I apologize to all the readers of this blog that I was only able to post pictures.
This has unintentionally generated a lot of curiosity as to why the title is :The Last Stand”.
Sikkim is an extremely small Himalayan state abutting three countries namely Nepal, Bhutan and China ( Tibetan Plateau)
The unique location of the State makes it a Biodiversity Hot Spot.
As you drive from the nearest Airport in Siliguri, West Bengal located in the plains of India upto the Lofty Himalayan Range, you will drive through spectacular Forests which will vary sharply with a shift in Altitude.
From Lush Green Forests to Conifer Forests at altitudes at 1500 to 2000 metres till the Last Tree at about 4500 metres, the Flora changes as if by Magic.
The Last Stand is the end of the Tree Line in the Eastern Himalayas at altitudes of 4500 metres or 14750 feet.
Do see the Trees give way to Meadows and Rocks which will ultimately cede to the Snow Line or region of perpetual Snow and Ice.
Trees are unable to survive the severe cold in the high altitude regions of the Himalayas.
The Himalayan Larch seen below is bereft of leaves even in the month of May.
A Mountain Spring from the melting Snows and barren Rocks can be seen in the backdrop in the picture below.
Conifers and Himalayan Brooks
The Conifers cede to Alpine Meadows above 4500 metres . You can see the Last Conifer in the backdrop which could be a Sikkim Larch or Himalayan Larch ( Scientific Name Larix griffithi ).
A native Rhododendron hugs a Mountain Brook as it mutates to a Shrub at these altitudes.
As I look above to the Abode of Gods I see a Crown of Conifers garlanded by Buddhist Prayer Flags.
I thank all the readers for their curiosity and interest on the Fate of these Gorgeous creations of Nature.
It is However the Last Stand against extreme Climates led by Conifers. Be Enchanted in the incredible diversity of Flora ( and Fauna) as you drive from Sea Levels to mind boggling heights of over 7000 metres or 21000 feet in the Himalayas in Sikkim.