Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, North Sikkim
Surrounded by striking mountain ranges of the Himalayas, Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary holds its own reputation for housing an impressive collection of rhododendron species. This popular attraction in Sikkim comes to life during the spring season with flowers that sprawl far and wide covering an area of around 43 sq.kms. You can discover more than forty species of rhododendron trees here in fact, and can also witness some bird species soaring high up in the air such as wood snipe and hoary-throated barwing. This sanctuary is rich in natural vegetation and thus it is covered in various other species of plants and trees such as potentillas, primulas, saxifrages, poppies, aconites, gentians etc. This nature park is also famous a trekking destination in Sikkim.
Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary radiates with varied flora and it is famous for its rhododendron flowers. You can witness a number of different species of rhododendron and enjoy looking at the scenic mountain ranges and also the glittering Yumthang Chu (River) that flows through the valley. Trekking is another great thing to do in Shingba.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Best time to visit Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is from Mid March to Mid June as the weather is quite pleasant at that time of the year and you can witness the blooming varieties of Rhododendron flowers. During October to February you can witness snowfall in these regions. Monsoon season starts from July and ends by September. Heavy rains are expected in this places during these days due to the South-West monsoons. The heavy rains during this time will play a spoilsport with sightseeing plans so it is advisable to void travelling during these seasons.
HOW TO GET THERE
Airways: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal about 5 hrs drive from Gangtok, and about 220 km from Yumthang. Sikkim also has got its first commercial airport at Pakyong, East Sikkim but weather hampers the operation of this airport most of the time. If you are lucky enough you can get a flight directly to Pakyong.
Railways: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in West Bengal which is about 215 km from Yumthang.
Roadways: Yumthang is about 127 km from Gangtok, the capital city. You have to halt at Gangtok and start your journey towards North Sikkim the next day early morning after getting the necessary permits.