Wildlife of Jammu and Kashmir

Located very close to Srinagar (22km), Dachigam National park with its splendid forests and magnificent scenery is easily accessible. The two sectors of the park -Upper and Lower Dachigam are spread over an area of 141 sq. km. And altitudes vary between 1700 and 4300 meters. 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 (4300m), up in the high ranges, the Dachigam River winds through Lower Dachigam. The Park is the habitat of the endangered Hangeul or the Kashmir stag - the only species of red deer to be found in India. Winter is the best time to view the Hangeul, 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. Colorful 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 lammergeiers are seen circling the brilliant blue skies. 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 metallic road takes visitors from Srinagar into Lower Dachigam. Upper Dachigam can only be explored on foot.

 

   
 
 
 

 

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