Standing on the eastern border of our country, Sandakpur is defending the country like an undeclared soldier. Every Nepali must visit Sandakpur once in their lifetime just to thank and encourage our undeclared soldier Sandakpur.
Welcome Again to our journey to Sandakpur. As we have promised to make Sandakpur available to you in your hands. To fulfill the same promise we are here with the final episode of the East Series. I am going to share our journey from Kanyam to Sandakpur. In the previous episodes, we brought you our journey of Janakpur, then Kanyam, and Antu. I am so excited that I am going to share my whole experience. This is the day I have been waiting for so long. I really want to share the happiness of reaching Sandakpur with you. So, buckle your seat belt on let me take you on to journey to Sandakpur.
Day 6 Kanyam to Kalpokhari
We woke up early to see the view. Luckily we saw something awesomeness, but the fog covered it all. It was sure as we were traveling in peak monsoon season in Nepal. I just couldn’t stop myself and just sang a song and enjoying the monsoon view of Kanyam. We bid farewell to our friends. I am really thankful to them for showing places around Illam.
We moved towards Sandakpur but we did know the routes leading to it. So we were asking the natives from time to time about the route we need to take. Once we reached Biplate Bazaar, we took a right turn from a place nearby to reach Sandakpur. We were happy that it was not raining, or else, the roads would be more dangerous. That was the first time I was traveling in that way. We did not know where we would end up that day, but we set out on a journey. A journey becomes more interesting if one does not know where he/she will be reaching and when. We also had such an interesting journey.
The journey was off-road and my hands were aching so badly. But it was nothing when I thought of reaching Sandakpur. Luckily, I have my Hondo XR. This bike is one of the best bikes for off-road. It has good a decent ground clearance which makes it easy to ride in such difficult off-roads.
We stopped for a lunch and we talked with few natives about the Sandakpur. As per him, the best time to visit Sandakpur is between Karthik and Mangsir or Falgun and Baisakh. You can see various types of Rhodendron flowering all over Sandakpur. Karthik and Mangsir is the best time. During that time the weather will be clear and you can see places like Darjeeling and can also see many mountain peaks. On Chaitra and Baisakh the smell of flowers can make you dizzy.
Sadly, luck was in our side. The time we reached Mabu, it suddenly started raining heavily. It was not easy to travel the rough road in the rain, but the goal of reaching Sandakpur was so strong that we did not want to stop for a moment. We continued our journey in such rainy weather. It is hard to predict the weather of Ilam. It’s raining for a moment and the next moment everything becomes clear. After traveling for a few minutes, the rain suddenly stopped. We were both happy and surprised by the weather.
We met Bartaman Gurung, the ward president for Ward no 4 Sandakpur. They told us about road direction and informed us that we can only take our vehicle to Kal Pokhari. As we were traveling during a pandemic, contacting them made us easier to find the hotel. After a brief conversation with the ward chairperson of ward no. 4 and a local, we proceeded to Tukhang.
As the journey progressed, the road became more and more difficult. The dirt road in the hill was more dangerous in the rain, but for us who have come this far, there was no choice but to face the difficulties ahead. We were not in a position to complain about the trip as traveling to Sandakpur was our own idea.
We have hardly ever traveled such an awkward path in our lives. As challenging as it was to travel this path, we were just as proud that we were doing something that very few people have ever done. The Sandakpur trip was on the verge of being one of the most memorable trips of our lives.
The road was very dangerous. It’s been a long since I had been on an off-road that dangerous. I was tired, but it was fun and adventurous. Our vehicle got stuck twice, sometimes my bike and we fell thrice from the bike. The weather was so moody, it was clear sometimes and in an instant, it was all covered with fog. We will reach probably reach Kalapokhari in around one and half hours.
It was getting that and the road was bad. After fighting and winning the match with muds and road we reached Kal Pokhari. I felt so relieved too. We met a Pemba Dai of Himchuli. He was so amazed to see us driving in such a road condition. He thought that our vehicle was driven by a local driver.
Kal Pokhari is 6kms below Sandakpur. We can reach Sandakpur in about two hours on foot from this place. This place is 3186 meters from sea level. It lies on the border of Nepal and India. Darjeeling is nearby from there. This place is located in Sandakpur rural municipality ward no 4.
Pemba Dai said the road was tougher ahead so we won’t be taking any risk. Laxman dai, our driver also experienced a lot of difficulties driving the road to Kalapokhari. He said that driving up to KalaPokhari was a very challenging job, heartbeat increases when you drive this way. Try not to come here in the monsoon. You will get a chance to see your vehicle dancing.
As we have to reach Sandakpur, we slept early that day.
Day 7 Sandakpur
We planned to visit Sandakpur early in the morning on Pemba dai’s old Marshall vehicle, but it was raining heavily, and planned to head towards Sandakpur as soon as the rain stops.
Meantime, I talked with Pemba Dai, found out that his family was migrated to Sandakpur in 2007 B.S. They buy everything from India. They buy goods from Darjeeling and Silgadhi. Vegetables are bought from Sukyapokhari, Mane Bhanjyang. Goods are cheaper in India. Even they buy a vehicle in only 5 lakhs Nepali Rupees. They need to pay a certain amount for the tax. Pemba Dai vehicle was registered to carry passengers and it comes with a yellow number plate, other vehicles not registered as a taxi cannot carry passengers.
The wind was so strong outside, it could easily fly us away. After some moments, the rain stopped and we headed towards Sandakpur.
We took a road which was actually the border that divides Nepal and India. From there Sandakphu/Sandakpur is just 6km away. India called it Sandakphu and Nepali calls it Sanadakpur. The place was amazing. One should visit that place once in his lifetime. India, Nepal, Bhutan, all three countries can be seen from that place. One side of the road is in Nepal and the other is India named Singalila National Park. In clear weather, one can see the beautiful views of the mountains, especially Kanchenjunga and its family, which is also called The Seeping Buddha.
We headed towards KalPokhari. The weather was foggy, cloudy, and cold. We reached Kalpokhari and it was so silent and clear.
Playing hide and seek with the clouds, Kal Pokhari welcomed us with its pristine beauty. It is believed that the Pokhari never gets dirty and even if the leaves of the nearby trees fall off on the Pokhari and make the Pokhari dirty, the birds will pick it up with their beaks and clean it. Google search reveals that the pond lies in Bengal, India, but the exact location of the pond remains unclear. When we got there, we came to know that the Kalpokhari was not within the borders of any country but within the borders of nature.
For the first time in our lives, we were standing on the border of a country and observing nature that was not within a man-made boundary of a country. The border is such a place, On stepping in it, one feels within himself a strong sense of Nationality. Having the feeling of nationality in heart can make a person feel that he is not a Nepali but Nepal himself. Due to the same feeling, we sitting on the Banks of Kalpokhari were not a few Nepalese sitting in a bank we were a few Nepal sitting on the Banks of Kalpokhari.
After saying goodbye to Kala Pokhari, we headed towards Sandakpur, our final destination. We took a Pemba Dai old Marshall and he was driving. Even though we have a very powerful Hilux, the road was narrow so the Hilux would not be able to take turns and the Nepali number plate on our Hilux would create problems while traveling through India. Pemba Dai also suggested not to travel on our Hilux because he feared our car would not turn on the sharp turns of the road.
Even though we have a very powerful Hilux, the road was narrow so the Hilux would not be able to take turns and the Nepali number plate on our Hilux would create problems while traveling through India. Pemba Dai also suggested not to travel on our Hilux because he feared our car would not turn on the sharp turns of the road.
After some hustling and bustling, we reached Sandakpur. We made it to the far east.
We felt so happy. No words are able enough to describe happiness. Got beaten by rain, covered in mud, slipped many times, and all above that, seeing the place that we had been craving for the week was an amazing experience. One thing is true that it is better to Visit Sandakpur between Dashain and Tihar. But traveling there in this monsoon was also a great experience.
We went to Sunrise viewpoint, which was on top of the hill. The place was windy as we were in monsoon there was no wind and covered with fog. We reached there. The viewpoint is 3636m from sea level. Nepal’s Government tried to make a viewpoint at this spot, but the Indian government protested stating that some of the parts of this place lie in India. Our Nepal government allocated 10 million rupees for the viewpoint project. If the viewpoint was made Nepal would benefit a lot from it. There were planning to build a viewpoint made up of glass. The design and other engineering works were done. They were trying to make stairs to the viewpoint from this spot. A big debate occurred between two governments regarding the establishment of the view tower.
We were standing here at no man’s land. It does not belong to both countries and lies between the borders. What I felt so heavy in my heart that when we we came to Sandakpur through the Indian way as the road condition of Nepal is poor. It is sad to visit our own country through another country. I would like to hats off to the armies and local people because they are protecting our land here on the border. It is because of them that we were able to visit this place.
If we take the road as a border, this place lies on the Nepalese side. But it is said on pouring water, if the water flows towards India it is Indian territory and if it flows towards Nepal it is Nepalese territory. This is a tradition that is accepted from the time of Jung Bahadur Rana. This border is divided according to the Sughauli treaty done by Nepal Government and East India company in the past.
We came back to Sunrise Hotel in Sandakpur for a tea and biscuit. In a small conversation with Chiring Sherpa , the proprietor of Sunrise Hotel, he said that combining the infrastructure of India and Nepal, we can accommodate nearly 400-500 tourists here. You get to eat and sleep here at around 2500 NPR and in India, it is 1600 NPR. 95 % of the tourists come from India and around 200-300 households on the Indian side depend on Tourism. There are not even two guides who can communicate if a foreigner arrives here at Sandakpur. The government of Nepal should think seriously to solve this problem. Yes, that was the problem I saw it there. The place was so beautiful that not enough measures were taken to promote the place. Our main motive was to present Sandakpur and its beauty to from our video and blog.
After that we came back to Pemba dai, Himchuli Hotel. Since it was our last day, we planned to sit with Pemba dai and team mates for little celebration. Like previous days, Yarchagumba and Unkulele and few Nepali songs were our mode of enjoyments.
The journey to Sandakpur was a memorable one. We had to face some difficulties reaching Sandakpur as there was no good information about the place on the internet, but when we came here we found love more than sorrow.
Coming to the East, we made new friends, made a small package of memories, as a gift of the East to look at and cherish in the future. East Nepal gave us more than we expected. With a goal to give something back to the east, we captured beautiful places like Janakpur, Kanyam, Antu, Kalpokhari, and Sandakpur on our cameras.
The East has helped us to know ourselves, and we will always try to make the east known to the world. Even if only a small number of people visit Sandakpur after seeing this video, it will be one of our greatest achievements and we would have the impression that we have fulfilled one of the innumerable duties for the motherland.
As we have promised, we have brought Sandakpur in your hands and we also have introduced you to Sandakpur. Now it is your responsibility to build a better relationship with Sandakpur.