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Singalila National Park | Cherub of the Mist
  • Singalila National Park is a National park of India located on the Singalila Ridge at an elevation of more than 2300 metres above sea level, in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. It is well known for the trekking route to Sandakphu that runs through it. The Singalila Ridge was used as an approach route by the first documented mountaineering team which unsuccessfully attempted to climb Kanchenjunga in 1905. The team was led by Jules Jacot-Guillarmod and the famous occultist Aleister Crowley. The national park offers panoramic views of the eastern Himalayas, including four of the five highest peaks in the world―Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.

    The park was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1986, and was made an Indian national park in 1992. The region had long been used as the trekking route from Manebhanjang to Sandakphu (the highest peak of West Bengal) and Phalut. The Singalila area in Darjeeling was purchased by the British Government from Sikkim Durbar in 1882, and notified a Reserve Forest under the Indian Forest Act 1878. It was notified as a National Park in 1992 and was also officially opened up for tourism.

    Even though the national park has a resident red panda population of only about 42 (in 2019) members, Project Red Panda (funded by the Central Zoo Authority) chose Singalila National Park for reintroduction of red pandas from its captive breeding program at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling, mainly due to reasons of proximity. Two females, Sweety and Milli, were released in November 2004. Milli was killed by a leopard, but Sweety adapted to the wild and gave birth to an offspring - the first such successful re-entry for red panda

    Mammals: The park has a number of small mammals including the red panda, leopard cat, barking deer, yellow-throated marten, wild boar, pangolin and pika. Larger mammals include the Himalayan black bear, leopard, clouded leopard, serow and takin. Tigers occasionally wander into the area, but do not have a large enough prey base to make residence in these forests feasible.

    Birds: The park is a birder's delight with over 120 species recorded including many rare and exotic species like the Himalayan Vulture, scarlet minivet, kalij pheasant, blood pheasant, satyr tragopan, brown and fulvous parrotbills, rufous-vented tit, and Old World babblers like the fire-tailed myzornis and the golden-breasted fulvetta. The park is also on the flyway of many migratory birds.

    Yearly and weekly off

    Holi, Diwali


    79 square kilometre

How to Reach?

  • Singalila National Park is located 4 hrs drive from Bagdogra Airport in Bagdogra.

  • The nearest narrow gauge rail station (toy train) is Ghoom and the closest broad gauge rail station is New Jalpaiguri Junction (NJP).

  • Manebhanjan (2150m), a small Himalayan hamlet, is the gateway to the national park. From New Jalpaiguri Junction and Bagdogra Airport, the distance to Manebhanjan is about 85km via Mirik. It is also well connected with the nearest town of Darjeeling (25km) via Ghoom.

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