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Moto Trekking: Ride to SANDAKPHU

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  • [Photo Feature]: Moto Trekking: Ride to SANDAKPHU

    Moto Trekking: Sandakphu 2K22

    Hi all... this time I’m here with an adventure story.
    Me and my friend was planning for a trip for few months, so we finalize to visit Sandakphu, the highest peak of West Bengal. This place is famous for beautiful scenic view of Sleeping Buddha, the full Kanchenjunga Range and the view of Mount Everest with Lotse and Makalu.

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    My sun-kissed scooter with Mt. Kanchenjunga

    But there we face some difficulties to visit to Sandakphu with our two-wheelers. The Indian side road is now restricted for the two wheels. Only 4X4 Land Rovers and SUVs are allowed. Also, few Mahindra 4X4 pick-up trucks are going to this place for goods and materials transport.

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    The Golden Sleeping Buddha, the mighty Kanchenjunga range at the time of Sun rise.

    So, we do some research about the place, and get a solution. The Sandakphu is situated at the India-Nepal border area, and people are allowed to visit the place from Nepal side as well, without any vehicle restrictions. So, we decide to take the road from Nepal side instead of India side.
    To take the Nepal side road, we need to cross the India-Nepal international border and we have to pay 100/- rupees per day (Indian Currency) for the vehicles as permission cost.


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    Some beautiful mountain views in Nepal.

    But there is another surprise was waiting for us. That particular section of Nepal is so interior part of that country, no Google map or something was there. Only the footprints of trekkers and tyre marks of 4X4’s are there. We need to ask the local public and follow few road marks. Communication with local people with broken Hindi language was a challenge, (Nepali language uses same Devanagari script like Sanskrit or Hindi, but the language itself is different), it was challenging but interesting as well.

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    Friendship on road, when we met few bikers on the way to Sandakphu.

    People were also showing their interest when they were observing us to cross those bad patches with two small scooters. Actually, they are habituated to see some big players like RE Himalyan, Hero Xpulse and some Honda rally bikes (especially available in Nepal, not in India), in that terrain.


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    Love for Himalaya…

    Our route plan:
    Day 1: Kolkata to Siliguri.
    Day 2: Siliguri – Mirik – PashupatiNagar (India-Nepal Border) – Ilam – Mayopokhri.
    Day 3: Mayopokhri – Maimajhuya – Kalipokhri – Sandakphu.
    Day 4: Return journey: Sandakphu –Kalipokhri – Maimajhuya – Mayopokhri – Ilam – Fikkal Bazar.
    Day 5: Return journey: Fikkal Bazar – Pashupati Nagar – Siliguri – Dalkhola.
    Day 6: Return journey: Dalkhola to Home.


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    Our scooters beside Mirik Lake.

    Day one journey was quite normal for every biker, more than 500kms flat roads with mixed condition. We started at 4am and reached hotel at Siliguri near 9-9:30pm.

    On second day, after few kms of hill road, we reached to Pashupati Nagar customs gate, India-Nepal border. Here we completed all the permission related tasks and collect one Nepali SIM for communication. It took some time to process all the documentation process, but we were happy enough to cross the international border for the first time with our scooters. The road condition up to Ilam town was good. Ilam was the last point where one can get fuel pumps. So topped up our scooters and take five litre petrol extra in a jerrican as a back-up plan. After few kilometres, the road condition started to deteriorate.



    It was evening time when we stopped our journey at Mayopokhri. I will suggest everyone to avoid riding in this road after evening. The road condition is very poor.

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    After Sun set, we reached Maipokhari.

    On the third day morning, we started our journey towards Sandakphu. The road condition is kind of torture test for both man and machine. Actually, no road is there, it’s basically a trekking route. And only 4X4 vehicles are used for the daily needs. So only a tarmac is there.


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    Some unnamed concrete bridges with mud and dusts... 😊

    Local government is trying to make a road by using bolder and stone pieces. But those make the track more vulnerable for two wheelers. Sometimes we could not identify the terrains behaviours, it seems quite hard surface but later it comes out as a thin layer on loose gravels.


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    Few stretches of 5-6km without any man or vehicle, kind of no man’s land... 😊

    After few hours of journey, we reached to Kalipokhri. It’s a junction and small base for the trekkers from both India and Nepal side. Few homestays and hotels are in this place. We took our breakfast here. From this area, two roads, one each from both the countries are ascends towards Sandakphu. In few sections, the difference between these two roads are just few feet, but two-wheelers are allowed only in Nepal side. If anyone riding their bike in India side road, they have to pay rupees ten thousand as a fine (as per local report). One check post from Nepal police force is on the way. They took rupees 80 (Nepal currency, or one can pay rupees 50 in Indian Currency) per bike as a permission cost. Those Nepal Police personnel also alert us to stay in the left side’s road i.e. Nepal side road to avoid that hefty fine.


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    At the last section we met some bikers, so having some rest and adda with them.

    The terrain condition from Kalipokhri to Sandakphu is too bad. Loose gravels, boulders along with clay make the road too harsh. Also, there are four-five Z-curves with steep inclination in this passage. The road was so steep that after every thousand meters, we were feeling the oxygen deficits. It was like climbing thousand feet in thousand meters. We were also facing breathing problem in this area.

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    After a hard ride, some relaxation. Enjoying the scenic beauty at Sandakphu.

    Lack of oxygen and lack of traction, and we were riding two scooters, at the height of ten thousand feet.
    The terrain is so though that, one Royal Enfield Himalayan rider and one Thunderbird rider, (from other riding group) burn their clutch plate in front of us. They were riding few meters ahead of us. Even some foul smells were coming out from our scooters’ belt drive during those inclinations. We need to give ample rest to the scooters to cool down. All these abruptly pushed down our average speed to six-seven kmph. We were able to ride around 12-14kmph in that terrain and we had to give rest for 15-20min in an interval of 15min riding. At 2:30pm, finally we were able to complete 35 km of torture test in six and half hrs, including one food break, one permission related break, and with multiple engine cooling breaks.

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    Our scooters at Sandakphu’s parking lot, with Land Rovers, 4X4 SUVs, and some bikes.


    After reaching Sandakphu, it was like dream comes true situation. Each and every tourist and trekker were present that time, were congratulating us for climbing so tough terrain with two automatic scooters. Many bikers were successfully completed journey on the same day and maximum of them reached before us. I have seen RE Himalayan, Hero Xpulse, Bajaj Dominar, Honda CB200X, etc bikes at parking lot. But people were amazed after they saw us with two 125cc scooters. Many of them were asking us questions like our ride details, from where you were coming, from where we started on that day, how much mileage we were getting in that terrain etc etc. But we were enjoying those moments and calmly replying all of them.

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    At the Land of Land Rovers

    It was a pick season for Sandakphu Trek, so we could not get any Hotel or Homestay in Nepal side, but managed to get one hotel in India side. So, we parked our scooters at Nepal, came back to India with luggage and stayed in that hotel.

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    In morning, we get some snow on the top of our vehicles..


    As an adventure seeker, Sandakphu ride is like once in a lifetime ride. I’ll recommend every biker or traveller who love some hard roads and beautiful natural views, must visit Sandakphu.


    Note: Always use Helmet and ride safe.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by santanu.batabyal; 05-20-2023, 02:03 AM.

  • #2
    Topic approved. Apologies for the delay in approval. It was caused by some maintenance work in the backend. That is why, the photos are not showing up still.

    We have approved the post, but please try to reupload the photos and see if they are visible.

    Thank you.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by xBhp View Post
      Topic approved. Apologies for the delay in approval. It was caused by some maintenance work in the backend. That is why, the photos are not showing up still.

      We have approved the post, but please try to reupload the photos and see if they are visible.

      Thank you.

      Hello team, thanks for the approve..

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by sajalsheth View Post
        @santanu.batabyal santanu.batabyal
        pictures are not visible.

        Please upload again
        Trying to edit and upload all the pictures, check if those are displayed. else I have to upload all the pictures in comment section..

        Comment


        • #7
          Nice write up but pictures are not visible.
          A bike on the road is worth two in the shed.

          Weekend Rides Around Kolkata
          My Ride To Sunderbans -
          Hemnagar & Samsernagar
          Saagar Kinare - Bakkhali Calling

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by xBhp View Post
            Topic approved. Apologies for the delay in approval. It was caused by some maintenance work in the backend. That is why, the photos are not showing up still.

            We have approved the post, but please try to reupload the photos and see if they are visible.

            Thank you.
            Photos are uploaded again, please check and confirm once from your end..
            Thanks in advance..

            Comment


            • #9
              Good write up . Hope our scooter held up well

              Comment


              • #10
                @santanu.batabyal

                Courage need to reach Sandakphu top on 2 wheeler.
                I did from Indian side in 2015 , when they were allowing.

                Very nice pictures and write up
                Ride from Cuttack to Manipal University , MahendraGiri- Odisha ,
                Dream > Explore > Discover =Zanskar & Ladakh Bike Ride,
                Deomali -highest peak of Odisha & Duduma Waterfalls
                S3=Sikkim, Sandakphu & Sohra , Ride to NEHAsthan , RIDE TO KISS

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