KHANGCHENDZONGA NATIONAL PARK

RELEVANCE –UPSC  GS PRELIMS

EXPECTED  QUESTIONS

QUES 1 . Given below are the statements relating with a National Park-

1 .  It is a National Park and a Biosphere reserve.

2 . The third highest peak on the planet straddles the western boundary of the National Park.

The National Park described above is –

a . Nanda Devi National Park

b . Dachigam National Park

c . Dibru-Saikhowa National Park

d . Kanchenjunga National Park

Answer – d

QUES 2 . Which among the following National Parks  has been inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list as the “Mixed Heritage”  site of India?

a . Great Himalayan National Park 

b . Kaziranga National Park 

c . Keoladeo National Park 

d . Khangchendzonga National Park

Answer – d

QUES 3 . Zemu Glacier, one of the largest in Asia is located in –

a . Mouling NP

b . Kanchenjunga NP

c . Hemis NP

d . Namdapha NP

Answer – b

ABOUT KHANGCHENDZONGA NATIONAL PARK

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Location

The Kanchenjunga Park is situated in the North and West Sikkim districts  of Sikkim.

Important facts for Prelims

1 . It is a National Park and a Biosphere reserve.

2 .  It was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 2016, becoming the first “Mixed Heritage” (cultural and natural both) site of India.

3 . Khangchendzonga National Park includes a unique diversity of plains, valleys, lakes, glaciers and spectacular, snow-capped mountains covered with ancient forests, including the world’s third highest peak, Mount Khangchendzonga.

4 . The third highest peak on the planet, Mt. Khangchendzonga (8,586 m ) straddles the western boundary of Khangchendzonga National Park.

5 .The park falls within the Himalaya global biodiversity hotspot and displays a range of sub-tropical to alpine ecosystems.

Glaciers

The park boasts eighteen glaciers including Zemu Glacier, one of the largest in Asia.

Biodiversity

The park has one of the highest levels of plant and mammal diversity recorded within the Central/High Asian Mountains. Khangchendzonga National Park is home to nearly half of India’s bird diversity, wild trees, orchids and rhododendrons and one third of the country’s flowering plants.

Flora

The flora includes temperate broadleaf and mixed forests consisting of oaks, fir, birch, maple, willow etc.  Alpine grasses and shrubs are also found at higher altitudes.

Fauna

A remarkable six cat species have been confirmed (Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Snow Leopard, Jungle Cat, Golden Cat, Leopard Cat) within the park . Important fauna include musk deer, clouded leopard , snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, wild dog, sloth bear, civet, Himalayan black bear, red panda, Tibetan wild ass, Himalayan blue sheep, serow, goral , takin, rat snake and Russell’s viper.

Birds

The important species of birds found here include  blood pheasant, satyr tragopan, osprey, Himalayan griffon, lammergeier, Tragopan pheasant, green pigeon, Tibetan snowcock, snow pigeon, impeyan pheasant, Asian emerald cuckoo, sunbird and eagle. A new species of bird named Himalayan Forest Thrush has been found in 2016.

Cultural aspects

The park is central to the Buddhist understanding of Sikkim as a beyul, that is, an intact site of religious ritual and cultural practice for Tibetan Buddhists in Sikkim, in neighbouring countries and all over the world.

Dzonga, Sikkim’s guardian deity and the owner and protector of the land, resides on Mount Khangchendzonga.

Khangchedzonga National Park is the heartland of a multi-ethnic culture which has evolved over time, giving rise to a multi-layered syncretic religious tradition, which centres on the natural environment and its notable features. This kinship is expressed by the region surrounding Mount Khangchendzonga being revered as Mayel Lyang(Lepcha’s mythological place) by the indigenous peoples of Sikkim and as a beyul (sacred hidden land) in Tibetan Buddhism.