The Khangchendzonga National Park also known as Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is a gorgeous park in Sikkim that must be on your itinerary if you’re travelling the state. The name of the park has been kept after the third highest mountain in the world because Kanchenjunga forms its impressive backdrop. Also Read - Schools Reopen in These States From Today; Number of Hours, Students Restricted | Check Guidelines
The total area of the park is more than 1784 square kilometres, and it is situated at an altitude of 1829 meters with some stunning glaciers such as the Zemu Glacier dotting its landscape. The area of the park stretches from the cold deserts of the Lhonak Valley and the Lachen Ridges to Yuksom with its west boundary along the borders of both China and Nepal. Also Read - School Reopening News: Sikkim to Reopen All Schools From October 19 in Graded Manner; No Winter Breaks, 6-Day Week | Read Here Complete Plan
The park is a breath-taking wilderness with the spectacular mountain range forming its backdrop. It’s naturally very cold – Khangchendzonga being an independent mountain with its own glaciers and glacial system – and is home to endemic Himalayan flora and fauna. Also Read - Gorkhey: Snuggled Between the Borders of Darjeeling and Sikkim, this Valley is A Must on Every Traveller’s List
The Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve, has many ecosystems within itself: from sub-tropical to arctic, subtropical and East-Himalayan to Alpine. There are many hot springs, caves and lakes here that are worth exploring as well. The vegetation in the park is unique and rare, unheard of in other parts of the world. One example is of the Cordyceps Sinensis, a fungus plant of medicinal value that grows on the head of a caterpillar. There are also few tribal settlements in the park all belonging mostly to the Lepchas.
Khangchendzonga sees heavy snowfall for most of the year, therefore, a good time to visit here is in summer months – from April to May. Summers are pleasant while winters are extremely, unbearably cold. If you have an adventure streak in you, go for treks that are organised by the state and forest departments according to the climate prevailing at the time of year.
Blessed with a unique ecosystem, the park is paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Among the birds, the most interesting ones to be found here are the black headed crane, the Himalayan monal pheasant, grey peacock pheasant, blood pheasant, satyr tragopan, Tibetan snow cock and the Himalayan snow cock. Amongst the mammals, you’ll spot the snow leopard – which is the state animal, wild dog, rare musk deer (which has been hunted to near extinction for its musk), the Himalayan tahr or mountain goat, sloth bears, goral, takin, civet, red panda and a few animals endemic to this parts of the world such as the Himalayan black bear, Tibetan wild ass, Himalayan Blue Sheep and Serows.