The Goecha La pass lies inside Kanchenjunga National Park in India, and provides dazzling views of the famous mountain range at its best. But harsh conditions and tough ascents make this a challenging adventure.
A UNESCO World Heritage tagged national park, experience nature at its best in Sikkim’s Kanchenjunga National Park…
Going beyond India’s national parks and wildlife sanctuaries…
In Environment Current Affairs, Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve included in UNESCO designated World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR)
After a successful government campaign, Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim became India’s first “mixed” world heritage site — recognized by UNESCO for both its natural and cultural significance. But with key stakeholders left out and environmental issues ignored, some wonder whether the United Nations body should be doing far more due diligence.
SIKKIM, India — At 4,000 meters, the landscape of Dzongri in Khangchendzonga National Park in northeastern Indian state of Sikkim is stunning. The snowy peaks of the Khangchendzonga mountain range peer over steep valleys dotted with lakes and temples. In the spring and autumn, tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the park each year to trek. During the frigid winter and harsh summer monsoon season, however, the landscape becomes hostile and unwelcoming.
Mountains, flowers, birds and forests abound in this eastern part of the Himalayas.
If there is one Indian state that is all about the wild outdoors, it has to be Sikkim. A national park around Mt Kanchenjunga (the Khangchendzonga National Park, or KNP, a Unesco world heritage site), seven sanctuaries, 28 important peaks and a designated ecological hot spot. So whichever trek or walk you choose, there will be virgin forests and minimal human interface.
Most of Sikkim lies above 3,000m, with Mt Kanchenjunga towering over the landscape, so you traverse a variety of terrain ranging from sub-tropical, mixed broad-leaf and conifer forests to high alpine meadows. If you are a birdwatcher, you probably know that it’s also home to many varieties of bird species that feed off local flora such as orchids and rhododendrons.
You can try a combination of trekking and cycling here.
While some of you might have heard of the sites listed down here, there’s a fair chance that you didn’t know that these are actually listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. For someone who came in late, a World Heritage Site is selected and recognised by the United Nations on the basis of its “cultural, historical, scientific or any other form of significance”. These sites are preserved and protected by UNESCO and international treaties.
There are 35 such sites in India, that include the usual suspects such as Taj Mahal, Qutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, etc. But there are many more incredible sites that most of us aren’t aware of. Hence, I’m listing down seven of the most surreal UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India you had absolutely no idea about:
Khangchendzonga National Park
Look beyond the Taj Mahal to these incredible cultural and natural gems.
The striking thing about a country as vast as India is the sheer, overwhelming variety that it encompasses—of landscapes, cultures, languages, cuisines, and even UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Yet of its 35 cultural and natural heritage sites, travellers frequent only about a dozen. They miss some of India’s most outstanding wonders either because they are tucked in a little known, far-flung corner, or because they’re hiding in plain sight, in the shadow of an oft-visited attraction.
Up for a surprise? Here are seven of India’s little-known UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
KHANGCHENDZONGA NATIONAL PARK: HIDDEN LAND
This forest in Sikkim, one of India’s north-eastern states, has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage list as a place of mixed natural and cultural importance.