Sandakphu or Sandakfu is situated at an elevation of 3636 meters / 11941 feet) is the highest peak in the state of West Bengal, India. It is situated at the edge of the Singalila National Park in Darjeeling district on the West Bengal - Sikkim - Nepal border. It is the highest point of the Singalila Range or Ridge. Sandakphu has a small village on the peak with houses. Four of the five highest peaks of the Himalayan Range like Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu can be clearly seen from here. Varieties of rhododendrons with plants like Streptous simplex, Trilidium govanianum, Primula rotundifolia, Fritillaria cirrhosa, Llydia and flora like Iris, Anemone, etc is found in this region. The whole length of the Himalayan Range with the peaks of Kanchendzonga and Everest can be seen from its summit. Sunrise and sun set are brilliant. So is the snowfall and the scenic beauty around the place.
Sandakphu can be reached by treking from Maney Bhanjan via Tonglu, Gauribaas, Kalipokhri or motor able only via the legendary Land - Rover rather the legendary monster 4 x 4. The weather is pleasant and the temperature ranges from - 20 C in winter to 15 C in summer. Snowfalls in winters are a treat to watch. Phalut is nearly 21 kilometers through the forest, meadows (Bugials) from Sandakphu. There is no settlement in this route and the road is scenic with brilliant scenery. It is a tricky route as any left turn will take you to Nepal. Phalut is always the most brilliant part of the trek, of course if guest do not travel to Gurdung, which is also a unique place. It is a pleasant walk with more or less a level ground and with not many ups and downs and the scenery of the purple hills was almost magical and dreamy. Water and ready food is all that you need during the trek. Phalut has only a single guest house but the house has space for many.
Trek- The trek along the Singalila Ridge to Sandakphu and Phalut is one of the most popular ones in the Eastern Himalayas. Treks begin at Manebhanjan which is 28 kilometers from Darjeeling. The trekking routes inside the Singalila National Park have four stages. Manebhanjan to Meghma (2600 meters) is a 4hour trek via Chitre. There is another shorter route via Dhotre. The trekking route takes one directly to Tonglu or Tumling 5 kilometers. Next Meghma to Gairibas (2621 m): There are two alternative trekking routes. Both go via Tonglu (3070 meters) and Tumling (2900 meters). From Tumling, a shorter trail cuts through Nepal and Jaubari (2750 meters). Gairibans / Gaurabas to Sandakphu 3636 meters is a steep 4 hour climb halfway up the climb is the village of Kala Pokhri (3186 meters). Sandakphu to Phalut (3600 meter)- This is the most pristine stretch of the trek and is a one-day trek via Sabarkum (3536 meters) covering 21 kilometers. But the main problem of this Sandakphu-Phalut route is that there is no water source in between, so trekkers have to carry enough water to reach Phalut. Since 2009.
Two standard route are Siliguri to Manebhanjan by car - Manenybhanjan - Garibas -Sandakphu - Sandakphu - Phalut - Rammam - Rimbik - Siliguri by car or Siliguri - Dhotrey by car - Gairibas Trek - Sandakphu Trek - Phalut - Gorkhey - Srikhola
The nearest airport from Maneybhanjan to Bagdogra Airport (IXB) / New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) also at a distance of 80 kilometers. From Manebhanjan, the distance to Sandakphu is about 35 kilometers and takes about 5 - 6 hours by Jeep or Land Rover. Road is treacherous and the journey on Land Rover is not quite smooth. Sandakphu can be reached in two different ways, either by car or by trekking. The trekking starts from Mane Bhanjang via Chitire, Meghma, Tonglu, Tumling, Gairibas, Kalapokhri, Bekhe to Sandakphu. From Manebhanjang one can hire 1950's made Land Rovers which climbs up to Sandakphu and Phalut. One can also drive to Dhotrey nearly 100 kilometers from Bagdogra Airport (IXB) / New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) and trek starts from there. One can not reach Sandakphu on the same day. The jeeps do not run on Sandakphu route at night.