Situated around 20 km from Srinagar lies the Dachigam National Park. Spread over an area of 141 sq km, it is almost rectangular in shape and divided into two parts Upper Dachigam and Lower Dachigam. The former extends over the higher reaches of the park and can be reached after a day's trek from the nearest road. Meanwhile, Lower Dachigam comprises around a third of the total area of the national park, which is best known for the endangered species of Kashmir stag or hangul.


The best time to visit is between spring and autumn, when sightings of the Himalayan black bear can be availed. Other wildlife that can be spotted includes long-tailed marmots, leopards, common palm civets, jackals, red fox, yellow-throated marten, Himalayan weasel, monal pheasant, blue magpie and lammergeier.


It was in 1910 that the area, which is now known as Dachigam National Park, was given protection by the then maharaja of Kashmir, when he delineated the valley as a game reserve. The maharaja also got a large number of trees like horse chestnut and oaks planted, which were favoured by the wild denizens and supplied winter fodder to them.

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