We reached Tonglu around 5:30pm and it was already dark by then. There was a partially frozen lake by the side of the road, I mistook the films of ice as dirt at first glance. We had our booking at The GTA Trekker’s Hut (which needs to be pre-booked from Kolkata) and checked-in there. The room’s wooden finishing was not up to bar compared to the huts we stayed on our next few days, as the room was not insulated properly and the night was pretty cold. Also, there were no buckets in bathrooms, so you have to use toilet papers. The dinner menu had only two options – Unlimited Khichri meal for ₹160 and Unlimited rice-dal-curry meal for ₹170. We opted for the Khichri meal which tasted as good as our day’s trail.
Most people stay at Tumling as there are more options for accommodation. But we chose Tonglu over Tumling as The Kanchendzonga is visible from here. We woke up at 5:30 in the morning for the sunrise view of The Kanchendzonga. We hiked for 10-15 mins on top of a small hill to get a better view. But our luck, it was only visible around 7am and that too for a moment.
We left New Jalpaiguri at around 10 am. We got all the cash necessary for the trip from here. It was a long journey, and on the other end of it we reached Tonglu at 6 pm. Usually the trek starts from Maneybhanjan or Dhotrey but we were short of a day and hence decided to reach Tonglu in a vehicle. Tonglu is a small hamlet at the border of West Bengal and Nepal. The night sky at Tonglu was superb and we spent almost the entire evening trying to capture the amazing stars! Soon temperatures dropped to near zero degrees, and we had to go in. We were staying at the GTA Trekker's hut at Tonglu, at an altitude of 10,000 ft.
Tonglu is one of the most scenic village a backpacker would love to visit...first view of the Sleeping Buddha some real authentic Nepali homestay, calm and serene atmosphere everywhere...