Dachigam is one of India’s most scenic wildlife reserves. It is located about 22 kms from Srinagar and forms almost half of the famous Dal Lake’s catchment area.Dachigam is considered home to some of the unique Himalayan flora and fauna. Primary amongst them is the hangul or Kashmir stag, the most endangered species of red deer in the world.
During winters the upper reaches of Dachigam become inaccessible to visitors and the temperature in lower Dachigam dips as low as minus 10 degree Celsius. Some birds and animals found during this time of the year include cinnamon sparrow, black and yellow grosbeak, black bulbul, monal pheasant and the Himalayan grey langur.The main predator in the park is the leopard, while other scavengers that feed on its prey like the jackal, hill fox, yellow throated marten and the wild boar are also found. Himalayan griffon, lammergeyer, leopard cat, long tailed blue magpie, jungle cat and Himalayan weasel can also be sighted during this period.
With the advent of spring and summer the Himalayan black bear makes its appearance after hibernating in the rocks for the winter period. Birdlife also becomes active and the birds which appear are the golden orioles, pygmy owlets, Himalayan pied woodpeckers, warblers, babblers, buntings and laughing thrushes. In the upper reaches during the short summer new varieties of birds like red-browed finch, Himalyan ruby throat and wagtails also make an appearance. The higher altitudes in the park still harbor a few Himalayan brown bears.
When to visit
May to August for upper Dachigam and September to December for lower Dachigam.
Where to stay
Two lodges and rest houses in the sanctuary are available. For those staying in Srinagar, hotels and houseboats are available.
How to Reach
The nearest town and airport is Srinagar, 22 kms away. It is 310 kms from Jammu,the nearest railway station. A metalled road links Srinagar with lower Dachigam.Upper Dachigam can be reached onfoot.