For the unenlightened, Barsey (Varsey) is a Wildlife Sanctuary located in Western part of Sikkim but it is also naturally gifted with a horde of flora and fauna available in Sikkim at the same time including Red Panda.
An uneventful overnight journey from Kolkata to Siliguri the next morning would be an awesome experience with excellent service and the best part would be if one reaches Sikkim in the morning like almost around 7AM and any time of the year one can take an initiative and plan for the trip since the flowers bloom every year and there is a mega bloom every 3 to 4 years. The International Rhododendron Festival in the year of 2010 was the last mega bloom. Some harsh winters and nearly daily hailstorms in the month of April signifies low yield in some years.
Flowers are plenty in numbers when the preceding winter season is less cruel. The 104 sq. km. Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary forms an essential corridor connecting the Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve (KBR) to the northern part with the Singalila National Park of West Bengal to the southern part including five types of diverse forests like Subtropical Moist Deciduous, Wet Temperate, Moist Temperate, Subalpine and Alpine Meadows that are providing shelter to a wide range of faunal elements.
This Sanctuary labors some pure stands of Rhododendron, the head or the dominant breed favored by cold and wet climate along the Singalila Range and a variety of epiphytic orchids, mosses, lichens and ferns with meadows that taking over from above 4000m and are rich in medicinal plants.
The state tree is present only in this sanctuary rich in ground flora like potentillas, primulas, gentians, aconites and poppies. The best time to visit and get a look of this sanctuary is from the month of April to July when these flowers blooms fully and the sanctuary turns into a riot of colors that also makes a best and amazing part grabbing the attraction of tourists.