The places mentioned below are the main stops on the trek trail. We can help you choose the best route and pit stops suited to you.
Manebhanjang (7054ft) – It’s a village located 22 kilometers from Pahari Soul and is the most common start point of the trek. Here you will find the British Era Land Rovers that are the only vehicles that ply up to Phalut, as these are suited for the rough, steep climb that leads to Sandakphu. The entry for the Singalila Park is done here and this is where you will meet your guides for the trek.
Chitre (8340ft) – The 3 kilometer distance from Manebhanjang to Chitre takes approximately 1.5hrs as it is quite steep. There is winding tarred road till Chitre but there are few tiny short cuts which are steeper but faster route to the place. The village has a small monastery and a trekker’s lodge. You can use Chitre for a tea break or a quick snack.
Lamaydhura (8792ft) – A more gradual climb for another 3 kilometers that roughly takes 1.5hrs and you reach a tiny settlement of barely five or six huts. The huts have traditional wood fire kitchen and can serve you tea or simple meals of noodle soup or eggs.
Meghma (9514ft) – Meghma is at a distance of 3 kilometers from Lamaydhura, which can be covered in 1.5 hours. The highlight of this village is the Buddhist monastery built in early fifties, as it houses 108 forms of Buddha. According to folklore one encounters these 108 forms as one makes the journey from this world to the next. Meghma is also a bordering village between India and Nepal and actually in parts the border completely merges. There are a few lodges and trekker hut for those who would want to halt for a day before continuing the journey to Tonglu or Tumling.
Tonglu (10130ft) – This is chosen as a night halt destination mostly if one is travelling from Dhotrey. It is situated at a distance of just 5kilometres from Dhotrey but can take about 4 hours because of its steepness. From Meghma the road that forks towards right will lead to Tonglu and can be reached in about a little more than an hour, the distance is 2 kilometers.
Tumling (9600ft) – The relatively easy 2 kilometer trek from Meghma through the trail route of Nepal will lead you to the village of Tumling. Trekkers coming via Dhotrey and Tonglu will eventually have to make the sharp 2 kilometer descent to Tumling to continue the journey further. It’s an ideal place to stop for the night, as the lodges are better and the view is great. The sunrise and the affect it has on the Kanchenjunga range makes it worth getting up in the cold mornings.
Jhaubari (9186ft) – About a kilometer trek from Tumling you would find a gateway of Singalila national park, a little ahead of that there is a small dirt road that forks to the left. This road is almost flat through rolling meadows of Nepal till Jhaubari. This a sleepy village in Nepal situated at a distance of 6 kilometers from Tumling and the journey takes a little more than 2 hours.
Gairibas (8600ft) – The road becomes a very sharp downward slope from Jhaubari and although it is just about a kilometer downhill, it takes a while because of the steepness and it can be slippery. The alternate and less steep route to Gairibas is if you keep walking straight from the Singalila Park ach gateway. There is a BSF camp here and hence photography near the camp is strictly forbidden. Otherwise this place is great for bird watchers; the forest around the area is filled with Himalayan birds. There are government and private lodges for trekkers who would want to halt before making the climb towards Kalipokhri and Sandakphu.
Kalipokhri (10400ft) – The initial 2 kilometers to Kalipokhri from Gairibas is a very steep climb till a small settlement named kaiyakatta. From here for the rest 4 kilometers, the route is more gradual up and down path till Kalipokhri. The village gets its name because of the small almost black (kali) color pond (pokhri) that never freezes and is also considered sacred by the locals. There isn’t much of a view here but some trekkers also stay here before making the steep climb to Sandakphu.
Sandakphu (11,929ft) – After Kalipokhri there is a small gravel road that gradually climbs up to a small village known as Bikheybhanjang. The place is named after the poisonous aconite plant that grows here. The next 4 kilometers after this takes about 3 hours to climb, as this is the most steep and difficult part of the trek. There are stretches where the road is almost at an 80 degree angle. However the view that greets you on top makes you forget about the last 4 kilometers. Sandakphu is the highest range in the Singalila ride and 180 degree panorama from the place is breathtaking. At one glance you can view some of the highest peaks of the world; at one glance you can view the mountains of Arunachal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal.
Sabargram (11,540) – The 14 kilometer trek till Sabargram is perhaps the most pleasant, easy and scenic part of the entire route. The trail cuts across rhododendron, oak and deodar tress, you walk across green meadows and the snow capped mountains follow you almost throughout the trail. Sabargram is basically a forest check post that takes about 5 hours to reach from Sandakphu. It has one forest hut that sells basic refreshments and water.
Molley (10800ft) – If one does not want to proceed to Phalut then there is a route from Sabargram that takes you 2 kilometers down to Molley. There is nothing much in this place apart from a government trekker’s hut. This is used only if you do not want to climb up to Phalut or in some cases when booking trekkers do not book in advance and hence cannot find accommodation in Phalut.
Phalut (11,811) – Phalut is situated at a distance of 7 kilometers from Sabargram, which can be covered within 2.5 hours. The trekker’s hut is situated on top of the hill and the whole hill has no trees and hence the wind here is very strong. However, it is from Phalut that you see Mt Kanchenjunga at the closest.
Gorkhey (7300ft) – The 15kilometres to the village of Gorkhey is just a downhill trek, with numerous shortcuts. The path can be slippery dew to melted frost or if it rains. The village of Gorkhey is covered with terrace farms and is situated next to a small mountain river. After 5 hours of walk through dense bamboo, pine and chestnut forest, this village comes suddenly in the clearing and takes your breath away. It’s perfect place to relax, thaw yourself and enjoy the hospitality of the locals.
Samaden (7400ft) – This is just a kilometer climb up from Gorkhey and is as picturesque as Gorkhey. This village looks right out of a fairytale with its rolling pine covered hills, cute little cottages and green meadows with horses grazing on it. Even if you halt in Gorkhey, this place is worth a visit.
Rammam (8400ft) – Some trekkers choose to trek till the village of Rammam, which is 7 kilometers from the village of Gorkhey. The initial 2 to 3 kilometers from Samaden is all downhill and once you cross a stream it’s almost all uphill till Rammam. The village is more bigger compared to rest of the villages you see earlier in the route and there are quite a few lodges here for a night halt.
Gurdum (7150ft) – This 10 kilometer long journey is from Sandakphu and used by those who do not wish to trek till Phalut. It is a very steep climb down and hence can be dangerous when it is slippery. Gurdum is again a relief though after the dense forest, you find flat land, warm weather and peaceful camp.
Srikhola (6040ft) – Srikhola is at a distance of 6 kilometers from Gurdum and 7 kilometers from Rammam. It’s a village situated next to a river and has an ancient hanging bridge over it. There are quite a few lodges and home stays to choose from if one wants to halt over here.
Rimbik (6500ft) – This village is situated at a distance of 7 kilometers from Srikhola and takes about 2.5 hours to reach here. This is the end point of the trek if you are starting from Manebhanjang. This village has a small temple, garden and monastery but nothing very significant. Usually one would catch a vehicle from here to return back to Darjeeling or proceed to railway station or airport.