Dachigam National Park  

Dachigam is one of India's most scenically beautiful wildlife reserves. It is located 22 kilometres from Srinagar and forms almost half of the Dal lake's catchment area. Since 10 villages were relocated outside the boundaries of the reserves between 1910 and 1934, it, thus, got its name Dachi-gam which means 'Ten Villages'. 

Dachigam is spread over 140 square kilometres, spanning heights between 5,500 to 14,000 feet above sea level. The two sectors of Dachigam, lower and upper Dachigam incorporate a variety of vegetation like riverain forest, grass land, broad leaved woodland, coniferous forest, barerock faces and alpine pastures. 

Dachigam is considered home to some of the unique Himalayan range of 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 the visitors and the temperature in lower Dachigam dips as low as -10 degree celsius. Some birds and animals found during this time of the year include the cinnamon sparrows, black and yellow grosbeak, black bulbuls, monal pheasant and the Himalayan grey langur. The main predator in the park is the leopard, and other scavengers which also feed on the prey of the leopard, are the jackal, hill fox, yellow throated marten and the wild boar. Himalayan griffon, lammergeier, 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, Himalayan ruby throat and wag tails also make an appearance. The parks in higher altitudes still harbour a few Himalyan brown bear.  

When to visit

May to August for upper Dachigam and September to December for lower Dachigam.

Some of the most beautiful parks and sanctuaries of India 
Wildlife in Kerala
Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Wildlife in Bihar
Mudumalai Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
Periyar National Park, Kerala
Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
Sunderban Tiger Reserve, WestBengal
Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh
Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
Wildlife in Orissa
Manas Tiger Reserve, Assam
Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
Bharatpur National Park, Rajasthan
Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan
Keibul Lam Jao National Park, Manipur
Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh
Bannerghata National Park,Karnataka
Gir National Park and Sanctuary, Gujarat
Dachigam National Park, Jammu & Kashmir