Jammu and Kashmir are known for their surreal beauty and nature. Everyone wants to visit this heavenly place at least once in their lifetime. Most people only know the popular destinations like Dal Lake, boathouses, gondolas, and apple orchards. However, there are hidden National parks in Jammu and Kashmir that not many people know about.
These national parks are hidden gems of Jammu and Kashmir. You can even find exotic, endangered, and some local species here at these national parks. So, if you are planning a trip to Jammu and Kashmir, you need to add these national parks to your bucket list.
1. Dachigam National Park
This national park covers an area of 141 square kilometers and is situated at an altitude ranging from 1600 meters to 4300 meters above sea level. If you are a nature lover and love to explore wildlife, you must visit Dachigam national park in Jammu and Kashmir.
This national park has diverse wildlife, including the endangered Kashmir stag or hangul. Hangul is also the state animal of Jammu and Kashim, and if you are lucky, you might get a glimpse of this endangered species in Dachigam National Park.
However, some of the other species that you can see in this national park are black beer, the Himalayan brown bear, the red fox, and the Himalayan musk deer. Moreover, this national park is also home to a number of bird species, such as the golden eagle, the peregrine falcon Minivet, the Pygmy owlet, the Woodpecker, and the bearded vulture.
On top of that, Dachigam National Park is also an important site for conservational efforts and research programs. So, if you are planning to visit Jammu and Kashim anytime soon, you must visit Dachigam National Park.
2. Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary
This wildlife sanctuary in Jammu and Kashmir is located in a protected area of the Baramulla district. This wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 180 square kilometers, and it is situated at an altitude ranging from 2,400 to 4,300 meters above sea level. Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary was established in the year 1987 and is one of the most diverse sanctuaries in India.
The main attractions of this sanctuary are its large population of musk deer that are included in the list of endangered species. Other species that you can see in Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary are snow leopards, Himalayan black beer, Himalayan serow, and red fox.
However, here you can also get to witness some rare species of birds as well, including the koklass pheasant, Himalayan monal, and the Kashmir flycatcher. Besides the wildlife, you can also camp and trek inside the sanctuary. Moreover, there are many trails and campsites that you can enjoy.
3. Kazinag National Park
This national park is situated in the protected area of Baramulla in Jammu and Kashmir. This national park was established in 1980. Moreover, Kazinag National Park covers an area of 141 square kilometers and is situated at an altitude ranging from 1800 to 4000 meters above sea level. This national park is popular for its stunning landscape and rich biodiversity.
The main highlights of this national park in Jammu and Kashmir is its rich flora and fauna. Here you can also witness endangered species like the Kashmir stag, Kashmir flying squirrel, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan black bear, yellow-throated marten and many more.
Here you can also get to see some of the rare bird species like cheer pheasant, sparrow hawk, Himalayan pied kingfisher, lesser pied kingfisher, nutcracker and more than 120 rare bird species. So, if you are a nature lover and wildlife enthusiast you will surely love your visit to Kazinag National Park.
However, one thing you should remember is that this national park is situated in border areas that are very sensitive. You will require special permit from the local authorities to visit this national park in Jammu and Kashmir.
4. Kishtwar National Park
Kishtwar National Park is a protected area located in the Kishtwar district of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was established in 1981 and covers an area of 400 square kilometers.
The park is situated in the western Himalayas and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The park’s vegetation includes coniferous forests, alpine meadows, and subalpine forests. Some of the common species found here include Deodar, Kail, Blue Pine, Birch, and Maple.
Kishtwar National Park is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the endangered Kashmir Stag or Hangul, Himalayan Black Bear, Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Serow, and more than 50 species of birds.
The park offers a range of activities for visitors, including trekking, camping, and wildlife watching. The best time to visit the park is from May to September when the weather is pleasant and the park is accessible.
Kishtwar National Park is an important protected area in the region and plays a significant role in conserving the natural heritage of the western Himalayas.
5. Rajparian Wildlife Sanctuary
Rajparian Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. It covers an area of around 32 square kilometers and is situated in the Kathua district of the state. The sanctuary is known for its diverse flora and fauna, which includes several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Some of the commonly spotted animals in the Rajparian Wildlife Sanctuary include leopards, wild boars, barking deer, Indian porcupine, and langur. The sanctuary is also home to a variety of bird species, such as red junglefowl, Indian peafowl, grey francolin, and several species of pigeons and doves.
The Rajparian Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can enjoy nature walks, bird watching, and jungle safaris to explore the sanctuary’s rich biodiversity. The best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant, and the animals are more active.