Aconite is a plant. The root is used as medicine. However, aconite contains some poisonous chemicals. Aconite root contains chemicals that may improve circulation, but it also contains chemicals that can seriously harm the heart, muscles, and nerves. In Hong Kong, aconite is the most common cause of severe poisoning from herbs. In Asia, toxicity is usually related to the use of aconite in traditional medicines. In western countries, aconite poisoning is usually associated with consuming the plant. In Homeopathy this medicine are in the top list of critical treatments. In India there is a hill station which is famous for this plant. Yes, I am talking about Sandakphu.

sandakphu

Brief:

Sandakphu means the ‘Height of the Poison Plant‘, a direct reference to the profusion of the poisonous Aconite plants that grow near the peak. At an altitude of 3,636 mtr, Sandakphu is the highest peak in the state of West Bengal, India. It is situated at the edge of the Singalila National Park in Darjeeling district on the West Bengal – Sikkim border. From Sandakphu the best view of the mountain Kanchendzonga is possible, which is known as the Sleeping Buddha or The Sleeping Shiva.

Sandakphu is a very famous Trek Route. Trek to Sandakphu starts from Maneybhanjan, at an altitude of 2134 mtr, a small town near Darjeeling. Maneybhanjan can be reached from Siliguri via Ghoom / Darjeeling. This town is also known as ‘The Town of Land Rovers’. Currently there are 44 Land Rovers plying between Maneybhanjan – Sandakphu. These rugged beauties rule the mountain trail in this area. Some of the vehicles are more than 70 or 80 years old. Maneybhanjang is also a border town. While coming from Darjeeling, the houses on the left of the road belong to Nepal and the right side being India. After necessary entries in the Immigration check post and the last minute shopping and meal, the trek begins. You may also opt for overnight stay at Maneybhanjan to start the trek early next day.

The Land Rovers gives a mileage of 3 – 5 kmpl while going to Sandakphu because of the steepness. Adding to that the parts is not available that much for these 60 – 80 yrs. old vehicles. So, if parts are not available, they are replacing the engine or gear box with Bolero engine & gear box. But remaining with the 4 wheel drive feature from Land Rover itself as it is far better in terms of performance than the modern one.

Every year many Indian’s as well as foreigner’s comes here to get the splendid view of Khanchendzonga Range. One of our friend, Soumendra visited this place years back and suddenly share his idea to have a motorcycle ride to this destination. As usual I started investigating and meet the great guy from Team BHP, Anirban, who drove from Kolkata – Sandakphu with his family on a 4 X 4 Mahindra Scorpio. I shared the same info with my team. We got amazed to see the rough & tough condition of the route. Frankly speaking it is not at all a road to drive and thus except Land Rovers and very few Willys, no other vehicle are driven on this route, as they are 4 x 4 only (with low & high optional). There is a very valid reason to non-development of the road. It is only to preserve flora, fauna and animal like leopard, red panda, birds etc. across Singalila National Park from pollution.

We were also aware that if we could achieve this, we (Rolling Wheels Bikers Club) will be the first group ever to reach Sandakphuon motorcycle / bike / 2 wheels, which is only 1 wheel drive. It looks very challenging to us and we finalized to give it a try. Since I started travelling on motorcycle it was never in my mind to create record or history because, I love to enjoy nature utmost and to me there is no other vehicle than 2 wheels to do this. We all meet immediately and finalized the best possible team for this epic journey toSandakphu. We were really unsure on the result as there is no information / proof available if someone ever really drove through this trek route on motorcycle. With our love and passion for 2 wheels and with God’s grace suddenly I met Anirban from Team BHP. We had a detail discussion and I got some very valuable tips from him. It was mostly all positive encouragement from this great man. Immediately I shared the same with my team and started waiting for the date …

It was 9th May 2014 and our journey is going to start. We were 8 membered team with no pillion rider. Obviously we have to drive carefully and at the same time need to capture pictures and vdo’s whenever possible to make a great document which could help any other enthusiast to visit the destination. Everyone make his partner look as beautiful as he likes with camera holder fixed and was infront of Rolling Wheels Bikers Club at 2:30 pm. But I got delayed as I (with better half Atreyi) was busy in making my black beauty more beautiful. Finally I reached around 3 pm. We found many of our RW friends Tirtho, Kaustav, Avijit are waiting to bid us. Surprisingly Kaustav gave me a packet of Dairy Milk Cadburys.

Soon after Departure

Soon after Departure

Finally we managed to leave from RW Clubroom around 3:30 pm. Our next halt would be at Airport where Biranchi, Sanjoy Da & Abhijit Banerjee will join us. We reached there around 4 pm and amazed to see Somjeet (Bobo). He was missing the trip a lot and decided to guide us till Fulia where 2 of our experienced members Swarnadip & Ankan will join us. Hope you all are aware of Bobo’s team spirit (mentioned in my Gurudongmar Revisited Travelogue) and this time also there was no exception. Actually whenever I saw him, my confidence level goes up.

We bid everyone there and started our journey around 4:30 pm. Bobo being the best person in tail, I have seen so far, guided us tillFulia. He was guiding me in every step to control the team from tail for remaining journey. We reached Swarna’s home at 5:50 pm. We did gossip for sometime and finally the team is ready with Swarnadip, Sanjoy Da, Biranchi, Pratap, Abhijit, Ankan & Arup(Myself). Our current president and senior most member, Bhaskar Da will join us from Silliguri. We bid Bobo finally with real sorrows of not having him in the remaining journey and started our trip. Our plan was to drive as much as we can.

We crossed Krishnanagar after having a small break for tea and sweets. It was around 9 pm and we were near Berhampore. Swarna stopped suddenly after getting noise from rear of his motorcycle. We all immediately stopped and shocked to see …

Uninvited Guest Enjoying Free Travel

Uninvited Guest Enjoying Free Travel

It was not desired at all at the start of the journey but we all were enjoying being stopped in dark on NH34 fixing Swarna’s rear tyre as this is what we called as adventure. With his immense power, Swarnadip finally managed to fix his tubeless tyre and we started forBerhampore. It was 9:40 pm and we decided to take rest at Berhampore for that night and continue our journey next day early morning. Me & Sanjoy da along with Biranchi & Abhijit went ahead to find a good accommodation. Swarna, Ankan & Pratap went to fix Swarna’s motorcycle’s tyre.

It took time but we found a great hotel to stay for the night with air condition accommodation where we could take rest in cool breeze for the night which will give us more energy for the next day’s ride. We ordered for our dinner and had it as early as possible. As usual surprisingly Swarna revealed his home made home theater system to enjoy the leisure time listening good old music. We chat a lot and went to sleep around 12:30 pm keeping in mind to start next day at 5 am.

I woke up early morning at 4:30 AM and helped others to boost for the day’s journey. We packed our luggage and finally got ready at 5:30 am. We all hardly slept in those 4 hours. Frankly speaking everyone was dreaming to drive on hill. We were not sure how far we could drive as we have some juniors in the team. But without any hesitation and further plan we started our 2nd day’s journey. Soon we took a halt near Malda for a small tea break.

Miles To Go

Miles To Go

Gods Blessing us with Shadow of Clouds

Gods Blessing us with Shadow of Clouds

Everyone woke up early and took rest for sometime with best early morning energy drink, the famous hot Indian Tea along with some snacks. After 15 min we started again and our next halt was at Farakka (famous for Farakka Barrage). Road from Berhampore toFarakka is now a 4 lane road which was not there last year. Also, crossing Farakka Barrage is always an enchanting experience. So we drove fast enjoying morning glory of nature and reached Farakka.

Farakka

Farakka

We had roti – sabji as breakfast and started for Dalkhola.

Somewhere just after Farakka

Somewhere just after Farakka

We were at Dalkhola around 12 pm. As usual we went to Dalkhola Bharat Petrolium oil station to pour petrol and have lunch. But frankly speaking the experience of having lunch was horrible. It was almost 38 deg and in B.P Azad Hind Dhaba they are running with 3-4 celling fans. It was hard to get any kind of comfort there. Adding to that the food quality was really bad. The chicken we were served with was roasted for Tandoori preparation, for last night wedding party (wedding party in Petrol Pump dhaba ) and they just simply mix gravy with it. It was too hard to chew and we just couldn’t have that. At last we had lunch with rice, curd and sugar (not bad at all) as there was no other option. We pour oil and left immediately without wasting time further. It was almost 1:30 pm and too hot outside. But we have to struggle and cross Siliguri at earliest.

Surprisingly road condition for the first few kms was also pathetic. Anyways we struggled for sometime and crossed Silligury which is almost 135 kms from Dalkhola around 4 pm.

 

Sevoke Road

Sevoke Road

We waited for sometime and found our senior most member, Bhaskar Da coming on his grey Avenger. At an age of 65+ he looks like 35+. After riding since early morning we suddenly got charged up seeing Bhaskar Da and immediately headed towards Mirik, Darjeeling. But the road will be different than normal route. It will be through some dense forest and thus more adventurous …

Way To Mirik

Way To Mirik

Just imagine how thrilling the experience was and how adventurous the remaining tour is going to be. We started driving towards Mirik.  The experience was fabulous as Toy Train (Himalayan narrow gauge railway, famous in Darjeeling) was moving side by side with us. After driving 5-6 kms we took a halt for a small tea break. It was around 5:15 pm and we started testing recording video on the go when others were busy in enjoying tea. It was 5:30 pm, about to dark, and we all experienced started our hill journey. It was terrific experience going through dark dense forest with all headlights ON one after another. In fact it was an amazing sight to see all 8 motorcycles taking hairpin turn with their indicator’s ON … just amazing. After riding for sometime on our way, we all took a halt and Bhaskar da showed us how Mirik looks like in night.

We started driving again, after 15 – 20 min break enjoying night view of Mirik, and reached Mirik around 7 pm. Hotel was known to us from our early visits and we took shelter there for that night enjoying lovely dinner after hectic riding of 425 kms which include 50 kms of night hill riding.

We are about to start our historical journey tomorrow morning. So, it was time to take rest and focus on tomorrow’s ride where probably no motorcycle rode before.

It was 11-May-2014. We all get up early morning and started packing our languages. We got ready soon and its time to move on …

RW Team Ready To Roar

RW Team Ready To Roar

We started for Maneybhanjan and it was 8 am. The road was not in good shape and was a bit rigid. We were a team of 8 with 3 newly joined members. We rode with them many times in plains but not in hill. And believe me riding in hill, especially in India is not at all easy as road condition is not good in many places and the more interior you go, you will come across landslide zone or with no road at all. We decided to take a halt for 5 min only infront of Mirik Lake for few snaps …

Team RW @ Mirik Lake

Team RW @ Mirik Lake

Mirik Lake

Mirik Lake

Mirik Lake Looks Fishy…

Anyways we soon came across to a border called as Simana Gaon / Gram (means village at border)
where some local beautiful girls were selling snacks, hot Maggie, local chocolates etc. From that place we could see Maneybhanjanway down. Nepal is just infront of us. In fact the girls selling goods are sitting in Nepal and we were having hot Maggie in West Bengal, just opposite to the road. It seems very funny to me how on earth we put down virtual / actual line to signify, this is our state / nation and that is yours. Interacting with any human beings always seems to me the same, unless he / she is too rude. But we are in a civilized society and probably this is the way we should civilize ourselves.

Simana Gaon/Gram

Simana Gaon/Gram

Valley of Simana Gaon/Gram

Valley of Simana Gaon/Gram

Snack and Pack shop in Simana Gaon

Snack and Pack shop in Simana Gaon

 

Resting A While in Simana Gaon

Resting A While in Simana Gaon

Way to Sukhiapokhari

Way to Sukhiapokhari

We had our breakfast and started for Manebhanjan. The more we are going interior, as said, road condition is becoming horrible. Finally we reached Manebhanjan around 1 pm. After heading further we found the road towards Chitrey. The first milestone of Chitrey reminds me Anirban’s (from Team-BHP) write up. We immediately stopped there and took some snaps …

Milestone@ Maneybhanjan

Now it’s time to be serious. The next 3 kms with 30+ degree inclination and 180 degree turn in every 50 – 100 meter is ahead of us which will take us to Chitrey.  We started one by one as follows: Bhaskar da (being familiar since childhood with this twists), Sanjoy da, Biranchi, Arup (myself), Pratap, Ankan, Abhijit, Swarnadip. The basic principal we have to follow is ‘No one will stop in between (as you can’t pull your motorcycle if you stop) and you will also not stop if someone fell down in any turn (as turnings are difficult with that inclined and steepness)’. One could only help other if he is in confident and in stable position. Else only Ankan and Swarna will help. Many of us got frightened after started driving. We have to take support in every second with our feet. I clearly remember my right foot miss the road (while trying to take support) when I was about to take a 180 deg. right turn. Somehow we managed to cross the 3 kms and reached Chitrey. So far, the road at least have some sign of asphalt. But now there is no more. We were fully tensed and could not imagine even how difficult it is going to be with road full of stones, boulders, mud which is never driven by any 2 wheeler along with incline and difficult turns.

Must mention, as per locals confirmed, we came to know someone tried to ride early with his motorcycle but later bring the motorcycle to Sandakphu by Land Rover (not even driving through the road). Anyways that is none of our business and we have to think how we could go ahead further.

 Way to Chitrey

Way to Chitrey

Cliffshoot Ride zone @ Chitrey

Cliffshoot Ride zone @ Chitrey

Chitrey

Chitrey

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(From left) Pratap, Ankan, Abhijit, Sanjoy, Biranchi, Bhaskar @ Chitrey

We gathered as a team to motivate each other and find the alternative. Because of the difficulty I was facing with the height of my CBZ we planned something different. We swap our motorcycle. Ankan took my CBZ, Biranchi took Ankan’s Avenger and myself on Biranchi’s Avenger. We did this because I was struggling to touch the road due to height and inclination. Anyways we started for the next halt Lameydhura after 3.5 kms. As soon as we started we found the road ahead of us …

CBZ on the way to Lameydhura

CBZ on the way to Lameydhura

RW Team on the way to Lameydhura

RW Team on the way to Lameydhura

The main thing we understood is that this will be the toughest route anyone has gone so far, not in terms of altitude but road condition. Road condition was so pathetic that every now and then wheels are getting stuck between boulders. We were very serious on choosing our track but you can only choose your track when there is any track. The road was nothing but a bed of boulders and choosing track was also not helping us most of the time. Whenever anyone is getting stuck the other is pushing him to get out of the scenario and go ahead further. In addition in every minute we were getting surrounded by fog and could see only next 20 ft. Here is a demo …

On the way to Lameydhura

On the way to Lameydhura

On the way to Lameydhura

On the way to Lameydhura

This was just the beginning. We all knew that the way we were moving is the only way to survive there and reach the destination. I was a bit confused on making this ride complete at earliest as we have two other destination in our list and both of them are at high altitude. But we can’t play with nature and have to respect it as it comes on our way. We started helping each other and ride as much as we can on the slippery, muddy road along with boulders everywhere. The difference between road of LadakhGurudongmar andSandakphu is that Sandakphu is in low altitude compare to other places. But the road is too steep with more than 40 degree inclination at most of the places along with every turn as hairpin bend. The elevation was also too high. If someone of us fell down, he will fall at least 300 – 500 ft. hitting the rock. Our feelings were mixed with awe and thrill as we were moving through Singalila National Ridge through this kind of road.

Milestone at Lameydura

Milestone at Lameydura

Soon we reached Lameydura. The atmosphere was awesome. It was foggy everywhere. We again hardly could see 10 ft ahead of us and the temperature was 11 degree with tremendous flow of cold air. It was difficult to drive. So, we decided to have hot tea / coffee and proceed further.

@ Lameydura

@ Lameydura

We didn’t take that much of time and immediately left for next destination Meghma which is 3 kms further.

Way to Meghma

Way to Meghma

Way to Meghma

Way to Meghma

Meghma

Meghma

Meghma Monastery

Meghma Monastery

This place is named thus as most of the time throughout the year you would see this place engulfed in cloud (Megh). After driving for sometime we reached Meghma. We didn’t take any halt at Meghma and left for next destination Tumling. It was 2:30 pm when we were leaving Meghma. So, we decided to take a halt at Tumling for the day. Tumling is 2 kms drive from Meghma. However this road gave us a glimpse of how tough it is going to be, specially the last 200 mtrs.

Way to Tumling

Way to Tumling

Anyway we kept our patience and continue driving through the steep terrain. Finally we managed to reach Tumling around 4 pm.

Tumling is a small hamlet in Ilam District of Mechi Zone in Nepal’s Eastern Development Region. Ilam is derived from Limbu Language (Tibeto-Burman language mainly spoken in Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Kashmir and Darjeeling). Limbu Script is basically derived from Tibetan Script. In Limbu, ‘Li’ means twisted and ‘Lam’ means road. Thus came ‘Li-Lam’ which changed toIlam as time passed by. Ilam was one of the ten self-ruling states of Limbuwan before the unification of Nepal. After going through the road since morning, I should appreciate the person who gave the name of the district. It’s perfect.

Weather was not at all good at Tumling the time we reached and the locals were observing us, the mad motorcycle tourer’s  and started enquiring how we thought of driving through the horrible terrain which is only ruled by Land Rover’s.

It was raining at that time. We decided to unload our luggage as early as possible and cover our companion’s with plastic to avoid any malfunction next morning. Soon, we put our entire luggage inside the wooden furnished room and its time for enjoying the nature …

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Tumling

Tumling

Tumling

Suddenly we came to know that Biranchi will do mimicry of everyone of us. He was fantastic in doing the same and was imitating us making us laughing all around thinking if we are so funny like he was showing. The accommodation was of ‘Nila Gurung’, who is an enthusiast trekker with many achievements. She is also responsible of development of the place. She has got much recognition from different forum. They had a cute puppy and most of us being animal lover, started cuddling with the puppy and taking pictures with him …

Ankan & Myself with Cuttie

Ankan & Myself with Cuttie

It was 8 pm and we planned to have our dinner as tomorrow’s ride will be much tougher than whatever we rode so far. We enjoyed our veg dinner and went to sleep after gossiping few minutes.

The Rugged Beauty @ Tumling

The Rugged Beauty @ Tumling

We all at Rolling Wheels Bikers Club never ride to make history but since the beginning of motorcycle touring across India, we left our footprints almost everywhere which impressed many enthusiasts or next gen and followed by many as well.

It was 12th May 2014 and its time to conquer Sandakphu being the first bikers club. We planned to hire a Land Rover and put our entire luggage’s inside it as road is much steeper going forward. In addition in case of any trouble we probably could take help of that. We all are riding low torque motorcycles, mainly all commuter motorcycles and probably testing their limits at ultimate stage. Hope our motorcycle manufacturer see us testing machines at ultimate level which probably they also have not think off.

We took whatever needed for ride only and took off for the epic summit. Beauty is that, from Tumling there are 2 paths toSandakphu. One via Nepal only and the second via West Bengal and Nepal. Everyone told us to go via Nepal route as it is in better shape than the second one. But we decided to go via 2nd one as per our experience …

RW Ready For The Final Show @ Tumling

RW Ready For The Final Show @ Tumling

30+ Degree Incline Road After Tumling

30+ Degree Incline Road After Tumling

RW Team with Local Folks

RW Team with Local Folks

Initially road was as usual we covered so far. But the more we were progressing, condition is getting worse. I can still remember one of the drivers at Maneybhanjan saying, it is impossible to drive the last 2-3 kms after Bikeybhanjan as it is more than 45 degree steep with complete 180 degree turn at every 50-60 meters. Without a second thought we started driving as we are struggling at every step and reached Gairibas, 4 kms from Tumling, around 11 am.

After Singalila National Park

After Singalila National Park

We took a halt for 10 mins and in between we found an old man from our own city running towards us. He gave us raincoat of Biranchi, as they found it fell down somewhere on the road and wishes us all the best for the summit. Getting this kind of help from someone great like him, whom we didn’t know, boosted once again our energy. As we were taking a break of 5 – 10 minutes, I started taking snaps of Land Rover from different angle.

Immediately we got engulfed with fog and without wasting time we headed towards next destination Kalapokhri / Kalipokhri.Kalapokhri is almost 6 – 7 kms from Gairibas. This lake is at 3186 mtr. ‘Pokhri’ means lake and ‘Kala / Kali’ means dark in Nepalilanguage. The village is also named same after this lake. It is told that drinking the holy water of this lake cures disease Malaria. Scientific reason is being in the midst of Cinchona valley, leaves falls in the lake and thus getting diluted with water to cure Malariathrough natural sources. This is holy lake and thus no one takes bath or touch the water with feet. It is also being told that during the time of Mahabharata, Kal Nag (snake) took shelter here.

Milestone to Kalapokhri

Milestone to Kalapokhri

Biranchi doing mimicry of Anakan on the way to Kalipokhari

Biranchi doing mimicry of Anakan on the way to Kalipokhari

The road from Gairibas to Kalipokhri is a mixed combination. Either it was full of boulders or with deep mud. So, we were struggling either way or other.

Stony Hairpin Turn

Stony Hairpin Turn

Way to Kalipokhari

Way to Kalipokhari

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Way to Kalipokhari

Wanna Try Some Bungee Jumping??

Wanna Try Some Bungee Jumping??

Somewhere in between, Ankan and myself stopped. I found him wearing shoes opposite since morning as he was tensed about the journey. We laugh out louder …

We kept our patience and reached Kalipokhri around 1 pm.

@ Kalipokhari

@ Kalipokhari

@ Kalipokhari Lake

@ Kalipokhari Lake

The weather was getting worse and it will be wise decision to left as early as possible. But we were too hungry. We parked our motorcycle’s for taking some kind of food like hot Maggie (as there is no other option available & they cook it amazingly). Again I found some cute puppies along with their dad & mom with huge bulky physic. We took rest and enjoyed the foggy atmosphere with hot food and tea. Now, it’s time for the final journey of 7 kms. Our 1st target was to reach Bikeybhanjan, 2 kms from Kalipokhri. As soon as we started in the bewildered weather, we came to know that we are going to ride on the toughest route we came across till date, in terms of steepness and horrible condition with boulders everywhere.

Way to Bikeybhanjan

Way to Bikeybhanjan

Our motorcycle’s tyres were skidding every now and then and the maximum speed was 10 kmph in 1st gear. Anyhow we reachedBikeybhanjan around 2 pm. Without taking any further halt in the muddled weather we started heading towards our destination one by one. After few meters we got lost in the fog and few meters ahead I found Pratap was sitting on the road as his Pulsar skidded and he fell down.

Pratap & Bucephalus Taking A Quick Nap After The Fall Mishap

Pratap & Bucephalus Taking A Quick Nap After The Fall Mishap

We laughed for sometime and tried to pull it up. But it was not one man’s job. We waited for sometime and at last Ankan, Sanjoy da, Pratap and myself able to pull it back on the road. As soon as we make it stand, we found heavy leakage of fuel. We started checking if something got broken. It seems an overflow and we tried starting the motorcycle. After few attempts we managed to start it and after few seconds the fuel leakage stopped. Once again we encouraged each other for the next few kms.

After driving few more meters we came infront of the last 2 kms stretch where the steepness is more than 45 degree.

45+ degree Incline before Sandakphu

45+ degree Incline before Sandakphu

The cleavage was also not visible as it was so steep. If someone fell down here there will be no trace. We took a halt and think for sometime. In between suddenly Swarna’s YAMAHA Fazer stopped. Absurdly being idle and in gear, the rear wheel is rotating. Without any clue we started checking thoroughly and it was 3:10 pm. We adjusted the clutch, checked chain sprocket and fix the tuning. Without any clue again it started moving. Again we gathered and decided to move 1 by 1 for next 2 kms and blow up our special horn once reach the summit. In between, if someone gets stuck, we have to push him without any other option.

We started slowly and believe me everyone was frightened to see and feel the toughness. In this kind of steepness the benefit of 4 wheel drive comes into picture which we easily understood.

So Near Yet So Far

So Near Yet So Far

Rest If You Must But Dont You Quit

Rest If You Must But Dont You Quit

After a hard work of 30 mins we crossed the toughest stretch struggling and pushing each other when required, and reached Sandakphu. Whoever is in the last in queue was getting excited to hear the special honking but everyone kept himself cool and calm to cover the next few meters.

It was an ecstatic moment seeing local residents and tourists from India and foreign countries, staying either in the tourist lodge of Nepal or West Bengal, came out to see the first group ever riding on top of Sandakphu that too through the toughest route, and greeted us….

RW Achieved/Summited/Conquered Sandakphu

RW Achieved/Summited/Conquered Sandakphu

Victory & Glory Comes To People Who Strive For It and Eventually Drives For It.

It was a moment for us with no words. We were infront of Sherpa Chalet, in Nepal. Before I proceed further I must mention something to all of you who is going through my blog in detail. If you are going to Sandakphu, I would request you to think twice before staying at Sherpa Chalet. After struggling since morning and having only 1 bowl of Maggie, once we reached we ordered for tea and biscuits. After not getting it for next 10 – 15 min, when we requested to give us at list some packets of biscuits, the lady replied that she could give biscuits only once she serves tea. We were shivering in cold and were fatigued too much. This behavior was out of our control. After some controversy they finally gave it and then a cup of tea after next 10 min. Food quality was kind of ok. Post dinner once we requested them to give us glasses to mix hot and cold water and the reply was ‘Nehi. Glass tut jayega’ means ‘No, it will break’. We didn’t have energy to quarrel with them at all.

Anyways we had our dinner around 8 – 8:30 and went to sleep early to enjoy the amazing sunrise next morning. It was 3:30 am and some of us woke up. It was complete dark outside. As usual Swarna and Ankan started gossiping with everyone making everyone awake. Both of them were lying just beside the window. Suddenly I noticed an orange line in the dark sky.

4 am @ Sandakphu

4 am @ Sandakphu

We all immediately got ready and leave with camera to witness the fascinating sunrise on Khanchendzonga / Khanchenzondga. We all headed towards the view point and saw it closed. We found a local guide taking 2 of the foreign tourists towards a hill. We followed him immediately and could feel the roar of the cold wave. We found the guide was taking 2 of the tourist to the top of a hill through a steep muddy road through the jungle. Without knowing anything we followed him and reached on top of that hill. Now, it was fabulous watching the full Khanchendzonga, 3 Sisters, Everest range just beside a thin orange line infront of us. I was just stunned watching the utmost beauty of nature. I turned around and saw a mixture of violet and blue line, created a circumference behind us on the opposite side. I do not have any words to explain the beauty at its best. One could only feel it once he/she is there standing infront of gigantic Sleeping Buddha / Shiva.

Sleeping Buddha / Shiva

This is the Kanchendzonga family. Looking the same from a distance, specially during sunrise or sunset, gives the spectator an enchanting view, which looks like Sleeping Buddha or Sleeping Shiva. The head is Kumbhakarna, body is the massive bulky Kanchendzonga and foot is Mt. Pandim & Mt. Kabru.

Khanchendzonga / The Sleeping Buddha @ 4:30 am

Khanchendzonga / The Sleeping Buddha @ 4:30 am

Aptly called the Paradise of Trekkers, the peak Sandakphu, is a vantage point from where one can see four of the world’s five highest peaks – Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Lhotse – in a continuous snow-clad arc. The Himalayan Range which you could see from Sandakphu consists peak like Khanchendzonga – 28156 ft, Kabru 24026 ft, Jano (Kumbhakarna) 25299 ft, Pandim – 22010 ft. Further East you could see Everest group with Everest – 29029 ft, Makalu which looks like a great armed chair of snow – 27838 ft,Lhotse – 27940 ft. Kanchenjunga-correctly spelt is Khangchendzonga is the third highest mountain in the world means “Five Treasures of the Great Snow” and is a guardian deity of the Sikkimese. The contrast between Everest and Kanchenjunga is very much visible. Kanchenjunga is remarkable for its imposing bulk and massive proportions while Everest soaring above a series of valleys and its ridges is more graceful and majestic. The space between the two is occupied by snowy ranges. Three Sisters which cluster together if you look towards east beyond Kanchenjunga you will see Narsing and then the Dongkiala and Chola ranges of the Tibetan frontier with Chumalhari lifting up to its heads in the rear. The whole snowy ranges of BhutanSikkim and Nepal about 320 kms in length, is visible, but the panorama is completely dominated by the Kanchenjunga and Everest group.

Good Morning Sandakphu

Good Morning Sandakphu

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The Morning Prayers The Mountain Bears…

hiranmayena patrena / satyasyapihitam mukham  tat tvam pushann apavrinu / satya-dharmaya drishtaye

Hiranmayena Patrena, Satyasyapihitam Mukham
Tat Tvam Pushann Apavrinu, Satya-Dharmaya Drishtaye

 From Left Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Everest, Mt. Makalu. First sunlight of the world on Mt. Everest

(From Left) Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Everest, Mt. Makalu. First sunlight of the world on Mt. Everest

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Kanchenjunga

We also observed the 2nd road to Sandakphu through Nepal. It looks like easy but seems much tougher in terms of riding on motorcycle. We spend near about 2+ hours enjoying the sunrise. It was time to say good bye to Sandakphu.

We packed all our belongings and started our journey towards Maneybhanjan. But this time through the road of Nepal. We didn’t spend much time taking pictures except a few of roads.

This journey was also very tough as we were coming down and tyres were skidding. But our companions are performing much better while coming down compare to when we went up. In between there was heavy rainfall which made our journey much more tough.

We reached Chitrey around 6:30 pm. We took halt for 10 mins to have tea while it was raining outside. Finally we drove through complete dark taking snaps mainly of Ankan and reached Maneybhanjan at 7:30 pm. Our next destination is Nathu-La in Sikkim.

Team RW: Sky Is The Limit

Team RW: Sky Is The Limit

 

Ride Safe & Follow The Trails….Hip Hip

Hooray

 

Travelogue By: Arup Bhattacharya