Kishtwar National Park, Jammu & Kashmir
Kishtwar National Park Lies in Doda District, some 40km north-east of Kishtwar Town. It is bounded to the north by the Rinnay River, south by Kibar Nala catchment, east by the main divide of the Great Himalaya and to the west by Marwa River. 33*20'-34*00'N, 75*40'-76*10'E
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Date and History of Establishment: Declared a national park on 4 February 1981 (Notification No. 21/FST of 1980-81).
Area: 42,11500 ha
Land Tenure: State
Altitude: Ranges from 1,700m to 4,800m
The national park encompasses the cachments of the Kiar, Nanth and Kibar nalas, all of which drain south-west into Marwa River which joins the Chenab River just above Kishtwar Town. The terrain is generally rugged and steep, with narrow valleys bounded by high ridges opening out in their upper glacial parts. The area lies in the Central Crystalline belt of the Great Himalaya. Rocks are strongly folded in places and composed mainly of granite, gneiss and schist, with the occasional bed of marble. The shallow, slightly alkaline soils are mostly alluvial with gravel deposits (Kurt, 1976; Bacha, 1986).
The influence of the monsoon is weak. Mean annual rainfall at Palmar and Sirshi (1,761m), located near the periphery of the national park, is 827mm and 741mm, respectively. Preciptation is maximal and in excess of 100mm per month in March and April, and again in July and August. Most snow falls in December and January when the whole area becomes snowbound. Mean maximum and minimum temperatures recorded at Sirshi are 13*C and -7*C in January and 35*C and 11*C in July, respectively (Kurt, 1976; Bacha, 1986).
Based on the revised classification of Champion and Seth (1968), some 13 vegetation types are represented (Bacha, 1986). In general, silver fir Abies pindrow and spruce Picea wallichiana, mixed with cedar Cedrus deodara and blue pine Pinus griffithii are predominant from 2,400m to 3,000m. Notable is the small expanse of chilgoza pina P. gerardiana in the Dachan Range. At lower altitudes (1,700-2,400m) occur nearly pure stands of cedar and blue pine, and moist temperate deciduous forest, represented by horsechestnut Aesculus indica, walnut Juglans regia, maple Acer spp., poplar Populus ciliata, hazel Corylus cornuta, bird cherry Padus cornuta, ash Fraxinus cornuta and yew Taxus wallichiana. The sub-alpine zone, from 3,000m to the tree line at 3,700m, supports mostly silver fir and birch Betula utilis forest and this merges with birch-rhododendron Rhododendron campanulatum scrub, above which is alpine pasture.
Racial groups include Thakurs, Kashmiris, Gujars, Rajputs and Brahmans (Bacha, 1986).
Local Human Population
There are ? no permanent settlements but some 115 families of nomadic graziers, with 15,000 head of livestock, and an unspecified number of families from nearby villages, with 10,000 head, have grazing rights in the national park. Some agriculture is practised in peripheral areas (Bacha, 1986).
Visitors and Visitor Facilities
The area is a potential tourist attraction but there are almost no facilities at present. Forest rest houses exist at Ekhala and Sirshi. An additional two, with catering facilities for tourists, are planned for the tract between Sirshi and Yurdu (Bacha, 1986).
Scientific Research and Facilities
Kishtwar is arguably the most important cis-Himalayan area in the state on account of its fairly large size and diverse mammalian fauna, including a number of rare and endangered species. Its forests were exploited to their severe detriment up until 1948, since when logging has been scientifically managed and finally ceased with the establishment of the national park (Bacha, 1986).
The national park has recently been earmarked as one of seven snow leopard reserves under a project launched by Central Government and aimed at conserving the species, its prey populations and its fragile mountain habitat (ref.). A management plan has been prepared for the period 1986-1987 to 1989-90 (Bacha, 1986), according to which the national park will be zoned into core and buffer areas of 27,500ha and 15,000ha, respectively. No grazing will be allowed in the core zone; existing grazing rights being compensated for through payment and provision of alternative grazing grounds.
Kistwar National Park Wildlife Packages
At this moment we don't have any specific Tour package for Kistwar National Park, but our representative would be happy to assist you if you are planning to visit Kistwar National Park you can contact us with your query on the following no / email.
Tel + 91- 120 - 40526011 - 98 (88 hunting lines are available
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Wild Animals in Kistwar National Park
Faunistically, the area is reputedly among the richest in the Himalaya (Ranjitsinh, 1979). Bacha (1986) lists 14 species of large mammals that are present. Notable species include brown bear Ursus arctos, leopard Panthera pardus (V), snow leopard P. uncia (E), Himalayan musk deer Moschus chrysogaster (V), hangul Cervus elaphus hanglu (E) and ibex Capra ibex sibirica. In addition to those listed, wild boar Sus scrofa, Indian muntjac Muntiacus muntjac, serow Capricornis sumatraensis, Himalayan tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus, bharal Pseudois nayaur and possibly markhor Capra falconeriare present (Kurt, 1976, 1978; Ranjitsinh, 1979; Rodgers, in prep.). The brown bear population is perhaps the largest found anywhere in the Himalaya (Ranjitsinh, 1979). The size of the hangul population is unknown, but it may be limited to only a few animals (Kurt, 1978).
Some 28 common species of birds are listed by Bacha (1986). Among the pheasants, Himalayan monal Lophophorus impejanus and koklass Pucrasia macrolopha are present, but the status of Himalayan snowcock Tetraogallus himalayensis and western tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus (E) is not known (Rodgers, in prep.).
Kistwar National Park Travel Information
Location : 40 km North-East of Kishtwar Town, Doda District, Jammu Kashmir.
Best Time to Visit : April to October.
Altitude : Ranges from 1,700m to 4,800m.
Climate : The influence of the monsoon is weak. Mean annual rainfall at Palmar and Sirshi (1,761m), located near the periphery of the national park, is 827mm and 741mm, respectively. Preciptation is maximal and in excess of 100mm per month in March and April, and again in July and August. Most snow falls in December and January when the whole area becomes snowbound. Mean maximum and minimum temperatures recorded at Sirshi are 13*C and -7*C in January and 35*C and 11*C in July, respectively (Kurt, 1976, Bacha, 1986).
How to Get There
By Air The nearest airport is Jammu, which is connected by Indian Airlines to Delhi, Chandigarh, Srinagar, and Jammu.
By Rail The nearest railhead is Jammu, situated at a distance of around 690 km. Jammu is connected to all parts of India.
By Road The road is constructed upto Ikhala, but bus services are only operated up to Plamer, which is 20-km away, in the north of Kishtwar.