Khangchendzonga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans 1784 square kilometers. This high-altitude national park in Yuksom is famed for its beautiful fauna, including Red Pandas, Snow Leopards, Great Tibetan Sheep, Bharal, and Musk Deer. There are also several bird species in the park, including the Black-necked Crane, Grus nigricollis, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Himalayan Monal Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Tibetan Snow Cock, and Himalayan Snow Cock.
Khangchendzonga National Park is home to around 18 glaciers, including the famed Zemu Glacier. Aside from that, the national park offers about 17 alpine lakes and a view of over 19 Himalayan mountain summits, including the famed Mount Khangchendzonga. In the national park’s buffer zone, there is also a sacred site known as Tholung Monastery.
Why should I visit this? there?
This park, also known as the Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve, is the pinnacle of natural beauty. KNP, which was recently entered into UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, is one of the country’s few high-altitude national parks. Aside from Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak, which towers over the park and its environs, the area is home to magical glaciers, pure lakes, verdant valleys, and diversity of endangered flora and wildlife.
Explore Lake Menmecho, where coniferous trees surround the waterbody, adding to its magical allure; gaze in awe at the sharp crevices of Mt. Rathong; wait patiently for the fog to lift and encounter the 26km-long Zemu Glacier, one of the continent’s largest; the Famrong Waterfall tumbles with otherworldly graceful intensity; and the park’s guardian, Mt. Kanchenjunga, sits silently surveying her children.
The above-mentioned geographical features are only a handful of KNP’s natural wonders.
Keep a lookout for Himalayan blue sheep, Asiatic wild dogs, red pandas, and musk deer when walking in the region. A snow leopard sighting would undoubtedly brighten your day. With the recently found Himalayan Forest Thrush and a multitude of indigenous avifauna such as the Tibetan snow cock, Himalayan griffon, satyr tragopan, and bearded vulture, among others, KNP is a birdwatcher’s paradise.
How should I visit?
Bagdogra Airport is your sole choice if you’re flying in. Gangtok, Sikkim’s capital, is a four-hour journey away.
Trains arrive at the New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station from Kolkata, Guwahati, New Delhi, and other important Indian cities. A four-hour trip from NJP will take you to Gangtok.
Kanchenjunga National Park is around 50 kilometers from Gangtok.
The trip to KNP is all about taking ‘the route less traveled.’ While the trip is rocky, the park’s natural splendor makes it all worthwhile.
Yuksom (145 kilomejustifyters from Gangtok) is famous hiking starting place. Treks from here might vary depending on where you want to travel in KNP. Yuksom to Dzongri is a popular hiking route, and you may go up the Rathong-Khangerteng trail from Dzongri Base Camp.
When should I visit?
The majority of visitors plan their vacation to KNP during the summer, between the months of March and May. The average temperature is approximately 10°C, which allows for a beautiful sky, excellent mountain vistas, and enjoyable hikes
However, seeing the Kanchenjunga, its surrounding mountains, and the ice lakes in winter is spectacular. From October to February, the Kanchenjunga National Park is transformed into a winter paradise by a layer of snow and sub-zero temperatures. Carry strong woolens to protect yourself from the biting cold. Heavy rain makes walking impracticable between June and September, and you should avoid visiting KNP during these months.
Tips for smooth travel
If you are a foreign visitor, you must apply for a permit if you wish to walk all the way up to Zemu Glacier and other nearby places. To accomplish the same, Indian Nationals must get an Inner Line Permit.
Stick to the designated nature routes when trekking.
Do not leave litter or contaminate the ecology. Non-biodegradable objects should be transported back after your journey and properly disposed of.
Please do not pick any flowers or saplings along the road. Also, if you happen to see an animal, keep your mouth shut and avoid bothering the animals.
Kanchenjunga National Park is a Himalayan global diversity hotspot. The lakes, mountains, and glaciers are culturally and spiritually significant to the indigenous Sikkimese people, in addition to being home to several endangered animals, birds, and plants. As a guest, you should take in the natural splendor of the area.
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