Dachigam National Park

Brief
Dachigam National Park is located only 22 kilometers from Sriniagar, the capital city of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. It covers an area of 141 square kilometers consisting of some of the most scenic natural beauty present on Earth. The variation in altitude is vast, ranging from 5500 ft to 14000 ft above mean sea level. Due to this vast variation, the park is very clearly demarcated into an upper and lower region. 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 the months of May and August. For the lower region, the ideal time is between September and December but is also equally rewarding in the summer months. The park has been a protected area since 1910, first under the care and watchful eye of the Maharaja of J & K and later under the observation of the concerned government authorities. The name of the park literally stands for "ten villages" which could be in memory of the ten villages that were relocated for it's formation. It was finally upgraded and declared a National Park in the year 1981. Although it is the last proper home of the Hangul, or Kashmir Stag, and harbours many rare species within it's borders, it was initially created to ensure clean drinking water supply for the city of Srinagar.

Reasons to visit  
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Wildlife Attractions     
The Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary has twenty mammal species which include hangul, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan black bear, langur, Himalayan marmot, leopard etc. A number of bird species can be seen in the Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary. There are over 150 species of birds like - monal, koklas, bearded vulture, griffon vulture, golden eagle, grey heron, starling, golden oriole, paradise flycatcher, western yellow-billed blue magpie, kestrel, peregrine falcon, black bulbul, etc.

Vegetation
 the Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary has 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, Prunus armeniaca, Corylus colurna, Quercus robur etc.
  

The Animal Beings   
The Park is the habitat of the endangered Hangul or the Kashmir stag - the only species of red Deer to be found in India. Winter is the best time to view the Hangul, when they congregate in the shelter of the lower valleys. Other inhabitants include the Himalayan Black Bear, species of wild Goat like the Markhor and Ibex and varieties of exotic Himalayan birds.

The Winged Beings  

There over 150 species of birds inhabiting park's vicinity. Colourful pheasants include the Crimson Tragopan, the iridescent Monal Pheasant with its glittering plumage, the Blood Pheasant and the Koklass Pheasant. The golden Eagle and the bearded Vulture or Lammergeier are seen circling the brilliant blue skies.