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Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, East Sikkim

The Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary is situated in Eastern Sikkim near Tsongmo Lake at a distance of 30kms from Gangtok. Spread over an area of 31 sq. km the sanctuary forms a natural border with Bhutan and Tibet in North-East. The Sanctuary can be reached from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim by a one and half hour journey towards Nathula and Tsongmo Lake.

Attraction and landscape:

Situated at the elevation between 10,000ft to 13000ft the Kyongnosla sanctuary abounds in alpine flowers like Primulas, Poppies, Magnolias and Rhododendron. The sanctuary is home to several endemic floral species of Himalayas particularly medicinal plants and orchids. Some huge and majestic silver firs spread over the area towering above the dense rhododendron forests and fields of tiny flowering plants. There are also dense bushes of bamboos at the lower altitudes, which forms an ideal habitat for animals like the Red Panda. The difficult terrain of the region has still kept a large portion of the sanctuary as unexplored.

The Kyongnosla Sanctuary commands a breathtaking view of Kanchenjunga peak in the west and Mt. Pandim and Mt. Norsing in the southern side. This unique high altitude scenic sanctuary is also rich in its wildlife divercity. Among the most important species found here apart from Red Panda are Snow leopard, Musk deer, various species of mountain goat and sheep, Himalayan black bear, raptors such as black eagle, black winged kite and kestrel and pheasants such as monals and blood pheasant etc. Although it is difficult to spot an animal on one's journey to Tsongo Lake and Nathula, but the Kyongnosla Sanctuary is one of the safest refuge of these rare species because of the strict protection by forest department and army personnel. The difficult terrain is also an assistance to save the endangered animals.

Weather

Kyongnosla sanctuary witnesses a prevailing wet and cold climate in most of the year because of its high altitude. Like other parts of Sikkim the wettest month is July. The upper ridges in the sanctuary receive regular snowfall during winter between December and February. The flowering season starts from March and continues till August.Local hunters

The open areas of the forests bloom with thousands of unknown flowers with a variety of coloured primulas, blue poppies, and Clematis in June; purple irises, pale yellow poppies and Fritillaria together with the little local strawberry Fragaria dotting the ground in July.

The clear sky remains from November to May and is best time to see the mountains.

There is no tourist accommodation inside the forest. Visitor can stop at few points while going to Nathula and Tsongmo Lake to enjoy the area or to have a glimpse of wild animals.

Map of Kyongnosla

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