Top 5 National Parks in Jammu and Kashmir State

Recently, due to the raging war and ongoing tension in Jammu and Kashmir, people have forgotten the alluring beauty that Jammu and Kashmir truly holds. The diverse wildlife that so dearly wants to escape the battleground they are held in, all due to the current political stress that suppresses the growth of the exotic plants and animals. For those of us who are nature adorers and dare to enter this Armageddon, there is much to reap, as the state is full of marvelous parks that offer many once in a lifetime opportunities. Here are some fascinating national parks with brief descriptions of the exquisite nature they hold.

1. Dachigam National Park

Photo by Nadeem Hassan, CC BY-SA 3.0
Located on the outskirts of the capital Srinagar, this park is one of the best known scenic spots in Jammu and Kashmir due to its easy accessibility. It was once the Maharaja’s hunting grounds until 1951, when numerous prohibitions were enforced for the conservations of the animals. Spread over 141 square kilometers are many terrestrial challenges, such as deep ravines and jagged slopes, meant for those who would like to hike and explore. Species of goats and many Himalayan birds call this expanse home, as well as the illusory snow leopard, which are said to dwell at the higher altitudes. The most prominent attribute of this park however, are the rare Hanguls (also known as the Kashmir stags), a close relative of the European red deer. The park is proud to announce that they have the last distinguished population of this species, attracting tourists from around the world.

2. Kishtwar National Park

The park is located in the district of Doda, approximately 40 kilometers away from the city of Kishtwar. The high altitude and narrow valleys allow for many plunging waterfalls, as well as trekking paths, where one can experience the breathtaking views of the Rinnai River. Not many mammals are unique to the park itself, but the scenic overviews are absolutely worth taking a peek at, as well as the uncommon rhododendron. Trees native to the region include Deodar and Gerrards pine, as well as countless other unprecedented species, adding to the overall beauty of this area.

3. Hemis National Park

Founded in 1981 due to the great potential of breeding Snow Leopards, this park expands over an area of a whopping 4,400 kilometers squared, making it the largest national park in South Asia! Moreover, it is the only national park that exists north of the Himalayas in India, contributing to the many unique aspects of the park. The whole park rests at a relatively high altitude and derives its name from the famous Buddhist monastery, Hemis Gompa, which is situated south of the park. Though the most notable species existent is the Snow Leopards, it is also home to numerous other animals which enjoy the harsh cold climate, such as the peculiar Bharal (Blue Sheep). Bird watchers would also be pleased due to the bountiful species of birds in the area, including the Golden Eagle, the Himalayan Griffon, as well as the red flanked Bluetail. However, due to the rain-shadow effect of the Himalayas on the region, not much flora is present except for the predominant alpine and steppe vegetation.

4. Salim Ali National Park

Named after the renowned naturalist, Mr. Salim Moizuddin Abdul Ali, this park is the pride of the Srinagar district. Mr. Ali was one of the most important figures in Indian ornithology, and was awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in 1976 for his extensive works. Unfortunately, the park was converted into a golf course by the previous chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooz Abdullah. However, tourists always get a glimpse of some endangered species that still live in the vicinity, such as the Black Bear and Serow. Bird watching is the main attraction of the park due to the variety of birds which are attracted to the exotic mangrove shrubberies, as well as the copious amounts of migratory birds that make their way here during the onslaught of winter. Coots, flying Foxes, and even crocodiles can be spotted when the weather is pleasant.

5. Kazinag National Park

This park is located very close to the line of control in Baramulla, thus making it one of the harder areas to visit in Jammu and Kashmir. It is located about 70 kilometers away from Srinagar, and has a range of altitude between 1800-4300 meters above sea level. The climate here is relatively temperate, with temperatures ranging from -20 degrees Celsius up to 30. It has occasional precipitations in the form of snow in the winters, and heavy showers in the summers. Unlike Hemis National Park, Kazinag is rich in vegetation scattered with coniferous trees, spruce, and fir at various altitudes. Furthermore, it is home to some of the most critically endangered species across the planet, such as the yellow throated Marten, as well as the Himalayan musk deer. However, the most remarkable animal in the sanctuary is the national animal of Pakistan, the Himalayan Markhor. Numerous types of avi-fauna reside in the park including the Pied Kingfisher and the Long Tailed Minivet, making it one of the most diverse and versatile parks in India.
Kashmir is home to many elegant wildlife species, the most unique to the region being the Kashmir Stag. It offers stunning views like no other place on Earth. It is a wildlife haven, where animals seek refuge from the ever so fluctuating world outside. All these aspects of Jammu and Kashmir make it one of the most diversified and distinguished places in the world that everybody must have the opportunity to experience.

Author Bio:
Rohit is an avid reader, who loves to get lost in the world of fantasy and fiction. He loves to travel and write down his experiences at his travel blog –

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