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Kishtwar National Park

Kishtwar National Park is a very well known national park of Jammu and Kashmir and was founded in 1981. It was majorly founded to protect the Snow Leopards that are now slowly vanishing from the nature. This national park is spread over an area of 400 km and surrounded by beautiful snow capped Himalayas. It is 248 km away from Jammu and Kashmir and is a scenic backdrop where many streams flowing through the park adds to the beauty of this wildlife paradise. It houses 15 mammal species like Brown Bear, Himalayan Black and the Musk Deer and the most well-known feature is Hangul, the Kashmiri stag that migrate in winters from Dachigam National Wildlife Park and then march back after the cold gets over. It is bounded by the Rinnay River to the north, Kibar Nala catchment in the south, Main divide of the great Himalayas in the east and Marwa River to the west. The park includes Nanth, Kiar, Kibar nalas that flow through the south-west straight into the Marwa River and further joins the Chenab River just above the town.

This national park was basically made to protect the endangered species of snow leopards and was given the status of a national park in 1981.

Topography of Kishtwar National Park

This national park is situated at a high altitude of 1700 to 4800 meters and the high points and narrow valleys constitute the topography of this national park in Jammu and Kashmir. This park can be found at central crystalline belt of the Himalaya’s. Granite, Schist, Gneiss and marble are found at this national park.

Flora in Kishtwar National Park

The area has varied climate, altitudes and topography leading to different vegetation cover of forests. The major trees found in this area are Pinus Gerardiana, Cedrus Deodara, Juglans Regia, Ulmus spp, Quercus spp and many more. Herbs that can be spotted include Brachypodium spp, Anemone spp, Artemisia Vlugaris, Primula spp, etc.


Kishtwar National Park houses several varieties of fauna and can be seen gallivanting and roaming in this natural habitat of theirs. The commonly seen wild animals are leopards, brown beer, and snow leopard, Hangul Ibex, Serow and the Himlayan Musk Deer. Around 14 species can be found in this national park and the 28 species of avifauna like Koklass, Himalayan Monal, Western Tragopan and Himalayan Snowcock just lightening and cheering the whole forest cover area.

Prime Attraction

One can trek with the paths of the national park and enjoy the natural terrain and beauty of the national park. The other attractions are the magical and cascading waterfalls, the sapphire mines of Paddar and the trekking paths.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest and closest airport for those reaching there by air is in Jammu which is around 250 km from the national park.

By Road

The road is tarred and constructed till Ikhala. If one plans to go by bus, there are bus services till Plamer which is in the north of Kashmir and is 20 km away.

By Rail

For train, the nearest rail station is in Jammu and is 248 km away.

Where to Stay

One can get many options to stay and the safest is to stay in a lodge or any hotel in Jammu where one can get places suiting your budget.  Hotels with basic facilities, luxurious and 5-star ratings are also available. The most preferred by people are the house boats where one can enjoy the scenic beauty.

Best Time to Visit

The climatic condition at the Kishtwar National Park is very chilly and extremely cold in winters and the snowfall during December and January is a beautiful sight. Rains are not recorded much at the national park and the best time to visit is from June to October. The summers are very mild making it easy for people to roam and explore the beauty.

Visitor Information

  • This park contains 15 mammal species.
  • It is spread over 400 sq km.
  • 50 species of bird beautifies the national park even more.
  • It is advisable to use trekking shoes and raincoats during rains and light clothing for summers.
  • Heavy woolens waterproof windcheaters are a must in winters.

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