Sandakfu or as it is hailed by the local dialect Sandak-phu (12,400 ft/ 2336m) is situated in the very edge of the Sangrila National Park, which lies along the Bengal-Sikkim boarder in the Darjeeling district in West Bengal. Sandakfu is the highest summit in the Singalila Ridge and to be more elaborate it is also the highest peak that lies within the state of West Bengal.
Just for the convenience of the trekkers, Sandakfu with its breathtaking view of Mount Kanchenjunga, which is popularly jested as ‘The Sleeping Shiva’ or ‘The Sleeping Buddha’ for its tranquility, has a small village with few makeshift hamlets along with a couple of just-comfortable trekkers huts and a few multi-bedded hostels.
One can easily see the five highest peaks in the world Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse and also the Mount Everest on a sunny day, from the hilly terrains of Sandakfu.
Of late Sandakfu can be reached by two well accepted ways either by trekking or even by car. The Sandakfu is one of the best places for trekking in Sikkim, which never the less can also be approached from West Bengal. This picturesque trek starts from Maneybhanjang through Chitirey, which then moves towards Meghma, Tonglu and then Tumling, Garibas and KalPokhri, Bekhey till it reaches Sandakfu.
Though once can always bargain on hiring at 1960’s Land Rover, to climb up to the Sandakfu summit, but to recon with our experiences, this journey is not so very smooth or comfortable.
The Sandakfu trek is one of the most popular trekking in Sikkim as this trek along the Singalila Ridge to Phalut and Sandakfu is well admonished also by several foreigners who consider this trek as one of the most cherished destinations for spending their holidays India
The grand vista of the mighty Kanchenjunga and the Everest range, which can be perceived on the way to Sandakfu, is also multiplied in its visual perspective due to the abundance of wild flower blooms (especially Rhododendrons) and birding which make this trek a never-ending long walk through paradise.
The Sandakfu trek originates from a place called Manebhanjan which is approximately 1 hour by car or 24 km away from the famous hill station in the northern part of West Bengal- Darjeeling.
The temperature in Sandakfu swings between -20°C in winter to +15°C during the summer months. For snow lovers one can visit Sandakfu in-between late December to early February for enjoying the snowfalls.
For all international trekkers who are planning to trek while enjoying their holidays India, Sandakfu trek still remains one of the best trek that one can walk along before trekking to other distant and more appealing locations which falls in the Northern and Western parts of the Sikkim’s territories.