While you’d be interested in exploring the snow-capped mountains, meandering streams, lush greenery and sprawling meadows in Jammu and Kashmir, do not completely miss out on the wildlife here. Home to four gorgeous national parks, a trip to them is most likely to make you fall in love with wildlife again.
Dachigam National Park
Dachigam National Park, about 22km from Srinagar is home to the state animal – hangul or the Kashmiri stag. Other animals spotted here are the leopard, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, jackal and the hill fox. The park is also home to beautiful birds like the black bulbul, cinnamon sparrow, woodpecker and the Himalayan monal among many others.
Hemis National Park
A high altitude national park located in Ladakh, Hemis is known to be home to the highest number of snow leopards in the world. The scenic beauty of this park is unparalleled; thanks to the Indus river flowing at its boundaries and the Zanskar Range that form the backdrop. The park includes attractions such as the numerous Tibetan gompas and the 400-year-old Hemis Monastery. Other commonly spotted wildlife here include: Tibetan wolf, red fox and the endangered Eurasian brown bear.
Kazinag National Park
Kazinag National Park is home to unique and endangered animals such as the markhor – the national animal of Pakistan, musk deer, brown bear and snow leopard. A huge variety of butterflies are also spotted here. Those who wish for an immersive wildlife experience, staying at the guest house at Limber Wildlife Sanctuary is highly recommended. You can also stay in alpine tents and camps for some added thrill.
Kishtwar National Park
Located in Kishtwar district, with river Rinnay running parallel to it, the park has been home to exotic animals such as the Himalayan snowcock, brown bear and the Kashmiri stag – hangul, that migrates here sometimes from Dachigam National Park – since the year 1981. The highlight however, is that this park offers opportunities for trekking and camping to the intrepid traveller.