Sandakphu: heaven on EarthPosted: June 19, 2011
Sandakphu, the mountain village lying in the India-Nepal border is scantily populated houses that could be counted on fingertips. This is the fact why it is one of those places in India whose beauty has been discovered only by few tourists and travellers. The whole village would be as large as a playground with the border running across it laid by army camps.
Reaching Sandakphu is an adventure and a hardship journey in itself. Lack of a proper road has made it inaccessible to everyone. Only 1950 model Land Rovers can climb such routes and that even with much difficulty. There used to a fine coal tar road 50 years ago but that was converted to a rocky tread path to save the hills from tourist population and pollution
Sandakphu lies at a height of 3636m from the sea level and one can reach there through a vehicle as well as through trekking. The starting point for the journey is Maneybhanjang, the nearest town, 20 kms from Darjeeling. One has to book a Land Rover from there which is often preoccupied by SSB army men. It takes around 4 hrs. from there to reach Sandakphu and the journey is accompanies by heavy jerks and sharp turns all the time. The road inclines to 70° at some places. And it passes through Sanglila National Park. The trekking takes 4 days with stops at some of the villages that lie in between like Tumling, Gairibass, Kaiyakata. If one goes by vehicle, he would by travelling on the border all the time. Don’t get surprised if you encounter mountain animals and landslides on the way.
There is nothing as such in Sandakphu that would attract people from all over the world other than the heaven-like beauty and serenity of the place. One gets a 180° view of the Himalayas during October and April. And the strong winds would hit you from all sides. Residing and fooding is a problem over there unless one is accustomed to hardships.
Near Sandakphu lies a place called Goat, in Nepal, which is a peak top and one can see that he is standing above the clouds. This place is populated with only one hut and the mattress in it is Yak fur. This place and forest around it has always been attracting travellers and researchers from all over the world as it treasures such plants with extremely rich medicinal properties that have not been discovered yer and is only known to the family living over there. Above Sandakphu lies Phalut, 21 kms. from there, which brings you still closer to the ranges.
This is what all Sandakphu has to offer descriptively, the rest of the beauty cannot be explained in words :).
To further explore the picturesque beauty of Sandakphu, visit www.Sandakphu.com