Looking for holiday destination ideas that are stress busters? Consider visiting Sikkim to enjoy the magical activity of butterfly watching in the tranquility of its forests in the Eastern Himalayas.
Sikkim has a rich butterfly diversity and is home to 50% of butterflies recorded in the Indian subcontinent. Botany buffs and nature lovers can rejoice as close to 700 species of butterflies have been recorded in Sikkim’s mountainous landscape.
The varying altitudes breed different kinds of butterflies; while the lower valleys (900m to 1800m) have the highest density of butterflies, the numbers dwindle as you go higher up due to the harsh climatic conditions.
BUTTERFLIES TO SPOT
Chocolate Albatross, Bright Sunbeam, Common Red Forester, Yellow Swallowtail, Paris Peacock, Blue Duchess, Blue Duke, Krishna Peacock, Lime Butterfly, Atlas Moth, Great Mormon, Dark Cerulean, Small Woodbrown, and Kaiser-i-Hind. The Blue Duchess is commonly observed during April-May at 1000-1400m. These can be seen in large numbers at Sankalang area in Dzongu, North Sikkim.
Butterflies found at over 14,000 feet: Indian Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Dark Clouded Yellow, Tortoiseshell, and Large Cabbage White.
Newly discovered species: Chocolate-bordered Flitter in 2020 discovered in Dzongu, north Sikkim.