Adventure Trek to Sandakphu

Walk along the Singalila Ridge

Kanchenjunga, Everest and Pandim awaits you

Manebhanjan Chitrey Meghma Tonglu Tumbling Gairibus Kalapokhri Sandakphu Gurdum Srikhola Rimbik

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Sandakphu photo album

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Sandakphu Map

Pedong Aritar Tour

Pedong Aritar photo album

Kanchenjunga Beckons

Everest The Highest

Singalila ridge

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‘bhuniazone’ team explores and documents Sandakpu and Singalila National Park:

Sandakphu Falut Trek along the Singalila ridge: The Singalila ridge (Singali is a pass communicating Nepal with Sikkim near Kanchenjunga south face. La = Pass) has originated at the south summit of Kanchenjunga. It has moved southwards along with a comfortable down gradient for the trekkers and met the plain at Manebhanjan and Dhotrey. Too much historical importance to spell about this area.

Many expeditions to Kanchenjunga and many invasions to Sikkim and Tibet by the Britishers in the past have traversed this route.

Breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga, Everest and Pandim along with other adjacent peaks keep the trekkers refreshed all along the route. Government has declared a 78 sq. Km. area of forest in the route as Singalila National Park in 1991.

Singalila RidgeTrekking trail:  From Bikheybhanjan to Sandakphu. The trek path is along the Singalila ridge that is the dividing line between Nepal and West Bengal. Nepal starts from the west side of the ridge.


Together We Live: A couple watching the effects of dawn on the Everest family.

(bhuniazone HQ photo)


thy name

Contrary to few recent write-ups by some tourists and authors the name “Sandakphu” is not in any way related to the poison plant Nilo Bikh (Scientific name: Aconitum ferox).

As explained by Niladidi at Tumbling the term “Sandakphu” is a gradual descends from the term “Santaphur” which means “the dwelling place of a saint”. “Sadhuji ka dera” is probably the oldest house and that is still there at Sandakphu. 26 years back during my first trek to Sandakphu I actually stayed in that hut.

Of course the poison plant thickly populates the area surrounding Sandakphu and that’s why the name of a nearby place “Bikheybhanjan”, which means “Valley of poison” is there.

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Adventure Trek to Sandakphu through Singalila National Park:

(6 Days 5 Nights)

*  12th October 2005 (Wednesday): Ghum is the junction. Many tourist spot links have converged here. The Ghum is again connected with the train link at New Jalpaiguri and air link at Bagdogra. From New Jalpaiguri we availed a Maruti Van and reached Manebhanjan (2010 M) via Ghum. Had Lunch in Mr. Jiwan Chetry’s hotel. He appointed his student Raju to work as the guide cum porter with us. Stared the Trek at 4 pm. and reached Chitrey (2500 M) in one and half hour. Distance 2.25 Kilometers. Night stay at Chitrey.

*  13th October (Thursday): Trek from Chitrey (2500 M) to Tumbling (2910 M). Distance 9 Kilometers. Started at 6.30 early in the morning. Had Breakfast at Lamaydhura. Via Meghma (2850 M) reached Tumbling at 11.30 am. Stayed the night at Niladidir Hotel (Shikhar Lodge) at Tumbling.

*  14th October (Friday): Tumbling to Kalapokhri (3000 M). Distance 14 Kilometers. Trek started from Tumbling at 6.30 am. Had breakfast on the way that we brought from Shikhar Lodge and reached Kalapokhri at 1.30 pm. Stayed the night in the Pandim Lodge at kalapokhri.

*  15th October (Saturday): Left Kalapokhri at 7 am and headed for Sandakphu (3611 M). Reached at 11.30 am. Distance 7 Kilometers. Night stay in Sherpa Challet lodge.

*  16th October (Sunday): Sandakphu to Gurdum. Distance 14 Kilometers. Started at 7.30 am and reached at 2 pm.

*  17th October (Monday): Gurdum to Rimbik. Distance 7 Kilometers. Started at 6.30 am and reached Rimbik at 11.30 am.

Mr. Jiwan Chetry and Mrs. Chetry: Well known as “Masterjee”. An influential and a very helpful person at Manebhanjan. Must meet him before starting at Mane. He will be a great help on any unforeseen problem. Delight your test buds with the cooking experience of Mrs. Chetry in their hotel.



The Tibetan language: “Kang–Chen–Jo-Nga”.

It means: “Five Treasuries of The Great Snow”.

Click for detail


Hawk’s Nest: The only lodge at Chitrey. Rs. 150/- for a 4 bedded room. Rs.50/- per bed in dormitory. Dine in the kitchen of the Dorjee family. Common toilet unattached.

Important information:

*   Singalila National Park: Total area 78 Sq. Km.

*   At least one porter cum guide with a trek team is a must as per Govt. rule. The charge of the porter is Rs. 250/- without food (Sukha) a day. There are registered porters for the job and the rate is fixed.

*   The rate of hiring a 4 wheel drive (4 X 4) “Land rover” is Rs. 3,500/- for the up and down trip and Rs. 300/- extra for each night halt as per tourist’s wish. 43 such vehicles are there at Mane. Guide charge is extra.

*   The 1st check post to enter the Singalila National Park is at a distance of 1 KM after Tumbling.


Important information:

Singalila National Park remains closed for the tourists from 16th June to 15th September. Snowfall usually starts in the last week of December and continues intermittently till February.

Important times to visit:

*  21st Mach to 30th April: Reddish flame of Flowering Rhododendrons all around. Clear sky is luck. Stormy wind with rain sometimes.

*  16th Sept. to 15th December: Clear sky with best view of mountains and less wind. Most comfortable and best view.

*  25th December to 31st January: Snowfall. Heavy wind along the trail.







Route Map


Labeled Peaks


Power Point

Kanchenjunga from Chitrey. Throughout the whole trek she accompanies in various views from various angles and with variety of moods


Kanchenjunga family and Pandim from Tumbling. Soft sun of the dawn illuminating the third highest in the world.    (bhuniazone HQ photo)

Important information:

Entry fee to Singalila National Park:

Person:  Rs.25/- each (Indian).

Rs.100/- each (Foreigner).

Still Camera: Rs. 25/- each

Movie Camera: Rs. 250/- each (Handycam too)

There are several check posts throughout the route:

Ist post: 1 km after Tumbling

2nd post: Gairibus

3rd post: Bikheybhanjan

4th post: Sandakphu

Entry fee of Rs. 250/- for a Handycam is highly objectionable

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Meghma: The oldest halt in Sandakphu trekking trail. Tonglu is at the top of the hump behind. Tumbling is at 2 km distance on the left.

Gairibus: Gleneagles Trekker’s hut. There is a secluded forest area for the breeding of the Red Pandas.

Kalapokhri:  The holy pond of the Buddhist people.


Tumba is a locally made beer. It is served in this wooden container (the name is from the shape of the container) along with a straw. Mixing with yeast ferments locally cultivated Rye and Millets. It takes 4 to7days to booze, depending on the climatic temperature. The whole fermented material is then served to suck with a straw.

Finished up? No problem! Just mix a little warm water and use your straw again. But never shake the Tumba. It will generate headache. Available at every halt along the route.  Cost is Rs. 30/- only. So trek the whole day and relax with “Tumba” at evening before the fireplace.


The Poison plant: Nilobikh or Bikobikh or Akphale (Nepali)

Scientific Name: Aconitum ferox

A Perennial herb. Its bulbous root is very poisonous. It is available from 10,000 to 14,000 feet altitude. Flowering (blue colour) time is from July to September. The effective alkaloids of the root are used for making medicines.

The name of the village Bikheybhanjan has been derived, as the whole area is full of these wild herbs. Bikh = Poison. Bikhey Bhanjan = Valley of Poison.


Important Information:

Cell phone signals (Hutch & BSNL) are available almost all along the whole route.

Satellite phone facility is available at Kalapokhri & Gurdum.

Solar panel electricity is available at every halt. The lodge owners always co-operate to recharge the cell phones and camera batteries.

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Everest Family

The trek route to Falut is visible.

Sunrise at Sandakphu

Kanchenjunga Family


Sandakphu clear sky view:

Hotel Sherpa Chalet visible at Sandakphu. Costly hotel: Rs.600/- for a 4 bedded room. Small and congested rooms. Common bathroom. Good view of the mountains from the north facing rooms.

Gleneagles Trekker’s Hut appears to be better accommodation. PWD Bungalow and forest bungalow appears to be the best in Sandakphu.


Gurdum: Himalayan Lodge

Rs. 260/- for 4 bedded room. Sleep at night along with the flowing music of Gurdum khola

Sirikhola or Srikhola

Khola = River

Dawn on Pandim at Sandakphu

(bhuniazone HQ photo)


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Kanchenjunga Beckons

Everest The Highest

Singalila ridge

Sandakphu photo album

Sandakphu video

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Pedong Aritar photo album

Photo Album: bhuniazone

Trek Earth Gallery: bhuniazone

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