Have you ever wondered how the sea of clouds look like? You may have seen some photographs of such majestic views but experiencing practically is a completely different thing.
Tumling is a beautiful attraction at an altitude of 2970 m in the eastern Himalayan range. It is situated near the Ilam District of Nepal. Tumling lies on the trek route to Sandakphu. With a permitted pass from the forest department of Singalila National Park, India, you can visit there.
To reach there, at first, you need to reach Manebhanjan. The most popular route to go to Manebhanjan is from New Jalpaiguri railway station or Bagdogra airport. If you haven’t gone to Tumling before, then, you will be amazed to see the serene beauty in the kingdom of clouds. If you are planning to visit again, read the unknown facts about Tumling here to make your journey extraordinary.
How to reach Tumling?
Assuming you are from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station or Bagdogra airport, firstly, you have to reach Manebhanjan. From there you can need to hire a landrover. You need to get a permit from the forest department check post at the entrance of Singalila National Park. As per the rule of the forest department, you must hire an authorized guide to make entry to the park.
From NJP Railway station the distance of Manebhanjan is 85 Km and should take around 3.5 to 4 hours. The distance of Manebhanjan from Bagdogra airport is slightly less, 80 Km and may take close to 3.5 hrs. I will recommend the railway route because it is just an overnight journey from Howrah or Sealdah.
If you are planning to start from Dhotrey or Tonglu, you can take a car ride from NJP or Bagdogra and proceed to Tumling by trek or car. From Dhotrey the trek route is around 5 km and may take 2 to 3 hours.
Sightseeing and Attractions at Tumling
- The wonderful sight of Sleeping Budhha in front of the lodges.
- View of Sunset and Sunrise is amazing. The golden rays create wonderful magic in the clouds and on the snowy tops of the Himalayan Range.
- If the sky is clear in the night, you can get a majestic view of the glowing stars and even the milky way.
- You can visit a nearby temple situated at 5 minutes walking distance from lodges.
- If you are lucky, the “sea” of clouds in between mountains can be very soothing to the eyes.
- There is a short hiking trail to the nearby hills within 15 minutes of walking distance. This hilltop can be an excellent choice to watch the sunrise and sunsets.
Popular Trek Routes for Tumling
Even a decade ago trek from Tumling was not as much as popular as it is today. Gradually, Tumling has got a lot of attention. Today, Tumling is the most favorite choice for trekkers to start for Sandakphu and Phalut. Some of the preferable trek routes by travelers are-
- Dhotrey- Tumling- Gairibas- Kalipokhri- Sandakphu- Phalut- Gorkhey- Srikhola
- Rangeet Majua- Tonglu- Tumling- Kalipokhri- Sandakphu- Gurdum- Srikhola
- Tonglu- Tumling- Kalipokhri- Sandakphu- Srikhola- Sepi
You can also avoid the trek routes and hire a landrover from Manebhanjan and visit Phalut via Sandakphu. Many of the tourists who have elders in their group, take rides to these spots and return via Gorkhey or Gurdum respectively.
Also Read: Travel Essentials during COVID-19
Tumling Homestays and Hotels
Being an offbeat location, there is no hotel available for online booking. However, you can find some homestays at affordable prices. There are mainly 3 lodges that travelers prefer the most- Shikhar, Siddhartha and Mountain Lodge. The Shikhar Lodge is the most popular with the best hospitality, well-furnished rooms and quality of homemade food.
Shikhar Lodge, Tumling
Shikhar Lodge is the most preferable accommodation for the travelers on the route of Sandakphu. It is run by the Gurung family. When you approach Tumling from Manebhanjan or Dhotrey, the beautiful sight around Shikhar Lodge will catch your eyes. As you enter the lodge, the host will give you a warm welcome and you will be amazed by their hospitality. The cost of accommodation is between Rs 1000 to Rs 1500.
All of the rooms have basic amenities like a well-furnished interior, a warm bed, and mattress, clean bathroom. Moreover, the electricity is well available in the lodge.
Siddhartha Lodge, Tumling
Siddhartha Lodge is situated by the roadside and well-connected with Manebhanjan en route to Sandakphu. It is an alternative stay for the travelers and trekkers in Tumling. You can get all the basic facilities such as electricity, mattress, water, and healthy food here. Momo, Thukpa, Fried rice, Noodles are some of the most popular dishes for dinner and lunch in there. The charge for staying in Siddhartha Lodge is around Rs 1500 excluding food.
You can view the amazing Himalayan Mountain range with snow-capped Sleeping Buddha just in front of the lodge.
Mountain Lodge, Tumling
The Mountain Lodge is a relatively newer place to stay in Tumling and slowly gaining reputation. Though the lodge is smaller compared to Sikhar and Siddhartha Lodge, the location and warm hospitality can definitely please you. The quality of mouth-watering ethnic food is great. The host and the service staffs are very well-behaved and helpful. During morning and evening, you can get a wonderful view of the mighty Kanchanjunga.
Apart from these three lodges, there are also some others like Nila Lodge, Dawa Lodge, etc.
Best Seasons to Visit Tumling
There are three main seasons to visit Tumling. Autumn, Winter, and Spring are the peak times for visitors.
Autumn Season (Sep-Nov)
This is one of the favorite seasons for travelers to visit Tumling. After the rainy season is over, the lush green vegetation is fully grown all around the mountains. It can give you soothing eyesight and peace in mind. However, it can be cloudy and a bit of a shower can happen in late September and early October. So, getting a view of the Sleeping Buddha can be difficult in these two months. In comparison, November can be counted as the best time to visit here.
- Avg. temperature: 4°C to 16°C
- Rainfall: Sporadic
- Cloudiness: High probability in Sep and early Oct
- Snowfall: No
Winter Season (Dec-Feb)
During winter, the place gets covered with frost and snow. You will love to see the frosted dewdrops on the trees and grass. The sky during this period is mostly clear. One can watch the majestic view of the Sleeping Budhha along with other snow-covered peaks very clearly. The weather is very chilled with a high possibility of snowfall during this season. You must take proper precautions with a warm jacket for trekking this season. Getting a sleeping bag is highly recommended if you are planning to visit in the winter season.
- Avg. temperature: -2°C to 10°C
- Rainfall: No
- Cloudiness: Less
- Snowfall: Medium to High
Spring Season (Mar-May)
Spring is the flowering season in the Himalayan Mountain Range. The mountains and valleys get covered with various colorful flowers like Rhododendron, Cobra Lily, Magnolias, Silver Firs. This season can be a bit cloudy and misty with sporadic rainfalls. The temperature starts to rise from minus temperature to a comfortable zone. The spring season is another popular time for tourists and trekkers.
- Avg. temperature: 4°C to 16°C
- Rainfall: Sporadic
- Cloudiness: Medium
- Snowfall: Low
Frequently Asked Questions
You can reach Tumling in two ways-
1. Hire a cab from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station or Bagdogra Airport to Manebhanjan. It will cost around Rs 4000. Then hire a Land Rover from Manebhanjan with cost around Rs 1000 to 1500.
2. Contact your guide and ask for an arrangement of a car directly to Tumling. I would recommend Mr. Rakesh Rai (Contact: 7872951399).
Tumling is located 72 Km away from Darjeeling and takes around 3 hours to reach. You might need to hire a land rover from Manebhanjan. Contact your guide for the arrangement.
Whether you are a trekker or a common traveler, Tumling can be a good choice to stay and enjoy the serenity of nature. It is well-connected by the road. The lodges have a good supply of water, electricity, and food. Therefore, you can travel without any worry. The temperature in the evening gets very low close to 0°C especially from November to February. So, it is advised to bring and use good warm clothes. If you are trekking or traveling to Sandakphu, you should take enough rest in Tumling to adjust to the climate and height. It can help you to prevent high altitude sickness.
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