Overa Aru Wildlife Sanctuary
Overa-Aru Wildlife Sanctuary has derived its name from the two hutment areas of Overa-Aru falling in the lap of the sanctuary and along the two famous snow melted fresh water and perennial nallahs of Overa and Lidder meandering through the sanctuary.
The wildlife protected areas of Overa (165.39 Sq. Km) and Aru (292.00 Sq. Km) totaling both 457.39 Sq. Km were initially declared as ‘Reserves’ before independence vide Cabinet Order No. 710-C of 1945(G) Dated 17.07.1945, keeping its rich potential for wildlife in view, was upgraded as ‘Man and Biosphere Reserve’ vide Govt. Order No. FST-20 of 1981 Dated 04.02.1981. In order to provide full protection to its existing wildlife heritage, the area was given the
status of a ‘Wildlife Sanctuary’ and was declared as ‘Overa-Aru Wildlife Sanctuary’ vide Govt. SRO No. 154 Dated 19.03.1987 under Endorsement No. FST/WL/SAN/Overa/97 Dated 18.03.1987.
The Overa-Aru Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts visiting Jammu and Kashmir. Situated conveniently close to Srinagar, on the upper banks of the sparking Liddar River, the area of the Overa-Aru Wildlife Sanctuary reaches close to many important tourist destinations in the Anatnag District, like Phalagam which is around 10 km downstream Liddar.
Apart from being dead in center of a tourist hotspot in Jammu and Kashmir, the Sanctuary of 400 square kilometers encompasses the Overa-Aru Biosphere, which is a biodiversity hotspot in the world due to several sensitive ecologies and various indigenous and endangered species of plant and animal life. The hills and valleys surrounding the undulating lands of the Overa-Aru Wildlife Sanctuary are also popular as winter tourism spots.
The first step to the Overa-Aru Wildlife Sanctuary was the Overa National Park, which was then legislated in 1981 to the Overa-Aru Biosphere Reserve and the Wildlife Sanctuary. The region has overlapping territories of the Reserve, Sanctuary and the Park.
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