Wildlife In Garhwal Himalayas
Wildlife sanctuaries are the major attraction for tourists and pilgrims visiting in Uttarakhand. At present, the following wildlife sanctuaries are being maintained and under development in Uttrakhand.
2. Binsar Sanctuary
Name of Sanctuary Area in sq km
1. Askot Sanctuary (altitude: 1,650 meters)
2. Binsar Sanctuary (altitude: 2,310 meters)
3. Corbett National Park
(Country`s first wildlife Park established in 1936, extends in an area of 1318.54 sq km comprising (Corbett: 520.82 sq km; Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary: 301.18 sq km and Reserve Forest: 496.54 sq km) lies in Pauri Garhwal and Nainital districts.)
4. Govind (Pashu Vihar) Wild Life Sanctuary (altitude: 1, 300m to 6,315m)
5. Kedarnath Sanctuary (Distt. Chamoli) (altitude: 967 sq km)
6. Nanda Devi National Park (Distt. Chamoli) (altitude: 2,400m to 6,817m)
7. Rajaji National Park` 820.00
8. Valley of Flowers National Park 87.50
1. Askot Sanctuary
Askot sanctuary is situated at a distance of 54 km from Pithoragarh. Askot was the ancient kingdom of Katyur dynasty it also has a palace of the last Katyuri king. The name of Askot has been originate from the word Asi-kot, that means 80 forts. There are remains of the ancient forts all over the area. The area is rich for its Sal, Oak and Pine forest and waterfalls. The important assets preserved here are `Malika Arjun temple` and the 'Swami Narayan Ashram'. The Askot Sanctuary has charming hilly areas, and the houses surrounded by greenery, add more amazement to its already grand beauty. Askot is located in the lap of Kumaon Himalayas at a height of 1,650 metres, with the view of snow capped mountain peaks. The places of interest in the sanctuary are snow leopards, Himalayan black bears, musk deers, snow cocks, tahrs, bharals, monals, chirs, koklas, pheasants and chukors.
The Binsar was summer capital of the Chand kings. It is located at a distance of 31 km from Almora. Binsar is famous for its wonderful Himalayan view, Birds and wild life. Binsar is one of the most attractive spots in the Kumaon Himalayas and a well-acclaimed hill resort with plenty of Wild Life. Binsar Hills is also known, as Handy Dear. It is heighted at 2,310 meters and offers an superb view of Almora town, Kumaon hills and the greater Himalayas. The surroundings rich in alpine flora, ferns, hanging moss and species of wild flowers. The chief attraction of Binsar is the grand view of the Himalayas-a 300 km stretch of famous peaks, which includes Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trisul, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot and Panchchuli. The forests of Himalayan oak and rhododendron are excellent for trekking and associating with nature.
3. Corbett National Park:
Jim Corbett National Park is home to the roaring tiger, trumpeting elephant and the twittering birds. The park is also known as "Land of Roar, Trumpet and Song". The Park is situated in the foothills of Kumaon region, Uttarakhand gifting a sight of extraordinary beauty. It is the Patli dun, a broad flat valley, and the shining, rushing water of the river Ramganga wander through the hills and valleys. Nature has spared the green and coppery plants of the forest of Sal. The spread of the glowing red flowers and the glow of the Forest, the delicate hangings of ferns and creepers and the waving tiger grass produce an unforgettable scene of magnificence, while the colorful birds, lost in ethereal song, add to the charm of Jim Corbett Park. Although the Sal timber is dropped and extracted in certain parts, the natural beauty of the area has remained undamaged. The Park is particularly eye-catching, when the flowering trees are in bloom.
The Rites of spring
On the presence of spring, the entire Jim Corbett Park transforms into a beautiful sight. The budding 'Sheesham' leaves, the gorgeous burgundy flowers of Semal, the violet blooms of kachnar, blend into a Kaleidoscope of colors. These colors are reflected in the sparkling waters of the Ramganga. While the countless varieties of alien birds in their colorful spring feathers, add to the beauty by adding their charm and filling the air with musical song.
Fauna of the Park
Fauna of the Jim Corbet Park wild elephants, leopards, hyenas, jackals and wild dogs are found. There are also some superb hog deer, barking deer, sambhar, chital and bears, both lazy and Himalayan. There is an occasional grief and some goral, mongooses, palm squirrel, flying squirrel, wild cat, antelopes, deer, wild boar, otter and porcupine. There are eight watch towers in the park and to view the beauty in the park from November to June, elephants are available in Dhikala and Bijrani.
The Glories of the Ramganga
The river Ramganga comes from the high mountains, it's sparkling and rushing waters emerges through the hills and enters the glories of the park. On each side of the Ramganga river is nature given magnificent and erotic scenery. The clear water of the river is not snow fed, nor affected by the melting of snows, so big fishes can be seen in the pools. The river passes through the heart of the park and emerges into the plains at Kalagarh. Popular with anglers (a fisherman who uses a hook and line), it is stocked with the mighty Masher, Indian Trout and Goonch. The rapids make the ladle, spinner and plugs invaluable, but the big monsters in the pools can be lured by live bait. Fishermen use the synthetic fiber line of at least 15-20 pound strength, with a reel capable of holding at least 200 metres of line. The Mahseer is a good fighter, and the first rush is a tremendous damage on the line for at least the first 50 metres. A fishing permit is necessary. The shallows and backwater are full of small fish.
4. Govind Wild Life Sanctuary
Govind wildlife sanctuary was established in year 1955, and is situated in an isolated and complex area of Uttarkashi district in Uttrakhand. Most part of the sanctuary is above the snow line, and includes mountains like Swarg Rohini, Black Peak and Banderpoonch. Along with the Sanctuary, the place is a popular tourist destination, mainly because of the beauty of its snow-clad peaks and glaciers. It attracts many trekkers and is famous for its green natural beauty. The wide variety of animal species that lives here includes Himalayan black bears, serow, monal, snow leopard, brown bears, tragapan, chir, bharal, musk deer, koklas, kaleej pheasants and chukor. The best season to visit this sanctuary is from May to October.
5. Kedarnath Sanctuary
Kedarnath Sanctuary is established in the year 1972. Kedarnath Sanctuary lies broadly at 967 sq km in Garhwal region of Uttrakhand. In this sanctuary, animals like snow leopard, snow cock, tahr, musk deer, leopard and serow can be seen along with many species of birds. To Study the details of the musk deer a project funded by WWF was undertaken between 1978 -1980. The best season to visit this sanctuary is from April to June and again from September to November.
6. Nanda Devi Sanctuary
Nanda Devi sanctuary is situated in district Chamoli, Uttrakhand. Nanda Devi sanctuary covers an area of 630 sq km. It lies just next to the Nanda Devi peak. It was established in year 1980. The first men to have reached this Sanctuary, while yet in its perfect form, were the British mountaineers Eric Shipton and Bill Tillman. The area had largely remained peaceful until then, except for Tillman's successful attempt on Nanda Devi in year 1936. The present sanctuary came into existence in year 1939. There are no roads available and the area is unreachable. The only way to reach this sanctuary is to drive from Joshimath 25 km by road upto Lata village and then 51 km trekking up to the sanctuary. Fauna includes Snow leopard, Himalayan Bear, Musk deer and Pheasant. The best season to visit is from April to May.
The spectacular sights of peaks surrounding the Nanda Devi National Park are Trishul, Dunagiri, Nanda Devi, Nanda Devi East, and Bethartoli etc. The beautiful surroundings with abundant flora and fauna like Brahma-Kamal and Bharal make this a sanctuary of nature. In 1982, entry to trekkers into the Nanda Devi National Park was banned to protect its biodiversity. The Nanda Devi National Park, which has been declared a "world heritage site", has been opened recently for restricted number of tourists. Thus, this area has attracted many well-known International mountaineers. Sir Edmund Hillary in his autobiography has mentioned about this sanctuary.