Manebhanjan - Merely 25 km away from the main town of Darjeeling at the periphery of Singalila National Park on the border of India and Nepal is Manebhanjan, a small transit town. Singalila National Park is the home to various species of birds and animals including the Blood Pheasant, Red Panda, and Himalayan Black Bear. At an altitude of 1928 meters above sea level, Manebhanjan marks the start of the trailhead for the trek to Sandakphu which is also known as the trekkers' wonderland on the Singalila Ridge the highest point in West Bengal. Bhanjayang in Nepali means Junction, and Mane stands for Buddhist Stupas. So the name Manebhanjan means the junction of Stupas. The income of the local residents is geared towards tourism, especially foreign trekkers.
Manebhanjan is best visited without any worry if you opt for a well-planned tour package from a trusted travel agency like North Bengal Guide. The tour package offers amenities like pick-up from your preferred location,
Manebhanjan is a small town and being sited along the Singalila Ridge expansion of this forest village is strictly restricted beyond its current borders so as to protect the surrounding forest and its ecosystem. Manebhanjan is a few of the places where travelers can still get the chance to see the Land Rovers being used. The vehicles were being used during the British period and are perfect for climbing the rock-filled streets that dab the trail to Sandakphu. There are just a couple of them remaining at this point. You will be astonished when you perceive how grandly the proprietors treat these automobiles.
At Manebhanjan tourism being one of the principal methods to earn economy, the Land Rover Association now allows only these vehicles to ply along the Sandakphu route, although one can take his personal 4-wheel-drive vehicle too. The 4-hour ride can be quite 'jumpy' as drivers maneuver their prized possessions along snaky curves and uphill roads. Travelers are lured toward this quaint town since it can be used as the base for all the trekkers who are walking their way up towards every trekker's dream destination Sandakphu or for the wilderness explorer who came to explore Singalila National park at the extreme northwest of West Bengal forms the border with Nepal and is a high altitude protected forest. The trek, which starts, from Manebhanjan, is a spectacular birding trail.
Some of the birds to be seen here are Blood Pheasant, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Himalayan Griffon, Steppe Eagle, Golden Eagle, Spotted Nutcracker, Plain-backed Thrush, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Blue-capped Redstart, White-throated Redstart, Eurasian Tree creeper, Buff-barred Warbler, Blyth's Leaf Warbler, Black-eared Shrike Babbler, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Fulvous Parrotbill, Black-throated Parrotbill, Alpine Accentor, Rufou-breathed Accentor, Brown Accentor, Pink-browed Rose finch, Dark-rumped Rose finch, White-browed Rose finch, White-winged Grosbeak, Little Bunting making it a birding paradise. Manebhanjan is the gateway to exploring the wonders of the Himalayan range.
By Rail: The nearest railhead to the village is New Jalpaiguri Junction (NJP). The approximate distance from the railway station to the village is 86 km. Due to the lack of railway infrastructure, a hired car from the railway station will take you to the village within three and a half-hour.
By Air: Bagdogra Airport is the nearest one at an approximate distance of 83 km. Again, renting a cab is the only transportation option available to reach the village within three hours.
By Road: Via Mirik, Pashupati Market, and Shukiapokhri from NJP, Bagdogra, or Siliguri, you can quite easily reach the village by road within less than 4 hours. Our package includes a reserved car with an experienced driver who will help you reach the destination without any hassle.
There are a couple of homestays as well as hotels available to stay here at Manebhanjan. Run by the local villagers, you will get great hospitality, basic amenities, delicious homemade foods, and more. The rooms are neat and clean. The view from the window is worth noting for sure. There are a couple of small hotels where usually trekkers spend a night prior to their Sandakphu Trek.
In order to witness the vibrant color of blooming rhododendron and the sooting weather, April to June is considered to be the best time to go for Manebhanjan Tour. October to December is also considered to be the best time. During these months in Manebhanjan, the clear sky lets the travelers enjoy the breathtaking vista of the Himalayan Peaks including Kanchenjunga.
Let your inner explorer be freed and start your journey towards one of the highest points while spotting one of the classic vehicles used during the British Era in Manebhanjan. Manebhanjan is an ideal place to start your journey toward the wilderness and be one step closer to nature.