Kanchendzonga National Park:
North Sikkim District, Sikkim
Best time to visit
April to May and August to October
Chungthan (20 Km)
Musk deer, Himalayan Tahr, Snow leopard
Kanchendzonga National Park is spread across an area of 850sq km, and is the largest wildlife reserve in Sikkim. The third highest peak on the planet - the Kanchendzonga, straddles the western boundary of the park, from which the reserve gets its name. The reserve also includes the vast Zemu Glacier. Situated in such an inaccessible expanse, the region has remained untouched to quite a large extent.
In fact it said that a large area of the park remains yet unexplored by man! The reserve is home to the snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Tibetan antelope, wild ass, barking deer, musk deer, flying squirrel and the red panda who live in blissful isolation amongst giant magnolias, rhododendrons and pine forests. Entry to the park remains restricted to mountaineers and to more serious expeditions. If interested, contact a local travel agent in Gangtok for the permit and other formalities.
Yuksom (145km from the capital Gangtok) in West Sikkim is a starting point for trekkers and mountaineers. They can get a permit from the Wildlife Education and Interpretiaton centre at Yuksom or from the checkpost. State Tourism Department and other travel agents organise treks to Dzongri (4050 m), a two day trek from Yuksom. The trek routes are
Yuksom - Tshoka - Dzongri
Bakim - Dzongri - Thangshing - Samuteng - Goechala
Dzongri Base Camp - Rathong - Khangerteng
Thangshing - Lam Pokhari - Kasturi Orar - Lapdong - Tashiding (Road Head).
Permission and Fees
In accordance with the provisions of the principal Wildlife (Protection) Act. 1972. and Wildlife Rules made there on the Chief Wildlife Warden who is the authority to implement the Act and the Rules in the State grants permission to visitors intending to visit the National Park and Sanctuaries for the purpose of studying wildlife, photography, scientific research, tourism and for the transaction of lawful business on payment of prescribed fees. Mountaineers, trekkers, Photographers and other visitors entering the National Park would require to pay.
How to get there
Air: Nearest Airport is Bagdogra, (222) km. Bagdogra is 124kms (4hours drive) from Gangtok, the capital. Indian airlines operate regular flights from Kolkata (Dum Dum airport), Delhi, Guwahati. Sikkim Tourism Development Corporation also operates a daily helicopter service flight from Bagdogra to Gangtok (20 minutes)
Rail : Nearest Railhead Is Jalpaiguri ( 221km) and Siliguri junction which are connected to Calcutta, New Delhi, Guwahati and other major Indian cities.
Road : Regular bus services connect Gangtok with Bagdogra (4 hours), Darjeeling(139 kms), Kalimpong, Siliguri(114 kms) Calcutta(725 kms) and Guwahati 589 kms.