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North Bengal & Sikkim 

Hot Spots Tours Bird List Trip Report Lodges Map

The Region

Khangchendzonga at SunriseThis region comprising the state if Sikkim and the adjoining parts of North Bengal - Darjeeling and Kalimpong, lies between Latitude 27 and 28 degrees North, and Longitude 87 to 89 degrees East. It is a rugged strip of vertical mountain country. Wedged between Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and the North Bengal Plains of India. This tiny region is just 90 kms wide and 150 kms deep. The grain of the country rises from near sea level to 8500 meters, in a short distance, The great Himalayan Range with its giant spurs – singelila and Chola, virtually enclose this region in a titanic horseshoe. Starting from the plains of North Bengal tangled interlacing ridges rise rang after range to the foot of the great wall of high peaks and passes opening into Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan.

The climate varies between the tropical heat of the valleys and the alpine cold of the snowy regions. With rainfall averaging 348 cms, it is the most humid region of the Himalayas. Dry season is from November to April. The altitudanal zones of vegitation range from tropical , sub tropical, temperate to Alpine – some places only 10 kms in a direct line separates the palm growing valleys from perpetual snow. The telescoping of terrain - from the pleasant humid foothill valleys below 1000 meters, to the arctic cold of the snow capped peaks up to 8000 meters, has created marked altitudinal zonation in the humidity, rainfall, climate and vegetation. This factor is responsible for the great variety and abundance of the resident bird life, making this area arguably one of the richest areas of its size anywhere in the world. Dr. Salim Ali -one of India's foremost ornithologists has recorded 527 species of resident birds. In addition there are vagrants, and transients on migration. It is estimated that more than 30 percent of the species of the Indian Sub continent can be spotted in this region.

Our research is based on source material from Krys Kazmierczak & Raj Singh's book; "A Bird Watchers Guide To India". We have located suitable birding sites in association with local guides to create tours for bird watchers. Keeping in mind constraints of movement, infrastructure, time and local conditions, we have evolved exciting itineraries. These cover some of the best known birding sites in North Bengal and Sikkim, as well as new areas pioneered by us - such as Tholung valley and Samthar. We are exploring other potential hot spots. Our tours operate over a range of 900 meters to 4500 meters in elevation.

The following birding areas are included -

North Bengal

  • Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary

  • Lava

  • Neora National Park

  • Samthar - Ponbu

  • Darjeeling

  • Singelila Range ( Sandakphu)


  • Vershay & Dentam Valley

  • Pamayangtse, Khichepheri &Yoksom

  • Dzongri & Prek Chhu Valley

  • Rabangla & Menam Forests

  • Damthang and Tendon Forests

  • Teesta & Rangit Valleys

Keen birders who have knowledge of any other hot spots and  are interested in joining hands as operator-partners; should contact us at: gurutt@sancharnet.in

For detailed information on occurrence of species go to Bird list and Trip reports.

Planning your birding trip

Your Birding itinerary depends upon your interests, the duration of the planned trip, and other matters such as your budget.

We feel the best way to finalize your itinerary is to first check out the  Hot Spots and our standard Tours. You may also like to check out Lodges, to decide what you want. Thereafter together, via e-mail, we can formulate your trip plan.

The best time for birding in the Eastern Himalayas is Feb to May and Oct - Nov, though any time of the year can be productive. From June - September it rains a lot and birding is difficult. Ideal time is Feb-March- April

The duration of your tour can be as long as you like. You will find our suggestions of days required for each birding site. We have some itineraries, for ready reference. These can be tailored to your requirements.

The main towns in this region are Gangtok in Sikkim, Darjeeling and Kalimpong in the mountains of North Bengal, and Silguri in the plains of North Bengal. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra near Siliguri in the plains. Bagdogra is the gateway airport. It is connected to Delhi, Guwahati, and Kolkata. 

New Jalpaiguri is the nearest Railway station. It is connected to all parts of India. Road connections are available from Siliguri.

For more information go to http://www.gurudongma.com/sikkim_darjeeling/index.html.

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Tour options for non-birding spouse/friends: www.gurudongma.com.

Bird photographs by Yashodhan Bhatia,

Ronald Saldino,  Niels Poul Dryer, Ketil Knudsen
Kalypso Adventures & Gurudongma Team

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Gurudongma House

Hill Top, Kalimpong, 73430, India


Phone & Fax: +91-3552-255204

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E-mail: guruttbsnl.in

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