Kedarnath Sanctuary


Kedarnath Sanctuary, Uttaranchal

Uttaranchal has been blessed with the beauty of the Himalayan ranges for which it draws loads and loads of tourists across the globe every year. Rivers and streams, waterfalls, hill stations, dense forests, etc. make this place a heavenly destination. Kedarnath sanctuary is a wonderful spot that has an amazing biodiversity. With the primary aim of protecting the Himalayan Musk Deer this sanctuary was established.

Etymology:

The name of the sanctuary is derived from the name of the world-famous Hindu temple 'Kedarnath' which lies outside the northern border of the sanctuary. The main attraction of the sanctuary is the Musk Deer; hence it is also known as the 'Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary'.

Area and location:

Today the park occupies an area of 975 sq km. It was a notified reserve forest between 1916 and 1920. This notification was changed to a sanctuary on January 21, 1972 which covered the area of 967 sq km which was later extended to 975 sq km. The sanctuary is located in the Kedarnath region. The whole route from Gauri Kund to Kedarnath passes through the sanctuary.

Flora and fauna:

You will find a complete entertainment package in the Kedarnath sanctuary. Birds, animals and aquatic life- aren't that sufficient? Yes, Kedarnath sanctuary has it all.

Surrounded by glaciers, valleys and rivers the forest area of the sanctuary houses Snow Leopard, Tahr, Snow Cock Leopard ,Serow, Musk Spotted Deer, Jackal, Fox, Himalayan Black Beer, Yellow Throated Marten, Leopard Cat, Rhesus Macaque and Common Langur. It is interesting to note that many animals are found at a region which is 9,800 feet high.

Reptiles like Himalayan Pit Viper and Boulenger's Keelback are also found here. Fishes include MahseerTor, Labeo spp., Gara spp., Barilius spp., Schizothorax sp., Nemacheilus sp. nov., Glyptothorax spp. and Balitora Brucei.

Chir pine, oak, birch, rhododendrons, alpine meadows, Himalayan flowering plants, etc. are the main plant and floral species here. The park is marked for the diverse topography and varied climatic conditions.

When to visit?

The best time to visit the sanctuary is from April to September.

Transport information:

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun which is almost 252 km from the park.

Rishikesh is the nearest railway station that is 235 km away from the park.

The sanctuary is at a distance of 136 km from Chamoli, 14 km from Gaurikumd and 47 km from Guptakashi. So you can take private vehicles.

Hill stations are the favorite getaway destinations of many people. So plan a family trip or honeymoon to the beautiful land of Uttaranchal. While playing with snowballs in the mountain meadows and watching the animal kingdom of Kedarnath sanctuary in proximity, spend some quality-time with your loved ones.