Location : 31 kms from Gangtok, East Sikkim District
Area : 31 sq km
Attraction : Extensive range of flora and fauna
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary is an added attraction in the trip to the eastern part of Sikkim. Located at a distance of 31 kms from Gangtok, the sanctuary falls on the way to the eminent Tsomgo Lake. This Alpine Sanctuary sprawls in an area of 31 sq km in the mountainous terrain. Ranging from altitudes between 3292 meters and 4116 meters, Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary certainly boasts of a wide range of flora and fauna. The exciting trekking trail to this sanctuary starts from Kyongnosla Village.
If you happen to be a nature enthusiast, a visit to this sanctuary would be really delightful for you. Talking about flora, the sanctuary constitutes figures of rare and endangered species of ground orchid, tall juniper, silver fir and rhododendron. The ground flora is fabricated with different species of primulas, wild strawberries, irises, poppies, rhododendrons, gentians, orchids and the rare panax (pseudo-ginseng).
It also has many medicinal plants like 'Kutki' (Picrorhiza Scrophulariflora), 'Jatamasi' (Nardostachs Graandiflora) 'Nilo bikh' (Aconitun Ferox) and many others. Throughout the year, different varieties of flowers blossom as per their favorable season. Before the arrival of winters, Polygonum is the last flower that blooms anticipating the first snowfall. The Sanctuary also has dense bushes of bamboos that grow at lower altitude to provide a perfect home for Red Panda. The dense growth of bamboo also helps in soil conservation.
The Alpine Sanctuary broadens from '15 Mile' Police Check Post up to the ridges adjoining RongChu and Tsomgo Lake, providing enough space for the assortment of fauna to exist here. Musk Deer, Serow, Goral, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Lesser Cats, Blood Pheasant, Common Langur, Leopard, Tibetan Fox, Himalayan Marmot, Yellow throated Martens Weasel, Satyr Tragopan and Impeyan Pheasant are some of the species of animals that are found in this sanctuary.
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary also has a rich range of avifauna including Blood Pheasant (the State Bird of Sikkim), Monal Pheasant, Satyr, Tragopan, Snow Partridges, Laughing Thrushes, Rose Finches, Redbilled Choughs, Forktails, Redstarts, Blackwinged Kite, Kestrel, Lammergeier, Griffon vulture, Firetailed Sunbirds and different kinds of migratory birds. The months between April to August and from October to November are recommended as the best time to visit the sanctuary.