trek along the Singalila Ridge to Sandakphu and Phalut is one of
the most popular ones in the Eastern Himalayas due to the grand
landscapes of the Kanchenjunga range and the Everest range which
can be seen from the ridge, and also for the seasonal wildflower
blooms and birding. Treks starts at Manebhanjan which is 51 km
(1.5 hours by road) from Darjeeling.
The trekking routes inside the Singalila National Park have four
legs or stages.
1) Manebhanjan to Meghma (2600 m)
This is a 4 hour trek through the lower forest.
2) Meghma to Gairibans (2621 m)
There are two different trekking routes. Both go by Tonglu
(3070 m) and Tumling (2900 m). The boundary of the national park
passes through Tumling where a checkpost is located. From
Tumling, a shorter trail cuts through Nepal and Jaubari (2750
3) Gairibans to Sandakphu (3636 m)
This is a steep 4 hour climb. Roughly halfway up the climb
is the village of Kala Pokhri (3186 m).
4) Sandakphu to Phalut (3600 m)
This is the most pristine stretch of the trek which offers
great views of Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest. It is a one-day
trek via Sabarkum (3536 m) covering 21 km. But the main problem
of this Sandakphu-Phalut route is that there is no water source
in between, so the trekkers have to carry enough water to reach
Phalut. Since 2009 water & food available in Sabarkum.
The descent from Sandakphu can be accomplished in several ways:
• Retracing the way back to Manebhanjan.
• A steep descent to the village of Sirikhola on the banks of
the River Sirikhola, via Gurdum (2300 m), and from there to
• There is now a 4 WD motorable road to Sandakphu, so one can
hire a cab down to Manebhanjan and Darjeeling via Tumling and
Tonglu if needed. The drive on the gravel road, however, is very