Location : Darjeeling District, West Bengal, India.
Established : 1986
Park Area : 78.6 Sq. Km
Best Recommended time to visit : March to June and September to November.
Quick Facts : Variety of birds, Red Panda and Trekking is the major activities performed in the Singalila national park. Besides these, valleys are ravishing along the flowering Magnolia and Rhododendron forests.
Singalila national park is land of rhododendron forests, rare species of orchids and animals and alpine ravines. The park is located in Darjeeling District of West Bengal on the high altitude of Singalial Ridge of more than 7, 000 feet beyond sea level. The park is popular for trekking of the flowering Magnolia & Rhododendron forests through the Sandakphu routes. It was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 1986 and in 1992 it was called as the Indian National Park. The routes from Manebhanjang to the Sandakphu, one of the highest peaks in West Bengal to Phalut are mesmersing. The park is located on the extreme North-West boundary of the district Darjeeling, which is stretched to 78.6 Sq. Km.
The park has got priceless collection of more than different orchid species which are adorable to watch. It is also an important forest, because of some endangered species are rarely found as comparable with others.
The Singalila national park has small animals such as Leopard Cat, Red Pands, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Marten with Yellow throat, Pangolin, Pika and Wild Boar. The Larger animals such as Clouded Leopard, Leopard, Serow, Taking and Himalayan Black Bear are found. Tigers are rarely seen in this area, as the area is small to hide for them.
The Park is also delighted with more than 120 bird species. It is recorded that the forest has many exotic but rare species such as Blood Pheasant, Scarlet Minivet, Satyr Tragopan, Kalji Pheasant, Rufous vented, fulvous Parrot bills. Even the Sanctuary has some old world babblers such as Golden breasted Fulveta and Fire tailed Myzornis. Most of the migratory birds also visit this park in seasonal period.
Amphibians and Reptiles :
As the Singalila national park is located nearby lakes like Sikhiapokhri and Jore Pohri, there are frequent reptiles such as snakes found in the area.
The range of forest lies in between 2000 to 3600 shrouded with the Singalila Ridge that includes Rhododendron, Magnolia, Oak and thick Bamboo. In spring it is worth to watch the exquisite beauty of rhododendrons that blooms covering the blanket. During post Monsoon i.e. start of October, the forest flowers with Bistort, Orchids, Senecio, Saxifraga, Geranium, Primula and Cotoneaster. As Arisaema, a Himalayan Cobra Liles lies on widely on land of Sandakphu it is called as “Mountain of Poisonous Plants”.
Trekking is a famous adventurous sport in the park Singalila, as one can see a panoramic view of the forest and nearby surroundings. The unspoiled extension of the virgin forests is flowered with Magnolia and Rhododendron that allows stunning beauty of the area. In Singalila national park, the Sandakhpu is the highest point (3636m), one of the prominent destinations for the trekkers on Darjeeling Himalayans. Another popular place is the Phalut (3650m). Both these places are ideal for trekking activities, as it offers a grandstand view of the Kanchenjunga snow roof trees and also Mt. Everest. The trekking from Sandakphu to Phalut starts from either Tonglu or Tumbling to Sandakphu to Phalut to Rimbik. The time for passing one point to another depends on how individual can perform. An expertise generally takes one & half hour journey.
At the Singalila national park, one can get two rooms rest house at Sandakphu, Rimbik, Tonglu, Phalut and Gairibus. Apart from these there are various options such as private lodges, guest rooms and bungalows. Maneybhanhang has ample amount of houses and hotels for staying.