Kishtwar National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Kishtwar district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was majorly founded to protect the Snow Leopards that are now slowly vanishing from the nature. This park is situated at a distance of around 250 kms away from Jammu & 40 kms from the Town of the Kishtwar the area was declared Kishtwar High Altitude National Park vide Notification No.20 FST of 1980-81 dated:-04/01/1980 & subsequently under SRO -135 dated :-10/04/1980 was 400 Sq Kms & further its boundaries were fixed vide SRO-212 as under
Geographical location of National Park.
- North . The ridge separating water sheds of kaintal and kulhoyan Nallah
- Oragraphic left ridge of Kibber Nallah from Brammah Peak upto Kibber Village.
- The ridge separating Kargil District and Kishtwar District.
- Permanent villages in the Bank of Renie, Kiyar, Nanth and Kibber Nallah.
Area Description of the National Park.
- Nanth and
- Kibber Nallah
In each of aforesaid streams , the area of National Park starts from the water shed ridge and ends near the Ist permanent village / hamlet in its down streams.
Forest Area falling in the National Park Area in Sqkms.2191.50
- The Forest comptts, such as 75,76,77,78,79 & 80 of Marwah Range and the Forest comptts, such as 24c,24d,24e,24f,24g,24h,24i,24j,2k4k,24l, part of 29d,beyond Hok rar, 29e,29f,part of 30c, beyond I km from Kibber village, 30d & 30e of Dachhan Forest Range constitute the National Park. The uncompartmentlized upper catchment of renai , Kiyar, Nanth & Kibber Nallah are also part of National Park. The area of National Park spread on the 1: 50,000 toposheets published by the survey of India ,numbered 43/09 ,43/0/13, 43/0/14, 43/0/15, 52/C/1,52/C/2, 52/C/3 & 52/C/6
The total horizontal area of National Park is 2191.50 Sq Kms
The case with regard to determination extent of Rights of people in or over the land comprised within boundary of the said park KHANP is with the collector Kishtwar for his final recommendation under sub- section (3) of section (17) & 35 of the J&K wildlife Protection Act for issuance of the finial Notification by the Government.
The National Park spread between latitudes 330 27’ N to 300 59’ N & longitudes 750 40,e to 76 0 17’ e.
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.
The rich wildlife includes Brown Bear, Himalayan Black bear, Musk Deer, Ibex, Markhor, Snow Leopard, Wild boar, Bharal, Indian Muntijal, Serow, and Rhesus macaque (Hangul and Kashmiri stag that migrate in winters from Dachigam National Park). Surrounded by the snow capped Himalayan Mountains, Kishtwar presents a scenic backdrop, and the numerous rivulets flowing through the park add immensely to the charm and magnetism of this Wildlife Reserve. The Park is famous for its unique and rich wildlife and bird species. The flora mainly comprises coniferous, alpine, meadows and scrub forests.
Kishtwar is also home to an enchanting variety of bird species like Himalayan monal, koklass, Himalayan snowcock, western tragopan Himalayan jungle crow, bearded vulture, griffon vulture, paradise flycatcher, golden oriole, white cheeked bulbul and Indian Mynah.
Other major attractions of this park are the cascading waterfalls, trekking paths and the world famous Brahma Peaks.
There are narrow valleys and high ridges that make the topography of Kishtwar National Park, Jammu and Kashmir.
Geographical Location of the Park
North : The ridge separating the watersheds of Kaintal and Kulhoyan Nallahs
South: The georgraphic left ridge of Kiber Nalla from Brahma Peak upto Kibar village.
East: The ridge separating Kargil district from Kishtwar district.
West: The permanent villages in the bank of Renai, Kiar,, Nanth, and Kibber nallahs. The geographical boundary is mere indicative of the National Park: the actual area of the National Park in each of the streams is described below with the indication of the forest compartments falling in it.
Area Description of the National Park
The National Park would consist of part of the upper catchments of following streams. Renai, Kiar, Nanth and Kibber Nallah.
In each of the aforesaid streams, the area of the national park starts from watershed ridge and ends near the first permanent village/hemlet in its downstream.
The Renai Catchment:
Kulhoyan Nalla, Ain Nalla, Srankut Nalla, Borzaz nalla and Malgul nalla are confluencing at variou splaces and forms Zaiji Nalla. Krash Nalla originating from the Fariabad glacier confluences with Dech nalla and flows down. The Zaji nalla and Krash nalla confluences at Fariabad and hereafter called as Renai Nalla, flows down to Marwah Valley. In the Zaji catchment, the entire left bank area and the area on the upstream of the left bank of Malgul nalla in the right bank of Zaji nalla would be under the National Park.
Kiyar Catchment :
The Kiyar Nalla originates from Bhillan and Prui glaciers. The right bank tributaries in the National Park area in Padur nalla, Yachkhur nalla, Gumrar, Katlrar, Drayul nalla, and Gokul nalla. The left bank tributaries in the National Park area in Maimandoo nalla, Madak nalla, Sipari Rar, Lewar nalla, Wqangan nalla, and Bhoi rar. The first village, Rikinwar in the downstream of Kiyar nalla, will be out of the National Park.
The Nanth nalla originates from the Bramah glacier and flows south-west direction and reaches Dachhan area. In the National Park area, the major right bank tributaries are Trisandhya nalla and Hok rar. Gurohoi nalla, Chogunchan rar, Kutnar and Mirwan rar are the left bank tributaries in the National Park area. The first villages on the downstream of Nanth nalla in right and Left bank resp, Prasan and Gugat will be out of the National Park boundary.
The Kibber nalla is also originating frm the Brmah glacier. The National Park spreads from the alpine glazier upto 1 km from the boundary of the Kibber village in the right bank of Kibber nalla. The village Kiber will be out of the National Park boundary.
FEATURES OF THE NATIONAL PARK
The area of the National Park is contiguous in nature. The tract is situated on the high altitudes i.e., sub-alpine and alpine zone. The altitude range of 2300 m to 6000m is observed in this tract. This area is traditionally receiving appreciable quantum of snowfall during winter and rainfall during summer. The water flowing through the tract for millions of years had deeply serrated the land mass into valleys and gorges in all possible directions. It resulted in formation of land mass with varying slopes and aspects. The other local factors such as depth of soil, texture of soil, light availability and duration along with other edaphic factors creates the condition suitable for growth of varied plant species over the land. This produces grass lands, bushy vegetation, marshy land, glacial lakes and varied types of forest. In the bank of the nallas one can observe the growth of conifer trees such as bluepine, fir, spruce and Bhojpatra. Due to availability of varied vegetation along the altitudinal graduation, this area is highly suitable for the wildlife.
The area is away from the human habitation. The people living in the peripheral area i.e,. outside the National Park will never venture the National Park since it is located on the upstream of their habitation.
Physical Features: The area of the National Park is mostly precipitous and rugged comprising of steep slopes and high ridges broken by rocky cliffs and mostly narrow valleys. The altitude of the National Park ranges from 2300 m to 6000 m. The general rock formation of the National Park falls under the central Himalayan crystalline group. The geological formation is the result of succession from Precambrian to Triassic. The rocks are composed of mainly granite, gneisses and schist with occasional marble beds.
DRAINAGE: There are numerous small streams which drain into Renai, Kiyar, Nanth and Kibber Nallas and all these independently drain into river Marwah that joins river Chanderbhaga at Bhandarkoot and forms the river Chenab. The National Park is gifted with nuerous perennial streams, Nallas, Ponds, springs and Glaciers as the resilt of which the water supply is adequate throughout the year. The best known glacier in the area is Brahma Glacier which is about 18 Kms long besides the Metwan Glacier.
CLIMATE and Rainfall
The climate of the National Park confirms to temperature type and depending upon the duration and magnitude of precipitation and temperature four seasons are clearly recognized. These are summer, autumn and winter. The upper reaches of the National Park is characterized by severe and prolonged winter and short summer season. The climate becomes temperature and milder in the lower areas. Snowfall takes place, mainly during December and January sometimes even in November, February and March. During winter, the whole National Park is covered under snow. In the upper reaches and unexposed aspects, the snow remains deposited for at least nine months which acts as the source of water to the different nallas during dry summer months. Most of the precipitation is received from December to April. The monsoon is often weak and reaches late in the area. The average annual rainfall is about 920 mm. considerable winter precipitation and moderate rainfall occur during the summer. Severe winter conditions occur partly due to geographic feature and party as a result of the influences of western disturbances.
Winds are mostly light to moderate. The terrain also gives rise to various types of local winds. These become strong when blowing over fields and glaciers. Winds blowing through mountain ranges emerge out as strong currents.
The area of Kishtwar High Altitude National Park is characterized by marked variation of topography, climate and altitude as the result of which different types of forest vegetation occur in the area especially on northern and eastern aspects. Due to a wide range of elevation, aspects, slopes and moisture regime, the national park supports a variety of temperature conifer forests. These include Fir, Himalayan Yew, Deodar, Blue Pine, or Kail and Spruce. In the alpine regions of the national park, extensive alpine scrub and meadows, open rocks ad glaciers are present. The lower catchment areas of all the four nallas namely, Kiber, Nanth, Kiar and Renai support mixed forests.
Kishtwar is arguably the most important cis-Himalyan area in the state on account of its fairly size and diverse mammalian fauna including a number of rare and endangered species. Its forest was exploited to their severe detriment until 1948 since when logging has been scientifically managed and finally ceased with the establishment of ‘National Park’.
*Information provided by WARDEN- Wild Life Kishtwar National Park
The flora mainly comprises Coniferous, Alpine, Meadows and Scrub forests. Pinus gerardiana, Cedrus deodara, Pinus wallichiana, Juglans regia, Parrotiopsis Jacquemontiana, Desmodium Tiliaefolium, Dipsacus Mitis, Artemisia Vulgaris Ulmus spp., Brachypodium spp., Anemone spp., Artemisia vlugaris, Primula spp., Quercus spp., Rosa spp. Etc.
Mammals – Hangul, Musk deer, Markhor, Himalayan brown bear, Langur, Leopard, Jackal, Asiatic Black Bear, Rodentia Indian Gerbil, Long Tailed Marmot, Bats, The Indian False Vampire Bat, Serotine Bat, Yellow-throated Martin, Snow Leopard, Langur, Leopard Cat, Himalayan tahr, Wild boar, Bharal, Indian Muntijal etc.
Birds – Himalayan jungle crow, Bearded vulture, Griffon vulture, Paradise flycatcher, Golden oriole, White cheeked bulbul, Indian Mynah, golden eagle etc.
Bird Viewing – March To May
Spread on 400 square kilometers of rolling Himalayan glory, Kishtawar High Altitude National Park Kashmir India opens up a magical wild land inhabited by rare Mountain animals such as the hangul, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, langur, Himalayan brown bear, markhor, hangul and musk deer. There is a wide difference in climate and vegetation in different parts of Kishtawar High Altitude National Park due to difference in altitude and topographical variations in different parts of this enchanting mountain wildlife sanctuary in Kashmir India. Different parts of Kishtawar High Altitude National Park is located on different altitudes that range from 1,700 meters above sea level to 4,800 meters above sea level. Kishtwar High Altitude National Park Kashmir India was accorded the status of a national park in February 1981. Set on the catchment areas of Kibar, Nanth and Kiar mountain streams, Kishtawar High Altitude National Park offers an enchanting habitat for a wide species of rare wildlife. 14 species of mammals and 28 species of birds have been recorded at Kishtwar High Altitude National Park in Kashmir India
The Animal Beings
Spread over an area of 400-sq-kms, the park contains 15 mammal species including the Musk Deer, Markhor, Hangul, Langur, Leopard and Himalayan Black and Brown Bear. The Vegetation The sanctuary area is characterised by marked variations in topography, climate and altitude as a result of which different types of forest vegetation occur. The principal tree species are Cedrus Deodara, Pinus Gerardiana, Pinus Wallichiana, Juglans Regia, etc. The dominant shrubs are Parrotiopsis Jacquemontiana, and Desmodium Tiliaefolium. The major herbs include Dipsacus Mitis, Artemisia Vulgaris, etc.
The Winged Beings
Fifty species of birds also exist here and the main species are the Himalayan Jungle Crow, Griffon Vulture, Bearded Vulture, Golden Oriole, Paradise Flycatcher, White Cheeked Bulbul, and Indian Mynah. Avifauna Fifty species of birds also exist here and the main species are the Himalayan Jungle Crow, Griffon Vulture, Bearded Vulture, Golden Oriole, Paradise Flycatcher, White Cheeked Bulbul, and Indian Mynah. Flora The sanctuary area is characterised by marked variations in topography, climate and altitude as a result of which different types of forest vegetation occur. The principal tree species are Cedrus Deodara, Pinus Gerardiana, Pinus Wallichiana, Juglans Regia, etc. The dominant shrubs are Parrotiopsis Jacquemontiana, and Desmodium Tiliaefolium. The major herbs include Dipsacus Mitis, Artemisia Vulgaris, etc.
KISHTWAR NATIONAL PARK (General Information)
Area : 2191.50 Sq Kms
Altitudinal Range: 1,700 to 4,800 meters above sea level
Airport ……………….Jammu (250 kms.)
Rail Head ………….Jammu (248 kms.)
Road …………………..Constructed motor able road for Sumo, Winger etc. up to Ikhala, but bus services are operated up to Palmer only 20 kms. north of Kishtwar.
Distance from Kishtwar : Beyond 40kms north-east of Kishtwar town
How to be reached : By bus or taxi upto Ikhala (Tangdoor) (40kms) and thence From on foot or horse back
Facilities available : Forest Rest houses at Ikhala, Sounder, Sirshi And Yourdu (Marwah)
Visit : Mammal viewing Bird Viewing September to March March to May
Dress : (1) Spring/Summer……….. Trekking Shoes, Raincoat, and Light clothing
(2)Winter ……………. Trekking shoes, Heavy woolens, Waterproof Windcheaters.
Kishtwar possesses a unique position in Jammu and Kashmir because of Kishtwar High Altitude National Park spread over an area of 2190.50 Sq.Kms providing a natural habitat to various species of mammals and and of birds, this sanctuary has an altitude range of 1700 to 4800 Metres. The National Park encompasses the catchment area of Kiber, Nanth and Kiyar Nallas, all of which drain south-west into Marwah river locally called Mariv Sudir which joins Chenab at Bhandarkoot Kishtwar town. The terrain is, generally rugged and steep with narrow valleys bounded by high ridges opening out in their upper glacial parts. The area lies in the central crystalline belt of the great Himalayas, Rocks are strongly folded in places and composed mainly of granite, gneiss and schist with the occasional bed of marble.