Dachigam National Park
Dachigam National Park is located 22 kilometers from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. It covers an area of 141 km2. The name of the park literally stands for “ten villages” which could be in memory of the ten villages that were relocated for its formation.
The park has been a protected area since 1910, first under the care of the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir and later under the observation of the concerned government authorities. It was initially created to ensure clean drinking water supply for the city of Srinagar. It was finally upgraded and declared a National Park in the year 1981.
Dachigam National park is located in the Zabarwan Range of the 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 uneven region. The terrain ranges from gently sloping grasslands to sharp rocky outcrops and cliffs. Part of the park own kind of natural beauty with bare rock mountains and crevices.
The mountainsides below the tree line are heavily wooded. Most of this coniferous forest consists of broad leaf species. Interspersed between these are alpine pastures, meadows, waterfalls and scrub vegetation with deep gullies, locally known as Nars, running down the mountain face. Most of the grasslands and meadows, except in the harsh winters, are covered with brightly coloured flowers. Located high among its interiors is the Marsar lake from which flows the Dagwan river. This river flows all the way down to, and past, the lower region where it runs along the only proper road in the park and is also famous for its fish population, the trout.
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