Monday, August 7, 2023

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The sanctuary is characterized by its dense forests, alpine meadows, and high-altitude ecosystems.

With altitudes spanning from 2,100 to over 3,000 meters above sea level, the sanctuary's landscapes encompass moist cedar forests, sub-alpine habitats, and everything in between. 

Notably, the sanctuary is celebrated for its dedicated conservation of the Western Tragopan, a vulnerable and vividly colorful pheasant species. This bird, also the state bird of Himachal Pradesh, symbolizes the sanctuary's commitment to preserving unique Himalayan wildlife.

Table of Contents

  • Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Hills
  • Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Shimla district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated in the northwestern part of Himachal Pradesh, near the town of Rampur Bushahr. 

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary is the Shimla Airport (also known as Jubbarhatti Airport). It is located approximately 104 kilometers (65 miles) away from the sanctuary. The airport serves domestic flights and is the closest air access point to the sanctuary.

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

Regarding the nearest railway station, the Shimla Railway Station is the closest option. However, please note that Shimla is a narrow-gauge railway and may not be well-connected to major railway lines. The Kalka Railway Station, located in Kalka, is a major railway hub that serves as a point of access to Shimla and is well-connected to various cities across India.

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary has a history rooted in its conservation efforts and the protection of its diverse flora and fauna. 

Raja of Bushahr State: The sanctuary has historical significance as a former hunting reserve of the Raja of Bushahr State. In the past, these hunting reserves were areas where local rulers and nobles indulged in hunting activities. However, over time, the focus shifted towards conservation and protection of wildlife habitats, leading to the establishment of sanctuaries like Daranghati.

Established: The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1962 to protect and preserve its unique ecosystems and diverse flora and fauna. Over the years, the sanctuary has played a significant role in conservation efforts and promoting biodiversity within the region.

Reintroduction of Western Tragopans: In 2020, a noteworthy conservation initiative took place in the Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary. Six Western tragopans, a vulnerable pheasant species with an estimated global population of less than 3,500, were raised in captivity and released into the sanctuary. 

Himachal Pradesh wildlife officials spearheaded this effort as part of ongoing conservation measures. The Western tragopan holds special significance as the state bird of Himachal Pradesh, making this reintroduction a significant step towards preserving this iconic species and enhancing the sanctuary's biodiversity.

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary covers an approximate area of 171 square kilometers. The sanctuary encompasses a diverse range of ecosystems, including dense forests, alpine meadows, and high-altitude habitats, contributing to its significance for biodiversity conservation in the region. 

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Hills

The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the hilly terrain of the Shimla district in Himachal Pradesh, India. The sanctuary is characterized by its diverse range of hills, valleys, and high-altitude landscapes. It spans both sides of the Dhauladhar Range, which is a part of the Middle Himalayas. The sanctuary's elevation varies significantly, ranging from approximately 2,100 meters to over 3,000 meters above sea level.

The hilly terrain of the Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary contributes to its unique ecosystems and supports a variety of flora and fauna adapted to different altitudinal zones. The sanctuary's hills and valleys provide habitats for a range of wildlife species, making it an important conservation area in the region.

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of flora due to its varying altitudes and ecosystems. Here are some of the types of flora that can be found in the sanctuary:

(1) Moist Cedar Forest (1,900 m - 3,000 m):

This forest type includes trees like the majestic Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara) and other associated species that thrive in the higher altitudes of the sanctuary.

(2) Western Mixed Coniferous Forest:

Found on northern and eastern slopes above 2,000 m, this forest type includes trees such as Blue Pine (Pinus wallichiana), Silver Fir (Abies spectabilis), Spruce (Picea smithiana), and Cedar on well-drained sites.

(3) Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest:

This forest type likely comprises a mix of deciduous trees adapted to the temperate climate, contributing to the sanctuary's overall biodiversity.

(4) Kharsu Oak Forest:

This forest type is likely dominated by Kharsu Oak (Quercus semecarpifolia), with common associates such as Taxus baccata (Yew), Pyrus (Pear), and Prunus species.

(5) West Himalayan Sub-alpine Forest (Above 3,000 m):

The sub-alpine zone includes trees like Silver Fir and some instances of Quercus semecarpifolia.

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

What animals are in the Daranghati Wildlife sanctuary?

The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse array of fauna, ranging from charismatic mammals to various bird species. Here are some of the notable species that can be found within the sanctuary:


  • Musk Deer
  • Goral
  • Serow
  • Himalayan Tahr
  • Ibex
  • Barking Deer
  • Asiatic Black Bear
  • Brown Bear 
  • Leopard
  • Red Fox
  • Himalayan Weasel
  • Yellow-throated Marten
  • Himalayan Palm Civet 
  • Jungle Cat


  • Western Tragopans
  • Himalayan Monal
  • Koklas Pheasant
  • Kalij Pheasant

Note- Western tragopan is locally called Jujurana, it is endemic to the northwest Himalaya and found in North Pakistan, Kashmir, Himachal and possibly Uttarakhand.


  • Himalayan Pit Viper
  • King Cobra

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which district is the Daranghati Sanctuary?

A. The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Shimla district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated within the geographical boundaries of the Shimla district and is known for its diverse ecosystems, flora, and fauna.

Q. What is the altitude of Daranghati?

A. The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary has varying altitudes within its boundaries due to its diverse terrain and ecosystems. The altitude of the sanctuary ranges from approximately 2,100 meters (6,890 feet) to over 3,000 meters (9,840 feet) above sea level. This range encompasses different habitats, from lower elevations with moist cedar forests to higher elevations with sub-alpine vegetation. The sanctuary's altitude gradient contributes to its rich biodiversity and the presence of various species adapted to different altitudinal zones.

Q. What is the Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for several reasons:

(i) Conservation of Western Tragopan: One of the sanctuary's most significant features is its efforts in conserving the Western Tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus), a vulnerable and strikingly colorful pheasant species. The sanctuary has been actively involved in the protection and rehabilitation of this bird, which is also the state bird of Himachal Pradesh.

(ii) Biodiversity: The sanctuary is known for its rich biodiversity, encompassing a wide variety of flora and fauna, including various bird species, mammals, and plant life. The diverse ecosystems within the sanctuary contribute to its significance as a habitat for a range of species.

(iii) Himalayan Landscapes: Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the scenic landscape of the Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, which is part of the Middle Himalayas. Its hilly terrain, alpine meadows, and forested slopes offer stunning views and opportunities for nature enthusiasts and trekkers.

(iv) Eco-tourism and Wildlife Viewing: The sanctuary provides opportunities for eco-tourism and wildlife viewing. Visitors can explore the natural beauty of the region, observe various bird and mammal species, and appreciate the unique Himalayan landscapes.

Daranghati Wildlife Sanctuary

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