Singalila National Park City Travel Guide
Located at an altitude greater than 7000 feet above sea level, Singalila National Park is West Bengal State's highest National Park which stretches across 79 square kilometres. Being the last stretch of land at the extreme north western boundary of Bengal State and Darjeeling District, Singalila National Park is a transboundary (park crosses one political border) Protected Area with Nepal.
The nearest point of Singalila National Park to Darjeeling is at Tonglu which is about 35 kms west of Darjeeling and 31 kms northwest of Ghoom.
Singalila National Park encompasses the Singalila Ridge which is a mountain ridge that runs north to south in the extreme northwestern end of West Bengal State. The Singalila Ridge's highest peaks are Sandakphu at 11,929 feet and Phalut at 11,811 feet altitude and are a part of the Singalila National Park. Sandakphu also happens to be West Bengal's highest peak. The Park is bordered by Nepal on its west and the Indian State of Sikkim on its north.
Reserved Forests extend out of the Singalila National Park beyond which, are the Corporation Forests in which many forest villages exist. The difference between protected forests and reserved forests is that the reserved forests receive greater protection from the Government due to their rich bio-diversity and don't even allow grazing which the protected forests do to a certain extent.
Two Himalayan Rivers flow through the Singalila National Park - River Sirikhola and River Rammam.
The Singalila National Park has been named after the Singalila Mountain Ridge which the park encompasses.
The flagship fauna that the Singalila National Park protests is the Red Panda apart from which are Clouded Leopards, Elephants, Barking Deers, Pangolins, Serows, Chinkara Takin among others.
White-winged Grosbeak, Little Bunting, Steppe Eagle, Golden Eagle, Kaleej Pheasants, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Sibia, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Himalayan Griffon, Minivets, Buff-barred Warbler, Blyth's Leaf Warbler, Magpies, Blue-capped Redstart, White-throated Redstart, Hornbills, Fulvous Parrotbill, Doves, Black-throated Parrotbill, Alpine Accentor, Cuckoo Birds, Dark-rumped Rosefinch, White-browed Rosefinch, Blood Pheasant, Pigeons, Black-eared Shrike Babbler, Robin Accentor, Brown Accentor, Spotted Nutcracker, Plain-backed Thrush, Pink-browed Rosefinch, Eurasian Tree creeper and Fire-tailed Myzornis among 169 others are native to Singalila Forests apart from a large variety of migratory birds.
The Singalila National Park falls in the Indomalaya Ecozone and in climatic zone of temperate coniferous forests ecoregion which is found in either in the Eastern Himalayan Sub-Alpine Conifer Forests or in the Western Himalayan Sub-Alpine Conifer Forests and contain a multitude of plant species such as Rhododendron, Buk, Pine, Redwood, Oak, Kawla, Hemlock , Bamboo, Spruce, Fir, Cypress, Bhujpatra, Magnolia, Juniper and Cedar apart from the grasses and the other herbaceous perennials. The altitude determines and changes the vegetation of these forests. The flora that adds colour to these forests is Orchids, Bistorts, Saxifraga, Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema), bright multi-coloured primulas, Geranium, purplish Aconitums among several others.
Singalila National Park doesn't contain human settlements within however small groups of people have been living on the Park's trekking trails at Sandakphu, Phalut and Kala Pokhri
Singalila National Park attracts trekkers, campers, bird-watchers, eco-tourists and geologists annually who spend a minimum of a week in this Park as that is how long it would take to explore this park on foot. Adventure and trekking enthusiasts show their loyalty and love towards the Singalila National Park by conducting several Plastic Garbage Cleaning Treks on the Singalila Ridge in the Singalila National Park starting from Manebhanjan right upto Sandakphu.
Manebhanjan (12 kms southeast), Ghoom (32 kms southeast), Darjeeling (35 kms east) are nearest big towns.