Although I am working with VDX.TV, I do a lot of pet projects in my spare time. It can include anything. In these works, I gain a lot of experience. Links to such recent experiences are given below.
28-01-2023 – 04-02-2023
Sandakfu trek trail inside the Singalila national forest. So, anyone who wants to travel to this area needs to be accompanied by a trained guide.
We started to reach NJP via train around 7:30 in the Morning of 28th January. It was pretty easy to find a commute anywhere from there. There are several options available including bus, shuttle, and reserved taxi/cab. We found a reserved cab with a reasonable fare of Rs. 3000/- to Maneybhanjan. It was approximately 90 KM and took around 4hrs.
Maneybhanjan is a place to start trekking among many others. First thing was to find a place to stay there for the night and find a guide. It was pretty easy as there there are many homestays and hotels and it was off-season. We found a reasonable homestay Druk Homestay for Rs. 1k per head for food and lodging. They also found us a guide. It was 11:30 am. So, freshen up a bit and have our lunch by 12:30 pm.
We had plenty of time. So we started roaming around and sight seeing by walking. It is a small but complete town.
The next morning, we started trekking around 8:30 am. We needed to perform a few formalities. However, it was handled by our guide only.
The trek from Maneybhanjan starts with very stiff stairs. It continues for approximately 1KM. We reached Chitre monastery which is 3KM from Maneybhanjan in one and a half hours. The route is mostly dense forest. There is a cafe at Chitre. We had tea there.
After Chitre, the route goes through open space. So it is pleasant to walk. The next stop was at Lamudhyuri which is 3KM from Chitre.
The next stop was at Meghma, another 3KM from Lamudhyuri. It is a small village of population 30. We had lunch at a very friendly hotel. The food was good and the owner was telling a lot of stories about the locality.
We went to Tumling from Meghma via a shortcut. It was 2KM. We saw water-powered Buddhists Payer Wheel. At the Tumling, our guide finds us a really great hotel at a very reasonable price just beside the sunset point. They provided good food. In the evening, they arranged a small smoldering fire pit to make us comfortable. They also provided free WiFi for us.
At Tumling, we saw the Kangchenjunga and sleeping buddha for the first time during the sunset. The view was spectacular. It is hard to explain beauty. And the picture does not do justice.
On day 2, we start for Kalaphokhri around 9 am. We reached the Gairibas in 3hrs. This was a downhill trek for 6KM. There was a lot of greenery on the route.
After the Gairibas, there was 2KM extreme uphill trek to reach the Kaiyakata.
We reached Kalaphokhri around 4 PM. It was a 6KM moderate trek. Although the guide said it was 4KM, a little investigation on Google Maps revealed that it was 6KM.
Kalaphokhri is famous for the lake. However, I did not find it interesting.
We left Kalaphokhri on the 31st of January for our destination Sandakfu. Sandakfu was visible from Kalaphokhri.
Trek to Sandakfu was short but very stiff. We had to climb almost 400m in 6KM. Till Bekaybhanjan it was almost flat for 2KM. Stiffness starts just after Bekaybhanjan and it grows as we go near Sadakfu.
We reached Sandakfu around 2:30 PM. Sandakfu is pretty empty. It has two places to stay, one is GTA accommodation on the Indian soul and Sunrise Hotel on the Nepal side. A road constructed by the Indian Govt. is the border between the two countries. GTA accommodation does not have electricity or an Internet connection. However, the sunrise hotel does have both. Our guide had the plan to go down another kilometer. However, we find the Hotel Sunrise better to stay. We got a very good room with a view of Kangchenjunga pick. This room also had a view of Mount Everest, however, it was blocked by a tree.
We settled in the room around 4:30 am when sunset started. Kangchenjunga was looking too pretty at this time. While we were planning to watch the sunset from the room, our guide told us about the nearby hilltop viewpoint. So we rushed there. It was almost dark. However, it had a 360-degree view of the surroundings.
The next morning we watch the sunrise from the roof of our hotel and then went to the hill again. This time we watch both mount Everest and mount Kangchenjunga. Here go some images.
It is time to get down from Sandakfu. This time we took a different route to descent from Sandakfu. It was a 16 KM trek to a decent 1600 meters to Shepi.
Interestingly this route does have many localities. There were one tea stall after 5KM from Sandakfu and a village Gurdum which is 10 km from Sandakfu. The route went through a long stretch of dense bamboo forest.
The jungle was pretty dense. We could not see anything outside the route for almost 8KM. The first thing we saw is the village of upper Shrikhola. We had our lunch at a nice restaurant in Gurdum.
Another downhill trek for 6KM and we reached the Shepi, a beautiful village beside the river Srikhola.