Monday, January 24, 2011

Next weekend you can be at ... Tonglu

 [Published in Metro on Sunday, The Telagraph, on 15th April 2015.]

A small village between Manebhanjan and Sandakphu in the Darjeeling district, Tonglu is the perfect retreat to unwind and/or explore the mountains.

A trek through a forest in the eastern Himalayas, a panoramic view of snow-covered peaks such as the Kanchenjungha, Pandim and the Makalu, a picturesque trekkers’ hut and solitude — 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 hamlet generally serves as a night halt for trekkers on their way to Sandakphu.

The best way to reach Tonglu is via Dhotre, the starting point of the Sandakphu trek. From here, a 5km trek route winds through the forest to Tonglu. The route remains closed from June to September.

The best time to visit is between mid-September and December and between March and early April, when the rhododendrons and magnolias bloom, turning the forest a riot of colours.