Indiatravel; Sandakphu: Conquering Due West Bengal's Highest Tiptop As Well As My Fears.

By Paromita Debroy. 

It was a rainy June eve inwards 2013. I sat at my usage desk, staring at the monitor, unable to work. I had read nearly the Uttarakhand floods the previous hateful solar daytime together with was yet trying to come upwards to damage with the destruction caused yesteryear it. I dearest the Himalayas together with it felt every bit if something closed to me was getting destroyed. Well, it likewise meant that I would possess got to cancel my view to the flood-affected areas together with excogitation everything all over again.

It was fate trying to ship me to the Eastern Himalayas, for that’s when I stumbled upon Sandakphu, the highest peak of West Bengal perched at about 12,000 feet. 

There are iii things I must confess earlier I begin. 
Firstly, fitness together with I possess got never seen oculus to eye. 
Secondly, I endure from motility sickness on hilly terrain. 
Thirdly, I had never trekked for to a greater extent than than 3 km at a stretch. 

Nevertheless, I was determined to go: 

Day 1: NJP to Maneybhanjan (3.5 hours drive)

The route passes through beautiful tea gardens together with goes via Mirik. Maney Bhanjan is the starting cry for of the trek. There are Land Rovers that ply straight to Sandakphu from here. But driving on that terrain tin bear witness to live a gut wrenching experience! For trekkers, it is advisable to stop hither for the hateful solar daytime together with start the trek early on adjacent morning. The route journeying had left me with nausea together with dizziness together with every bit I went to bed at night, I yet wasn’t certain if I should embark on the trek. It was going to live a long hateful solar daytime tomorrow.

Panorama from Sandakphu at sunrise!

Day 2: Maneybhanjan to Tumling (12km)

The Sun shone into our chamber inwards the forenoon together with I woke upwards with a start; it was entirely five am - a reminder that that nosotros were inwards the eastern component of India. After procuring the necessary permits, nosotros embarked on our trek. Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 steep ascent for 2km brought us to the Chitrey Monastery, covered inwards Buddhist prayer flags. We crossed the scenic hamlets of Lamidhura and Meghma, walked with pino forests together with chortens, together with finally made it to Tumling. It was hither that the mount peaks revealed themselves. The valley below lay covered inwards white clouds, looking similar an ocean. Far on the horizon, the peaks shone inwards a serene calorie-free against the dorsum drib of the setting sun. 

Tranquility with nature.

Day 3: Tumling to Kalapokhri (13km)

Past the relatively piece of cake descent to the hamlet of Gairibas, the trail becomes boulder-laden together with steep. Past Kaiyakata, nosotros walked to Kalapokhri, engulfed inwards mist together with dense pino forests. “Pokhri” inwards Nepali agency lake together with “kala” agency black. This lake is considered sacred yesteryear the locals together with the waters of this lake, believed to possess got medicinal value, never freeze, fifty-fifty inwards the winter! I witnessed the most beautiful sunset I had always seen inwards my life. Before me was the greenish meadow together with on its edge, 3 mount goats sat serenely oblivious of the camera-clicking fuss about them. The vast expanse below was filled with white fluffy clouds together with the heaven was smeared with shades of scarlet together with crimson.

Sunset at Kalapokhri.

Day 4: Kalapokhri to Sandakphu (7km)

This morning’s trek was the in conclusion lap to rank Sandakphu, together with though relatively piece of cake terrain, it was challenging at over 10000ft. We spotted the bloom aconite (a poisonous bloom constitute inwards that region), the river Mahanadi flowing through the Siliguri plains, together with scenes of hamlet life inwards the harsh terrain. Then I heard the audio of some mystical music emanating from a temple - a celebration of Durga Puja at almost 10000ft, on a narrow trail inwards the mighty Himalayas, the bluish heaven over my caput together with the divine music blending perfectly with the serene together with calm silence.

Aconite - a poisonous bloom constitute inwards the region.

A villager edifice the thatch of his hut.

Sunrise at Sandakphu

After some acclimatization, the hateful solar daytime started early on at four am, to live able to witness the sunrise. It was about ii degrees exterior but the current of air chill element made it experience less than 0. As the eastern heaven began to glow inwards a somber red, I waited with baited breath. The start calorie-free of the hateful solar daytime shone on 1 of the peaks on Mt. Kanchenjunga, together with slowly, each of the peaks lit up; this play of colors lasted for to a greater extent than than an hour. It looked similar the Sleeping Buddha glowing inwards a golden light. Not entirely did nosotros run across the Kanchenjunga, Everest together with Lhotse but every other peak that is possible to run across from here! 

The eastern heaven at sunrise.

Day 5: Sandakphu to Srikhola (22km)

This was the hateful solar daytime that tested me the most. The trail to Srikhola is a steep descent for the most part. My correct leg was non inwards skillful condition, my thigh had cramped badly together with I was barely existence able to walk. The cherry together with white wild flowers, the dried grass which glowed inwards a golden color inwards the sun, the bluish sky, the jungle trail lined with bamboo trees lending a creepy together with eerie experience to the scene, together with the trees hacked yesteryear precipitous bursts of lightning, made me forget my hurting momentarily. When I finally limped inwards extreme hurting upwards the staircase to my room, the realization that I had genuinely completed the trek dawned upon me. I did it!

Wild bushes together with flowers.
I was barely able to walk the adjacent few days, a deep tan had taken over my face, together with the opposite of my palm was charcoal black. I had travelled almost 2,000 miles to walk over boulders, at depression oxygen levels, for 52 km, with bare minimum amenities. Was I crazy? I closed my eyes together with constitute calmness together with quiet within, that tin live attained entirely yesteryear closed communion with nature.

And every pang of hurting made me realize that courage is non the absence of fear, but the realization that something else is to a greater extent than of import than fear. I felt ALIVE!


Would you lot similar to trek upwards to Sandakphu some day?


AUTHOR BIO: A software engineer yesteryear profession, Paromita loves travelling to the Himalayas.
Her dearest with the written discussion tin live followed on her blog


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