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Singalila National Park complete detail – updated

Singalila National Park complete detail – updated. Geography of Singalila National Park. Dominant flora and fauna of Singalila National Park. How to Reach Singalila National Park. 
Total area of the park is 78.60 Km2. Singalila National Park was established in the year of 1986. The national park is very popular for its trekking trails. Trekking is at its peak during March and April when rhododendrons and orchids bloom.
The park also provide suitable habitat to species like Leopard, Pangolin, Chinkara, Elephant, Barking deer, Clouded Leopard, Black Panther, Chinese Pangolin, Himalayan Black Bear etc., and bird species like Scarlet Minivet, kalij pheasant, Satyr tragopan, Blood pheasant, Red Throated Hill Partridge, Sylendor Billed Babbler etc.
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.

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Singalila National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Darjeeling district of the state of West Bengal. Singalila National Park was established in the year of 1986. Total area of the park is 78.60 Km2.

The park is part of the Eastern Himalayas and situated at a high elevation with 1900 meter to 3,630 m from the sea level. The Park makes the border line with neighbor country Nepal to the west and with state Sikkim to the North.

The park is home to exotic red panda and Himalayan black bear and is also home to different species of Orchids.

The areas vegetation may be broadly classified as temperate and alpine vegetation stretching right up to the snows. The avifauna is a unique mix of Himalayan and Indo-Burmese forms.

Click here to view state wise list of Indian national parks – updated

The mountainous terrain, crisscrossed by innumerable streams supports a subtropical humid climate leading to tree growth beyond the snowline unlike in the Western Himalayas.

The park also provide suitable habitat to species like Leopard, Pangolin, Chinkara, Elephant, Barking deer, Clouded Leopard, Black Panther, Chinese Pangolin, Himalayan Black Bear etc., and bird species like Scarlet Minivet, kalij pheasant, Satyr tragopan, Blood pheasant, Red Throated Hill Partridge, Sylendor Billed Babbler etc.

Besides all Singalila National Park or Singalila Trek (Sandakphu-Phalut trek) is famous for the panoramic view of the gigantic Himalayas from Nepal to Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh (India), uptill Bhutan.

The four famous mountains which are above 8000 mt beside (K-2) is viewed from Sandakphu Phalut area. Sunrise and Sunset of Sandakphu is world famous. There is also a gravel road for jeeps that goes through the park up to Sandakphu.

The national park is very popular for its trekking trails. Trekking is at its peak during March and April when rhododendrons and orchids bloom. There are government run trekkers’ huts in the park that provide basic accommodation.

Within this National Park, tourists/visitors should be accompanied by trained and registered guides of Wildlife Department. These guides has been issued departmental Identity Card. And these guides can be available at any of the entrance point of Singalila trek at any time at the following places

  • Maneybhanjyang- Highlander Guides and Porters Welfare Association
  • Dhotray – Nature Guides Association,
  • Rimbick – Rimbick Guide Association

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History

In 1882 British Government brought these Singalila forest on lease from the Sikkimese Raja. Later on after Independence, this forest became the part of Darjeeling District (West Bengal) and in 1986, it was declared as the National Park.

There is a reasonably large village at Kala Pokhri, around the lake of the same name. 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.

To conserve or protect this National Park, Wildlife Forest department forest guards was not sufficient. So, the government decided, that this National Park can be conserve only with the help of local people, So the Government trained thousands of Youths from the Darjeeling town, Maneybhanjyang, Dhotray, Rimbick, Mazuwa, Jaubari, Khopidara, Gurdum, Damay Gaon, Gorkhey, Sepi, Rammam and other surrounding villages for the conservation purpose as this National Park was also famous for trekking, cycling, hiking, camping, land rover safari, village trek etc.

Geography

Singalila National Park is located in the Darjeeling district of the state of West Bengal. Total area of the park is 78.60 Km2.

The park is situated at a high elevation with 1900 meter to 3,630 m from the sea level in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. It makes the border line with neighbor country Nepal to the west and with state Sikkim to the North.

The park is part of the Eastern Himalayas. The Singalila Ridge, which runs roughly North to South and separates Himalayan West Bengal from the other Eastern Himalayan ranges to the west of it. The two highest peaks of West Bengal, Sandakphu (3630 m) and Phalut (3600 m), are located on the ridge and inside the park. River Rammam and River Sirikhola flow through the park.

Singalila National Park is divided into two Ranges (i) North Range (Rimbick) and (ii) South Range (Maneybhanjyang). Within this two ranges there are four beats namely, (i) Gairibas, (ii) Sandkphu, (iii) Rammam and (iv) Gorkhey

The Singalila National Park also has 7 blocks namely (i) Rithu, (ii) South Rimbick (iii) Sandakphu, (iv) Siri, (v) Rammam, (vi) Sabarkum or Sabargram and (vii) Phalut

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Thick bamboo, oak and rhododendron forest between 2000 and 3600m cover the Singalila Ridge which runs roughly north to south

The areas vegetation may be broadly classified as temperate and alpine vegetation stretching right up to the snows.

The mountainous terrain, crisscrossed by innumerable streams supports a subtropical humid climate leading to tree growth beyond the snowline unlike in the Western Himalayas.

Longitude: 88o00’07E; Latitude: 27o27’22N
Altitude: 2000 meters to 3640 meters

Dominant flora

Bamboo, Oak, Magnolia, Rhododendron, Primula, Geranium, Saxifraga, Bistort, Senecio, Cotoneaster etc.

Sandakphu is known as the “mountain of poisonous plants” due to the large concentration of Himalayan Cobra Lilies (Arisaema) which grow there.

Dominant fauna

MammalsRed Panda, Leopard Cat, Barking Deer, Yellow-throated Marten, Wild Boar, Pangolin, Himalayan Black Bear, Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Serow, Takin, Tiger etc.

BirdsBlood Pheasant, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Himalayan Griffon, Steppe Eagle, Golden Eagle, Spotted Nutcracker, Plain-backed Thrush, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Blue-capped Redstart, White-throated Redstart, Eurasian Tree creeper, Buff-barred Warbler, Blyth’s Leaf Warbler, Black-eared Shrike Babbler, Black-throated Parrot bill, Alpine Accentor, Robin Accentor, Brown Accentor, White-winged Grosbeak, Little Bunting etc.

Other Attractions

Trekking and camping

Sukhiyapokhari and Jorapokhori

Buddhist Monastery

Sandakphu and Phalut

Tumling

State wise list of Wildlife Sanctuaries of India – updated 

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Best Time to Visit

The best time of the year to visit the Singalila National Park is between the months of November to May.

The park is usually closed during the monsoon time (between Mid-June to Mid-September).

How to Reach

By AirNearest airport is Bagdogra airport. Bagdogra airport is well connected by road network to Singalila National Park.

By Rail Nearest railway station is Ghum railway station. Ghum railway station is well connected by road network to Singalila National Park.

By Road Singalila National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Singalila National Park. Nearest town is Manebhanjan and the nearest highway is NH 31A (Sivok-Gangtok) passes through Darjeeling.

Accommodations

In Meghma, has a guest house with two bedded rooms. And trekker’s huts are available at Maneybhanjyang, Tonglu, Gairibans, Sandakphu, Phalut, Gorkhey, Rammam, Shirikhola & Rimbick in the Singalila National Park.

A huge number of hotels, motels, lodges, guest houses are available at Manebhanjan in various budgets.

Useful Contacts

Deputy Director of Tourism, Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, Silver fir, Bhanu Sarani, Darjeeling Phone: (+91) 0354-225-4879/5351, Fax: (+91) 354-225-4214

Other National Parks in West Bengal. Name of National Parks, Year of Notification and Total Area is as follows……..
S. No.  Name of National Park Year of Notification Total Area (Km2)
1 Gorumara National Park West Bengal 1992 79.45
2 Buxa National Park West Bengal 1992 117.10
3 Neora Valley National Park West Bengal 1986 159.89
4 Sundarbans National Park West Bengal 1984 1330.10
5 Jaldapara National Park West Bengal 2014 216.51

About Vijay Choudhary

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