Explore Sikkim’s Magnificence in Khangchendzonga
Sikkim, the second smallest state in India, boasts of its astounding natural beauty that finds home in the lap of Himalayas. Tucked between Tibet, Nepal and West Bengal, each and every feature here is a piece of heaven. Whether scintillating waterfalls, virgin forests or Buddhist Gompas; they attract nature lovers from far and wide.
One such gem is the third highest peak in the world – Kanchendzonga. In its lap nestles a National Park whose spectacular beauty has made it a UNESCO World Heritage. Khangchendzonga National Park, as it is known, stretches from Lhonak Valley in North Sikkim till Yuksom town in the west. Since 1977, it sits over an area of 1,784 sq.km; thus covering around 25% of Sikkim’s total geographical area.
Khangchendzonga National Park comprises of steep valleys, lakes, glaciers and an eco-system that ranges from sub-tropical to alpine. This bio-diversity hotspot brings one close to more than 400 species medicinal and flowering plants; alongwith an array of conifers and orchids.
Inmates of KNP show noteworthy variation; whether plants, animals or bird population. The park is home to cat species like Leopard, Snow Leopard, Jungle Cat, Leopard Cat and Golden Cat. Other than cats there are Red Pandas, Himalayan Tahrs, Jackals, Flying Squirrels, Tibetan Wolfs, Blue Sheep, Goral and Musk Deer among many more.
Bird population in the national park comprises of nearly half of the country’s birds. Amid the wild trees, rhododendrons and orchids, one can trace more than 300 species of winged creatures! Some of them are black-browed leaf warbler, whit-naped yuhina, snow partridge, colourful pheasants, hoary throated barwing, snow cocks among many others.
A Trekker’s Paradise
Alongwith wildlife enthusiasts, trekkers from all over the world have set foot on the mighty Khangchendzonga for a thrilling expedition. Several trek routes have been added to cover every part of the park. The journey takes them close to the hills, lakes, caves and rivers that are drenched in the serenity of Buddha. Chortens, stupas, monastery and stones with ‘om mani padme hum’ inscribed on them, transfer to a completely different world. Some of the most popular trekking routes are Tholung-Kishong, Green Lake and Tholung Monastery. Those who are trekking for the first time prefer Dzongri to Thangsing till Samity Lake and Goecha-La.
Best Time to Visit
The national park can be best viewed between April and May. Winters should be avoided due to heavy snowfall but September till mid-December is safe. Monsoons between May to October should be avoided due to landsliding.
How to Reach
Bagdogra Airport in Darjeeling is nearest to Gangtok at 122 kms. From Gangtok one has to travel another 46 kms approx to reach Khangchendzonga National Park by taxi or bus.
Nearest railhead to Khangchendzonga National Park is in New Jalpaiguri at 120 kms from Gangtok. From New Jalpaiguri to Yoksam it is about 170 kms.
National Highway 31A connects Sevok in Darjeeling to Gangtok. From here one can hire many taxis and buses to reach the National Park.http://blog.capertravelindia.com/explore-sikkims-magnificence-in-khangchendzonga.htmlEco TourismIndia TourIndia Tourist AttractionsIndia Tourist DestinationsIndia TravelIndia WildlifeSikkimWildlife Sanctuaries in IndiaKhangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve,Khangchendzonga National Park,Khangchendzonga National Park Sikkim,Khangchendzonga Sikkim,Sikkim Tourism,UNESCO World Heritage Site,Wildlife in Khangchendzonga