Ten-Second Takeaway

Sikkim’s Khangchendzonga National Park gets on the UNESCO World Heritage list for outstanding universal values for both natural and cultural significance. Book your tickets now.

Perfect, Naturally

You probably know of the Khangchendzonga National Park {KNP} for the fact that India’s highest mountain Khangchendzonga {easier spelled and known as Kanchenjunga} is smack in the middle of it. But what you may not have known is that the whopping 850 sqkm park, that is also about 8 kilomteres high thanks to the looming Himalayas being part of it. It is also has over 15 lakes {like the sublime Tsongmo and Gurudongmar Lake}, the Zemu glacier that is 26km long, and is home to a significant number of endemic, rare and threatened plant and animal species including the golden snub-nosed monkey and snow leopards. With arid lands, mountain deserts and snow-clad peaks, it’s not wonder that KNO is one of India’s most significant biodiversity concentrations. But that’s the natural aspect.

Cultural Confluence

The cultural significance of this park comes from the whole of Sikkim being considered as ‘hidden sacred’ land or Beyul, by Tibetan Buddhism across the world, as well as the indigenous Lepcha community, who call it the Mayel Lyang. This peaceful co-existence of the two people is another reason for KNP’s significance. The third count being owed entirely to the traditional practices of the Lepcha people. It is their respect for the ecological system, knowledge in properties of local plants and environmental preservation that makes this place of prime cultural importance.

Sikkim Calling

So the next time you’re looking for your next holiday, head across to Sikkim for a blend of breathtaking beauty, a dose of culture and Buddhist peace. Then, if you dare, maybe try to trek up the easier mountains? And hey, even if you can’t, make sure you have a camera in hand to capture the practically perfect vista. Heaven on earth, indeed!

Check out the official Khangchendzonga National Park website here.

Feature Photo: Khangchendzonga National Park


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