Tumling is a small scenic village at an altitude of 2926 m (9600 ft.) in the eastern Himalayan Mountain Range. It is situated near the Ilam District of Nepal nearby the Indian border and lies on the trek route to Sandakphu. You can visit here with a permitted pass from the forest department of Singalila National Park, India.
To reach Tumling, 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.
Read the unknown facts about Tumling, along with detailed information about homestays, hotels, what to see, when to visit, what to do and what to eat to make your journey extraordinary.
How to reach Tumling?
Starting from New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) or Bagdogra airport, you have to reach Manebhanjan to arrive at Tumling. 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.
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 Darjeeling Wild Life Division, Directorate of Forest, West Bengal, you must hire an authorized guide to make an entry to the park. The entry fee is ₹100 for Indians and ₹200 for foreigners. If you have a still or video camera, you also have to pay ₹100 and ₹400 respectively.
The fare of a car from NJP or Bagdogra is approximately ₹3500. But if you travel from Darjeeling, the cost will be cut down to ₹1500. From Manebhanjan, you can hire a land rover or continue trekking to Tumling. If you hire a land rover, it will cost you ₹2500 for a round trip to Tumling.
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. Make sure to wear a pair of trekking shoes and carry a lightweight rucksack if you want to trek instead of travelling by car.
Activities and Attractions at Tumling
- The wonderful sight of Sleeping Budhha in front of the lodges. You can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Himalayan mountain range with the peaks of Kumbhakarna, Kanchenjunga, Rathong, Kabru, Goecha, Simvo, and Pandim.
- There is a short hiking trail to the nearby hills within 15 minutes distance. This hilltop can be an excellent choice to watch the sunrise and sunset.
- The view of sunset and sunrise is amazing from Tumling. The golden rays create wonderful magic in the clouds and on the snowy tops of the Himalayan Range.
- If the sky is clear at 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.
Popular Trek Routes From 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 favourite choice for trekkers to Sandakphu and Phalut via Kalipokhri, Gurdum, and Srikhola. Some of the preferable trek routes by travellers 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 land rover 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.
Hotels And Homestays at Tumling
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 travellers prefer the most- Shikhar Lodge, Siddhartha Lodge and Mountain Lodge.
Shikhar Lodge, Tumling
Shikhar Lodge is the most preferable accommodation for travellers on the route of Sandakphu with the best hospitality, well-furnished rooms and quality of homemade food. It is run by the Gurung family. All of the rooms have basic amenities like a well-furnished interior, electricity, a warm bed, and mattress, clean bathroom.
When you approach Tumling from Manebhanjan or Dhotrey, the beautiful sight around Shikhar Lodge will catch your eye. 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 varies between ₹1000 to ₹1500. To book Shikhar Lodge, you can contact Reewang Bhutia at +919148824227 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Siddhartha Lodge, Tumling
Siddhartha Lodge is situated by the roadside and well-connected with Manebhanjan on the trek route to Sandakphu. You can view the amazing Himalayan Mountain range with snow-capped Sleeping Buddha just in front of the lodge. It is the best alternative homestay to Shikhar lodge for travellers and trekkers in Tumling. You can get all the basic facilities such as electricity, a mattress, and water.
Healthy food like momo, thukpa, fried rice, and noodles are some of the most popular dishes for dinner and lunch in Siddhartha lodge. The charge for accommodation in Siddhartha Lodge is around ₹1500 excluding food. You can book Siddhartha Lodge by calling +919593292971.
Mountain Lodge, Tumling
If you are looking for hotels in Tumling, check out Mountain Lodge. Strategically located in the small village, this lodge offers panoramic views of Mount Makalu, Mount Everest, Mount Kumbhakarna, and Mount Kanchenjunga to visitors.
In this homestay, you have 8 rooms, all cosy and clean. Whether you trek up to Tumling or take a ride in the heritage Land Rover (British-era cars), you would like to rest your bones here. On a clear afternoon, you would love sitting by the window and gazing at the vibrant shades of the rolling hills.
Tourists love the ethnic food and homely accommodation in this lodge. However, Mountain Lodge is a bit expensive compared to the other two homestays we mentioned in this blog. The room tariff ranges from ₹1500 to ₹2500 a day. The daily meal plan is around ₹800 a day per person.
Apart from these three lodges, there are also some others like Nila Lodge, Dawa Lodge, etc.
Best Seasons to Visit Tumling
Autumn and Spring are the best seasons to visit Tumling. Some travellers also like Winter for the snow. But, during monsoon, Tumling is not accessible to tourists.
This is one of the favourite seasons for travellers and trekkers 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 of 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 Tumling.
- Avg. temperature: 4°C to 16°C
- Rainfall: Sporadic
- Cloudiness: High probability in Sep and early Oct
- Snowfall: No
Spring is the flowering season in the Himalayan Mountain Range. The mountains and valleys get covered with various colourful flowers like Rhododendron, Cobra Lily, Magnolias, and 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
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 snowfall during this season. You must take proper precautions with a warm jacket for trekking in winter.
- Avg. temperature: -2°C to 10°C
- Rainfall: No
- Cloudiness: Less
- Snowfall: Medium to High
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 which cost around Rs 1000 to 1500.
2. Contact your guide and ask for an arrangement for a car directly to Tumling. I would recommend Mr Rakesh Rai (Contact: 7872951399), a trustworthy guide for the Sandakphu trek.
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.
Both places are very scenic. So, in terms of natural beauty, you can stay at any of these places. However, in terms of the availability of homestays, I prefer Tumling over Tonglu.
Whether you are a trekker or a common traveller, Tumling can be a good choice to stay and enjoy the serenity of nature. It is well-connected to all over India by 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 travelling 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. If you like Tumling, you should also visit Chota Mangwa, Tonglu, Takdah, Tinchuley and Lamahatta in Darjeeling.