Sunday, February 25, 2024

Tourism      Wildlife      National Parks      Sikkim     North Sikkim    

Khangchendzonga National Park




North Sikkim District, Sikkim

Nearest town


Chungthan (20 Km)

Main attraction


Black panther

Best time to visit


Musk deer, Himalayan Tahr, Snow leopard

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Musk Deer Khangchendzonga National Park, situated in North Sikkim bordering Nepal, covers an area of 850 sq. km. and was set up on August 26, 1977. The area of the park, named as a Biosphere reserve with an elevation ranging from 1830m to over 8550m, is enclosed by some impressive mountain peaks and glaciers on all but its eastern side. On the western border, lies the Khanchenjunga, one of the highest mountain peaks towering above virtually undisturbed fine forest cover. The peaks and glaciers on the northern side include the Nepal, Talung, Tent peaks and the Zemo (longest) and Simyo glaciers and other peaks like Pandim, Narshing, Siniolchu etc in other directions.

The park with its continuous tract of mountains, green forests, flowering meadows and streams in its primitive wilderness attract many nature and adventure lovers.

The lush vegetation include Temperate broad leaved forests dominated by oaks, mixed Coniferous forests with fir, birch, maple, willow etc and alpine grasses and shrubs at higher altitudes along with many medicinal plants and herbs.

The fauna of the park are clouded leopard, snow leopard, wild dog, thar, sloth bear, civet, Himalayan black bear, red panda, Tibetan wild ass, blue sheep, serow, goral, takin, musk deer and reptiles like rat snake and Russels viper etc. Among the avifauna of the state which consist of almost 550 species of birds many are to be found in abundance in the park like Blood Pheasants, Satyr Tragopan, Osprey, Himalayn griffon, Lammergeier, tragopan pheasant, green pigeon, Tibetan snow cock, Snow pigeon, Impeyan phesants, Asian emerald cookoo, Sunbirds & eagles. There are a few Lepcha tribal settlements inside the park.

April to May and August to October are the best months for visiting  the park. Snowfall is heavy in winter and monsoon showers exist from May to mid October. To enter the National Park and Sanctuaries, permission of the State Chief Wildlife is required and this can be obtained on payment of entry fees.

Yuksom (145km from the capital Gangtok) in West Sikkim is a starting point for trekkers and mountaineers. They can get a permit from the Wildlife Education and Interpretation centre at Yuksom or from the checkpost. State Tourism Department and other travel agents organise treks to Dzongri (4050 m), a two day trek from Yuksom. The trek routes are (a) Yuksom - Tshoka - Dzongri  (b) Bakim - Dzongri - Thangshing - Samuteng - Goechala  (c) Dzongri Base Camp - Rathong - Khangerteng (d) Thangshing - Lam Pokhari - Kasturi Orar - Lapdong - Tashiding (Road Head). Lachen a village in North Sikkim is another starting point for a trek to Green lake which takes four to six days to reach through treacherous routes. Foreign nationals would require a restricted area permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, Delhi to visit areas in this part of the region. Indian nationals are required to obtain an Inner-Line Permit from the State Home Department. Permission of the State Chief Wildlife Warden is also mandatory. The routes are (a) Lucanes Jakchen-Yabuk-Rest Camp (Marco Polo Camp) - Green Lake (b) Lachen-Thasngu (13,695') Muguthang (16,000') - Thay La (17,000') - Khyoksa La (18,000') Rest Camp-Green Lake. Muguthang holds the famous annual Yak race.