Dachigam National Park
A beautiful reserve, 22 km Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and
Kashmir, it stretches across an area of 141 square kilometers. With
abundance of the most scenic natural beauty, the variation in its
altitude is vast, ranging from 5500 ft to 14000 ft above the sea level.
Thus, it is very clearly marked into an upper and lower region and the
best times to explore these two areas are summers and winters
respectively. The park has been a protected area since 1910 and its name
literally means 'ten villages', which stands for the number of villages
that were relocated for its formation. It was finally declared a
National Park in the year 1981. Initially created to ensure clean
drinking water supply for the city of Srinagar, it now houses many rare
species within its premises including Hangul, or Kashmir Stag.
The entire appearance of park changes with the onset of each season. In
the wintes, during the months of November to February, the park adorns a
white cloak of snow. Hangul moves down to the lower regions in this
season and is more easily sighted. Spring arrives in March and the ample
greenery of the park stands in contrast with the preceding snow of the
mountain slopes. Wild Cherry and other fruit trees give the lower
regions a splash of pastel colors. Short summer season thaws out snow to
unveil waterfalls and streams and even the higher regions are covered
with vast grassy meadows and beautifully scented flowers. This is also
the mating season for the Hanguls, which have already moved to the
higher region are followed by the females and their recently born young
ones during this season. August invites Autumn and the tree leaves turn
to bright shades of red, gold, yellow and orange.
The flora of the park includes wild trees like Wild Cherry, Pear, Plum,
Peach, Apple, Apricot, Walnut, Chestnut, Oak, Willow, Poplar, Chinar,
Birch, Pine and Elm while the fauns includes, besides Hangul, Musk Deer,
Leopards, Himalayan Gray Langurs, Leopard Cats, Himalayan Black Bear,
Himalayan Brown Bear, Jackals, Hill Fox, Himalayan Weasel, Yellow
Throated Martens, Jungle Cats, Long Tailed marmots and Otters. Some of
the main bird species found here consist of Cinnamon Sparrows, Black
Bulbuls, Monal Pheasants, Golden Orioles, Kokla Pheasants, Choughs,
Warblers, Buntings, Streaked Laughing Thrushes, Minivets, Pygmy Owlets,
Woodpeckers, Babblers, Wall Creepers, Black and Yellow Grossbeaks,
Himalayan Griffons, Bearded Vultures, Redstarts, Wagtails, Laughing
Thrushes, Red Browed Finches, Himalayan Ruby Throats, Long Tailed Blue
Magpies and Tits.
The flora and fauna of Kashmir is very rich; find more about the wildlife of Jammu and Kashmir.