Exploring the tranquil beauty: Dhotrey to Tonglu,Tumling trek

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Introduction to the Trek:

The trek from Dhotrey to Tonglu and Tumling is a relatively moderate one, perfect for both beginners and seasoned trekkers. It is actually a single day trek starting from Dhotrey and back but one can choose to advance further towards Sandakphu which takes additional few days more.

The small beautiful village of Dhotrey. The starting point for Dhotrey to Tonglu,Tumling trek

Starting Point: Dhotrey

Nestled amidst the verdant hills of the Darjeeling district in West Bengal, Dhotrey stands as a serene retreat, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in the tranquility of the Eastern Himalayas. This picturesque village, perched at an altitude of approximately 8,340 feet (2,542 meters), the starting point of this adventure.

A school playground in Dhotrey. Between Dhotrey to Tonglu,Tumling trek.

Surrounded by dense forests of rhododendron, oak, and pine, Dhotrey exudes a tranquil charm that instantly captivates visitors. The trek commences amidst these serene environs, with the crisp mountain air invigorating your senses. Trekkers can reach Dhotrey by road from Darjeeling or Siliguri, which are major towns in the region.

A small Buddhist shrine on a way to Tonglu.

En Route to Tonglu:

The trek route commences from the grounds of Dhotrey school, where a trail of slabbed stones serves as a welcoming pathway. At the trailhead stands a small Buddhist shrine, where locals offer prayers before embarking on the trek.

The small trail amidst the beautiful forest leading to Tonglu.

In the Himalayan expanse, a serene scene emerges: a flat grassland embraced by an ancient stone pathway, lined with fluttering prayer flags. This pathway leads travelers on a journey of tranquility and spiritual connection, as weathered stones echo the footsteps of generations past. Amidst the rugged beauty, visitors find solace in the peaceful ambiance—a moment of reflection amidst the timeless grandeur of the mountains.

A flat grassland embraced by an ancient stone pathway, lined with fluttering prayer flags on Dhotrey to Tonglu,Tumling trek.

As you ascend higher, the trail meanders through lush meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and snow-capped peaks. The melodious chirping of birds accompanies you along the way, adding to the symphony of nature.

The trail meanders through lush meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers.

Along the trail, you may encounter friendly locals going about their daily lives, providing insights into the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

Reaching Tonglu.

Reaching Tonglu:

After a few hours of trekking, you reach Tonglu, perched like a jewel amidst the emerald hills of the Eastern Himalayas, Tonglu beckons travelers with its serene beauty and panoramic vistas. This enchanting place, captivates the senses and nourishes the soul with its tranquil ambiance and breathtaking landscapes. Tonglu lies on the international border between India and Nepal.

A border pillar between India and Nepal in Tonglu.

Tonglu’s crowning glory lies in its unrivaled viewpoint, offering a sweeping panorama of the majestic Kanchenjunga Range. Here, the towering peaks of one of the world’s highest mountain ranges stand sentinel over a basin of silver firs and rhododendrons. This awe-inspiring sight, often likened to the “sleeping Buddha” or “sleeping Shiva,” evokes a sense of reverence and wonder among all who behold it.

Tonglu view point.

There is a small pond, nestled like hidden gems amidst the rolling hills. Here, amidst the embrace of nature, travelers find solace in the stillness of the surroundings. The serene ambiance invites contemplation and reflection, offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. the pond however is not permanent and likely to dry up during certain seasons.

A small frozen pond near Tonglu hut.

Continuing to Tumling:

From Tanglu, the trail continues towards Tumling, another picturesque village nestled amidst emerald forests and rolling hills. En route, you traverse through verdant meadows dotted with grazing yaks and grazing horses, lending a pastoral charm to the landscape. As you approach Tumling, the panoramic views of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, unfold before your eyes, leaving you awestruck by its majestic grandeur.

The chorten with prayer flags at Tumling.


The trek from Dhotrey to Tanglu and Tumling is not merely a physical journey but a soul-stirring odyssey that leaves a lasting impression. It’s an opportunity to disconnect from the chaos of urban life and reconnect with nature’s pristine beauty. Each step taken on this path unveils new wonders, reinforcing the timeless allure of the Himalayas and instilling a sense of reverence for the natural world. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and embark on this unforgettable expedition into the heart of the mountains.

The motorable road at Tumling.

Best Time to Visit:

  • The Dhotrey-Tonglu trek is best enjoyed during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is generally pleasant and the skies are clear.
  • During these months, trekkers can witness blooming rhododendron flowers, lush greenery, and clear views of the Himalayan peaks.

Overall, the Dhotrey-Tonglu trek offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and adventure, making it a memorable journey for trekkers seeking to explore the Himalayas of Darjeeling.

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