Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary in the northeastern state of Sikkim is a national park of natural beauty situated high at an altitude of 3292 to 4116 m. The sanctuary covers an area of 31sq kms along the Nathula Road about 31 km east of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.
Kyongnosla is a must see if you are in Sikkim. The park is an ideal place for trekking and picnics. The exciting trekking trail leading to the sanctuary begins from Kyongnosla Village. The Sanctuary is also made famous by the Tsomgo Lake which forms a border along with Rong Chu river from 15 Mile Police check post.
The Sanctuary abounds in both flora and fauna and particularly noted for its rare, endangered ground orchids and rhododendrons growing along side tall junipers and taller silver firs. Rhododendron Nevium is the State Tree of Sikkim. The endangered Cypripedium tibeticum (the ground slipper orchid) has also been introduced here.
Flora: The sanctuary has abundant natural cover where various rare species of plants and trees endemic to the region are found. Some of the common species of vegetation found here are tall juniper, rhododendron, silver fir, orchid, primulas, gentians, wild strawberries, rare panax, irises etc. Besides these there are also various species of medicinal plants like Nilo Bikh, Kutki, Jatamasi, etc.
Fauna: Kyongnosla is also home to plenty of animals such as the Himalayan black bear, musk deer, blood pheasant, leopard, red panda, common langur, Himalayan marmot, serow, yellow throated martens weasel, lesser cats, satyr tragopan, etc.
Avifauna: Both residential as well as migratory birds can be found in the park. Some of the commonly seen birds are monal pheasant, laughing thrushes, satyr, snow partridges, redbilled choughs, redstarts, rose finches, tragopan, kestrel, firetailed sunbirds, forktails and many more.
When To Go: The months between April to August and from October to November are recommended as the best time to visit the Sanctuary. The area remains under a blanket of snow from December till May. By July, primulas and rhododendrons come into full bloom making the place a sheer delight.
How To Get There: You can hire a bus or taxi from Gangtok to get to the park.
Where To Stay: There are plenty of good comfortable hotels at Gangtok in all ranges.