Dachigam National Park Tourism
At a distance of merely 22 kms from Srinagar, is the famous Dachigam National Park, where the visitors visit with the sole objective to witness the grandeur of nature and relish the natural delight that the park has to offer. The name Dachigam means ‘ten villages’. As a matter of fact, ten villages had to be relocated to develop this mighty national park. The park has been named so in their memory.
The national park is famous for its beautiful flora and some of the rarest species of animals you will find in India. Situated at an altitude of 1700 m to 4300 m above sea level, Dachigam National Park is the most elevated forest reserve in India.
You can see the hangul or Kashmir stag in the national park, along with the Himalayan grey langur hanging on trees, the huge Himalayan brown bear, the Pygmy Owlets and a great number of docile animals and predators. They are a rare sight.
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About Dachigam National Park
10 villages had to be relocated to develop this vast national park. The name Dachigam, meaning ‘ten villages’ has been given as a mark of respect for those villages. Divided into an upper and a lower sector, the national park houses some exotic species of Himalayan birds that are unique to this area, and some endangered animal species, such as the only species of Red Deer in India, known as Kashmir stag or the Hangul. The mighty golden eagle can be seen flying high in the sky. If you are lucky, you can also spot the famous snow leopard as you scale heights. Not just these, the national park also houses the Himalayan black bear, the rare musk deer and the Himalayan marmot.
The Sangargulu Valley is a trek that was developed with the purpose of providing wildlife enthusiasts with rare views of some of the most exotic and elusive species of animals. Those with a deep penchant for wildlife can take the trek and find catch sight of snow leopards, langurs, Himalayan bears and the koklass pheasants in Gretnar on their route.
You can’t access the national park without permission. Private vehicles are also prohibited. You will need permission from the wildlife office to visit the park. The timings to visit and take permission are 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The office stays open throughout the week, including Sundays and Saturdays. The entry charges are nominal: only INR 25 per person.
Dachigam National Park is covered in a thick sheet of greenery. The place is bound to satiate the soul of any person who loves nature. It is home to alpine trees and has plenty of shrubs extended over a vast area. Not just that, you will find flowery meadows that delight the dullest of souls. The sight of waterfalls is a marvel of nature.
Winters are usually dry, but the rest of the year wild cherry, peach, plum, apple, apricot and walnut trees grow in abundance the rest of the year. Among other trees that grow in Dachigam are willow, Poplar trees, China, Birch, Pine, Elm and Oak. Together, the wide variety of trees make for a wonderful sight with the green leaves and colorful flowers. You can also spend quality time by the Marsar lake and catch Trouts.
The wildlife in Dachigam National Park is rich. You can find Hangul or the Red deer, the state animal of Kashmir in Dachigam. The Hangul is a species of Elk, which is native to India. It has 16 point antlers and they are a nature’s marvel. If you happen to visit the park during wee hours of the day, you stand high chances of catching a glimpse of the famous endangered species. The Dachigam National Park is not famous for just the Red Deer. It is home to numerous exotic and endangered species that are hard to find anywhere else in the world. The beautiful but fierce Snow Leopard can also be spotted here at high altitudes. It is elusive, but visitors have seen it often and captured it in their cameras to keep the memory alive forever. The endangered musk deer can also be found here. Among other species are brown bear, common palm civet, yellow-throated marten, long-tailed marmot, Himalayan weasel, jackal and red fox. The park also features some exotic species of birds, such as the attractive moral pheasant, the blue magpie, and the bearded vulture.
Trekking for Sightseeing
National Park is the ultimate adventure spot for both seasoned and casual
trekkers. It offers contrasting terrain, which makes it an ideal trekking
destination. The park is divided into Lower Dachigam and Upper Dachigam. The
lower Dachigam, which has an elevation of 1700 meters is ideal for casual
trekkers. Its ascent is not particularly challenging. Nearly a third of the
park is covered with a dense layer of Alpine trees. Once you have trekked
nearly 10 kms, you will begin to notice a change in flora. This means you have
entered the middle Dachigam, which has a thicker covering of greenery. This is
also where the terrain starts to become more challenging. The Upper Dachigam
has an elevation of 4300 meters. It is rugged, a lot more difficult to ascend and
not meant for the light hearted. Entry to the upper Dachigam is restricted
without a permit. By road, it takes a minimum of one day to reach the Upper
Dachigam. The drastic changes in terrain and the varied conditions make for a
great trekking experience.
Restaurants and Local Food in Dachigam National Park
Though Dachigam is a great entertainment spot for tourists, the place does not has any food joints. You are advised to carry food packets if you are staying in a dorm. However, you will find plenty of great options to dine in the beautiful city of Srinagar. You can choose from Mughlai, North Indian and Punjabi cuisines. If you are die-hard non-vegetarian, Srinagar is a heaven for you.
One Day Itinerary
For tourists, visiting Srinagar first to travel to Dachigam, they must start as early as 6:30 AM to leave for Dachigam National Park. This enables them to enjoy the scenic sights and spot some amazing wild species in the morning. Once they have experienced the nature’s marvel, they can leave for Srinagar by 5 PM in the evening. For those planning to spend the evening in Dachigam, it is still advised to get up early in the morning to be able to see the amazing wildlife in action.