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Wild Life

Great Himalayan National Park :: Pin Valley National Park :: Simbalbara Sanctuary ::Renuka Sanctuary :: Churdhar Sanctuary :: Chail Sanctuary :: Majathal Sanctuary :: Maharana Pratap Sagar :: Manali Sanctuary :: Kanawar Sanctuary ::Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary :: Daranghati Sanctuary

Travel to Himachal Pradesh, the northern Indian state in the enchanting part of the Himalayas, offers a magical showcase of nature's splendors to tourists. Nature is at her exuberant best in this land of innocent wilderness, landscapes, beautiful forests and wildlife. In Himachal Pradesh, out of the total geographical area of 55,670 sqkm, the forest area as per legal classification is 37,691 sqkm. At present there are 32 Sanctuaries, 2 National Parks and 3 Games Reserves in Himachal.

Great Himalayan National Park:
Located in Kullu district of Himachal, the Great Himalayan National Park covers an area of 620 sq. km. of alpine and virgin coniferous forests. Vast areas of alpine pastures and glaciers cap this park. This area has many important wildlife species of western Himalayas, like Musk deer, Brown bear, Goral, Thar, Leopard, Snow leopard, Bharal, Serow, Monal, Kalij, Koklas, Cheer, Tragopan, Snow cock etc. Trekking of Rakti-Sar, origin of Sainj River and camping in alpine pastures is unforgettable. Similar is the trekking route to Tirath the origin of Tirthan River.

Pin Valley National Park:
Pin Valley National Park is situated in the cold desert of Spiti Valley. In this area visitors come across large herds of Ibex and Bharal. Snow leopard is found in this park. Only those who have tough leg muscles and strong lungs can visit this area.

Simbalbara Sanctuary:
This sanctuary is located in Paonta Valley of Sirmour District. This area bears beautiful dense Sal forests with grassy glades. This is probably the most picturesque area of Shivaliks. There is a perennial stream in the area. Simbalbara Forest Rest House is connected by a fair weather road from Puruwala and provides a beautiful view of the valley. Goral, Sambhar and Chittal can be easily seen here. There are walking trails in the quiet adjoining forests. Winter is the best season to travel to Simbalbara.

Renuka Sanctuary:
This is a small sanctuary connected by motorable road in Sirmour district of Himachal. Renuka Lake and the temples located in the sanctuary attract a large number of tourists for sightseeing and wildlife vacations. The rich flora, the catchment of the lake and freely moving animals like Chittal, Sambhar, Kakkar, etc. add to the beauty and attraction of Renuka Sanctuary. Tourist Bunglow and Cafeteria provide the comforts needed in a calm and quite place. Travellers are welcome here 365 days a year.

Churdhar Sanctuary:
Churdhar peak, with height of 3647 metres is the highest peak in outer Himalayas. It is like an oasis of alpine area in an ocean of temperate forests. This is an excellent area for trekking during summer and early winters. The view from Churdhar peak is unparallel. One is sure to come across a large number of multi-coloured and agile Monals in the adjoining forests. Trekking from Nohra, Sarain and Pulbahal is tough but enjoyable. There are Rest Houses at Nohra, Choras and Sarain. There is also a Sarai and a Shiv Temple at Churdhar.

Chail Sanctuary:
Chail is a hill station visited by many tourists during their travel to Himachal Pradesh. The Deodar and Oak forests with grasslands around the township are the abode of wildlife. One can see Sambar, Goral and Cheer Pheasants at Blossom and Jhaja. Visitors are welcome to the Cheer Pheasant Breeding Centre at both these places. Barking deer and Kalijin in the forests are sure to meet and greet the visitors at dusk and dawn. Trekking from Chail to Gaura and Chail to Jhaja is common and rewarding as one is sure to see wildlife and beautiful snowy peaks.

Majathal Sanctuary:
This sanctuary has a very steep and rugged terrain away from habitation. This can be visited by travelling about 10 kms from Kararaghat (Shimla-Bilaspur Highway) to Kashlog and then walking on foot from Kashlog. This sanctuary has the highest concentration of Goral which can be seen in its natural habitat. This sanctuary is reported to have the maximum population of endangered Cheer pheasant. One has to stay in tents in the forest, Best season to visit is the winters.

Maharana Pratap Sagar:
The Maharana Pratap Sagar lake sanctuary is a big attraction for migratory ducks from Siberian region during winter. One can see thousands of ducks in the swamp area between Shahnahar barrage and Pongdam and the surrounding shallow waters of the lake. Clean blue water all around with the panoramic view of Dhauladhar Ranges and Kangra Valley makes travel to Ransar Island an unforgettable experience. Black buck and Cheetal on the island along with Surkhab, Cranes, Pintails and variety of water birds welcome the visitors on the island.

Manali Sanctuary:
Manali Sanctuary is located about 2 km from Manali town. It forms the catchment of Manalsu Khad. A bridle path from Manali log huts and the Dhungri Temple passes through dense deodar, kail, horse chestnut, walnut and maple forests. Night stay in tents at Lambadug or Gallant thatch is an unforgettable experience. Alpine lush green pastures and glaciers beyond Galant thatch are a romantic attraction for the enthusiastic but enduring visitors. One may see Musk deer, Monal and Brown bear digging or ploughing the land and also pug marks with scent of leopard or Snow leopard. Those who venture up to snows can see herds of Ibex in the glacier zone in summers.

Kanawar Sanctuary:
Kanawar Sanctuary is located in Parbati valley of Kullu district. The uphill walk along Garahan Nala from Kasol through dense majestic deodar and fir forests is enjoyable experience to savour. This sanctuary has large population of Himalayan Thar and seeing this big goat on high mountain cliffs is dream fulfillment of any wildlife lover.

Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary:
This sanctuary area with its well laid out trekking jungle trails both at Kalatop and Khajjiar is a tourist paradise. Dense deodar and fir forests are places of solitude very close to Dalhousie town. Visitors should look for pheasants and Serow in these forests but should be beware of black bears, which are usually encountered in the area.

Daranghati Sanctuary:
Located in the upper area of Shimla district, Daranghati Sanctuary has undisturbed forest area with plenty of wildlife. Monal, Tragopan, Koklas and Kalij are the pheasants found here. The area also has Musk deer, Goral and Thar. There is a network of bridle paths and inspection paths in the sanctuary. Visitors are advised to seek assistance from the forest staff posted at Dofda and Sarahan. The area is ideal for those who love to trek along mountain heights.

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