Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary Barsey or Varsey is a small town in Sikkim. Located at an altitude of 10,000ft, Barsey is renowned for its Rhododendron Sanctuary. The sanctuary falls in the West Sikkim district and can be accessible by road via Hilley, Dentam or Soreng from Geyzing. If you want to try trekking in India, it would be an amazing idea to proceed up (4 kms) the hill from Hilley. The sanctuary falls in the Singalila range, and is a starting point to Singalila Range trek route.
During spring time, Rhododendrons blossom here covering the whole terrain with colors and lovely fragrance. It's surprising to know that you can find 600 varieties of rhododendrons, out of 1000 (varieties known) in Sikkim. Spreaded in an area of 104 sq. km, the sanctuary is a home to numerous species of Rhododendron, Primula, Magnolia, oaks and pine. Not only this, Barsey is rich in both flora and fauna. Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is also renowned for embracing rare Himalayan species of Red Panda and Black Bear.
Fauna at Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary: Leopard, Leopard Cat, Marbled Cat, Himalayan Yellow Throated Marten, Himalayan Palm Civet, Cannidae Wild dog, Indian Fox, Jackal, Himalayan Black Bear, Wild Boar, Red Panda, Barking Deer, Serow, Assamese Macaque, Rhesus Macaque, Himalayan Langur, Crimson Horned Pheasant, Monal Pheasant and Kaleej Pheasant, Crestless Porcupine, Rufous Tailed Hare, Chinese Pangolin, Flying Squirrel, Giant Squirrel and Himalayan Mouse Hare are some of the animals found at the Barsey Sanctuary.
Some of the species of Rhododendron that can be easily seen in the sanctuary are arboreum, cinnabarinum, falconeri, barbatum, campanulatum hodgsoni, Acer caudatum, Betula utilis, Pieris ovalifolia, Prunus rufa, Pyrus foliolosa and P. macrophylla. Here, Bamboo and varieties of shrubs are also traceable. The vegetation in the area is dense and sometimes, you can see layers of a variety of plants