Sandakphu Trek – Spectacular Views of the Roof of the World

14 July, 2021 | Reccy Guide

The Sandakphu Trek provides something completely different from most Himalaya treks. You get to see some beautiful countryside and natural landscapes in Singalila National Park, but you also get to glimpse the mightiest mountains in the world including Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, and the famous Sleeping Buddha range. This is an immersive trip that is great for beginners who want to experience trekking expeditions, or experienced hikers who want to see a different side of India.

The main attraction of this Indian trek is Sandakphu. This is a mountain peak located on the Singalila Ridge that you will hike along, also passing through the beautiful Singalila National Park. Sandakphu stands at a lofty 11,930ft / 3636m and is actually the tallest mountain on this ridge. It is also the tallest mountain in the Indian state of West Bengal.

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Interestingly enough, the summit actually has a small village and some accommodation. This makes it one of the more accessible mountains in this region. It is also why it is so popular for trekking. One of the main draws of Sandakphu is that you can see four of the five tallest mountains in the world from its summit – Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.

This trek typically lasts for 5-6 days and has varying starting points. The common pickup point is the town of Bagdogra. This town has a small internal airport that has flights to major Indian destinations including New Delhi and Mumbai. Alternatively, a common pickup point is also the NJP railway station.

From here, there is typically a scenic drive to the starting point of Kopidana or Chitrey. Chitrey is possibly the more common basecamp used and it lies in a beautiful location next to the Teesta River. Kopidana is less used, but it allows you to get straight into the hiking action.

From here, you will spend the next 3-4 days trekking along the Singalila Ridge and into the amazing Singalila National Park. Common camping locations include Tumling, Kalapokhri, Sepi, Phalut, and of course Sandakphu itself.

When stopping at Tumling, you will get chance to see the amazing Sleeping Buddha Mountain range of Kanchenjunga. This mountain range has the unmistakable appearance of a Buddha lying down on the floor with the middle mountains forming his chubby belly, and the left and right mountains forming his head and feet. It is an amazing site – particularly if you get to see it at sunrise or sunset.

The Singalila National Park is also an interesting part of the trek. The landscapes here are wide and open, and you will pass through a variety of small villages and communities. You may also get to stop at a traditional Indian teahouse. Depending on the time you embark on this trek, this national park also has some fantastic plant life, beautiful flowers, and luscious forests.

As the trek continues you will eventually reach the epic Sandakphu summit. This is what you have been waiting for! The views from this mountain are some of the most magnificent in the world. Who else can say that they have seen four of the tallest mountains of the world at once? This is the highest part of the ridge also, therefore the views are uninterrupted – you will be left breathless at the sheer majesty and beauty of the Himalayas.

In terms of accommodation and cost, this trek is more favourable than most. During the trek you will mainly stay in simple home stays, tourist lodges, and teahouses. The accommodation is not luxurious, and you will often have to share dorms. However, it will be comfortable and give you the rest and relaxation you need between hikes. The Sandakphu trek cost is typically between 9500-11,000 Rupee which includes accommodation and meals. This makes the Sandakphu Phalut trek cost one of the more reasonable Indian treks available.

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