Changthang Cold Desert Wls

Changthang Cold Desert WLS, India

Changthang Cold Desert WLS, India

Location: Ladakh and the Tibet (China) border

Area:4,000 sq km

Uniqueness:It is important as one of the few places in India with a population of the Kiang or Tibetan Wild Ass, as well as the rare Black-necked Crane.


Fauna:Himalayan Marmot, Brahminy Ducks, Brown-headed Gulls, black-necked Crane

Accessibility:There are two roads in to Leh, one from Manali in Himachal Pradesh in the south, and one from Srinagar in the west. Both routes are equally spectacular in different ways, and both are time consuming with winding, narrow roads, and numerous military checkpoints. State buses run from Srinagar and both privately operated deluxe buses, and state-run deluxe and ordinary buses run from Manali.

Accommodation:Leh tour operators provide tented accommodation and few lodging facilities can be found in Krozok

Season:May to December

Contact:Inner line permit District Commissioner office in Leh (Polo ground)

Dachigam National Park

Dachigam National Park

Location: Badgam Distt

Area:141 sq. kms

Uniqueness:DACHIGAM is a wildlife sanctuary which is home to the endangered HANGUL species of the Deer in the country. There is a Trout fish farm also in Dachigam. It is big natural reserve which requires permissions from the Wildlife Authorities for excploration. The dense forests of Dachigam offer a brilliant view alongwith a Glacier fed rivulet flowing right through the middle.

Flora:There are over fifty species of trees,twenty of shrubs and five hundred species of herbs. The principal tree species are Pinus griffithii,Abies pindrow,Juglans regia,Morus alba,Betula utilis,Salix spp.,Populus spp., Prunus armeniaca, Corylus colurna,Quercus robur,Ulmus wallichiana, Aesculus indica, etc.Shrubs include Berberis spp.,Desmodium tiliaefolium,Parrotiopsis jacquemontiana, Indigofera heterantha etc

Fauna:There are twenty mammal species which include hangul,Himalayan brown bear,Himalayan black bear, langur,Himalayan marmot,leopard etc.

Accessibility:Airport: Srinagar (32 kms.), Railhead: Jammu (315 kms.), Road: Srinagar (21 kms.)

Accommodation:Lower Dachigam: Panzgam 2 inspection huts 3 bedrooms = 6 beds. Laribal 1 inspection hut 1 bedroom = 2 beds. Laribal 2 dormitories 3 bedrooms = 20 beds.
Upper Dachigam: Sangargulu 1 inspection hut 2 bedrooms = 4 beds. Gratnar 1 inspection hut 6 bedrooms = 12 beds.

Season:Upper Dachigam Mammal/Bird viewing: May to August. Lower Dachigam Mammal viewing: September to March. Bird viewing: March to May.

Contact:Wildlife Warden, J & K, Near Dal Lake, Below Grand Palace Hotel, Srinagar – 190001

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve

Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve

Location: Baramula District

Area:180 sq.kmsUniqueness:It is famous for retaining several rare and endangered species like the musk deer, and a rich and varied avifauna.

Flora:The area holds a rich cover of vegetation, the dominant forest consisting of conifers which account for over 90%. The principal species are Cedrus deodara, Pinus griffithii, Abies pindrow, Aesculus indica etc. The major shrubs are Indigofera heterantha, Viburnum spp., Sorbaria tomentosa etc. the ground cover is very rich and dicotyledonus herbs dominate, comprising of Rumex patientia, Primula spp., anemone spp., etc.

Fauna:Nature has gifted this Biosphere Reserve with multiple species of rare, endangered and protected species. The main species are hangul, musk deer, serow, brown bear, Leopard, black bear and red fox etc.

Accessibility:Airport: Srinagar (57 kms.) , Railhead: Jammu (342 kms.), Road: Srinagar (48 kms.)

Accommodation:Tourist and private accommodation readily available. Camping site available.

Season:Mammal viewing: September to March (in lower areas). Bird viewing: March to May (in lower areas)

Contact:Jammu & Kashmir State, Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar 190001, (Kashmir.)

Hemis High Altitude National Park

Hemis High Altitude National Park

Location: Ladakh, J & K

Area:600 sq. Km

Uniqueness:The park known as the Snow leopard capital of India has an altitudinal range of 3,300 to 6,000 m, and hosts a remarkable variety of wildlife. The park has been earmarked as one of the snow leopard reserves under a central government project to conserve the species.

Flora:These areas consists of trees and plants like Junipers, Myricaria, Poplar, Salix, Birch, Astragalus, Taraxacum, Leortopodium, Ephedra and many sparse grasslands

Fauna:The National park is famous for its population of the rare Snow Leopards and the Ibex. The other main species recorded in the National park are Palla’s cat, srapu, bharal, red fox, rhesus macaque, Hanuman languor, wolf, marmot, Tibetan argali and Ladakh urial etc. The bharal and urial are seen in large numbers.

Accessibility:Air: Indian Airlines and Jet airways operates direct flights from Delhi to Leh (1047 km) regularly. Indian Airlines operates flights at regular intervals from Srinagar, Jammu and Chandigarh. Rail: The nearest railway station is Jammu-Tawi in Jammu Road: Leh is well connected with all the major cities within the state.

Accommodation:Medium and lower Budget hotels are available at Leh, 30kms drive from the park. There are home stay facilities available in the park in the villages of Chilling, Rumbak, Kaya, Sku etc along the Markha trekking route which provide clean rooms and traditional Ladakhi meals. It was developed by the Snow Leopard Conservancy with support from the Mountain Institute and the Unesco. Camping is permitted within the park.

Season:June to October

Contact:Wildlife Warden, Wildlife Division, Badami Bagh, Skara, Leh

Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary

Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Kathua District

Area:10.04 kms

Uniqueness:The sanctuary houses an appreciable variety of bird as well as animal life,most notably cheetal or axis deer. This is located right on the baks of river Ujh. northwards of village Jasrota. The entire area mainly sustains Bamboo Plantations.

Flora:Dominated by Bamboo plantations. Other broad leaved species are Acacia Catechu A.Arabica, Dalbergia Sissoo, Lannea Grandis etc. The main shrubs are Lantana camara, Carisa spinarum, Dodonea Visacosa.

Fauna:The most prolific mammals found there are cheetal, Barking deer, wild boar, rhesus monkey.

Accessibility:Airport: Jammu (65 kms.), Railhead: Jammu (63 kms.), Road: Jammu/Srinagar (70 kms) Accommodation:Check with Regional Wildlife warden

Season:Mammal viewing: September to March, Bird Viewing: March to May

Contact:The Regional Wildlife Warden Jammu Region , Near Jammu Ashok Hotel Manda (Ramnagar) , Jammu, (Jammu and Kashmir)

Kishtwar High Altitude National Park

Kishtwar High Altitude National Park

Location: Doda District

Area:400 sq.kms

Uniqueness:This Park is interesting for the marked variations in topography and vegetation that occur here. Spread over an area of 400 the park contains 15 mammal species including the musk deer and Himalayan black and brown bear.There are 50 species of birds.

Flora:The area is characterised by marked variations in topography,climate and altitude as a result of which different types of forest vegetation occur.The principal tree species are Cedrus deodara,Pinus gerardiana, Pinus wallichiana, Quercus spp., Juglans regia, Ulmus spp., etc. The dominant shrubs are Parrotiopsis jacquemontiana,Viburnum spp., Desmodium tiliaefolium and Rosa spp. The major herbs include Primula spp., Brachypodium spp., Anemone spp., Dipsacus mitis, Artemisia vulgaris, etc.

Fauna:There are over fifteen mammal species; the principal species being hangul, musk deer, markhor, goral Himalayan brown bear, langur, leopard, etc

Accessibility:Airport: Jammu (250 kms.), Railhead: Jammu (248 kms.), Road: Constructed up to Ikhala, but bus services are operated up to Plamer only 20 kms. north of Kishtwar.

Accommodation:Check with Regional Wildlife Warden

Season:Mammal viewing: September to March, Bird Viewing: March to May.

Contact:The Regional Wildlife Warden Jammu Region , Near Jammu Ashok Hotel Manda(Ramnagar) , Jammu, (Jammu and Kashmir)

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