Palmajua and Where To Stay
Palmajua is a beautiful small village located at an altitude of 7,250 ft (2210 meters). It's a great halting place for both trekkers as well as tourists who seek for a place in the mountains which offers tranquility and serenity amidst beautiful forested land and wonderful views of the peaks.
How to reach Palmajua?
If you pan to visit Palmajua by car, you will first need to come to Manebhanjan, a place which is about 1.5 hours from Darjeeling and about 4.5 hours from NJP or Bagdogra. From Manebhanjan, Palmajua is another 25kms and takes about 1 hour by car. Along the way you will pass by other hamlets like Batasi (alt. 2098 meters) and Dhotrey (alt. 2590 meters).
From Dhotrey the journey is downhill and about 5kms to Palmajua. However, from Manebhanjan all the way to Palmajua the road is suitable for 4-wheel drive vehicles like Jeeps.
If you are trekking down from Sandakphu or Phalut, then from Rimbik you will need to trek down through a hamlet called Barahatta and then get to Palmajua (about 18kms from Rimbik). It takes about 3.5 hours on trek and about 40 minutes by car to reach Palmajua from Rimbik.
What can you experience in Palmajua?
As I already mentioned, it's meant for those who are looking for a piece of land for themselves for a while away from the noise and crowd, and complemented with wonderful views of Kanchenjunga Peaks and forested landscape. Actually Palmajua lies in the fringe of the well known Singalila National Park
which is the home to amazing animals like Red Panda, Pangolins and lot more, and close to 170 species of birds.
Some great places you can visit and things you can experience around Palmajua includes Ramman hydel project, enjoying short treks through forested land, a view point from where you can see Daramdin of West Sikkim which is well known for rose cultivation, watch the spectacular sunrise at Dhotrey, and visits to nearby places like Rimbik, Srikhola
, and even the summit of Singalila range Sandakphu
. Other activities in Palmajua include fishing and picnic on the river, night safaris whereby you have great chances of spotting wildlife etc.
Where to stay in Palmajua - Singalila Jungle Lodge
Singalila Jungle Lodge is a nice option. This is a family owned property owned and run by Avinash Rai - a local. The lodge is spread across some 9 acres of land area full of lush forest and plantations. Once you are in the lodge premises, the only noise you may hear during the day is the chirping of the many birds in its garden. The lodge offers a spectacular view of the Singalila National Park and the landscape of Rimbik.
The rooms are made in traditional Napalese style. Currently they have 4 rooms with attached bath, and an annex building with 3 rooms with a common toilet. All rooms are furnished and some of them have fireplaces (something you will surely like to have during winter). Most of the herbs, spices and vegetables are sourced from their own organic kitchen garden.
Singalila Jungle Lodge - Palmajua
Facilities offered by Singalila Jungle Lodge
Lawns for recreation
Doctor on call
Cultural programs on demand (dance and music performed by local villagers)
Room - Singalila Jungle Lodge
Activities offered by the lodge
Bonfires and BBQ
The lodge has its own cars and offers local sightseeing, and even day trips to places like Darjeeling town and Mirik.
Room - Rs. 1000/- per night (introductory rate... this is a budget accommodation).
Pickup and drop from NJP Rs 3500/-
Local sightseeing in a reserved vehicle: Rs 3000/-
Landrover to Sandakhphu from Manebhanjan Rs: 4800/-, overnight stay charge: Rs 1000/-, Guide charges to the park: Rs 600/day and porter charge: Rs 500/day per porter
Contacts for Booking and Inquiry
Shakyasom Majumder (August 2016)
Dear Sir, We are extremely grateful to you for providing invaluable information on tourism. I have heard that only land rovers can make it to Sandakphu from Manebhanjan. Can you please inform me about the road condition from Manebhanjan to Palmajua via Dhotre? Is it possible to take a normal four wheeler to Palmajua unlike Sandakphu? I am asking this as my mother has arthritis. Is the Kanchenjunga Range directly visible from Palmajua or we need to trek a bit from the Singalila Jungle Lodge to have a glimpse? Heartfelt thanks and regards.
Raj (darjeeling-tourism.com) August 2016
Normal large vehicles like Sumo can make it to Dhotrey and Palmajua, in fact smaller cars can also make it with some difficulty. You can't see the peaks from the lodge itself.