Dachigam National Park
Dachigam National Park enjoys a proximity to the beautiful city of Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir state. Its forests and picturesque landscape have always attracted tourists. The park is divided into two large sectors-the Lower and Upper Dachigam regions with altitudes of 1700 and 4300 meters, respectively. Two steep ridges enclose the parks parameters. The landscape at Dachigam varies from deep ravines, rocky ridges, steep slopes and alpine pastures. The Masrar Lake, in higher Dachigam, is at the mouth of the Dachigam River. The river is regarded as the lifeline of the park, for its winds through Lower Dachigam region from its originating point, thus replenishing the entire lower region. The park is home to the endangered hangul or the Kashmiri stag, the only species of red deer to be found in India. Various efforts are being made to save this rare and beautiful species.
Best Time to Visit
The region remains cold throughout the year. The summer season (from May to
August) is cool and very pleasant with temperatures ranging from 8°C to 14°C;
however, winters (September and December) are particularly harsh when the temperature
drops to a range of -2 to 4°C.
Apart from its unspoiled natural beauty, its most important wildlife remains the hangul (Kashmiri stag), an endangered species of red deer. Despite its substantial harshness, the winter season is the best time to view the hangul, when it gathers in the shelter of the lower valleys. The leopard, which is the only predatory animal in the area, has been rarely spotted. It is the same with the hard-to-pin-down snow leopard found in the higher altitudes. However, tourists with resilience, patience and a little luck have had the fortune of seeing these unique wild cats. Apart from the hangul and the two varieties of leopards, various other species like Himalayan black bear, musk deer, Himalayan marmot and species of wild goats like the makhor are found at Dachigam. Various exotic Himalayan birds, colorful pheasants like the crimson tagopan, monal pheasant, blood pheasant and koklass pheasant, golden eagles and bearded vultures (lammergeier) are also seen encircling the beautiful blue skies above Dachigam forest.
Places to See
Areas of interest near Dachigam include the picturesque city of Srinagar (22 km) Jammu city (200 km), the alighting point for Vaishno Devi (an important place of pilgrimage for Hindus), and Patnitop, a scenic hill resort.
How to Get There
The Lower Dachigam region is accessible via a metaled road, but Higher Dachigam areas are accessible only on foot. The nearest rail junction is Jammu at a distance of 200 km away from Dachigam National Park. The nearest town is Srinagar at a distance of 22 km and is well linked to Dachigam by a proper metaled road. Srinagar airport is the closest air link to the National Park.
Accommodation is available at Srinagar city. There is a choice of hotels, rest houses and lodges that are reasonably priced and have options for the budgeted tourist as well as the luxury holiday seeker. Apart from these, there are many other hotels, rest houses and lodges in and around Srinagar.