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 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.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Living the past: the ancient professions of Old Delhi

Living the past: the ancient professions of Old Delhi

Modernity is seeping into Old Delhi, a walled district that has long harboured the Indian capital’s traditional ways of life. But what does this mean for long…

11 Dec 2017 • Jack Palfrey local_activity Special feature
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right