Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary, Leh, Ladakh
The 1600sqkm area wildlife sanctuary gets its name from the plateau it is located at – the Ladakhi Changthang Plateau. Visiting this wildlife sanctuary is an experience of a lifetime. Fro one, it is situated at an altitude of 4000-9000 feet and, two, it is said to be one of the largest nature reserves in the world, only second to Greenland National Park Denmark. Its achievement can be credited to the vast number and species of flora and fauna that tourists can enjoy.
200km from the sanctuary is located the Korzok Monastery in the village of Korzok, also known as the highest altitude village in the world.
Other Changthang attractions include three of the highest lakes in the world, namely, Tso Moriri, Pangong Tso and Tso Kar.
The wildlife sanctuary is also held as an important destination for religious reasons as it is a part of the revered Hindu Kush Himalayan range that stretches in the East towards Tibet.
Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary is home to over 200 species of wild and exotic flora. These are rich in medicinal value and have adapted exquisite characteristics to deal with the harsh climates at such high altitudes.
A number of rare animal and bird species can be found here at Changthang. Some of these include Kiang or the largest Tibetan Ass and the black-necked crane that is only found in the rarest of areas of India and Bhutan.
Home to 44 types of seasonal species of migratory and other water birds, visitors can also find other rare species like the snow leopard, Tibetan wolf, wild yak, bharal and brown bear at Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.
How to Reach
The easiest way to reach the wildlife sanctuary is by road. Although, two roads are available – The Srinagar-Leh highway and the Manali-Leh highway, it is advisable to choose the latter since the Srinagar-Leh highway doesn’t have civilization for 350km. From Leh, you can hire a cab further up towards Changthang.
Best Time to Visit
May to September is the best time to visit Ladakh. Since it is during this time of the year that the temperature is not extreme cold, hence, making your stay in the snow-clad mountains fairly easier.