Kashmir national parks

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Mighty snow-capped mountains, flower-strewn meadows, sparkling rivers, and endless nature’s bounty are only a few things that define the charming valley of Jammu & Kashmir in northern India. With a dense ecosystem of mostly chirpine and coniferous forests, this piece of paradise is home to various endangered as well as unique species of flora and fauna. If you wish to experience all of this, you must get to these bewitching national parks in Kashmir. These will let you get up close and personal with nature and wildlife while also providing a deep insight into the same. So, the next time you’re in Kashmir, move beyond those ‘shikara’ rides over Dal Lake and explore its unexplored avenues. A day or two inside these lush environs are enough to tell you what truly makes Kashmir a heaven!

5 Surreal National Parks In Kashmir

Make sure you visit each of these national parks to treat yourself to outstanding views and untouched nature. So, which of these will you set out to explore first?

1. Dachigam National Park

most beautiful national parks

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Located 22 km from the city of Srinagar, Dachigam happens to be one of the most beautiful national parks in Kashmir. Interestingly, the term ‘Dachigam’ literally translates to ‘10 villages’, highlighting the fact that a total of 10 villages had to be relocated to build this nature sanctuary. The park was declared as a protected area in 1910 and was able to earn the tag of a national park only in 1981.

Some of the animal species that can be sighted here include the leopard, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, long-tailed marmot, jackal, Himalayan weasel, as well as the unique hill fox. Other than this, the extraordinary park of Dachigam is home to state animal Hangul (Kashmir stag). This park is also a delight for birdwatchers who can spot a number of beautiful bird species here including the black bulbul and cinnamon sparrow.

Location: Near Harwan Mughal Garden, Dachigam Road, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 191202
Timings: 8 AM – 6 PM
Entry fee: Nil
Best time to visit Dachigam National Park: June and August
How to reach Dachigam National Park
Nearest railway station: Srinagar Railway Station (15 km away)
Nearest airport: Srinagar Airport (22 km)

Must Read: 20 Best Hotels In Kashmir For Both Luxury And Budget Vacationers

2. Kazinag National Park


Also known as ‘Qazinad’, this national park was built out of a proposal for a trans-Karakoram peace park with Pakistan following the ceasefire post the Kargil War. It was established with a primary motive to preserve the Markhor wild goat which happens to be the national animal of Pakistan. Apart from these, the park is also home to various other species of animals and birds including the musk deer, brown bear, Himalayan marmot, snow leopard, and even the Kashmir flying squirrel.

Home to over 17 different and awe-inspiring species of butterflies, this is among the most unique national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Jammu and Kashmir. It’s an absolute delight for adventure junkies and nature lovers since it provides them with a chance to camp inside the forest premises and spend a night amidst the vivid flora and fauna of Kashmir. The park is located near close to Uri near the Line Of Control.

Location: Baramulla district, Jammu & Kashmir
Timings: Open on all days
Entry fee: Nil
Best time to visit Kazinag National Park: May to September
How to reach Kazinag National Park
Nearest railway station: Srinagar Railway Station (54 km)
Nearest airport: Srinagar Airport (62 km)
Distance from Srinagar: 70 km

Suggested Read: Is Kashmir Safe To Travel? See This Man’s Wonderful Family Trip And Judge For Yourself

3. Hemis National Park

enormous paradise also houses the world famous Hemis Monastery

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Hemis National Park is among the most important national parks in Kashmir since it is home to the highest recoreded number of snow leopards in the world. Adding to its beauty are its unmatched natural resources like the Indus river distinguishing its borders and the Zanskar ranges dotting the landscapes here and there. The largest national park in India, this enormous paradise also houses the world famous Hemis Monastery as well as various eye-catching Tibetan Gompas.

Other than snow leopards, this high altitude natural reserve has various animal species including the Tibetan wolf, red fox, mountain weasel, Himalayan mouse hare, Himalayan marmot, and brown bear, alongside a large population of bird species as well. If you’re looking for some adventure, you can go trekking between June and October on any of the various scenic trekking routes that the park offers. You can also gallivant on a snow leopard spotting safari in late winter when this park turns into a snowy wonderland.

Location: Leh, Jammu and Kashmir 194101
Timings: Open on all days
Entry fee: INR 20 (Indian nationals) | INR 100 (foreigners) | INR 50 (Monastery)
Best time to visit Hemis National Park: June to October
How to reach Hemis National Park
Nearest railway station: Jammu Tawi Railway Station (690 km)
Nearest airport: Leh Airport (47 km)
Distance from Leh: 49 km

Tip: Once the new Delhi-Leh railway line is up and running, it’ll get even easier to reach the Hemis National Park in Kashmir.

Suggested Read: Dwelling In God’s Abode: Our Romantic Trip To Kashmir

4. Salim Ali National Park

Enormous bird population

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Named after the celebrated ornithologist Salim Ali, the Salim Ali National Park is counted among the best nature reserves in the country. Like other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Kashmir, Salim Ali park was built with the motive to protect the endangered or rare biodiversity and wildlife by lodging a ban on activities like poaching, hunting, cultivation, and grazing. The park is famous for its enormous bird population and has over 70 different species of aviaries, both resident and migratory.

Other than birds, this park is also home to many animal species like the Hangul, Himalayan black bear, and Himalayan serow, along with a vast variety of plant species including the bizarre mangrove shrubbery. It is among the most famous spots for recreation, family outings, and adventure, especially for the people visiting Srinagar and Jammu.

Location: Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Timings: Open on all days
Entry fee: INR 10 (Indian nationals) | INR 100 (Foreigners)
Best time to visit Salim Ali National Park: April to November
How to reach Salim Ali National Park
Nearest railway station: Srinagar Railway Station (80 km)
Nearest airport: Sonamarg Airport (80 km)

Suggested Read: 10 Magnificent Lakes In Kashmir That You Must Check Out

5. Kishtwar National Park

Vista Nepal Peaks Himalayas Mountains Summit

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The Kishtwar park was founded with an aim to protect the dwindling snow leopards. Other than snow leopards, the park houses animal species like the brown bear, Ibex, Himalayan black bear, Markhor, musk deer, wild boar, bharal, Indian muntijal, serow, and the Rhesus macaque. The Hangul stag migrates to this place from Dachigam in winters. One can also spot various bird species like the Himalayan Monal, koklass, Himalayan snowcock, Himalayan jungle crow, paradise flycatcher, golden oriole, bearded vulture, griffon vulture, Indian Mynah, and white-cheeked bulbul.

Though it has a vast array of wildlife and avifauna, people are drawn more to its natural resources and attractions. The park has a rich flora of coniferous, alpine, meadows, and scrub forests and is bounded by the stunning snowy Himalayan peaks. Other natural attractions include cascading waterfalls, the river Rinnay, narrow valleys, high rocky ridges, as well as the popular Sapphire Mines of Paddar. The park also has designated camping grounds and various trekking trails for adventure seekers and nature lovers.

Location: Forest Block, Kishtwar district, Jammu and Kashmir 182204
Timings: Open on all days
Entry fee: Nil
Best time to visit Kishtwar National Park: March to October
How to reach Kishtwar National Park
Nearest railway station: Jammu Railway Station (248 km)
Nearest airport: Jammu Airport (250 km)
Distance from Srinagar: 216 km

Further Read: Here’s Why Kashmir Is Called Heaven On Earth

If your idea of being one with nature revolves around watching or interacting with majestic beings in their natural habitat, then you must visit these pristine national parks in Kashmir. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Plan a trip to Kashmir right away via TravelTriangle’s vast range of customized tour packages. Go on and have a thrilling vacation amidst nature’s most beautiful creations!


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Category: Kashmir, National Parks

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