Sandakphu is the highest point in West Bengal, near the Indo-Nepal border. The trek route goes zigzag in and out of Nepal, so the experience is unique — one trek, two countries. From the highest point one can see Mt Everest just before the sun comes up. The entire area comes under Singalila National Park, and some trekkers have spotted the Himalayan red bear.
Rhododendron is a species of woody flower that occurs mainly in the Sikkim region. Singalila national park has a riot of rhododendrons.
People living in the area walk a lot. Most carry their household needs (oil, vegetables, etc) on their back and trek up and down everyday. Supplies come from Darjeeling, 58 kilometres away.
(Shot with Nikon F55 film SLR camera, 2002 model. Developed at GK Vale, Bangalore)