Subrata Bhattacharyya (October 2021)
I like to go to Sandakphu on holi (March 2021) and would return via Gurdum/ Srikhola. My keen interest is to see Rhododendron in full blossom. Whether time spell chosen is proper or not ? Please suggest.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) October 2021
April - May is the best time when rhododendrons are in full bloom, however, in the later half of March too you can expect to see the flowers blossoming.
Tirtharenu Sanyal (August 2021)
We are planning a visit on around 20th of November21 to Sandakphu. What is the expected weather, especially likely cloud cover. Is it a good time to get clear sky for sunrise viewing?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2021
November is usually a good time for the views of the peaks although the weather in Sandakphu can be unpredictable at times. The overall probability of a clear sky in the early morning is about 70-75%.
Doyel (November 2020)
I am travelling with husband, 3 year old and in-laws and we all want to see sunrise from Sandakphu. I am not willing to tag the little one along with us and want him to be with in-laws at homestay. But if they are interested, we have to do the trip separately. In the both the cases, we have to be back the same day and before lunch time. My son is a fussy eater and we have limited options here. So is it feasible we start very early from Darjeeling and see sunrise and be back to our stay? Is the weather always clear to view a sunrise from Sandakphu? Say, if we drop the sunrise plan, what is the probability for getting a clear view from Sandakphu during day and how will be weather conditions during day time? Can we take the little one with us?
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2020
You should not take a 3-month old infant to Sandakphu (located at an altitude of around 12,000ft). The low oxygen level can cause breathing problems. Secondly, when one makes a day trip by a vehicle, there is hardly any opportunity for acclimatization along the way. In Sikkim, children below 5 years are not allowed to visit such high altitude places.
It is practically not feasible to visit Sandakphu from Darjeeling and see the sunrise on the same day. It can take around 3.5 hours one way plus the time to change vehicle at Manebhanjan. The Land Rovers start operating only in the morning hours. Chances of good views are much better early in the mornings, but that's not feasible on a day trip. During the day time, the visibility at Sandakphu is unpredictable and you need some luck to get clear views.
However, over the past few months, the pollution level has dropped considerably due to low tourist footfall, and Kanchenjunga is clearly visible from various places in Darjeeling hills almost 24 hours a day including at nights. So, hopefully, you should have a good time.
Saurav Roychoudhury (November 2019)
Dear Raj, Good morning! I am a solo traveler and looking at a low cost travel experience. Would greatly appreciate your advice on shared transport options for traveling to Sandakhpu, and home stay options, quiet and quaint places away from any hustle & bustle. I wish to just spend some days in quiet looking at the mountains and greenery. Thanks and regards,
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) November 2019
Hello, you won't get any direct shared taxi from Bagdogra or NJP all the way to Manebhanjan. You can book a luxury shared taxi online on Wizzride.com up to Ghum (on the way to Darjeeling) and take a shared Jeep to Sukhia/Manebhanjan. Alternatively, walk up to the car park outside Bagdogra airport building... there are usually drivers offering shared rides to Darjeeling (this they do unofficially, so I can not recommend this)... get off at Ghum and follow the same modes as above. Once you reach Manebhanjan you can inquire at the Land Rover ticket counter for shared Jeep... you can join locals or other groups and pay a lower one-way fare. At Sandakphu, there are few hotels and lodges that I have discussed on this page above.
Arun Chatterjee (November 2018)
I too went to Singalila in October 2016 for which I came into contact with Mr. Keshav Gurung and he gave me the contact number of hotel Namo Buddha at Sandakphu and Hotel Pradhan at Manebhanjan. Mr. Gurung is a nice person. As per his advice I deposited the required amount to stay at Shikhar Lodge. After reaching Tumling I got a warm reception from Nila Gurung (owner of Shikar Lodge). At Sandakphu I was fully satisfied by Mr. Samten Sherpa of Hotel Namo Buddha. When I was coming back from Manebhanjan I met Mr. Gurung along with my daughter. Overall it was an amazing experience... courtesy of Mr. Gurung.
Rajib chowdhury (February 2017)
Hi Raj, I really appreciate your effort here. I'll be visiting Sandakphu on mid February. Is it a good time to plan my visit & Will there be snowfall during this time ? Again THANKS A TON for such an informative site
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) February 2017
Hi, in Feb routes are likely to be closed to vehicles due to heavy snow.
Callie Chee, Australia (January 2016)
Thank you for your wonderful post. Now, I am planning to visit Sandakphu from Darjeeling to take some photos. I am planning to take only a day safari tour from Darjeeling. Is the sunset of the mountains eg Kanchenjunga equally as nice as the sunrise? By the time the jeep gets there, I think the sunrise is over. Are the roads safe to travel at night if I were to travel at night to catch the sunrise? And how long is it from Darjeeling? Many thanks!
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2016
Yes, both sunrise and sunset views from Sandakphu are excellent and offer the spectacle of changing colors on the snow peaks. There are sunrise and sunset points in Sandakphu to get the best views. But day safari from Darjeeling wont serve the purpose. It can easily take over 5 hours one-way from Darjeeling. I shall not recommend night driving at all on this route because the gravel road is steep at many places and full of sharp turns. There is also a possibility of fog blocking the views. You should plan an overnight stay at Sandakphu to view sunrise or sunset.
A S M Faizullah (January 2015)
Dear Raj, Greetings of new year. I, along with my wife & 3.5 yr old son, have plahnned to have snowfall experience and thus thinking to visit Sandakphu on 3-Feb-15. Shall we be able to make 1 day round-trip Darjeeling-Sandakphu? Please give your expert advice with cost idea. Thanks & regards
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) January 2015
Routes will likely be closed beyond Tumling. But you can still see lots of snow around Tumling.