North Sikkim district
North Sikkim is a district of the Indian state of Sikkim. Its district headquarters is Mangan. It is the seventh least populous district in the country
The district is the largest of the four districts of Sikkim.
The landscape is mountainous with dense vegetation all the way up to the alpine altitude before thinning out to desert scrub towards the Northern Tundra. Numerous waterfalls astride the main road make the trip to this district extremely picturesque.
The most prominent effect of the steepness of the valleys is the prevalence of landslides that at times drop to anything between 3000 to 5,000 ft (1,500 m) carrying devastation along their course. Most of them are caused either by the melting snow beds on top of the mountains or by erosive action of the rains.
Most of the people of the state reside near Mangan, the district headquarters which is about 2,000 feet (610 m) above sea level. Further north the elevation increases with the vegetation turning from temperate to alpine to tundra. Temperatures range from about 25° to below -40° in the extreme high reaches where the altitude is in excess of 6,000 metres. Kanchenjanga is the highest peak at over 8,000 m, straddling its eastern border with Nepal and can be seen clearly from the town of Singhik.
In view of exquisite scenic beauty, a large number of tourists have started visiting the region overcoming all sorts of hardship.
North Sikkim is home to the Red Panda (Ailurus Fulgens), a vulnerable species. This animal is the pride of Sikkim and is also the State Animal. It is generally found between heights of 2000 m to 4000 m. It is as big as a domestic Siamese cat (approximately 2 ft long), has a triangular shaped face with a stripe on its cheek, with red fur and black eyes. It has a sprinkling of white on its back and chest. The tail is bushy, black or brown in color and long like that of a skunk. They generally live on treetops.
In 1977 North Sikkim district became home to Khangchendzonga National Park, which has an area of 1,784 km2 (688.8 sq mi). It shares the park with West Sikkim district. It is also home to the Shingba (Rhododendron) Wildlife Sanctuary, which was established in 1984 and has an area of 43 km2 (16.6 sq mi).