Stunning Wildlife Spots Near Gangtok
Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim, and it is best known for the spectacular view of Kanchendzonga. It is located at the height of 5,500 feet and makes a perfect base for travel enthusiasts to come and enjoy the picturesque hills, local food and culture. The best part about the city is that it is India’s first spit- and litter-free city that offers all types of amenities to its travellers.
Gangtok is not all about mountains, hills, shopping streets, and nightclubs, there is another side of this cosmopolitan city that has a tint of wilderness. Yes, it also has two very prominent wild spots, Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve and Deorali Orchid Sanctuary, which are lush green and have a wide variety of flora-fauna. These wild spots have luxurious Gangtok hotels in proximity, where you can experience homely hospitality.
Let us discuss the two places in brief.
- Deorali Orchid Sanctuary
Deorali is situated nearby by the Namgyal Institute of Gangtok, and it is best known for the rare and unique Orchid collections. The types of Orchid found here are seasonal. Presently, there are a total of 200 species, of the 454 species of flowers, that are blooming here. This constitutes 44% of the total species of flowers found around the world. The sanctuary is best to visit during the blooming season which is from April to May and August to October. Besides the varieties of Orchid species, the reserve is also known for Rhododendron; a total of 40 genera are found here.
Best time to visit: Blooming seasons (April to May and August to October)
Timings: From 9 AM to 6:30 PM
Entry Free: It is free.
- Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
This reserve is situated in the North-East part of India, Sikkim, and it is home to wild animals like Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, and Himalayan Tahr. This whole reserve is spread in 850 square kilometres and came into existence on 26th August 1977. The reserve got its name after the Mount Khangchendzonga that is the world’s third highest peak. In the local language, Khangchendzonga means ‘five-treasures-of-snow!’
If we talk about the surrounding of this reserve, then it gives a beautiful glimpse of glaciers and mountain peaks. Some of the glaciers which are seen from here are Talung, Nepal, Zemu, and Simyo. Besides the peaks and glaciers, the place also gives a beautiful sight of greenery and vegetation. Popular of all are Oaks, Fir Birch, Willow, Maple, etc. Alpine grasses and shrubs are also found here. But this is not all. How can we miss the wild animals who live here? The names include Osprey, Serow, Sloth Bear, Civet, Himalayan blue sheep, Himalayan Black Bear, Tibetan Wild Ass, Takin, Himalayan Griffon, Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Green Pigeon, Snow Pigeon, and Red Panda.
Best time to visit: Between April to May
Timings: From 10 AM to 6:30 PM
Entry Free: Foreigner – Rs 560, Camera Fee – Rs 30, Video Camera – Rs 1,000, Domestic Students Rs 80 and Adults Rs 350.
How to Reach here?
As there are no direct flights to this place, you will have to take Mumbai to Kolkata, or Delhi to Kolkata flights to reach Kolkata. And then hit the road to reach Gangtok. Pre-bookings are the best options to avoid the hassle.