Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh
Out of total geographical area of Himachal Pradesh, which is around 55, 670 sq km, a majority of 37, 691 sq km is covered by forests. This piece of fact in itself is sufficient to enthuse the lovers of nature and wildlife like you. However, if you wish to know more, then there is another piece of fact to delight you. There are around 32 Sanctuaries, 2 National Parks and 3 Game Reserves in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Wow! This sounds simply unbelievable in this age of modernisation when lands are being increasingly cleared off to provide habitation for the people.
Famous Wildlife Park Of Himachal Pradesh
Himalayan National Park
Located in the Paonta Valley of Sirmour district, the Simbalbara sanctuary is home to Goral, Sambhar and Chittal. You can visit the sanctuary in the winter months to get the best view of the beautiful Sal forest with grassy glades. The beauty of the park is simply outstanding with a year round flowing stream adding its gentle grace to the area. Walking trails in the adjoining forest area provide a good glimpse of the sanctuary.
Located near Nahan in the Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh, the Renuka Wildlife sanctuary spreads over an area of 400 hectares. The sacred Renuka Lake, along with the temple is a huge attraction here. People from all over flock in large nuber to pay a visit to these two. The animal and bird attraction of the park include Asiatic lions, Spotted Deer, Lion tailed Macaques, Peacocks, Nilgai or large Grey Indian Antelope, Barking Deer, Himalayan Black Bears, Red Jungle Fowl and Black Pheasant. There are also a large number of butterflies that add more colour and life in the sanctuary. Added attraction here is a chance to view the lions from pretty close range - from an armoured van which makes an entry into the enclosures of the lions.
Pin Valley National Park
This park is situated in the Pin valley of Spiti sub division of Lahaul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh. The park was created in the year 1987 and spreads over an area of 675 sq km. The major attraction of the park include Ibex, Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, Tibetan Wolf, Red Fox, Marmot, Woolly Hare, Himalayan Snow Cock, Snow Partridge, Bearded Vulture, Golden Eagle and Himalayan Chough. For a good sighting of animals and birds, it is best to visit the park between the months of April to May and November. For a quarter of the year between December to early March, the park remains inaccessible by visitors.
Chail Wildlife Sanctuary
This one is located in the distrcit of Shimla and covers an area of 10,854.36 hectares. The park was notified in the year 1976 and is an abode of a variety of animals and birds like Sambar, Goral, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Deer, Silver-White Oak, Barking Deer, Indian Hare Common Langur, Leopard, Rhesus Macaque, Himalayan Yellow Throated Marten, Indian Porcupine, Common Giant and Kashmiri Flying Squirrel.and Chir Pheasants at Blossom and Jhajja. Additional attraction of the park include Barking Deer and Kalijin. If you undertake a trek between either Chail to Gaura or Chail to Jhaja, it is highly unlikely that you will not come across any interesting wildlife of the sanctuary.
The Churdhar Sanctuary is located in the Solan valley of the Shimla district at a height of 3647 m. The sanctuary, which spreads in an area of 5616 hectares gets its name from the Churu peak. The top of the peak is occupied by a huge statue of Shiva. Coming back to the sanctuary, it was notified in the year 1985 and is perhaps one of th e most recent of the sanctuaries in the country. The attraction of the park include multi coloured Monals Himalayan Black Bear, Barking Deer, Musk Deer, Common Langur and Leopards. For adventure enthusiasts, trekking is a brilliant option in this sanctuary.
The Daranghati sanctuary is located near Rampur Bushahr in the Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh. The area was declared a sanctuary in the year 1974 and covers an area of 16740 hectares. The wild attractions of the park include Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Himalayan Palm Civet, Barking Deer, Musk Deer, Flying Fox, Goral, Indian Hare, Stripped Hyena, Himalayan Ibex, Leopard, Himalayan yellow throated Marten, Serow, Blue Sheep, Common giant flying Squirrel and Himalayan Weasel. Trekking can be highly enjoyabl option for the lovers of adventure here.
Govind Sagar Sanctuary
Situated in the Bilaspur district of the state, the Govind Sagar Sanctuary was first notified in the year 1962 and then again in 1974. The sanctuary covers an area of 10, 034 hectares and is managed by Bhakra Management Board. Animals that will catch your attention in this sanctuary include Singhara, Chilwa, Catla, Jhalli, Mrigal, Grass crap, Misror crap, Topra, Silver Crap and Gid. And, the best time to visit the park is between the month of July to September.
Kalatope Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary, located in Khajjar of Chamba district, is a hot favourite with the tourists. The sanctuary is best visited during the month of April to June and then from October to November. Though a permit is required to be taken from the forest department of Chamba for entering the sanctuary, still once inside, you will forget every tension. There are thick deodar and fir forest to greet you. Well laid out trekking routes will take you deep inside the sanctuary and increase your chances of sighting Ibex, Deer, Bears and Leopards. More visible in the sanctuary are the Pheasants. However, you should be alert because the Black Bear might just come out all of a sudden and take you by surprise.
This one is located in the Parbati valley of the Kullu district. The sanctuary is best visited during the month of May and June and the animal you should look out for promptly is the Himalayan Tahr. The beauty of the sanctuary, with a lot of deodar and fir trees, is immensely refreshing. Also, the fresh air will breathe in a new vigour in your body.
If you are travelling to Manali, this sanctuary has to be on your list of must visit. Located close to the town of Manali (2 km), the park covers an area of 3180 hectares. The sanctuary came into existence in the year 1954 and has a rich forest cover of Deodar, Kail, Horse chestnut, Walnut and Maple. The wild attraction of the sanctuary include Musk deer, Monal, Brown bear, Snow leopard, Ibex, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Palm Civet, Barking Deer, Flying Fox, Goral, Indian Hare, Stripped Hyena, Leopard, Himalayan yellow throated Marten, Serow, Kashmir flying Squirrel and Himalayan Tahr. The sanctuary is best visited during the months of October to February.
Pong Lake Sanctuary
Around 65 km from Dharamshala in the Kangra district, the Pong Lake Sanctuary makes for a good visit if you are interested in seeing animals like Nilgai, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Buar, Clawless Otter and Leapord. The lake is a huge drawer of Siberian Ducks during the winter season. The sanctuary covers an area of 9675 sq km and is best visited during the period of October to February.
To reach this sanctuary, you need to travel along the Shimla Bilaspur highway till Kashlog and then walk the rest of the way. The highlight of the sanctuary are the gorals and the Cheer Pheasants. The sanctuary is best visited during the winter months.
This is yet another sanctuary in the state which, though does not have a large number of wild attractions, is still worth a visit. It is located in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, around 7 km from the Sundarnagar town. The best time to visit this sanctuary is in the month between May to October. There is a small population of Chir Phesant and Leopard in this sanctuary which is worth seeing.
In addition to the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, there are Nature Parks in Himachal Pradesh as well.
Nature Park of Kufri
Located very close to Shimla, the Nature Park at Kufri is a huge crowd puller. The denizens of this park include Hangal, Barking Deer, Musk Deer, Brown Bear and rare species of Monal.
Nature Park at Manali
This one is located in the Kullu district of the state and is meant to arise a feeling of love an concern for the nature and wildlife of the region.
Nature Park at Gopalpur
Gopalpur is frequently visited by tourists. Hence, an effort has been made to expose tourists to the importance of nature in this nature park. Animals are kept in enclosures here.