Established to protect the decreasing population of wildlife in the Himalayas, Hemis National Park is also known as the Snow Leopard Capital of India. That’s because its home to some 200 snow leopards, that are not found anywhere else in the country. The park is also home to Shapu sheep; again found exclusively in Ladakh. Being situated at an altitude of 3,300 to 6,000 meter, it is the largest high altitude protected reserve of India.Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir Lockdown: Resumption of Physical Hearing of Court Cases in J&K, Ladakh from August 2

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It’s a gorgeous national park with more varieties of wildlife that you can spot on your visit here. There’s the blue sheep, great Tibetan sheep and several endangered ones including the Eurasian brown bear, Tibetan wolf and red fox. Many birds also inhabit the forest inside the park such as the golden eagle, lammergeier vulture, Himalayan griffon vulture, streaked rose-finch, black-winged snow finch, robin accentor, and Tickell’s leaf warbler. Also Read - Union Cabinet Approves Central University in Ladakh, to be Constructed at Rs 750 Crore | Details Inside

Hemis National Park offers nature lovers a varied landscape, where you’re surrounded by mountains of various shapes and sizes, as well as vast flatlands and cold deserts. The area is thinly covered and mostly rocky; the biome of the park consisting of dry Himalayan subtropical pine forests, Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows and Himalayan alpine tundra.

It is open to travellers all year round; though, if you wish to see Hemis National Park in all its flourishing glory, summer is the best time to visit while if you wish to spot the snow leopard, then winter is the ideal time to go.

The nearest airport from here is in Leh. Regular buses ply from Leh to Hemis National Park. However, if you don’t mind a little adventure, you can trek from Spituk Village and pass through Zingchen and Markha Valleys to reach the Hemis National Park.