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Indira Srivatsa
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South Sikkim, India: The Buddha Park of Ravangla Vijay The area around offers some fabulous short treks. A 12 km trek from here through the Oak, Pine, Rhododendron, Magnolia and fir forests will take you to Mainam peak at 10,600 ft. Another 1.5 km uphill trek leads to valedunga, a hilltop offering beautiful view to the surrounding mountains. The entire trek route passes through the Mainam Sanctuary which houses a rare collection of Himalayan species like the red panda, Himalayan black bear, leopard cat, black pheasant cat etc. Best Time to Visit: Anytime of the year except the rainy season would be best time to visit this place. The weather of South Sikkim remains pleasant throughout the year, however if you are visiting in winter then don't forget to carry warm clothes as it can get chilly during this time of the year. How to Get There: Airways: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, West Bengal about 125 km from Ravangla. Sikkim also has got its first commercial airport at Pakyong, East Sikkim but weather hampers the operation of this airport most of the time. If you are lucky enough you can get a flight directly to Pakyong. A TO Z INDIA OCTOBER 2022 PAGE 6

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