Hemis National Park
Snow leopard @ Hemis national park | By Snow Leopard Conservancy/Jammu & Kashmir Wildlife Protection Department - https://commons.wikimedia.org

Hemis National Park

Hemis National Park is located in the Leh district of Ladakh Union Territory of the Republic of India.  it is a high-altitude National Park. This is the only National Park in India which is situated on the northern part of Himalayas.  The Park is inbounded on the north by the Indus river including the catchment area of the Mrakha, Sumdah and Rumbak river, and parts of the Zanskar Range. This park is the largest National Park in South Asia. This national park lies within the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe ecoregion, which harbours pine forests, alpine shrublands, alpine tundra and meadows.

Hemis national park
Hemis national park | By Paras31194 - https://commons.wikimedia.org

Flagship animals of the National Park: Snow leopard, Great Tibetan sheep, blue sheep and Asiatic ibex.

This National Park was designated in the year 1981.

Notified area of the National Park is 4400 sq. km. Initially, the park was established in the year 1981 over an area of 600 sq. km. In 1988, its area was increased to 3350 sq. km and later in 1990, its area was increased to 4400 sq. km by incorporating neighbouring lands.

The elevation is ranging from 3000 m to 6000 m from mean sea level. Best time to visit the national park is from mid-June to mid-October.

Flora

Being in the rain shadow of Himalaya, dry forests of Populus, Juniper, Salix forests, subalpine dry birch – fir are available at lower altitudes. The alpine vegetation includes Anemone, Gentiana, Thallctrwn, Veronica, Delphinum, Lloydia, Carex and Kobresia etc. Steppe vegetation includes Caragana, Stachys, Artemisia and Ephedra etc. Endangered medicinal plants such as Arnebia euchroma, Artimisia maritima, Ephedra gerardiana, Ferula jaeschkeana, Bergenia stracheyi, Acantholimon lycopodiodes, and Hyoscyamus niger etc. are found in this ecoregion.

Fauna

Mammal

16 species of mammals have been recorded so far from this national park including Snow leopard, Great Tibetan sheep, blue sheep and Asiatic ibex, Tibetan wolf, Eurasian brown bear, Himalayan marmot, mountain weasel and Himalayan mouse hare etc.

Avifauna

73 species of bird are found including Golden eagle, Himalayan griffon vulture, Lammergeier vulture, Robin accentor, Tickell’s leaf warbler, Brown accentor, Himalayan snowcock, streaked rosefinch, black-winged snow finch, chukar etc.

Approach to Hemis National Park

Nearest airport: Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh (5 km)

Nearest Railway Station: Kalka, Haryana

Nearest Town: Leh (10 km)

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