|National Park||Fact Sheet|
Dachigam is the best-kept secret of Srinagar. The mesmerizingly beautiful national park is the natural habitat of the endangered Hangul or Kashmir stag - the only species of Red Deer to be found in India. Dachigam is also one of the best places to watch Himalayan black bears.
The magical terrain of Dachigam presents the visitor with a breath-taking variety of landscapes and habitats. Here amazing forests, captivating scenery, verdant mountains, deep ravines, steep wooded slopes, and rolling alpine meadows laced with glacier-fed streams all come together to create a picture that has few comparisons.
Located 22 km from Srinagar, the capital city of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Dachigam wildlife preserve was created in 1910 by Maharaja Hari Singh. He declared the hangul deer to be "royal game" and forbade people to hunting them. Between 1910 and 1934, all the people living in ten villages within these forests were relocated, giving the name Dachigam (ten villages) to the preserve. It was upgraded and acknowledged as a National Park of India in 1951.
The two sectors of the Park - Upper and Lower Dachigam - are spread over an area of 141 sq. km, consisting of some of the most scenic natural beauty on Earth. Altitudes within the park vary between 1700 and 4300 m. Thus the park is divided into higher and lower Dachigam. The upper reaches of the preserve contain summer grazing grounds, and the Marsar Lake, which is the catchment of the Daghwan River that flows into Srinagar's Dal Lake, and supplies the city of Srinagar with fresh water. The best times to explore these two areas are summer and winter respectively. Due to the upper region’s extremely harsh winter, the best months for visiting here is between May and September. For the lower region, the ideal time is between September and December, but a visit is also rewarding in the summer months. The park changes its entire appearance with the changing seasons, each of which is as beautiful as the one before or the next to come.
Winter is the best time to view the Hangul, when the animals gather in the shelter of the lower valleys. Himalayan black bears come out of hibernation in March. Summer and autumn are the best times for watching bears.
The magnificent Hangul :
The Kashmiri name "hangul" is derived from the deer's partiality for Indian horse chestnuts, called "han". These nuts ripen and fall to the ground in winter. Hangul Deer are the only Asiatic sub-species of the European red deer in the Himalayas. This deer has a brown coat with a speckled coat. The inner sides of the buttocks are grayish white, followed by a line on the inner sides of the thighs and black on the upper side of the tail. Each antler consists of five tines. The beam is strongly curved inward, while the brow and bez tines are usually close together and above the burr. Today the endangered animal’s population is down to about 450.
Other inhabitants of the park include the Himalayan black bear, the leopard and the rarely seen snow leopard on the upper reaches, wild goats, Markhor, and the ibex. The park is also home to a large variety of Himalayan birds, including the crimson Tragopan, the Monal pheasant, the blood pheasant, the Koklass pheasant, and the golden eagle.
Park Open : Throughout the year
Best Season : September - Nov & May - June
Main Attraction : Hangul Stag, Black Bear
Fauna : Hangul Stag, Black bear, Brow Bear, Musk deer, Himalayan Marmot
Avifauna : 150 species including Himalayan Birds are the colorful Pheasants like Crimson Tapogan, Blood Pheasant, Golden Eagle and Bearded Vulture.
Shortest Route : Fly to Srinagar and drive to Dachigam
State : kASHMIR
Area : 141 sq. km
Altitude: 1450- 4,300 m
Vegetation : Mixed woodland & Alpine Scrub
Major City: Srinagar(20 km)
Airport : Srinagar (50 km)
Railway Station : Srinagar (20 km)
|Best Time to visit|