Sandakphu Trek
Sandakphu Trek

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Sandakphu Trek: A Perfect Balance of Beauty and Adventure in Darjeeling

Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling
The Kanchenjunga Range viewed from Sandakphu View Point with Phalut in the far hill

The Sandakphu Trek offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and moderate trekking trail in Darjeeling. This five-day, 57-kilometer trek package culminates at Sandakphu, which epitomizes the essence of this remarkable trek. As you traverse the trekking trail winding through tiny hamlets of the Singalila Ridge adorned with vibrant rhododendron flowers, the gorgeous view of the world’s four highest mountains, will surely awaken your senses. And as the trail gently cleaves towards Sandakphu this awe-inspiring trek is sure to invigorate your senses and create lasting memories.

Sandakphu Phalut Trek
View of the Everest Range from Sandakphu and the Trek Route to Phalut

Set in the lap of the Himalayas and famed for its moderate trekking trail and great mountain views, the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek is a treat to your senses for a refreshing break. A promise of the glorious Himalayas, an eye-opener for hikers. A cultural wonder that can be undertaken even during the winter months.

Who can do this trek?

Anyone with a moderate level of physical fitness and who has acclimatized to long hours of walking can complete the Sandakphu Trek easily. However, one will have to remember that, with an average distance of ten kilometers of hiking per day, a certain amount of preparation is essential.

Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek
Kanchenjunga Range seen on the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek

Starting and Ending Points of the Trek

The Sandakphu Trek starts from Manebhanjyang, a small border town located twenty-six kilometers and an hour’s drive from Darjeeling.

Singalila National Park’s office is located at the end of the town, and the Foreigners Registration Office and the Guides Office are at the entrance of the town. Sandakphu is 58 km from Darjeeling and the trekking distance is 32 km from Manebhanjyang.

Rimbik, 57 Km to Darjeeling a small, bustling farmers town with a Bank, Police Station, a few Hotels and an ATM, is the ending point of the five-day Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling

Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling
Kanchenjunga Range seen on the Sandakphu Trek from Tongloo Ridge with the Tongloo Trekkers Hut in the foreground

Accommodations on the Trek

Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek is a tea house lodge-based trek. There are Trekkers Huts with basic facilities in Tongloo, Gairibas, and Sandakphu run by private individuals. There is also a small homestay in Tongloo, run by a local family. Other than these, there are comfortable and better options just a kilometer away at Tumling, but these lodges are all on the Nepal side of the Sandakphu Trail.

Each trekker’s hut has four to five rooms. Each room is made up of four to five beds, a common washroom, and a restroom. Comfortable mattresses, quilts, and blankets are provided in these trekkers huts and lodges.

Sandakphu with the Trekkers Huts and Lodges

Besides these trekkers’ huts on the Indian side of the border, there are a number of lodges on the Nepal side too, with better facilities.

As of the 2023 season, all trek operators have been notified by the Department of Defense, Government of India, that foreign trekkers on the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek will not be allowed to stay overnight in the lodges on the Nepal side of the trekking trail.

Food on the Trail

Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling
Kalipokhri Village before approaching Sandakphu on the Nepal side of the Trek route

Basic Indian local food is available in tea houses, lodges, and trekker’s huts along the trekking route to Sandakphu. In some lodges, some other culinary items will also be prepared on order.

Breakfast is generally porridge, bread and butter, and eggs (omelette or boiled as per your demand). Chapatis (flour bread) or Tibetan bread are also available in these trekkers huts and lodges.

Lunches and dinners are mainly rice, Dal (lentil soup), vegetable curry, and vegetable soup. Sometimes chowmein and noddle soup will also be served.

Evening tea with biscuits will be served every day on arrival at the lodges or Trekkers Huts.

Drinking water is available throughout the Sandakphu trek, and it is fit for drinking. Nevertheless, water-purifying tablets are recommended. You can also purchase bottled mineral water in the tea houses and trekkers huts.

Best Season to trek

Treks in Darjeeling
Sandakphu View Point and the Kanchenjunga Range

March to May is the best time for the Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling when the weather remains compatible for trekking and the trek route is adorned with colorful rhododendron flowers.

However, mid-March to April is the best time for the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek when the daytime temperature hovers between 10 and 18 degrees Celsius and the horizon is clear for the mountain views. The nighttime temperature will vary from 5 degrees to 10 degrees Celsius.

The month of May is liable to be caressed by the approaching rain-laden monsoon clouds, because of which the mountain views can get blocked. Therefore, it is recommended that you carry a raincoat or an umbrella to counter the rain.

If you are looking for brilliant mountain views, then October and November are the best months if you are trekking to Sandakphu. The month of October, with its mild temperature, is also favourable for trekking, but the month of November will see a drop in the temperature. Darjeeling may see some light showers during October from the retreating monsoon, but not much to worry about as October and November are dry months.

The daytime temperature will fluctuate between 10 and 18 degrees Celsius, making it very pleasant for hikers to trek to Sandakphu. However, the temperature in the evening and at night will fall between 0 degrees to 5 degrees Celsius. But the wooden panels of the trekkers huts will make it a little warmer. Sandakphu gets a little windy at night, thus bringing the wind chill down to minus degrees Celsius.

Treks in Darjeeling
Everest and the Kanchenjunga Range in a single frame from Sandakphu

What to Carry 

Put all your clothing and other items that you will need for the Sandakphu Trek in a haversack (50–55 liters), as it will be easy for the porter to carry. Carry a day pack (26 to 30 liters) for day use. Put all your personal items in the day pack and carry them yourself. Carry in your daypack a water bottle, a rain jacket or an umbrella, light fleece, and a wind stopper. The main baggage will be carried by porters or ponies. Trekkers carry their day packs only with their essential items and walk at their own pace.

Carry with you a personal medical kit. Carry medicines for fever, dysentery, anti-acid tablets, pain killers, crepe bandages for sprains, waterproof band-aids for cuts and toe blisters, and antiseptic cream. Ensure to put in your kit Vaseline for chapped skin, moisturizer, sunscreen lotions (50 SPF recommended), and polarized sun glasses to ensure the safety of your eyes from the sun’s glare.

Sandakphu Phalut Trek in Darjeeling
The Everest Range from Sandakphu with Marc Kannegeiser and Family April 2019


The daytime temperature will vary from 10 degrees Celsius to 18 degrees Celsius. Therefore, carry light trekking pants or track pants for day use. Add some quick-dry t-shirts too, as they come in handy during daytime trekking.

Since you will be trekking to higher altitudes, the temperature will go down, especially at night. The temperature in the evening in Sandakphu can hover between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius; therefore, warm woolen or thick fleece or a down jacket is required. Thermal inner wear should also be added to the clothing collection, along with woolen gloves and balaclavas.

Comfortable ankle-length trekking boots are recommended for the safety of your ankle as the terrain is uneven in some places. If it is a new trekking boot, then one should ensure to break in these boots before the trek to ensure comfort rather than regret later while on the trek. Good-quality trail running shoes can also be used on the Sandakphu Trek, as the trail is on a wide track.

Power and Mobile Connectivity

There is no electricity on the entire Sandakphu Trek Route on the India side of the trekking trail. The trekker’s huts in Tongloo and Sandakphu are solar-powered. Therefore, you can charge your camera batteries and mobile phones in the trekker’s hut for a price.

However, on the Nepal side, the lodges have electricity. Therefore, power-related benefits are available in the private lodges.

Mobile connectivity fluctuates once you leave Tongloo and is therefore not to be relied upon. Airtel and Jio networks are available from Tongloo and Sandakphu; other than these places, mobile networks are non-existent.

In contrast, the mobile network coverage on a Nepali SIM card is just superb. If you have a Nepali SIM, then you can also make video calls from Tongloo, Kalipokhari, and Sandakphu.

Features and Benefits

The Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek is the perfect way to spend a weekend in Darjeeling. The trek is well-tailored and 57 km long, and it is perfect for first-time trekkers. The trekking trail is also well-defined and easy to follow. The views from Sandakphu are absolutely breathtaking.

Non-Technical and An Introductory Trek in Darjeeling

The Sandakphu Trek is an introductory, non-technical trek in Darjeeling for novice trekkers. while at the same time, without taking a lot of time, showing you just enough to introduce you to the art of trekking and hiking that will convince you to take long treks in the near future. Also, Sandakphu Trek gives you more than expected without going to the extreme.

Also, the simple and clearly marked trail makes the Sandakphu Trek a very popular beginner’s trek in Darjeeling. This is an ideal trek for someone looking for an introductory trek in the Himalayas. And with good reason, this trail with no technical difficulty is the best hiking trail in Darjeeling for beginners.

A Trail for Nature lovers and bird watchers

An added attraction of the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek is that the trail passes through Singalila National Park. This, in turn, makes it attractive and inspiring among bird watchers, botanists, and, on the whole, nature lovers too. And as the trail meanders through the rich natural reserves of Singalila National Park, the Sandakphu Trek allows you to witness nature in its best form. while also giving you a glimpse into the local culture.

Birding Trek in Darjeeling
Birds of Singalila National Park.  Photo credit to Mr. Noel Foning and Birds of Darjeeling & Eastern Himalayas

What makes Sandakphu Trek special?

The beautiful Himalayan scenery that you can see with your own eyes is a sublime experience that you can get from the Sandakphu Trek. Sandakphu, the highest point in Darjeeling and in West Bengal, India, is perhaps the most popular paradise for trekkers from the world over. Mainly because it is a time-friendly trek and, of course, because of the great mountain views that this trek presents.

Trekking in Darjeeling
Snow-covered Sandakphu and Kanchenjunga Range on the Sandakphu Trek

A short and scenic trek in Darjeeling

The Sandakphu Trek offers views of Everest and Kanchenjunga spectacular beyond words. At 11,920 feet above mean sea level, Sandakphu is nature’s gift, where there is a positive vibe. But the aura that the Sandakphu trek oozes makes one hang around there more than one intended. Darjeeling is a genuine wonderland for trekkers and hikers planning to do a short trek.

Talk to us if you have any doubts. Our experienced outdoor adventure team is always ready to help you. Our team will assist you throughout the process, from when you decide until you return from the trek.

 Trekking Tips to remember for the Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek  

  1. Keep your feet comfortable: Get yourself a pair of comfortable ankle-high trekking boots. Do not forget to try these boots on before you come for the Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling. Break into those hiking shoes early so that you do not get blisters while on the Sandakphu Trek. But, after having said that, a pair of durable trail running shoes will also do, as these shoes will be lighter, flexible and more comfortable.
  2. Get comfortable socks: Socks are also important to your feet. Get socks that are designed for trekking and hiking long distances. These socks are well worth investing in to give your feet extra protection.
  3. Train well on different terrains: The Sandakphu Trek may be moderate in nature, but do not forget to train on a range of terrain. Remember, you are trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas, and you need to tackle a variety of terrain while climbing up to the summit of Sandakphu. Therefore, mix up your training with long walks on a variety of terrain. Training includes long walks, running, cycling, swimming, or any other physical activity that will improve your stamina and fitness.
  4. Please remember to keep your muscles in good shape:  Remember to stretch after your long walks. You should focus on your calves, quads, hamstrings, hips, and back.
  5. Practice with your backpack and pack your bags accordingly: Your main baggage will be carried by porters and pack animals. But you will need to carry a day pack with you to put in all your essential items, like a camera, a water bottle, your personal medical kit, an umbrella, a light fleece, and a wind stopper. Make sure to bring along warm clothes, woolen caps, woolen gloves, a sun hat, waterproof gear, and other essential items needed for the Sandakphu Trek. It is essential to include in your baggage a first aid kit, water bottle, water purifying tablets, sunscreen lotion, Vaseline, and sunglasses.
  6. Acclimatize Well: It is essential to acclimatize properly while on the Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling as you trek to higher altitudes to prevent altitude sickness. Take regular breaks and spend extra nights at higher altitudes to give your body time to adjust.
  7. Respect the Local Culture: The Singalila Ridge is home to the local people of Darjeeling and Nepal, who have their own unique culture and traditions. Respect their beliefs and culture, and be mindful of the impact that you will have on their environment.
  8. Stay Hydrated: It is important to stay hydrated at higher altitudes to avoid altitude sickness. Therefore, drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  9. Take Your Time: This Sandakphu Trek in Darjeeling is not a race. So take your time, enjoy the scenery, and do not push yourself too hard.
  10. Prepare for the weather: The weather in the mountains can be very unpredictable. Therefore, be prepared for rain, snow, and cold weather.
  11. Be flexible: Weather and other conditions can change very quickly. Therefore, be flexible with your plans and be prepared to adjust your itinerary accordingly.

What is the booking procedure?

You will have to deposit a minimum amount to confirm and ensure your place on the trek. The balance amount must be paid either on arrival or can be deposited a week before the start of the Sandakphu Trek. However, once you decide to do this trek with us, we will send you details about the payment mode.

Cancellation Policy

  • Minimum Charge (Deposit Amount will not be refunded if the trek is canceled due to strikes, closure of National Park, etc., or canceled by the individual concerned).
  • Less than 15 days of the trek or tour date: 50% of the trek cost.
  • On or after the trek or tour start date: There are no refunds if the trek or tour is aborted or shortened for any reason.


  • Style of Trek:  Tea House/Lodge Trek
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Number of Days on the Trek: 5 Days
  • Trek Grade: Moderate to Easy
  • Minimum number of Participants: 2 Persons
  • Highest Point: Sandakphu (3636 m)
  • Highest Sleeping Altitude: Sandakphu (3636 m)
  • Starting and Ending Point: Bagdogra Airport/NJP Rail Station/Nepal Border
  • Best Season:  March-June and September-December
  • Trek Availability:  Join a Group on the dates given below
  • Climate: Days are normally warm. Nights can at times be (generally) freezing, and in winter, even below the freezing point. Monsoon showers in the summer (heaviest in July and August). Sometimes even in spring and autumn.
  • A customized private camping trip can be arranged for a minimum of two people on request on a date of your choice


08– 15 February 2024 22–29 February 2024
07 – 14 March 2024 28 March – 4 April 2024
04– 11 April 2024 18 – 25 April 2024
02 – 09 May 2024 16 – 23 May 2024
18 – 25 September 2024 02 – October 2024
16 – 23 October 2024 06 – 13 November 2024
27 November – 4 December 2024 11 – 18 December 2024
21 – 28 December 2024 (Christmas Trek)

Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Bagdogra Airport, NJP Rail Station, or Nepal Border. Drive to Darjeeling (1686 m/90 km/3 hours). Overnight Hotel.

Day 2: Acclimatization Day. Walking tour of Darjeeling. Overnight Hotel.

Day 3: Drive to Maneybhanjyang (1981 m/1 Hr). Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek Starts. Trek to Tongloo or Tumling (3001 m/13 km/5 hours). Overnight Trekkers Hut/Lodge

  • Manebhanjyang (1981 m) to Chitray (2800 m/2 km): Steep uphill on a wide Tarmac Jeep track.
  • Chitray to Lamedhura (2810 m/2 km): Slightly uphill on a thin trekking trail.
  • Lamedhura to Meghma (2900 m/4 km): Slightly uphill, sometimes on a thin trail and sometimes on a rough Jeep track.
  • Meghma to Tongloo (3070 m/4 km): Steep uphill on a wide cobblestone jeep track.

The trek begins with a 3-kilometer and steep uphill trek to Chitray. Once in Chitray, stop for a breather and a cup of tea, and take a look around. Beautiful views of Darjeeling and the surrounding hills on the Nepal side of the Singalila Ridge are visible from here. Chitray to Meghma is a gentle trek with just a 100-meter gain in altitude. Meghma to Tongloo is a 4-kilometer uphill climb on a winding stone track. While the trek from Tongloo to Tumling is an easy downhill trek on a soft trekking trail lasting 30 minutes.

Day 4: Trek Tongloo to Kalpokhari (3100 m/15 km/6 hours). Overnight Lodge.

  • Tongloo to Tumling (2970 m/1 km): an easy downhill trek on a thin trail.
  • Tumling to Jaubari ( 2750 m/4 km): Easy Trek on a wide Track
  • Jaubari to Gairibas (2620 m/5 km): a downhill trek on a rough stone jeep track.
  • Gairibas to Kayakatta (2800 m/1 km): the first 45 minutes are uphill and then an easy trek on a level track.
  • Kayakatta to Kalpokhari (3001 m/4 km): easy trek till Kalipokhari on a wide Jeep track.

From Tongloo, the day’s trek starts with an easy 1 km downhill trek to Tumling. The trail then follows a gentle path to the Singalila Check Post. The entry pass for Singalila National Park will be checked here. From here, we have two options for trekking to Gairibas, 7 kilometers away. The first is to trek on the Nepal side through the small village of Jaubari. The second option is to trek through the dense forest on the Indian side of the trekking trail. Both the trek routes are an easy 7-kilometer downhill trek to Gairibas.

From Gairibas, it’s an uphill climb of one kilometer and then a gentle one-kilometer trek to Kayakatta. A small village made up of a couple of houses and a lodge on the Nepal side of the track. This is where we stop for lunch. Kayakatta to Kalpokhari is an easy trek on a wide path, with a gain of just 200 m. Kalpokhari is a small village on the Nepal side of the Sandakphu Gurdum Trail. Kalipokhari consists of a few lodges; there is also a small lake at the entrance of the village.

Day 5: Trek Kalpokhari to Sandakphu (3636 m/6 km/3 hours). Overnight Trekkers Hut/Lodge.

  • Kalpokhari to Bikheybhanjyang (3030 m/2 km): Km) uphill on a rough, wide track.
  • Bikheybhanjyang to Sandakphu (3636 m/4 km): Steep uphill till Sandakphu on a Jeep track.

The 2-kilometer trek from Kalpokhari to Bikheybhnjyang is on the Nepal side on a rough Jeep track. From Bikheybhanjyang, it’s a steep, four-kilometer uphill trek to Sandakphu.

Day 6: Trek to Gurdung (2700 m/10 km/4 hours). Overnight Lodge. downhill trek through the jungle.

The hike to Gurdum is possibly the shortest and most lonely of the ten kilometers. A downhill trek through rhododendron, bamboo, pine, and fur forest. Look out for the Himalayan sloth bear on this part of the trek route. The village of Gurdum is on the periphery of the Singalila National Park. The main source of income for the village people is agriculture.

Day 7: Trek Gurdung to Rimbik (2331 m/13 km/5 hours): First 45 minutes downhill on a thin trail through villages. Cross the river and then take a lonely trek through the Black Forest until you reach Rimbik, where you pass through a village.

The trek from Gurdum to Rimbik is an easy hike. The first three kilometers to Timburey are through terraced pea and potato fields. Here we cross over the Siri Khola (river) and then trek for 7 km through a dense forest till Rimbik. Rimbik is where the trek ends with a three-hour jeep ride back to Darjeeling.

End of Darjeeling Sandakphu Trek. Drive back to Darjeeling. Overnight Hotel.

Day 8: Drive to Bagdogra Airport/New Jalpaiguri Rail Station/Nepal Border for Final Departure. End of  the Trek
An extension can be made to Sikkim, Bhutan, or Nepal.

How much does the Sandakphu Trek cost?

  • Sandakphu Trek Cost: US$630/Person
  • Trek Cost for Indians: Please request a quote in Indian Rupee.

What is included and excluded in the cost?

Sandakphu Trek Cost Includes :

  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts.
  • Four-Bed or Five-Bed Rooms in Trekkers Huts
  • Twin-share rooms in private lodges with mattresses during trekking.
  • Fully organized trek services with guides, porters, and ponies.
  • Fixed three meals every day during trekking.
  • All road transport is as per itinerary by car or Jeep.
  • Service of an English-speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees to monuments visited.
  • All Permits for Darjeeling.
  • Airport Transfers.

Sandakphu Trek does not include:

  • Sleeping bag
  • personal clothing/equipment
  • Lunches and dinners during hotel stay in Darjeeling
  • Bottled or alcoholic drinks
  • Tips
  • client insurance,
  • evacuation costs
  • Any expenses of personal nature

Note: The above itinerary is a sample, intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors, such as weather, road conditions, the physical ability of the participants, etc., may dictate itinerary changes either before departure or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change this schedule in the interest of the trip participant’s safety, comfort, and general well-being.

(All relevant terms and conditions apply.).

  • Sandakphu Trek Cost : US$630/Person
  • Indian participants, kindly inquire within for quotes in Indian rupees.


  • Hotel accommodation: twin share, including breakfasts.
  • Twin-share rooms in lodges with mattresses during trekking.
  • Fully organized trek services with a guide, porters, and ponies.
  • Fixed three meals every day during trekking.
  • All road transport is as per itinerary by car or Jeep.
  • Service of an English-speaking guide.
  • Entrance fees to monuments visited.
  • All Permits for Darjeeling.
  • Airport Transfers.


  • Sleeping bag; personal clothing or equipment.
  • Lunches and dinners during hotel stays.
  • Bottled or alcoholic drinks.
  • Tips, client insurance, and evacuation costs.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature.

(All relevant terms and conditions apply.).

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