Honeymoon in Sandakphu
Sandakphu as a honeymoon destination
If you want your honeymoon to be an adventurous one replete with excitement and exhilaration at every twist and turn, then you should make arrangements for planning a trip to Sandakphu. Sandakphu is a mountain peak of the Himalayan mountain range and has an elevation of 3636 m. Sandakphu is the highest mountain peak in the state of West Bengal and lies on the rim of the Singalia National Park.
The peak is also home to a small village and a trekking path. Sandakphu attracts tourists, backpackers and trekkers from all over the world because of its pristine and stunning beauty. One gets to catch glimpses of the four loftiest mountain peaks in the world-Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu. Sandakphu can be reached either via trekking or by motor vehicle.
If you really want to soak in the sights and sounds of the surroundings, you should opt for a hike that starts from Maneybhanjan and takes about ten hours. On the way, you'll see different and colourful species of mountain flowers like rhododendron, and bluebells, and giant trees of the sub-alpine variety like birch, conifers, redwood, magnolias, spruce and so on. One also gets to view different species of fauna including the red panda. The average temperature during the winter season is -20 degrees centigrade and 15 degrees during the summer.
The nearest airport is Bagdogra. There are connecting flights to Bagdogra from Netaji Subhas International Airport in Kolkata. The nearest railhead is New Jalpaiguri. Thereafter one can head to Darjeeling or Gangtok in Sikkim for overnight stay before embarking on the Sandakphu trek.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Sandakphu is in the months of March, April, and May and between September and November when one can observe Mother Nature in all its splendour.
What to Carry
You must keep the following items in order before you can start travelling:-
- Train/plane ticket
- Visa extension fees
- Travel/Medical Insurance
- Woollen clothes and other necessary clothing accessories and items for trekking
- Enough funds to meet personal expenses, unforeseen expenses and emergency evacuation expenses
- Food items that are not included in your tour itinerary
- List of emergency contact numbers
However this is not an exhaustive listing. Discuss with your travel agent for complete details.
Where to Stay
Accommodation including a range of hotels and resorts suiting all budgets are available in the hill towns of Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong, Kurseong, and many other locations.
After your arrival at Bagdogra airport or NJP station, you head straight to Maneybhanjan and take a break for the day to get accustomed to the environment. You start your trek for Sandakphu early in the morning and take a lunch break at Meghma. Resume your journey to get to Gairibas by evening and put up there for the night. You start the following day to reach Kalepokhri. After completing your lunch, you start again to reach Sandakphu by early evening. After exploring the entire surroundings, you retire to bed early. Get up early in the morning to catch majestic views of Everest, Kanchenjunga, and Lhotse. After travelling around the entire area you get back to Maneybhanjan.
Mountain biking, rafting, camping, and trekking are the most popular activities.
Visit the Buddhist monasteries, take a toy train ride from NJP to Darjeeling, catch the sunrise in Tiger Hill, and take a tour of the tea gardens in Kalimpong, Kurseong. If you're for a long honeymoon trip, surely visit the hill stations of Darjeeling, and Gangtok. You can also short trips to small satellite townships of Mirik, Lachung, Lachen, Rimbik, and Pelling.
Shop for artefacts, woollen garments, and other knickknacks, and don't forget to pick up a packet of the world famous 'Darjeeling Tea'. Bargain hard with the sellers as they quote very high prices for items sought after by tourists.