Sandakphu – A Himalayan Odyssey

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If you are a mountain lover, look no further than Sandakphu, a delightful destination tucked amidst the Himalayas.

Where can you see Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu in one perspective? Well, Sandakphu in West Bengal bordering Nepal is the place where you will not just see the majestic Himalayas in all their pristine beauty but will also be able to trek amidst natural vistas. The joke that runs among locals is that this is the place where you can have breakfast in India, lunch in Nepal and dinner in China. Well, after all this place borders the other countries and is a Himalayan sojourn like no other.

The Hills are Alive

“Hiking is a bit like life: The journey only requires you to put one foot in front of the other…again and again and again. And if you allow yourself the opportunity to be present throughout the entirety of the trek, you will witness beauty every step of the way, not just at the summit.” This quote by someone who is unknown is probably the best way to describe Sandakpu. Located in West Bengal in Darjeeling district, Sandakphu is the highest point of the Singalila Ridge on the West Bengal-Nepal border. If you are a nature lover, then there is little doubt that the Sandakphu Trek that takes about three days and is considered among the easier treks to do will appeal to you. The trek starts at an altitude of 7500 feet and ascends to a staggering 11930 feet at Sandakphu will take you through several beautiful natural vistas. And if you are wondering what Sandakphu means, well it translates to ‘height of the poison plants’ after the aconite plants that grow here. You can recognize the plant from its small purple-blue hued flowers that are poisonous. The roots of the plant are however used in some medicines.

Read the full story that first appeared in the March-April 2020 issue of Discover India here:

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