Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Rakcham Chitkul Sanctuary is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. The sanctuary's unique geographical location and elevation contribute to its diverse flora and fauna. 

The sanctuary is inhabited by various large mammal species, such as Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Bharal (Blue Sheep), Himalayan Tahr, and Asiatic Black Bear at higher altitudes. At lower elevations, species like Goral, Serow, Leopard, and Common Langur can be found.

The sanctuary is home to a range of bird species, including endangered pheasants like the Western Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, Koklass Pheasant, and Kaleej Pheasant. 

The area falls within several biome categories, including Eurasian High Montane, Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest, and Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest. The site is part of the Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area and hosts species such as Cheer Pheasant.

The sanctuary's diverse ecosystems, including its alpine areas, forests, and high-altitude pastures, make it an important habitat for a variety of plant and animal species. The presence of endangered and restricted-range bird species adds to its conservation value.

Table of Contents

  • Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary River
  • Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It encompasses the area around the villages of Rakchham and Chitkul, which are situated in the Baspa Valley. 

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary is Shimla Airport (also known as Jubbarhatti Airport) in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. It's approximately the nearest major airport to the Kinnaur district.

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

Regarding the nearest railway station, the region of Kinnaur does not have a direct railway connection. The nearest major railway station is Chandigarh Railway Station, which is well-connected to various parts of India. 

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary History

Establishment: Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1989, it indicates that it is a relatively new addition to the protected areas of Himachal Pradesh, India. 

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 304 square kilometers. This area is designated for the conservation of various species of flora and fauna, making it an important habitat within the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, India. 


Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary River

One of the prominent rivers in this region is the Baspa River (also known as the Sangla River), which flows through the sanctuary's catchment area. The Baspa River is a significant watercourse in the region and is known for its clear waters and scenic beauty. It plays a crucial role in supporting the ecosystem within the sanctuary, providing water to various plants and animals that inhabit the area.

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, India, features diverse flora due to its unique geographical location and elevation. The sanctuary encompasses various forest types, each with its own distinct vegetation. 

Here are some of the flora species and forest types found in the sanctuary:

(1) Dry Alpine Scrub:

This type of vegetation is adapted to the challenging conditions of high altitudes, characterized by rocky terrain, low moisture, and cold temperatures. Hardy shrubs and low-growing plants are common in this scrubland.

(2) Dry Temperate Coniferous Forest:

This forest type includes coniferous trees such as Deodar (Cedrus deodara) and Chilgoza Pine (Pinus gerardiana). These trees are well-suited to the cooler climate at higher elevations and contribute to the sanctuary's diverse ecosystem.

(3) Dry Broadleaf and Coniferous Forest:

This type of forest represents a blend of broadleaf species and conifers. The mix of deciduous and evergreen trees provides varied habitats for wildlife and contributes to the overall biodiversity of the sanctuary.

(4) Upper West Himalayan Temperate Forests:

This forest type is characterized by a mix of temperate trees and shrubs that are well-adapted to the climatic conditions of the region. It likely contributes to the sanctuary's unique landscape and provides habitats for a variety of species.

(5) Lower Western Himalayan Temperate Forests:

These forests are likely to have a different composition of flora compared to the upper temperate forests due to variations in elevation and environmental factors. They might support a range of species adapted to slightly warmer and more moderate conditions.

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

The Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its diverse fauna, including a range of mammals, birds, and potentially other wildlife species. Here's a glimpse into the fauna that might inhabit the sanctuary based on the information you've provided:


  • Snow Leopard
  • Musk Deer
  • Bharal (Blue Sheep)
  • Himalayan Tahr
  • Asiatic Black Bear
  • Goral
  • Serow
  • Leopard
  • Common Langur


What birds are in Chitkul?

  • Western Tragopan
  • Himalayan Monal
  • Koklass Pheasant
  • Kaleej Pheasant
  • Himalayan Griffon
  • Himalayan Snowcock
  • Vinaceous-breasted Pipit
  • Plain Mountain Finch


  • Snakes
  • Lizards

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary located?

A. The Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It encompasses the area around the villages of Rakchham and Chitkul. This sanctuary is situated in the Himalayan region and is known for its diverse flora, fauna, and unique natural landscapes.

Rakchham Chitkul Wildlife Sanctuary

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