birding.in

Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary


Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary lies in Srinagar district of Jammu & Kashmir. It is 22 km from the state capital Srinagar city. The nearest airport is Srinagar airport about 25 km away in Badgam district. This airport is connected with major cities of country. The nearest Rail Head is at Jammu which is 300 km away and from there national highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with India. It takes around 10 to 12 hours to cross this mountainous road which crosses some beautiful spots and the famous Jawahar Tunnel linking Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country. Taxis, buses can be chartered from anywhere in the Srinagar city to this place. From there on you have to trudge on foot.

Dachigam is spread over an area of 140 sq km with altitude ranging from 1700 m to 4200 m. Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary is famous as home to the endangered Hangul deer or Kashmir Stag. Dachigam is also host to other wildlife of the state viz migratory birds, bears, deer and leopards. The best time to visit for bird watching is from March to August. There are over 150 species of birds in the Dachigam sanctuary.

Some of the exotic birds that can be seen here are Himalayan Monal, Cheer Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier), Himalayan Griffon, Golden Eagle, Red-billed Chough, Yellow-billed Chough, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Streaked Laughingthrush, Tickell's Thrush, Spectacled Finch, Orange Bullfinch, Black and Yellow Grosbeak, Kashmir Flycatcher, Dark-sided Flycatcher, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Paradise Flycatcher, Tytler's Leaf-Warbler, White-throated Tit, Green-backed Tit, Peregrine Falcon, Himalayan Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler, Himalayan Woodpecker, Scaly-bellied Woodpecker, Kashmir Nuthatch etc.

There are about twenty mammal species which include Hangul, Himalayan Brown Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Langur, Himalayan Marmot, Leopard etc. There is also a Trout fish farm in Dachigam. It is big natural reserve which requires permission from the Wildlife Authorities for exploration. The dense forests of Dachigam offer a brilliant view along with a glacier-fed rivulet flowing right through the middle.