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    Goechala Trek Suspension Bridge Khangchendzonga

    Khangchendzonga National Park of Sikkim, India, also popularly known as Kanchenjunga National Park was declared as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site on Mixed criteria by the 40th World Heritage Committee in 2016, recognizing its significant natural and cultural heritage.

    Beautifully nestled in the heart of the Himalayan Range, this park has rich biodiversity and over 19 mountain peaks including the majestic Mt. Khangchendzonga (also called Kanchenjunga) towering at a height of 8,586 metres making it the third highest in the world. Kanchenjunga National Park, is also a biosphere reserve called Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve. The park got its name from the mountain Khangchendzonga as it has a religious connotation and thus, deeply revered by the local people.

    Why Mt. Khangchendzonga Is Known As The “Abode of the Gods”?

    Buddha at Mt. Kanchenjunga

    Khangchendzonga literally means the “abode of the Gods”. This park is the sanctum sanctorum for the Buddhists. The legend says religious masters have hidden holy texts and treatises across the park, which are destined to be discovered by treasure revealers from all the sacred spots. Sikkimese people worship Khangchendzonga as their Guardian Deity whose divine grace on the land ensures peace and prosperity, offerings are made to this sacred presence, ceremonies are carried out in his name and dances are dedicated to him. One of the famous festivals of Sikkim, Pang Lhabsol, is a thanksgiving celebration in honour of the presiding deity – Khangchendzonga.

    Khangchendzonga National Park Basic Information

    Kanchenjunga Mountain from Samiti Lake

    AREA: 1784 Sq km2
    LOCATION: Sikkim, India.
    ELEVATION: 1,829 metres to over 8,586 metres
    LATITUDE: 27.6672° N | LONGITUDE: 88.3246° E
    GEOGRAPHY: Situated in the northern and western districts of Sikkim, Khangchendzonga National Park adjoins the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve in Tibet in North, and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area in Nepal in the west. This park is home to about 18 glaciers including the magnificent Zemu glacier and has a unique diversity of plains, rivers, valleys, lakes and gorgeous snow-capped mountains covered with forests.

    Map Of Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim

    Climate Of Khangchendzonga National Park

    Mt. Kanchenjunga, Himalayas, Sikkim, India

    The park gets heavy snowfall for most part of the year as it is located between 27° 42’0”N and 88° 08’0”E. The climate of Khangchendzonga National Park is pleasant in the summer months that are between April and May while the monsoon season begins from May extending throughout October. Khangchendzonga National Park’s climate in winters is colder and easily goes below 0° C.

    Best Time To Visit Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim

    Mt. Kanchenjunga, Sikkim, India

    The best time to visit the Kanchenjunga national park is between the moths of April and May. Snowfall is in its full swing during the winter months and showers start to occur from May continuing till mid-October. So, it will also be a good idea to visit this fascinating Kanchenjunga National Park in the time between September to mid-December.

    How To Reach Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim

    Siliguri Junction, NJP, Kanchenjunga

    By Air

    Nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport in Darjeeling, in West Bengal, which is about 122 kms away from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. And distance from Gangtok to Khangchendzonga National Park is 45.9 kms. You can also hit the road to directly reach the park from Bagdogra Airport and taking a taxi may cost you around INR 3500-4000.

    By Rail

    Nearest railhead to Khangchendzonga National Park is in New Jalpaiguri, the Siliguri Junction which is about 120 kms from Gangtok, and which is well connected with other main cities of the country like Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. Distance between New Jalpaiguri to Yoksam is about 170 kms. A bus journey from Siliguri to Yuksom would only take 5 hours.

    By Road

    Nearest highway to Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim is the 92 km long National Highway 31A, which connects Sevok in Darjeeling to Gangtok. And distance from Gangtok to Khangchendzonga National Park is only 45.9 kms. The nearest town is Yuksom in the West and Chungthang in the North. The Nearest city to the Kanchenjunga National Park is Gangtok. There are regular bus services available from Gangtok to Bagdogra (4 hours ride).

    Distance from Darjeeling to Khangchendzonga National Park: 66 kms

    Distance from Gangtok to Khangchendzonga National Park: 45.9 kms

    Distance from Yuksom to Khangchendzonga National Park: 34.3 kms

    Distance from Chungthang to Khangchendzonga National Park: 32.5 kms

    Distance from Lachen to Khangchendzonga National Park: 23.6 kms

    Park Timings

    Goechala trek suspension bridge Kunchenjunga

    Monday-Saturday: Open 24 hours
    Sunday: Closed
    Wednesday: Timings may differ

    Park Entry Fees

    Mount Kanchenjunga, weather

    According to the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the Chief Wildlife Warden of the State Government grants permission to visitors looking to visit the Kanchenjunga National Park for the purpose of photography, tourism, scientific research, studying wildlife and transaction of lawful business on the payment of the following prescribed fees:

    Entry Fee:

    For Indian Nationals:
    INR 350/- per head for the first 7 days.
    INR 40/- per head-per day for additional days.
    For Foreign Nationals:
    INR 560/- per head for the first 7 days.
    INR 80/- per head -per day for additional days.
    For Students (Indian Nationals):
    INR 80/- per head for the first 7 days
    INR 20/- per head -per day for additional days.
    For Local Guides and Porters with the Team: 10/- per head per day
    Tent Pitching Charge: 50/- per tent per day
    Bed Charges in Log Hut: 100/- per bed per day

    Camera Operating Fee:

    Still Camera: 30/-
    Video Camera: 1000/-
    Movie Camera: 35000/-

    Expeditions to the high altitude peaks for scaling & climbing, permissions have to be taken from the Government of Sikkim.

    Ideal Duration Of The Trip To Khangchendzonga National Park

    Mt. Kanchenjunga, Sikkim, India

    An ideal duration would be 2 nights 3 days for a trip to Khangchendzonga National Park and one can also choose to travel to the beautiful places around it like Gangtok, Darjeeling, Lachen, Lachung, Kalimpong to add some more days to their itinerary.

    Things To Do At The Khangchendzonga National Park

    1.Explore Goechala

    Goechala Trek Suspension Bridge Khangchendzonga

    At an altitude of 4947 mts, one of the highest mountain passes located in Himalayas, Goechala is a popular option among tourists visiting Sikkim. The base is located at Yuksom, from where the trek begins. The trek is known to be a delight to eyes with gorgeous rhododendron trees, quiet peaks and flowing water of Samiti lake.

    2. Khecheopalri Lake

    Buddhist site, Kanchenjunga, Lake

    Located in West Sikkim, around 150 kms away from Gangtok, this lake holds special significance for Buddhists and Hindus and draws thousands of pilgrims every year for Maghe Purne (March) and Chho-tsho (October). Do not forget to check out this Buddhist Pagoda near the famous Khecheopalri Lake.

    3. Yuksom Valley

    Yuksom Valley, Kanchenjunga

    A serene, quiet village located on the top of Khangchendzonga National Park. It is popular, both among tourists and pilgrims. The best time to visit is from February to November. Dubdi Monastery, one of the oldest Sikkim monastery is just an hour’s trek from the village.

    Flora and Fauna In Khangchendzonga National Park

    Established in 1977, spread over an area of 1750 sq km, Khangchendzonga National park has the advantage of being located in not so easily accessible part of Sikkim and hence is a virgin home to flora and fauna and a delight to travellers.

    Flora

    Rhododendron, flowers, Flora, Kanchenjunga

    The flora blossoming in the national park can be divided mainly into three zones –
    1.Temperate broad leaved forest (uptil 2730 mts)
    This forest type is home to varieties like Quercus Lineata, Acer Campbellii and Juglans Regia.

    2. Mixed coniferous forest (uptill 3650 mts)
    This forest type covered by varieties like Abies Densa, Junipers and Rhododendrons.

    3. Alpine scrub above (3650 mts)
    This type is home to common herbs and medicinal plants like Picrorhiza and Rheum emodi.

    Fauna

    red panda in the park

    Image Source

    The area is home to diverse and some of the endangered mammal species like snow leopard, red panda (Sikkim’s state animal), Blue sheep, Barking deer, Marmont monkeys, Musk deer, wild dogs and Rodents to name a few. Reptiles like rat snakes and russell’s viper also inhabit the region.

    Avifauna

    Flycatcher birds species at Kanchenjunga

    More than 500 species and subspecies of birds can be found in Sikkim. Monal pheasants, Tragopan pheasant, osprey, Asian emerald cuckoo, sunbirds, now pigeon, Blood pheasants (state bird of Sikkim), satyr tragopan, impeyan pheasant, Tibetan snow cock, Himalayan griffon, lammergeier, forest eagle owl, falcons and Rock pigeons are just some of them. The birds fly down to lower altitude in winters as upper altitudes immerse in snow. A new species Himalayan forest thrush was found in the region in 2016 and its scientific name is Zoothera salimalii.

    Khangchendzonga National Park Accommodation

    Forest Rest Houses, Kanchenjunga, Bukkim

    The hospitality industry is still developing in Sikkim and hence the Forest Rest Houses are the best bet for the tourists. These forest rest houses at the Range office provide its visitors with comfortable accommodation facilities. Other options include home stays and decent budget hotels. The Khangchendzonga Conservation Committee, Hotel Yak, Trekkers hut, hotel 10zing, and Hotel Tashigang are some of the most cosy and popular options among tourists.

    Now that you know about this magnificent Khangchendzonga National Park, make sure you include it in your visit to Sikkim. And if you are looking for a more personalised experience, book your Sikkim tour package with TravelTriangle and enjoy a customized trip!

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    Category: Bot, Khangchendzonga National Park, National Parks, North East, Sikkim

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