Singalila National Park
Overview - Singalila National Park
One of India’s most well-known trekking circuits, Sandakphu is the highest peak of West Bengal located at the Northwestern tip of the state, at the border of India & Nepal, inside the protected Singalila National Park.
Sandakphu itself is a legendary spot, where, at sunrise, it offers a most beautiful panoramic view of 4 out of the 5 highest peaks of the world : Mount Everest, Kanchendzonga, Lhotse & Makalu all towering over the subcontinent at over 8000m above sea-level. Golden rays of the sun illuminate the gigantic ranges, giving an insight into heaven on Earth.
The Singalila ridge itself is accessible for its famous birding routes from 2000m to 3650m above sea-level. The forest type broadly ranges from Temperate Broad-leaved, Mixed Forests to Alpine vegetation, and the Rhododendron blooms during Summer(March-May) erupt in a riot of colours leaving one awestruck at the natural heritage that the area has to offer. The life-giving rivers of this area are the Rammam and the Sirikhola.
It is probably the best area to find orchids in these cloud forests with almost 600 species which occur here, adding to the unique biodiversity of the area. It is one of the most fruitful birding areas of India as well with close to 300 amazing Himalayan species recorded here.
There are several rare birds, which occur in good numbers at Singalila National Park.
The Red Fox or the Red Panda is also seen here, with spotters earmarking this fascinating animals whereabouts. A relocation programme was conducted in 2004, which has been a great success with a thriving population in Singalila National Park.
Best Time to Visit Singalila National Park
November to mid-May is a great time to visit.
Summers : March-May is when the vegetation is at it’s lowest ebb, with the breeding season of the birds makes it very fruitful. Summer is a great opportunity to find the Red Panda here as well.
Highlight Species - Singalila National Park
Types of Safaris - Singalila National Park
Walking Safaris :Birding is done here on foot. A 4×4 vehicle does accompany one while ascending the hills, and as it is – you can get off the cars amongst the various birding areas to look for different species and the Red Panda. The drive at times can be a bit bumpy, but definitely worth it.
How to reach Singalila National Park
By Air : It is a 04 hour drive away from Bagdogra International Airport – well connected by flights from New Delhi, Kolkata & Mumbai.
By Road : It is also an hour’s drive away from popular tourist town Darjeeling.