Marked as the highest point in West Bengal, Sandakphu is a paradise for adventure enthusiasts. Sandakphu is situated to the northwest of Darjeeling may not be familiar to many travellers but it serves to be a perfect destination to true trekker and nature lover. It is a mountain peak, situated at the edge of Singalila National Park and the India-Nepal border.
Sandakphu trek is considered to be the best trek for experiencing the culture. Do you know the reason? This is because the trail to the summit crosses through the villages and mountain peaks rich in traditional and cultural significance. On the way up, you see intriguing cultural variations as the path starts from a small village in India, crosses over to Nepal and ends in a small village of West Bengal. As you start your journey from Maney Bhanjan, you will observe the flourishing Buddhist and Hindu communities. Colourful flags known as Panch Dhatu is tied together like beads on a necklace are all over the trail. On this trek, you will also notice types of stupas – Sortin which are created for the people who have deceased and passed away and Maney was built for religious purposes.
Sandakphu may be on the edge of the country, but a touch of modernisation can be seen on the way to Tumling, where a prayer wheel is kept in motion by the force of flowing water. This wheel is dedicated to the current Dalai Lama. Another unique feature of this place is the culture present in their architecture.
Tourism is one of their primary sources of income. The locals are considered to be the best guide for your trip and this is also true in their case. The members from these households took up the profession to help the trekkers on their way. They are tour guides, drivers and also homestay owners. Tourist, who visits Sandakphu usually, prefers staying at a homestay then any luxury hotel and feels the touch of their culture and tradition. These stays provide you with a homely environment with good food and excellent facilities at a low cost and no pre-booking is required.
So next time you decide to experience a cultural vacation, head towards the land of land rovers. This land provides absolute peace and serenity and is home to exotic red pandas and other animals along with a variety of floras. The scenery of the sleeping Buddha is the ultimate treat to you by the highest point in West Bengal.