Sandakphu is the loftiest peak of Singalia Ridge
, in Darjeeling District
of West Bengal
, a tourist spot located on the Indo-Nepal border, is the gateway to the peak. Sandakphu is about 58 km from Darjeeling
Sandakphu, popularly referred as the Paradise of Trekkers, epitomizes the wild elemental grandeur of the snows. It is a popular vantage point from where one can see four of the world's five highest peaks – Mount Everest, Kanchanjunga, Makalu and Lhotse in a continuous snow-clad arc.
The word ‘Sandakphu’ literally means the 'Height of the Poison Plant' - a direct reference to the profusion of the poisonous aconite plants that grow near the peak. Situated at an altitude of about 3,636 m above sea level, Sandakphu is the culminating point of many trekking routes in the Darjeeling-Sikkim region. The trek to the peak starts from Maneybhanjan.
Sandakphu is also home to a wide variety of flora; the ethereal beauty of magnolias, rhododendrons, primulas and other sub-alpine flowers attracts a large number of naturalists. More than 600 varieties of orchids, the largest to be found in a single geographical area in the world, can be sighted here.