Thursday, August 10, 2023

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the Himachal Pradesh state of India. The sanctuary is known for its diverse flora and fauna and is named after the Shikari Devi Temple, which is a revered religious site within its boundaries.

The sanctuary is characterized by its hilly terrain, lush forests, and abundant biodiversity. It provides a habitat for various wildlife species, including snow leopard, Himalayan black bears, leopards, ghoral (a type of mountain goat), and a variety of bird species. 

The area's natural beauty and cultural significance, due to the temple, make it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts, trekkers, and pilgrims.

Table of Contents

  • Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Shikari Devi Temple
  • Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Mandi district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated in the western Himalayas and covers a significant area within the district. 

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary is Bhuntar Airport (also known as Kullu-Manali Airport) located near Kullu town in Himachal Pradesh.

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary is Joginder Nagar Railway Station. 

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich history that is intertwined with both natural and cultural elements.

First Notification: The Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary was first officially designated as a protected area in the year 1962. This initial notification marked the beginning of its journey towards conservation and preservation.

Re-notification: Recognizing the ongoing importance of conservation efforts and the need to safeguard the sanctuary's natural and cultural heritage, the Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary was re-notified on the 27th of March in the year 1974. This re-notification reinforced its status as a sanctuary and highlighted the ongoing commitment to preserving the area's biodiversity and historical significance.

Cultural and Religious Significance: The sanctuary is named after the Shikari Devi Temple, which is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Shikari Devi. The temple holds religious importance for the local people, and it attracts pilgrims and devotees throughout the year. The sanctuary's history is closely linked with the temple's presence and the cultural practices of the region.

Traditional Land Use: The area surrounding the sanctuary has been used by local communities for generations, whether for agriculture, grazing, or other traditional practices. These historical interactions between humans and the environment have contributed to shaping the sanctuary's landscape and ecosystems.

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The exact area of the Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh, India, was around 72 square kilometers. This area encompasses a diverse range of landscapes, including forests, hills, and valleys, which provide habitats for various wildlife species and contribute to the sanctuary's ecological significance.

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its diverse and rich flora, which includes a variety of plant species adapted to the hilly and forested environment of the Himalayan region. 

The sanctuary's diverse range of forest types highlights its ecological richness and the varying habitats that exist within the region. Each forest type is adapted to specific altitudinal zones and contributes to the overall biodiversity of the area. 

Here's a brief description of each forest type:

(1) Alpine Pasture:

Found at the highest elevations, alpine pastures are characterized by grasses, herbs, and low-growing plants that can survive in the harsh conditions of high altitudes.

(2) Sub-alpine Forest:

This forest type occurs at slightly lower altitudes and is dominated by a mix of coniferous and broadleaf trees, including species like fir and oak.

(3) Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest:

This type of forest is likely found at middle altitudes and is characterized by a mix of deciduous trees that shed their leaves in the colder months. It may include species like oak, maple, and rhododendron.

(4) West Himalayan Upper Oak/Fir Forest:

This forest type is likely to have a mix of oak and fir trees and is found at intermediate altitudes. Oaks are a significant component of this type of forest.

(5) Kharsu Oak Forest:

Kharsu oak (Quercus semecarpifolia) dominates this forest type, which is likely found at mid-altitudes. These oak forests play an important role in the ecology of the region.

(6) Western Mixed Coniferous Forest:

This forest type is characterized by a mix of coniferous trees such as pine, fir, and cedar. It might occur at various altitudes within the sanctuary.

(7) Ban Oak Forest:

Ban oak (Quercus leucotrichophora) dominates this type of forest, which is found at lower to middle altitudes. Ban oak trees are an important component of the sanctuary's ecosystem.

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

The Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna, thanks to its varied habitats and altitude gradients. Here are some of the wildlife species that are known to inhabit or frequent the sanctuary:


  • Asiatic Black Bear 
  • Snow Leopard
  • Leopard 
  • Barking Deer
  • Goral 
  • Langur 
  • Rhesus Macaque 
  • Giant Flying Squirrel 
  • Kashmir Flying Squirrel 
  • Stone Marten 
  • Himalayan Weasel


  • Cheer Pheasant 
  • Himalayan or Impeyan Monal 
  • Koklass Pheasant 
  • Kaleej 
  • Western Tragopan 


  • Snakes
  • Lizards

Shikari Devi Temple

The Shikari Devi Temple is a revered religious site located within the Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The temple holds cultural and historical significance and is an important pilgrimage destination for devotees and visitors. 

Here are some key details about the Shikari Devi Temple:

Location: The temple is situated atop a hill in the Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and lush greenery.

Deity: The temple is dedicated to Shikari Devi, a local goddess who is believed to be the guardian and protector of the region. She is often venerated by the local communities for her blessings and divine grace.

Religious Significance: The Shikari Devi Temple is a place of worship and pilgrimage for people seeking blessings, protection, and fulfillment of their wishes. It is particularly popular among the local population, who hold deep reverence for the goddess.

Festivals: The temple sees increased activity during festivals and special occasions, such as the Shikari Devi Fair, which usually takes place in April-May. During these times, devotees gather to offer prayers, perform rituals, and participate in religious and cultural celebrations.

Trekking and Access: To reach the temple, visitors often embark on a trek through the sanctuary's hilly terrain. The journey can be both a spiritual experience and an adventure, allowing pilgrims to connect with nature and the divine.

Scenic Views: The temple's elevated location offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains, making it a rewarding destination for both religious and recreational purposes.

Local Traditions: The temple is a symbol of local traditions, and its existence is intertwined with the culture of the region. It serves as a place for community gatherings and social interactions.

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which state is Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary?

A. The Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh and is known for its diverse flora and fauna, hilly terrain, and the Shikari Devi Temple.

Q. What is Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for several reasons:

(i) Ecological Diversity: The sanctuary is renowned for its diverse range of flora and fauna, including various species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Its varied habitats, altitudinal gradients, and unique ecosystems contribute to its ecological significance.

(ii) Himalayan Landscape: Situated in the Himalayan region, the sanctuary offers stunning panoramic views, lush forests, and hilly terrain, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and trekkers.

(iii) Shikari Devi Temple: The sanctuary is named after the Shikari Devi Temple, which holds religious and cultural significance. The temple is a pilgrimage site and attracts devotees from different regions.

(iv) Adventure Activities: The sanctuary's picturesque landscapes and diverse wildlife provide opportunities for outdoor activities such as trekking, bird watching, and wildlife photography.

(v) Local Culture: The sanctuary's connection to the Shikari Devi Temple reflects the local culture and traditions of the region. Visitors can experience both the natural beauty and the cultural heritage of the area.

Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary

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