120 kms from Siliguri on the ridge between Maenam (10600 ft) and Tendong (8500 ft) peaks lies the sleepy hamlet of Ravangla (7000 ft) in South Sikkim. Ravangla is on the state highway connecting Gangtok and Pelling/Pemayangtse and rests at the foot of snow capped Mt. Narsing (19600 ft). This silent valley is favoured stop for birding the nearby Damtang forest (2 kms) and Maenam Wild Life Sanctuary (2.5 kms). It
is also a suitable pit-stop for those traveling to hotspots like Yuksam, Khechoperi Lake, Pemayangtse and Varsey.
Ravangla itself has scrub forest which attracts a rich variety of Himalayan birds. Verditer Flycatchers, Blue-fronted Redstarts, Grey Bushchats, Dark-throated Thrush, Blue-whistling Thrush, Green-backed Tit and White- browed Fantails are very common and cannot be missed. The forests around Ravangla resound with the unmistakable calls of Laughingthrushes, Babblers, Cuckoos and Hill Partridge. The rare Satyr Tragopan makes Maenam a home and the lucky can
hear its breeding call from the higher reaches of Ravangla.
Verditer Flycatcher (f)
Golden Bush Robin
How to reach:
Ravangla is a 4.5 hour journey from Siliguri by road. it is also connected to Gangtok 65 kms (2.5 hrs), Darjeeling 73 kms ( 3.5 hrs), Pelling/Pemayangtse 52kms (2 hrs). Buses and taxis are available from all these places.
Where to stay:
Ravangla has a few budget hotels. Mt. Narsing Village Resort
has been upgraded and provides quality accommodation. I stayed at Hotel Zumthang (ph 03595- 60870 which
has clean rooms and good service at USD 15/day.
1. The Birds of Sikkim ~ Salim Ali (Oxford University Press).
2. A Birdwatchers' Guide to India ~ Krys Kazmierczak and Raj Singh (OUP).
Maenam Wild Life Sanctuary
Sumit K Sen