Sandakphu

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Sandakphu
Sandakphu.jpg
View from Sandakphu in Darjeeling West Bengal
Highest point
Elevation3,636 m (11,929 ft)
ListingList of Indian states and territories by highest point
Coordinates27°6′21″N 88°0′6″E / 27.10583°N 88.00167°E / 27.10583; 88.00167Coordinates: 27°6′21″N 88°0′6″E / 27.10583°N 88.00167°E / 27.10583; 88.00167[1]
Geography
Sandakphu is located in West Bengal
Sandakphu
Sandakphu
Location of Sandakphu peak
LocationDarjeeling district, West Bengal, India;
Ilam District, Province No. 1, Nepal
Parent rangeSingalila Ridge
Topo mapGoogle topographic map[2]
Climbing
Easiest routeHiking or by car

Sandakphu or Sandakpur (3636 m; 11,930 ft) is a mountain peak in the Singalila Ridge on the border between India and Nepal. It is the highest point of the ridge and of the state of West Bengal, India. The peak is located at the edge of the Singalila National Park and has a small village on the summit with a few hotels. Four of the five highest peaks in the world, Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu can be seen from its summit. It also affords a pristine view of the entire Kangchenjunga Range.

Etymology[edit]

The name derives from the Tibeto-Burman Lepcha language and translates as "the height of the poisonous plant" - in reference to the former abundance at the locality (around a century ago) of the poisonous plants Aconitum ferox and certain Rhododendron species. So great was the danger of fatal poisoning to sheep and cattle being driven through the area that they had to be muzzled to prevent them grazing/browsing upon these toxic species (Aconitum ferox has a good claim to being the most poisonous plant species in the world).[3][4]

Darjeeling Himalaya
Sunrise on Mt. Kanchendzonga from Aahl

Trekking[edit]

India[edit]

Places and tea estates in the north-western portion of Darjeeling Sadar subdivision (including Darjeeling Pulbazar CD block) in Darjeeling district
CT: census town, R: rural/ urban centre, N: neighbourhood, H: hill centre, NP: national park/ wildlife sanctuary, TE: tea estate, TA: tourist attraction
Abbreviations used in names – TG for Tea Garden (town/village), TE for Tea Estate
Owing to space constraints in the small map, the actual locations in a larger map may vary slightly

The trek along the Singalila Ridge to Sandakphu and Phalut is one of the most popular in the Eastern Himalayas, owing not only to the stupendous vistas of the Kangchenjunga and Everest ranges which it affords, but also to its seasonal wildflowers and opportunities for birdwatching. Treks begin at Manebhanjan which is 28 km (approx. 1 hour by road) from Darjeeling.[5]

Ascent[edit]

The Sandakphu Trekking routes inside the Singalila National Park have four legs or stages.

  • Manebhanjan to Meghma (2600 m): This is a 4-hour trek through the lower forest. The route goes via Chitre.
  • Meghma to Gairibans (2621 m): There are two alternative trekking routes. They respectively go via Tonglu (3070 m) and Tumling (2900 m). From Tumling, a shorter trail cuts through Nepal and Jaubari (2750 m). Jaubari is ward no 07 of jamuna VDC ilam.
  • Gairibans to Sandakphu (3636 m):
  • Sandakphu to Phalut (3600 m): It is a one-day trek via Sabarkum (3536 m) covering 21 km.

Descent[edit]

  • Retracing the way back to Manebhanjan.
  • A steep descent to the village of Sirikhola on the banks of the River Sirikhola, via Gurdum (2300 m), and from there to Rimbick.

Panorama of Peaks seen from Sandakphu and Phalut[6]

Baruntse (7220m), Chamlang (7319m), Chomo Lonzo (7818m), Lhotse (8516m), Makalu (8462m), Mount Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7861m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), Talung (7349m), Rathong (6679m), Kabru N (7353m), Koktang (6147m), Simvo (6812m), Frey (5853m), Kabru S (7318m), Kabru Dome (6600m), Kabru Forked (6100m), Pandim (6691m), Tenchenkhang (6010m), Jupono (5650m)

Villages At Glance: Gorkhey, Bhareng, Gairibas, Meghma, Maneybhanjyang, Rammam, Srikhola, Sepi, Molley, Gurdum [6]

Nepal[edit]

The western part of Sandakphu peak is located in Sandakpur rural municipality (ward no. 2 & 4) of Ilam District of Province No. 1.

The trekking starts from Ilam Bazar via Maipokhari, Maimajhuwa, Mabu, Kala Pokhri Bikhe Bhyanjyang to Sandakpur, and also from Ilam Bazar via Sulubung, Jamuna, Hangetham (a special area for birds such as the spiny babbler and blue tit), Piple, Kalipokhari, Bikhe Vanjyang to Sandakpur. On this trekking route, Jamuna is most valuable for trekkers. There are many beautiful places like Dhap Pokhari, Choyatar (special area for red pandas). There is a three jungle Hile Samudayik Ban, Choyatar Samudayik Ban, Hangetham Samudayik Ban.[clarification needed]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sandakphu Top - Wikimapia
  2. ^ Google topographic map
  3. ^ Rai, Lalitkumar and Sharma, Eklabyar Medicinal Plants of the Sikkim Himalaya: Status, Uses and Potential, pub. Govind Ballabh Pant Inst. Bishen Singh & Mahendra Pal Singh 1994 pps 25-7.
  4. ^ "Aconitum Ferox Monkshood Strongest Poisonous Plant". Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  5. ^ , Sandakphu, Trek to Sandakphu, 1 August 2015 Archived 21 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b "SANDAKPHU PHALUT TREK".

External links[edit]