Uttarakhand is a wonderful tourist destination. Thousands of people go there every year to rejuvenate themselves amidst the mountains. The mountains in Uttarakhand are home to rare species of plants and animals which are protected by sanctuaries and reserves. The major sanctuaries and reserves of the area are Jim Corbett National Park, Valley of Flowers National Park, Govind National Park, Nanda Devi National Park, Rajaji National Park and Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary.
The most common animals found in Uttarakhand are wild sheep, goat, oxen, antelopes and butterflies but rare and endangered animals such as Musk Deer, Snow Leopard, Ghorals and Monal are also found here.
Jim Corbett National Park is one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries of Uttarakhand. Established by the British government as a reserve area to protect tigers, today one can observer them in their natural habitat.
The Nanda Devi National Park & Valley of Flowers have been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the Valley of Flowers resembles Kashmir when in full bloom, it is worth giving a visit.
Both Rajaji National Park and Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary are very close to Dehradun, the capital city of Uttarakhand. Though one cannot cover both of them in a day, one can certainly make Dehradun the base and then explore both the wonderful places, especially for a wildlife aficionado.
Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary
Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary was established in the year 1967 as a small man-made wetland at the convergence point of Rivers Yamuna and Asan in Dehradun. Since it is near to Dhalipur power house, it is also known as Dhalipur Lake.
Govind National Park
Govind National Park, also known as Govind Pashu Vihar, was established to save the increasingly endangered species. This sanctuary is spread over an area of 957.969 sq. kms with a varying altitude of 1,300 m to 6,323 m.
Jim Corbett National Park
Jim Corbett National Park used to be just another Himalayan forest until in 1936 it was demarcated as a reserve area by the British Government. Jim Corbett Park is spread over 520 sq kms and is covered with huge stretches of Savannah type grasslands and Sal forests.
Nanda Devi National Park
Nanda Devi National Park along with the nearby Valley of Flowers was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Nanda Devi National Park is a forest reserve cum national park (established 1982) in the area surrounding the Nanda Devi peak and covers an area of 630.33 sq kms.
Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park was established in 1983 amidst the bio diverse area of the Shivalik Hill range on the Himalayan foothills. The national park’s name has been dedicated to C. Rajagopalachari, fondly known as Raja Ji.
Valley of Flowers
Valley of Flowers is as full of flowers as of exotic animal species and birds. It is a sight to watch, explore and absorb. The valley is a riot of colors and fragrances so unique and exotic that one needs an entire day just to take in whatever nature is giving us that time.