Wildlife of Jammu and Kashmir
Mother nature has showered all her blessings on Jammu and Kashmir. Be it natural beauty or wildlife, Jammu and Kashmir has it all. It attracts tourists from across the globe. The diverse topography of the state is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including some endangered ones. Jammu and Kashmir is a paradise for both wildlife buffs and bird lovers. There are numerous National Parks and Wildlife?Sanctuaries in the state.
Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary
Spreading over 31 sq km, Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary offers shelter to many wildlife species like barking deer, nilgai, wild boar, rhesus monkey, etc. Some of the avian species found here include Indian Mynah, blue rock pigeon, peafowl, red jungle fowl, jungle crow, golden oriole, white cheeked bulbul, etc. The most propitious time to visit this wildlife sanctuary for sighting mammals is from September to March and for birds is from March to May. The sanctuary is located only 6 km from the city of Jammu.
Kishtwar High Altitude National Park
The varied topography of the Kishtwar High Altitude National Park makes it a home to a variety of wildlife species. Covering an area of 400 sq km, the Park is located at an elevation ranging between 1,700 to 4,800 m above sea level. The Park is rich in both vegetation and wildlife. Cedrus deodara, Pinus gerardiana, Pinus wallichiana, Juglans regia are a few tree species to name. Some of the wildlife species sighted here are the musk deer, Himalayan black and brown bear, hangul, markhor, goral, langur and leopard. The Park is home to around 50 species of birds.
The best time to visit the Park is from September to May.
Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated at a distance of 26 km from Jammu, Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 33 sq km. It is mainly visited by wildlife enthusiasts for its endangered wildlife species of mammals and birds. It is also famous for its species of pheasants. The best time to visit this Sanctuary is from September to March.
Surinsar Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Surinsar Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary is flanked by two beautiful lakes on each corner. The Sanctuary derived its name from the rivers and is located 56 km from the city of Jammu. From a wide variety of mammals to the beautiful avian species, the Sanctuary has it all. The best time to come to the Sanctuary is from March to May.
Dachigam National Park
Being one of the renowned natural reserves in India, Dachigam National Park is visited by many a wildlife enthusiast. The Park forms half of the Dal Lake's catchment area. It is spread over an area of 141 sq km and is located at an altitude ranging from 1700 m to 4000 m above sea level. The Park has around 50 species of trees, 20 species of shrubs and 500 species of herbs. The Park is home to the endangered Hangul stag, a red deer species. The best time to visit the Park is from September to March.
Some of the other wildlife destinations in Jammu and Kashmir are Overa Wildlife Sanctuary, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve and Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary.