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Perched at an altitude of 11941 ft is Sandakphu, also known as Sandafu the wonder land of trekkers in West Bengal. Overlooking the majestic snowline of Eastern Himalayas, Sandakphu is the highest point of Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling. Trekking towards Sandakphu to watch the panoramic view of highest peaks in the worlds has become a famous adventure activity of Darjeeling. Far from the hassle of daily life, Sandakphu offer an opportunity to embrace the surreal beauty of Himalayas. Unspoiled by the modernized society the lush green meadow dotted with rhododendron trees has attracted trekkers from far and wide towards Sandakphu. Throughout the epic trek toward Sandakphu visitors will come across many pictorial destinations which are hard to overlook.
Manebhanjan, located at a distance of 26km from Darjeeling is the name of serene hilly region settlement. It is situated in the periphery of Singalila Ridge along the Indo-Nepal border. Manebhanjan is the base of the starting the epic trek towards Sandakphu. Here visitors can find all the necessary items required during the Sandakphu trek. There are many homestay in Manebhanjan. Apart from being the base of Sandakphu trek visitors who are not too keen to trek their way towards the highest point of Singalila ridge can opt for Jeep Safari from Manebhanjan. Manebhanjan with the largest collection of vintage Land Rover offers Jeep Safari for Sandakphu. The thrill of riding in one the vintage vehicle on the rugged Himalayan terrain is an experience which is hard to find anywhere else. Whether to buy the essential or book a Jeep Safari it is difficult not be charmed by the simplicity and hospitality of Manebhanjan.
After overcoming the steep hill above Manebhanjan visitor will come across Chitrey. At an altitude 8340ft Chitrey is a serene hamlet located at 2hours trekking distance from Manebhanjan. The route between Manebhanjan to Chitrey is one of the steepest trails throughout the Sandakphu trek. Most of novice trekkers are overwhelmed by the trail and halt in Chitrey. The prime attraction of Chitrey apart from its serene ambiance is the idyllic Buddhist Monastery. Enclosed by white washed stupa the red colored building of Chitrey monastery is hard to miss. Trekkers can either refill their supply or simply halt in Chitrey and enjoy the rustic beauty if this scenic hamlet.
Tonglu formerly known as Tonglo at an altitude of 3036mt is another pit stop on the way to Sandakphu. The awe-inspiring beauty of Tonglu shows the zests of surreal beauty which Sandakphu has to offer. After the long trek the rippling water of Tonglu Lake and outwardly scenario of snow capped mountain is enough to rejuvenate the trekkers. The tranquil ambiance and pictorial scenery of Tonglu has mesmerized and left travelers awe-stricken with its surreal beauty.
Enclosed with the emerald green forest is Tumling a scenic mountain hamlet on the way to Sandakphu. Dotted with the vista of green and brown specks of virgin forest Tumling is located in the Nepal region. Apart from being a halting point Tumling is also the gateway towards the Singalila National Park. Strategically located on the Nepal region on a clear day visitors can get the panoramic vista of Darjeeling and Kurseong from Tumling. Overlooking the valley of rhododendron trees Tumling lets visitors known that they are closer to unraveling the surreal beauty of Sandakphu which has ensnared the minds of many trekkers.
Bikeybhanjhan is the last point to overcome to reach Sandakphu the wonderland of Trekkers. The steep climb and rugged terrain of Bikeybhanjhan can make people divulge from their destination but as said best view comes after the hardest climb. Although one of the hardest hurdles Bikeybhanjhan is marked by the pristine view of snow clad Mt Kanchenjunga and luxuriant rhododendron trees.
How to reach Sandakphu: Visitors first need to reach Manebhanjan to start their epic journey towards Sandakphu. Located at a distance of 26km from Darjeeling visitors need to get on a cab heading towards Sukiapokhari from Darjeeling taxi stand. Sukiapokhari is a quaint town of Darjeeling famous for its twin lake Jorpokhari. From Sukiapokhari visitors will easily find shared taxi heading towards Manebhanjan. From Manebhanjan visitors can either trek their way towards Sandakphu or simply book a ticket for Jeep Safari.
Best time to visit Sandakphu: Being perched at a high altitude it is best to avoid traveling to Sandakphu during the monsoon season. The best time to visit Sandakphu is during spring season (March to May) and winter season (November to March). During Spring Season visitors from Sandakphu can witness the view of Singalila National Park glazed with a rosy hue due to blooming of rhododendron flowers. And during winter season visitors can enjoy the view of Sandakphu hidden beneath the thick blanket of white snow.