them from the bottom of your heart standing in front of the lake.


Kalipokhri - Sandakphu, India

Enjoy your stay at Kalipokhri. If you reach the place in the evening, you can explore the surroundings in the morning. It is not necessary to start your trek early the next day because your final destination Sandakphu is only 6 km away. But yes, the road is steep. You can stop and enjoy momo at a local shop of Bkbhanjan and set for your journey.

As soon as you reach Sandakphu, you will realize that it was worth your effort. It is not an exaggeration to call this place ‘Paradise on Earth’. With the scenic peaks all around Sandakphu is breathtakingly beautiful. Several peaks including 3 sisters, Everest, Makalu, Pandim can be seen from this place and not miss out on the most gorgeous of all Mt. Kanchenjunga. Just sit in front of your trekker’s hut and watch the majestic peaks and you won’t realize how time has passed.


Sandakphu - Sandakphu, India

If you have time in hand you can stay here for a few days or explore another picturesque destination Phalut. For those who don’t have much time, descending the next day will be a wise decision. Your next destination will be Gurdum, a small village in the lap of the Himalayas. Coming down through the dense forest will be a thrilling experience. Stay in the house of a local at Gurdum to get a flavor of their lifestyle. The next day you can set for your final destination Rimbik, via another beautiful place called Srikhola. The meandering river, the greenwood, and the colorful small huts make the place look stunning. You would hate to leave this place.



You can stay at Rimbik for a day or hire a car to reach NJP or Bagdogra the same day.

How to reach

Sandakphu is a popular trekking destination located in the Indian state of West Bengal. Here are the ways to reach Sandakphu:

  1. By air: The nearest airport to Sandakphu is Bagdogra Airport, which is located about 150 kilometers away. From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Maneybhanjyang, the starting point of the Sandakphu trek.
  2. By train: The nearest major railway station to Sandakphu is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, located about 120 kilometers away. From the station, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Maneybhanjyang.
  3. By road: Maneybhanjyang is the starting point of the Sandakphu trek and is well connected by road to Siliguri, Darjeeling, and Kalimpong. You can take a bus or hire a taxi from these places to reach Maneybhanjyang.

Once you reach Maneybhanjyang, you can start your trek to Sandakphu. The trek takes about 3-4 days and covers a distance of about 32 kilometers. It is advisable to hire a guide or join a trekking group for the trek.

Things to do

Sandakphu is a picturesque mountain destination that offers a range of activities for visitors. Here are some things to do in Sandakphu:


Sandakphu is famous for its trekking trails. The trek to Sandakphu is a popular route that takes visitors through a variety of landscapes, including dense forests, rolling hills, and high-altitude meadows. The trek offers stunning views of the Himalayan peaks, including Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu. The trek takes around 4-5 days to complete and is suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers.

Bird Watching:

Sandakphu is home to a variety of bird species, including the Blood Pheasant, Himalayan Griffon, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, and many more. Visitors can take a guided bird watching tour to spot these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.


Sandakphu offers some of the most stunning views of the Himalayas, and it’s a great place for photography enthusiasts. Visitors can capture the sunrise and sunset views over the mountains, the stunning landscapes, and the diverse flora and fauna.


Sandakphu is a great place for camping. Visitors can pitch their tents amidst the picturesque mountain scenery and enjoy a peaceful night under the stars. It’s important to note that visitors should take all necessary precautions to ensure a safe and comfortable camping experience.

Exploring the Local Culture:

Sandakphu is home to several local communities, including the Sherpas and the Nepalis. Visitors can explore the local culture and customs by visiting the local villages and interacting with the locals.

Visit Singalila National Park:

Singalila national park

Sandakphu is located near the Singalila National Park, which is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bear, and many more. Visitors can take a guided tour of the park and explore its natural beauty.

Overall, Sandakphu is a great destination for adventure and nature lovers. Visitors can enjoy trekking, bird watching, camping, and photography while taking in the stunning views of the Himalayas and exploring the local culture.

Where to Stay

There are several options for accommodation in Sandakphu, depending on your budget and preference. Here are some of the options:

  1. Trekker’s Hut: The Trekker’s Hut is a basic accommodation option that is popular among trekkers. The huts are located along the trekking trail and offer basic amenities like dormitory beds, hot water, and shared bathrooms.
  2. Tea Houses: There are several tea houses along the trekking trail that offer basic accommodation and meals. The tea houses are run by local families and offer a unique cultural experience.
  3. Guesthouses: There are several guesthouses in Sandakphu that offer comfortable rooms with basic amenities like hot water, electricity, and attached bathrooms. Some guesthouses also offer meals.
  4. Camping: Visitors can also opt to camp in Sandakphu. There are several camping sites along the trekking trail that offer beautiful views of the mountains. Visitors can bring their own tents or rent them from local vendors.
  5. Resorts: There are a few resorts in Sandakphu that offer more luxurious accommodation options. These resorts are located in the nearby towns and offer amenities like hot water, electricity, Wi-Fi, and in-room dining.

It’s important to note that during peak trekking seasons, accommodation can be limited, and it’s advisable to book in advance. Additionally, it’s recommended to carry your own sleeping bag, as some accommodation options may not provide them.


Sure, here are some frequently asked questions about Sandakphu:

What is Sandakphu?

Sandakphu is a mountain peak located in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is a popular trekking destination and offers stunning views of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.

How do I get to Sandakphu?

The nearest airport to Sandakphu is Bagdogra Airport, and the nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. From there, visitors can take a bus or taxi to Maneybhanjyang, the starting point of the Sandakphu trek.

What is the best time to visit Sandakphu?

The best time to visit Sandakphu is from March to May and from October to December. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear, offering stunning views of the mountains.

Do I need a permit to visit Sandakphu?

Yes, visitors need a permit to enter the Singalila National Park, which is located near Sandakphu. The permit can be obtained from the Manebhanjan Forest Office.

How difficult is the trek to Sandakphu?

The trek to Sandakphu is of moderate difficulty and takes around 4-5 days to complete. The trek covers a distance of about 32 kilometers and includes steep ascents and descents. It’s important to be in good physical condition and to acclimatize properly before starting the trek.

What should I pack for the Sandakphu trek?

Visitors should pack warm clothes, comfortable trekking shoes, a sleeping bag, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a water bottle, and a first aid kit. It’s also advisable to carry some snacks and energy bars for the trek.

What kind of accommodation is available in Sandakphu?

Accommodation options in Sandakphu include trekker’s huts, tea houses, guesthouses, camping sites, and resorts. Visitors can choose an option depending on their budget and preference.

What are the popular activities to do in Sandakphu?

The popular activities to do in Sandakphu include trekking, bird watching, camping, photography, exploring the local culture, and visiting the Singalila National Park.

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