Friday, May 26, 2023

Dachigam National Park

Dachigam National Park UPSC

Dachigam National Park is a beautiful wildlife sanctuary located in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. It is situated approximately 22 kilometers from the capital city of Srinagar. The park spans an area of around 141 square kilometers and is nestled in the western Himalayas.


Dachigam National Park was established in 1981 to protect the population of the critically endangered Hangul, also known as the Kashmir stag (Cervus elaphus hanglu). It is the last refuge of this magnificent species, and conservation efforts have been made to ensure its survival. The park is also home to other wildlife species such as the Himalayan black bear, Himalayan brown bear, leopard, musk deer, red fox, and numerous bird species.


The Dachigam name literally stands for ‘ten villages’, which could be in memory of the ten villages that were relocated in order to create the park.


Table of Contents

  • Dachigam National Park Location
  • Dachigam National Park History
  • Dachigam National Park Area
  • Dachigam National Park Hills
  • Dachigam National Park River
    • Dagwan River
  • Dachigam National Park Flora
    • Coniferous Trees
    • Broadleaf Trees
    • Alpine Meadows
    • Medicinal Plants
    • Rhododendrons
  • Dachigam National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
  • Dachigam National Park Hangul
  • Top Things to do in Dachigam National Park
  • Dachigam National Park UPSC Questions


Dachigam National Park Location

Dachigam National Park is located in the Srinagar district of Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated approximately 22 kilometers (14 mi) from Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir,  India. It is situated on the east side of Dal Lake.


The Dachigam National Park is nestled in the western Himalayas. It is located in the Zabarwan Range of Western Himlayas.


Dachigam National Park Nearest Airport:

The closest airport to Dachigam National Park is at Srinagar International Airport, which is  40 Kms away.


Dachigam National Park Nearest Railway Station:

Srinagar Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Dachigam National Park, which is 22 Kms away.




Dachigam National Park History


In Early 1900s: 

The history of Dachigam National Park dates back to the early 1900s. The area was initially established as a game reserve by the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir to protect the Kashmir stag, also known as Hangul, a species of deer found in the region. The park was primarily created to preserve the dwindling population of Hangul, which was facing severe threats from hunting and habitat destruction.


In 1910:

In 1910, the Maharaja designated an area of about 10 square miles as a game reserve, which later expanded to include more land. The name "Dachigam" translates to "ten villages" in the local Kashmiri language, referring to the ten villages that were relocated to make way for the protected area.


In 1951:

Over the years, the importance of Dachigam as a conservation area grew, and in 1951, it was declared a wildlife sanctuary. 


In 1981: 

Later, in 1981, it was upgraded to the status of a national park to provide stronger protection to its flora and fauna.


Since its establishment as a national park, Dachigam has been managed by the Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Protection Department. Conservation efforts have focused on protecting the Hangul population, as well as other wildlife species found in the park, and preserving the unique ecosystem of the western Himalayas.




Dachigam National Park Area

Dachigam National Park covers an area of approximately 141 square kilometers (54 square miles). The Dachigam National Park is roughly rectangular, 22.5 km long and 8 km wide. 


The Dachigam National Park's landscape is diverse, encompassing deep valleys, high mountains, alpine meadows, forests, and rocky outcrops. 


The altitudes in Dachigam National Park range from around 1,600 meters (5,250 feet) to 4,300 meters (14,100 feet) above sea level. This wide range of elevations contributes to the park's rich biodiversity and varied ecosystems.


The Dachigam National Park is divided into lower Dachigam and upper Dachigam.

(1) Lower Dachigam:

Lower Dachigam’s altitude ranges from 1700 to 3500 m, resulting in a complex mix of vegetation types and conifers.


(2) Upper Dachigam:

Upper Dachigam’s elevation ranges from 2000 m to 4700 m.




Dachigam National Park Hills

Dachigam National Park is situated in the foothills and higher reaches of the western Himalayas, which gives it a stunning hilly terrain. The park is characterized by a series of hills and valleys that add to its scenic beauty.


The hills within Dachigam National Park are part of the larger Himalayan mountain range. The park's altitude ranges from approximately 1,600 meters (5,250 feet) to 4,300 meters (14,100 feet) above sea level, offering a wide range of elevation gradients.


These hills are covered with dense forests of conifers, including fir, pine, and deodar, as well as other vegetation typical of the Himalayan region. The hilly landscape creates a dramatic backdrop and provides excellent habitats for various wildlife species that inhabit the Dachigam National Park.


The higher hills in Dachigam National Park offer breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks, adding to the park's allure for visitors. Trekking and hiking enthusiasts often explore these hills to experience the natural beauty and enjoy the adventure of the terrain.




Dachigam National Park River

Dagwan River (Dagwan Nallah):

The Dachigam National Park is blessed with the presence of the Dagwan River (Dagwan Nallah), which flows through the park. The river is a significant water source and plays a crucial role in the park's ecosystem.


The Dagwan River originates from the high-altitude Marsar Lake which relies on the snow melt of the Peaks of the Kolahoi group of the western Himalayas. It flows through the park, cutting through the hills and valleys, and eventually joins the Jhelum River.


The Dagwan river's flow provides water for the park's flora and fauna, supporting the diverse ecosystems within Dachigam National Park. It sustains the vegetation, including the forests of conifers and alpine meadows, and nourishes the wildlife that depends on it.




Dachigam National Park Flora

What is the flora of Dachigam National Park? (Which trees are found in Dachigam National Park?)

Dachigam National Park boasts a diverse range of flora, with its unique location in the western Himalayas contributing to its rich plant life. The park encompasses various vegetation zones, including forests, meadows, and alpine vegetation. 


Here are some notable flora species found in Dachigam National Park:


(1) Coniferous Trees:

The Dachigam National Park is known for its dense forests of coniferous trees, including species like deodar (Cedrus deodara), pine (Pinus spp.), and fir (Abies spp.). These tall evergreen trees dominate the lower elevations of the park.


(2) Broadleaf Trees:

Alongside conifers, several broadleaf tree species can be found in Dachigam National Park, such as Himalayan poplar (Populus ciliata), horse chestnut (Aesculus indica), and walnut (Juglans regia).


(3) Alpine Meadows:

As the elevation increases, the landscape transitions into alpine meadows dotted with colorful wildflowers during the summer months. These meadows showcase a variety of plant species, including various species of primroses, daisies, and orchids.


(4) Medicinal Plants:

Dachigam National Park is also home to numerous medicinal plant species. Some notable examples include saffron (Crocus sativus), used for its valuable spice, and various herbs like brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) and kuth (Saussurea lappa), known for their medicinal properties.


(5) Rhododendrons: 

The Dachigam National Park features several species of rhododendrons, including the beautiful Rhododendron campanulatum. These flowering shrubs add vibrant colors to the landscape during the blooming season.




Dachigam National Park Fauna (Dachigam National Park Animals)

Dachigam National Park is renowned for its diverse fauna, which includes several rare and endangered species. The park's location in the western Himalayas and its varied ecosystems support a rich wildlife population. 


Here are some notable fauna species found in Dachigam National Park:


Mammals:

  • Kashmiri Stag (Hangul)
  • Musk Deer
  • Snow Leopard
  • Leopards
  • Himalayan Black Bear
  • Himalayan Brown Bear
  • Himalayan Gray Langurs
  • Leopard Cats
  • Jackals
  • Himalayan Weasel
  • Yellow-throated Martens
  • Jungle Cat
  • Long Tailed Marmots
  • Otter
  • Himalayan Fox


Birds:

What kind of birds are in Dachigam National Park?

Dachigam National Park is a haven for birdwatchers, as it is home to a wide variety of bird species. The park's diverse habitats, including forests, meadows, and wetlands, attract a rich avian population. 


Here are some notable bird species that can be found in Dachigam National Park:


  • Monal Pheasant
  • Crimson Tragopan
  • Golden Eagle
  • Bearded Vulture
  • Griffon Vulture
  • Lammergeier Vulture
  • Blood Pheasant
  • Cinnamon Sparrow
  • Himalayan Ruby throat
  • Pygmy Owlet
  • Babblers
  • Orange Bullfinch
  • Golden Oriole
  • Black Bulbul
  • Golden Oriole
  • Grey Heron
  • Minivet
  • Chough
  • Koklass Pheasant
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Paradise Flycatcher
  • Western Yellow-Billed Blue Magpie
  • Woodpeckers


Reptiles:

Dachigam National Park is primarily known for its mammalian and avian diversity, but it is also home to several reptile species. The reptiles found in the park include snakes, lizards, and turtles. 


Here are some reptile species that can be found in Dachigam National Park:


  • Kashmir Rock Agama 
  • Ladakh Agama 
  • Himalayan Pit Viper
  • Himalayan Keelback 
  • Kashmir Rat Snake 
  • Common Skink




Dachigam National Park Hangul

Dachigam National Park is famous for being the last remaining refuge of the Hangul, also known as the Kashmir stag (Cervus elaphus hanglu). The Hangul is a subspecies of red deer that is native to the region of Jammu and Kashmir in the western Himalayas.


The Hangul is considered one of the most endangered deer species in the world. It is characterized by its majestic antlers, which can grow up to 11 tines. Male Hangul have a light brown to dark reddish-brown coat, while females have a lighter brown color.


Dachigam National Park has played a crucial role in the conservation of the Hangul. The park was initially established in 1910 to protect this endangered species, and its boundaries were expanded later to encompass a larger area.


The Hangul's population has faced numerous threats over the years, including habitat loss, poaching, and competition for resources with livestock. Conservation efforts within Dachigam National Park have focused on habitat restoration, anti-poaching measures, and community involvement.


The park provides a protected habitat for the Hangul, with its diverse vegetation, including coniferous forests, alpine meadows, and steep valleys. It offers a suitable environment for the Hangul's feeding and breeding needs.


While the Hangul population has faced challenges, there have been some positive outcomes from conservation efforts. The population has shown some signs of stabilization and slight increase in recent years, but it remains critically endangered.


The Hangul is an iconic and emblematic species of Dachigam National Park. Its conservation remains a priority, and visitors to the park have the opportunity to witness and appreciate the beauty and significance of this unique deer species in its natural habitat.




Top Things to do in Dachigam National Park

Dachigam National Park offers a range of activities and experiences for visitors to enjoy its natural beauty and wildlife. 


Here are some of the top things to do in Dachigam National Park:


  • Wildlife Safari
  • Birdwatching
  • Trekking
  • Photography
  • Nature Walks
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife Conservation Interaction
  • Cultural Interaction




Dachigam National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Dachigam National Park is located in which state?

A. Dachigam National Park is located in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.


Q. Where is Dachigam National Park?

A. Dachigam National Park is located in Srinagar district of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.


Q. Dachigam National Park is famous for which animal?

A. Dachigam National Park is famous for critically endangered Kashmiri Stag (Hangul).


Q. Dachigam National Park in which district?

A. Dachigam National Park is located in Srinagar district of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.


Q. Dachigam National Park is famous for which endangered species?

A. Dachigam National Park is famous for critically endangered Kashmiri Stag (Hangul).


Q. What is Dachigam National Park famous for?

A. Dachigam National Park is famous for critically endangered Kashmiri Stag (Hangul).


Q. What is Dachigam National Park and why it is famous?

A. Dachigam National Park is is a national park, located in Srinagar district of the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is famous for critically endangered Kashmiri Stag (Hangul).


Q. Which river passes/flow through Dachigam National Park?

A. Dachigam River (Dagwan Nallah) passes/flow through Dachigam National Park.


Q. Which animals are protected in Dachigam National Park?

A. Kashmiri Stag (Hangul) is protected in Dachigam National Park.


Q. Is snow leopard found in Dachigam?

A. Yes, Snow Leopard found in Dachigam.

Dachigam National Park

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