National Park, Jammu & Kashmir
is one of India's most scenically beautiful wildlife reserves.
It is located 22 kilometres from Srinagar and forms almost
half of the Dal lake's catchment area. Since 10 villages were
relocated outside the boundaries of the reserves between 1910
and 1934, it, thus, got its name Dachi-gam which means 'Ten
Dachigam is spread over 140 square kilometres, spanning heights
between 5,500 to 14,000 feet above sea level. The two sectors
of Dachigam, lower and upper Dachigam incorporate a variety
of vegetation like riverain forest, grass land, broad leaved
woodland, coniferous forest, barerock faces and alpine pastures.
Dachigam is considered home to some of the unique Himalayan
range of flora and fauna. Primary amongst them is the hangul
or Kashmir stag, the most endangered species of red deer in
During winters, the upper reaches of Dachigam become inaccessible
to the visitors and the temperature in lower Dachigam dips
as low as -10 degree celsius. Some birds and animals found
during this time of the year include the cinnamon sparrows,
black and yellow grosbeak, black bulbuls, monal pheasant and
the Himalayan grey langur. The main predator in the park is
the leopard, and other scavengers which also feed on the prey
of the leopard, are the jackal, hill fox, yellow throated
marten and the wild boar. Himalayan griffon, lammergeier,
leopard cat, long tailed blue magpie, jungle cat, and Himalayan
weasel can also be sighted during this period.
With the advent of spring and summer, the Himalayan black
bear makes its appearance after hibernating in the rocks for
the winter period. Birdlife also becomes active and the birds
which appear are the golden orioles, pygmy owlets, Himalayan
pied woodpeckers, warblers, babblers, buntings and laughing
In the upper reaches, during the short summer, new varieties
of birds like red-browed finch, Himalayan ruby throat and
wag tails also make an appearance. The parks in higher altitudes
still harbour a few Himalyan brown bear.
How to Get There
The nearest town and airport is Srinagar 22 kilometres away.
It is 310 kms from Jammu, the nearest railway station. A metalled
road links Srinagar with Lower Dachigam. Upper Dachigam can
be reached on foot.