It is located only 22 kilometers from Sriniagar, the capital city of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. It covers an area of 141 square kilometers consisting of some of the most scenic natural beauty present on Earth. The variation in altitude is vast, ranging from 5500 ft to 14000 ft above mean sea level. Due to this vast variation, the park is very clearly demarcated into an upper and lower region. The best times to explore these two areas are summer and winter respectively. Due to the upper region's extremely harsh winter, the best months for visiting here is between the months of May and August. For the lower region, the ideal time is between September and December but is also equally rewarding in the summer months.
Dachigam is considered home to some of the unique Himalayan range of flora and fauna. Primary amongst them is the hangul or Kashmir stag, the most endangered species of red deer in the world.
The park has been a protected area since 1910, first under the care and watchful eye of the Maharaja of J & K and later under the observation of the concerned government authorities. The name of the park literally stands for "ten villages" which could be in memory of the ten villages that were relocated for it's formation. It was finally upgraded and declared a National Park in the year 1981. Although it is the last proper home of the Hangul, or Kashmir Stag, and harbours many rare species within it's borders, it was initially created to ensure clean drinking water supply for the city of Srinagar.
Dachigam is one sanctuary that cannot be seen in all it's glory with just one visit. This is due to the fact that the park changes it's entire appearance with the onset of each season, every one of which is as beautiful as the one before or the next to arrive.
Topography of Dachigam National Park:
Dachigam National park is located among the high mountains of the mighty western Himalayas. The variation in altitude is vast, ranging from 5500 ft to 14000 ft above mean sea level. Due to this vast variation, the park is very clearly demarcated into an upper and lower region. The terrain ranges from gently sloping grasslands to sharp rocky outcrops and cliffs. Part of the park lies above the tree line and this area displays its own kind of natural beauty with bare rock mountains and crevices.
Flora in Dachigam National Park
There are over fifty species of trees, twenty of shrubs and five hundred species of herbs. The principal tree species are pinus griffithii, abies pindrow, juglans regia, morus alba, betula utilis, salix spp, populus spp. prunus armeniaca, corylus colurna, quercus robur, ulmus wallichiana, aesculus indica, etc.shrubs include berberis spp, desmodium tiliaefolium, parrotiopsis jacquemontiana, indigofera heterantha etc.