Sandakphu (3,636 m) is the highest peak of West Bengal. The summit is located inside the Singalila National Park, through which the trekking route passes. Sandakphu is famous for providing a gorgeous view of snow-capped Kanchunjunga (8, 586 m) and its congregation of smaller peaks all year-round. Along with this, a clear, unobstructed panoramic view of Everest (8,848 m), Lhotse (8,516 m) and Makalu (8,463 m) is also the USP of Sandakphu. Having a clear idea about the best time to visit Sandakphu will help you to plan your trip better!
For a detailed itinerary of Sandakphu trip, visit our blogpost
Apart from the monsoon months, Sandakphu can be visited any time of the year. Each season imparts a unique beauty to this place.
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How summer is one of the best times to visit Sandakphu:
From March to May, the temperatures are moderate. The mercury gradually goes up and the temperature remains between 12 to 20 degrees on average. As a result, the weather remains pleasant and near perfect for exploring the nooks and crannies of the trail. Moreover, owing to springtime, the entire route is adorned with vibrant rhododendrons. The rhododendrons result in a splash of colour to the trekking route. The vivid flowers are an added attraction of Sandakphu during this time. Hence, summer is best time to visit Sandakphu for enjoying the beauty of mountains and rhododendrons together.
Riotous green landscape of Sandakphu in monsoon:
The monsoon kicks in from mid-June and runs its course till the end of September. Sandakphu receives heavy rainfall during this time and the weather remains cloudy. Though the landscape turns lush and the greenery is revived, it is quite difficult to trek in the rains. Even travelling by car can be risky given the terrible conditions of the road. Also, the visibility of the mountain peaks can be deterred by cloud cover.
Whether autumn is the best time to visit Sandakphu:
The autumn months of October and November exhibit sunny mornings and chilly nights. The average temperature during this time ranges from 8 to 15 degrees. This time frame provides endless perfect opportunities to enjoy the splendid view of Kanchunjunga, Everest and the other lofty peaks. Hence, autumn is another great time to visit Sandakphu. The Sleeping Buddha (the conclave of Kanchunjunga and its lesser peaks resembles the head, face, upper body and feet of Lord Buddha) is radiant in the countless shades of red and golden of the rising and setting sun.
Thrill and chill of winter in Sandakphu:
The frosty winter sets in from December and lasts up to February. The temperature ranges between 1 to 7 degrees on average and going down below the freezing point at night. The winter months are extremely chilly and the cold is biting. If enjoying the cold is on your mind, then winter is the best time to visit Sandakphu.
Is there snowfall in Sandakphu?
Snowfall occurs generally from the end of December (as happened in the 2020-21 season). By mid-January, the entire Sandakphu is covered under a thick layer of fresh snow. It turns Sandakphu into an amazing winter wonderland.
Things to remember:
1.Heavy, thick woollen clothes and jackets and heat insulating boots are a must if you are visiting Sandakphu in winter. Winters are harsh here, so pack your bags accordingly.
2.For summer and autumn, regular woollen clothes will suffice, though nights can be incredibly chilly here.
3.In case you are travelling with children and elderly people, it is advisable to avoid winter season. Summer and autumn are perfect for taking them to Sandakphu albeit some precautions. Take medicines such as Acetazolamide, Hyoscine Patch, Avomine and other regular medicines.