The Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is located in the district of West Sikkim’s south-west corner. The Singalila Range, which forms the natural international boundary with Nepal, has an area of 104 square kilometers. There are three entrances to this sanctuary: Hilley, Dentam, and Soreng. Tourists enjoy Hilley because it is easily accessible by road. The bridle trail from Hilley to Barsey is a popular tourist attraction, especially during the Rhododendron blooming season. The wildlife of Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary includes the Leopard cat, Himalayan Yellow Throated Marten, Himalayan Palm Civet, Himalayan Langur, Crimson Horned Pheasant, Monal Pheasant, Kaleej, and several bird species.
The Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary stretches over the jagged Singalila Range. The environment is moist and chilly, allowing the dominating genus Rhododendron to spread. July is the wettest month, with annual precipitation of more than 250 cm. In the winter, snowfall is common at elevations over 2500m. Clear sky is only available from November through May.
At 10,000 feet, a charming Tourist Trekker’s cabin stands in Barsey, surrounded by Rhododendron trees and offering a magnificent view of the Singalila Range. There are boarding and lodging options available.
Why should I visit this? there?
In the spring, a walk through the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is like walking through a bit of paradise. Entire hills painted bright pink and deep scarlet against sapphire-blue spring skies and the snow-capped peaks of Kanchendzonga are a magnificent delight. Hundreds of bird sounds may be heard echoing across the aromatic highlands.
The sanctuary—a protected region—stretches across an area of roughly 104 square kilometers in the Singalila range of the Eastern Himalayas in West Sikkim, nestled between the Kanchendzonga Biosphere Reserve to the north and the Singalila National Park to the south.
When the famed British botanist, Joseph Dalton Hooker, visited the Singalila range in the 1800s, he attributed these blossoming rhododendrons sole credit for the splendor of the whole Singalila range. The sanctuary’s flora spans from broadleaf and coniferous woods to alpine meadows and ranges in elevation from 7000 to 14000 feet.
When should I visit?
The months of April and May are ideal for visiting the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary since the iconic rhododendron trees are in full bloom. However, hiking from September to October is just as wonderful, if not better. The rhododendrons may not be in full bloom, but the beautiful blue sky and unbroken vistas of the Kanchendzonga make the journey worthwhile.
How should I visit?
Dentang, Soreng, and Hilley are only a few examples. The little village of Hilley in West Sikkim, on the other hand, is favored above the others due to its closeness to a motorable road. Taxis are accessible from Gangtok to Hilley, which is approximately 130 kilometers distant. If not, you might take a cab to Uttarey and walk from there. The trip begins at the Hilley gate and continues for 4 kilometers from Sombaria to the first campsite, Barsey.
Though most visitors conclude their trip at Barsey, those who want to continue must engage a local guide who is familiar with the area and arrange for camping supplies as well as porters. The following section includes a combination of uphill and downhill walks. You’ll travel through several vast open meadows with expansive vistas of the surrounding mountains, as well as countless little mountain streams.
Tips for smooth travel
Individuals must pay a small admission fee. Cameras are subject to additional fees. In Sikkim, you will need to get a permit from the Wildlife Division of the Forest Department. Don’t bother the wildlife, and carry your waste back with you. Kerosene and other harmful fuels should be avoided. Carry enough cash because there will be no ATMs along the way. Follow the behavior rules established by the sanctuary authorities.
Carry additional clothing, socks, sunglasses, and high-SPF sunscreen. Remember to bring a raincoat because the hills around this area are prone to unexpected rains.
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