Dachigam National Park, a place with abundant natural beauty is located
22km north east from Srinagar in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It covers
an area of 141 square kilometers with altitude ranging from 5500 ft to
14000 ft above mean sea level. Due to this variation, the park is differentiated
as upper and lower Dachigam. The park has been a protected area since
1910, first under the care of the Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir and
later under the observation of the concerned government authorities. It
was upgraded and declared a National Park in the year 1951.
Two steep ridges enclose the Park with its great topographical
varieties like deep ravines, rocky outcrops and steep wooded pastures.
The vegetation include grasslands, coniferous forests and mostly dry alpine
pastures. The Daghwar river regarded as the life line of the park, flows
through the center of the forest and is a vital source of drinking water.The
ideal way to enjoy the beauty of the reserve is to go on foot. The region
of the lower Dachigam is easily accessible through a metalled road. But
Upper Dachigam is accessible only on foot. The park is a trekker's paradise.One
can enjoy trekking and camping here along with its exclusive varieties
of animal and plant species. There are numerous tracks that can be traversed.
Many of these tracks can be attempted by all visitors and is not tiring.
But some of the tracks to the upper reaches are quite difficult and require
proper camping or climbing equipment. It is better that these treks be
attempted by serious trekkers and only in the summers. A small part of
the park in lower Dachigam can be toured by jeep. This 10 km long relaxing
tour runs along the river Daghwar. Jeeps can be hired from Srinagar.
Dachigam National Park remains cold throughout the year. The changing
season brings immense beauty, the contrast of bright hues of coloured
leaves in August to the stark white snow in the winters is amazing. The
summer season lasts from May to August and is cool and very pleasant.
The temperatures ranges from 8°C to 14°C during the summers. Light
woolen clothes are suitable for the summers and heavy woolens are required
during winters. Upper Dachigam become inaccessible to the visitors during
winter as the temperature dips as low as -10 degree Celsius.
The park is closed between January and April. Special
Permits are required for travel to this part of India. This must be acquired
from the Indian Foreign Office.