India travel destinations: Sandakphu: Conquering Westward Bengal's Highest Pinnacle Too My Fears.

By Paromita Debroy. 

It was a rainy June eve inward 2013. I sat at my component desk, staring at the monitor, unable to work. I had read close the Uttarakhand floods the previous twenty-four hours together with was all the same trying to come upwardly to price amongst the destruction caused past times it. I dear the Himalayas together with it felt equally if something closed to me was getting destroyed. Well, it equally good meant that I would own got to cancel my catch to the flood-affected areas together with innovation 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 some 12,000 feet. 

There are iii things I must confess earlier I begin. 
Firstly, fitness together with I own got never seen optic to eye. 
Secondly, I endure from motion 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 betoken of the trek. There are Land Rovers that ply direct to Sandakphu from here. But driving on that terrain tin show to live a gut wrenching experience! For trekkers, it is advisable to stop hither for the twenty-four hours together with start the trek early on side past times side morning. The route journeying had left me amongst nausea together with dizziness together with equally I went to bed at night, I all the same wasn’t certain if I should embark on the trek. It was going to live a long twenty-four hours tomorrow.

Panorama from Sandakphu at sunrise!

Day 2: Maneybhanjan to Tumling (12km)

The Sun shone into our chamber inward the morning time together with I woke upwardly amongst a start; it was alone five am - a reminder that that nosotros were inward the eastern component of India TravelAfter 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 inward Buddhist prayer flags. We crossed the scenic hamlets of Lamidhura and Meghma, walked among 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 inward white clouds, looking similar an ocean. Far on the horizon, the peaks shone inward a serene lite against the dorsum drib of the setting sun. 

Tranquility among 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 inward mist together with dense pino forests. “Pokhri” inward Nepali way lake together with “kala” way black. This lake is considered sacred past times the locals together with the waters of this lake, believed to own got medicinal value, never freeze, fifty-fifty inward the winter! I witnessed the most beautiful sunset I had always seen inward 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 amongst white fluffy clouds together with the heaven was smeared amongst 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 seat Sandakphu, together with though relatively piece of cake terrain, it was challenging at over 10000ft. We spotted the bloom aconite (a poisonous bloom flora inward that region), the river Mahanadi flowing through the Siliguri plains, together with scenes of hamlet life inward 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 inward the mighty Himalayas, the bluish heaven over my caput together with the divine music blending perfectly amongst the serene together with calm silence.

Aconite - a poisonous bloom flora inward the region.

A villager edifice the thatch of his hut.

Sunrise at Sandakphu

After some acclimatization, the twenty-four hours started early on at 4 am, to live able to witness the sunrise. It was about two degrees exterior but the current of air chill element made it experience less than 0. As the eastern heaven began to glow inward a somber red, I waited amongst baited breath. The showtime lite of the twenty-four hours shone on i 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 inward a golden light. Not alone did nosotros run into the Kanchenjunga, Everest together with Lhotse but every other peak that is possible to run into from here! 

The eastern heaven at sunrise.

Day 5: Sandakphu to Srikhola (22km)

This was the twenty-four hours that tested me the most. The trail to Srikhola is a steep descent for the most part. My correct leg was non inward skillful condition, my thigh had cramped badly together with I was barely beingness able to walk. The cherry-red together with white wild flowers, the dried grass which glowed inward a golden color inward the sun, the bluish sky, the jungle trail lined amongst bamboo trees lending a creepy together with eerie experience to the scene, together with the trees hacked past times abrupt bursts of lightning, made me forget my hurting momentarily. When I finally limped inward extreme hurting upwardly 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 side past times side few days, a deep tan had taken over my face, together with the contrary of my palm was charcoal black. I had travelled almost 2,000 miles to walk over boulders, at depression oxygen levels, for 52 km, amongst bare minimum amenities. Was I crazy? I closed my eyes together with flora calmness together with tranquillity within, that tin live attained alone past times closed communion amongst 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 upwardly to Sandakphu some day?


AUTHOR BIO: A software engineer past times profession, Paromita loves travelling to the Himalayas.
Her dear amongst the written give-and-take tin live followed on her blog


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