बिहिबार , साउन ३, २०८१

Reaching Sandakpur: Witnessing Sunrise Over Three Countries

You can have fun watching the sunrise, sunset, mountains, and plains in Sandakpur.

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After trekking 36 kilometers from Illam Bazar, you’ll arrive at Sandakpur which is the tallest peak around. Shree Antu, Siddhi Thumka, and Sandakpur, these three peaks have made Illam known as the Sunrise District.

Sandakpur is a part of Sandakpur Rural Municipality. It is located at an altitude of 3636 meters, and sits at the border between India and Nepal. It offers panoramic views of three countries i.e. Nepal, West Bengal of India, Sikkim, and Bhutan. Months between October and April are best to go to Sandakpur and witness the breathtaking view of sunrise and snowfall. Mountains like Mt. Everest, Mt. Kangchenjunga, Kumbhakarna, Makalu Himalayas, and others can be seen from Sandakpur. The path of Sandakpur looks more inviting.

How to get there?

After landing at Bhadrapur Airport, you can travel to Birtamod in Jhapa by road. You can find vehicles in Birtamod to reach Ilam Bazar via the Mahendra Rajmarg route, also known as the East-West Highway. You can have a delicious meal for around NPR 150 in Ilam Bazar. It is better to stay in Illam Bazar on the first day. It costs around NPR 950 if you decide to stay in hotels overnight.

You can start the journey from Mai Pokhari after leaving Ilam on the second day either by hiking or taking a Land Rover. If you wish to take a Land Rover from here, it will take about one and a half hours to reach Khurshanitar via Jasbire and Kothi Dada. Don’t forget to visit Todke Jharna on the way if you are hiking. Todke Jharna is the longest waterfall in Ilam, standing at a height of 85 meters.

Khurshanitar is also known as one of the resting points along the journey to Sandakpur. Since there are no eateries in Khurshanitar, it’s best to bring your food by yourself. Yaks and sheep might accompany you on your journey. This journey begins with a 7-hour uphill hike where vehicles cannot go. If you have heavy luggage, you’ll find porters available at Khurshanitar, charging around Rs 300 for their services.

If you cannot hike the 7-hour journey in a single day, you can rest a night in hotels and lodges in Kamalpokhari and continue the journey on next day. After a 1.5-hour hike from Kamalpokhari, you will reach your destination, Sandakpur. There is a high possibility of spotting rare animals like Red Pandas, Wild Boar, and Bear on the way to Sandakpur.

You can have fun watching the sunrise, sunset, mountains, and plains in Sandakpur. There are only two hotels in Sandakpur on the Nepali side and more on the Indian side, which rates similarly. The best experience is staying in tents on open ground. You can also stay in a traveler’s lodge for Rs. 100 to 300 per night.

After visiting Sandakpur, you can return via a different route, and explore other places as well. One route leads to Pashupatinagar through forests and high hills. Along the way, you’ll pass via Jaubari, Tumling, Meghma, and Manebhanjyang. Another way goes to Chhintapu which offers a panoramic view of the entire eastern region from its 2,946-meter altitude. From Chhintapu you can descend to Ilam Bazaar via Maipokhari.

Nepali Content: एकै ठाउँमा उभिएर ३ वटा देश देख्न पाइने ठाउँ ‘सन्दकपुर’, कसरी पुग्ने ?

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