A quaint little hamlet between Maneybhanjan and Sandakphu, Tonglu derives its name from Tonglu peak 3036 meters belonging to the Singalila Ridge in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Tonglu is a small settlement within the Singalila National Park located close to the Indo-Nepal border. It is basically a halt for the trekkers traveling to Sandakphu through Manebhanjan. Tonglu’s ethereal atmosphere mixed with its solitude is a boon to the trekkers and also to individuals who love to spend some time in isolation far from the daily busy lives. It is an ideal retreat to relax and unwind.
How to reach Trekkers’ Hut
As it is mentioned above, Tonglu is a trekkers’ halt therefore it must be reached on foot from Dhotre. You can reach Dhotre from Siliguri in 4 hours. Once you reach Dhotre, you have to trek around 4 hours that is 5 kilometers to reach Tonglu. There is the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Trekkers’ Hut and D. I. Bungalow where trekkers stay overnight on their way to famous Sandakphu. Carry photo ID proof along with you for identification and the huts can be reserved from DGHC Kolkata, New Delhi, Darjeeling and Siliguri. Note that the route from Dhotre remains closed from June to September. Trekkers generally carry their food, however, you can have lunch at the roadside eateries. They serve delicious dishes prepared from the fresh produce.
Best time to trek to Tonglu
The best time to trek to Tonglu is between middle of September and December or between March and early April when the route is filled with the fragrance and blossoms of magnolias, spruce and rhododendrons. Capture the beauty of the colorful flowers in your heart and they will serve as a memory for lifetime bringing a smile on your face every time you think about them. If you are not traveling with a team, then it is recommended to hire a guide for the tour.
Attractions in Tonglu
The Singalila Park is a major attraction apart from Kanchenjunga, Makalu, and Pandim peaks. Various species of exotic birds like parrobills, fire-tailed myzornis, satyr tragopan, blood pheasant and kalij pheasant and scarlet minivet can be spotted. There are several animals also that can be noticed in the park which include red panda, barking deer, yellow-throated marten, wild boar, pika and pangolin. The variety of orchids in the forest is fascinating. The officials point out that there are 600 different species.
Once you reach Tonglu you will be rewarded with the out of this world view of the sunrise over the mighty Kanchenjunga. Similarly, the night sky gives you the pleasure of lazing around under the starry canopy. Do not forget to carry Tongba with you which is a local drink to match with the environment.