Considering the natural beauties present within the boundaries of Sikkim, it wouldn't be wrong to call Sikkim a piece of heaven on earth. Be it regarding beautiful vegetation or exotic fauna, Sikkim is one of the few places in India which have everything under their arms.
From snowfall areas to lush green hill stations and urban settlements to wildlife sanctuaries, there is a lot to explore in the state of Sikkim. So, how about starting our journey by exploring its beauty present in the form of wildlife sanctuaries, which have been protecting myriad species of plants, animals and birds for years.
Following are the must-visit wildlife sanctuaries in Sikkim which you must visit once at least while in and around Sikkim.
Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary
PC- Dibyendu Ash
Certainly, Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful sanctuaries in India which host beautiful landscapes and scenic views apart from housing endangered and rare animals, plants and birds. It is located in the East Sikkim district and was established in the year 1999.
Spread over an area of about 124 square kilometres, this captivating sanctuary is also home to a few small villages, such as Aritar and Gnathang Valley. Even though Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary reserves several mammals too, such as red panda, Asiatic black bear and red fox, it is mainly famous amongst tourists for its bird population.
The major species of birds found here include little bunting, bay woodpecker, red-tailed minla and blood pheasant. As the sanctuary comprises of hilly regions, it is also a weekend stoppage for several trekkers. However, the major tourists visiting this beautiful sanctuary are photographers.
Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary
Another beautiful sanctuary in the East Sikkim district, Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary was formed in 1984 and is scattered over an area of about 51 square kilometres. It is located adjacent to Khangchendzonga National Park and hence, the region is rich in green vegetation. Covered with grasslands and broadleaf forests, this pleasing sanctuary is inhabited by several small villages, such as Mangan and Dikchu.
You can also find Teesta and Dikchu rivers flowing through the sanctuary, thereby, enhancing its panoramic beauty. The major animals found here include red panda, barking deer, musk deer and Himalayan brown bear.
Hill partridge, bar-throated minla, yellow-browed tit and crimson-browed finch are a few species of birds found inside the sanctuary. You must visit this beautiful sanctuary if you are looking to spot some of the rarest of natural beauties of Sikkim in the form of birds and animals.
Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary
Nestled wonderfully in the Singalila Range of Sikkim, Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is a beauty in diversity. The presence of rhododendrons, which bloom during the months of March and April, acts as a cherry on the cake. During these months, the beauty and the glamour of the entire sanctuary gets elevated, which in turn, makes Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary look like a paradise dipped in pink.
The major species of animals found here include red panda and the species of birds include Tibetan serin. It is famous amongst trekkers as well on account of the presence of sloppy terrains and hilly regions.
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary
Located at a distance of around 30 km from Gangtok, Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary is rich in varieties of rare and endangered flowering plants. The major species found here include rhododendrons, ground slipper orchid, juniper and silver fir.
You can also spot several species of leopard and red panda here. Established in 1977 and covering an area of 31 square kilometres, Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary is a perfect place if you are looking to take a break from your busy life.
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in 1987 and spread over an area of 14 square kilometres, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in varieties of medicinal plants. Even though there are not many animals to spot inside the sanctuary, you can still capture the beauty of several beautiful birds here.
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary is one of its kind in the world as it will be home to the first wildlife skywalk in India soon. So, how about planning a visit to Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary?