The single ridge of the Singalila Range rises near Darjeeling and extends all the way to the summit of Kanchenjunga. Unfortunately, although some longer trails have been opened in Sikkim, there is no provision yet to link them to the initial lower sections of the ridge to Sandakphu (3636m) and Phalut (3600m) in Darjeeling District.

Easily accessible from Darjeeling, the later stages of the Maneybhanjang–Phalut trail provide magnificent views of the higher ranges; lightweight expeditions are possible as there are trekking huts and lodges and simple food stalls along the way. The walking is demanding and you should bring your own sleeping bag and warm clothes as the weather can be unpredictable.

Maneybhanjang, a small town and roadhead 27km from Darjeeling, is the usual starting point for the route, with the finest views found along the Sandakphu–Phalut section of the trail while trekking north. You will need to get an entry fee from the Forestry Department, camera to enter the Singalila National Park, and regulation states that you has to take a guide – available through the Highlander Guides and Porters Welfare Association. Take an early shared jeep to Maneybhangjang from Chowk Bazaar in Darjeeling to start the trek the same day. The best time to trek is after the monsoon (Oct & Nov), and during spring (Feb–May). It gets hot at the end of April and into May, but this is an especially beautiful season, with the rhododendrons in bloom. Several permutations are possible, including a trek to the Sikkim border at Jorethang; an alternative is to use the idyllic Karmi Farm as a base.

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