Located at a distance of around 22 kilometres from Srinagar, this park is known for its natural beauty that is spread in an area of around 141 square kilometres. Dachigam National Park is known for Hangul (elk) as well as many other species of flora, fauna and beautiful terrain.
The word Dachigam means ‘10 villages’ and, if locals are to be believed then those villages were relocated for the formation of the park. The locals also claim that these villages were settled there even before the beginning of World War I. So, in the memory and honour of those 10 villages, the national park was named Dachigam. Today the national park is a hot tourist destination for locals and tourists alike.
Dachigam National Park features an uneven topography due to a great variation in its altitude. Being located in the Zabrawan range of the Himalayas the park’s altitude varies from 5500 ft to 1400 ft above sea level. Due to this complex geographical location, the national park comprises green grassland, pastures, meadows, and rocky hill cliffs. Visitors, nature lovers, and wildlife enthusiasts from across the country arrive here to witness the ethereal beauty of this place.
Moving to the best time to visit Dachigam National Park. Because Dachigam is divided into two parts: Upper Dachigam and Lower Dachigam, the upper part that comprises the hilly region is not open for visitors in winters hence it's best to explore that part between June and August, the lower part that comprises green meadows and forest cover can be explored throughout the year.
History of Dachigam National Park
This park has been kept protected since the year 1910. First, it was under the care of the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir and later it was under the observation of the concerned Indian authorities. What is really interesting about the park is the fact that initially it was created to ensure clean drinking water supply to Srinagar. Much later it was upgraded and declared as the National Park in the year 1981.
Dachigam National Park is known countrywide for being home to the endangered Hangul (Kashmir Stag), a species of elk. Besides Hangul, the park is also known for its rich biodiversity which comprises unique species of flora, fauna and diverse topography. Apart from Hangul, visitors may spot Leopard, Musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan brown bear, Hill fox, Himalayan Monal, Kashmir flycatcher Bearded Vulture, and more species of wildlife in their natural habitat.
1. Dal Lake. Situated in Srinagar, this is an urban lake that is also considered as the second largest in the state. This tourist attraction located in Kashmir is quite popular when it comes to serious recreational activities. What is quite interesting is the fact that it has been bestowed by many names such as the “Lake of Flowers”, and “Srinagar’s Jewel” for its impeccable beauty.
2. Sonmarg. The beauty of Sonmarg is really bewitching for anyone to experience. And this is the kind of place where you'll lose track of time and won't regret it. The mountains here are covered with the conifer trees which make the whole scene quite phenomenal.
3. Pahalgam. Pahalgam is a hill station that is full of scenic beauty and is definitely a feast to the eyes. This is the kind of place which is submerged in the lush greenery along with the alluring Himalayas. Pahalgam is a beautiful place that would leave you spellbound with its vast & raw beauty and is also the starting point of the annual Amarnath Yatra.
4. Shalimar Bagh. This one is located on the very outskirts of Srinagar. Some of its other names are Shalimar Garden and Mughal Garden. It is worth knowing that Mughal Emperor Jahangir built this famous bagh and he did so for his wife Nur Jahan in the year 1619.
5. Nishat Bagh. It can be said that the Nishat Bagh is particularly a terraced Mughal Garden which was built on the eastern side of the Dal Lake. An interesting thing to know about the garden is that, to date, this is the largest Mughal Garden located in the Kashmir Valley.
6. Betaab Valley. This tourist attraction in Kashmir was earlier known by the name of Hagan Valley. And there is no doubt in the fact that this is an amazingly breathtaking combination of some of the most beautiful places to explore. The valley got named after a movie called ‘Betaab’ which was picturized on Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh.
By Air. Srinagar airport is the nearest airport. From there you will need to get a cab or a bus to reach the park which is 22 km away. This airport receives direct and connecting flights from all major cities or states of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, etc.
By Road. The overall connectivity via road is quite good. So, if you are planning a road trip then it would be quite convenient for you. You may also reserve a seat at the inter-state tourist bus to reach the national park. In both cases, you have to cover nearly 650, 1,600, 1,800, and 2,300 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively.
By Train. To travel via train one has to reach the Udhampur railway station. From there you will have to get a cab or some other means of transportation to reach your destination. The station receives regular and frequent trains from all major cities of India hence making a reservation will not be a problem.
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