Dachigam National Park
North IndiaAt an elevation of 1700 to 4300 metres above sea level and spanning a vast 141 square kilometres, Dachigham National Park is India's most elevated forest reserve, located only 22 kilometres from Srinagar. The magnificent park is adorned with deep valleys, rocky outcrops, steep wooded slopes and rolling alpine pastures. It spans a sizable mountainous area and is divided into an upper and a lower region by the difference in altitude, ranging from 1600 m to 4200 m above sea level. Initially, built to supply clean drinking water to Srinagar, the park was later converted into a protected area in 1910 and finally declared a National Park in 1981. 'Dachigam' literally means “Ten Villages”, which stands for the number of villages that were relocated to facilitate its creation. Dachigam’s rich biodiversity houses the only endangered species of Indian red deer, the Hangul or the Kashmir stag. It is also home to other rare species of animals such as the Himalayan brown bears, Pygmy... Owlets, leopards and Himalayan grey langurs that feed on the barks of trees. This protected reserve boasts of incredibly rich fauna such as Wild Cherry, Pear, Plum, Peach, Apple, Apricot, Walnut, Chestnut, Oak, Willow, Poplar, Chinar, Birch, Pine and Elm. The appearance of Dachigam changes with every season. During winters, a peaceful white cloak of snow adorns the park, while spring unleashes the beautiful colours of blossoming flowers and fruit trees. Summer unveils gushing waterfalls and streams, while Autumn brings out the picture-perfect warm colours of red and orange of falling leaves.
The beautiful Sangargulu Valley, also known as the Valley of Flowers, and the graceful Dagwan River are a visual wonderland of a thriving ecosystem. Unlike other national parks, which forbid getting out of the safari jeeps, this glorious park is best explored on foot. Hiking trails with experienced guides elevate the visitor experience. Lower Dachigam is suitable for the casual trekker with its gentle ascent and thick canopy of alpine trees. However, Upper Dachigam with an elevation of 4300 metres, is not for the faint of heart. The terrain becomes harsh, jagged, and rocky with harsh weather conditions but offers an opportunity for the trek of a lifetime for the seasoned trekking enthusiast.
Dachigam offers a thrilling experience of spotting rich Himalayan wildlife such as musk deer, leopards, Markhor, Ibex and Himalayan black amongst many other species of animals. It is also a haven for bird watchers and home to a variety of avifauna, including the Cinnamon sparrow, Black bulbul, Himalayan monal, Golden oriole, Kashmir Flycatcher, golden eagle, bearded vulture, colourful pheasants many others. Dachigam is a well-known habitat for the Hangul (Kashmir Stag). They can be easily spotted in winter in the lower valleys. The ideal time to visit the upper Dachigam is May to August, while for lower Dachigam it is September to December.
Srinagar, the closest city to Dachigam, is bursting with tourist attractions, including Dal Lake, Tulip Garden, Houseboat stays, and Shalimar Bagh Mughal Gardens. The tiny picturesque town of Sonmarg, 28 kilometres away is located on the bank of the raging Sindh river. Due to its heavy winter snowfall, it is a fantastic location for skiing. Pahalgam, at a distance of 29 km is renowned for tall snow-covered mountains and rolling valleys. It serves as a base camp for various adventure treks and is the starting point of the holy pilgrimage, the Amarnath Yatra. Dachigam has some stay options within the park away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. However, these may require considerable advance booking.
The degradation of habitats, heavy grazing, poaching, epidemic diseases spread by livestock, and man-animal conflicts are the main threats to the wildlife in Dachigam National Park. Wildlife conservation strategies consist mainly of, countering poaching activities and protecting the habitat needs of wildlife. Pressure on dwindling biodiversity can be significantly reduced by raising awareness in the outlying villages of the detrimental effects of livestock overgrazing and tree-cutting. Additionally, strict regulations must be put in place to prevent the commercialization of natural resources and tourist overpopulation. Dachigam National Park is renowned worldwide for its population of Hangul and the conservation of the park is essential to safeguard this critically endangered species. Additionally, the park is home to a magnificent and unique natural ecosystem that needs to be preserved and protected.
How To Book
Prior Online permission and permit issued at https://jkwildlife.com/dachigambooking/
Summer - Morning: 7.00 am to 2.00 pm/ Evening 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm. Winter - Morning: 6:30 AM To 9:30 AM / Evening: 2:30 PM To 4 PM
Getting Around the Park
Best explored on foot. Food are not allowed inside the park. An electric cart can be arranged at an additional cost.
Rs. 25 for Indians Rs. 50 Foreign citizens
By air - 40 Km from Sheikh ul Alam International Airport Srinagar By road - 22 Km from Lalchowk Srinagar
Eco-friendly properties in the area
Inspired by the local Kashmiri culture and alpine landscapes, Nadis handcrafted boutique resort is located in Harwan Village, nestled on the foothills of the Zabarwan range.