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khangchendzonga biosphere reserve overview

#6 of 33 Places To Visit in Gangtok
khangchendzonga biosphere reserve
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Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, Gangtok, Sikkim 737101, India
All days of the week
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
visit duration
1 to 2 hours

about khangchendzonga biosphere reserve

Managed by the State Tourism Board, Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve or National Park is located about 145 km from Gangtok, with its share of adventure and excitement. Spread over a sprawling area of 1,784 km, the place is home to several endangered flora and fauna. An ideal place for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, it houses flora like Alpine meadow, Oak forest, Alpine shrublands, Juglans regia, Broadleaved Evergreen forest, Temperate grassland and Fir-Hemlock-Oak Forest, to name a few.

Sprawling over an area of 1,784 sq km, KNP was established as a National Park in August 1977. With altitudes ranging from 1,830m to over 8,550m, the park has the mighty Mt Khangchendzonga, considered the state’s guardian deity, looming over its western border. The name means five treasures of snow; legend says there are treasures of Buddhist texts and artefacts hidden on the peak. However, the five treasures of the area from the wildlife point of view could well be the snow leopard, red panda, lammergeier, blood pheasant and rhododendron. These and many more highaltitude fauna and flora thrive in KNP’s habitat of pristine forests, lush green meadows dotted with wild flowers in spring, and fast-flowing torrents of glacier- fed rivers and streams. This is one Indian National Park that has a positive conservation tale to tell. The Wildlife Wing of the Sikkim Government’s Forests, Environment and Wildlife Management Department (FEWMD) has chalked out an effective plan to preserve KNP’s biodiversity. With most parts of the park being inaccessible and logistical difficulties preventing the permanent presence of FEWMD staff here, the department is involving villagers of the area in the conservation process through Eco- Development Committees. With growing awareness, the local communities have become strict and cooperate with extremely competent forest guards. This has controlled flora and fauna thefts in the region. NGOs are also playing an active role in weaning away villagers from forest dependence by training local communities for alternative livelihoods, such as sustainable eco-tourism and dairy farming. And as with all of Sikkim’s forests, KNP is also protected by strict rules of movement and stay, designed to guard the woodlands from non-biodegradable debris and fire, and to keep the water sources unpolluted. Picking up any flora or fauna, especially butterflies or birds, is a legal offence. Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, south of KNP, covers an area of 104 sq km, with altitudes of 2,100–3,500m. The Rambong River or Rammam Khola separates it from West Bengal in the south. As the name suggests, the sanctuary was created to protect the 30 or more species of rhododendrons found in the region. But you will also find oak, chestnut, maple, fir and bamboo groves, which are good habitats of the red panda and various species of birds, among others.

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Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve traveller reviews

1 Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve review
Nitin Rawat
Nitin Rawat
Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
Jun 30 2014
Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve is situated in Gangtok, sikkim, India. is spread over an area of 2620sq km and occupies more than half of the total land area of north sikkim it is home to the zemu glacier which is the largest glacier in the eastern ...... read more