Singalila Ridge Trek

singalila image singalila image singalila image singalila image singalila image


Singalila National Park part of the Eastern Himalayas is located on the Singalila Ridge at an altitude of more than 7000 feet above sea level, in the Darjeeling district is well known for the trekking route to Sandakphu that runs through it. It is bordered on the north by the state of Sikkim and on the west by the country of Nepal.

The trek route offers scenic landscape and one clear days can see the four highest peaks in the world, Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. Besides the views of the mountains and hills, the region is also rich in flora and fauna. Sandakphu is known as the "mountain of poisonous plants" due to the large concentration of Himalayan cobra lilies (Arisaema) which grow there. Thick bamboo, oak, magnolia and rhododendron forest between 2000 and 3600 m cover the Singalila Ridge. There are two seasons of wildflower bloom - one in spring (March and April) when the rhododendrons bloom, and another in the post-monsoon season (around October), when the lower forests bloom (Primula, Geranium, Saxifraga, Bistort, Senecio, Cotoneaster and numerous orchids).

The park has a number of small mammals including the red panda, leopard cat, barking deer, yellow-throated marten, wild boar, pangolin and pika. Larger mammals include the Himalayan black bear, leopard, clouded leopard, serow and takin. It is also a delight to birders with over 120 species recorded including many rare and exotic species like the scarlet minivet, kalij pheasant, blood pheasant, satyr tragopan, brown and fulvous parrotbills, rufous-vented tit, and Old World babblers like the fire-tailed myzornis and the golden-breasted fulvetta. The park is also on the flyway of many migratory birds.

Singalila - Sandakphu Itinerary

Arrive Bagdogra (flight details to be advised). On arrival you will be met and driven approx. 2.5 hours to Darjeeling.

Darjeeling is noted for its tea industry, the spectacular views of Kangchenjunga, the world's third-highest mountain, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The development of the town dates back to the mid-19th century, when the colonial British administration set up a sanatorium and a military depot. Subsequently, extensive tea plantations were established in the region, and tea growers developed hybrids of black tea and created new fermentation techniques. The resultant distinctive Darjeeling tea is internationally recognised and ranks among the most popular of the black teas.

Later this afternoon, you may undertake a walk in the mall road.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: D

This morning you will be taken to on a walking tour of this lovely hill station. Start with a visit to Mahakal Dara that sits atop the Observatory Hill.

Afterwards you will make your way down towards the Gymkhana Club, established in 1909 established as a recreational and social centre. The St. Andrew’s Church stands nearby, established in 1843 and rebuilt once again in 1873. You will then walk through Chowrasta - Darjeeling’s main boulevard - descend down towards Bhotia Busty where we see the Bhotia Busty Gompa. The shrine originally stood on Observatory Hill, but was rebuilt in its present location by the Chogyal of Sikkim in the 19th century. The gompa houses a fine gold-accented mural and the original copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Using the Love Road, built during the British Raj and still is a lovely walking trail to spot Himalayan avifauna, we go down to see the Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre, established as an oasis in 1959 for thousands of fleeing Tibetans. It is now a self sustained commune preserving their indigenous culture and heritage in a home away from home.

After lunch visit Himalayan Mountaineering Institute which houses an amazing Himalayan Museum. We then walk up towards Chowrasta where we visit the Bengal Natural History Museum. This museum contains a comprehensive collection of Himalayan fauna. The museum houses more than 4,300 specimens of bird species, reptiles and other animals of the Eastern Himalayas. Continue to see the Gundree Bazaar, the main town square where locals come to buy and sell everyday groceries, clothing etc.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: B, D

Early this morning you will be collected from your hotel and driven (approx. 3 hours) to Dhodray. Some parts of the drive will take you along the Nepalese border. On reaching Dhodray, you will be met with your trekking guide and gradually start your trek through rhododendron forests passing meadows and meeting villagers along the trail. The trail is gradual going up and down very gently with views of Kanchenjunga all along the way.

Once reaching Tonglu, you will have a stop for tea before continuing downhill towards Tumling for an overnight stay.
Walking Time: Approx. 4-5 Hours
Accommodation: Trekkers Hut
Meals included: B, L, D

After breakfast, you will start your trek with a downhill trail. All along one gets tantalizing views of Kanchendzonga on the other Himalayan peaks. At the bottom of the valley, you will stop at Gairibas Gairbas (2514m) for tea and refreshments. Here onwards it is a steep ascent to Khanyakata where you will stop for lunch.

After lunch, you will continue on a lower trail which is a gentler ascent to the village of Kalapokhari (literally meaning "black lake") with its sacred lake surrounded by prayer flags. If you are lucky, you would be able to spot the red panda on this stretch of the trek from Gairibas till Kalapokhari.

After evening tea at Kalapokhari, you will be taken on a short hike up the hill to witness the beautiful sunset.
Walking Time: Approx. 4-5 Hours
Accommodation: Trekkers Hut
Meals included: B, L, D

You will start you trek after breakfast, the walking is relatively less today however due to the altitude it would be advisable to walk slow while climbing the steep ascent to Sandakphu.

The first part of the trail upto Bikhebhanjang (3,346m) is gradually uphill, the trail along the Rhododendron forests with magnificent views of some of the world's highest mountains, including Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu is a pleasant moral booster. It is a pleasant walk with good bird spotting potential after which you will begin a long climb on the Singalila ridge - a steady pull for about 2 hrs on a switchback trail to Sandakphu with remarkable views of peaks.
Walking Time: Approx. 4-5 Hours
Accommodation: Trekkers Hut
Meals included: B, L, D

Early this morning, you will be taken to enjoy the views during sunrise. Post breakfast you will continue to trek through one of the finest walks along the Singalila ridge to Molley (3500m) where you camp for the night. Along the trail continuously changing views of Kanchenjunga can be seen. An enjoyable walk today of about 6 hrs, not too demanding and gently undulating.
Walking Time: Approx. 6 Hours
Accommodation: Trekkers Hut
Meals included: B, L, D

The hills are covered with moss laden trees while you descend through rich forests to Ramam (2490m) - 2 hrs. The trail continues through forestland and farmed terraces to Siri Khola River passing small villages. From here it is an easy walk to the Sherpa village of Rimbik (2331m).
Walking Time: Approx. 6 Hours
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: B, L, D

After breakfast you will be collected and driven (approx. 5.5 Hours) to Kalimpong where the remainder of the day will be spent at leisure.

Kalimpong is known for its educational institutions, many of which were established during the British colonial period. It also used to be a gateway in the trade between Tibet and India before China's annexation of Tibet and the Sino-Indian War. Horticulture is important to Kalimpong: It has a flower market notable for its wide array of orchids; nurseries, which export Himalayan grown flower bulbs, tubers and rhizomes, contribute to the economy of Kalimpong. Home to ethnic Nepalis, indigenous Lepchas, other ethnic groups and non-native migrants from other parts of India.
Walking Time: Approx. 5.5 Hours
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: B, L, D

This morning you will be taken for a village walk, which will be be an easy walk that will focus on giving a real understanding of the rural lifestyle in the villages of Kalimpong. The walk which will include passing through agricultural lands and a small patch of forest will briefly stop at villages where you get to interact with local people.

Towards the afternoon, you will be taken to explore the town of Kalimpong visit the local ‘Haat bazaar’, where on Wednesday and Saturday’s villagers from neighbouring areas come to sell their local produce. Thereafter, you will be taken to visit the Durpin Monastery.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals included: B, L, D

You will be chauffeured (approx. 3.5 hours) to Bogdogra reaching in time to board your flight to onward destination (flight details to be advised).
Accommodation: None
Meals included: B

  • Accommodation in hotels.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (Some lunches will be served packed en-route).
  • Transport in a vehicle.
  • Services of accompanying English Speaking Guide.
  • Services of porter while on the trek.
  • Entry fee to monuments.
  • Mineral water and juices in the vehicle.
  • All currently applicable taxes.
  • Items of personal nature like tips, laundry, telephone calls, drinks, etc.
  • Any other meals than those mentioned above.
  • Domestic airfare or Train tickets.
  • Airport or VISA fee.
  • Camera charges if applicable.
  • Any other item not specifically mentioned above as INCLUDED.
  • The prices are based on current tax structure and will change in case of revision of taxes.
Recommended Packing List:
  • 1 pair of strong trekking shoes.
  • 2 Dry fit t-shirts.
  • 2 pairs of trekking pants.
  • 1 thermal inner pants.
  • 1 thermal inner top.
  • 1 down feather jacket.
  • 1 pair of sunglasses.
  • 1 sun cap.
  • High SPF sunscreen.
  • 1 light fleece jacket.
  • 4 pairs of socks.
  • 1 small bag for your day pack.
  • 2 pairs of shorts.
  • 1 pair of comfortable slippers.
  • 1 water bottle.
  • 1 light waterproof jacket.