Out of 18 biodiversity hot-spots in the world, 2 are located in India. One in the Western Ghats and the other in Eastern Himalayas. Sikkim, the tiny state in the Himalayas alone covers 0.2% of India’s forest area. The state has about 9 types of major forests. It has more than 26% of the flowering plants of the country. Sikkim stands a major phytogeographical reserve of India.
So, if nature fascinates you, and if you wish to explore the pristine forests, tread the routes that are less traveled, then State Biodiversity Park in Tendong Sikkim beckons you like your dream come true. Tendong State Biodiversity Park nestles 14 km north of district headquarter, Namchi in South Sikkim. It is located about 70 km away from the west of Gangtok.
A glance into topography and objectives
Resting at a rolling topography with a flat part in few areas, it’s elevation varies from 1,400 meters to 2,025 metres above the sea level. The park expands over the total range of 255 hectares. Many rivulets rush through the region. The park covers the Southern part of Maenam – Tendong Ridge, which completely divides the state longitudinally. Tendong State Biodiversity Park sprawls over the northern ridge amidst Gyanchung and Damthang, below the state highway. Lying nearby to Temi Tea Garden, it can be easily accessible.
Tendong State Biodiversity Park is a progressive effort of the Department of Forest, Environment, and Wildlife, Government of Sikkim. The purpose is to increase the number of exotic, endangered and endemic species, and re-develop their natural habitat. Further, the department has created other exploratory yard nurseries for the conservation. Tendong State Biodiversity Park conserves the genetic stock available in the current site of the park. The area houses rare, endangered and threatened plant species from the publication of the Botanical Survey of India.
What to expect?
Tendong State Biodiversity Park abounds with shrubberies of Chestnuts, Oaks, Bamboos, Walnuts, Alders, Canes and flourishing habitat to flowering and medicinal plants. The place is rich with a diverse range of avifauna. The region houses an array of endangered and exotic species of Sikkim such as Flying squirrels, Barking Deer are to name a few.
Tendong is well known for its trekking trails in South Sikkim. The trekking route lies at Damthang, which is located 13 km away from Ravangla. The trek route begins from Damthang bazaar and ends at Tendong Hill, which is located 6km away. The time required to complete the trek is 5 – 7 hours.
Tendong State Biodiversity Park is a tiny area covered by verdant forests. It is said that the forests are deeply rooted in spirituality. Tendong Forest is considered sacred by the indigenous Lepcha Tribe, who seldom pray inside the forest to attend the religious obligations. The Forest is also known to serve as a shelter to the monks who are meditating. Tendong forest is one of the ideal places to witness the splendor of nature. If you love adventure, you can embark on treks to discover more about the attractions nearby. A few major places to explore around are Borong, Maenam, and Temi Tea Estate.
Where to stay?
Tendong doesn’t have too many accommodation options. Tourists can plan their stay at Ravangla, which offers good conveniences to travelers.
How to reach Tendong State Biodiversity Park?
Sikkim has well-networked road connectivity. A good number of jeeps and buses ply to the various parts of the state. If you are traveling to Namchi, you can avail of prompt taxi services and shared vehicles from Siliguri, Gangtok, Darjeeling, etc. Once you reach Namchi, you can further board a bus or a cab to reach Tendong State Biodiversity Park.
The best time to visit
The ideal time to visit the park is during the spring and the summers, which ideally occurs between March to June.
Also Read – Sidkeong Tulku Bird Park, Sikkim