Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary is located 54 km from Pithoragarh near the town of Askot in Uttarakhand. As the name suggests, the sanctuary has been set up primarily for the conservation of musk deer and its natural habitat. Spread across an area of 600 sq km, it is located in the Pithoragarh district near the Indo-Nepal border formed by the Kali River.
Established in 1987 in the Kumaon region, the terrain in the sanctuary is varied with peaks ranging from 2,000 ft to 22,654 ft. The River Kali forms the international boundary and divides it from Nepal to the east. Almora is to the west, Pithoragarh to the south and Tibet to the north of the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna along with a great number of shrubs, trees and herbs. The most commonly found trees in the sanctuary are teak and eucalyptus.
The sanctuary attracts many nature lovers and wild life photographers who are attracted by its resident population of monkeys, spectacled cobras, turtles, antlers, darters, bison, vipers and many others. The Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary is also home to leopards, jungle cats, brown bears, barking dears and serows along with many species of birds that are found at high altitudes.
Peaks like Najrikot, Panchuli, Chiplakot and Naukana are located within the park. The Lipu Lekh Pass, Lumpiya Lekh Pass and theMankshang Lekh Pass are also located in the sanctuary.
The sanctuary marks the origin points of two rivers – Dhauli River and Ilki River. The Gori Ganga River passes through the Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary. The weather in the sanctuary is classified as sub-arctic with severe winter, heavy rainfall and a maximum temperature of 30 degree Celsius.
The Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary can be visited from 6 am to 5 pm every day.
WHERE TO STAY
There are limited accommodation options in Askot. Budget hotels are easily available in the town. Mid-range hotels and resorts in Askot provide excellent services.
WHERE TO EAT
Carry food and water when visiting the sanctuary.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit the sanctuary is between the months of April and September.