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Manebhanjang
About Manebhanjang

Manebhanjang (2150 m) is a village in the Darjeeling Sadar subdivision, Darjeeling district in the state of West Bengal in India. It is situated at the gateway of the Singalila National Park which is about 28 km away from Darjeeling town. The income of the local residents is geared towards tourism, especially foreign trekkers. Mane Bhanjyang is the start of the trailhead for the trek to Sandakphu on the Singalila Ridge which is the highest point in West Bengal. Conveyance for Sandakphu is also available mainly from

Manebhanjang village has a large playground where a football tournament is organised every year during the Independence Day of India. Maneybhanjang is located at an elevation of 6600 ft above sea level on the Indo-Nepal border.. The two countries are separated by a small drain covered with a culvert, which also acts as a motor stand for vehicles carrying people to Sukhiapokhri. This small valley is a residence of about 5oo households with an population of about 6ooo.

Despite being a crowded market Manebhanjang provides a panoramic view of the magnificent Kunchanjungha Mountains over Darjeeling hills. The view of illuminated Darjeeling town at night from Manebhanjang is also very striking. There is a small monastery overlooking the huge Darjeeling valley which is a nice place for a short stroll.

Foreigners have to show their Passport and Visa at the Foreigners' Check Post at Manebhanjang.

The main economy here is based on tourism. Regular jeep safaris take place from here to the nearby areas including Sandakphu and the Singalila National Park. Manebhanjang is one place where one still finds the old 4-wheel drive Land Rovers that were once used during the British days. These vehicles are ideally suited to climb the steep gravel road that leads up to Sandakphu. Only handful of such Land Rovers are still remaining in this area and are maintained by their owners like their own siblings.

The main market area of Manebhanjang gets fairly crowded during the day time. There is also a jeep and a bus stand here. A playground is situated a short distance away where soccer tournaments are held on special occasions. Up on the hills, there is a nice colorful monastery amongst pine trees.

 
Geography of Manebhanjang

Manebhanjang is located at an average elevation of 2150 m in the Darjeeling Himalayan hill Region in the Singalila Ridge, the highest point of West Bengal. These hills are a part of the Mahabharat Range or Lesser Himalaya. The soil is mainly composed of sandstone and conglomerate formations, which are the solidified and upheaved detritus of the greater range of Himalaya. However, the soil is often poorly combined (the permeable sediments of the region do not retain water between rains) and is not considered suitable for agriculture. The area has steep slopes and loose topsoil, leading to frequent landslides during the monsoons. According to the bureau of Indian Standards, the area in which the village lies falls under seismic zone-IV (on a scale of I to V, in order of increasing proneness to earthquakes) near the convergent boundary of the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates and is subject to frequent earthquakes. The geographical co-ordinates of the village are 26.98N 88.11E.

Manebhanjang is bounded by some small villages within a radius of 58 km. Being a border of Nepal and India, the Friday Market or the "haat" brings the whole population of the area together for various household and business purposes.

 
How to Reach Manebhanjang

Manebhanjang can be reached directly from New Jalpaiguri railway station where hired vehicles are available, although the number of vehicles are limited. Most vehicles are available from 4am to 6am. From Siliguri, shared and non-shared taxis operate directly for Manebhanjang. One can also avail taxis for Rimbick from Siliguri and Darjeeling, which travel via Manebhanjang. Another option is to take vehicle en route to Darjeeling and drop at Ghoom. Conveyance is available from Ghoom to Sukhiapokhri and then from Sukhiapokhri to Manebhanjang. Manebhanjang is the last point or base came for trekkers heading toward Sandakphu and Phalut. All required accessories and stuffs required during the 24 days trek is available here. The famous Rhododendron trek and the Himalayan Run & Trek are organised from here.

 

 


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