The Living Wild Treasures
Judging by the variety and elegance of the landscape in Jammu and Kashmir, it is for sure that the state is loved dearly by nature. And looking at the wildlife of the state, the animals too seem to love it very much, and more so by the species that are endangered. The state with its varied climate, different landscape, and vegetation provide apt thriving conditions for many species of fauna. Jammu and Kashmir is home to number of species that are listed as endangered like the Kashmiri stag called 'Hangul' and snow leopard that has survived here from times unknown. You can see many more fascinating and exquisite forms of life in the many national parks and sanctuaries that are here in the state.
Dachigam National Park
Dachigam National Park is situated around 22 km away from Srinagar and covers an area of more than 141-sq. km. Located amidst the mountains, there is a huge variation in the altitude of the park that ranges from 1600 m to 4200m above sea level. Due to this difference, the park is divided into two regions, the upper region and the lower region. The park is without a doubt the most scenic of all the parks in the state. The animal for which the park is most famous is the endangered species Hangul, the Kashmiri stag. Other animal species that you will see in the park are Musk deer, Brown Bear, Leopards, Jungle Cats and many more. The park is also home to numerous rare and splendid looking birds like Black Bulbuls, Cinnamon sparrows, Himalayan Monals and Kashmir Flycatcher. There is accommodation available inside the park as well.
This is a park that is rich in everything, right from flora and fauna to avi-fauna. Gulmarg Biosphere is located at a distance of 48 km from Srinagar and covers an area of 180 sq. km. The park has acquired fame because it has been able to protect most of the animals that are found here, which are Musk Deer, Hangul, Brown Bear, Leopard and Black Bear. Most of the park is covered in forest consisting mainly of Conifers. The common birds that you will see here are Griffon Vulture, Monal, Koklas, European Hoopoe and many more. Best time to come here is between September and March for mammals and March to May for birds.
Hemis High Altitude National Park
Named after the famous Hemis Monastery, Hemis High Altitude National Park is located in the eastern part of Ladakh and covers an area of around 600 sq. km in the Markha and Rumbak valleys. The park is relatively barren and you will not see a lot of vegetation inside the park. There are 10 main species of animals in the park and almost all of them are on the list of endangered species. Shapu, Snow Leopard, Great Tibetan sheep, and Ibex are few that are found here.
Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary
Located on the National Highway, Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary is around 28 km away from Jammu. The park is famous for both animals and birds as well. The main mammal species that are found here are 8 which include, leopard, wild boars, rhesus monkeys, grey langur and many more. To spot them, it is best to come in months from September to March. And the common birds that you will see here are Indian Mynah, Blue rock pigeon, Chir Pheasants, and Chakors which are most spotted in the months from March to May. The Sanctuary covers around 33 sq. km.
Simply amazing is the variety of species that is found in this composed state of Jammu and Kashmir. J&K stands as an example to all other states on how to preserve and care for these precious gifts of nature that help maintain the balance on earth. Wildlife here also was once under threat of becoming a victim of human greed but state authority by developing few of the most advanced and stunning sanctuaries has made sure that our companions on earth remain safe.