Sandakpur Trek

Overview
Anyone who wants to get spiritual vibes and enjoy nature can undertake the Sandakpur Trek. Sandakpur is located in Ilam at an altitude of 3636m above the sea level and is also the highest vantage point around Ilam. Sandakpur is known to offer mesmerizing views of Mt. Everest (8848m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), Lhotse (8516m), and Makalu (8485m) respectively. Moreover, the trek also entails a visit to the famous tea gardens of Ilam. As such, travelers can indulge in a surreal Himalayan scenery in a limited time and effort.

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The trip begins once you arrive in Kathmandu and get on a flight to Bhadrapur situated in the eastern part of Nepal. A short drive from Bhadrapur takes you to Pashupathinagar followed by a trek to Tumling. Sandakpur is a trekker’s paradise and offers a wide variety of fauna and flora contrasting with the snow-capped Himalayas. You can find more than 600 varieties of Orchids in a single land and spring is the best time to see the entire forest into a sheet of blooming orchids. You can also witness the beauty of the Nepalese and Indian culture and tradition. Another beauty that you can see after culture and tradition is the beauty of several peaks in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim. The best view you can ever see from this place is the majestic vista of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third-highest peak in the world. You can reach the vantage point on a car or you can also choose to hike as well. The best time to visit this place is during the autumn season from September to November. Spring (March to May) is another season to enjoy the wonders of Sandakpur. It is a fairly easy trek and anyone with average fitness can do the trek. The average distance of the trek is 10-11km in one way and the weather can change frequently.

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Sandakpur Trek highlights
Panoramic views of mountains in Everest, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga ranges
Trek through Magnolias, Rhododendrons, and Orchids
Witness a wide variety of wildlife
Visit some of the famous landmarks in the region including Kalo Pokhari

Itinerary of Sandakpur Trek
Day 1 Take a domestic flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur upon arrival drive to Pashupathinagar (2200M) drive 2 hours. O/n at Guest House
Today, you will take a flight from Kathmandu to Bhadrapur which will take about 45 minutes. It is a suburban town of Nepal and offers the gateway to the eastern part of the country. After we reach Bhadrapur, we will take a jeep and drive to Pashupathinagar. Here, we will exchange our currency and prepare for the trek. We will rest in a hostel so that we can have rest for a certain time and be ready for the trek on the next day.
Day 2 Trek to Tumling (2900M). Walking for 6 hours. O/n at Guest House
Before we start our journey we will have some breakfast and warm prepare the essentials for the trek. After walking for nearly 6 hours, we will reach Tumling which is a tiny village in the eastern Himalayas. It is a gateway to our trekking point Sandakpur. Here, we can enjoy our time exploring the village and witnessing the lifestyle of the locals.
Day 3 Trek to Sandakpur (3636M) Walking 6 Hours. O/n at Guest House
On the third day, the trek starts from teahouse after we take breakfast. We can also enjoy our breakfast with the panoramic view of the Himalayas including Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, Januu, Chamlang, and a host of Sikkim ranges. The trail is famous for numerous species of birds and wildflowers where endangered Red panda is also found. After trekking for nearly 6 hours, we will reach Sandakpur.

Day 4 Trek to Chintapur (3500M). Walking 5 Hours O/n at Guest House
Chintapur is located between Panchthar and Maimajuwa which is the perfect place to enjoy nature and the local ethnic culture. This place unfolds the beauty of the Himalayas in Everest, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga ranges. Trekker can get a chance of a view of Liiam, Sikkim, and Darjeeling. The deep forests en route are rich with a great variety of flora and fauna.

Day 5 Trek to Maimajuwa (1500). Walking 4 Hours. O/n at Guest House
On this day, you will indulge in a short trek but the experience you can gather is no less than before. This place will offer you a mesmerizing Himalayan panorama as a farewell to Sandakpur and Eastern Nepal. Then, we will begin our journey south crossing the Mai Khola (river). This trail includes enters to dense forest and isolated land with the Rhododendron forest. After ending our trek for today we will be back in the guest house for our lunch and dinner.

Day 6 Trek to Mai Pokhari. (1200) Walking 4 Hours. O/n at Guest House
Following the banks of the Mai Pokhari River, we continue our trek for village Mabu and Sulbung. This trail joins the roadways to Mai Pokhari which is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site. The lake is surrounded by forests on all sides and it is said that one can never see all 9 edges of the river from a single spot. Here, you can relish the beauty of the surrounding landscapes and the looming Himalayas.

Day 7 Trek to Barbate (Illam). (1500) Walking 5 Hours. O/n at Guest House
Today, we head out of Mai Pokhari and descend towards Barbate (Ilam). In the trek, we can enjoy the beautiful tea garden all around and pasture lands. We also trek past several tea factories where we can enjoy the local tea and mark an end to this trek. We can also see many small markets around the Illam where people sell local candy and tea bags. After walking for around 5 hours, we will end our trekking here by purchasing some goods like Churpi, local tea, and milk candy.

Day 8 Drive to Bhadrapur takes a short domestic flight to Kathmandu.
On the final day, we will be heading back to Bhadrapur and take some time off to enjoy the hilly town. Next, we fly back to Kathmandu where we can rest as per our wish and officially end the trek. You can also choose to take a sightseeing tour of the valley and shop for souvenirs.

Key Information
The temperature ranges from 8 to 15 degrees from April to May and -5 to 5 degrees from October to early December. These are the time most suitable for Sandakpur trekking.
If you want communication facilities, you will have to carry a NTC or Ncell sim card for the trek. You will be able to get network services in few places during the trek and enjiy surfing 3G/4G internet services.
Vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian meals are available throughout the trek along with safe drinking water. However, if you are unsure if the water is suitable to drink, you can carry water purifying tablets.
We recommend you carry warm clothes including thermal inner wears and windproof jacket, as well as a raincoat.
If you want to hire a porter, you can do so.
If you want to enjoy nature at its best, you can plan your trek around the month of April. During this time, the entire valley is covered in rhododendrons. 
Sandakpur Trek is suitable for beginner trekkers. You do not need to have any prior trekking experience. You can easily acclimatize as you keep continuing your trek.

FAQ for Sandakpur Trek
What other trekking options are there in this region?
Besides Sandakpur Trek, there are many other treks in and around Ilam and Eastern Nepal. Antu Danda Trekking is the one of the most famous trekking trails near the Sandakpur Trek. Similarly, Makalu and Kanchenjunga region offer various trekking options and are also quite popular but fairly challenging.

Why this place is famous for eco-tourism?
Sandakpur provides beautiful trekking adventure with diverse cultural practices and landscapes. As such, the tourism activities here are carried out with an environmental perspective with a minimum negative impact on the nature and culture of the local region. We highly recommend trekkers to carry their own water bottle for the trek as well.

What is the maximum altitude of this trek with duration?
The trek duration extends for around 7-8 days and reaches a maximum altitude of 3636m above the sea level at Sandakpur. It is the highest vantage point around Ilam. From here, you can view some of the highest peaks in the world like Mt. Everest (8848m), Kanchenjunga (8586m), Lhotse (8516m), and Makalu (8485m).

What is the best time to visit this place?
Sandakpur Trek can be done throughout the year. The best time can be mid-September to November which offers a moderate climate and clear skies. Similarly, the spring season (March to May) offers a serene environment with blooming orchids along the trekking trail. Summer and winter seasons also have their unique properties.

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