Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is known for its diverse flora and fauna and is a protected area aimed at conserving the natural biodiversity of the region.

The sanctuary is home to various species of wildlife, including Himalayan Tahr, Himalayan black bears, leopards, musk deer, serow, monal pheasants, and various species of birds and insects. It encompasses a range of ecosystems, including forests, alpine meadows, and high-altitude areas, making it a unique and ecologically important region.

Visitors to the Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary can enjoy trekking and exploring the natural beauty of the area. The Sanctuary also houses the famous Manimahesh Temple that is annually visited by thousands of pilgrims

Table of Contents

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

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Chamba district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated in the northwestern part of Himachal Pradesh, near the town of Bharmour. The sanctuary is nestled in the majestic Himalayan mountains and is known for its diverse flora, fauna, and stunning natural landscapes. 

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary is surrounded by the Tundah Wildlife Sanctuary on its west side through a forest corridor. This kind of connectivity between protected areas is important for the movement of wildlife and for maintaining biodiversity across different habitats. 

Visitors can access the sanctuary by road from Bharmour and can explore its various trekking trails and wildlife habitats. 

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary is the Kangra Airport (Gaggal Airport) in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. This airport is approximately 180-200 kilometers away from Bharmour, which is the main access point to Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest major railway station to Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary is the Pathankot Railway Station in Punjab. From Pathankot, you can reach Bharmour, the gateway to Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, by road. The distance between Pathankot and Bharmour is around 170-190 kilometers, depending on the specific route taken.

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary History

Establishment: In 1962, the roots of the Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary were firmly planted, marking a pivotal moment in its history. This was the year when the sanctuary's formal establishment came into being, heralding the commencement of its mission to preserve and protect the distinctive biodiversity of the region.

Preserving Himalayan Biodiversity: The year 1962 witnessed the foresight and dedication of conservationists and authorities who recognized the importance of protecting the pristine Himalayan ecosystem found within the boundaries of the Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary. With its diverse range of flora and fauna, including elusive Himalayan black bears, majestic leopards, and vibrant monal pheasants, the sanctuary was designated as a haven for the region's rich biodiversity.

Contributions to Conservation Efforts: Since its establishment, the Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary has played a vital role in the larger framework of wildlife conservation in Himachal Pradesh and beyond. The sanctuary's protected status has facilitated research, education, and awareness initiatives aimed at understanding and appreciating the delicate balance of nature that thrives within its borders.

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The expanse of the Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary covers 378 square kilometers. Within this substantial territory, the sanctuary embraces a variety of ecosystems, fostering a diverse array of plant and animal life. 

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a rich and varied flora, owing to its diverse range of ecosystems and altitudinal variations. Here is a general overview of the types of flora that can be found within the sanctuary:

(1) Temperate Forests:

The sanctuary is home to temperate forests that host a variety of tree species. These may include deodar (Cedrus deodara), oak (Quercus spp.), blue pine (Pinus wallichiana), and various types of rhododendrons.

(2) Alpine Meadows and Grasslands:

As the elevation increases, you'll encounter alpine meadows and grasslands, adorned with a variety of wildflowers and grass species adapted to high altitudes.

(3) Medicinal Plants:

The region is also known for its abundance of medicinal plants that have been used by local communities for generations. These plants play a vital role in traditional medicine and local livelihoods.

(4) Shrubs and Understory Plants:

The sanctuary's understory is characterized by a mix of shrubs, ferns, mosses, and lichens that contribute to the overall biodiversity of the area.

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

The Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse array of fauna, showcasing the richness of wildlife found within the Himalayan region. Here are some examples of the fauna you might encounter within the sanctuary:


  • Himalayan Tahr
  • Himalayan Black Bear
  • Snow Leopard
  • Himalayan Ibex
  • Barking Deer
  • Yellow-Throated Marten
  • Red Fox 
  • Common Langur
  • Himalayan Musk Deer
  • Leopard Cat


  • Himalayan Monal
  • Koklass Pheasant
  • Western Tragopan
  • Cheer Pheasant
  • Himalayan Snowcock
  • Golden Eagle
  • Bearded Vulture
  • Himalayan Griffon Vulture


  • Himalayan Pit Viper
  • Common Skink
  • Himalayan Keelback
  • Ladakh Agama
  • Himalayan Ratsnake

Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which district Kugti Wildlife sanctuary is located?/Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary is located in which state?

A. The Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Chamba district of the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. This district is known for its stunning landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and rich cultural heritage. The sanctuary is nestled within the Himalayan region and contributes to the conservation of the unique flora and fauna found in this part of the country.

Q. What is the altitude of Kugti?

A. The altitude of Kugti, a region in the Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, varies based on specific locations within the sanctuary. Generally, Kugti encompasses a range of elevations due to its diverse landscapes, which include valleys, hills, and alpine meadows.

The town of Bharmour, which serves as the gateway to the Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary, is situated at an altitude of approximately 2,150 meters (7,053 feet) above sea level. From there, as you venture deeper into the sanctuary and ascend into the higher elevations, you'll encounter alpine meadows and peaks that can reach altitudes exceeding 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) or more.

Q. What is Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its remarkable biodiversity, stunning natural landscapes, and cultural significance. Here are some of the key aspects for which the sanctuary is renowned:

(i) Biodiversity: The sanctuary is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species. It provides habitat for Himalayan black bears, snow leopards, various pheasant species, Himalayan tahr, and more. The wide variety of wildlife contributes to the sanctuary's importance in conservation efforts.

(ii) Avian Diversity: Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary is especially notable for its diverse bird species, including the colorful Himalayan monal, koklass pheasant, western tragopan, and cheer pheasant. Birdwatching enthusiasts are drawn to the sanctuary to observe these magnificent avian creatures.

(iii) Cultural Significance: Kugti holds cultural significance for local communities, with several ancient temples and religious sites located in the region. The sanctuary is also part of the traditional migration route for Gaddi shepherds and their livestock.

(iv) Ecotourism and Adventure: The sanctuary offers opportunities for ecotourism, trekking, and adventure activities. Visitors can explore its trails, experience the local culture, and immerse themselves in the Himalayan wilderness.

(v) Conservation Efforts: The sanctuary plays a crucial role in conserving the unique ecosystems of the Western Himalayas. It serves as a protected area for both wildlife and their habitats, contributing to the overall ecological health of the region.

(vi) Gateway to Himachal Pradesh's Peaks: Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary serves as an access point to various peaks and trekking trails in the Himachal Pradesh region, including treks to Manimahesh Lake and the Kugti Pass.
Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary

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