“If it excites you and scares you at the same time, it probably means you should do it.”
Adventure is definitely the new taste of life. Obeying rules is just boring, you miss out all the fun. Sandakphu Peak is one little motivation for your adventure self. Okay tell me if we were meant to stay at one place, wouldn’t we be having roots instead of feet? Indeed Logical! Since trekking to risky altitudes is the current definition of adventure then be it and add this highest peak in the district of Ilam on your list. People hardly know about this peak in the Nepal-West Bengal border which is calling all daredevils out there. It is also the highest point of the Singalila Ridge in the Darjeeling district, like a complete package for rebellions.
The highlight of Sandakphu Peak
The question which might be bloating your mind right now would be, why Sandakphu and not any other trek? I have got reasons, my friend. Firstly, it is the ridge from where the four of the five highest peaks can be seen namely Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu. It completely mesmerizes the wanderers by the amazing view of the Kanchenjunga range along with the pristine scenic landscapes from the summit. Since it is located at the edge of the Singalila National Park, there is a small village at the peak with a few hostels for people to stay and admire the beauty. Hiking is one thing which can be done from Manebhajan known as the origin of the trek of Sandakphu, the other way is going by car. You heard that right. Cars go till the peak but remember that the roads are really steep and risky, the better word can be adventurous.
Maximum number of 70 years old Land Rovers
It just strikes my head when I say that one can trek from cars that the place is home to a maximum number of Land Rover jeeps which are nearly 70 years old from the history. Most of the locals own these jeeps and prefer travelling by these manual cars only. They say its practice and that these jeeps are lightweight, unlike the modern cars which are difficult to race in the steep slopes of the mountains. Much to your surprise, there are only 200 such Land Rovers in the world, out of which 120 can be found here. Well, that is something intriguing. Isn’t it? One can witness the convoy of vintage Land Rovers on their way up to the summit. It is purely a treat for the lovers of cars and even if not lovers then people who know this fact. You can hire one of these jeeps from the base point which is Manebhajan and reach uphill.
From New Jalpaiguri, you have to take a taxi to Manebhajan which is 95 km and will take around 4 hours. Further, from Manbhajan you can hire a jeep and start the journey. You can reach the Tumling in Nepal on the same day itself which is around 9500 ft. from the initial point and will take 5-6 hours. Resting in Tumling for the night is the best option to start your trip early in the morning to the Sandakphu. Enjoy the captive view at the height of 11,930 ft and do not forget to take as much water as possible since the oxygen level starts dropping up there. There is a route from Darjeeling as well which takes you to Manebhajan in case you do not want to go from New Jalpaiguri or Bagdogra.
Paradise for trekkers would be an understatement, it is truly an adventure island and if that is what you long for, do not hesitate and go for it. When your heart is up for it, nothing else really matters, does it? There is no point in staying at a place and reading about things and places, just get up, be spontaneous, live your life like your own and make Sandakphu your next milestone.
Source: Nirmoy Modak