Singalila Ridge - One of India's finest Treks

A splendid trekking holiday along the India / Nepal border




From $2,100 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • An ideal holiday for first time trekkers in the Himalaya
  • Views of Kangchenjunga and Everest
  • Superb combination of trekking, culture and sightseeing
  • Extensions available to the Taj Mahal and Agra

Close to the former hill-station of Darjeeling, the Singalila Ridge Trek runs north towards the towering presence of Kangchenjunga (8586m), the world's third highest peak. Forming a natural border between Nepal and India, this ridge is the setting for one of the most scenically rewarding trekking holidays in the entire Himalayas, with views of Kangchenjunga and more distant views of both Makalu and Everest. After sightseeing in Darjeeling, we complete a delightful 6-day walk by way of the ridge-top settlements of Sandakphu and Phalut. We trek to the high point of the ridge at Singalila Peak (3695m), then descend to spend 2 nights in colourful Kalimpong, an important bazaar town for traders from Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet and the plains of Bengal. This is an extraordinary trekking holiday, which manages to effectively combine a short but very special trek with a memorable cultural experience.

Is this holiday for you?

This is an excellent and popular short trekking holiday, combined with a tour of the important and picturesque towns of Darjeeling and Kalimpong. The trekking conditions are very easy, following good trails at all times. A jeep road runs beside our route for the first 2 days of the walk on the Singalila Ridge and we will be following this, with numerous stepped sections which cut off the largest of the zig-zags taken by the jeep track. On the upper sections of the ridge we follow an undulating trail which is never very steep. The altitudes attained on this holiday are not extreme and the group will already be reasonably well used to the altitude prior to setting off on trek.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Transfers from Delhi Airport are provided.
  • Fly to Bagdogra and drive to the former British Raj hillstation of Darjeeling (2500m).
  • Sightseeing tour. Goom Monastery, local bazaars, a tea plantation and the narrow gauge railway.
  • Drive to Dhodray and trek towards the crest of the Singalila Ridge. Overnight at Tonglu (2900m).
  • Trek via a tea stop at the Nepalese village of Jaubari to Kalpokhari (3024m).
  • Follow the ridge-top trail to Sandakphu (3636m). Afternoon free to relax and enjoy the view.
  • Up early for the sunrise on Kangchenjunga. Then, trek on the broad ridge to Sabargram (3425m).
  • Trek to Singalila Peak (3695m). Return to Phalut and descend to Samadeen Village.
  • Downhill through farmland to the Siri Khola. Then continue via Maneydhara to Rimbik.
  • Drive to Kalimpong. Afternoon free to explore the streets of this thriving bazaar town.
  • A free day in Kalimpong with a guided visit to Durpin Monastery. Afternoon at leisure.
  • Drive to Bagdogra Airport, fly to Delhi and transfer to the group hotel.
  • Departure day. Transfers to Delhi Airport are provided.
Sun 17 Apr - Fri 29 Apr Code SGL /01/16/ Adult$2,100 Status Available Book now
Sun 23 Oct - Fri 04 Nov Code SGL /02/16/ Adult$2,100 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 06 Nov - Fri 18 Nov Code SGL /03/16/ Adult$2,100 Status Available Book now
Sun 16 Apr - Fri 28 Apr Code SGL /01/17/ Adult$2,100 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Delhi. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Delhi Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to Joining Arrangements and Transfers in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is shown on our website as Guaranteed or Limited Space.

Pricing notes
Internal Flights:The cost of the internal flights between Delhi and Bagdogra are included in the trip price. To allow us to pay for these flights as soon as the trip is guaranteed, a higher than normal deposit is required for this trip which includes the internal flight payment.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Transfers from Delhi Airport are provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Airport transfers are provided for all clients arriving on Day 1. KE Land Only package services begin with lunch. In the afternoon, a city sightseeing tour is provided. Alternatively, you may choose to take it easy at the hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals ld

  • Fly to Bagdogra and drive to the former British Raj hillstation of Darjeeling (2500m).

    After breakfast, we drive to the domestic terminal of Delhi Airport. The flight to Bagdogra runs parallel to the Himalayas and if the weather is clear, we have views of all of the Himalayan giants; including Nanda Devi and Panch Chuli and all of the Nepalese 8000 metre peaks; Dhaulagiri, the Annapurnas and Manaslu, Cho Oyu, Everest, Makalu and the massive bulk of Kangchenjunga, just as we come in to land. We meet our trek leader as we leave the airport in Bagdogra and from here it is a four-hour drive to Darjeeling (2500m). At first, we drive through flat rice fields and Assam tea plantations, before the road starts to climb into the foothills of the Himalaya. Darjeeling, built on top of a ridge, faces the Himalaya and is a popular tourist destination for Westerners and Bengalis alike. The richly forested land was originally acquired by the British in 1833, who introduced tea growing and promoted the settlement as a health resort. Arriving in the town, we check in at a comfortable hotel with views of the Himalayan peaks.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Sightseeing tour. Goom Monastery, local bazaars, a tea plantation and the narrow gauge railway.

    After breakfast, we can take a sightseeing tour of some of the attractions around Darjeeling. These include Observatory Hill and Ghoom Monastery, which boasts one of the highest railway stations in the world, as well as a large gilded statue of the Matreya or future Buddha. Also on our list is the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), which has a superb collection of memorabilia from the early days of Everest exploration. Next door to the HMI is the Darjeeling Zoo where the star attractions are red pandas and snow leopards. The Tibetan Refugee Centre, where handicrafts can be found at very reasonable prices is another option. After lunch, we can relax in the grounds of the hotel or look around the town’s many colourful bazaars.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to Dhodray and trek towards the crest of the Singalila Ridge. Overnight at Tonglu (2900m).

    After breakfast at the hotel, we set off on the 2-hour drive to the village of Dhodray, the starting place for our trek on the Singalila Ridge. We have chosen to begin the trek at Dhodray rather than the more usual start of Maneybanjang at the foot of the ridge, as this involves considerably less climbing. Setting off from Dhodray also avoids having to walk on the jeep road which climbs in zig zags from Maneybanjang up the ridge. Our first day of trekking follows a wide trail through rhododendron forests and meadows with great views all along the way of Kangchenjunga. We camp by a 'trekkers hut' at Tonglu in a spectacular setting, overlooking the Singalila Ridge and Kangchenjunga.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 570m

    • Distance 5km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 2 - 3 hrs trekking

  • Trek via a tea stop at the Nepalese village of Jaubari to Kalpokhari (3024m).

    Today we follow a walking trail as well as sections of the jeep road which runs along the ridge. We begin the day with a leisurely descent to the picturesque Nepalese village of Jaubari, where we can take a break for tea. Then it’s back to the ridge for the climb to our camp at Kalpokhari (Black Lake) at 3024 metres. At this stage of the holiday we are walking relatively short days, as we have to acclimatise before moving up to Sandakphu.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 660m

    • Distance 15km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 670m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Follow the ridge-top trail to Sandakphu (3636m). Afternoon free to relax and enjoy the view.

    From Kalpokhari we start the long climb up on to the Singalila Ridge proper. After a pleasant hour’s walk with good bird spotting potential, it is a further 2 hours and a steady pull up to Sandakphu (3636m). The reward (if the weather is clear) is a remarkable panoramic view of Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Everest, Lhotse and the other, lesser peaks of Sikkim and eastern Nepal. The afternoon is spent relaxing around camp, exploring the numerous viewpoints, and adjusting to the thinner air and cooler temperatures at this higher altitude. From our camp, there are remarkable sunset and sunrise views of Everest, Makalu, Chamlang and Kangchenjunga.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 640m

    • Distance 6km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Up early for the sunrise on Kangchenjunga. Then, trek on the broad ridge to Sabargram (3425m).

    Weather permitting, we begin today with an early morning call and a short stroll to a prominent viewpoint for the magnificent sunrise, before returning to camp for breakfast. Today we have a short day on the most spectacular section of the Singalila Ridge. The trail undulates up and down but is never too demanding and rewards us with ever-changing views of the snow-capped Himalaya to the north and north-west. This is one of the finest day’s ridge-walking to be found anywhere in the world. Tonight we camp at Sabargram at 3425 metres.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 760m

    • Distance 17km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 840m

    • Time 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek to Singalila Peak (3695m). Return to Phalut and descend to Samadeen Village.

    A longer day today, with an early start, as we hike along the ridge to Phalut and from there continue to trek northwards to a high point at the prayer-flagged summit known as 'Singalila Peak' (3695m). Ahead of us there are great views of Kangchenjunga and we can look down towards the Sikkim border which meets the ridge at Chiwabhanjang. Retracing our steps to Phalut, we have lunch and then begin our descent from the ridge towards the east. Dropping down, through thick forest of oak, chestnut and rhododendron (lots of exciting birdlife here), we reach the village of Gorkhey after a couple of hours and have a final, short ascent to the beautiful village of Samadeen.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 200m

    • Distance 14km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1240m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Downhill through farmland to the Siri Khola. Then continue via Maneydhara to Rimbik.

    This last day of trekking leads generally downhill on a pleasant trail through rich farmland to the village of Ramman and then onwards, to a bridge across the Siri Khola, where we stop for lunch. From here, we walk through pleasant forest on a good path to the village of Maneydhara, with views of Kabru Dome and Kabru South. Maneydhara is a large village with a monastery and overlooks a picturesque valley with Darjeeling beyond. Continuing through the village, we reach the nearby settlement of Rimbik, where we overnight at a lodge.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Ascent 570m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1060m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Drive to Kalimpong. Afternoon free to explore the streets of this thriving bazaar town.

    After saying goodbye to most of our trek staff, we meet our vehicles and set off on the long drive to Kalimpong. This town was once an important trading centre, strategically located at a crossroads between Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet and the plains of Bengal. One of the principal commercial enterprises of the town today is the growing of flowers in extensive nurseries. We stay at a comfortable hotel in the town and have time in the afternoon for a look around the bazaars.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • A free day in Kalimpong with a guided visit to Durpin Monastery. Afternoon at leisure.

    A free-day to explore Kalimpong, which begins with a sunrise view of Kangchenjunga (weather permitting). After breakfast, we have a short sightseeing trip, which can include visits to Durpin Monastery, to a paper factory, to flower/cactus nurseries and to an intriguing Catholic church built in the style of a Tibetan monastery. The afternoon is free for relaxing in the grounds of the hotel, with the option to take a walk around the bazaar in the evening.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Drive to Bagdogra Airport, fly to Delhi and transfer to the group hotel.

    We have a reasonably early start for the drive back to Bagdogra Airport, where we check in for the flight to Delhi. Arriving in the Indian capital in the afternoon, we transfer to our airport accessible hotel. This evening we will have a ‘farewell’ dinner. Overnight at the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Transfers to Delhi Airport are provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast at the hotel. Airport transfers are provided for all client departing on this day. There are lots of extensions that can easily be added to your holiday in india. Why not pre-book a 1-day excursion to the fabulous Taj Mahal, or a multi-day Rajathan experience, or a beach hotel break in Goa or Kerala. Contact our office for details.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English-speaking local KE leader
  • Delhi Airport transfers on group arrival and departure days
  • Internal flights
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the holiday dossier
  • All meals throughout the trip
  • Full trekking service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • Travel insurance
  • Delhi Airport transfers (other than on group arrival and departure days)
  • Indian Visa
  • Tips for trek staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

On arrival in Delhi and for one night after the trek, we stay at a hotel close to the airport which provides comfortable accommodation, as well as pleasant gardens and a pool. Being near the airport makes the whole travel experience more relaxing, whilst still allowing us to include a sightseeing city tour. Our itinerary also includes 2 nights in a comfortable hotel in Darjeeling and 2 nights in a hotel in Kalimpong. On trek there will be 5 nights camping and 1 night in a simple lodge. All accommodation is allocated on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek. Depending upon availability it may be possible to arrange single rooms For additional hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals are included in the holiday price from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 13 of the Land Only itinerary.

The food served during the trek is a mixture of local and international, made from ingrediants purchased locally and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on providing a high-carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet, which we have found to be easily digestible at high altitude. In Delhi, we take our meals in the group hotel or in nearby restaurants and here there is a wide choice of dishes. All meals while on trek and while staying in hotels are included in the holiday price.

All clients arriving in Delhi on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary will be met at the airport by a KE representative, who will arrange the transfer to the group hotel. At the end of the holiday, transfers are provided back to Delhi Airport on Day 13. Clients should let us know if Delhi Airport transfers are not required. Independent Delhi Airport transfers can be arranged to meet clients arriving prior to Day 1 or departing after Day 13 at additional cost. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Shortly after first light one of the cook crew will wake you with a cup of tea or coffee brought to your tent. You will have plenty of time to get up and pack your kitbag before sitting down to a hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the loads organised. Setting off in the pleasant cool of the morning, we will generally reach our lunch stop after 2 to 4 hours walking The cook crew, having overtaken us on the trail, will already have the lunch preparations well under way. Lunch usually takes an hour or even two and again this is a cooked meal. This is a great time for relaxing, reading and sitting in the sun. The pack-animals usually catch up with the group during lunch and are well on their way to camp which we hope to establish well before dusk. It is usual for the afternoon’s walk to be shorter than the morning session. On arrival at camp, the Sherpas will quickly put the tents up and a hot drink will soon follow. Dinner is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising. After dark, the temperature quickly falls and everyone will soon be tucked up in their sleeping bags.

An experienced English-speaking tour leader will accompany the group from Bagdogra. In Delhi the group will be looked after by a local KE representative and on trek the tour leader will be assisted by local guides and a full support crew including cook, camp staff and baggage animals and their handlers.

Approximately £120 (or equivalent in Euros / US dollars etc.) changed into local currency, should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including porter and trek crew tips, soft drinks, etc. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (Indian Rupees) before you travel. We recommend taking your personal spending money in cash since you will be changing the majority of this into local currency on the day of arrival, and changing travellers’ cheques can prove time consuming. Sterling, US dollars and Euros are readily exchanged in Delhi. Credit cards can be used to purchase many goods in Delhi and are particularly useful for more expensive souvenirs. It is also possible to withdraw cash (rupees only) from cash machines in in Delhi and Darjeeling.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and porters. It is important to remember tipping is voluntary and does not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your trek crews we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. This is best done to the individual crew members from the group as a whole and as a rough guide we suggest each group member contributes £50 (or equivalent) changed to Indian rupees, to a pool for tipping the crew and local guide.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters or pack animals. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15kg. Please note that the check-in baggage limit on all internal flights within India is now 15kg and you are responsible for any excess baggage charges that the airline may apply. It is possible to leave travel clothes and any other items not required on trek at the group hotel.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

  • The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 15 kgs / 33 pounds.
  • You must bring the following items:

    • Hiking boots
    • Trainers / sneakers or sandals for river crossings and camp use
    • Walking socks (3 pairs)
    • Spare laces
    • Trekking trousers
    • Waterproof overtrousers
    • Underwear
    • Long johns (thermal underwear)
    • Baselayer shirts (short sleeve and 1 long sleeve)
    • Shirts or T-shirts
    • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Sunhat
    • Warm hat or balaclava
    • Eyewear - Sunglasses
    • Gloves or mittens
    • Daypack c. 30
    • Headtorch with spare batteries
    • Water bottles 1 litre (x2)
    • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
    • Sleeping bag rated comfortable to minus 10ºC (minus 15 ºC for late November and December trips)*
    • Washbag and toiletries
    • Antibacterial handwash
    • Small towel
    • Basic First Aid Kit including: A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), altitude (Diamox), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).
    • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)

    The following items are optional:

    • Warm jacket (e.g. down) – mandatory for Nov/Dec trips
    • Thermarest (note that foam mattresses are provided)
    • Trekking poles (recommended)
    • Insect repellant
    • Scarf or buff
    • Sleeping bag liner
    • Travel clothes
    • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
    • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
    • Camera, film / memory cards, batteries

    Equipment hire / rental

    • Items marked * can be hired / rented through KE Adventure Travel. Please make requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure.
    • Note all hire / rental equipment will be issued in Delhi.

    For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

    A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

    Visa India

    All nationalities require a visa. The visa fee is $60 and you need to apply for this online prior to departure at Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF India

    You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is not usually required for trips in the mountains, however if you are visiting rural and remote low lying areas then they might be necessary. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

    The currency of India is the Indian Rupee.

    We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also comfortable with walking up to 7 hours on some days. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Regular hiking in hill country is the best training but running and swimming are also good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

    As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

    KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

    During the spring and autumn departures, the daytime temperatures will be of the order of 25°C at Darjeeling and will be rather cooler, at about 10°C to 15°C at our highest camps. Night time temperatures at our highest camps will certainly drop to freezing and maybe a few degrees below. The Christmas departure will experience temperatures on average about 5°C cooler than the above figures. Our trek dates are outside the monsoon period but you should be aware that the eastern end of the Himalaya receives more rainfall than further west in the Everest or Annapurna regions. It can and does rain here and you should be prepared for this.

    • Top Treks of the World. New Holland /Steve Razzetti
    • Trekking in the Indian Himalaya. Lonely Planet)
    • India. A Travel Survival Kit. Lonely Planet
    • The Trekkers Guide to Pakistan and India. Hugh Swift
    • Exploring the Hidden Himalaya. Kapadia and Mehta

    Schweizerische Stiftung fr Alpine Forschung (Swiss Foundation For Alpine Research). Sikkim Himalaya 1: 150,000

    Although a monochrome map (black and white detail with a sepia coloured relief shading), this map is much more detailed than some other more colourful maps. As well as the relief shading it has 100 metre contours, spot heights, peaks, passes, and glaciers, and graphics to show various types of terrain. Coverage extends south to Darjeeling, and within Nepal to the western edge of the Kanchenjunga Glacier.

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