Spread across an area of 1784 sq. km, Kanchendzonga National Park is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the North East India, and the largest wildlife reserve in Sikkim. It is one of the primary tourist attractions of Sikkim. Situated in Northwestern part of the state, it is spread over an area of 850sq. km. The park covers an elevation range from 1800m to 8600m, and is one of the highest parks in the country. The park is blessed with undisturbed forest cover, while the western boundary of the park is straddled by the mighty Mt. Kanchendzonga.
A part of Kanchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, it was declared a national park in the year 1977. In 2016, the Kanchendzonga National Park was titled an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park extends from Temperate to Alpine zone. The park attracts visitors from all over the world due to its flourishing vegetation which comprises of temperate wild leaf jungle dominated by oaks, diverse coniferous jungle comprising of fir, birch, maple, willow and others. In addition, one can also find several plants with medicinal and aromatic properties.
Blessed with the charm of Northeast Himalayas, there are many glaciers in the Kanchendzonga National Park area. Amongst them the Zemu Glacier is the longest. The lofty Mt. Kanchendzonga (8,585m) consisting of the five peaks are Narshing, Pandim, Simvo, Kabru and Siniolchu. The national park is also known by the name of ‘five snow peaks’. One of the unqiue features of this park is that each of the altitudinal zones here possess their unique form of vegetation.
Kanchendzonga National Park is also home to an amazing variety of avifauna. Almost 550 species have been spotted here. The most popular ones include the Blood Pheasants, Satyr Tragopan, Impeyan pheasants, Himalayan griffon, Lammergeyers, snow pigeon, and eagles. Among the fauna to be found in the park area is the famous Snow Leopard. The other animals which are found are Clouded Leopard, Himalayan black bear, Red panda, Blue Sheep, Musk deer, Himalayan Thar, Tibetan wolf, Great Tibetan sheep, etc. Some Lepcha tribes also inhabit the area.
Trekking in Kanchendzonga National Park is a thrilling adventure. The breathtaking trails and the wildlife encounters are the perfect recipe for adventures. Visit between the months of March to May and September to Mid-December as the national park enjoys perfect weather conditions.