As I mentioned in my previous post, the Sandakphu trek is perhaps one of the best and certainly the most popular of all the treks in Darjeeling for those having a limited time at their disposal. It offers the travellers an excellent view of the Kanchenjunga and the Everest group of mountain peaks in Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan.
The first part of the trek from Manebhanjyang to Tonglu is a steep 9 km uphill climb through a forest in the eastern Himalayas that leads one to a picturesque little settlement with a trekkers’ hut and solitude. On a clear day, one can get a fine view of the Nepalese valleys and of the plains of North Bengal with the snow-fed Teesta on the East, the Koshi on the West and a number of smaller rivers between them. Tonglu promises much and delivers for the most part.
The village is named after one of the higher peaks on the Singalila Ridge. It is located inside the Singalila National Park in the Darjeeling subdivision of the district, near the India-Nepal border.
The trekker’s Hut at Tonglu
Tonglu is also famous for The Trekkers Hut, which generally serves as a night halt for trekkers on their way to Sandakphu. Trekkers who usually reach here by evening, catch their breath from their day-long climb and sit by the hut, enjoying the magnificent views, as they are served Tongba, a fermented barley drink served in a bamboo container, to enjoy alongside. At 11,000 feet above the sea level, the peak and the surrounding areas are tranquil and there can be no better place than this, to soak in the peace and enjoy the beauty of the mighty mountains.