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Location: 22-km From Srinagar, Kashmir Region, J&K
Area : 141-sq-kms.
Attractions: Kashmir Stag, Himalayan
Black Bear, Markhor, Ibex, Exotic Birds
Best Time To Visit: Upper Dachigam -
Lower Dachigam - September- December
Bird Viewing - March To May
Located very close to
Srinagar (22-km), Dachigam National Park with its splendid
forests and magnificent scenery is easily accessible. Of all the
many sanctuaries in the state, the one at Dachigam is the best
known. At one time the exclusive hunting preserve of the
Maharaja of Kashmir, it was declared a national park in 1951,
and owing to a strictly enforced conservation programme, the
Hangul population, once 150, now stands at over 400 animals.
The two sectors of the Park - Upper and Lower Dachigam are
spread over an area of 141-sq-km. and altitudes vary between
1,700 and 4,300 metres. Two steep ridges enclose the Park with
its great topographical variety - deep ravines, rocky outcrops,
steep wooded slopes and rolling alpine pastures. Tumbling down
from the Masrar Lake (4,300m), up in the high ranges, the
Dachigam River winds through Lower Dachigam.
The Park is the habitat of the endangered Hangul or the Kashmir
stag - the only species of red Deer to be found in India. Winter
is the best time to view the Hangul, when they congregate in the
shelter of the lower valleys. Other inhabitants include the
Himalayan Black Bear, species of wild Goat like the Markhor and
Ibex and varieties of exotic Himalayan birds.
The leopard, which is the only predator in this paradise, is
rarely seen as also the elusive snow leopard, which is found in
the higher altitudes. Other animals include the rare musk deer
and the Himalayan marmot. A metalled road takes visitors from
Srinagar into Lower Dachigam. Upper Dachigam can only be
explored on foot.
There over 150 species of birds inhabiting park's vicinity.
Colourful pheasants include the Crimson Tragopan, the iridescent
Monal Pheasant with its glittering plumage, the Blood Pheasant
and the Koklass Pheasant. The golden Eagle and the bearded
Vulture or Lammergeier are seen circling the brilliant blue
Amidst forests of silver
birch and conifer roams the Hangul. Rare and on the verge of
extinction till a few years ago, the national park at Dachigam
contains the last viable Hangul population in the world. Related
to the red Deer of Europe, this breed is characterised by its
white rump patch and impressive spread of antlers.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The nearest
town and airport is Srinagar 22-km away.
Rail: It is 310-km from Jammu, the nearest railway
Road: A metalled road links Srinagar with Lower Dachigam.
Upper Dachigam can be reached on foot.
WHERE TO STAY
Two lodges and rest
houses in the sanctuary are available for accommodation. For
those staying in Srinagar, hotels and houseboats are available
here for Hotels & Restaurants in Srinagar
Of Jammu and Kashmir
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